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 Michael Cretu (ENIGMA) MERLIN and ALCHEMIST Studios

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Hellenigma
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:56 am    Michael Cretu (ENIGMA) MERLIN and ALCHEMIST Studios Reply with quoteBack to top

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Here is the equipment with which does Michael Cretu create his music. His state of art A.R.T. Studios on Ibiza (to see follow the link: http://www.zoolook.nl/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3876 )was unfortunately demolished after a long case and now he uses these 2 mobile studio concepts.
Just in case you don't remember who he is - creator and mastermind of the Enigma project and has sold over 100 million records including about 55 as Enigma.

so I will start with his new design MERLIN which was used to record only one song so far. Info about Alchemist, which I personally prefer will be added soon.


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videos of MC in studio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM2QHX3heu8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfEEYjOK3Yo

While the "Alchemist" is still a design study finally an even more compact version of Michael Cretu's "all in one computed mobile studio" vision can be presented: MERLIN - the new recording studio of Enigma's mastermind. "Merlin is not only a mobile studio, it fits perfectly to the way I am usually working. It can be seen at the intersection between playing, recording and mixing." Michael Cretu says.

Similar to the Alchemist, Merlin combines the four key parameters of recording in one box: a computed recording environment, a modular hardware concept, a control surface and a surround monitoring system.


Computed Recording Environment

Merlin is a high-quality computer-based environment. Standard features include the latest versions of the sequencers Logic Pro and Native Instruments Bundles. It is, of course, possible to create customized solutions or to install additional recording software and hardware.

Modular Hardware Concept

The standard configuration of Merlin includes basic hardware components that can be expanded and upgraded to meet the requirements of the user.

Based on a state-of-the-art Mac computer which delivers optimal processing power, all signals from synthesizers and interfaces are fed into Friend-Ship Digitalmatrix, where they are processed and then supplied to a RTW Surround Module. A Basemanagement system then translates the signals for the surround monitoring system.

Control Surface

The control surface is based on Euphonix MC Control (middle) and MC Mix (right) enhanced with a custom-designed panel on the left.

This section features a program changer that facilitate access to and processing of certain parameters. It complements a modified surround control unit (supporting 7.1 surround) combined with a high-quality realtime-analyzer. Merlin comes with a master keyboard with 88 half weighted keys.

Surround Monitoring Sytem

Merlin features one monitoring control unit which offers broad range of production possibilities from stereo production up to surround sound formats (5.1, 6.1 und 7.1).

The central control unit for sound monitoring is the Basemanagement device that controls the customized monitors ADAM 6.5 AMC. Based on this system we can also supply small-scale and compact solutions.


The key parameters of Merlin’s technical components are listed below.

Measurements

Length: 135 cm
Width: 85 cm
Height: 93 cm
Weight: ca. 100 kg

Configuration and Finishes/ Rack/ Special Features

Leather finish, piano lacquer and chrome finish
88 half-weighted keys
Illuminated control surface

Main Components

Modified, adapted and in part re-designed:
32 x 32 digital matrix
RTW surround control
Midi program changer
Brauner VM1 mic
Apple Mac Pro 8-core incl. 30" Cinema display
Rosendahl Nanosync
APC USV up to 10 min without power
Headzone (Beyer Dynamics) surround headphone
Bose nearfield speaker system
Surround panning joystick
Customized monitors ADAM 6.5 AMC

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phaedra2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:16 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the post, I remember his villa got demolished as he did not have proper building approval in the first place, very strange case.

The youtube links are great, there are a few more where he explains the evolution of the Social Song.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:47 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

One more thank you for the post, it led me finding out a lot about how this MMx Social Song was created by Michael Cretu, very, very cool.
Here is the official final mix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWuBGRKiyU0&playnext=1&list=PL83A9E5F6629A85F6

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:34 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

A nice song with a beautiful clip.
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Hellenigma
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:12 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

ALCHEMIST – All In One Computed Mobile Studio


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Designing and developing the mobile recording studio “Alchemist” has been an ongoing priority for creative mastermind Michael Cretu. The project which is nearing the end of its beta-phase is aimed at finding a comprehensive technical solution for a modern recording studio – an “all in one computed mobile studio”.

The mobile recording studio Alchemist combines the four key parameters of recording: computed recording environment, modular hardware concept, control surface and surround monitoring system.


Image

Computed Recording Environment

Alchemist is a high-quality computer-based environment. Standard features include the latest versions of the sequencers Logic Pro and Native Instruments Bundles. It is, of course, possible to create customized solutions or to install additional recording software and hardware.

Modular Hardware Concept

The standard configuration of Alchemist includes basic hardware components that can be expanded and upgraded to meet the requirements of the user.

Based on a state-of-the-art Mac computer which delivers optimal processing power, all signals from synthesizers and interfaces are fed into Friend-Ship Digitalmatrix, where they are processed and then supplied to a RTW Surround Module. A Basemanagement system then translates the signals for the surround monitoring system.

Control Surface

The flexible control surface is designed to ensure maximum functionality and virtually unlimited creative freedom.

Among several channels, a central section features a program changer and plug-in control panel that facilitate access to and processing of certain parameters. The central monitoring section complements a modified surround monitor unit (supports 7.1 surround) combined with a high-quality realtime-analyzer. The standard version features a master keyboard with 88 half weighted keys.

Surround Monitoring Sytem

Alchemist features one monitoring control unit which offers broad range of production possibilities from stereo production up to surround sound formats (5.1, 6.1 und 7.1).

The central control unit for sound monitoring is the Basemanagement device that controls the customized monitors ADAM 6.5 AMC. Based on this system we can also supply small-scale and compact solutions.

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Alchemist reinvents the art of recording and the main components of this innovative approach can be summed up as exclusiveness, individuality, mobility and complexity (Compass-Model).

