Show Off Your Studio: Inside DJ Turf’s creative nook
Darren Miller – aka DJ Turf – uses his well-equipped studio to create remixes for his radio show and to work on his own projects
- DSI OB-6
- Elektron Analog Rytm MKII
- Novation Bass Station II
- Universal Audio LA-610 MkII
- And a selection of quirky sunglasses
Hi Turf, tell us more about your studio…
My current studio is at my home in Tamworth, Staffordshire, where I live with my wife. It took many years of research to compile, tweak and perfect the setup. I like to let the equipment speak for itself instead of filling it with garish décor. The idea behind my studio is predominantly usability, but it is also the place for me to make various styles of dance music, record my weekly radio shows and get creative. The long-term plan for my studio is to produce and release music, teach music tech and theory, and DJ.
Which DAW do you use, and why?
I use Ableton Live for brainstorming and then move everything into Cubase 10 for mastering. I feel that this is the best approach for coming up with an idea and speedily finished approaches.
Do you have a favourite piece of gear?
I’m currently loving my Elektron Analog Rytm MKII as it just sounds great. I just lose myself in the sounds when making beats and there’s this awesome trick on it where you can cycle through samples stored in the modulation section. It’s a very creative box. I also love my DSI OB-6. It just sounds so good with bass and lush pads.
Do you spend a lot of time in the studio?
I’d love to say every waking hour, but unfortunately, life gets in the way. However, I’m in there for several hours per day, prepping radio shows, developing creative ideas, remixing and scratching up 80s classics and general DJing. I love being involved in my local radio and present The Mixdown Show on Switch Radio and Tamworth Radio. I put a lot of effort into remixing 80s and 90s classics, which I play on my shows in hopes that it creates modern relevance and draws an audience of all ages into a new appreciation of these tunes.
So how do you use your studio?
At the moment, it’s mostly used for producing my radio shows and generating ideas. I’m currently working on a couple of tracks that I’d like to release soon, so watch this space! In the near future, I plan to expand my studio for teaching and live streaming.
Alright, tell us: what’s next on your gear shopping list?
Oh, so many things! I’m currently on the search for a good EQ and am torn between API and Neve. Software-wise, I’ve got my eye on Omnisphere 2.6 because of its great sound and synth integration.
What annoys you most about your setup and why?
That my missus won’t allow me to have the biggest room in the house. Also, dusting is a pain.
What is your dream piece of gear and why?
The Pultec EQ. It’s just amazing, but unfortunately, I’m going to have to wait a while for that purchase until we finish renovating our new house. It’s very much at the top of my wishlist for now.
Any piece of advice on music production?
Use your ears. Step away and revisit.
What’s the top piece of advice you would give to someone starting out building a studio?
Read MusicTech magazine(!), learn music theory, invest in acoustic panels and the best studio monitors you can afford. Be open to change, but not to compromise.
What are the main components of your studio?
DSI OB-6, DSI Pro 2, Novation Bass Station II, Arturia MatrixBrute, Universal Audio LA-610 MkII, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol, 2x Native Instruments Kontrol D2, Elektron Analog Rytm MKII, Pioneer SP-16 Toraiz, KRK Rokit 6, Art Voice Channel, Focusrite Clarett, Alesis Reverb, Akai 4000DB analogue tape machine, TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2, Mackie Onyx 1640 mixer, 2x Vestax PDX-3000, Pioneer DJS-1000, Pioneer DJM-2000 mixer, 2x Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2, various microphones and a selection of dodgy-yet-fun sunglasses…
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