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LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR

LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« on: June 25, 2020, 04:02:42 PM »
Warning that I am a NEWBIE TO SYNTHESIZERS.  I am a singer/songwriter/guitar player looking to make acoustic music on my own after working in bands.  I have been learning synth and have a solid grasp of the concepts.  Keyboard proficient but no direct experience in synth and sound design.  I gravitate toward the Sequential products because of quality and their sound.

OVERVIEW: Looking for a synth to give beautiful accompaniment to finger-picking and guitar leads.  Not looking for thick, lush or heavenly sounds that are the majority of pads I hear.  In some cases, I want precision enhancement with (dare I say?) minimum audibility; sometimes a core part of the melody, but not a synth lead.  (I am largely speculating, but I am thinking I might achieve a lot of my desired sounds with intimate, pitch modulated, mellow, 2-4 notes, 1-2 Oscillators ... perhaps tuning the second Oscillator to a fifth or even a major 10th and then possibly an octave down for a sub Oscillator.  Probably will need unison, reverb, delay, etc ???  When I want it to sound a bit more like strings, more complex I am sure.  I want to use the synth for stereo spread.)  I have listed some links to examples (not the style of music, but the type of pads for communication.

OBJECTIVE:  (1) NEED HELP CHOOSING A DESKTOP MODULE SYNTH.  Currently looking at the Prophet 12 and Rev2 (which appears very versatile), or perhaps Prophet 6 or OB-6.  Like the form factor and weight of the 12 (4 lbs) and Rev2 (7 lbs) as apposed to the 6/OB-6 (14 lbs.).  Lighter weight is important because I am a bit handicapped with my back.  But if the filters and effects of any of them is key to getting the type of sounds I need, so be it.
(2) USE THE SYNTH TO LEARN WITH SYNTORIAL,
(3) At the same time, WORK WITH A MUSICIAN/CONSULTANT TO DEVELOP SOUNDS FOR MY SONGS (in the vein of the examples).  In the long run, want to make and modify sounds on my own.

CONCERNS on SYNTH CHOICE:  I have done hours of listening to these synths.  Some of the best sounds I have heard come from the Prophet 12, but I read a lot about lack of warmth from the DSP based Oscillators.  And often I feel I hear that.  Also the 12 doesn't really have effects (reverb, etc.) which for a purist is fine, but I would like to find sounds without leaving the platform if possible.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 sound amazing and I would consider them even at their weight if they would work best in the long run.  Rev2 might be the best bet with its four envelopes, four LFOs, more voices, 2 and 4 pole filter, and mod matrix To be clear, I am interested in how the sound fits into my mix, not by itself.

Links To Songs
DON HENLEY (FOR MY WEDDING):  Understated but powerful  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=don+henley+for+my+wedding
LEAH by Bruce Springsteen Leah.  Minimalistic, but has some build.  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bruce+springsteen+leah
PERFECT by Ed Sheeran:  Melodramatic, but well restrained.  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=perfect+by+ed+sheeran
WHITE FLAG (Intro) by Ditto. This about as lush as I would ever go.  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=white+flag+dido
YOU by BONNIE RAITT.   https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bonnie+Raitt+you
INOCENTE (Sleep of Trust) 30 Minute Point.  Great example  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHyWnBDisWk

S Y Z Y G Y X

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Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 05:01:32 PM »
I have both the Prophet 12 and Rev2 Keyboards and I love the sound of both but  the Rev2 is a bit warmer of course as the oscillators are analogue and not digital like the Prophet 12.  The Rev2 module also has knob per function unlike the P12 module. 

The Rev2 has everything you want and I absolutely love the sound of it.  With it having 2 layers you can achieve super spread of the stereo width by panning one layer hard right and the 2nd layer hard right.

SEQUENTIAL Pro 3, DSI Prophet 12, DSI Prophet Rev2-8, Moog Subsequent 37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Novation Bass Station 2, BOSS VE500, MOTU Micro Lite, AKAI APC240 MKII, UAD Apollo X6, MacBook Pro 2017, ADAM A7X Monitors, Logic X
www.syzygyxmusic.com
https://syzygy-x.bandcamp.com

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 12:31:05 PM »
Are you more into sound design or incorporating synthesizer type sounds into your music?

Are you looking for a synth as a learning tool or performance tool?

Are features or sonic quality more important?
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 10:58:21 PM »
Are you more into sound design or incorporating synthesizer type sounds into your music?

Are you looking for a synth as a learning tool or performance tool?

Are features or sonic quality more important?

Those are fantastic questions.  I began by the quest to incorporate synthesizer type sounds to augment my music.  But the allure that I could could adjust sonic qualities with some exactitude -- instead of having to settle for a sample that was always a compromise.  But as I investigated the synthesizers and it's tools to create sound, primarily through subtractive synthesis (though FM was as well), i have to admit I developed a fascination with the genesis of sounds and sound design. Sonic quality is transformational but alas, less important than sounds that lift a song, or music to new heights.  All this is to say I have been bitten by the synth bug, but the ultimate objective is to find sounds that lift my music.  Hope this answers your question.  I am curious to know the path of your inquiry.  Thanks.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 12:08:24 AM »
Are you more into sound design or incorporating synthesizer type sounds into your music?

