Principleasure: Studio Talk

Principleasure is the new mysterious and unknown alias of a hidden but well known producer. Working from the Principle Pleasure studio, based in Los Angeles’s Arts District, Principleasure has a project area which is dense with vintage analog drum machines and synthesisers for producers to delve into.

From Roland 909s, 808s and 303s to the rarer Hammond DPM-48 and many more, his studio is one which synthesiser admirers dream off. With such a large range of legendary equipment, the music released ends up epitomising the irreplaceable pieces of kit and the distinct timbre which they bring.

Principleasure’s latest release 002, is a great audio representation of the studio’s influence, and the end result is a collection of downtempo electric cuts which are full with atmospheric synths and warping thumps of bass, all layered with that comforting analog warmth.

With such an impressive and expanding collection, we kindly asked the concealed producer if we could have an insight into his wondrous and inspiring studio space, where he picks out five of his most cherished pieces of gear. Check below.

1. EMU SP-1200


This for me is the quintessential lo-fi sampler and probably the most highly revered piece in my studio. It can turn any sound source into an instantly gritty, nostalgic, punchy, bit-degraded beast of a hit. The internal sequencer definitely has a unique feel and I’ve challenged myself many times to make an entire track using this machine alone. They are rarer than hen’s teeth these days but nothing comes remotely close. The company sold on many moons ago too so no chance of a reissue any time soon either. I have it marked up to use live currently. I have no idea how that’s gonna work because it’s so temperamental.

2. AKAI MPC 60 MK1


Staying with the theme of ancient samplers, the MPC 60 is damn near essential. I inherited hundreds of floppy disks with this one when I bought it off a bloke in Wrexham. Literally thousands of Masters of Work and classic house kits and hits. The swing in the sequencer is the greatest there is. It is the sound of so many house and hip-hop records. I had a guy called Bruce Forat max it out in LA and bring the OS up to date. This one has been going for so many years without any issues. I sync it to Cubase and it keeps time like a gem. Almost every snare I used is sampled through it.

3. ROLAND SH-101


This has been used on everything I’ve ever done in one way or other. It can do everything and it does everything so well. The envelopes are so solid. I use it mainly for detuned bass and leads, but it does great disco ‘pings’, FX and the white noise even sounds mint. I trigger it from the 808 accent and just write in random patterns step by step. Flipping through the range and maxing the VCO mod are tricks that never fail. It also does mean acid.

4. PPG WAVE 2.3


Every preset is a gem and I rarely tweak anything on it. As a general rule of thumb all pads and piano type sounds go through this. There’s a warmth and depth to the sound that’s almost 3D, even when played in mono. The stereo spread is beautiful and it still sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard. There are of course plugins that try this but it’s a flat no. The filters are a dream too/

5. SAMPLE MAGIC KLIPklip-screenshot

Imagine tweaking 16 parameters across a grid on every drum sound across 32 steps. That’s basically what Klip does. You can use the most stock drum sounds and come out with something completely otherworldly. There are lane presets that make setting up complex automation a one-click process. The library has loads of crazy chord and music shots and being able to tweak loop start points gives everything a instant glitch. I use it for all a lot of my drums currently.

Principleasure 002 is out now. Listen and order it here
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