Vladislav Palagin is a Ukrainian sound producer and beatmaker, better known as Palagin. He is a new hero of the series "What's in use" as well.
Let's discuss both his personal gadgets and professional ones.
— Tell us about your phone. What do you like about it?
— I have an iPhone 14 Pro Max. Dynamic Island is an interesting function, mostly an amusement. But the sound, in fact, has become better if compared to the 12’s. I made a quick experiment by turning on two songs from both models at once – the sound is much better and more voluminous. The speakers themselves are much cleaner as well.
I used to resell my smartphones. For example, I had a Samsung d900i, then sold it on the flea market, and got a Nokia 6630 in return. I spent a while buying and selling off my hands a bit more expensively. Then I signed in to a reselling forum and used it to market cheap second-hand things to get a small revenue. That is how I saved up for my first laptop.
— But the smartphone is more like a communication medium for you?
— Yes, and I do like YouTUbe surfing and Netflix binge watching offline.
— Top-5 apps, in your opinion?
Notion is a cool notebook, very convenient to use. It syncs, you can open it directly in the browser, on the computer, everywhere. Probably, if you work on a Mac, it's more convenient to just use the basic notes app. I prefer Windows, however, so Notion gives me that cross-platform experience.
— Pocket Book. I was rather surprised to see one. Do you read a lot?
—I definitely love it! I use this e-book very often. Pocket Book is a cool app, because it syncs with your account, so it is very easy to download any book you want. It is done via the e-mail address that is created by the app, and the book appears immediately in the app. That is such a convenient thing.
— You read on your smartphone?
— From time to time, for example, in a taxi. Pocket Book synchronizes, so I am able to finish the book wherever I want.
— Youtube takes the 5th. Is it due to Shorts and features of this kind?
— Yeah, I love “ The Mysterious” channel, etc.
— Like a REN-TV kind of thing?
— No, "Mysterious" is mostly documentaries, like Netflix’s ones, but more adapted to the YouTube format. Crimes are the most of the content.I like watching documentaries. I also love Stanislav Drobyshevsky’s Youtube channel. He is a paleontologist, who speaks about evolution and fossils.
— That one I did not expect…
— You still chose to get the AirPods for personal needs, despite the huge amount of professional equipment?
— It is only because they are cool to fly or move around with. I threw them in my pocket and get on with it. By the way, Pro 2 sounds much better than Pro 1. Wider, if you please.
— Were you surprised by that?
— I was, and I had a lot of fun after the purchase. Noise suppression is much better too.
— You have a Dell XPS 13. What do you use it for?
— I got it for traveling mostly, because I often went abroad, and I thought it would be fun to get a small laptop along. It turned out to be really powerful, so that I can master and render the content, and it's super small. They have a new version out now, I'm thinking of getting one as well in the USA. It keeps the battery charged for a very big amount of time.
— Let’s switch to pro-gadgets. Alienware, your laptop.
— I like Alienware the most of all Windows laptops. I chose this model because it is not a laptop in the usual sense, but a portable PC. All the stuffing in it is from the traditional PC, but you have to pay for it with portability in return. It is quite large, heavy and has two large charging blocks.
It has already been updated. I have my first revision since 2019. It just came out in 2019, I took it then, the idea of a desktop in laptop format struck me. For now, the newest laptops are finally surpassing it in the sense of the power of a processor. However, this model still copes well with all of the tasks.
As I am currently in the USA, I wanted to upgrade to the new Alienware X17, but I’ve decided to wait for the 4090 Mobile and the 13900HX chip.
I am also a great fan of Razer V2, a smartphone joystick. It helps to transform your smartphone to a full-packed monitor. I use it 24/7 when I travel.
— Cool! Your professional equipment is rather long-lasting.
— It is. After all, it's closer to a computer, not a laptop. Laptops do not serve for so long. This one has a great cooling system, which is why it stays with me for so long. I haven't ever cleaned it.
— When I talked to Slava Marlow, he said that he preferred to record on a Mac.
— Maybe it suits him better aesthetically. I need a much more productive PC. MacBooks are called super-powerful, but only if compared with mobile devices. They can hardly be compared with the latest Intel chips and RTX video cards.
— Your evaluation comes from a professional point of view?
— Both professionally and in terms of basicproductivity. Windows is not so aesthetically pleasing, not at all, but the power reserve in it is much larger, and I like that. It seems to me that everything is possible on Windows.
— Apple claims to have one of the greatest processors at the moment.
— They do. But I think there's a trick, and Apple’s development is compared with mobile processors. The video card is almost absent. Even on the latest MacBook, you will launch GTA 5 only at an ultra-minimum of 480. So how can it be called something the most powerful?
