Welcome to my gear page. Outlined below is a list of all the hardware and software that I currently use, or have used in my home recording studio for creating synthwave music. You will find links to each of the products below the short blurb.
My gear page is currently being updated. Please check back soon for an update. You’ll be able to view all of the gear that I use to create, mix, and master my music.
The list below will no doubt grow over time, so when I do happen to purchase a new piece of gear or upgrade, I’ll be sure to update this list.
Let’s begin with the hardware.
Mac Mini Intel Core i7 64GB Ram
Let’s start with the beast that is my main computer for handling almost all of my content creation needs, whether it’s music or something else entirely. The Intel Mac Mini is the last of a dying breed, and I’m holding onto mine for as long as I can.
Razer Core Enclosure with AMD Radeon Sapphire RX5700XT 8GB Graphics Card
This bad boy powers all of the graphic-intensive apps that I use on my Mac, from FLStudio to Final Cut Pro.
Alienware 34-inch Curved Screen Monitor
This is the main monitor that I use for viewing my DAW and all of the virtual instruments. Arranging, compiling, and mixing sometimes can take up a lot of space when you have multiple plugins open, so a widescreen monitor makes it easier for me to access everything I need quickly.
Aropa S1 Portable Monitor (Secondary Monitor for Virtual Mixer)
I use a secondary monitor usually for the mixer, however, sometimes I’ll so use it for an instrument or browsing libraries or the web.
Arturia Keylab 49 mkII
I bought this Midi controller some time ago now, a good few years back in fact. And it’s been an absolute joy to work with. Since I use quite a few Arturial softsynth instruments and Analog Lab presets in my music anyway, it’s really easy for me to configure them with the Keylab and I can then play around with different parameters to get the exact tone and sound that I’m looking for.
When I’m done, I can just switch the DAW control back on and literally navigate through all of the interface options in FL so easily.
Akai Fire (FLStudio Controller)
This is something that I purchased out of complete curiosity, to be honest, but it’s proven to be a positive addition to my gear setup.
I like to create and use my own samples in my music, so for instance, if I’m laying down the drum and bass pattern for a new song, I can do this quite quickly using the Fire controller. There are a few other quality-of-life options and shortcuts that I like to use as well, and I can bounce from using those to the options in the Keylab as well.
Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors
The best monitors I’ve ever used for creating music. I’ve used very cheap monitors in the past. I also use to rely on a pair of Audioengine A2+ which were great, don’t get me wrong. But the HS5s are simply a lot superior with exceptional clarity. I can hear a lot more of what is going on in my music that I can tweak and make adjustments to. Low rumbles to high frequencies that I just didn’t hear before. I love these speakers to bits.
Native Instruments Maschine Mikro mk3
I recently acquired this actually so I’ve not really had the time to play around with it properly. That being said, I own and use quite a few instruments from NI in my music. Namely, Kontakt with Analog Dreams, Ethereal Earth, and Hybrid Keys all of which I enjoy tweaking to create my own atmospheric and dreamy sounds. I have Massive X and Batter 4 as well, so I’m hoping that the investment in the Mikro mk3 will help me be more expressively creative with my music in the future.
Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
This was the first bit of kit that I purchased for my music. Actually, I wasn’t creating music at the time, to be honest. I was using it mainly for podcasting. That said, I couldn’t live without it. I use to plug my guitar directly into the line inputs, though now I use the Tascam Model 12 and route the signal to my 2i2 audio interface. The perfect combo in my opinion.
Tascam Model 12 Mixer/Recorder
This has been another one of my recent investments. It took me some time to get this actually as they’re as rare as they come to get hold of here in the UK. I don’t know where to begin with the Model 12. I’ve still got a lot to learn about it. But what I can say is that it’s incredibly versatile. It acts as another DAW controller and I can record directly onto an SD card. So from song ideas to full-blown stems or even complete tracks, I can use Model 12 to do all of these things.
Red5 Audio RV6 Condenser Microphone
The mic that I use is a true dinosaur, though not quite as old as my trusty Shure SM58 which I originally purchased in 2001. That said, the RV6 does what I need it to do, it records vocals quite well, from time to time so that I can use them in my music, even though I produce mainly instrumental music.
DAW Software and VST (Instrument Plugins)
OK, so next, let me share with your a list of all the software plugins, and instruments that I use to create my synthwave music.
