Xinobi

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

Hey, I'm Bruno, I'm mostly a musician and a record label manager. I've been doing this for about 8 years now, when I stopped looking for a more "regular" job.

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

I've studied Fine Arts in Lisbon. I wouldn't recommend the University I've attended because, as far as I know, it's been losing more and more its credit. However, I must I recommend to try and make a career on one you do like to do the most. Fulfill your dreams should be the goal of your life. Make sure you don't disappoint your own.

Books, so many. I used to read more. Foucault, Paul Virilio, Gilles Lipovetsk. Some changed my perspective on life, such as Guy Debord's "Society of the Spectacle”. I have to start reading compulsively again.

What hardware are you using?

As hardware instruments I mostly use guitars and bass guitars. I might steal some synth from Moullinex, with whom I share the studio, but please don't tell him.

We have this really nice Frontliner pre-amp through where we record most of instruments and vocals. It really makes guitars and vocals sound amazing.

Also, this Moog 10 band graphic equalizer can give your soft-synth lines the real analog edge that’s so hard to get producing only in the box.

What software are you using?

Ableton Live is now my main DAW. I use it with some Arturia soft-synths and u-he Ace. My favorite soft synth is Arturia’s Moog Modular. It has outstanding sound results and endless options. It might be tricky to use sometimes but there are some really nice presets to start with. You can go from super low bass sound to really high freqs.

I also color and crisp my sound with the help of SoundToys and PSP Audioware plugins such as the Vintage Warmer.

In the past I was a Propellerhead Reason freak but nowadays I'm using Reason only to do some beats. I still find it superb for drum creativity with Redrum and Kong. I might explore Reason again with this new version that finally supports external-midi and because I miss a lot its arpeggiator.

I love FabFilter equalizer. It’s a top notch platform to do EQ surgery. You can go really picky on EQ with this one.

What is your favorite or most essential piece in your studio?

A Gibson SG that appears flying in my last video clip. That’s the way I take care of my most essential and important instrument.

I also can’t live without my UrbanEars Zinken headphones. Or the Sennheiser HD25. Still deciding which ones I like most.

What would be your dream setup?

I think I never thought about a dream setup. I used to have a big desire for guitars. If I could pick some guitars I would love to have, I would get something like twenty.

One thing I would love: A free-of-cable studio. Everything should be Wi-Fi-ish. Yes, this would be part of my dream setup for sure.

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

I normally work at night. I believe most of my best ideas were born in a period from midnight to 2 a.m. And they have to be developed right after so it’s really normal to only get to bed at 6 a.m.

I normally start with some simple guitar riff even if in the end I throw it away. Guitar is the instrument I play the best, so… After that, there's a little bit of random-ish actions till I find something I like enough to go through and try to work it as a track. Normally I add a kick, a snare and create a bass line.

Routine might be good to discipline your work but it can also castrate your creative process.

Where do you shop for and discover music?

SoundCloud has become one of my first places to go and find new music. I also spend a lot of time and money on Beatport.

I mainly buy Vinyl records and Mp3/Wav. I kind of gave up on the CD thing. Vinyl I like to buy in local stores. I might get some online too, through platforms such as discogs.com, juno.co.uk or Ebay. But nothing beats the feeling of hunting a record shop in a “new town”. It’s mandatory for me. I think I could plan a vacation based on record shops to visit.

Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?

I’m going through this phase of finding 70’s rock that my father doesn’t know. So I can introduce him to it. It’s like a return gift for introducing me to a lot of music. I’ve been listening a lot to the

Gandalf self titled LP, and “Caronte” by The Trip.

What's brewing in your studio?

Actually, Moullinex and I are in the process of changing for a new room. The pictures I took are from our new studio that is still to be completed and fully-working. But the last big thing we worked was our interpretation of “The Tempest”, a semi-opera by Purcell based on Shakespeare’s book with the same name. It was made for a play with all these great actors and five amazing singers. We’re presenting it in Paris in early April after a successful premiere in Lisbon.

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

Trust your heart and ears. It's the best way to achieve uniqueness. Spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do something before googling about it. Being clueless is the best way to start something.

Protect your hearing if you play loud live – because, ears are the most important thing here.

Oberheim DMX snare is an incredible power-giver to any dance-music gem. It can phat your track up either if you're doing hard or soft music.

Try to do a track without using any compression in any track or bus. So great.

“LOUD” can be cool, but can also be annoying. Everything is getting too loud nowadays.

Where can we find you on the web?

Xinobi / SoundCloud / Facebook / Twitter /