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Whisky Kicks


Studio Survival: Original Sin


Studio Survival: Original Sin

Feature Image Photo Credit- Thea Greenfield

I’ve been making music for a long time now and in that time I’ve had a few different studio setups.

One was almost completely analogue and others have been either hybrid or totally in the box. My preferred setup for speed and ease of use is in the box but they all had their merits. 

That said, one of my favourite pieces of studio gear is the Roland VP-03. Currently I own the Behringer VC340 which is an analogue re-creation of this classic string ensemble and vocoder from the late 70’s. I discovered it while studying Vangelis, something I’ve done multiple times at different points in time.

The CS80 gets most of the credit for the Blade Runner score, but there’s just as much of the VP-03 in the score too, providing choir type pads and emotive string swells.

I’ve used this in so many tracks that I’ve lost count to be honest. I’ve owned every version of its software emulation and hardware,but not the original Roland unit sadly.

Because the VC 340 is an ‘ensemble string machine‘ with a vocoder and human choir sounds, it lacks most of the parameters that a synth would have, old or new. 

For the strings you can adjust the attack, the tone (brightness) and the volume and the same for the human choir. You can also add the built in ensemble effect to either the choir or the strings. These limitations force me to use it in creative ways. 

Its most recent use was on a collab track ‘Deeper‘. I used the Behringer VC 340 to create some vibes in the intro with some moody string / pad swells which I then added vibrato to with the chopper plugin in cubase. 

My latest release 100k w/ Shakes (out now on Souped Up) was actually the first track I haven’t used it on in any way. I predominantly used serum for all sounds on that track except the drums. But that would have been less interesting as an article, I think, because we’ve all used serum I’m sure!



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