Studio Essentials: Saytek | Soundspace

Studio Essentials: Saytek

Studio Essentials: Saytek

Countless late nights in the studio have allowed British live act Saytek to build a catalogue of music that has seen him release with Carl Cox’ Awesome Soundwave and Slam’s Soma Records, among a bunch of other labels.

The latest work to come from him was back in May, when he brought his 5-track ‘Live On Tour Vol.1’ EP to his very own Cubism imprint, where he has also hosted tracks from Copy Paste Soul and Terry Francis.

With so much experience under his belt, we thought Saytek would the perfect talent to feature on our latest Studio Essentials, where he shares his favourite synths, drum machines and MIDI controllers.

Novation Peak

Novation Peak Studio Essentials

Pretty new to my set up, I recently swapped things around and was using an Elektron Analog 4 as my main analog synth. This is a truly beautiful poly synth! It uses Oxford oscillators which are actually digital, but have a sample rate so high they are indistinguishable from analog, after that it’s analog all the way!

It’s extremely powerful and you can get anything from acid bass to beautiful rich pads out of it and I have created loads of great techno sounds! It has 8 voices, but it’s not multi timbral, meaning you can only play one sound at a time, so in my live sets, a lot of my main leads, chords and bass sounds come from this. It has loads of knobs and faders so it’s absolutely amazing for performing with!

Roland MC707

roland mc707 studio essentials

This kind of replaces my Elektron Analog Rtym, although not comparable, it’s a completely different beast! I grew up on groove boxes and had a MC505 when I was 18, I toured with the MC909 for ten years as a main part of my live show! Roland went quiet on the groove box front for a few years, I was so excited when I heard they had released the MC101 and MC707.

First I bought the 101 but quickly realised I was in love and would need to get the 707! It is a truly amazing bit of kit, 8 tracks of drum machines, analog modelling synths, sampling with loads of hands on control making it great for live performance. It’s a really deep box with great FX, in-depth synth editing, EQ on every channel. It’s powerful for sound design, but also very intuitive! It’s amazing for jamming as it has scenes and clips much like Ableton and faders and knobs on every channel!

Korg Kaoss Pad (KP3 pro)

kaos pad kp3 pro studio essentials

The Korg Kaos Pad has been a staple part of my live show for many years. It’s a great tactile way of playing with Efx and I use it for my live wooshes and swooshes. It’s also got some lovely delays and reverbs on it as well! It’s a pretty old school way of doing things and you can probably get a lot of similar FX built into mixers nowadays, but there is something really nice about an XY pad you can run your finger on people also like the way it looks with the red square lights darting all over the place or following your finger when you draw in FX live!

Novation Impulse 25

Novation Impulse Studio Essentials

A great sturdy controller keyboard built for the road. I still use the keys to trigger samples, something I have been doing for many years, I experimented with many other ways of doing this in my time, but have always come back to using traditional keyboard keys! The impulse has exactly the right amount of knobs and pads so I can MIDI map things in Ableton and do a lot, but also not get lost with too much going on in my live show. This for me is the key to performing live, maximum control without stuff that is going to send you into a freakout in the middle of a set in a dark club at 5am!

Ableton Live 10

Ableton Live Studio Essentials

It’s amazing how many people are anti-DAW in live performance at the moment, it’s like they have forgotten that Ableton was made with live performance in mind! It’s one of the most powerful tools for an electronic live act and this fallacy that it’s cheating really gets my goat! Ok, for a while you had loads of people taking it live and playing prearranged sets from the arrange page, these are ones who gave it a bad name.

For me it’s all about session view and once married with the Novation Impulse 25, I don’t touch the track pad once during my performance, it’s 100% jamming in the moment with loads of hands on control. For me Ableton with a controller and some hardware synths, samplers & FX is the best way.

Saytek’s Live On Tour Vol.1 EP is out now on Cubism.