Desert Island Studio

We often end up in some pretty nerdy debates here within the Pro Audio team at Scan.

Last week during a conversation about social media, somebody ask the question what five pieces of gear that are in your studio right now, would you have to take with you to the well-known “Desert Island studio” i.e. which five pieces of kit could you not do without.

Remember this isn't aspirational. If you don't own a Neumann U67 or a top of the range DPA mic, you can't take it with you!

It has to be something currently residing in your studio.

So, being a game sort of chap, I figured I'd go first, and sitting here in my studio the very first items are a ‘no brainer’.

I've had my Mackie HR824 monitors since 2001. Throughout my career I've been fortunate enough to hear my music played often on television, radios and in cinemas. I've heard my mixes on everything from car stereos through to the Big room at Real World studios, and everything I've done in the last 20 years was mixed on those trusty 824’s.

Looking around the room my newest acquisition is a UA Apollo X4 interface, and in the short time that I've had it, its ease of use and transparency, plus the selection of UA plugins that accompany it mean that it will definitely accompany me to that desert island. The whole UA deal is so well thought through and sounds so good, I'd be lost without it.

As I said above, I wish I could tell you the my studio is stacked with Neumann U67’s and U87’s, or a whole bunch of Telefunkens and Sony C-800’s, but the truth is for years now I've had a wonderful working relationship with a microphone that cost under £400. My Rode NT 2000 is still the Mic I reach for first. I've recorded everything with it, from rock vocalist’s to female backing singers, through to Portuguese Vihuela’s and I've never had a reason to complain. The variable polar pattern selection, the filter and pad are all located on the front of the microphone body, and combined with a very low noise floor and and SPL of up to 157 DB with the pad fully engaged, it suits me very well.

Although the next piece of kit is technically an instrument and therefore some might argue that it shouldn't be included in a studio kit list, my Korg Kronos sits at the heart of my studio, not only as a wonderful MIDI controller, but as a genuine workhorse at the heart of my workflow. It speaks effortlessly to my DAW and between the two of them, the ability to save programme settings and even swapping data between the Kronos’ open sampling system, makes my life a lot easier.

Finally, none of this would matter without my trusted 3XS Audio PC.

At the heart of my Studio is one of the most powerful machines I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning, and it I have to confess to the slightest of giggles still, when I see the speed it loads Kontakt libraries off the SSD.