Hardware is a video series that takes a closer look at our favorite musicians’ rigs. Some artists talk about their live shows while others give us a chance to peep their home studios.


In the second episode of Hardware, Roberto Lange (aka Helado Negro) kindly let us check out how he uses sampling, processing, and recording to transform an idea into a song or arrangement. Lange explains that he doesn’t rely as heavily on hardware for coming up with sounds as he does for taking down ideas before they escape his mind. His use of hardware is more of a physical workflow, a signal chain that uses an MPC2000 to sample sounds and records running through an array of effects, one of which a vintage Echoplex tape delay unit that uses real tape for recording and playback. This simple signal chain, which may include a spring reverb tank or a ring modulator, allows Lange to capture almost any sound he can think of and splice and manipulate it as he sees fit. His minimalist approach to processing and gear is striking, centered around his rare songwriting skills. Lange knows himself and has found a way to harness his creativity through the use of a few but expertly employed pieces of equipment.

Helado Negro’s Private Energy is available now via Asthmatic Kitty. Check out his upcoming tour dates here.