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🎵 Music-related gear
My main digital audio workstation will probably always be Steinberg Cubase. I love how it handles huge templates and orchestral instruments.
However, I also love the intuitive workflow of Presonus Studio One and I would always prefer this for everything non-orchestral or sound design.
Speakers & Headphones
I honestly have to say that I don't work that much with monitors. I own a pair of Adam A5 in combination with the Sub7.
However, there are several reasons why I would always prefer to work and produce with headphones. All I can say is that I love my pair of Slate VSX headphones! I am aware that there have been a few faulty devices around but Slate solved it in the best way possible, ... and I couldn't be happier with my pair!
I always feel speakers are a bit too far away from the source. It is probably just the reason that I am more used to it due to an extreme hearing loss that happened when I was three years old.
My YouTube channel is the best way to check out the sample libs I work with. Why don't you drop by and say hi? 🙌
To mention a few brands that I really love:
Heavyocity, Audio Imperia, ProjectSAM, Performance Samples, Orchestral Tools, Strezov Samples, Eduardo Tarilonte, Fracture Sounds, Sonuscore, ... and probably someone I forgot to mention!
I am a sucker for cool processing plugins, but there are just a few that I regularly work with. I have a Slate Digital and PlugIn Alliance membership, which is most of the stuff I use. Regarding reverb, I love Samplicity Berlin Studio, Seventh Heaven, and Valhalla Shimmer.
There are also a bunch of processing plugins, such as the Soundtoys Suite.
If I would have any advice when it comes to plugins, it would be this one. Especially when it comes to compressors, EQs, and limiters, they more or less do the same thing. Yes, some sound different, and some work better than others, but in the end it comes down to you knowing what these things are capable of.
Not sure how many years I got my RME Fireface UC now, but it is rock solid, never disappoints, and has run stable since the beginning.
My favorite MIDI controller is FVDE by Audio Imperia. It is very solid, very simple, and gets the job done it was designed for - controlling MIDI CC data. During the years, I owned many MIDI devices, and 99% of them were always overloaded with features and stuff that I lost the joy of using.
I am not the biggest synth freak. I mean, I am, but not the person hoarding 30 synths in my studio that only eat dust for around 75% of the year.
Where do I start? Let me put it like this. I own quite a few guitars. I constantly sell them and get new ones. Chances are there that the list you would see here is not actual anymore :)
It's mostly a variety of Strandberg, Ibanez, and Schecter 6, 7, and 8 String guitars.
Just to name a few. Strymon BigSky, Meris Polymoon and Ottobit, Electro-Harmonix Freeze, and ZVEX Fuzz Factory.
🖨️ Non-music gear
Yep, I know, the music stuff seems to be always the most interesting. It may be just me, but I am always more interested in what people use to manage and organize their work life. So, here is my list.
The first thing I would have to mention is my StreamDeck. I honestly couldn't live without it. There is also my Hannspree Touchscreen Monitor HT225. I use it to run a custom app called ReKey, which manages keyboard shortcuts. It makes my working life more manageable, and no matter which software I use, it constantly switches to what is in front.
For everything voice-over, I am happy to own a Rodecaster Pro. It eliminates the circumstantial way of routing my voice through the DAW or, even worse, using virtual audio cables.
As for the camera, I am using a Sony Alpha 6400 with a Sigma Lens 16mm, 1,4 connected via CamLink to OBS.
With this constellation, I can record myself, my screen, or any combination of it in 16:9 but also 9:16. Meaning TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube Shorts on the fly!
My video editing software is DaVinci Resolve. It is incredible and offers a lot of bang for the buck, even in the free version!
I use Google for almost everything. Every email since 2003 is archived, and if there is something that I need to check, I have no problem finding it. However, I always had a problem using the browser for email. My quest for the perfect desktop email app started probably a few hundred years ago 😂
Now, I can say that I found TEH mail app that I started to love using after a few minutes - Spark.
All I can say is that the smart inbox is genuinely impressive. It filters out newsletters and social profile notifications without cluttering your inbox into several tabs. It feels great, and even after getting used to the simple shortcuts, your inbox is empty after just a few minutes.
I am a big fan of FreshBooks for writing and sending out invoices. Set up your clients, then create invoices and send them almost instantly.
I let this one slip too long, and now I enjoy this app even more than ever - Project Management in Notion!
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your very own custom-made Project Management interface and database in use ... and whenever you feel like optimizing it, you do it and be even more satisfied! 😎
I am an Android user, and my current phone is a Samsung S23 Ultra. It is still pretty new, but I can already say that I love the camera!
🚀 Business apps
Now that we have covered the music and non-music stuff, I wanted to get a little bit into the apps and services that make my business life so much easier.
In case you are interested in a few add-ons that I am using for my store. Here they are:
- Report Pundit for detailed sales and tax reports
- Filemonk for hosting my digital downloads
- Rebolt Bundle for bundling products (ROI 5553%)
I tried a lot. Seriously! Probably too many! Kartra, Kajabi, Teachable, Skillshare, Thinkific!
Then I found XPeriencify, and I find it fascinating. It isn't perfect, but it continuously improves every day. The support team is also the best that I have experienced so far.
What is so cool about XPeriencify? It is a gamified course platform that keeps students engaged. Yes, I know, "as long as they pay, who cares?"
I want to give my over 1400 students a better experience than just a bunch of video lectures they can click through.
When it comes to all the financial stuff for courses and landing page sales that are not related to the story, nothing beats Thrivecart. I can connect it to anything that has a landing page and it handles sales like a breeze. Another thing that is worth mentioning is the way it handles taxes and the affiliate network.
In my opinion, everyone should build a newsletter. Most artists, sadly, care too much about their followers count on Facebook. This doesn't do anything as you still have to pay to reach them all. Yes, even your very own followers.
Once you build your mailing list and send out your first offer to your first 1000 subscribers, ... you will understand.
If handled well, it can quickly bring you to the point of building a business, making you almost entirely independent of anyone.
Yes, there is always something your life depends on, for example, oxygen ... but joking aside. You know what I mean.
It can be very calming and relaxing when you wake up and make that much money overnight that you can consider putting your feet on the table and taking a day off to relax!
To make it short, I use ConvertKit for everything newsletter I do ... and I also can say that I have used and tried a lot. As an artist, YouTuber, and blogger, ConvertKit beats them all. Primarily because of its easy-to-handle forms, sequences, and automation!
... to be continued!