Rob Paine

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

Rob Paine. DJ/Producer. 21 years

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

Temple University drop out with a year to go. I always wanted to go to NYU or Berkley in Mass. My recommendation would be to listen to music very intensely and watch closely when someone frees up some info or shares a technique with you. And only smoke after you get everything up and running.

What hardware are you using?

  • Mac Pro Quad-Core Intel 2 x 2.4 GHz Processor, 8 Core, 14 GB Memory I have always used Mac and love them. I got as much as I could within a certain budget. It is pretty fast. Nuff said.

  • Mackie 32x8 Mixing Console I bought this board off a band I played in for a few years in the early 90s called Hyperactive. We bought it as a band around 1992 I believe and I ended up buying it from them around 1999. It is now too big for what I really need but it is pretty solid and has been good to me. I miss the days when I had every channel in use for a production. Besides, who would buy this thing off me anyway!

  • MOTU 896 Audio Interface Works well with DP and has more than enough inputs/outputs for me.

  • Korg Triton LE 88 Key Workstation I always wanted an 88 weighted key controller so I bought this around 2003. It has some great sounds in it that can be manipulated easily. Most of the parts recorded are played on this keyboard either with using the internal sounds or as a controller.

  • Roland JUNO-106 Used for classic swooshing pad sounds. I use it pretty tough still. A staple in my rig.

  • Moog Micromoog When I am looking for that bizarre quirky bass or dissonant stabs.

  • E-mu Proteus 2000 Love this thing. Still use it on almost every track. Great basses and drums to manipulate. Great key patches as well.

  • E-mu Classic Keys Good Key patches. Still gets a lil love.

  • Roland JV-80 Collecting dust now by one of the first tools in the arsenal. I had a Roland D-70 before this but it got stolen at a gig in Pittsburgh in 1992 at the Electric Banana.

  • Pioneer CDJ-2000 Used both for DJing and in the studio for the effects.

  • Crane Song STC-8 Compressor/Limiter Best Compressor ever. Soft and warm.

  • Avalon AD2022 Pre Amp It does the job. Works well with the Crane Song for my vocal signal path.

  • Neumann M147 Tube Condenser Mic Between the Crane Song, Avalon and this Neumann mic I have always got great sounding vocals. Give thanks to Jay-J for the advice after visiting Moulton Studios about 10 years ago.

  • Roland Space Echo RE-150 Every dub producer should have one of these. It is Essential for that original dub-wise echo effect. Proper tape delay.

  • Ensoniq DP4+ Great 4-channel Effects Processor with a slew of effects and combinations of effects to choose from. Not used as much but I will still hook it up for that Tempo Delay. You can make some wicked effects when manipulating time and resonance live. I just run a direct out of that channel into DP and record the effect.

  • Lexicon LXP-15 EFX Processor The best plate reverb ever even though I do not use it as much anymore. Only in the headphone monitors when a singer is voicing a track so they have something to hear. I mainly use the True Verb plug in these days. It sounds great and is easier to use and control.

  • Mackie HR824 Monitors Love these since the day I got them 8 years ago. Nice & flat.

  • Top secret Fred Giannelli Filter Box :)

  • Roland M-DC1 Dance Module Good drum sounds but rarely used anymore.

  • Akai S-1000HD & S-5000 Samplers Collecting dust now but were once my pride and joy. I played these things like a instrument. When we first bought that S1000HD it was over 4k. It is now worth about $100 maybe.

  • Misc Furman Power Conditioners, Shure SM57 & SM58 microphones. Sennheiser MD421 Microphone, Beyerdynamic M 88 Microphone, Sennheiser HD 250 Linear II Headphones, Custom Built Balanced 48 Way Patch System, Panasonic SU-3700 DAT Recorder, Rane HC-6 Headphone Console

What software are you using?

  • MOTU Digital Performer 7 I have been using MOTU sequencing software going back to Performer in 1990. I know the program well. It is what I have always used and I believe they do a great job keeping current and competitive with every other program on the market today. I feel like it is the best of both worlds for Pro Tools and Logic users. I have Logic & Ableton Live too but rarely use them. I know a lot of people get good things from those programs but DP does it for me. Great EFX, synth, etc… plug ins, too, that came with the package I use intensely.