This is my DAW of choice! I began my journey with FLStudio20 back in 2020. Before that, I was using Cubase Elements once in a blue moon, because I wasn’t really creating music properly until 2020. I’ve been a Cubase fan ever since I started playing around with electronic music in my mid-20s. However, FL Studio came highly recommended to me by a friend of mine, and after trialing it, I was hooked, and all I can say, it’s one of the best decisions I made.
I’m still very much learning how to use this DAW, there are so many micro-moving parts it’s tough for me to remember everything, especially at my age haha.
Arturia V Collection
Well, what can I say? All those amazing instruments for such a great price. I’ve used many of the awesome VSTs in the V collection in my music, especially on Endless Echoes. The ones that I use quite frequently are the SQ80 V, JUN-6 V, and JUP-8 V. I’m also a big fan of the Matrix-12 V.
I bought pigments when it was on offer during Black Friday. And although I’ve used a few of the presets on one or two songs, I’ve not actually used Pigments to create my own samples. Pigments scare the tripe out of me, probably why I bought it. But I will spend some time learning more about it.
This is another soft synth that I happened to purchase during a Black Friday sale. In fact, the sale never ended. I purchased this with the intention to learn how to create my own sounds. I’m starting to get to grips with it and boy it’s powerful. Really underrated plugin. I used ANA2 to create the bassline for the track Dans Le Noir.
MiniFreak V Softsynth (Arturia)
I love this synth, and if I could afford to buy the hardware version I would. However, it works like a dream with the Keylab 49 mII as the controller. The presets already sound freakishly awesome without additional tweaks, but I can still tweak the cutoff, resonance, and various other parameters whilst I’m recording midi notes. So that’s a big bonus. I’ve saved a bunch of my own sounds already and the fact I can use multiple instances of this instrument is awesome.
KONTAKT 7 (Analog Dreams)
Kontact 7 is the latest version of the player and the library is awesome. So I use mainly Analog Dreams to create my own sounds. However, I’ve started to explore more with various other libraries, including Ethereal Earth, Hybrid Keys, and more. Have a lot more to get to grips with
Guitar Rig 6 Pro (Guitar Effects by Native Instruments)
My first LP Endless Echoes featured quite a few pieces of guitar solos and most of the effects were driven by the Guitar Rig 6 Pro plugin. This thing is massive, has lots of great guitar effects and you can stack multiple cabinets to get the sound you’re looking for. It really is powerful. The only drawback is that you can run into CPU throttling problems from time to time. Luckily, my computer can take it more or less, even with 64GB of ram.
Battery 4 (Drum Sampling Softsynth by Native Intruments)
As far as creating beats, I’ve experimented with quite a few options. I’m still on the hunt for a hardware drum synthesizer, but until I can find something to fit my needs, I’m using a few virtual drum machines and samples for now.
I like Battery 4 a lot, there are some great kits in there and I’ve created a few of my own as well with my samples. I also use BeatMaker Vice for ideas and inspiration but really, this is an area I really need to focus on for future music.
BeatMaker Vice is a classical retro drum synth created by Ujam. This is actually quite an intuitive plugin when you figure out exactly how to use it. These days, I use the plugin to add embellishments and snares to my music rather than depending on it as a full-blow drum synth.
2080 Synth + Sequencer (Ujam)
Another great plugin by Usynth is great for creating your own sci-fi retro sounds. Used it a few times on some of the songs, however, I have noticed that it throttles the CPU quite a bit.
Vital Wavetable Synth
I purchased Vital a few years back after watching a tutorial video on YouTube. I couldn’t afford Serum, which was the wavetable I was really interested in at the time, so Vital was the next best thing and didn’t cost much. It was promising a lot of great things and I’m actually glad I did because I’ve built up a huge library of sounds for my own projects.
Korg Polysix V2
This thing is a beast, and boy does it sound awesome! This is modeled around the software-emulated Polysix of 2004. It has a fantastic library of 300 presets and comes with multi-effects, EQ, and more.
YouLean Loudness Meter Pro
OK, so the final two on my list are essentially what I use to help mix and master my songs. The YouLearn Loudness Meter helps me to achieve an overall LUF balance for my tracks. I try and aim for around 11 to 10 LUFs and one of the features I love about this plugin is that you can select a level set by industry streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music.
Ozone 10 Advanced
Finally, we get to Ozone Advanced by iZotope. This is now my go-to mastering plugin. I use this with the YouLean Loudness Meter Pro, and also the Maximus plugin in FL Studio if I need to add compression to certain bands in my EQ.
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