Studio Essentials: CJ Bolland | Soundspace

Studio Essentials: CJ Bolland

Responsible for the first ever DJ-Kicks mix, early releases on the seminal R&S Records, and charting on the UK singles chart at #11 with Sugar Is Sweeter, British born, Belgian raised DJ and producer CJ Bolland has been around the block a few times over.

After a well-deserved hiatus, Bolland is back, firstly for a new release on the recently revived Rhythm Distrikt for a collaborative EP alongside Tom Wax.

We caught up with the Belgian to get the inside scoop on his studio, which bits of gear he uses both inside and outside the computer, and why they are so important to his process.

Arturia MatrixBrute

I picked up a MiniBrute fairly early on. It does the necessary damage so I didn’t pay too much attention to the big daddy brute. Until I got my hands on one. The sound is just awesome but that was expected knowing the MiniBrute. What blew me away was the flexibility, wide range and ease of use, patching anything to anything without patch leads. Cool sequencer and arp too.

Roland TR-8S

There used to be a bunch of drum machines scattered around the studio, well there still are but I only really need to use one coz they’re all incorporated. The features of the TR-8S make it a very intuitive, creative and a fun drum machine and now finally we can load our own samples which is a total game changer, especially live.

NI Reaktor

Native Instruments Komplete is an unmissable collection of all kinds of instruments but for me, Reaktor really stands out. In itself, a whole new collection of tools and toys but with user build or re-build functionality it lets you decide how you’re sound is generated and moulded. Unlimited power!

Ableton Live and Max for Live

Using Live for live performance goes without saying. Although I do use Cubase as my production host DAW, I use Live all the time as a rewire device too. Its unique session view window is great for tweaking and experimenting, especially with loops. Much like Reaktor, Max for Live lets you create instruments from scratch or tweak existing ones and you can share or use shared ones with the Max for Live community.

Genelec 8351 ‘the ones’

Over 20 years I’ve been monitoring on Genelec’s massive 1039’s. I decided a couple of years ago I didn’t want to go deaf so got some sensible 8050b’s. They’re great and I didn’t really consider upgrading except that they don’t have the SAM auto calibrate feature. Wanting to be certain of my mixes I checked out the 8351’s and couldn’t believe my ears.

The difference after calibrating, even in what I thought was a well-treated room, is well worth the extra buck(s).

CJ Bolland & Tom Wax – Nein Ooh Nein is out now on Rhythm Distrikt.