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Please consider the Alchemist project is still in the development process.

exclusiveness

Exclusiveness refers to the overall excellent workmanship regarding design and functionality. High quality materials and equipment combined create a futuristic look while simultaneously providing a functional and effective working environment.

individuality

Alchemist is based on the standard configurations described above which can be altered and expanded depending on the requirements of the user. This refers to a host of features like software, configuration and finishes of the rack, special requirements regarding the monitoring system as well as installing further hardware components. Each Alchemist unit will be given its own serial number.

mobility

Alchemist is a “mobile studio” in the true sense of the word as all of the units of this compact version can be fitted into flight cases. All necessary steps to guarantee safe transport and to provide a vibration-free work environment have been taken.

complexity

Alchemist is a sophisticated piece of recording equipment for creative minds. Alchemist is ideal for dark environments and guarantees a functional and ergonomic control surface. Alchemist is a digital and customized control system, which can be up-dated any time to keep pace with the changing trends.


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Technical Specifications of Alchemist
The key parameters of Alchemist’s technical components are listed below. The information provided is based on theoretical assumptions of the planning phase and is subject to confirmation.

Measurements

The final measurement cannot be published yet.
Weight ca. 200 kg

Configuration and Finishes/ Rack/ Special Features

Leather finish, piano lacquer and chrome finish

88 half-weighted keys

Illuminated control surface

Main Components

Modified, adapted and in part re-designed:
32 x 32 digital matrix
RTW surround control (8Ch. surround analyzer / monitor controller)
Midi program changer
NI KORE2
Brauner VM1 mic
MIDI plug-in controller (8 encoders, 8 buttons)
Apple Mac Pro 8-core incl. 30" display
RME HDSPe RayDAT
Rosendahl Nanosync
APC USV up to 10 min without power
Headzone (Beyer Dynamics) surround headphone
Bose nearfield speaker system
Oled keyboard: Lebedev Optimus Maximus Keyboard
Surround panning joystick

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:17 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the info, since he lost his main studio he's experimenting with more compact custom designs, the core of this set up would be the Mac computer, RME HDSP sound module and virtual instruments, effects and samples.

The Lebedev Optimus Maximus Keyboard is interesting but after all these years the price is still over $2k...

In the way of accessing stuff this is similar to Vangelis' custom studio, just accessing functions and samples via buttons as opposed to symbol marked poker machine type drums.
At 200kgs, it can be moved around if needed and still plug in enough real instruments.
Cool, I'd like to see a new album out though.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:56 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

interesting comparison to the Vangelis setup although Vangelis' one needs additional equipment.

a bit strange for me is that he has not hammer action keys and that his pitch and mod wheels are above and not to the left, well it is quite usual design too but I find it less spontaneous.

if you would like to see his old A.R.T. studio pictures I can post them too. It was absolutely fantastic, believe it was one of the best in the world 10 years ago.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:18 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

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so we had no news from MC for about 3 years and finally have a photo of him... but in a court room trialed by Spanish authorities for his house construction in 1997... never ending story now goes from 22 million euro compensation to the musician to his imprisonment for 8 months!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:36 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Are you kidding? Cretu was imprisonned for 8 months?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:08 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

That is what prosecution is asking for I believe.
2 sides to everything. I think the main issue is that on Ibiza there have been so many buildings built without correct permission that to stop others doing it, the council needs to be seen to act, so as to deter people from doing the same thing. He was given permission that shouldn't have been allowed. Councils fault.
He built a house 3 times as big and higher than that permission allowed as well. His fault. If he had built what was permitted, he could be getting compensation.
So taking sides is not really the issue.
A sad story and prison would be absurd, but politics always looks for examples to further a cause.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:55 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

As we say in German, "Ignorance will not save you from prosecution".

Stephen

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:25 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Is there really a law providing imprisonment for illegal construction? And the construction was actually legal, is was granted authorization. To put an artist like Cretu together with common cons? I think this is an idle case of Anti-Romanian xenophobia. In my opinion, those prosecutors should themselves be prosecuted and those ibizian parasites and uneducated morons who never worked and only live from the tourists money, but pretend to be aristocrats, should be drained of several dozens of euro in compensations to Mr. Cretu, and be left as beggars, as they would deserve it! Cases like this start to turn me into an eurosceptic, it's not this category of people that I would like to integrate with...
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:14 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for these words as thoughtful as they were insightful.

Stephen

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:29 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

« megatone » wrote:
Is there really a law providing imprisonment for illegal construction? And the construction was actually legal, is was granted authorization. To put an artist like Cretu together with common cons? I think this is an idle case of Anti-Romanian xenophobia. In my opinion, those prosecutors should themselves be prosecuted and those ibizian parasites and uneducated morons who never worked and only live from the tourists money, but pretend to be aristocrats, should be drained of several dozens of euro in compensations to Mr. Cretu, and be left as beggars, as they would deserve it! Cases like this start to turn me into an eurosceptic, it's not this category of people that I would like to integrate with...


He was given permission to build 1000m2 it ended up at 3000m2 according to the court papers (so not legal)
Just that fact means he screwed up. The council would have a hard time if he had stuck to the plans they agreed. He didn't. Big mistake.
And I disagree that just because he is a successful artist, he should be granted special rights compared to other people who have done wrong.
Can I ask you how you would feel if you had a nice home on a nice island and someone built a house opposite that was 3 times bigger than allowed and the answer came back, "it's ok, he's a pop star"
I think Cretu has sympathy for his situation but I feel he brought it largely on himself.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:05 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

« dronescape » wrote:
Thank you for these words as thoughtful as they were insightful.

Stephen


Your use of irony is almost English, Stephen... Wink

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