I took it on the suggestion of fine folks at the Syntax podcast to create a page that lists out the things I use on a regular basis. These things will change over time but this is a fairly complete list of the things I use for work and fun.

Music & Recording

Guitars & Keyboards

  • Martin D-16RGT Dreadnought Acoustic has been part of the family for about 10 years.
  • PRS SE Custom 24 6-string electric. The photo in the link has the right specs, but mine is quilted maple top over a mahogany body with a purple finish.
  • PRS SE Custom 7 string electric. Again, this link shows specs that are close to what I have. Mine is solid blue mahogany body with a fast neck. This guitar is light! Compared to the 6-string above, this guitar comes in a little lighter and feels so well-balanced. It’s a joy to play.
  • Fender Stratocaster. The link is to a guitar that looks much like mine, but there’s no page that exists for my ancient relic. it’s 20+ years old. It feels great, plays like a slinky, and sounds like a strat. It doesn’t get played as much anymore but every time I pick it up it feels like home.
  • Ibanez MiKro short-scale bass. I’m not a bass player so I’m sure I’m missing out on a lot of what a much better bass can deliver. But I really dig its sound, the playability, and punchiness from the shorter strings. The link is to Sweetwater Sound’s page for this guitar (and any musical instrument) and I highly recommend buying from them if you’re interested in it.
  • M-Audio Oxygen-49. Great little controller! Pads, buttons, and sliders make it so much fun to control and create with.
  • M-Audio Keystation 88. I have an older version of what’s listed in that link. Not much has changed with it over the years. I’m a little too heavy-handed with it – it’s so lightweight. But 88 keys wins when it comes to piano composition.

Recording Equipment

  • Logic Pro-X. For my way of doing things, I have yet to find a DAW that is more conducive than this. In recent versions so much has been added to make music production so enjoyable.
  • Propellerhead’s Reason. Not my “go-to” music production software. I hesitate to call it a DAW because I was using this software when it was just virtual instruments and no ability to accept and record audio. They’ve come a long way and have advanced functionality that now allows for multi-track recording and more advacnced workstations features.
  • Propellerhead’s Balance Audio Interface. Propellerhead used to make an audio interface! It tied in nicely to their music production software, Reason. At the time, Reason was a big part of making music for me. This interface become a bit of a weak link in my signal flow and will likely be the next big thing on my list to replace. My favorite features are the big knobs for volume control (Main & Headphones) and the individual switches for instrument types.
  • Yamaha HS-5 Powered Monitors. Having come from a professional recording background, I always loved Yamaha’s NS-10 near-field monitors. If you make your mix sound good on them, you were pretty much guaranteed it was going to sound pretty good outside of the studio. I’ve only got a few dozen hours of listening time on these monitors but I’m really happy with how close the NS-10’s they feel. My only gripe is that you need to buy individual monitors – you don’t know if you’re getting a matched pair.
  • Sony MDR-7506. Have always been my favorite studio headphones.
  • I have a few MXL Microphones. For the dollar, these mics are a great value. There are other brands and mics that sound better, but I just can’t justify the cost for home recording.
    • MXL 604. This link is to a newer version (the 606). A “cigar” condenser mic with a small diaphragm. I love using this on acoustic guitar right on top of the fretboard around the 12th fret.
    • MXL 2006. Large diaphragm condenser mic. Lots of body and warmth.
    • MXL V67G. Much like the 2006 above with more clarity and transient response.
  • Shure SM-57. I have to list this even though I can’t find it any longer. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve used this as a hammer and has still worked as it was originally intended – a mic.

Design Applications

  • I predominantly design in Photoshop and Illustrator with a Wacom Intuos Pro L tablet. I try to keep connected with Sketch and Figma. I might be just a little too old school to leave the tools of Photoshop behind.
  • ImageOptim is still one of my favorite utility apps of all time. It’s an image compression utility that just works!

Text Editor

  • Simple… VS Code. Just love this editor! Aside from being a great app, it also has a great vibe. Regular updates. Great marketplace. Integrated terminal (I don’t even use another terminal when programming). I’ve used ATOM in the past and that was great. Going back even further, Sublime.