We’ve seen Ryo—former drummer of girugamesh—do plenty of videos on YouTube, but for the first time, we get an in-depth look into what gear and tools he uses from a day-to-day basis in his home studio.
After girugamesh disbanded, Ryo began focusing on working as a music producer and sound engineer, working with bands such as lynch., DEZERT, and DEVILOOF. However, on the side, he picked up YouTube under the channel name “Ryo Trackmaker” and began sharing music covers. The most impressive part might be that Ryo essentially plays every instrument for every cover!
Regardless if it is working with bands or working on his personal YouTube channel, Ryo mentions that the process of everything begins right here in the home studio, so let’s dive in and find out what gems are lying around.
About Ryo Trackmaker
I normally work as a music composer, making music and background music for clients. I also work as a sound engineer for bands, and as a producer for labels at times. While I do work in other locations too, I start the process for all my work in this room. Oh, and I record and edit all my YouTube videos here too.
I don’t have the confidence to say I’m a professional sound creator but with this work, I’m able to get paid and put food on the table.
[Caption: He actually went and said it, haha.]
Room and acoustics
- Carpet from Nitori (ニトリ)
- SONEX PYR2 CHARCOAL Acoustic Foam 61cm
The room is 6 tatami mats big (about 9 square meters) and the carpets are to help with sound insulation, as with the acoustic foams on the wall and the curtains. While it’s useful for insulation, Ryo started laughing at his own sense of aesthetic in the mids of the showcase, because everything looks somewhat mismatching.
Ryo doesn’t actually live in this space, but he used to in the past when he was younger. He turned the room into a home studio and now does his work here.
The crucial power source
- PRO CABLE BK Isolation Power Transformer 1500W 200V
To protect against electric shocks and suppress electrical noise, Ryo needs a reliable and powerful power supply. For example, a sudden loss of power to his equipment could be damaging to them, or he could potentially lose a bunch of work on his computer. Having a power source that doesn’t generate as much electrical noise will also result in a cleaner recording.
Believe it or not, but this piece of equipment took a lot of work to install and is crucial to his work. Normally, in a rented apartment you won’t be able to set up a piece of equipment like this because you have to run dedicated electrical wires to it. It is one of the reasons his home studio is in this space—a non-rented home—rather than his primary living space.
Mac Pro “trash can” model
- Mac Pro: 2.7GHz 12core Intel Xeon E5 (CPU), 64GB memory (RAM), 1TB PCIe bus flash storage (SSD)
The main computer is a Mac Pro that is infamously known as the “trash can”, the company Apple first introduced this model in 2013.
It’s quite powerful considering what he uses it for, stating “I probably don’t need this much computing power however…”. Since he’s doing video editing and music on this machine, the time to export is fast, so he never gets stressed bout this part.
- RME Fireface UCX
An audio interface handles the audio that goes in and out. For example to studio monitors, and from instruments during recording.
Ryo explains the mixing process is made a lot easier because of how clear the sound ends up using the RME Fireface UCX. Unlike professional studios that have room for lots of instruments being plugged in, he doesn’t need more than two inputs when working in his home studio.
- Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite
To capture and run UAD plug-ins when creating and mixing music, the expansion card UAD-2 Satellite is needed. It has digital signal processing (DSP) hardware that can accelerate and provide additional processing power which is required for these plug-ins.
- KORG MR-2000S
Without going into the technical details, the KORG MR-2000S allows for recording directly to its hardware and in DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format, you can think of it as a much superior version of the MP3 format (or even FLAC). Without the hardware support, you won’t be able to record audio in DSD.
Even though Ryo hasn’t used the recorder much recently, it is useful for quickly “bouncing” (exporting) the music and listening to the final result.
- Event Opal
Studio monitors are speakers with a flat signature to output as neutral-sounding sound as possible. It’s an essential tool to produce a mix that translates well to the end listeners’ speakers.
Without proper speakers, it’s hard to get an idea of what your final product sounds like so it’s really important. These ones have great sound quality and you can really hear things clearly.
The size of his room together with the acoustic foams is just big and practical enough to properly monitor the sound with speakers of this size. A room any smaller and it wouldn’t be serviceable.
Digital Audio Workstation
- AVID Pro Tools
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is the type of software that you use to mix and record on the computer.
So far, Ryo hasn’t been in a workplace that doesn’t use “Pro Tools”. Essentially, everyone that he’s worked with, or production locations he’s been to, have all used Pro Tools, stating:
When it comes to audio production, nothing comes close to Pro Tools. ProTools is an international standard.
But also, he’s been using Pro Tools for such a long time that he just doesn’t really consider any other software.
- microKEY2-61 Air MIDI keyboard
When working with MIDI drums or just MIDI in general, the keyboard of choice is microKEY2-61 Air. The “Air” in the name implies that it works wirelessly, but Ryo doesn’t use this feature and just straight up plugs it in.
- Sony α6400 (Sony A6400)
Since Ryo wanted to bump up the video quality for his YouTube channel, he got himself the camera Sony A6400.
Next studio tour!
As you might have noticed, Ryo has a veritable mountain of stuff, but for this video, he wanted to mainly showcase the tools he uses on a regular basis. We are however getting teased that next time we might see an introduction video of his instruments and some other equipment!