Are you looking for a synth as a learning tool or performance tool?

Are features or sonic quality more important?

Those are fantastic questions.  I began by the quest to incorporate synthesizer type sounds to augment my music.  But the allure that I could could adjust sonic qualities with some exactitude -- instead of having to settle for a sample that was always a compromise.  But as I investigated the synthesizers and it's tools to create sound, primarily through subtractive synthesis (though FM was as well), i have to admit I developed a fascination with the genesis of sounds and sound design. Sonic quality is transformational but alas, less important than sounds that lift a song, or music to new heights.  All this is to say I have been bitten by the synth bug, but the ultimate objective is to find sounds that lift my music.  Hope this answers your question.  I am curious to know the path of your inquiry.  Thanks.

Sonic Quality: Prophet 6 or OB6
Versatility and Features: REV2
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

LPF83

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Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 11:20:31 AM »
For a "sits in the mix" synth with versatility, I'd say go with the Rev2.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 are sort of synth-lovers-synths.... they excel at being the star of the show rather than accompanying other instruments.  The Rev2 can certainly be that too but it's also good at blending into the background if you want it to, and for a sound designer, all the modulations options offer a lot more possibilities.  Played alone my OB-6 sounds better at a lot of sounds, but it is so harmonically rich that it sort of has a mind of its own -- my Rev2 is very easy to dial in a sound that feels like it was made for the mix.

I also wouldn't rule out the Prophet X for your particular use.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 11:22:27 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2-16, Korg Minilogue XD module, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 01:55:49 PM »
For a "sits in the mix" synth with versatility, I'd say go with the Rev2.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 are sort of synth-lovers-synths.... they excel at being the star of the show rather than accompanying other instruments.  The Rev2 can certainly be that too but it's also good at blending into the background if you want it to, and for a sound designer, all the modulations options offer a lot more possibilities.  Played alone my OB-6 sounds better at a lot of sounds, but it is so harmonically rich that it sort of has a mind of its own -- my Rev2 is very easy to dial in a sound that feels like it was made for the mix.

I also wouldn't rule out the Prophet X for your particular use.

You know I actually found the opposite, I found with the REV2, the 16 voice version doesn't sit that well next to other synths but the 8 voice version is easier to manage.

I think it really depends what synths you are pairing though and each specific patch that's being used. The Prophet 6 doing a warm soft pad underneath the PX doing a Prophet VS Wavetable E.P. is just magic.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

LPF83

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Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 03:21:06 PM »
For a "sits in the mix" synth with versatility, I'd say go with the Rev2.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 are sort of synth-lovers-synths.... they excel at being the star of the show rather than accompanying other instruments.  The Rev2 can certainly be that too but it's also good at blending into the background if you want it to, and for a sound designer, all the modulations options offer a lot more possibilities.  Played alone my OB-6 sounds better at a lot of sounds, but it is so harmonically rich that it sort of has a mind of its own -- my Rev2 is very easy to dial in a sound that feels like it was made for the mix.

I also wouldn't rule out the Prophet X for your particular use.

You know I actually found the opposite, I found with the REV2, the 16 voice version doesn't sit that well next to other synths but the 8 voice version is easier to manage.

I think it really depends what synths you are pairing though and each specific patch that's being used. The Prophet 6 doing a warm soft pad underneath the PX doing a Prophet VS Wavetable E.P. is just magic.

I definitely agree that it depends on many things -- synths being combined, type of music being created, etc.   Was a little confused about how the 16 voice would sit less well in a mix -- I can see this would be true if stacking layers for thicker/warmer sounds, but you can still put two completely separate sounds on A and B and use them as if they were two separate 8 voice synths (or not use one of the synths at all).   Did you have both layers of the 16 voice going through the Main stereo outs?  If so yes that could probably make separation of sound a bit trickier, because both sounds are going into the same mixer track.... but I use all four outputs, keeping A and B layers separate and mixing independently.

I also have not used the 8 voice version, but I thought it was basically the same (just that you get only four voices for each layer A and B, or 8 voices for a single layer.
Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2-16, Korg Minilogue XD module, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre.

LPF83

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Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 05:50:48 PM »
For a "sits in the mix" synth with versatility, I'd say go with the Rev2.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 are sort of synth-lovers-synths.... they excel at being the star of the show rather than accompanying other instruments.  The Rev2 can certainly be that too but it's also good at blending into the background if you want it to, and for a sound designer, all the modulations options offer a lot more possibilities.  Played alone my OB-6 sounds better at a lot of sounds, but it is so harmonically rich that it sort of has a mind of its own -- my Rev2 is very easy to dial in a sound that feels like it was made for the mix.

I also wouldn't rule out the Prophet X for your particular use.

You know I actually found the opposite, I found with the REV2, the 16 voice version doesn't sit that well next to other synths but the 8 voice version is easier to manage.

I think it really depends what synths you are pairing though and each specific patch that's being used. The Prophet 6 doing a warm soft pad underneath the PX doing a Prophet VS Wavetable E.P. is just magic.

