Hardware: Ela Minus’ Colorful Rig Is a Small Orchestra of Synths

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.

Musicians develop a close bond with their equipment over countless hours of playing with knobs, scrolling through menus, and plugging and unplugging gear to find the right configuration. Colombia’s Gabriela Jimeno (aka Ela Minus) is a producer who performs with a small but powerful arsenal of electronic equipment. The rig is hand-picked to provide rich and full sound, but it remains portable.

Jimeno’s rig definitely qualifies as gear porn. She uses powerful equipment like the Analog Rytm for beatmaking and the common MPC1000 for sequencing and triggering samples. Other notable pieces are the Organelle from Critter and Guitari, which she helped develop and build. Her setup is an OCD dream that is meticulously color-coded with every synth sampler or effect in a designated space.

At the center of her setup is a mixer, which has become a powerful tool for musicians who want to keep some control onstage. Since she came from a drumming background, Jimeno looks for hardware that has a kinetic feel to it, or that adds some sort of performative value. Having the MPC has its advantages, as the pads have a real-life percussive feel. At the same time, the small screen forces you to focus on performance and the rest of your equipment.

As she puts it, Ela Minus’ powerful setup is a “small orchestra” that is tailored to her needs. It may seem like overkill to some, but trust us, she knows what she’s doing.