It doesn’t matter if you’re a producer yourself or just an all-around music addict. At least once in your life, you’ve encountered a sound so brilliantly unique you just have to know how it came to be. And since MaRLo has proven himself one of the main suppliers of such sonic wonders, what better person to start off this series with than the Australian Trance titan himself. These are the favorite plug-ins of MaRLo.
I started off using Cubase, so I know it quite well. And frankly, I have never felt the need to change. Like any other plug-in, a DAW is just a tool. It doesn’t really matter too much what you use, what matters is how you use it.
In terms of synths, I have quite a few favorites. For me, those are Spire, Sylenth, Massive, Synth1 and the Access Virus Polar, which is a hardware synth. They are all quite easy to use and quick to program, so they keep the creativity flowing.
I like the Oxford Curve EQ a lot, but I also use Cubase’s own Studio EQ. The Curve EQ interface has a nice visual aspect to it, allowing me to see exactly where the frequencies are and where I might want to boost or cut them. I work very quickly and I love seeing the waveform visually, because it saves me valuable time.
I like the Arts Acoustic Reverb and the ones from Waves as well. I mainly choose a reverb for its ability to cut the high or low frequencies of the reverb, to ensure that it doesn’t sound harsh or flood the mix. I also advise everyone to be careful with a reverb tail of excessive length. Reverb can very easily be overused and this will flood the mix, making it hard to get a full and clean mixdown.
In terms of compressors, I often use Native Instruments’ Supercharger. That doesn’t keep me from using Cubase’s Dynamics a lot as well though.
Cypher. hands down. It’s complex and sounds weird, but you can get some incredible sounds if you spend some time tweaking it. I also love how old-school and vintage it looks and sounds. There’s an option of making it render in super-high quality, but you can also have it set to use hardly any CPU whilst you are using it. It’s a kind of preview mode whilst you work. Very powerful.