A Few of my Favorite Things
I'm often asked by folks what products I use, ranging from cooking gadgets to studio equipment. I've recently compiled a list of my favorite items and want to share them with you. Some have been purchased by me, and some have been given to me as gifts. I've spent a good bit of time using each of these, so I know they're great quality and will last for a long time. I almost always go with Amazon. I highly recommend getting Amazon Prime ($100/year). Andrea and I do the majority of our shopping, especially for Christmas, through Amazon. In my experience, they have the best prices 90% of the time. Free two-day shipping and free returns is hard to beat! Just click on the pic of the product and it will direct you right where you need to be. I'll be sure to update this list as things come to mind.
1. Vocal Reflection Shield: If you have a home/portable studio like me, sound-treating an entire room is not always ideal. My studio is in the same room as Andrea's craft room, so I don't want to cover the entire space with acoustic foam. This reflection shield is like a portable sound booth. It's light, portable, and does an amazing job of absorbing and blocking unwanted sound, giving your vocal the most neutral, clean sound. Your mic sits in the middle and is surrounded not just on the sides (like most other reflection shields), but also on the top and bottom. I returned a previously purchased shield because I couldn't notice any significant difference when recording with and without it. Not so with this Aston reflection shield...it does a superb job and is well worth the price. Thanks, Marshall Hall for telling me about this one!
2. Studio Microphone: I researched a LOT when trying to decide on a mic for my home studio. My buddy, Marsh Hall, told me about a new studio mic released this year from a company called Slate Digital. It's called the Slate Virtual Mic System (VMS). Without going into much detail (you can go to www.slatedigital.com for more in-depth info), this is a neutral-sounding mic and preamp that allows you to emulate the sounds of various world class studio microphones and preamps at a fraction of the cost. I can honestly say that this thing is incredible! I will be recording vocals for my next two albums on this. What's really cool is that you can change the sound of the mic and preamp POST recording! Don't like the way a Neumann U67 sounds on your vocal on a particular song? No problem...with just one click, you can change the mic to a Sony C-800G, a Telefunken 251, AKG C12, or several other mics. It's awesome and is worth the investment.
3. Audio Interface: An audio interface basically converts your microphone's/instrument's analog signal into a digital signal that the computer can process. Once again, I have Marsh to thank for turning me onto the Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo. He's used one for quite a while and has very high praises for this particular unit. I love mine so far!
4. Studio Headphones: The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a great quality set of headphones that won't break the bank. I've seen and used headphones way more expensive than these, but I think these have some of the best accurate sound I've ever heard. Right now, you can get an Amazon $15 gift card along with the headphones if you click on the pic below.