null At Home with Timo Kotipelto

At Home with Timo Kotipelto

We talk to Timo – lead singer of Stratovarius – from his home in Lappajärvi, Finland and find out a little more about him, his home studio setup, and his top tips for being a #GenelecProAtHome!

At Home with Timo Kotipelto

What inspired you to start making or recording music?

When I was a teenager, we made our first recordings with the local band by recording with one mic, one take. Then we played it back with me singing on top and recording to another tape. Very basic stuff. Inspiration came from the need to create something on our own.

What was your first ever piece of recording gear?

I had a Commodore 64 computer, then an Amiga. But I probably wouldn’t call them recording gear! Later on I bought a PC with an audio interface. My first proper recording gear, basically only for lead vocals, was a PC and audio interface, an Avalon mic preamp (this I probably borrowed) and a Sony C-800 mic. Nowadays my PC times are over, but I still have the same mic!

What was the last piece of gear you bought?

That would actually be a pair of Genelec 8331 monitors and a 7360 subwoofer.

Which room in your home is your studio based, and were there any challenges in setting it up?

I have a separate log house built as a studio in my yard. One room is built as a mixing/vocal recording space. Acoustics and interior design were by Matias Kupiainen, who also happens to be the guitar player in Stratovarius. The other room is for lodging, and possible drum recording/rehearsal space.

Which Genelec models do you have?

Besides the 8331 and 7360, I also have 3 x G Three, 2 x 2029 and a 7050 subwoofer. These used to be in my old studio room, but nowadays are used for surround sound when watching movies, or listening to music at home.

What you think of the speakers, and what do you like about them?

I’ve been a fan of Genelec for years. I thought my old Genelecs were fantastic until I heard the 8331s in my studio. They blew my mind! The sound is so clear. I even found some new, never heard instruments while listening to classic tracks. Recording vocals needs headphones, but to actually hear them you need Genelecs!

At Home with Timo Kotipelto

What’s your top tip for being creative at home?

To me nature has always played an important role. Now that I’ve moved out of the city, it’s played an even bigger role. Inspiration for me comes very often late at night, or while walking outside. I very often hum a melody on the phone, and try to figure it out the next day. I also think that the atmosphere in the studio has to be calming to get the best result.

Describe your perfect day in the studio.

It depends if it’s a vocal recording day, or a composing/demo vocal day. If it’s a vocal recording day, then it means I start warming up my voice. A few practice takes and then actual takes. As a singer (singing power metal, which means I have quite a high tenor register), I try to divide the day into a few different sessions, and let the voice have a break in between.

If it’s a composing day, then a cup of coffee and then checking out some ideas.

Have you come across any new gear or apps to make home creating easier?

Well, I actually started using Pro Tools for the very first time a few months ago. I’m still learning. I’m more used to recording with Logic.

Have you picked up any new skills during lockdown?

I did my first ever Instagram Live with Tarja Turunen. This Genelec IG live would be my second :) I’m not that good at social media stuff, being a bit introvert and a shy guy by nature. I’ll probably be more active now when it comes to Facebook, Instagram etc.

Which three artists would you love to collaborate with in a Zoom lockdown session?

It’s hard to pick only three. OK, a mix of some genres: Steve Harris, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Eddie Van Halen.

Since working at home, what has become your ’Desert Island’ piece of gear? What can’t you live without?

My phone :) So as not to forget ideas. Then it would be Logic, with my Genelecs.

If there was one recording session you could have attended, which one would it have been and why?

Early Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. Just to watch in awe. Or any session with Ronnie James Dio. I could have maybe sung some backing vocals :)

To find out more about Timo, click here

Do you want to be featured in our ‘At Home’ series? If so, just post some pictures of your home setup on Instagram using the #GenelecProAtHome hashtag. We’ll be keeping a look out for the most interesting home rigs, so who knows? We may be in touch with you!


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