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Gear Gear Gear and then some!


macresto

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When I listen to all the great songs from this forum I often wonder how the various sounds are achieved, why it sounds dull or airy and so on. Allthough this forum is not about flashing our gear I believe that the gear we use have a great impact on how our material sound. It would be really great to see what kind of gear each of you use when recording ideas and songs.

So I would really appreciate it if you all would list the gear, software and hardware you use.

I use the following:

Cubase 4.1

Sampletank 2.5

Sonic Synth 2.x

Miroslaw Philharmonik

EZ Drummer

Guitarrig 2 (hopefully soon upgraded to 3)

TC Elektronik 24D Firewire Audio Interface

R

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Boss BR8 digital 8 track

MBox1

Protools 6

Rode NT1-A mic

no name SG replica

no name 3/4 size nylon acoustic

full piano

Yamaha keyboard

BFD

Ryhthmtrack RT-123

Yamaha multieffects unit.

 

soon to be getting a banjo, vdrums and a Zoom H4.

 

I lost my decent guitars and my cello a few years ago in a burglary and haven't replaced them.

 

I also have minor instruments I sometimes write on or use for colouring esp the ukelele but also a harmonica, glockenspiel, tambourine, wood flute, various shakers and what not.. i'd eventually like at least one of every instrument :)

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It's pretty much in my soundclick profile but:

 

Epiphone Les Paul, Squier Telecaster, Squier P/J Bass, Aria Acoustic/Electric guitar, Seymour Duncan pickups, POD Xt, R0DE NT-1A, Shure SM-57, Mbox1, Pro Tools, FLStudio, Jamstix, Addictive Drums, Reason, Rapture, Lounge Lizard, B4, Camel Space, Voxengo.

 

For Midi input I use a Roland XP-10 (61 keys, semi-weighted, velocity sensitive). For playback I use a Delta-44 sound card into Behringer Truth monitors.

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Cheap Ibanez GAX-75 electric guitar.

Dean Exotica FM acoustic-electric guitar

Cheap Yamaha keyboard (useful for the MIDI stuff).

Lexicon Omega Studio

V-amp 2.0

Cubase SX3

EZ-Drummer

Guitar Rig 2 (use it more than the Vamp! :p)

TruePianos

couple of plugins (Endorphin, etc.)

el cheapo microphone! ;)

 

 

That's basically it.

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If you guys weren't regulars, I'd think you'd stumbled into the wrong forum. ;)

 

But I guess the point of interest here is for the regulars to see what each other are using, so in that light, I'll play, too.

 

Keep in mind that I freelanced some as an engineer and producer in the 80s and for a while in the 90s, tried running a little project studio. (A money loser and time waster, ultimately, but at least it finally made me realize I just didn't like working on other folks' music -- it did, however, leave me with a grab bag of mostly cheap gear, almost all of it with little resale value, most of which I seldom use. :D )

 

My primary chain is pretty straightforward:

 

Rode NT1 (made in Oz, original model) mic

Mackie VLZ board (original SR24-4 VLZ if we're counting)*

ART Dual Levelar compressor/limiter (part of my typical vocal chain)

MOTU 828mkII

-- (I also have an Echo Mia PCI card [i keep threatening to sit down and do a proper shoot-out to see which I really like best; I typically use the MOTU because I also use it for routing signals in the little 'studio')

Sonar 6 Producer

BFD (orig) virtual drum module

Yamaha NS10m monitors

Event 20/20bas monitors

 

instruments:

Fender Japan Standard Strat (vintage style -- thin fret wires, classic p/u's)

Norman B-20 dreadnaught (Norman's owned by Seagull)

Celebrity/Ovation shallow body cutaway

Yamaha G-130a classical (around 40 years old)

Gibson SG325 (like a '335 except mini humbuckers and a single F-hole, made for 6 years or so in the 70s, presumably as a blues rock guitar)

