Recently, UK-based label Moments In Time welcomed Cuban artist Hioll, a leader in the island's growing music scene. His 4-track EP Subdued Nation is a fine piece of blistering modern techno, taking influence from '90s hard trance and Belgian big beat. Each track is expertly crafted and shows the artist's attention to detail. We caught up with the pioneer to learn more about the release for the latest installment of our How It Was Made series.
My companion from many battles. Years ago, I decided to mutate my setup from a conventional studio to something more mobile and that's where this wonderful computer came into my life. It allows me to take it with me and when I have an idea, I can develop it without having to wait to get to my place. Believe it or not, I also use the small speakers a lot to test my final mixes and see how they would sound on sources like that.
Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO
An audio interface that has been with me for a short time and I always wanted. Universal Audio is a very prestigious brand, and this model is undoubtedly one of the best options on the market for small or mobile studios. It has excellent converters and allows me to access the wide range of plugins the manufacturer offers. At the moment I feel very comfortable with it and I hope it will continue to be useful for many years to come.
Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro
I have been using my Beyerdynamics for a long time and recently purchased the new special edition that comes in black. What can I say about them? They are very good headphones that perfectly replace active monitors, also my main tool for mixing tracks and mastering. They fit with my mobile studio philosophy and helps me to develop my creativity wherever I am.
I use it to write a lot of the main synths and bass lines on my tracks. It has a good analog and vintage sound that fits what I am looking for in my current productions. Since I started to try it and play with it, I was surprised by how much it could do. It can sound rough, but it can also make very beautiful and relaxing sounds. In "Bitter Populism" you can see in all its splendor what this magnificent plugin is capable of.
Arturia's Modular V
A plugin that I used a lot in the past and that I'm taking up little by little. It's quite versatile but I like to use it lately just to make pads and generate higher-pitched sounds. It gives my productions that flavor of modular synthesis so characteristic of contemporary Techno. It is truly a benchmark for intricate and complex sound design. In "Bitter Populism" I used it to generate the melody that comes in at minute 3.
It's basically a plugin that emulates seven classic guitar amps. I use it almost in everything. It brings a warm heat, very interesting harmonics and gives a certain feeling of dirt in the music, with which I identify a lot.
AdHd Leveling Tool
Among the compressors that I like to use, this is the one I get the most out of in my productions. A radical tool when it comes to highlighting things that demand attention in the mix. The character it brings is unmatched. A heavyweight without a doubt!
Arturia's Prophet V
I like to use it for the most melodic and emotionally charged tracks. It can be heard in "Dictator's Don't Deserve Life" as the main synth. Once again, it provides a vintage sound I like so much and, considering that it is an emulation of the revolutionary synth, it is not bad at all.
Waves SSL E-Channel Strip
It provides me with an emulation of the incomparable sound of the SSL 4000 console used in many renowned studios and legendary recordings. It gives a certain gray and opaque tone to my mixes, something that fascinates me.
I usually combine several at the same time to generate atmospheres. I also use them in the textures I sometimes put in the background of my mixes, to give that touch of mystery and to generate tension in certain parts of the arrangement. What I like the most is that they don't leave a tail like many of the other reverbs on the market.