You can check out Part One in full here 👇
To celebrate the release of the EP we decided to catch up with Ed (Ed:it) to chat about something he knows and loves very well - studio equipment.
This one's for all you producers out there, read on for five things Ed:it can't live without in the studio. Over to you, Ed 👇
If I'm being honest, Steinberg's Cubase is the framework behind every track I've ever released and the proper workhorse to all my productions. As my chosen sequencer, it has always been my go-to. I've used it for around 13 years now and not looked back, for me it does everything I need it to do. I find that workflow is crucial and I like to get new track ideas down as quickly as possible. Cubase allows me to express that vibe. By understanding all the in's and out's it allows me the freedom to explore the full inspiration and motivation on a composition. There are countless Digital Audio Workstations available and it's all about finding which one works best for you. I always try to visualize Cubase as a real-life studio but with endless creative possibilities.
- - Mix console sounds superb. Very precise
- - Large headroom - Sound engine can be pushed without clipping
- - Detailed editing capabilities
- - Speedy workflow
- - Pricey 💰
- - No 32bit VST support on later versions
- - Automation tracks can be fiddly, especially compared to other DAWs on the market
2. Monitors - Behringer Truth's
So, this one might seem quite odd to anyone who knows their speakers and monitoring systems but for me, they have been my saving grace for mixdowns. These studio monitors were produced in 2004 and unfortunately, this particular model is out of production. Actually, the pair I have now were bought by my brother around 14 years ago and ever since they are still going strong (in fact, I'm unsure if he knows I still have them!). My main monitors are Mackie HR824 MK1's which are excellent for sub/bass and mid-range although personally the 'Truths' just seem to have that crisp top end, stereo imaging and EQ separation that I struggle to find in monitors at that price. I've been referencing with them for such a long time that I think that they will be very difficult to replace. They've allowed me to trust my own ears, room sonics, and speaker placement. In all, I find that every Producer is different and its whatever sounds good to you as an individual.
- - Tough durability
- - Precise top end
- - Specific filter and placement settings
- - Decent price
- - Out of production
- - Lacking low-end detail
Where to start!? There is a long list of plugins which have been my go-to overtime producing music. More recently 'Fabfilter's Total Bundle' has been a particular favourite. It features all the tools needed for dynamic and FX processing. The 3 specific plugs that I utilize the most are:
EQ Pro Q2 - Possibly the most detailed and precise graphic EQ I've ever used. The 30db analyser display is perfect for subtracting those nasty frequencies as well as sounding great with subtle boosts alongside the mid/side processing option I'll use for Mono and Stereo frequency placements, especially on Reeses and pads.
Gate Pro G - I can't get enough of this dynamic gate. Sounds excellent on breaks and vocal lines. Great for creating that tight drum sound on individual channels and buses.
Compressor Pro C2 - This one is a versatile all-rounder for me. Using the various compression styles I'll insert the C2 on anything from musical pads, strings to sidechaining kicks, snares and sub-basses. Also, excellent for subtle mastering and bus compression.
- - Incredible detail and high sound quality
- - Easy to get to grips of
- - CPU heavy - Recently had to upgrade ram capacity as these can be thirsty plugins
My go-to synthesizer which I couldn't live without is a random and fairly unknown one - FX Expansion's Strobe. I'll use it specifically for analogue bass emulation. It's featured on 75% of my tracks. I especially use it for sub-bass and gritty distorted tones, for example - 808 punchy kicks or analogue driven Reeses. The synth itself does not have any onboard FX, so I tend to manipulate the samples in post-production. Here, I'll record various synth phrases and bounce down as audio, later affecting with software samples and FX plugins. Strobe is a synth I've used for a long time now and its distinctive character has been really important in creating my own vibes. In my studio, alongside a bunch of software synths, I also have a Hardware Arturia Minibrute. I really can't get enough of this synth. Perfect for that analogue noisy warmth and gritty midlines.
- - Subby analogue distorted tones
- - Excellent modulation sonics from routing LFO and envelopes
- - Discontinued - Outdated - No software updates or support
- - Tricky to get to grips with at first
To start I can't stress enough the importance of having a good pair of headphones. It is definitely not essential for everyone and you don't need to spend £100s on a decent pair but for me, it has really helped in gaining my desired sound and mixes (plus, not pissing off the neighbours). As for the Audeze, they are a new addition to my studio. I was always intrigued by the 5* reviews and massive respect this company got for their products. For a long time, the price was completely out of my range but recently I was lucky enough to purchase a refurbished pair. I have to say they lived up to everything I've heard and read. The first time I put these on I was blown away. The spatial distance and clarity to mixes really do become apparent. Not to mention the sound stage which is precise and lets you manipulate exact details on certain sounds in your mixes. I've never heard detail like it and I can't stop using them.
- - Great for stereo imaging/sound stage production
- - Particularly precise for individual percussion parts, gritty Reeses/synth lines and in-depth vocal editing
- - Cutting/subtracting EQ on mixes
- - The open back versions leak sound
- - Pricey
- - Not particularly great on the bottom end (I prefer the HD-25's for bass referencing)
There we go, 5 pieces of studio equipment Ed:it can't live without. Hear for yourself the combination of all of this equipment in Ed:it's 'Silhouettes' part one EP. Check out the full EP below 👇