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.
- 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.
- 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!