Video: Inside Tycho's Incredible Home Studio

When we visited Scott Hansen's home studio in Oakland, the word of the day was "ergonomics." In many ways, his approach to arranging a recording space feels a lot like how the records he releases as Tycho soundā€”progressive, futuristic, and with everything in its right place. He recently moved his impressive backline of synthesizers, stompboxes, and outboard gear from San Francisco, incorporating the acoustic insulation from his former studio.

Despite a heavy dose of hardware, Hansen considers his computer to be the centerpiece of his working environment. "I use a ton of VSTs," he says. "You look around and you see a lot of hardware, but 75% of the stuff that I use is effects or instruments in-the-box." Nestled next to his monitor screen are a Softube Console 1 and a customized mechanical controller for Reaper, which he credits with making his workflow more efficient, tactile, and rooted in muscle memory.

To the left of Scott's desk is his guitar and bass station, where his impressive collection of pedals and preamps sit for instant plug-and-play. "I wanted to be able to come over here and have the guitar hooked to the side," Hansen says. "It used to take 10 minutes to set up my guitar rig, and by then the inspiration would be gone. Rather than relying on a standard amplifier setup, he pairs a Bogner Duende amp head with a Universal Audio OX Reactive Amp Attenuator.

Despite his signature synth-heavy sound, Hansen says he's more excited about effects and outboard gear. "I love synths and I love what they do, but I'm more interested in how to sculpt them after the fact," he explains. "That's why these [pedals] are in the most important places, because I play this more as an instrument than I do the synths." He has two separate stations for mono and stereo effects respectively, the latter of which is centered around a Moog Matriarch.

Considering his love of lo-fi texture, it only figures that Hansen has three separate Strymon Decos, the tape saturator that he's quick to call his favorite guitar pedal of all time. For reverb and delay, he namechecks the Strymon BigSky and the Chase Bliss Tonal Recall. Other highlights of his board include the Diamond CPR-1 Compressor, Universal Audio's Starlight Echo Station, and the versatile GFI System Specular Tempus.

Stacked atop Scott's set of vintage Neve modules is the synth he uses the most across his albums, an all-original Minimoog Model D. Elsewhere, he refers to his recently acquired Oberheim OBX8 as a "modern classic", and ponders why Moog has never bothered to reissue their "gritty, raw" Prodigy monosynth.

The gear laid out above is only the tip of the chillwave iceberg. For a guided tour into the downtempo mastermind's studio space, watch the full video above.

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