null At Home with Mary Olivetti
At Home with Mary Olivetti
What was your ﬁrst ever piece of recording gear?
I’ve had direct contact with recording equipment ever since I was a child, and I’ve always been passionate about machines (maybe that's why an “Olivetti” was born!). I’m the daughter of a singer (my mother) and a maestro (my father), so my playground was our home studio - and my favorite toys were a Studer A80 and an SSL 48-channel console!
Today I have a home studio that perfectly meets my demands. My setup basically consists of a Neumann U89i condenser microphone, a Focusrite Scarlett Solo audio interface, two Yamaha keyboards and Genelec monitors…among other little things.
What was the last piece of gear that you bought?
A Maschine MK2 by Native Instruments.
In which room in your home is your studio based, and were there any challenges in setting it up?
My studio is on the mezzanine level of my apartment, a small open room on the top ﬂoor without any acoustic treatment. For this reason I looked for reference monitors with compact size, dynamics, precision and innovative design.
Which Genelec models do you have?
A pair of 8010As, little giant ones!
What type of projects do you use your speakers for?
Mainly for music production, and also to make pre-mixes of my projects and to be able to evaluate the masters that come from outside. I also use them to curate soundtracks for my clients, and to create mixtapes on my Pioneer XDJ- RR.
What you think of the speakers, and what do you like about them?
My relationship with the Genelec brand is pure aﬀection. My father took care of his 8050As very carefully and when he passed away we needed to sell them. Genelecs have always been an object of desire for me and when I started my own projects on Pro Tools I didn't think twice: I knew that I needed to have my own Genelecs. Today, I am totally satisﬁed with the true performance reference that they provide me.
Describe your perfect day in the studio.
My day starts early. At dawn I go into the studio with a strong coﬀee, open the curtains and let the sun in, which inspires me a lot. It's at this moment that I can pump the volume and feel the result of everything I created the night before. The afternoon is totally dedicated to my family. I come back after dinner, and that's when my creativity comes out.
Mixing in-the-box or not? What do you prefer?
In-the-box. I usually do a pre-mix at home, and then I send it to a second specialized professional who mixes and masters in-the-box too.
What’s your top tip for being creative at home?
For me in particular, the biggest tip is to keep the studio organized. A good atmosphere is essential to achieve great results at work. Your house, your rules, so light some incense, help yourself with a good wine, work by candlelight and let the music out of you.
Have you come across any new gear or apps to make home creating easier?
I really like my Audio Technica M-50x headphones and when I need some extra concentration, I use them. Plugins are essential in a home studio because we don't have space for hardware. Websites that sell sample packs are also interesting to visit, loopmasters.com is a good choice.
Which three artists would you love to collaborate with in a Zoom lockdown session?
Opolopo, Phillipi & Rodrigo (Fatnotronic) and Marcos Valle.
Have you picked up any new skills during lockdown?
Yes, I learned to make music! During the pandemic I potentialized the whole theory that graduation taught me. I am also studying my Maschine NI and all its functions. I took some courses on Music Business and Copyright. Overall I learned lots in the pandemic, both about music and life.
If there was one recording session you could have attended, which one would it have been and why?
I wish I had witnessed a complete recording of the album "Thriller". I am passionate about the music of Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson and this record is a masterpiece, it will always be a reference for many generations. I went to Quincy's show in Paris in July 2019 and it was a unique experience: Quincy and his orchestra played, among many other songs, the entire “Thriller" album for 50 thousand people.
Since working at home, what has become your ’Desert Island’ piece of gear? What can’t you live without?
My monitors, my Pro Tools and a simple Akai MPK Mini controller.