Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?
I’m Antonio Colantuoni and I am a full-time music producer, remixer and DJ under the moniker of Tboy.
I got into music when I started playing the drums around 13 but really I started dedicating my life to music on a full-time basis about 12 years ago.
What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?
I started as an assistant engineer in Rome. There I used to mainly work on arrangements for TV shows and even though that meant working a lot with pop music (which is not quite my favourite music genre) it was an unbeatable source of practical knowledge and a very good foundation to grow my skills on.
I then moved to London to follow a music production and sound engineer course and also started DJ’ing but really the best school was in Rome: spending endless time learning DAW software and MIDI sequencing was absolutely priceless!
Frankly, my biggest recommendation is to spend as much time as you can learning on your own how to improve your skills behind a computer and a DAW, but a production course and / or books about that can definitely speed up the process and help to improve your sound quality.
What hardware are you using?
I use a Mac 2x 2.8 gH quad core processor with the Apollo quad sound card (Universal Audio) which is truly amazing! All the plug-ins that come with it are excellent reproductions of the original rack-mounted hardwares and it has also very good converters.
I recently bought Maschine (Native Instruments) and I’m having a lot of fun with it! It is very useful to construct drums patterns and it’s so rich of very cool samples.
Then I have a Korg ElecTribe-MX as well as a Charter Oak E700 condenser microphone; I would definitely recommend to get one of those not just to record vocals but for a lot of different purposes such as constructing your own claps and building soundscapes melodies e.g. by humming – the possibilities are truly endless.
I’ve got two pairs of speakers – one of Genelec 8050APM that are my main reference – and of Alesis Monitor 1 MK2 (passive). I really recommend the Genelec because they give you a very good reference on low frequencies still maintaining a quite flat response.
Finally I have an Akai APC40 controller and a Behringer BCR2000; I also used to have a Korg R3 synthesizer but I sold that a while ago and I soon want to get a Moog and a Juno.
What software are you using?
I’ve been using Ableton from the version 2.0 and Logic from version 4 (when it was still owned by Emagic); I often use both programmes in Rewire. I’ve used Pro Tools in the past and still believe it’s the best tool for mixing but if you have good plug-ins and know how to use them I think nowadays you can chose any DAW you want as long as you feel confident with it.
Ableton is for me the most inspiring and user-friendly software among them all, but it’s still a few steps away from DAWs like Logic, Pro Tools and Cubase as it was originally created to perform live sets.
As per VST I really like the Minimonsta from G-Force and Analog Factory (Arturia) for their more “retro” sound. The Rob Papen ones and the Komplete series (Native Instruments) are also very cool because they offer a larger choice of sounds for different kinds of productions.
My favourite piece of equipment is definitely the Apollo! The selection of plug-ins allows me to define the sounds and helps me a lot in the mixing stage.
What would be your dream setup?
I would love to have more analogue stuff, especially synths. I think that we’ve all been helped already quite a lot – if we go any further it will be something that created music by itself! …and we don’t want that – do we?!
Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?
To be honest I don’t really follow a “standard procedure” – sometimes I start by sampling around and then building on that harmonies, bass and rhythmics; other times I start building up a groove, followed by bass and all the rest.
Where do you shop for and discover music?
I usually buy music on Beatport (or Juno, or WPP) but regarding the discovery of music that’s a bit everywhere really – can be from a promo pool, on Beatport, from friends, Soundcloud… there are so many ways to discover music it would be crazy to only stick to one!
Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?
I’m totally hooked up with Com Truise!
What’s brewing in your studio?
Akbal Music have just released an EP from Wildkats and me (Be An Example); I’ve got an EP coming out on Neim Records just now (As U EP) with remixes to follow by Sean Roman and The Midnight Perverts, an EP on Miguel Campbell’s Outcross Records in a short time (with a remix from MAM), another EP on Digital Delight, and finally a remix for Los Suruba on Suruba.
Any production tips & tricks you’d like to share?
I think I already said everything