CME UF8 full piano-weighted hammer mechanism MIDI controller

(favorite virtual instruments: Mr Ray 73 rhodes-sim; Organized Trio v-B3; ZR3 v-B3; Roland/Cakewalk TTS wavetable synth; VLZ soundfont player)

Fender Blues Jr guitar amp

 

 

(I have other gear, of course, like anyone who's been in the game for a while, but at this point, I mostly use what's listed above. My other mics include an old CAD Equitek II [a great, multi-patter dual-di mic with what seems to me to be a very flat response pattern with little of the treble rise most LDC's go for], a pair of SM57s, a Studio Projects SP-1, some others. I have some cheapo preamps, a Bellari stereo starved-plate tube pre; an ART Tube PAC; a Joe Meek VC3 -- but I decided I like the Mackie VLZ and the Levelar best. I've got a Lexicon Signature 284 low powered 'recording' guitar amp I use sometimes for certain guitar sounds. I also have an array of outboard digital boxes left over from my OTB (mix outside the box) days -- but I never use them. I also have an old Alesis DM5 that really does have some cool drum kit sounds on it -- not as nuanced as BFD, of course, but I keep threatening to pull it back out. Some of my favorite drum tracks were done with it.)

 

*-- I'm one of those against the grain types who really likes the Mackie VLZ pre's. If you remember they got really good reviews when they came out -- it's the GearSlutz types who continually run even classic Mackie stuff into the ground; that said, the company has had some real QC issues in the last few years, however much one likes the sound of certain pres or fondly remembers some of their classic, cheapo mixers.

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Ibanez Roadstar

Fender Strat w/Kahler whammy bar

Yamaha acoustic guitar

Squier Bullet bass (P-bass style)

Yamaha DG Stomp

Roland Digital Piano (76 keys, mostly in storage due to lack of space)

M-Audio Oxygen midi keyboard

Roland JV1010 synth module

Roland R-70 Drum Machine

Akai DPS16 Digital Recorder (mostly used as a mixer now)

Shure SM57 & SM58

CADM179

Studio Projects VTB1 mic preamp

Reaper

EZ Drummer

Audacity

Any freebee software (including plugins) I can get my hands on

Lots of miscellaneous crappy foot pedal type thingies

KRK RP5 monitors (my backup monitors are the stereo system - Rotel amp with B&W602 speakers)

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This is really great. Now I can listen to your music and wonder what instruments you use and get a little closer to your secrets....;o)

I have always been fascinated by other artists and how they write their songs. Knowing their favorit equipment gets you a little closer to that secret.

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Heh, I remember someone saying quite a long time ago that the most important thing when home recording is a quality microphone. It's interesting to see four of us with the same Rode, makes me glad I didn't go with the Behringer back when I got it ;)

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some folks say there are significant differences in the early run Aussie-made NT1's and the NT1A's.

 

 

I should have taken that into account given I have the NT1-A, but once again I don't know jack about mic's, I only started singing after my guitars were stolen...

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I should have taken that into account given I have the NT1-A, but once again I don't know jack about mic's, I only started singing after my guitars were stolen...

For every window broken in the middle of the night another door opens... or... something.

 

It was getting my Yamaki dreadnaught (now there's a forgotten nameplate) stolen that put me onto one of my favorite guitars (that I was just now playing), a Yamaha classical, a moderately priced guitar that was already banged up a little when I bought it in 1973. I didn't really want a nylon string guitar but it was one of the most important instrument purchases ever for me. I said, How much? and he said, 35 or 40 bucks, and I said, $37.50, and he said, Deal. (Mind you, that was about two weeks rent in the little house I had in back of a duplex, those were 1973 dollars.)

 

So, you know, I don't know if I was meant to have this guitar but I feel as though I was -- which is pretty much good enough for me. Hopefully singing will work out for you. ;)

 

 

With regard to the differing models, Who knows? You might like yours better than mine or there might be little discernible diff. (I think there is, to some degree, but I haven't ever played with an NT1A.) But just 'cause one reads something on an audio BB definitely does not make it true. I mean, sooner or later, you will read just about everything on an audio BB.