  • Various Waves plugins. I use the TrueVerb religiously. On vocals and drums mainly. It is so good I stopped using my trusty outboard LXP-15 plate reverb.

  • MOTU MX4 Synth I am still getting around this thing but I have used it in 5 out of 6 of my last productions. It is feeling good.

  • Izotope Ozone Mastering madness.

  • Peak LE7 For tracking and editing.

What is your favorite or most essential piece of equipment/instrument/software and why?

My most essential piece of equipment in my studio right now has to be my computer. It is the back bone to everything in 2011 and I believe there is no turning back. If you asked me this question 7 or 8 years ago I would have said my Proteus 2000 or Akai S5000 or Juno-106 or even my DP4+ effects processor. But with all the high quality gear available for your computer now there is rarely a reason to hook up all the outboard stuff unless some retro inspiration is needed while you are struggling in a production hole.

What would be your dream setup?

Voice recognition everything.

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

For original songs I usually have something in my head already that I am trying to express. It may not come out exactly as planned but that spark is needed to get the ball rolling. Sometimes I will make a mistake and that mistake will turn into the heart of the tune. I try not to fight it and just go along for the ride. When I try to put everything in a song that I built up in my head I usually junk up the song with too many parts. So I really try to listen to the 8 to 10 best parts and then just start the arrangement from there.

When I first started producing I used a sample to get the vibes going but now I do not sample as much and start fresh. I like to finish a track in 1 or 2 sessions tops. My best stuff is always the quickest stuff.

For remixes I take a different approach. I will listen to the original and find the sounds that jump out at me and focus on them for my mix. I try not to use a lot of the sounds from the original mix. Especially the drums. And I have been known to add totally new vocals whether it be backing vocals or a 'DJ style' vocal or a vocal drop from my arsenal of dubplates we cut as Solomonic Sound. If the original track is a bit jacking I will go deep. If the original track is deep I may go jacking with my mix. But you will always hear some sort of dub element in my mix and the signature Solomonic Sound 'boop' effect.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

I am constantly on Instant Message with a core of good friends and colleagues. We trade a lot of stuff but I also buy at least $30-$40 every 2 weeks at various online sites. I tend to use Beatport, Dancetracks Digital & Stompy the most. I get a good handful of promos but use only like about 20% of them. There is nothing like getting a promo that I am rocking every track off that EP.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

I cannot pinpoint one certain discovery I have made recently. The past 4-5 years for the type of house music I am feeling have been my favorite era. I am really feeling where house music is at these days more than ever. The techno DJs are playing housier stuff and the house DJs are playing techier stuff. Where they meet in the middle with some dub vibes is where you will find me.

I absolutely love the stuff I am hearing these days. It definitely has to do with the quality of digital productions and the sound systems they are being played on. The sound systems are so important and I am happy that people are starting to realize that and step up to the plate and do something about it. We worked hard to get to that point and in 2001 we started building our set. The Shakedown events and a bunch of Solomonic Sound (my reggae alias and crew) events rooted from this. All have been very successful and we are proud to say we are hitting the 10 year mark with no end in the near future. A little off the subject I know but it is a point I want to make. If you haven't stepped up to make sure your sound is on point then shame on you.

What's brewing in your studio?

Mainly I have been working on releases by myself and with other producers for my label Worship Recordings. It has been a few years since we put any releases out for one reason or another but I have found the time to produce again. I am truly the happiest when I am in the studio I have come to realize. And I feel like I haven't worked to the best of my potential yet. The next release is a project I worked on with my good friend and amazing producer Sean O'Neal (aka Someone Else) entitled Blazin'. We put a nice 5 track EP together with remixes by bredren Jay Haze and Sean Thomas. Working with Sean O'Neal was great. He uses DP as well so we keep a nice equal rotation in and out of the engineer's seat. He showed me a few of his secrets that we applied to this EP that I look forward to using in future productions. All I have to say is Izotope Ozone is pretty dope!

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

I already gave some above in the equipment list. I would add on that it is very important to listen to your track on 3 different sources before the final mix and mastering. 1. A proper sound system. 2. A proper car system. 3. And a piece of shit boombox. Make notes from each listening and apply to your final mix.

Where can we find you on the web?

SoundCloud /