This week, to celebrate the forthcoming release of his Grey Game EP, out on Dazed and Confused, Dean Demanuele took time away from his busy schedule to chat to us about his favourite pieces of hardware.
Malta native Demanuele has always made tech-house with a swagger, but even his own lofty standards, his latest release is a joy to behold. Full of tension from the get-go, the Grey Game EP confirms his reputation as his country’s leading exporter of all things dancefloor driven. The Grey Game EP will be released later this month.
Speaking to Euphonics he said: "When I work on my music, I like to have both the digital and the analogue gear to blend together and use them to the best of my advantage. Over the years things just got more hectic and paced and I needed to evolve in my way of working. It all starts in my head, an idea which then turns into something magical."
Here is a list of his five favourite pieces of gear he has used in these past few years:
1. Native Instruments Maschine - hardware/software digital audio workstation:
I think Native Instruments did a fantastic job with the Maschine, and I use it when I'm in the studio and also when I'm on tour. I like the functionality and ease to make beats with the pads and the knobs. I also really enjoy the hands-on approach to find the right sounds.
2. Roland JDXi Synthesizer:
I got the Roland JDXi as an experiment, I did some research on the sounds and got it second hand from a guy in Malta, it was literally in mint condition.
I made an excellent choice in buying it as I like the crossover sounds between the analogue and the digital side. You can build a track from scratch on it, from drums to bass to synth. I also use it as a midi sometimes when I need to work on a digital plug-in sound. This synth is an all-rounder.
3. Korg MS20 Synthesizer:
I have been working with the MS20 Synthesizer for a long time now; I'm really into the raw and warm sound it creates. I use it a lot of lead sounds and especially for the bass. I also like how it looks and the fat modular input and output options and functionality. I think the Korg MS20 is legendary.
4. Roland SH-101 Synthesizer:
Another high profile synth is the Roland SH-101, the sound on this is incredible. I always get goosebumps when I start playing it. One of the main things I look for in a Synthesizer is how fast I can create the sound I want, and this synth is designed for to be practicable. Being long and having all hands on makes it a perfect component to jam in the studio.
5. Roland TR-808 / 909 Rhythm Composer:
These drum machines are the heart and the clock of my tracks. They never seem to get old. My favourite pieces are the hats and the toms on these although I used all the parts you can imagine. Put some of the hi-hats on these and watch me smile.