Souldynamic take us 'Inside The Studio'
Italian duo ‘Souldynamic’ aka Luca Ciotoli & Stefano De Magistris have come along way since their first release on Groove Stereo Recordings in 2007. The last 10 years have seen the lads work with the likes of Angela Johnson, Ultra Nate and Roland Clark to release their own productions and provide remixes for some of the most acclaimed record labels in the biz, including King Street Sounds, Soulfuric, Purple Music, Favouritizm and Soundman on Wax.
What equipment do you have in your studio?
• Apple Mac Tower Computer running Pro-tools HD
• Apple iMac running Logic X
• Digidesign 192
• Rme ADI-8 AE
• 2 Distressors EL8-X
• Compressor DBX 160 SL
• Preamplifier Neve 1073 DPA
• Preampifier Universal Audio 2-610
• Amplifier Carver PXm450
• Neumann 475-S Summing Box
• Speakers YAMAHA NS-10M Studio
• Speakers PMC DAD M100
• Big Knob Studio Command System
• Mixer Tascam DM-24
• M-audio project mix controller
• AKG Microphone 414 B – ULS
• Sure SM 57
• Nord Stage 2
• Logic X
• Arturia Minimoog V
• Digidesign Velvet Electric Piano
• Native Instruments B4
• Spectrasonic Stylus Rmx
• Arturia CS 80 V
• Waves Audio Plug-ins
• Focusrite D2 Equalizer
• Focusrite D3 Compressor
• Native instrument Kontakt 5
• Native instrument Massive
• Applied Acoustics Systems Chromaphone
• U-he Diva
• U-he Zebra 2
• Waves plug-ins
What is your favourite piece of equipment to use in the studio & why?
There are different toys we love to use while producing, but let’s say this, the microphone recently became one of our favourite. If we’re using a mic, it means we’re recording live instruments and that’s exciting for us. We’ve got different mics in the lab, and in the last 2 years we’ve had a great fun recording many kinds of instruments, percussions, horns, pianos and organs. Learning new technics of microphone positions, distances, or room reverbs, more mic for the same instrument, that brought new sound engineering experience to us.
Pro-tools Hd2 with his Digidesign 192 interface is the heart of the studio and the sound recording, the preamplifier Universal Audio 2-610 and Preamplifier Neve 1073 DPA do the rest for a good sound recording.
Give us some insight into your production process. How do you typically begin constructing a track?
Recently we changed our vision of the production process, we’re spending much more time listening and inspiring ourselves with music from other cultures. We are two guys in the lab, and we have very specific rules in this, while Stefano spends hours searching unknown music coming from an hidden village in Africa, or discovers rare r&b and Soul tracks from the 70’s and 80’s, Luca searches new sounds and goes deep in the arrangement technics. Being original with our sound became our first rule and that comes with finding the right inspiration. It’s all about groove and atmospheres. The begin of a track for us in the “inspiration”.
What piece of studio equipment or production process defines your sound?
The Neumann 475-S Summing Box is a very precious piece for us in the studio. It’s hand made on a Neumann project from the 70’s, and the engineer who built it is a mad guy who spends months searching the right electronic pieces to put his products together, and we can hear the results of his patience on this. This piece became fundamental for us, we love to work with a lot of tracks on the sequencer software and the analog summ gives all the space and the energy we need for the track. We summ 16 stereo tracks, with sends for the reverbs and dedicated channel for the kick, the bassline, the atmospheres and voices.
The 2 Distressors EL8-X from Empirical Lab are also an essential piece to define the sound of live recorded percussions or basslines, to give the last touch to the pre-master mix we use to pass the track into the analog compressor Compressor DBX 160 SL.
What piece of hardware/software elevated your production to a higher level & how?
Human factor, it isn’t hardware of software. We know we’re talking about equipment, but we like to share with the followers our thought about music we listen nowadays. We think House music needs more Human Factor, producing is not only about processing sounds, or sampling, is much more. We think Louie Vega is the perfect example in this, he produces high quality house tracks, full of soul, amazing voices, great music touches with an amazing sound, that’s the high level House music needs.
Any piece of equipment can give you the Human factor, that touch that gives to your music that incredible sound we’re all searching.
What fresh equipment have you recently added to the lab?
In the last 15 months we worked on our first album “Origins”, 12 tracks coming out soon on Tribe Records. We had the pleasure to add many instruments touches and solos on these tracks with the Nord stage 2 keyboard. A true essential piece in the studio when you’re looking for amazing Piano, Rhodes, Organs or Pad sounds, you will listen what we’re talking about soon!
What are your essential studio supplies?
A cup of good English tea is never missing!
What list of artists have influenced your sound?
Well there are many out there we’ve been listening to, but our mentors surely are Ron Trent, Glenn Underground, Louie Vega, Joe Claussell, these guys truly inspire us with the originality of their music.
What are your 3 favourite productions?
1. Souldynamic ft. Dana Weaver – Live your life (from the album #Origins) coming out soon.
2. Souldynamic feat.Tamara Wellons – Preoccupied (from the album #Origins) coming out soon.
3. Souldynamic ft. Deborah Bond – There is a place (from the album #Origins) coming out soon.
What handy studio tip would you pass onto producers out there?
First of all, listen to as much music as you can, not only dance music, find inspirations from every single sound you listen to, salsa, latin, afro, disco, r&b music contains the roots of the most original and eclectic sounds. When you’ve found the spirit of the music you want to produce it’s all about creativity, a studio nowadays just needs a simple set-up, Computer, Logic X, a couple of good speakers and a good room.
What new production should your fans be on the lookout for at Traxsource soon?
Our first album “Origins” will be out in 2017 on Tribe Records, 12 tracks we arranged in collaboration with Deborah Bond, Tumelo, Divinity, Dana Weaver, Miranda Nicole, Jocelyn Mathieu, Tamara Wellons, Wunmi, Sabrina Child, Mr. V, almost 2 years putting together the biggest work we’ve ever done in our production career.