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Producer · Engineer · FOH
Ori Winokur and Yuvi Gerstein
Ori and Yuvi
Ori Winokur
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Ori Winokur and Yuvi Gerstein

Producers & Owners of The Slick Studio in Tel Aviv
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Ori Winokur
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Yuvi Gernstein
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The Slick Studio

Ori Winokur and Yuvi Gerstein were both successful musicians and producers before founding the incredible The Slick Studio in Tel Aviv. Now the studio has become a hub of the local and international music scenes with a bespoke kit list and varied clientele. Here they discuss their varied backgrounds and amazing studio…

Asaf Avidan & The Mojos, Coolooloosh, Erez, System Ali, Alon Azizi, and Sponj, founders of The Slick Studio in Tel Aviv
Introduce yourselves gentlemen…

Winokur: I fell in love with music at the age of 10 months – I was pointing at Beatles records for my parents to play for me. I started playing alto sax at the age of eight, then moved on to guitar and bass. I played in various high school bands, then went to NYC to study at The New School Jazz program. Upon returning to Jerusalem I started working at The Yellow Submarine, a local rehearsal room, recording studio and live venue. I worked there for seven years and gained a lot of experience as a sound engineer. At the same time I started the band Coolooloosh and we toured the world for nearly 10 years. After so many years as a musician and sound engineer, I decided to combine my skills and aim to be a producer. I was lucky to begin working with Asaf Avidan & The Mojos who became one of Israel's biggest success stories. Since then I have worked with numerous artists, both local and international. In 2013 together with my long time partner Yuvi Gerstein we built The Slick Studio in Tel Aviv. It has become a vibrant music production house and one of Israel's most famous studios.

Gerstein: I am a producer, guitarist and music tech enthusiast. I got formal training from the Jerusalem Music Academy specializing in jazz guitar, and then with a master's degree in Creative Practice at Goldsmiths University in south London. I currently release original music with my colleague Tom Iddan under the name Sponj, and remix for other artists, as well as produce singles and albums for musicians spanning folk, rock, soul and jazz. I was also a founding member of Coolooloosh. Now I focus on my studio work at The Slick Studio creating sample packs for Loopmasters and composing music for films and media. My passion for music tech and interactive art has also led to the creation of GRIDI, probably the largest physical MIDI controller in the world.

Slick methods

Winokur: At The Slick Studio I decided that instead of the classic console setup I'd go for a preamp set up, so I have about 20 different preamps from various decades. Each has its own unique sound – API, Neve,Telefunken, Electrodyn and so on. I discovered that finding the right mic and pre combination for each instrument gives me a fantastic sound and I rarely use any EQ at the source. I've also found that a modern mic with a vintage pre often sounds incredible. I run a Pro Tools based recording studio with Antelope converters and 24 IO. I have my preamp collection for the inputs and a Neve 8816 summing mixer for the outputs.

I believe every record requires a different approach and, as an artist, I try to not repeat the same thing twice, so every artist and every record gets its own unique production and recording process.

Gerstein: My system is based on a 27” iMac running Pro Tools, with a UAD 16 and UAD 8 daisy-chained. I use loads of outboard gear: Fatso, Distressor, A couple of SSL E channels, Chandler compressors, Culture Vulture, lots of guitar pedals, three Space Echo units and an Echoplex to name but a few. I also love working with Ableton Live to create tracks and perform when I get a chance. My workflow when recording is pretty straightforward, tracking great sources with great mics and pres. Then to mix it, I load it into my system and use plug-ins as well as print channels through my outboard gear.

Love at first sight

Winokur: I heard about Aston mics as soon as they arrived in Israel and asked the local distributor (Yoav Shdema) to try one out. I immediately fell in love with the nice crispy and open sound. I especially like the way it sounds with my Telefunken V72 Vintage tube pre – it gives the mic an extra warmth and contrast to its very modern sound.
I produced a record for an up and coming artist named Erez. We tried many mics for her vocals and she was at the studio the day I got the Spirit mic. We tried it out and it sounded so good on her that it ended up on the final version of the song.

For some vocalists, especially the ones that have a very sharp high-mid action in their vocal, the Spirit just brings it out amazingly. I also found out that they are fantastic as drum room mics, as a stereo pair about two meters from the kit. Also, for acoustic instruments, I found that it sounds amazing when located in an overhead position about one meter above the instrument

Gerstein: Ori brought a pair of Aston Spirits to the studio and I got a chance to try them out on a few recordings. I liked how rugged they feel – they’re kind of fat and feel sturdy. They sounded great as room mics when recording a full drum kit. I ran them through my SSL E channel strips and compressed them quite hard. I loved that sound and compared with other room mics I use, such as my AKG 414 pair, they definitely match the quality and their sound is a bit brighter, maybe more modern. I now use the Spirit pair as drum room mics on almost every recording I make. I place them about two meters from each side of the drum kit and they just add this big, bright sound. I absolutely love what it adds to the sonic picture of a drum kit.

I also recently used a Spirit recording a guitar amp. I used a Coles ribbon and a Shure SM57, which I know and love. The Aston added a bright full sound which completed the sonic picture, especially on over-driven solos. I mixed all three mics together and I feel it’s a winning setup which gives me all the bite I need, as well as a full range of colours to choose from. I’m definitely going to keep using it for guitars.

As a big fan of the British sound in music and in gear, and also after spending a few formative years in London, working in different recording studios, I’m kind of biased towards UK based companies and the gear they make. It’s always well thought of, well made and you just know it’s going to sound great.

Out-takes

Q. If you weren’t working in music what would you be doing?
A. Gerstein: “A software engineer or visual artist. I created this project (gridi.info) and I’m super excited about innovative technologies, related or unrelated to music.”
Winokur: “Cooking!”

Q. What would your fantasy mic be?
A. Gerstein: “A binaural mic for the studio which would sound as amazing as vintage condenser mics.”

Q. What are the 4 words you’d chose to describe Aston, or your experience with the brand?
A. Gerstein: “Bright, modern, sleek, rugged.”

Q. What was the first song that made you cry?
A. Gerstein: “Kind of weird but a rather cheesy song by an Israeli band call Mashina.”
Winokur: "Blackbird."

Q. Who are your favourite artists?
A. Gerstein: “My favourite artists are Beck, Kendrick Lamar, Bonobo and M. Ward.”

Aston Credits

Aston gear has been used with the following artists...

Erez

System Ali

Alon Azizi

 

 

 

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