Gear I'm Currently Using

Featuring Loops In Worship Posted on May 22, 2011

I get asked a lot about what gear I suggest, and what gear I currently use. Here’s the gear I’m currently using. If you have any questions about gear that would best suit you drop me an email and let’s chat!

Ableton Live Suite 8 - I mentioned the other day that I’ve simplified my setup to using Ableton Live as my sole DAW. It’s working great. The instruments and sounds that come with Ableton Live Suite 8 are incredible. I use Operator for all my pads, and use the uniques features of Instrument Racks to create custom patches, that are really fun to play. Sampler is great when I’m re-sampiling material to use again, and I can convert it into a simpler patch so I can share with friends that don’t have Suite 8.

TouchOSC for iPhone-I’ve recently decided to check out TouchOSC (iphone/iPad) again, now that they support Core MIDI. Before I was using Automap by Novation when I would Remote Control Ableton using my iPhone. I was some what pleased with the results, but my patience has been tested recently. It seemed to disconnect frequently, and wasn’t working as smoothly as it once was. I’ve been using TouchOSC recenly and I’m really liking it. I love that I can use the Editor software to create a custom patch that suits my needs. The connect seems to be really stable, and I don’t seem to be having any issues. I’m very seriously even considering just using TouchOSC as my main controller instead of the APC 40, because of the visual real-time feedback. More on that later!

Macbook Pro 13″- Just a generic Macbook Pro 13″. I thought going from a 15-13 I’d be disapointed but the smaller size is easier to carry, and the speed is great. I just got my RAM upgrade in the mail so I’ll be going from 4-8 GB’s of RAM this week.

KMI Softstep- I bought this controller to upgrade from my Behringer FCB-1010. So far I’m very happy with the results. It’s incredible what a controller that is bus-powered and fits in my backpack can do. It’s incredibly lightweight and durable. I can use the editing software to customize each pad and send exactly the data I want to send to Ableton Live. And each Pad can send multiple commands. A multi-touch controller for my feet! Pretty cool. Again.. more on this later!

Akai APC 40- This thing is way more then just a DJ Controller. If you use Ableton Live frequently I’d suggest checking this guy out. Every command you use frequently, to record or playback your audio/MIDI is really easily accessed here. It’s great for Mixing audio, for controlling clips, and oh yeah.. it’s not too shabby for performing either! Like I mentioned above the main thing I’m missing from it is visual/real-time feedback (I control Ableton from my computer and the controller reflects the changes, or seeing what clip is what, by the name). Even if I do convert to an iPad running TouchOSC as my main controller I’ll still use this in the studio and while creating tracks.

Akai MPK 61- I love this keyboard! The keys respond great. If you’re a legit piano player, you’ll probably want to stick with something that’s weighted but for me mainly playing Pads it works great. The controls are easy to get to, and comes with plenty of faders, knobs, and pads to control Live to the Max!

Digidesign Mbox 2- I’m not in love with this box. I’m still in the hunt for another bus-powered multi-output interface. The main advantage this interface has for me is there are quite a few around me, so I always have backups. And honestly it’s been very stable. I’ve had issues with every other interface I own recently ( M-Audio Firewire 410, and Presonus Firepod, and a few others I’ve auditioned..). This one seems to hold up well, but I need more then 2 outs.

Sennheiser Ew 300 IEM- I always thought wireless in-ears was a bit of Diva thing. Especially when using them with an Aviom. For me they’ve become an essential part of my setup. They’re incredibly easy to get around the menu and get setup exactly the way you want. If you’re a Worship Leader and you need to get around easily (to listen to the mix, work with the band, etc..) you should pick up a set of these ears. If I had to give them up now, I’d be greatly disappointed, they work like a charm.

Mono 365 DJ Case- I’m in love with this backpack. Yes.. a backpack. I’ve gotten comments from people that it looks like a Rocketpack and a few other fun ones, but I have every piece of equipment and every cable, every document I need at all times. Oh yeah.. and I have backups as well. I do alot of different types of things, to teaching Ableton classes, playing keys, playing guitar, coaching bands, to writing, etc.. So I have to be able to quickly switch gears, and have to have the materials I need on hand. With this case I have all that and more. I’ll be doing a more indepth review on the site soon.

ToneHammer Emotional Piano - I love the darkness and warmth of this piano. I’m not sold on it’s stability though. I’m not sure if it’s Kontakt Player (from Native Instruments) or if its the Piano Samples themselves. Because of the stability issues I’m having I can’t perform with this piano, but it sounds great when I’m creating tracks. It’s been on every track I’ve created since I got it.

Sample Logic Acoustix- This is a great Partner Instrument from Sample Logic and Ableton Live. It loads up really easily within Ableton Live. The presets are pretty incredible sounding. It gives you the incredible sounds Sample Logic is know for without the price tag, and while working comfortable with the Ableton Interface you’re used to seeing. Not all the sounds could be easily used in a Live Worship Service, but they work great for sound effects, hits and creating tracks.

Iomega eGo Mac Edition 500 GB Harddrive - This is a great little harddrive for transferring files back and forth between computers, and for backup. I’ve become a backup obsessed man. I try to keep all my files in a few places just to be safe. This harddrive is fast, portable and has enough various connections that it works on various computers.

This is the main gear I’m currently using. This tends to be a continually evolving list. I’m looking at a new Interface. I’ll most likely be getting some non-free (here’s some great free) plugins soon. I’ll be switching to running all my tracks and loops off Glyph drives for stability and the extra speed. You can see with the gear I have, I’m not completely pleased with all of it in all situations. That’s the funny thing about gear. What’s great for me, isn’t nesseasily great for you and your situation. I’d love to help you and your church decide on what gear is best for you. Drop me an drop me an email so we chat about it.

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