Description: In one form or another the studio has been running for more than 10 years in various locations around the globe. The studio is a manifestation of a passion to create music and a lack of money and studio space. Which inadvertently led to an important realisation: less is more. Rather than spending time worrying about expensive studio equipment, VSTs, plugins and sample packs, spend time making music. A truly innovative and productive studio comes from within, you just need a few simple tools to help you realise your potential.
+ Laptop (Very well used 2009 Macbook)
note: the lower the processing speed, the better, as this will limit you to using less tracks, forcing you to make each track 100% integral to the production.
+ Ableton Live/ Soundbooth
note: it doesn’t really matter which DAW you use, but Ableton allows you to work quickly, which is important as bass lines, rhythms and melodies may come into your head and only stay for a short time!
+ M-Audio Midi Keyboard
note: get one with as many keys as you can afford.
+ M-Audio UC33e Midi Controller (Mixer)
note: for midi mixing, this unit is almost perfect, although if I had more money I’d probably try one of these: http://lividinstruments.com/hardware_elements.php
+ Wharfedale Diamond Studio 8.2 ProActive Monitors
note: monitors are important, but remember to test your productions wherever you can, the ultimate test (besides the soundsystem test) is the ‘good in the car’ test, if your production sounds good in the car, you’ve nailed it.
+ Miditech Audiolink Pro Midi Soundcard
note: this soundcard is pretty cheap but it does the job, if you can afford a better one, get a better one.
+ ADK A51 Solid State Condensor Microphone.
note: very nice.
note: works well as a mic stand.
+ Thin sock or tights
note: I don’t wear tights so instead I use a thin sock as a pop shield.
+ Roland SH-101 Bass Synth
note: these things have played a huge part in the evolution of bass music, but as I said before, try not to get too distracted by lovely machines like this. You can probably make a bassline as good as the SH-101 by annoying a duck and recoding the sound it makes, a simple 8 band EQ can change any sound into whatever you want.
+ Dub Siren
note: some people like them, some people don’t like them, I love them. I use a 1992 Red Eye siren and have recently welcomed Rig Smith’s NJD siren with built in echo to the family. I also use a small theremin as a siren. Mostly used for playing out live but can also be nice in productions too.
+ Boss Digital Delay
note: I borrowed this off of a friend and it sounds great. However, Ableton’s built in delays are more than capable, as long as you use them well. I also recommend King Dubby’s Delay, one of the only VSTs I use and it’s free!
note: small, cheap and versatile.
note: surround yourself with as many instruments as possible and make sure to use them. Or if you travel a lot, don’t have much space and don’t have much money, make friends with people who own instruments. Alternatively, make use of your surroundings: radiators, microwaves, toasters and seagulls can help your productions to no end!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
“Manifest plainness, Embrace simplicity, Reduce selfishness, Have few desires.” Lao Tzu
“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” Leo Tolstoy
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius
“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy” Isaac Newton
“Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” Bruce Lee
Studio homepage: http://www.steppas.com
Location: Anywhere (Currently London, UK/ Dartmoor, UK)