We go 'Inside the Studio' with Luyo
We went inside the studio with Italian Soulful house head and head honcho of Double Cheese Records, Luyo to celebrate the 100th release on Double Cheese. The 100th release marks the beginning of their 5th anniversary celebrations via a special compilation, featuring essential tunes from the label form Kerri Chandler, Booker T, N’dinga Gaba, Luyo and DJ Spen! Congratulations guys!
Luyo, thank you so much for letting us inside your studio. Do you mind running through your equipment?
• iMac i5 quad-core 3.2GHz
• Macbook Pro 15’’ i5 2.4GHz
• Macbook Pro 13’‘ i5 dual-core 2.9GHz
• Focal SOLO 6BE KS
• Yamaha MSP 7
• Digital C-55 Coax
• Reftone LD-1
• Custom Mixing control surface – 16 motorized faders
• Presonus Faderport
• Universal Audio Apollo QUAD 8p
• Burl B2 Bomber ADC
• Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
• Dangerous 2-BUS
• DBX 160A
• DBX 2231 Limiter/EQ
• 2x DBX 266XL
• Mackie Big Knob
• Softube Console 1
• Dynacord POD-14
• Dynacord DDL-15
• Roland Juno 106
• Access Virus C
• Korg Minilogue
• Korg Mini MS-20
• Korg Microkorg
• Korg TR-Rack
• Clavia Nord Rack 2X
• Clavia Nord Rack 2
• Jen SX1000
• Arturia Minibrute
• Korg Volca Bass
• Roland TR606 Drumatix
• Roland TR-8 Aira
• Arturia Beatstep
• Maschine Mikro
• Novation Launchpad S
• Novation Launch Control
• Doepfer MS-404
• Waldorf Pulse
• Roland D50
• Roland Octapad
• Roland DJ70
• Yamaha DX7 II
• E-Mu Planet Phatt
• E-magic AMT8
• M-Audio Midisport 4×4
• M-Audio Oxigen-8
• Behringer Eurorack MX 802A
• AKG K701
• AKG K141
• Beyerdynamics DT770 Pro
• Jose Ramirez acoustic guitar
• 2 self built shamanic drums
What would you say is your favourite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?
Everything I can put my hands on, be it drum machines, analog synths or control surfaces with faders and knobs.
Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
I start working with a concept, the style and sound I want the track to end up sounding like. I try to stay open minded and get inspiration from different kinds of music. If it’s a remix I’m working on, I try to respect the vocals natural rhythm and insert more movement through a drum set played with one of the drum machines and maybe add some percussions with the NI Machine. Then, I keep on the groove construction by switching on the synths and trying out some stabs and rhythmic chords. I often find myself starting from the low frequencies (beats, bass, low chords) and ending up with the highest ones (pads, strings, high synths, cymbals). During the composition process I also enjoy to get a second pair of ears and extra musicianship from friends and collaborators like Peter De Girolamo who’s a instrumentalist wizard.
What piece of studio equipment or production process defines your sound?
There’s a constant evolution in the production process, including the studio setup, but in the post-production part ‘Dangerous 2 Bus’ is always on for summing, so that particular analog saturation is in most of my productions.
What piece of hardware / software elevated your production to a higher level & how?
I wouldn’t say any gear, but the advices from my friend and mixing engineer Aki Bergen. We are partners at the music studio and also have been working on other artists’ productions. Here is the studio website for more info www.dellingerstudio.com
What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?
I recently bought a TR-8 drum machine to have all classic Roland drum machines sounds handy and it’s a cool piece of kit for hands-on beats production, especially if you’re a fan of the classic house music beats. Also, I just ordered a Korg Monologue that I’m really looking forward to using in my future productions! I think it’s a fantastic concept for an affordable polyphonic analog synth. Softube Console 1 is also another winner for workflow, giving the possibility to manipulate EQing, compression and much more at your fingertip.
What are your essential studio supplies?
When my ears need a break I like to prepare myself a nice moka coffee.
What list of artists have influenced your sound over the years?
I was born in Naples, and historically southern Italy is much connected to r&b and soul music because we hosted the american troops during WWII. This connection eventually led to a continued influence, as can be found in the music of local artists like Pino Daniele, and then in a great response to the first american DJs coming to perform in Italy. I grew up listening to jazz, soul, disco, and the tapes of the DJ sets from Louie Vega and the Masters At Work. They were the first to make me fall in love with an eclectic style of house music. More recently I got hooked by the afro house wave, the artists from South Africa and also european ones, like Pablo Fierro and Kiko Navarro.
What would you call your 3 favourite all time productions?
Luyo, Mike Clark – Ancestral
This was my first afro house single and a #1 on Traxsource Afro House chart. I love that it takes you on long hypnotic journey. I’m going to release more shamanic productions like this one, it’s a very personal concept and sound and a natural evolution for me.
Djazz Set – Take Five (Luyo ‘Roald & Umberto’ Tribute Remix)
This is a cover of classic jazz standard ‘Take Five’. Taking something written in 5/4 and transforming it in 4/4 was something different, very rewarding and lots of fun.
MoBlack, Baba – Calabash (Luyo Remix)
I loved the vocals from this MoBlack production and was very happy to make my own version. I like the overall result and the deep/afro/funky vibe, I played it a lot since last summer and creates a good vibe on the dancefloor.
Finally, What handy studio tip would you pass onto producers out there?
As a label owner I receive lots of music and there’s so much good music out there these days, but for some cases there’s still room for improvement on the post-production processes, mixing, and mastering, which are just as important as the production. Most of the times it’s simply because some people don’t have access to a sound treated room. So do it if you can! Another tip is to check the resonant frequencies, as they can ruin a mix.