Hot Soap Studios is recognized as one of the top recording studios in Europe by the Miloco directory. It is a premier place of work focused on making the best of music. Located on the Mediterranean beachfront city of Larnaca, in Cyprus, it is a multi-suite studio premises offering Recording, Production, Mixing, Mastering and Rehearsal Spaces.
THAT WARM, FUZZY FEELING…
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Interview with Hot Soap Studios
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Every project is unique and is great in different ways. So there are lots! ;)
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: We are working on some instrumental lofi tracks applying some interesting / non conventional micing techniques on the drums and rhodes.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not at the moment.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Clients should leave the studio feeling happy and knowing that what they have envisioned for a record will be transferred into audio form in the best possible way.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Im a professional musician for 16 years now and a producer/sound engineer for 10 years.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Jordan Rakei would be the first just because he covers all the styles in a very intellectual way, and has an undeniable sound that we would love to capture!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I would say Alternative, Indie, Folk, and Psychedelic Rock, as well as Rnb / Soul, Nu Jazz and Hip Hop
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: - Writing as well as performing music gives us an advantage on the musician's side of things. - Experiential perspective, so we can work with clients on a different level. This means contributing aesthetic and professional help in structure, instrumentation, or the general sound they are going for.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: At the heart of the studio is our SSL AWS924 which is connected to an iMac Pro .The AWS is typically fed from a pair of Universal Audio Apollo 16 interfaces. Steinberg’s Cubase 9.5 is used for our DAW and an array of of plugins by companies such as Wave, Native Instrumetns, Fabfilter, Soundtoys and many more. We also use an Empirical Labs Stereo Distressor compressor which we can patch in on any channel on the console using our 2 Switchcraft Studiopatch 9625. For monitoring we have a pair of the Dynaudio Lyd7 monitors as well as a pair of 8050 by Genelec. Flanking the control room is the large, 66m2 main live room that boasts a 6m-high wooden ceiling and has been equipped with movable panels to adjust the reverberation of the room. Additionally, connected to the main live room is a smaller space of around 10m2 that can function as a silent room, vocal booth, or amp room.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Joe Baressi ,Michael Beinhorn and Sylvia Massey, simply because of their pedigree as producers and their input in influence what was 'hip' at the time in audio recording. Musicians we're inspired by include Jordan Rakei (both musician and producer). Other inspiring artists include Loyle Carner, Jorja Smith, Nick Hakim, Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes, Steve Jordan, Pino Paladino, Yeba, RY X, Palace, Alberta Cross. Some less known artists we really like include Turtle, Orions Belt and Joseph Lawrence.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: - We mostly Recording and Mix vocals onto preexisting tracks. Then tune them and apply effects that best suit those tracks. - Giving aesthetic advice for bass, guitar or drums and general advice (on a compositional level) in genres familiar to us. - Every now and then, probably our third most common work, is to producing projects for clients from scratch.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: - Understanding the holistic dynamics of instruments (how they work in a musical setting, how they're recorded, limitations, or creative ways they can be used to make a record), as well as the magic of the right tension and release.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: 1. Firstly, discussing with a prospective client their personal needs and how we can help them better record what they have envisioned. It includes explaining what the process involves and what to expect budget wise. Additionally, it usually includes having them describe the top 3 artists they're trying to sound like, or are inspired by for their current work. 2. After that we book an initial session for a set amount of hours and take it from there.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, you cant beat the analog Eq, and the compression of an analog channel strip like we have on the SSL. But you also cant beat the digital workflow and speed that the digital age offers, both in editing and mixing.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: We get to make music and make people happy while doing it. Also, the ideas that people bring to their records. It's always really interesting seeing the creativity and signature style that every artist works with.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Customers always ask how long will it take and how much will it cost to record something. I try to give them choices pertaining to their recording and explain the pros and cons for each recording technique.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: The biggest misconceptions are that people sometimes think that you can edit and fix even the worst performance and that the computer will take care of any errors in recording or performance. Sure technology, know-how and skill go a long way, but you can't polish everything. The second misconception is that what we do is easy. That all it involves is just recording some instruments, adjusting levels and voila... That can't be further from the truth.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: First and foremost, 1/ Understanding the sonic subject matter of the record so I can help guide them in the correct method and technique to deliver the sound they have envisioned. This often involves asking them which 3 artists and 3 songs they want to sound like, or are inspired by here. 2/ What their general budget is. 3/ If they're willing to be flexible in case of extra edits and revisions.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Think about what your vision is and how you want your music to sound, before coming in to record. And practice your parts really really well.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Rhodes Piano. A Fender Telecaster. A computer. A soundcard. A pair of speakers.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: We try to be honest and effective. Jazz, Rock and Soul based. Live orientated. We approach records from a live instrumentation perspective, then throw on any digital effects and add ons. Prefer working in that order and not in reverse.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always have at least 70% vision for what you're working on. And practice what you plan to record mercilessly!