All the gear, no idea

How ace is musical equipment! I’ve spent a small fortune (gulp) over the years, buying, upgrading, trading, swapping, selling.  The constant quest to get a really simple set-up that can do everything I want has meant i’ve ended up buying and selling quite a bit of gear.  Here’s what i’ve been using for the recordings on this blog.

Yamaha P95b stage piano.

Funded by my acoustic drum kit sale, I had absolutely no intention of getting it until I started having piano lessons.  I just needed that realistic piano feel/sound to make better use of piano lessons.  Now I can play those monstrously low notes at the bottom now.  I don’t bother with those little ones at the top though…..

Korg Kross.

The Korg Kross is exactly what I wanted, access to a huge variety of sounds, both “electronic” and “real” instruments, which sound great.  It’s  the complete package and will cover everything I’ll ever want to do.



My percussion items, 2 cajons (the one on the right home-made), the Schlaagwerk floor percussion set (now sold) and a few random shakers/tambourines.

Thats the instruments done, so now we’re onto the real exciting stuff!

Studio Stuff


Cubase Elements 8.0 – It may be the basic version, but it does more than enough for me.

EZdrummer2 – Virtual drumming software.  I use this for the samples to get a great drum sound but try to program all drums myself.  I have the Drumkit from Hell and Electronic expansions.


M-Audio Bx5 Monitors – Purchased Nov 13 – finally a proper pair of monitors.  Means I need to re-mix everything now.

Zoom R16 – Audio Interface/ Recorder.  One of my favourite items – easy / quick recording on multiple channels away from the computer and then drag it all into my software for the final editing.

Tascam US-366 – Just a straightforward soundcard for straight up stereo recording.

Art Tube MP Studio V3 – Valve Mic pre amp

So thats what i’m using to play practice and record.


A few random studio pics taken during some of the recording sessions for the pieces uploaded to this blog: –


P1040123 (Medium)


Studio setup1 (Medium)



For completeness, gear that i’ve used for the pieces on this blog but have since sold is listed below: –


SOLD – Yamaha PRS-E333.  Great beginner keyboard, but it was taking up too much room so was replaced with the Korg Microstation …..

BOUGHT, SOLD 3 HOURS LATER – Behringer MIC 200 Preamp.  I bought this to hopefully improve the sound of my home recordings. Even though the Zoom R16 already has its own preamps, I was sucked in by the potential “warmth” of tubes and additional modelling settings. After a good test session i realised this added nothing at all to the recorded sound – in fact it made it sound worse.  Even being cheap doesn’t justify that.  To let others know my experience I put a review on Amazon HERE

SOLD – Roland V-drums.  Owned for many years and upgraded all over the place.  It was a TD-8 Module, with Hart Hi-Hats, extra Roland cymbals, PD-120 snare.  Had to be sold due to moving to a flat and space issues, but I’ve really been concentrating on playing piano so it just wasn’t getting the use it deserved.

SOLD – Korg Microstation.  Now discontinued so quite difficult to track down.  Its a good piece of gear and i really like the sounds on it – what made me sell really is “the microkeys”, i just didn’t enjoy playing them so ended up plugging into my stage piano.   Also i found the whole menu operation a bit cumbersome – i.e. when trying to record things on a workstation, but you only have three lines of text to work with.  All that said, i still may regret selling it, because it sounds excellent and features in a lot of pieces here!  Since replaced with a Korg Kross.

SOLD – Korg Kaossilator 2 –  It may look like a scubadiver’s phone but it’s actually a handheld music creation tool that records 8 bar loops.  Very much geared towards dance music.  I enjoyed owning this, but ultimately the lack of being able to play a specific run of notes accurately made it only useful to mess around with on its own – I really wanted to integrate it with my other stuff, so it had to go! I almost kept it purely for the drum loops though….. I did a review when i bought it on Amazon – HERE

SOLD – Korg Volca Beats – Great analogue drum machine, I didn’t really want to sell, but I splashed out on a Roland TR-8, so had to sell to part fund.  See my Volca review on Amazon HERE

Volca Beats (Medium)

SOLD – Korg Volca Keys – Great analogue synth.  I thought I’d keep this for years, but again had to sell to part-fund the Arturia Microbrute.


SOLD – Casiotone 405.  Considering this was over 30 years old it was actually in very good condition! It was taking up a bit of space so had to go.  Good to own and mess around with for a few months though!


SOLD – Novation Mininova.  Only sold this as I wanted to get a different synth.  Its been very good, fun to play and features in loads of the BoT track.  I probably never truly got into the deep menus for sound design, it was all about the big knobs and switches on the front for me!


SOLD – Roland JD-Xi and Roland TR-8 – Fantastic synth and fantastic drum machine!  Sold generally due to a lack of use since becoming heavily involved in running!


P1040118 (Medium)

SOLD – Arturia Microbrute – another fabulous synth but being under utilised, so unfortunately sold!



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