 

And, remember, the reviews in the bigger magazines tended to say relatively nice things about the more affordable later model. A drop in price doesn't always equate to a drop in quality. It's just that you can start dropping prices once you've paid off the R&D and startup costs. If I didn't have this mic, probably the first mic I'd look at would be the NT1A (or, if I had a few bucks extra, maybe an NT2-A or NTK.

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For every window broken in the middle of the night another door opens... or...
something.


It was getting my Yamaki dreadnaught (now
there's
a forgotten nameplate) stolen that put me onto one of my favorite guitars (that I was
just now
playing), a Yamaha classical, a moderately priced guitar that was already banged up a little when I bought it in 1973. I didn't really want a nylon string guitar but it was one of the most important instrument purchases ever for me. I said,
How much?
and he said,
35 or 40 bucks
, and I said,
$37.50
, and he said,
Deal
. (Mind you, that was about two weeks rent in the little house I had in back of a duplex, those were
1973
dollars.)


So, you know, I don't know if I was
meant
to have this guitar but I
feel
as though I was -- which is pretty much good enough for me. Hopefully singing will work out for you.
;)


With regard to the differing models,
Who knows?
You might like yours better than mine or there might be little discernible diff. (I think there
is
, to some degree, but I haven't ever played with an NT1A.) But just 'cause one reads something on an audio BB definitely does not make it true. I mean, sooner or later, you will read just about
everything
on an audio BB.


And, remember, the reviews in the bigger magazines tended to say relatively nice things about the more affordable later model. A drop in price doesn't always equate to a drop in quality. It's just that you can start dropping prices once you've paid off the R&D and startup costs. If I didn't have this mic, probably the first mic I'd look at would be the NT1A (or, if I had a few bucks extra, maybe an NT2-A or NTK.

 

 

Ha so true. Although I don't go in for the "meant to be/there is a plan" side of things... more the "meant to find the thief/there is a plan to break his legs in 20 different places" side of things.

It was good though, I had done a bit of singing before.. but it's what made me start multitracking vocals and start doing acapella stuff using vocals in the place of guitar... It's probably.... maybe... what made me start writing songs based on vocal melody rather than looking for good guitar riffs to try and sueeze vocals onto.

So it wasn't a totally bad thing. Except for the theft of the cello (and everything else in the house). I just haven't been able to justify buying another one yet, (at least not a nicer one like I had) and I was still only learning it.

 

And like you I came to love the cheapy guitar I bought to replace my two that were stolen (although mine was a lot cheaper relatively than yours)... It was supposed to just tide me over until I could afford something a lot nicer.. but it's still my only electric. I'm not that great a player anyway.. even after almost 15 years I'd make a $5000 guitar sound like a $500 one anyway. I'm just trying to focus on songs, there are several million better musicians than me, but i'm the only one that will ever write my songs. And if it sounds good sung on a $50 acoustic it's a keeper.

 

Regarding the mic, I don't really mind either way - It was still a big purchase for me in instrument terms given it's not in an area of any kind of expertise. It was almost like going out and buying a $400 viola. The NTA isn't a cheapy POS and it'll do me fine, it's not as if I need a $10,000 mic to pick up the subtleties in my nuanced operatic performances :)

I was just heartened that my purchase was confirmed by others here going the same route.

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I hear ya on the find the guy thing... I did find the guitar but, well, it wasn't meant to be. (heh) And, I gotta tell you, the Yamaki had problems that the Yamaha classical never did. So, in the long run I was better off having the Yamaha, I think. It shaped my playing in important ways. Now if I could get back the 300 or so LPs that were stolen... but then my storage problems would just expand, I guess. Well, spilled milk, eh?

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