Rhythms & Reflections Studio Sessions with Fabio Florido – Ep 1: Inside the Mix with Fabio Florido

Fabio Florido takes you step by step through his favourite DJ set up. From tools and choices, to routings and how to organize, mix and layer tracks during a set, Fabio shares his tips and tricks with PLAYdifferently MODEL 1 at the heart of his setup.


Now available on YouTube:
Ep1. Inside the Mix: Navigating My Favorite Hybrid Setup with Traktor, Ableton Live, Roland Tr-8d and MODEL1

Sculpt EQ

One of the tools MODEL 1 offers, in its quest to provide artists with a different way of approaching a mix, is the Sculpt EQ. Found between the Low- and High-pass filters on each of the 6 main input channels, the sculpt EQ is a single band, bell-shaped equaliser with a sweepable center frequency. You will also hear this type of control referred to by sound engineers as a “semi-parametric EQ”. This level of control is typically reserved for professional recording and front of house consoles. 

The two controls of the sculpt EQ are labelled “FREQ” and “CUT/BOOST”. The CUT/BOOST control does exactly what it says on the tin: it cuts the selected frequency by -20dB when turned counter clockwise, and boosts it by 8dB when turned fully clockwise. 

What seems to confuse most newcomers is the FREQ control, which allows the artist to set where the center of the frequency band is. The fully counter clockwise position sets the center frequency at 70Hz, making the EQ act on the bass frequencies. The fully clockwise position sets the center frequency at 7kHz, where the EQ is then affecting the high frequency content.

The two controls work in tandem to give the artist a level of control not offered by any other small format DJ mixer currently on the market. With the Sculpt EQ, you can hone in on a particular sound or element of a Track with the FREQ control, and then boost or cut that specific element, with the BOOST/CUT control, without affecting the rest of the record.

A parametric EQ is likely overkill for the traditional DJ that is simply fading from one track into the next. However, in the hands of a PLAYdifferently performer who prefers to layer 2, 3, or more tracks, it becomes an indispensable tool, allowing the artist to accentuate or mask certain elements from each record to create that magical “third record”. For example, you may accentuate the “clap/midrange” percussion on the elements of Record A, while pushing the high hats of Record B, all while Record C carries the kick and bass. At the same time, the midrange needs to be lowered to mask the midrange synth that just doesn’t fit the vibe. This is exactly the type of situation where a sculpt EQ provides you with the exact tool you need. 

Occasionally you will be able to achieve this level of control with the traditional 3-band EQ, but more often than not you will find the 3-band EQ’s bandwidth to be too broad. A sound that you want to affect will fall in between the mid and high bands, meaning you can’t quite get to it  without applying the effect to the overall track. You can think of MODEL 1’s Sculpt EQ as a surgeon’s scalpel, your tool with which you can precision cut single elements in a track.

Written by: Alex Zinn – PLAYdifferently Brand Manager

DSUB – What is that?

Written by: Alex Zinn – PLAYdifferently brand manager

In this article we are going to learn about the giant DSUB25 connectors that can be found on MODEL 1. If you’re like me, then the first thing that comes to mind when you see these is, “Why does MODEL 1 have printer connectors on it?” In actuality, DSUB25 connectors are quite common in the professional audio industry. They can be found on professional audio interfaces, mixing consoles, patch bays… Basically in any situation where a high channel count of balanced audio needs to be connected.

The DSUB, also known as “D-subminiature”, is an electrical connector that gets its name from the characteristic D-shaped metal shield. MODEL 1 incorporates three DSUB25 connectors, which implement the TASCAM Analog pinout, allowing users to take full advantage of the mixer’s fully balanced circuitry.

Each DSUB25 connector allows for up to 8 mono signals of balanced audio to be sent down a single multi-core cable. Think of it as a single connection replacing what would normally require 8 XLR jacks. In fact, you can purchase cables known as DSUB breakout cables, that have 8 XLR or 8 TRS connectors. These can be used to connect audio interfaces which have balanced connectivity but no DSUB, such as the Motu Ultralite Mk4, or Focusrite Scarlett 18i20.

You can find the TASCAM pinout diagram, taken from the MODEL 1 manual, below:

Some simple math will lead us to understand why three DSUB connectors are used. MODEL 1 has a total of eight analog inputs, made up of the six fully featured input channels, and two stereo returns. Eight stereo channels require sixteen mono signals (since each stereo input requires a LEFT and RIGHT signal). Each DSUB25 connector can handle eight mono or four stereo signals. This leads us to understand why MODEL 1 features DSUB In 1 and DSUB In 2.

We are left with one DSUB connector unaccounted for, labelled DSUB OUT. This DSUB connector is used to take signals, such as the Aux sends, out from the mixer. There are again four stereo signals present: Master L-R for recording, Aux 1&2 for FX sends, and a copy of CUE B. The inclusion of CUE B on the DSUB Out allows more advanced users to use CUE B as a third FX send.

There are many advantages to using DSUB connectors versus the phono connectors traditionally found on DJ mixers. First and foremost is the fact that the DSUB connector allows for the use of balanced connectivity, which leads to better sound quality when compared to an unbalanced phono lead.

The DSUB connection also makes complex set ups much faster and easier to connect. What would have been more than sixteen individual connections with a traditional mixer is now reduced to three, making setup and strike a breeze, even in the trenches of a bustling DJ booth.

Lastly, DSUB connections feature securing screws, which prevent the DSUB connector from accidentally being removed, whether by the pounding kick drums that can vibrate even the most secure of tables or by the previous performer removing cables.


Share how you PLAYdifferently with a studio pic/dj setup that includes MODEL 1 for a chance to be featured on the PLAYdifferently​ Instagram account. Upload your photo to Instagram or post it to the PLAYdifferently: How I PLAY​ facebook Group along with the hashtag #HowIPLAY + tag @PLAYdifferently.

Today we are featuring Lessnoise​’s inspiring live setup, including MODEL 1 from Sound Museum Vision in Tokyo​, where he played as a member of the Acid House group Phuture​.

Over the next few months, we will be selecting and sharing our top #HowIPLAY posts!

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Join the PLAYdifferently: How I PLAY facebook Group HERE.

‘How I PLAY’ video featuring Carl Cox

PLAYdifferently’s ‘How I PLAY’ series continues with a new video featuring Carl Cox discussing his technical set-up with the MODEL 1 mixer. The video shows Carl explaining how his legendary multiple-deck set-up works, his filtering techniques, use of FX and how he really uses the MODEL 1 like a true instrument.

Carl Cox says, “Making a video with the MODEL 1 was a lot of fun, to be able to really show what this mixer can do from my point of view was a pleasure to show, in its raw form.”

Cox has been performing on the MODEL 1 mixer for over 18-months after first testing it at his villa in Ibiza. MODEL 1 was designed by PLAYdifferently’s Richie Hawtin with Andy Rigby-Jones.

Cox went on to say: “Now that I have been working with the MODEL 1 mixer for over a year, I feel now it’s a part of my equipment family. It’s like having a favourite car I drive every day, the power and energy that I get from using this mixer is like no other experience that I get from using anything else, it feels like I have one arm tied behind my back if I do not get to use it. Being able to pin point the frequencies through the filter channels is the very key to this mixer. I have never used anything like it, to be able to make your mixes, when you play live, sound even bigger. It makes me want to give my audience the very best in audible sound.”

The full video can be seen at: playdifferently.org/carlcox

 How I Play: Carl Cox