It all started in 2010 with a Yamaha PSR S-710 keyboard, a simple MIDI interface and a windows laptop. I started with the entry level version of Cakewalk’s SONAR. Soon I was expanding that software package to SONAR X3 Producer. The collection of hardware grew steadily. First a BEHRINGER Xenyx X1204 USB mixer, then a set of Kurzweil monitor speakers. To take with me on holidays I bought a Behringer UMA-25S keyboard. I used a simple pair of SONY headphones.
Because I was not quite happy with the handling of rhythm patterns and samples in SONAR I started looking for something else. In 2013 I got myself Native Instruments MASCHINE with the MK2 controller. I hardly touched SONAR anymore. I really like MASCHINE. In all those Youtube tutorials I watched you never saw anyone using SONAR, at least for the type of music I was making.
Ironically I saw an interview with Ilan Bluestone who stated that he use SONAR, two weeks before my ‘brand new’ HP laptop died. I decided to finally make the switch and got myself an Apple Macbook Pro 13″. A true relief in many ways. It is so light, starts up so quick, the screen is so sharp, it is more stable. And of course, who uses Apple uses Logic. History repeated itself and for a while I only used Logic Pro X.
Last year I got interested in how DJ’s actually work and out of curiosity I bought NI’s TRAKTOR with the X1 and Z1 kontroller. Not because I want to be a DJ’s but because I wanted to get some appreciationg for the art of DJing. (By this time the doctor has diagnosed my for a slight case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome). End of last year I had grown out of my first set of monitor speakers so I also got myself new ones: the KRK Rokit 6 G3. Finally some bass!
And this years acquisition: the Native Instruments S49 Komplete Kontrole keyboard together with the COMPLETE 10 ULTIMATE software package with over 440 GB of sounds, synths effects, and presets. The keyboard is a lot more solid than the Behringer and makes it easier to test sounds quickly at low and high octaves. I use the Chord and Arpeggio functions a lot.
As mentioned I use Logic Pro X and MASCHINE 2.4 as DAW. Sometimes I use MASCHINE as a plugin in Logic as the drum sampler, rather than Ultrabeat. With MASCHINE it is so much easier to load and audition drum samples because of the browser and the huge library.
I have a number of MASCHINE expansions packs. Especially Lucid Mission is very good for electronic dance music. I have used many kick drums from it. The most used synth no doubt is NI’s MASSIVE. For MASSIVE I bought a number of good preset packs on ADSRSounds.
They other great synth is Sonic Academy’s ANA. I have all their preset packs. I think ANA is still my best source for plucks sounds. From Sonic Academy I also bought the Ultimate Drums 2 samples packs. From time to time I use KICK, their Kick drum synthesizer made with Nickey Romero. I have used Kickstart a number of times to achieve the pumping effect but nowadays it is mostly the compressors of Logic.
Sometimes I also use Cakewalk’s Z3TA+2. They say deadmau5 used the Chords for Life pluck sound from Z3TA+2 in The Veldt.
Last year I finally got myself Sylenth1. In Progressive House you can’t live without it. When Stems came out I got myself a TRAKTOR D2 at the discount price.
Early this year I got myself the Pioneer XDJ-RX to learn DJing at Pioneer equipment. This CDJ’s are the industry standard but they are so bloody expensive.