How much 303 does a man need? For Gabriel Cassina, better known by the stage name Regal, the answer is not one, but four. Or one and three clones, ie.
Unsurprisingly, there’s an acidic tinge to his hard-headed techno, which has been released on BPitch Control, Figure, and his own imprint, Involve Records. Following the release of his very first LP, Remember Why You Started, we caught up with the producer and DJ to talk about dream gear buying and smart sidechaining.
When did you start making music and how did you get started?
âI started when I was 13 or 14, if I’m not mistaken, and it was actually thanks to a demo program called Dance eJay that came in a Krispies box – the good old days. This program was a very simple sequencer with pre-loaded loops that you could arrange and make a song with.
“These were my very first songs and although it was super simple and aimed at children, it gave me a first impression of how music production works.”
Tell us about your studio / installation.
âUnfortunately, I don’t have a real studio at the moment, because I came back to Madrid just a few months ago and haven’t found a new place yet. When I lived in Barcelona, ââmy studio consisted of two Focal Alpha 80 monitors and a Focusrite Scarlett 20i20 sound card.
âAs for analog instruments, I have the TR-8, a Roland 707 and an RD-8 as drum machines and a TT-303, a TD-3, an MB-33 and a TB-303 as acid machines. The analog synths I use are the PRO2 and the Volca Keys.
Which DAW (or DAW) do you use, and why did you choose it?
âI use Ableton Live. I think it’s the most intuitive DAW out there – simple and very efficient. I’ve tried others, but Ableton is the one that really got me hooked.
What equipment in your studio could you not do without, and why?
“All of my four 303 machines, I literally produce 99% of my songs with it (and I guess you can hear it) [laughs]. They are my babies and nothing in the world could convince me to get rid of them.
What’s the latest addition to your studio?
âTo be honest, it’s been a while since my last purchaseâ¦ I think the last addition was the MB-33 and I love it. That was great advice from In Verruf.
What dream gear would you like to have in your studio?
âHmm, it’s very hard to stick to just oneâ¦ if I could, I would buy new stuff everyday. Maybe if I had to choose I would go for the stock 909 and 303. But also the incredible Juno 106 or Yamaha DX7.
“There are too many good things to pick just one. But to be honest I would rather have a super cool studio to inspire me instead of having a lot of material in every corner of a dodgy studio. . “
When you approach a new track or a new project, where do you start?
“It depends. Sometimes I start with a melody that sticks in my head and other times just with a kick.
“But I guess the kicker and sub / bass line are the things I start with most of my songs with, the rest of the song usually comes on its own.”
What are you currently working on?
âRight now I’m finishing some remixes and some tracks for some VAs that will be out this year and next year. But after the album, I wanted to take a little break from music production to refresh my head a bit and get some new ideas.
Hope to be back on the road more this year because last year has been so difficult and I miss clubs and festivals a lot. But there will definitely be a lot of music coming from me in 2022!
Regal’s three production power tips
1. Ghost track for sidechain
âWhen using the side chain on the kicker, don’t use it on your main kick track. Create a ghost kick track (muted) for the duration of the track and chain your compressor to that track. By doing this, you will avoid strange volume increases in your breaks.
2. Sidechain delay
âIf you’re using a delay on a return track, try using a sidechain compressor on the same sound that receives the delay. This will avoid muddy delay sounds. You can also use this trick with reverb and other effects.
3. Make groups
âI like that everything is under control and sorted. To keep some sort of order during production, try to make groups of your different elements. This will help you know where each item is fairly quickly.