We’ve heard the new Fhloston Paradigm; here’s an up-close look at the studio setup on which it was made.

Making music can be about collecting the best, not just the newest, finding what’s inspiring to build your own tradition. Perhaps that’s why so many artists increasingly turn to vintage analog gear not just because they idolize the sound, but because it opens up working techniques that move their music forward. After all, digital emulations get better by the day at copying sounds, but it may be less a matter of old and new and more unlocking some personal creativity. In hybrid setups, each different, everything from a flea market find to a custom software patch can take on new meaning.

Two weeks ago, we heard veteran sound designer/producer/journalist Francis Prève talk about how he integrates analog gear with Ableton Live. Now, here’s King Britt showing us the rig he used to produce the sounds for his Fhloston Paradigm EP, released yesterday on Hyperdub to great acclaim.

The gear, in case you aren’t quick enough in the video, includes some very-classic vintage equipment:

(Roland) BOSS “Doctor Rhythm” DR-110 (1983)
Korg MS-20 (1978)
Korg Mono/Poly (1981)
Roland JX-3P (with Roland PG-200 programmer, 1983)

I don’t want to drive up their eBay value any higher, but it is worth noting that even these legendary synths are available for less than a modern digital flagship; some of their lesser-known counterparts are far more affordable. And they sound utterly terrific. There’s also some new equipment – one digital box from Pioneer, the rest analog from Moog Music:

Pioneer EFX-1000
Moog Music Moogerfooger MF-101 Lowpass Filter
Moog Music Moogerfooger MF-105M MIDI MuRF
Moog Music Moogerfooger MF-102 Ring Modulator

It’s a great compliment to the Moogerfooger that you’d feed even the superb sound of an MS-20 into it and be that much happier. (Side note: it’s my admiration for the EFX-1000, the one digital effect in this signal chain, that makes me enthusiastic about the new RMX-1000 from Pioneer. Non-DJ producers may not give Pioneer any love, but the company really does effects nicely.)

All of this gets piped into Ableton Live. In this video, it’s just acting as a multitrack recorder, but I know King works extensively with Live in editing, alongside effects like the Universal Audio line.

There’s something inspiring about the personality of this setup that goes well beyond just analog or digital, old or new, especially when in the hands of someone with the musical instincts King has. I should know – I spent some quality time fiddling with the rig as I waited out a hurricane/tropical storm warning in King’s Philadelphia studio in the fall. If you don’t have this particular gear, you can achieve some of the same effects, just by multitracking in audio, connecting sequencers, and avoiding too much synchronization and control, letting your instincts drive some of your music making. Heck, you can even do it in software by assigning extra external control and turning off some of the sync on effects and the like. (Let go … use the force and all that.)

And here’s what it all sounds like:

Listen to more from King and read our review of his latest:
Analog Frontiers: Listen to King Britt’s New Fhloston Paradigm EP [CDM Track Stream, FACT Mix]

And keep on creating … music.

Hyperdub release page