The Enigma – E8 – Studio



Michael Cretu of Enigma has always made sure to use the latest studio technology available. In this way he has been able to produce new and fresh sounds, and each Enigma album is closely connected to the technology used. On Enigma’s 8th album – E8 – he is using his studio called Merlin

The legendary Ibiza studio where the five first Enigma albums were created was called the Euphonix consol studio – or simply A.R.T. (you can see pictures of it here). On the latest albums Michael has used less hardware and more software synths, resulting in the Alchemist studio (see a comprehensive presentation of it here).

Now Michael Cretu has built a new and more compact studio which is called MERLIN. According to

“Merlin is not only a mobile studio, it fits perfectly to the way I am usually working. It can be seen at the intersection between playing, recording and mixing.” Michael Cretu says.

Similar to the Alchemist, Merlin combines the four key parameters of recording in one box: a computed recording environment, a modular hardware concept, a control surface and a surround monitoring system.

In the very center of the studio is an Apple Mac Pro 8-core with an 30” Cinema display – and of course the Logic Studio software.  The key parameters of Merlin’s technical components are listed below.

  • Length: 135 cm
  • Width: 85 cm
  • Height: 93 cm
  • Weight: ca. 100 kg


Configuration and Finishes/ Rack/ Special Features

Leather finish, piano lacquer and chrome finish
88 half-weighted keys
Illuminated control surface

Main Components

Modified, adapted and in part re-designed:

  • 32 x 32 digital matrix
  • RTW surround control
  • Midi program changer
  • Brauner VM1 mic
  • Apple Mac Pro 8-core incl. 30″ Cinema display
  • Rosendahl Nanosync
  • APC USV up to 10 min without power
  • Headzone (Beyer Dynamics) surround headphone
  • Bose nearfield speaker system
  • Surround panning joystick
  • Customized monitors ADAM 6.5 AMC

I think that all of this is fascinating – to a certain point. As a Michael Cretu fan of 25 years I’m glad that Michael is doing what he does best, with the tools he needs to create magical sounds. But I know for sure that he would create magic with almost any synth – for instance his old friends, Roland JD-800 or Korg DSS-1. But new is always better, right?

As of writing there are no news concerning the release of E8. The best guess is sometimes in 2015