Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?

Hi there, I'm Hugo and I grew up with music since I was really young. I've been playing in many different bands since I was a teenager, and after graduating as a sound engineer, I started working at a radio station. At that time, I didn't have money to buy synthesizers or whatever instrument or drum machine, so I worked hard, and for many years, I had even 3 jobs at the same time. I was so happy when I paid the bill for my first sampler and synthesizer that I suddenly realized how important for my life that it was to start making music. I've always been focused on the creative side of my life even if it was quite hard to be creative after an 8 hour shift in a moving company. Now it is 15 years that I have lived only making music.

What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?

After my BA in Communication Sciences at the University of Turin, I attended a master class in sound engineering at the Virtual Reality and Multimedia Park in Turin. An amazing experience even though I had to find the right path by myself as nobody teaches the secrets of sound designing unfortunately. Anyway I would recommend any schools that give you the basics of the mysterious and forever challenging world of sound design. Through a solid, and sometimes boring knowledge you will afford the future challenges of music production in the best possible way. A lot of things I studied during those days have been really helpful in my daily studio activity. A must have book is "Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science" by Bob Katz.

What hardware are you using?

I'm using the Elektron machines a lot. The Machinedrum is still one of my favourite pieces of gear. Monomachine is great as well and the new Analog Four is amazing. I'm really into their sound and their way to approach the musical creation. Another gear I will never stop using is the Roland MIDI pick-up for my Stratocaster. Instead of the MIDI keyboard, I frequently play my guitar to send MIDI out. Inspiring and creative at the same time.

What software are you using?

I've been using Ableton since the 8th version. I've been a cubaser for years but now I'm creating music with Live 9. I find it very intuitive and fast in the creative process especially for the fact that you don't have to follow a time line during the creation and you can record ideas easily is a great feature.

Between all of them, what I really love is that these machines or softwares give me the opportunity to find out what is my own sound. The Elektron synthetizer is made with almost no sound bank which forces you to build your own sounds. Ableton Live, for instance, with its loop-based approach to the music is perfect to catch the inspiration of the moment.

What would be your dream setup?

Actually I don't know. Maybe the one I have. My studio isn't equipped with the latest and most expensive hardware or software but it's mine and it reflects my way of making music. My ears are used to it and I have all I need to do my music. I would like to have more space though maybe and my next step will be to have a cool and spacious recording room next to my studio with a gorgeous collection of mics.

Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?

Everything starts from ideas. It is a blend of future and past moments mixed up together in music. I have a vision and a musical aesthetic and for each track I explore. I refine my tastes every time I make my music.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

Mainly from friends and promo services and I am still buying the good old vinyl especially when it increases the quality and quantity of my beloved jazz collection.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

I don't remember which company presses old 180 grams jazz records. I usually go for the classics as they never fail. One of the last records I bought is the vinyl repressing of Miles Davis's Bitches Brew with poster and booklet included plus a video of the Isle of Wight concert. Peace, love and Miles Davis.

What's brewing in your studio?

I did some stereo takes with the M/S stereo technique for the first time. I'm very surprised of the result and I think I will experiment with this more in the future.

Any production tips & tricks you'd like to share?

Choose a few instruments, specific hardware and outstanding software that you feel comfortable with, learn how to use them properly, be creative and make your own music.

Where can we find you on the web?

Hugo / SoundCloud /