Studio Gear

Carlsbro Marlin 6-300 & Cabs

While a PA amp isn't exactly studio gear, and I no longer own it, I'm mentioning it here because it gets mentioned a couple of times as I describe other things. I bought it when some old school buddies and I formed a band. However the fact that it had 6 input channels resulted in me using it as a mixer for something like the first six or seven years of my musical endeavours.

Shure PE86L Microphone

Bought at the same time as the Marlin for vocal use, it's stayed with me and has recently also seen some use recently for recording samples into the MPC-2000.

Fostex X-15

My competition entryI actually won this 4 track cassette recorder in a competition in What Keyboard magazine in 1984 where you had to list your top ten musical hates. I really went all out for it and spent about a week asking everybody I knew for suggestions in order to compile a list of 10 real horrors. I then spent a further 2 weeks illustrating them on an large sheet of paper as I figured that the trick here was to make my entry stand out. It worked and I won second prize. (First prize was another higher spec 4-track cassette machine).

Jools Holland presents me with the X-15

Strangely, the first prize winner also came from Manchester and as the prizes were presented at the opening of a new music shop in London, we travelled down together on the train. We were met at the train station by the magazine sub-editor who told us excitedly that Jools Holland was going to do the presentation. "Brilliant" we both said. Later however we confessed to each other that we didn't have a clue who he was! We avoided him for most of the evening in case the fact that we'd never heard of him came to light.

Tascam M-208 8:4:2 Mixer

I bought this in 1993, primarily because I had exceeded the number of inputs on the PA amp that I was using at the time, but also because I envisaged that in the future I would want a greater degree of control over my mixing. It currently sits at the centre of my 'studio' with the Behringers (see below) acting as sub-mixers.

ART FXR Digital Effects Processor

I bought this in 1993 at the same time as the M-208. Up until that time I had managed with the reverb unit in the PA amp. It's a fairly basic unit as far as control is concerned. You simply choose one of the pre-set effects using the switches on the front panel (no midi) but it's fine for wetting vocals which is my primary use for it. It sits in a rack under the M-208.

Sennheiser HD475 Headphones

After parting with the PA I needed something to listen on and a descent pair of headphones seemed to be the best option. I didn't ask them but I suspect that the neighbours would have agreed.

Behringer Eurorack MX-802-1

While awaiting the arrival of the MPC-2000 (see [page=15|percussion page]) I rearranged my 'studio' and decided that a sub-mixer for the keyboards and sound modules would be appropriate. After a little research I bought this.

It's currently sitting on top of my stage piano and mixes its output with that of the E-MU sound module. The outputs are connected to the Tascam M-208 but more usually I plug into it with headphones in order to practice my piano playing without driving Debs up the wall.

Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602

Having gone slightly crazy and acquired a bunch of electronic percussion I found myself short of channels on the Tascam. Enter the RX1602 which acts as a sub mixer for the percussion and gives me somewhere convenient to plug my headphones when I'm drumming.

Roland DM-800

This is probably the strangest piece of kit I've ever bought. When I stumbled across it on eBay I didn't know what it was however, if you've read about some of my other gear you'll have realised that I'm a big fan of Roland. When I saw this I was intrigued, did some research, put in a low bid, and won it!

When it arrived there was some data on the disk and it appears to have been used by the BBC to do an interview with Sir Cliff Richard.

I've since erased the disks but the only thing for which I've used it is to play some tracks, recorded from CD, for me to play along with. It's terribly self-indulgent but it's just such a funky looking piece of kit that I just enjoy having it around.

Edirol UA-20

This little gadget sits on the MK-80 and allows me to connect my Apple MacBook into the setup. That's not something I've done often, but it's there when I need it.