After spending so much of the last 15 months at home working on and releasing new music, we thought it would be cool to highlight some gear that the Bandzoogle support team has been digging as of late.
Personally, I’ve been moving away from using midi as much as I can, and have been tracking everything I can live. I have found that it’s been adding more character and originality to my recordings and has also helped stimulate that creative flow state.
I recently got my hands on Rickenbacker 4003 and it has completely rewired the way I play and approach the bass. The lacquered rosewood neck packs a combination of punch and clarity, and ease of playing that I’ve never personally found with my Fender Precision or Jazz basses. Also, the accessibility to the high frets has got me writing lines unlike anything I’ve done to date. Also - it’s an added bonus that it also looks cool as heck.
Strymon El Capistan
Luis, an incredible drummer and accomplished musician, has recently added the Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo to his studio. For those of you who know this pedal, you know that Strymon has been practically reinventing the pedal game and this delay sounds great on just about everything.
You can get some awesome sounds when combining it with the Korg Minilogue (a favourite around the ‘office’), and it can bring that classy-vintage vibe to your guitar tone, and even your drum samples.
Focusrite 2i2 & DanElectro Cash Cow Overdrive
Loading up on the essentials - Hailey has recently got her home studio setup to continue work on her Doom Metal album. The Focusrite is a workhorse of a sound card that is affordable, works with almost any DAW, and sounds great.
With 2 inputs, you have the option to track 2 versions of the same take. You can use one input to get the DI signal of your guitar to have more flexibility in your DAW, and you can totally just soak the other signal in overdrive to give you more options to find that perfect tone in your sessions.
Adam Audio T5V 5 inch monitors
A true connoisseur of synths and audio both on the stage and in studio, Adam recently added the Adam Audio 5” speakers to his remote studio oasis. These speakers sound great and have a sleek look that adds some class to any studio setup.
If you’re looking to get a bit more bass out of your speakers, you may need to venture towards the 7” model or, and I know Adam has done, connect your speakers with a subwoofer to feel that bass in your chest.
Native Instruments Raum
I figured that it would be important to maybe touch on a few plugins that have found their way onto almost every session I’ve worked on for the last year and a half. The first being the Raum reverb plugin by Native Instruments. I don’t know what it is exactly with this reverb, but I’m in love with the way it sounds and the simplicity of the design.
On a side note, I actually got this plugin for free from Native Instruments as they always seem to give away a free plugin or two around Black Friday and Christmas - so keep an eye out!
RC-20 by XLN Audio
The other plug-in that I’ve used on everything from guitar to vocals to drums - and even crowd noise - is the RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio. I first fell in love with this plugin after watching a YouTube tutorial given by Golden Vessel for one of his tracks. This plug in is probably just the coolest plugin I’ve ever had the pleasure of messing with.
When I’m lacking a little creativity, I’ll just plug my strat directly into my soundcard, load the RC-20 and just noodle. Because of the unique sounds (the wobble effect being my favourite) I almost always stumble across something that sparks an idea and gets those creative juices flowing.
As the world starts to open up slowly and musicians start making their way back up on stage, we’re all looking forward to bringing these new sounds, instruments, and songs to a live setting. While it’s always great to hone in on your chops, discover new sounds, and reinvent yourself musically - doing it at home does not quite compare to living it out on stage.
Collin Steinz, along with Sam Martel, form the combined creative output of Montreal based Pop/R&B duo Flara K. Their sophomore EP titled Anxious, Irrational, Fashionable is available on their Bandzoogle website at flarak.com. The cruiser conversations from their recent cross-Canada tour are available on IGTV at @flara_k and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/flarak.
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