Watch Tycho show off his complex “mothership stereo effects rig” process
In a new video, the producer runs through his expansive setup, revealing a carefully considered effects process
YouTube / Reverb
American electronic producer and musician Tycho has revealed his impressive studio setup in a video for music tech marketplace, Reverb.
The video, uploaded to Reverb.com’s YouTube channel, shows the producer – real name Scott Hanson – run through the hardware in the San Francisco-based space. He also explains the order in which he employs his vast number of hardware effects.
Standing at his “mothership stereo effects rig,” as he calls it, Hanson reveals his complex approach to effects processing. The signal starts in mono and enters the chain, he says, where the Strymon Volante converts it to stereo for enhanced width.
For mono synths, the Strymon Flint introduces tremolo before pre-tremolo reverb, creating rhythmic volume-gated effects. The Strymon Big Sky offers versatile reverb, while the GFI Specular Tempus adds pitch-shifted delay and spring reverb-like textures. These effects feed into the Strymon Deco for flanging and finally pass through the Elektron Analog Heat. Here, intense reverb or tremolo-treated sounds are driven through a high-pass filter and aggressive drive, resulting in a gritty, distorted soundscape, characteristic of Tycho’s style found on the likes of his 2012 album, Dive.
Hanson also explains how ergonomics and accessibility are essential when considering where he places his equipment. He also emphasises that while hardware is important, about 75 per cent of his production process involves in-the-box VST effects and digital instruments.
Surprisingly, he says that while he loves his monitors, he mostly uses headphones as they are “a little bit more honest.”
A peculiar piece of hardware he shows off is his custom-made mechanical controller designed specifically for Reaper. It’s made out of an old school computer keyboard and is used, he says, “so he doesn’t have to touch the mouse and keyboard if he doesn’t want [to].”
In 2020, MusicTech got the chance to get an insight into Tycho’s studio processes. In the conversation, the producer refers to his signature combination of chords and reverb, saying how he “takes a reverb and runs it through a distortion and a filter, puts another reverb on it, then puts maybe another reverb on it before the delay”, to create “really interesting pads.”
Listen to Tycho’s music via his Bandcamp.
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