Here’s a list of gear and stuff I use to create my music. A lot of the instruments performers used back in the eighties and nineties are now available on E-bay.
Occasionally I buy broken synths and repair them, when I like them I keep them, and otherwise I sell them again. So I have a few interesting instruments on my list which I’ve probably repaired or traded for another instrument. That way I am able to try out some synths and buy stuff I otherwise could never afford.
In the last few months I rebuild my entire studio. I bought a Soundcraft Series Two mixing desk because I wanted to go back to analog mixing. My entire studio is build around this desk. I will give you some updates soon!
- Behringer TD-3
- Boss DS-330
- Casio CZ-101
- Ensoniq ESQ-1
- Korg M1R
- Korg Poly 800
- Korg Polysix
- Korg Wavestation SR
- Roland D-550
- Roland Juno 106
- Roland JP-8000
- Roland JV-880 + SR JV80-04
- Roland MKS-70
- Roland PG-800 Programmer
- Yamaha AN1x
- Yamaha FB-01
- Yamaha TX81Z
- Multiple Softsynths
Vocoders are often used in Spacesynth music. I used to have a Korg R3 but I sold it. I have been using it on quite a few of my tracks, but I also own a Korg DVP-1, the same vocoder that was used by Laserdance and Rygar in the ninetees. The sound of this vocoder is very recognizable, you can hear it on my new album, and I have also produced some vocoders for Cyberspace, Oblivion, SynthOne and Areo51. Sometimes I also use additional effects in Logic like formant filters.
- Korg DVP-1
- Roland Aria TR-8
- Linndrum samples (Logic ESX24)
- Simons drums and other samples
Why would someone still use a sampler in modern times? Because they all have a specific character and sound, and they are fun to work with. I owned a Roland W30 in the nineties and made my first house tracks with it.
Recently I bought an (assumed to be broken) E-mu Emax II sampler and repaired it. E-mu has a very big and diverse sample library, so there’s a whole new world of sounds to explore for me now. It contains some well known Spacesynth sounds like “Liquid stack” and “Horny Hits”.
Also I bought an Ensoniq EPS 16+ sampler, although it doesn’t have an extensive library like the E-mu it is a very nice sampler with great filters and sound.
The latest addition is an Akai CD3000XL sampler, and talking about libraries… it is so big and versatile that I am still downloading and testing CD ISO images up on today.
And of course I use the ESX24 software sampler in Logic all the time. It’s a very good software sampler and easy to work with.
- E-Mu Emax II
- Ensoniq EPS 16+
- Akai CD3000XL
- ESX24 sampler (Native Logic)
Two years ago I decided that I wanted to mix everything “in the box” because of an easier workflow. But I missed the ‘hands on’ experience of a real mixing desk and external effects.
I want to be able to control every connected instrument (there are quite a few) separately from the mixing desk without having to change connections every time, so I bought a BIG analog Soundcraft Series Two mixing desk, and a Behringer U-Phoria audiointerface to route everything in-and-out of Logic on my iMac. This results in an analog/digital hybrid setup, where all signal paths can be mixed analog and digitally recorded from separate busses.
I hope this new approach gives me the sound that I need.
- Soundcraft Series Two 32 channels
- Behringer Eurorack Pro
- Behring U-Phoria UMC1820
Effects & Processing
Obviously, in my new hybrid setup, I use more external effects then I did before, and some of them are just used to create a more analog sounding mix. There are a few external effects I occasionally use for delay and chorus, and an external compressor for drums.
- ART TPS II Valve Preamplifier
- DBX 166 Blackface Compressor
- Behringer Dualfex Pro EX2200
- Alesis MicroVerb 4
- Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
- Alesis 3630 Compressor
Of course I use additional FX and plugins in Logic all the time like stereo delay, reverb, compressors and exciters.
I don’t sing a lot, and often my voice gets distorted by the vocoders… so I don’t need a very good microphone for that. For me the cheaper ones are just fine.
- AKG D44 S
- Rode NT1-A
I use an Apple iMac which has a great stable platform for music writing software. I also use an iMac for creating videos that I post on Youtube. I use the Windows 10 laptop mainly for windows stuff that doesn’t run on the iMac, and the Windows XP desktop for old editing software that is not supported by Windows 10 anymore.
- Apple iMac i5
- Apple iMac i7
- Windows 10 laptop
- Windows XP desktop
I use an Icon Cube-Mi5 MIDI-interface to send all signals from my computer to the synthesizers and other gear. It is small and looks nice 😉 As a MIDI controlling keyboard I use a very simple ESI Keycontrol 25 XT, I bought this one because it is white and aluminum and looks nice on my desktop… no other reason then that.
- Icon Cube Mi5 (interface)
- ESI Keycontrol 25 XT
Software & Plugins
I use Logic Pro X on the Apple iMac as DAW. Logic is packed with great sounds and effects, and has some very good native Logic soft-synths and plug-ins. Besides Logic I use some third party plug-ins like Waves Aphex Exciter and the J37 ‘Abbey Road’ Tape saturation emulator.
On the PC I use sound-editors for some synths, and the usual sample editors and audio programs. The conversion of old sample formats, to something that can actually be used on a Gotek USB floppy emulator, can be a real pain sometimes. So I use some software tools that make my live easier.
- Logic Pro X
- Adobe Audition
- Virtual CZ
- Yamaha AN1x editor
- Daemon Tools
Although I made a decision to keep my setup tidy and functional, I am always browsing auction-sites to find some nice gems. I mostly like old 80’s and 90’s synthesizers, and there are a few in particular that I would like to buy when I have the chance to get it for a decent price. My studio room is very small, so that’s why I prefer to buy the rack-versions of synths. But at this moment I decided not to buy anything that doesn’t add anything substantial to my setup.
I wouldn’t mind to own the more iconic devices like a Jupiter 8, a Linndrum or a real TR-909, but these are financially out of my reach.Last updated: October 25, 2021 at 9:10 am