Music Gear Recommendations
Do you play and/or create music?
Are you always looking out for good gear?
Maybe this can help.
This is all the gear I've used and can recommend.
Disclaimer: just so you know, some of these links to the equipment are sponsored. What that means is, I may get a commission if you decided to purchase anything using links from this page. It is another way is can squeeze out a few bucks as a musician AND for you to help support my music endeavors and earn my infinite gratitude.
Taylor 200 Series – 210SE – I walked into Daves Guitar shop in La Crosse, WI. I asked what guitar would sound the best both plugged in and unplugged. The dude working the counter pointed to the wall of Taylors. I played everything from $700 to $2000 range and this is the one I settled on. This ax has been grinding it out with me for about 4 years now and it sounds better today than the day I bought it.
Paul Reed Smith (PRS) SE Custom 24 (Vintage Sunburst) – I've been a huge fan of PRS since I had a Tremonti SE. Stays in tune, easy to play and it is extremely versatile when it comes to switching between pick-ups to dial in tones for jamming on different music styles. For this price range, many experts say it is one of the best values for beginners, I agree. And, they just look cool as hell.
Washburn D10SCE – This was the guitar I used for many of my early gigs, open jams and every tune on my Never Too Late album. Now it is my main back up. I was never crazy about the plugged in sound but unplugged I sounds great. And for the price, it was a perfect guitar to start out with.
D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze – I like using coated strings especially in the summer. I used to use Elixir's but when I was playing a lot of shows, I went through a lot of strings and those are expensive, it started to add up fast. I've tried a half a dozen coated brands over the years and I have settled on these. They sound great and last long and I can get a 3 pack for about the same as it would cost for 1 pack of Elixirs.
DR Strings DRAGON SKIN Acoustic Guitar Strings – Just wanted to throw these in there too. They are probably the most inexpensive coated string (or at least they were). They sound great and lasted a long time. The reason I switched to the above is I felt like I was breaking more strings than usual. It happens especially when you play as hard as I do but it just seemed to happen TOO often. Anyway, try them out if you want a more inexpensive coated strings.
Genz Benz Shenandoah (Acoustic) – I go direct into the PA many times for smaller gigs because I'm lazy and I don't like to carry around a lot of gear. But when I'm playing with band, I plug into this amp.
Blackstar IDCORE10V2 10W Digital Stereo Combo AMP – Nice little practice amp I bought after a recommendation from a friend. A lot of features for just over $100. I think there is a newer V3 version out with more features.
Positive Grid Spark Guitar Amplifier+ (Electric, Bass and Acoustic Guitar) Combo Practice Smart Amp – As I'm writing this, I'm still waiting for it to arrive since I just ordered it. After learning about it, this is a game-changer. It does so much. I'll report back after I get a chance to play with it.
I love the way this mic makes me voice sound. Crisp and clean. Deep and rich. We did have some feedback issues when I used it with the band. My sound guys hated it. I never had a problem at smaller solo or duo gigs.
This is the mic my sound guys recommend I get for band gigs. Totally eliminated our feedback issues. It sounded good but I always feel like it is missing something.
It is the first mic I owned. This mic is legendary and recommended by many. If you are starting out this is the mic you want. You can get them without the on off switch but I like having it for between sets or when I'm not on stage.
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I mainly record demo's in my studio. I leave the heavy lifting to the studio I work with. BUT the gear I use was recommended by that studio. The gear below has really improved the quality of my demos. Here are the best piece of my gear.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface – This device helps me get the sound from my mouth or my instrument into the computer in the quickest, cleanest way possible. It came very highly recommend and I haven't had any issues with it in the 4 years I've had it.
Rode NT1-A Cardoid Condenser Microphone – Not only is this a solid mic for vocals but the NT1-A makes my acoustic guitar sound pristine on recordings. Only thing that would make my guitar sound better is using two of them at the same time. Great dual purpose mic for a pretty reasonable cost.
Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone – I use this mic for podcasting and for all the audio on any desktop recorded videos tutorial videos that I record. This mic was recommended to me by the Podcast Answer Man Cliff Ravenscraft. I always thought that if you want people to take you serious, you gotta sound good. I love the way it makes my voice sound and I get a lot of compliments.
Sennheiser HD 212Pro Headphones – This exact model is discontinued but they are awesome. But I think it is pretty safe bet that newer model Sennheiser is offering are just as awesome.
Reaper Digital Audio Workshop – Reaper doesn't cost anything for the hobbiest so it is a great place to start if you want to do some recording. And just because its free, doesn't mean it powerful. There are many Pro's who have switched to Reaper from other more mainstream tools like (Pro Tools). There is also tons of excellent free training. I do not do a ton of the heavy lifting on my recordings when it comes to mixing and mastering. I really only use it for fleshing out ideas, laying down some tracks in my own studio and collaborating with the pros who do the mixing and mastering.
Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone (Gray) + USB & Lightning Cable – See below under video.
Zoom Q8 Handy Video Recorder – I search high and low for a decent studio camera I could use to stream and to go direct from mic to camera with. If you ever had to match up your lips on the video with an audio track you'll not why that matters. This is perfect for the price. It has two xlr and instrument inputs as well as phantom power.
Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone (Gray) + USB & Lightning Cable – If you've watched any of my short videos or listened to my podcast, you probably heard it in action. I have a bunch of mics already but this one goes directly into my smartphone and desktop which saves time and is pretty damn convenient especially when going remote. Looks a little funny but it does a great job. They have dedicated audio and video recording apps you can download and use with it too which really help get the best sound out of them.
Filmora Video Editor – I use this software for creating some of my videos that require heavier editing. It's very intuitive, has a ton of drag and drop type templates to get you rolling out of the box AND it is very reasonably priced compared to higher-end software (just as powerful).
Breakthrough Guitar – If you ever thought about learning guitar or just getting better at it. Do yourself a huge favor and get this course. I always just played rhythm but couldn't play lead at all. Always wanted to though since I was a kid. In early 2021 I committed to it using this course. They make it so easy to understand. I can't tell you how much fun it has been learning to play lead guitar. Click here to get the free trial.
Managing a music career is about more that writing, recording and performing. There is a ton of stuff on the business side you have to do to get the word out. Click the link below to visit my music marketing website to see all of the software and services I use to I use to manage and promote my music.
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