My Setup!

Hi friends! I occasionally get questions about my microphone and equipment and I wanted to just put all the info in a centralized place so you can GET MY EXACT SETUP. Or you can just make fun of my equipment choices. Or you can judge me for how much money I've spent on music. Or you can just read it like a normal person. Gosh, why am I always so negative. (answer: too much internet).

Anyway. BEHOLD...

MY OLD MICROPHONE:


AKG Perception P120 Studio Microphone, Sliver

So in most of my videos going back pretty far, I was using the AKG Perception 120.

This was my first "nice" microphone (after using a Logitech "skype mic" and my computer microphone, for a long time) so the jump in sound quality was pretty incredible for me. The mic sounds very bright and is so sensitive and for the price it's a great deal (I believe it was under $100 at the time). It picks up a lot of sibilance but it's clear and crisp and a great, great mic for someone getting into audio recording and not willing to drop a bajillion dollars immediately.

NEWER MICROPHONE


AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone

Once I had a full-time job and a bit more "expendable" income I decided to upgrade to the $300-400 range microphones. I picked the AKG C214 which is the lower end model of the classic and much revered AKG C414 mic. AND IT WAS A GREAT LIFE DECISION. Kind of.

It sounds crisp and clear but still really warm and bright. It can overemphasize the low end but a lot of that can be fixed through proper mic technique and mixing and it's worth it for the depth and warmth this mic provides. I'm really really happy with it. The other mic in this price range I seriously considered was the Shure SM7B, but some reviews I saw said it sounded best on loud soprano voices and I consider myself to be a quiet alto singer so it seemed like it might not be the best fit. I'm really happy with my mic for now and I've been recording on it a ton and it continues to impress me.

INTERFACE:


Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - USB Audio Interface

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My interface is amazing and very well known and most of my research pointed me to it from the get-go. The Focusrite Scarlett comes in several models, but I have often used it to record up to four separate instrumentalists simultaneously and it does a fantastic job. If you're in the market for something cheaper, my former interface was the Presonus Audiobox which is less than $100 and works like a charm, especially if you record only one or two instruments at a time.

ACOUSTIC GUITAR:


Taylor GS MINI

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This guitar is my baby. Remember how I said I had some expendable income after working full time? This was my first grown-up Tax Return Guitar. I still won't leave this puppy in a car if the AC is off on a warm day, since this guitar is my actual child. I was so proud of myself for buying this, I can't even lie. It cost like $700!!?? Do I think I'm Bill Gates or something now? Geeze, Stass! But I love it all the more for how stupid expensive this was for me

(Note: anyone who invests in $1-3k guitars might be feeling a little judged right now, so I just want to say, if I had $3k laying around I would also buy fancy guitars with it, I just literally don't have a high enough credit limit).

If you're a smaller person and want a guitar that's loud, comfortable, clean and bright sounding with a ton of warmth and depth. Not to mention something beautiful and FROM TAYLOR (the best guitar maker in the universe), then I would go and play on one of these. I can take this guitar everywhere, the neck is comfortable to play on, the action is perfect, and it's acoustic-electric so it's easy to record or play live with it. DID I MENTION I LOVE MY GUITAR A LOT?

ELECTRIC GUITAR:


Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster Electric Guitar

 

I don't really know what I could say about a Fender Strat that hasn't already been said by a million people before me. This guitar is great. It's beautiful. It's bright-ass red. I love it. I don't change the strings on it enough. 10/10 would recommend. 

POP FILTER:


Dragonpad Pop Filter

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Get a pop filter. Doesn't have to be mine. Honestly, a hanger wire and panty-hose will do the trick. But don't ruin your recording because you said, "please" or "peace" or "people" too forcefully. Ain't worth it.

PRETTY CAPO: 


Nordic Essentials Capo

After I did this cover where I used AN ACTUAL HAIRBRUSH as a capo, I decided to invest in some new ones:

I love these capos. They're bright colored so they're hard(er) to lose and they sound very clear and they distribute pressure very evenly. 

And look how color coordinated it was in my StraightJacket video:

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MIC STAND:


Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand

Mic stands should above all else be cheap but not so cheap that the reviews are terrible. There's nothing worse than performing and watching your mic slowly fall over because the stand is garbage and your hands are full of guitar so you try to casually squat along with the mic until you look like you have a spinal injury by the end of the song.

MIC CABLES:


AmazonBasics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable - 6 Feet http://amzn.to/2rV8O1k

I have had decent success with Amazon basic mics. I'm still not clear on how much noise carries through these in recordings, I think it's mostly reserved for the electrical cables, but that is an area of my audio engineering knowledge that is lacking. But these ones have worked well for me so far.

DAW SOFTWARE: 


Logic Pro X

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DAW's are one of those things where either (a) you think yours is the best because you've tried the other ones and its an educated opinion or (b) you think yours is the best because you're familiar with it. In my case, it's both. I love Logic and I've tried FL Studio, Audacity, and Garageband but none of it's actual competitors (Ableton, Protools) but I still think its great - ESPECIALLY if you're a garageband convert because it's designed to resemble the interface of Garagaband so the learning curve will be a teeny bit less steep. If I could do it all over again, and my computer had more than 1GB of free hard drive space, I'd do free trials for Pro-tools, and Abelton before committing to Logic but if you have to go the Logic route I think you can learn to love it.

That's my spiel for now. I'll try to update this list if I get any new equipment. Hope this was helpful to some of you. Comment any feedback or suggestions for equipment you've liked. 

xx

-Stassi