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Komyoun walks us through the gear that helps craft his iconic sound

If Komyoun’s debut single has taught us anything, it’s that the Sydney-based artist knows his way around a synth or two.

Electronica is easily one of the most daunting genres out there. With so many components and sonic routes available to artists, finding a place to begin can be just as hard as polishing off the final product. Luckily for all you upcoming EDM extraordinaires out there, Komyoun has been kind enough to share some of his essential gear.

You can even see some of these pieces in action in the artist’s latest live performance video, filmed on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Komyoun

Dave Smith Mopho

Difficult to program, but once you get your head around the interface, the analogue desktop Mopho (designed by legend Dave Smith) is a very unassuming little monster of a synth. Fantastic for warm and friendly bass, those nice sustained notes that float underneath a beat with just a hint of a growl, or just straight up sub. In fact, it’s the best synth I’ve used for pure sub: you certainly can’t get a better sub sound out of your computer, life just doesn’t work like that!

Yamaha DX7

Everything’s been said to death about this synth. Still polarising, this ’80s classic makes its way into almost every tune I make. Cold, hard, and unmoveably present, the DX7 is a guilty beast destined to take any track in the “wrong” direction, which is why I love it. Fun fact: one of the preset sounds is the exact bass tone used in the original Twin Peaks opening theme tune.

Yamaha DX7

Korg Monotron

I was just moving house yesterday and almost left this beauty behind. The swiggle machine, this battery-powered baby adds an atonal flourish to any transition or B-section. It has this cool delay effect based on the classic Roland Space Echo that was used to pioneer the dub genre, whereby all subsequent echoes pile up on each other and create a distorted audio mulch: a nice effect to add texture to a track.

Korg Monotron

Novation K Station

This thing has the same synth engine as the classic SuperNova and its brethren. Picked it up for a bargain at a dodgy pawn shop in town. Doesn’t even work properly, but sounds great when the arpeggiator and auto-panning gets going. The digital distortion is really nice too. Clean synth, I use it sparingly and strategically.

Novation K Station Komyoun

Roland SH-01 GAIA

The Supersaw is one of the defining sounds in dance music and I can’t get enough of it. Roland took the capabilities of the JP-8000, including its seminal Supersaw (the one that goes buzz in your heart) and packaged it up into a synth that has the most immediacy of any instrument I’ve ever used. Super clean tweaking via a logical layout, absolutely my fave instrument.

Roland SH-01 GAIA Komyoun

Kurzweil K2000

Shoutout to all my uni mates, we cut our teeth on this synth learning music production. A very well balanced, early ’90s tank that will hurt your foot if you drop it: be careful! Rack this one up in an accessible location and prepare to lose hours amongst menus performing any modular function you can think of. I wish the light still worked on the LCD display, maybe I should get it fixed!

Kurzweil K2000 Komyoun

Milkcrate & Bricks

The humble milkcrate will accommodate all sorts of situations in the studio. It will even help you carry your bricks. Yes, bricks! They’re so handy for propping up shelves when you’re renting and can’t affix things to the walls. I paint them with a sealant so that they don’t leave bricky residue around the studio. I have about twenty, and they always find a handy spot in the music cave.

milkcrate bricks Komyoun

Dive into Komyoun’s debut single here. Check out the man live in action below: