Show Off Your Studio: Stefano Mastronardi’s multi-purpose Italian studio
We step into Stefano Mastronardi’s bright (and colourful!) creative space in Milan, Italy.
- Apple Logic Pro X
- Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors
- NI Komplete Kontrol S61
- Roland Juno-106
- Elektron Analog Rytm
- Waldorf Blofeld
Tell us more about your studio…
My studio is located in the city centre of Milan, Italy. It has been here since 2012. The studio initially started as my own personal studio, but throughout the years, I’ve opened the space to other artists and media/advertising productions.
How do you handle drum recording in your room?
I produce mostly electronic drums. In the studio, I own an acoustic drum kit, but I use it essentially as a source to sample for creating loops, drum hits and percussion.
Which DAW do you use and why?
I have been using Logic for years, since the 2000s in fact, when it was still owned by Emagic. Logic is my reference DAW that I use to record and mix. I also use Ableton Live a lot – I find it very creative and useful for building ideas on the fly. Then, as the years have gone on, I’ve also used Pro Tools, too.
Which piece of gear are you most proud of?
I own a Soundtracs 24-channel mixing desk from the 90s. Even though I use a lot of plug-ins and VSTs, I have always tried to combine analogue and digital sounds. I still record the audio signals through that and it gives me a vintage analogue feel.
What gear do you use the most?
I use plenty of instruments at the same time. For example, I work on different kinds of tracks at a time and so I change setup quickly. My keyboard controller, my synths, guitar and bass and some microphones are always connected.
How much time do you spend in your studio per week?
I’m here from Monday to Friday, about 10 hours a day.
How do you use your studio?
It’s a multi-purpose studio: I use it to create and produce my own music since I work as a full-time composer for film, TV and media. I also recently started working as a sound designer for sample packs. Other times, I use my studio to record and mix other artists’ music and to record speech from voice talents for the media and advertising industry.
What’s next on your shopping list, studio-wise?
A brand-new pair of high-end studio monitors.
What is your dream piece of gear?
I started as a keyboard player, so I’ve always dreamed of getting my hands on a real Fender Rhodes electric piano.
What’s your top piece of production advice?
We have some truly amazing musical technology around us today. I like tools, both hardware and software, and I’m a gear addict. But my advice is always this: let the ideas flow freely and follow your intuition and your sensitivity. It is always the ideas that matter, rather than the tools.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out building a studio?
When I started the studio, I bought a lot of equipment and gear. But then over time, I only kept what really works and adapts to my production chain. Just keep what you really need and value and let go of the unnecessary.
What are the main components of your studio?
KRK VXT6 studio monitors, Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors, NI Komplete Kontrol S61, NI Maschine, Apple Logic Pro X, Ableton Live 10, Elektron Analog Rytm, Elektron Analog Keys, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland Juno-106, NI Komplete 10, ProjectSam Orchestral Essentials, ProjectSAM Swing!, Arturia V Collection, Blue Baby Bottle condenser microphone, Fender Stratocaster Classic Vibe, Blackstar HT-1R guitar amplifier, Rupert Neve Designs 5017 Mic Pre/DI box, dbx 160A mono compressor/limiter and more.
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