1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
I really like the filter “cutoff” knob on my Minimoog Voyager. I love it because it’s so big and easy to use. It’s a pleasure to play with it anytime when you’re looking for the right filtering for your sound.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
Ah… I think that easily changes over time. Hard to answer, but if I think of a “perfect effects kit” I say the trio Particle, Microcosm and Space. I’m using this combo heavily for my next record. I’m putting everything in it, from guitars to vocals and so on.
Many times I’ll throw in my Boss RE-20 Space Echo as well. Definitely changing over time is natural, so I would never want to have a “definitive kit”, especially when you start working on something new, changing something is a good way to be more creative.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
During vacations I try not to think too much about music, but I always have with me my laptop with many vst, a small two octave midi keyboard by Korg and my Beyerdynamic heaadphones.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
I have an Apollo rack unit from Universal Audio as my audio interface and it’s fantastic the quality of the included plug-ins, they sound so good and the sound is so hardware-like, I couldn’t ask for more in a way. Until a few days ago my dream was to get a Tascam Portastudio 414 MKII and it’s amazing that a soft-synths company called Robotic Bean has reproduced one and at such a low price, it sounds really great and I can’t wait to try it out.
I love the endless possibilities of virtual instruments and their fidelity compared to hardware, but I would still love to get a Revox B 77 MKll to record anything onto tape and to add some wow/flutter turbulence and saturation to my songs. I love that recorder and will be buying one soon!
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I try to have “the essentials” in the studio, having a lot of equipment would be really nice, but it would confuse me during production and take up too much space. That’s why I choose my gear carefully, but I probably regret buying the Digital Multi Echo RE-1000 by BOSS. It’s a fun and uncontrollable unit because it doesn’t have the “rate” knob, but I use it so rarely and that’s why I think I can do without it.
I regret selling my Roland Gaia, I didn’t love its “cold sound” but through a few pedals you could make it awesome. I miss its front panel because it was very intuitive, I had the ability to play out wacky sounds in minutes.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
The equipment that has inspired me to write new music are many, but if I had to pick one I would probably say my Minimoog Voyager.
Currently though, I’m using the Prophet Rev2 Desktop really heavily for everything, especially on my upcoming album. I love that sound and its polyphony so much.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
Probably an Apollo interface. It has infinitely improved my mixes, production and recording. I realized that many times it’s just not enough to have great synths or a ’65 guitar, if you don’t have a good audio interface with high definition sound in recording and post-production.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
The “Furman M-10x E” because it is bulky and has so many cables on the back of the desk! It’s also not fun, it only has an “on/off” switch (it has 2! haha) on the front panel. The reason I can’t do without it is pretty obvious. It saves the life of all my equipment all the time and I feel safer having it. I will be getting another one soon. I’ve always had bad experiences with the unstable electricity in my town, I remember the day after I bought the Voyager, oscillator number 3 had stopped working. It was frustrating to send back and still wait for a replacement. I have since decided to get a stabilizer and “Furman” does the job just fine.
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
Lately I’ve been testing a mixing technique that doesn’t require an acoustically treated room.
Just apply a VU meter to your daw’s master bus, play the kick around – 3 and gradually raise the bass until everything gets to 0, then mix everything else in. It may sound wrong but it sounds really good if you have good EQ on the low end. I also always test my mixes on a very small JBL to get a concrete reference of how the track sounds elsewhere.
I’ll add that I love to dirty some parts of my songs with lots of layers of backing tracks that go into different equipment and pedal combinations to create that “dreamy” atmosphere underneath a melody for example.
Artist or Band name?
Alternative / Indie / Electronica
Where are you from?
Margherita di Savoia, Puglia, Italy.
How did you get into music?
I was born in a club! At the end of the 80’s my father opened one and later in the 90’s it became very influential in southern Italy. Artists like “Afrika Bambaataa” were performing. I was born in ’94 and all this pushed me towards this direction. I remember when I was 4 years old my parents bought a toy drum set and I broke it by banging on the drums! Ahahah.
In the mid-nineties the club closed and reopened in 2006. All my teenage years were spent at the console with resident DJs and international guest artists like “Tony Humphries”. That’s why I started as a DJ and later as a musician, studying theory, solfeggio and practicing piano for years.
What still drives you to make music?
I realize that every time I sit in my room I feel so fascinated by the creative process. In a way I can’t describe the feeling I get, it may simply be an emotional state that drives me to create something new. Some days it’s frustrating to spend hours in the studio, other times it’s all I want. It’s like something you have inside that needs to be released!
How do you most often start a new track?
I hum and record with my smartphone a melody I have in my mind. Next, I sit in the studio and try to develop the theme. I think a film or book can influence my stylistic choices, but I also think the production is more of a “try and try again” in my studio.
How do you know when a track is finished?
When I add final texture elements and not additional “tool track”.
Show us your current studio
It’s not a real studio really, but something like a room.
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Create your own sound! It doesn’t matter how… Just do it!
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link
My last two releases were 4 years ago and a lot has changed since then, from production to my setup! My first album ‘Truemantic’ came out in 2018 and my single ‘Destruction’ came out a year later. I’m currently working on my new album, concretely for about a year. There are so many amazing collaborations on it! I can’t wait to share it and play it live. I hope to stop by Copenhagen too!
3 thoughts on “Toto Ronzulli – Trumantic”
Great job men!
Congratulazioni Toto ! In bocca al lupo