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Artist Advice Column: Tech For Musicians Pt. 2

We dive a little deeper into some more tech that musicians should be checking out to help further their careers.

Earlier this month we started on some tech that could really boost your as a musician. We covered items like soundcards to recording equipment on the road to the roli seaboard. There is still a lot of tech that can be used and brought into your set up. What you see here isn’t the end all be all for what you can use. Depending on your genre, your budget and technologically savvy you are, the sky is the limit with music tech these days. What is cutting edge today, may be obsolete in five years. Always keep up with the latest trends and use tech to stay one step ahead. We don’t recommend VR and AR since that is quite expensive, but keep an eye on how that impacts music in the coming years.

5. Small Synth: 

This is similar to the Roli, but unless you are an electronic music producer who is heavily invested in having big pieces of hardware, you won’t need a lot of analog synths. Moog is possibly the most well-known synthesizer company and most models will run in the thousands of dollars, but a small Sub Phatty or the Minitaur will be a couple hundred dollars and give you the Moog sound and power in a small package. Korg has a wide array of small synths available for purchase like the MicroKorg and the MS-20 mini. The Arturia MicroBrute is another pretty high profile mini-synth that has grown in stature since it was first made and packs a punch at $300.

6. High Quality Studio Monitors:

Good speakers are an essential to any musician. Yes you can come up with ideas on your laptop with some headphones and on the road you won’t have access to big, well-mixed speakers, but when you are at home in your studio, having good speakers is a must. You can break the bank and spend thousands of dolllars on monitors that fit exactly to the specifications of your room, but unless you are someone with that type of a budget, something a little less expensive is likely in the cards.

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When looking at studio monitors, different models and brands may be better at doing different things. If you are mixing electronic music and you have to spend hours mixing snares and bass, then get something that hits the lows very well. If you want to spend some solid money, the Genelec M040 6.5” Studio Monitors can run you each about $800 each, but are worth it. The Yamaha HS8 are classics, while products from JBL like the LSR305 also prove to be a good bang for the buck. The KRK RP6G3-NA Rokit 6 Generation 3 is a well-regarded monitor as well. All will cost a few hundred each, so be ready to spend some money. Compare and contrast the frequency responses and how they all hit your ear at a store before buying them. Bring some demos and reference tracks and see how they would sound on them.

7. IK iRig Acoustic Stage Rig: 

This small mic that works on acoustic guitars to give it some extra push when it comes to sound. It captures the organic sound in the well of your acoustic guitar that works for a quick acoustic solo performance. It is not a replacement for an onboard pre-amp or high-end recording equipment as the sound does not get that loud, but it is a good, easy solution. Because it does not get that loud, it doesn’t pick up background noise. One other issue is that the cable is a little flimsy, so be careful with the equipment. At $99 or less this is a useful piece of equipment for those playing acoustic guitar.

8. Cryptocurrency: 

Yes it is almost cliché at this point to recommend that, but cyrtocurrency is something every artist should at least consider. There are plenty of platforms like Viberate, Choon and Monero that operate in various areas of the business. You can accept bitcoin, ethereum or another form of currency for gigs, merchandise or music. Being a financially stable artist is hard enough. Opening up all avenues of revenue is smart.

9. Electronic Drum Kit: 

Now you may be wondering, why not just get a real drum set, well that is also an option, but there are a few reasons. If you don’t have the space, money or time to learn how to play a drum set, then a good drum kit can be a worthwhile investment. It is something that can give you a range of sounds that you may not be able to get just from hitting your keyboard or an electronic piano. An electronic drum kit can be incorporated into a live set, if you master the instrument,  adding an extra dimension to your show, if you don’t already have a drummer. The more versatile you are, the better. Full drum kits can be expensive, ranging up to a couple of grand with all of the pieces together. Roland generally have the best, but they can be pretty expensive, which range from buying just cymbals and snares to also getting pads that you can use to sample and trigger sounds. Other brands that make good tech include Yahama and Alesis. 

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