I often get asked about what equipment I use. I don’t make a big fuss of it as (a) I don’t have banks and banks of flashing lights and huge mixing desks and (b) I honestly believe that no equipment is as important as good ears.
Having said that, there are some bits of gear in my arsenal that I wouldn’t be without. Here are some, in no particular order – click on the titles to go to their homepage and find out more:
This is a relatively new purchase, but I know I’m going to have a lot of fun with it. What a sound! Unreal mellow tones that are perfect for sound design work and intimate acoustic recordings, there’s a fantastic interface that lets you manipulate every aspect of the sound, from pedal and stool noises to tape sound and ambience. Basically, my dream instrument!
When I first got my studio, I had a set budget that meant I could either buy loads of equipment and it would look very cool, or I could just buy a few things and they would sound awesome. I chose the latter, getting an iMac, a good sound card and this incredible AKG mic, which have used to almost everything I’ve ever recorded. Works beautifully crisp and clear on vocals, acoustic guitar, pianos and more.
Logic is often mentioned as the “little brother” of Pro Tools but in all honesty, this works better than Pro Tools for me. As I come more from the creative side of things than the technical, Logic gets me to where I want to be quickly and smoothly, and also comes with superb plugins such as Alchemy, Tape Delay and Space Designer.
This is a delay plug-in that was initially given away free by Native Instruments a few years ago; it now costs £44 and is worth every penny. I use it as a secret ingredient on lots of tracks, mainly for its lush delay/reverbs. There is now a new version called Replika XT, which does a lot more things, but I still prefer the original, just for the sound and the vibe. Beautiful.
This is a suite of audio editing tools that, quite simply, allow you to do the impossible. if someone sends me audio that is badly recorded – for example, has click track spill, background noise or squeaky acoustic guitar – I can edit those bits out accurately with RX6. I can stretch sounds, clean them, remove mouth noise and hum… The list goes on. It’s an absolutely essential tool for anyone working seriously with audio.
When I was 13 years old and got my first cheap drum kit, we could only afford nasty brass cymbals. I craved for the Paiste Signature Series which sounded smooth, transparent and powerful. Cut to 2015, and I found myself in a drum shop during a trip to Nottingham, trying out a beautiful sounding fast crash. The 13-year-old in me begged the adult to buy it, and the adult duly relented. It sounds as crisp and lovely as I’d envisaged all those years ago.
A couple of years ago I decided to buy a Les Paul. With the budget I had, I decided I could either get the lowest quality Gibson or the highest quality Epiphone. I chose the Epiphone and never regretted it. It’s become my guitar of choice, leapfrogging my trusty Strat with its full tones, lovely feel and lack of noise.
If I’m completely honest, I don’t know how this plugin works – it just does. Apply it to every track, tweak a little where necessary and it gives you track the mix glue and distinctive sound of tape, but without the hassles of actually using tape. Sounds incredible on drums.
Published: 04 October 2017 • 11:51am • No Comments
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