studio

Over the course of my life, I have been very fortunate to have a combination of hard work, connections, and good luck manifest into a collection of hardware synthesizers, effect pedals, MIDI controllers, and other collectibles. Here is a run down of some of the gear, as well as audio clips of some of my favorite sounds, and free downloadable sample packs for producers to use royalty-free in their own tracks.

(All demos are made with each synth and Ableton drums only.)

SYNTHS & KEYBOARDS:

Casio SK1

Basically a toy, the Casio SK1 is a terrible sounding, 4 voice porta-synth with a built in sampler that can hold a whopping 4 seconds of audio. No memory, very little editing capability (only portamento and vibrato). At 20 bucks, a must have, in my opinion.

Click HERE for samples.

Casiotone 701

A cheesy, 80's synth organ that had been lying around at my grandfather's house 20 years before I was born, and 30 before I even played keys. This rare machine can generate incredible clean, loud, and stable bass sine waves, as well as a plethora of classic cheese-balls Casio tones from the 80s. A couple of cool built in drum loops, a useless arpeggiator, and the greatest laser sounds I have ever heard. By far the greatest gift I have ever received, and a near and dear memory from my grandfather.

Click HERE for samples.

Korg MS20 Mini

My very first synth (besides the Casiotone). This analog mono synth is a widely popular recreation of Korg's MS20, a vintage 70's synth. It comes with two incredibly harsh VCO's, even more wild filters, and an incredibly amazing patch bay that, even after 3 years, I have yet to fully understand. This synth taught me most of what I know about using Envelopes, ADSR, Filters, Resonance, Oscillators, and the true power of Analog.

Click HERE for samples.

Korg Poly 61

Quite possibly my favorite synth of all time. This synth, to me, is Korg's version of a Juno 106, only with membrane buttons instead of sliders. It is frequently mistaken as analog, but it actually has two DCO's, or digitally controlled oscillators. While this may sound disappointing, most people also don't realize that the Juno series also used DCO's, and, believe it or not, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH DIGITAL! This synth is powerful, fat, juicy, and is by far my go-to for classic 80's pads, leads, basses, arpeggios, and, last but not least, chord memory. (It also happens to come in a  beautiful blue and pink design).

Click HERE for samples.

 

Korg SV-1

The only keyboard in my collection that isn't technically a "synthesizer". This keyboard is for piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, clavinet, organ, and string sounds. As synthesizers forced me to need to learn how to play piano more fluently, I felt like I needed something with weighted keys, and the sound of an actual piano. This is a fantastic instrument, comparable to any Nord product. The built-in tube makes for beautiful guitar amp simulation, and adds a much needed warmth and punch to the Rhodes sound. 

Click HERE for samples.

Roland JP-08

Part of Roland's Boutique series, the JP-08 is a digital, compact recreation of the Jupiter 8, frequently regarded as the "holy grail" of synthesizers. This small, reasonably priced module is an incredible alternative to the $10,000 Jupiter 8, with lush sounding pads, sequences, effects, and possibly my favorite LFO and cross modulation on any of my synths. It also is my go-to for TB303, acid-house style bass.

Click HERE for samples.

Yamaha DX7

Not only a classic synth, but an innovation of synthesis for its time. The DX7 was the most widely used synth of the 80's, and the first FM synthesizer to achieve widespread success. The DX7 is best known for its 80's E-Piano sound, or, as I like to call it, the Law and Order SVU sound. Outside of its fantastic e-piano, the DX7 acts as my studio spaceship. The FM, or totally digital synthesis engine in it creates some of the most space-agey and out-there sounds I have ever heard. A true necessity for any v a p o r w a v e producer.

Click HERE for samples.

 

SAMPLERS & DRUM MACHINES

Korg Electribe 2

The Electribe 2 acts as sort of the "brains" of my computer-less jams. The E2 is basically both a drum machine and a synthesizer in the same box, as well as a very powerful sequencer. I use it mostly as a drum machine, but it also is used very frequently to play my MS20 for me via MIDI, and sends clock signal to my MIDI-less Poly 61. An essential of my live setup.

Roland SP-404

Speaking of live essentials, the Roland SP404 is a mighty workhorse in my live setup. With over 2 days of sampling time, the 404 runs all of my tracks for live shows. A classic and necessity for the lofi-hip hop crowd. A sampler that truly speaks for itself.

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator 12

The world (or at least, I) was blown away by the release of Teenage Engineering's Pocket Operator Line. The PO's are pocket-sized analog synth sequencers, and clock in at $60. The PO-12 is an all analog drum machine, and is crucial for anyone who wants to make Mario-esque 8 bit video game sounds. While I don't use it frequently, it does come in handy every once in a while.

 

EFFECT PEDALS

Boss DD-7 Delay

This incredible delay unit is the reason I don't feel the need for an analog delay. The Boss Digital Delay provides all sorts of wild sounds, including an awesome reverse delay function, as well as a built in looper. The delay is clean when it needs to be, but can also be very dark and warm. Very versatile. 

Dr. Scientist Bitquest

The Bitquest truly won me over with its beautiful design. It is a multi-fx box with reverb, glitch delay, filters, flanger, bit-crush, notch-filters, pitch-shift, and a ring mod, all of which can also be used in a fuzz mode. I use it mainly for its outer-spacey reverb on my Poly 61.

Electro-Harmonic Holy Grail Reverb

Not much to say about this one. A one knob reverb pedal. Straight and to the point.

 

 

Speakers, Amps, & mixers

KRK Rokit 5s

These speakers "speak" for themselves (get it?). Probably found in 80% of studios, you've seen these yellow guys before.

Marshall MG Series Special

Another incredible gift. This one of a kind, exclusive red Marshall stack was once owned by Shawn White. A crazy beast. Still can't believe it fell into my hands.

Yamaha MG16XU

Who doesn't love a mixer with beautiful knobs? This mixer also acts as a interface, and is another crucial part of my studio setup.

Behringer 1202 FX

This tiny mixer is perfect for live shows & travel.

 

Guitar & Bass

Fender Stratocaster & Fender Jazz Bass

If you have to ask, you'll never know

 

Other

Ableton Push

The essential MIDI controller for any Ableton user, in home or in studio.

 

Photos