Sometimes I get questions about my production process. So I decided to explain some of my tools and techniques. I will try to update this post with time and when discovering new great production tools/instruments.
My Digital Audio Workstation of choice is Logic Pro X. It was the program I coincidentally came across because some friends were using it. Personally I don’t think it really matters which DAW you’re using. They all have their pro’s and cons. However, If I would have the choice right now with the knowledge I have gathered in the past years I would go for Cubase. I think It’s a good choice for a media composer as myself. I don’t have the time right to make a switch and learn new keyboard shortcuts and I’m fast with Logic. But again, it doesn’t really make a difference. Logic Pro X is a very professional program, not that expensive and they keep coming with very good updates. Really love the latest addition of flex Tempo.
After the Digital audio workstation I would say the most important thing to have is a good midi-keyboard. I work with Native Instrument’s S88 and really like the workflow. More and more virtual instrument’s are adding NKS support which helps a lot. The responsiveness of the keys is good. But maybe slightly on the heavy side. But it reacts much better then any midi keyboard I previously owned.
I prefer to work with live musicians and when I’m working with sample libraries I always try to sneak in a live player. It gives so much more depth and phrasing to the music. Without it music can sound dead. Sample Libraries sound really good these days. We live in an amazing time. But the problem is: It will sound great, but will not ‘feel’ right. Some of the best Libraries to buy samples from are: Spitfire Audio, 8dio, Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Keyscape. Really in love with the latest addition Keyscape. The piano feels alive compared to other virtual sample piano’s I tried.
As for effects my favorite plugins are from Soundtoys. The effect rack from them is quick easy (intuitive) and sounds great. To give everything an analog vibe I use the Slate Digital virtual mix rack.
Again, Spectrasonics Omnisphere is a no brainer. Also I’m a fan of the plugins from U-He. Their analog emulations of the old synthesizers are fantastic. Also my Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 08 is used often. It still has a huge advantage to be able to play an instrument with your hands. It feels more alive. Sound-wise, does it really make a difference to use analog gear? That’s a debat I’m not going to burn my hands on. But as a music maker it’s very inspiring to play real instruments. Programming music can really get me out of the creative process.
On the picture you can see my Steinway upright. I learned my craft on that instrument. Many hours of practicing when I was young. (Still practicing, ahum) And still it is my favorite instrument of all.