I think it's more related to optimization. All sorts of programs written for Mac work better on this processor, and expectedly worse on the Windows.
— We proceed with sound cards. What is it, basically?
— If we put it simply, this is a function of the card to be connected to any equipment, such as speakers, synthesizers. It is not the easiest thing and demands adapters. Roughly speaking, a sound card is a huge adapter.
— Is there a processor that does certain calculations so that the sound is transferred correctly?
— Yes. For example, there is such a thing as clocking (a feature of sample rate). The card occupies extra tasks from the processor. It makes the job a little easier. But basically, it's more like a preamp, both for speakers and microphones.
— The only card you use is an Apollo Twin?
— You described it as basic for everyone. Have you been using it for a long time?
— Yes. Now they are available on both Windows and Mace. I bought one when it first came out on Windows, because they have always been exclusive to Mac before, and I still use it. I have a new one, but it is still packed. I am going to update everything after the purchase of a new laptop.
— You gave a great spotlight to the mouse…
— I fell in love with this mouse! I used to play CS. I love all sorts of Razer designs, and it seemed to me that after another one particular Razer mouse this is the most ergonomic mouse in the world.
And I didn't like symmetrical mice before. I thought it was kind of a standardized relic. Then I tried this mouse Logitech Superlight – it's light, comfortable, fast, wireless. It works, surprisingly, faster than wired one, according to the tests.
— Did you notice it thankfully to your gamer background or it was a specific choice for gaming?
— The idea came mostly because of its characteristics. Alex S1mple gave me one, because Logitech supports NAVI. He advised me to try it on, and I fell in love.
— Tell me about Beyerdynamic dt 1770 pro headphones. Are they for professionals only?
— They are. The sound is well-balanced, and higher pitches are better. Everything is well detailed, and I get the idea of what I have to fix very clearly.
— I wonder: when you create music, you use professional equipment. The users, however…
— It's more to do some surgical work, such as precise correction of mini-sighs, mini-noises. Of course, almost no one appreciates these micro-efforts, but the whole piece of music sounds cleaner as a result on every device, such as cheap Bluetooth speakers.
Basically cheap equipment does not have any good high or low frequencies. Therefore, all their music is concentrated “in the middle”. My recommendation is to always check “the middle''. To trim the top and bottom, and to create a cool sound in the middle. As a result, every device provides an acceptable sound.
— Let’s proceed with monitors and microphones. Which monitors do you use? They must have some history behind.
— Here we have Alisher’s speakers, but we want to upgrade after the tour is finished. These ones are very old and not particularly good. I don't really like them, and the sound is not voluminous. I hate them, generally!
— We got our pictures, but you hate it.
— I'm more used to Barefoot. My most favorite, and quite affordable ones at the same time, are the Mackie 824. I love them. I know how they sound, quite balanced it is.
I told you about MTM speakers as well, newly-released huge ones. We want to test-drive them. I think they will be perfect because of their alignment function. Each room has its own sound distortions. Every little thing vibrates somewhere, a window or some corner resonates. There's a microphone built into these speakers that cuts it all out. Even when I tried those little MTMs, I was shocked that such a clear sound can be achieved at home.
— Do you think that this perception of clear and pure sound is innate or trained? I personally listened to your sound and Slava’s. I have never thought before that there could be such a high-quality sound. This understanding comes naturally or you somehow realized that you aspire for better?
— A professional necessity, mostly. I used to have Sven speakers. I used them for a very long time, when I was writing music at school. For a time being they suited me well, but afterwards I found out that it was not enough.
You get used to the sound, and then start to hear a lot more. Something new constantly appears. That is probably some kind of training, but a necessity as well.
— What about the mics? What do you use?
— U 87, pretty basic one. It's pretty balanced. Nothing good or bad can be said about him. It is a good microphone, everything is transmitted well.
There are microphones that have their own specific sound. And it does not have any specifications at all. in a good way. It is very natural and flexible. Any sound you need can be created with it. The mic is suitable for everything in general.
But I want to tell you about this one. the cool one. Not expensive as well. It's very small and is created to record instrumental music, but I've recorded voices as well. "On the Chill" was recorded on it. It looks like an HQD. Maybe a bit longer smoking room. It is an example of a microphone with its own specifics, with some kind of charisma, with a color. It has a little less bottom, which I already cut off on the equalizer, and it has a little more top, which I always raise anyway. Therefore, he is wildly pleasant to use.
— So, it does the job for you?
— From a professional point of view, it's probably not flexible enough, but it suits me and the way I work with the sound. It was created to record instruments, so it is able to catch the details, the texture of the voice. For example, this Neumann doesn't really catch the texture. It records a clear voice without any interference. And there's a cool "mud" crawling through this tiny mic.