My “studio” isn’t very impressive, but then again I don’t need a lot to get started and start learning.
Everything I use is bought and paid for. Despite only having made a grand total of 8.5 euros off my music (from donations from kind people) I still buy all the software I use, which has amounted to quite the sum of money so far, but so be it. 🙂
I use a pretty powerful PC (Intel 6-core CPU (overclocked to 4.2 GHz), 32 GB RAM and what not) and my audio interface is an external USB connected M-Audio/Avid Fast Track C400.
A pair of PreSonus Eris E8 studio monitors are connected to the C400 using balanced cables.
The C400 is also (digitally) connected to an external DAC with a headphone amplifier and I have a pair of Sennheiser HD650 and Sony MDR-V700 headphones connected to it.
My MIDI keyboard is a M-Audio Oxygen49 3rd generation. Nothing fancy, but does the job for now… Or well, I say that, but I am considering getting a new one with more keys on it, because only having 49 keys can be limiting when playing piano pieces and actually learning to play the piano as well.
I’m also running a dual monitor setup using two HP LP2475w 24″ monitors. I look forward to upgrading to a 34″ ultrawide (21:9) monitor in the future for the main screen and then something that matches for the secondary (a normal 16:9 monitor as secondary). Currently my eyes are on the LG 34UM95 monitor, but it might change as more similar monitors are released by other companies (I hear Dell is working on a comparable one), but LG is the only one with a high-quality IPS display at a high resolution as well right now. But man, having that kind of horizontal space in my DAW (see below) for the timeline… Oh my – and not to mention in After Effects, Photoshop and so on. 🙂
My DAW of choice
DAW is short for Digital Audio Workstation and it basically covers computer programs that you use to make music.
I use PreSonus Studio One 3 Professional and you can read more about that choice in the “About” section of this site.
It’s not the perfect DAW, because that doesn’t exist, but it’s the best option I could find for what I wanted from a DAW.
What are my favourite plug-ins then?
I own a bunch of plug-ins as well and you can view the complete list here. I probably have one too many synths, but what can you do? 😛
For synths I usually use Hive, Spire, Serum, Nexus 2 or Sylenth1, depending on which one is best for the task at hand. You can argue that Nexus 2 isn’t really a proper synth (being a ROMpler), but it’s nice for some quick inspiration and often has good sounding stuff to work with. Sometimes there’s just no reason to re-invent the wheel, but generally I’m not one for using presets. I’m much more interested in making my own sounds, because I then learn how to actually do this stuff and control the sound, as it were. After all I don’t really learn that by just using preset upon preset – I want to be able to create interesting sounds and for that I need knowledge and experience.
Other favourites are of course the FabFilter plug-ins (I own the FX bundle). I mean, come on… They’re just plain awesome. Pro-Q 2, Pro-C, Saturn and Volcano are generally all over what I’m doing.
CamelSpace and CamelPhat from Camel Audio are also fantastic – a ton of interesting things can be done with CamelSpace and overall these two plug-ins are great for subtle tweaks or some modulation fun. CamelSpace at least is often widely used in what I do, especially on sound effects.
MFM2 from u-he is an awesome delay plug-in that I generally feel is a bit overlooked. u-he is also an awesome company with the best customer support I’ve seen. Urs and the gang are always active on KVR answering questions and generally being very open about what’s going on. A huge amount of respect for the effort they put in, both in their products and their communication with the users.
ValhallaVintageVerb, ValhallaRoom and ValhallaShimmer from Valhalla DSP are also all amazing plug-ins and Sean has done an awesome job on the availability of them. A very fair price for these high quality plug-ins is a no-brainer. His approach to the UI is also very good: A clear, no-nonsense UI that gets the job done. All I can say is: Keep it up, Sean!
iZotope Ozone 6 is of course also on my master bus, because it basically doesn’t get any better than that for the final touch on the track. Fantastic plug-in for mixing/mastering! 🙂
FabFilter, Valhalla DSP and u-he are my top 3 favourite plug-in developers (in no particular order). Their products are just at the top of the game and I’ve received good customer service from all 3 as well. I highly recommend checking out their offerings if you’re ever in the market for anything either of them provide. 🙂