It’s always thrilling to get an inside look at what your favorite producers are using in the studio. Whether you’re a producer yourself, a DJ or just a fan, getting behind the scenes of a musician’s workspace can help you gain insight into how they get their sound and where their inspiration comes from. With our brand new In The Studio series, we’ll be teaming up with some of today’s most forward-thinking producers to see what’s in their studio, from hardware, to accessories and more.
Our first segment kicks off with experimental bass artist Noer the Boy. Currently stationed in Portland, Oregon, the multifaceted artist has a distinct analog-heavy sound, which has landed him releases on NOISIA’s Division Recordings, SATURATE!RECORDS, Phuture Collective, Liquid Amber and more. Every production that comes from the talented producer tends to be jaw-dropping and wildly complex, but still clean enough to hit unbelievably hard. His recent Ganzfield EP has been met with high acclaim, as he continues to showcase his impressive sound through each and every release.
We teamed up with Noer the Boy to find out how he creates his gritty basslines, what he completes his studio with and more. Check it all out below and make sure to give him a well-deserved follow.
In the Studio: Noer the Boy
I have to start this list with the program I use every day. Ableton is my ride-or-die. I’m not a DAW purist, you can make incredible music in any program. But for me, Ableton provides the best canvas to allow me to think outside the box and be as creative as I can be.
Native Instruments Reaktor
One of the best purchases I’ve made, the shear amount of factory synths, sequencers, sound generators, effects etc. that come with Reaktor make it a ridiculously useful plugin. Reaktor Blocks is an excellent gateway into eurorack synths, considering the price for Reaktor is akin to buying one physical module. My favorite thing about Reaktor is the user library, a place to download free instruments and effects created by other users. It’s a rabbit hole for discovering unique plug ins.
Noise Engineering Loqeulic Iteritas and Malekko Heavy Industry Varigate 4+
In late 2017, I took the plunge and started building my modular synth. My rack is small (because modular synths aren’t cheap!) but can produce some wild sounds. The heart of my setup (as of writing this) is the Noise Engineering Loquelic Iteratas. The Loquelic is equally capable of making distorted atonal bass and pretty lead melodies. Another module I love is the Malekko Heavy Industry Varigate 4+. It’s a versatile compact sequencer that packs a giant punch. It’s also made here where I live, Portland is one of the hotbeds for modular synth manufacturing and the community here is excellent. Hardware is great because it’s nice to close the laptop and sit and patch for a few hours. On days when I’m struggling to come up with anything in Ableton, being able to practice music but not look at a computer screen is a valuable asset.
Trash is one of my favorite tools, it’s an incredibly powerful distortion plug in. A real swiss army knife for sound design!
Teenage Engineering POs, Bastl MicroGranny 2, Bastl Kastle
Hardware doesn’t have to be expensive to be useful! I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of my Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators, which you can find in almost every city. Big sounds in a small package. Bastl makes some great inexpensive instruments, I have their MicroGranny 2 (a noisy lo-fi granular sampler) and the Kastle (a modular synth that fits in the palm of your hand). I used the MicroGranny extensively on my Mechanism LP, and you can hear bits of the Kastle in the song “Horror Show” I co-produced with DJ Shadow.
Krom Pop Kendama
Whenever I find myself getting frustrated in Ableton, I like to take a short break and practice Kendama tricks. Having another hobby to clear your mind and recharge really helps create a healthy working environment.
Adam Audio F7 Monitors and Adam Audio Sub 8
One of the first studio purchases I made. Having a good listening setup is a big boost. And with making bass music, having a subwoofer that accurately replicates the low end in tracks is one of the most helpful things. I love my Adam Audio setup, shout out to Huxley Anne for recommending the setup!
I use my Tascam field recorder to capture all sorts of sounds, both in my studio and when I’m out and about. It fits in my backpack and records in high quality stereo. Portable and cheap, my kind of gear.
Arturia Keystep Pro
For the price, this is the best keyboard I’ve come across. It has CV outputs, sync in and out, MIDI in and out, a built-in step sequencer and arpeggiator. Combing the Keystep with my modular setup and other gear helps brings the most out of my instruments. I also enjoy using it to obnoxiously play The First Noel, Over the Rainbow, and Amazing Grace on top of whatever beat I’m working on if I get stumped.
I like to surround myself with inspiring and motivating art on my walls. My favorite posters are a Salvador Dali print of Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening and an Endtroducing poster signed by DJ Shadow and the crew from his fall 2017 European tour that I was a part of. Helps make my boring white walls pop, and reminds me of what I’ve accomplished so far but also how my journey has just begun.