I definitely agree that it depends on many things -- synths being combined, type of music being created, etc.   Was a little confused about how the 16 voice would sit less well in a mix -- I can see this would be true if stacking layers for thicker/warmer sounds, but you can still put two completely separate sounds on A and B and use them as if they were two separate 8 voice synths (or not use one of the synths at all).   Did you have both layers of the 16 voice going through the Main stereo outs?  If so yes that could probably make separation of sound a bit trickier, because both sounds are going into the same mixer track.... but I use all four outputs, keeping A and B layers separate and mixing independently.

I also have not used the 8 voice version, but I thought it was basically the same (just that you get only four voices for each layer A and B, or 8 voices for a single layer)?.
Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2-16, Korg Minilogue XD module, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2020, 11:42:14 PM »
For a "sits in the mix" synth with versatility, I'd say go with the Rev2.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 are sort of synth-lovers-synths.... they excel at being the star of the show rather than accompanying other instruments.  The Rev2 can certainly be that too but it's also good at blending into the background if you want it to, and for a sound designer, all the modulations options offer a lot more possibilities.  Played alone my OB-6 sounds better at a lot of sounds, but it is so harmonically rich that it sort of has a mind of its own -- my Rev2 is very easy to dial in a sound that feels like it was made for the mix.

I also wouldn't rule out the Prophet X for your particular use.

You know I actually found the opposite, I found with the REV2, the 16 voice version doesn't sit that well next to other synths but the 8 voice version is easier to manage.

I think it really depends what synths you are pairing though and each specific patch that's being used. The Prophet 6 doing a warm soft pad underneath the PX doing a Prophet VS Wavetable E.P. is just magic.

I definitely agree that it depends on many things -- synths being combined, type of music being created, etc.   Was a little confused about how the 16 voice would sit less well in a mix -- I can see this would be true if stacking layers for thicker/warmer sounds, but you can still put two completely separate sounds on A and B and use them as if they were two separate 8 voice synths (or not use one of the synths at all).   Did you have both layers of the 16 voice going through the Main stereo outs?  If so yes that could probably make separation of sound a bit trickier, because both sounds are going into the same mixer track.... but I use all four outputs, keeping A and B layers separate and mixing independently.

I also have not used the 8 voice version, but I thought it was basically the same (just that you get only four voices for each layer A and B, or 8 voices for a single layer.

I just find in terms of analog synth sounds, especially with pads and strings, things get a little "messy" sounding when you have that much polyphony going. It's not like a piano sound or anything with a short attack but when you have that many oscillators detuned with reverb or delay or chorus going with long release times it just gets harder to get it to sit properly in a mix. It just becomes indistinguishable and becomes more "A sound" rather than "A nice sound". if that makes any sense. But you are right, one could always just split the keyboard and effectively have two 8 voice poly synths. I just would find I'd still wouldn't be using that many voices even if I did that (I'm more looking at it as each synth is delegated to a specific duty or sound in the overall composition, much like an orchestra, and I wouldn't want the brass section overpowering the choir or the strings overpowering the rhythm etc etc)

I know I'm alone in that (Everyone disagrees with me on this forum) but I'm just not a fan of 16 voice analog synths. Digital synths or FM synths, it's not too bad (although I mostly use those for bell, EP, slap bass type tones). I think 10 is really more than enough. But that's just me. Everyone's different.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

LPF83

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Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 05:26:49 AM »
For a "sits in the mix" synth with versatility, I'd say go with the Rev2.  The Prophet 6 and OB-6 are sort of synth-lovers-synths.... they excel at being the star of the show rather than accompanying other instruments.  The Rev2 can certainly be that too but it's also good at blending into the background if you want it to, and for a sound designer, all the modulations options offer a lot more possibilities.  Played alone my OB-6 sounds better at a lot of sounds, but it is so harmonically rich that it sort of has a mind of its own -- my Rev2 is very easy to dial in a sound that feels like it was made for the mix.

I also wouldn't rule out the Prophet X for your particular use.

You know I actually found the opposite, I found with the REV2, the 16 voice version doesn't sit that well next to other synths but the 8 voice version is easier to manage.

I think it really depends what synths you are pairing though and each specific patch that's being used. The Prophet 6 doing a warm soft pad underneath the PX doing a Prophet VS Wavetable E.P. is just magic.

I definitely agree that it depends on many things -- synths being combined, type of music being created, etc.   Was a little confused about how the 16 voice would sit less well in a mix -- I can see this would be true if stacking layers for thicker/warmer sounds, but you can still put two completely separate sounds on A and B and use them as if they were two separate 8 voice synths (or not use one of the synths at all).   Did you have both layers of the 16 voice going through the Main stereo outs?  If so yes that could probably make separation of sound a bit trickier, because both sounds are going into the same mixer track.... but I use all four outputs, keeping A and B layers separate and mixing independently.

I also have not used the 8 voice version, but I thought it was basically the same (just that you get only four voices for each layer A and B, or 8 voices for a single layer.

I just find in terms of analog synth sounds, especially with pads and strings, things get a little "messy" sounding when you have that much polyphony going. It's not like a piano sound or anything with a short attack but when you have that many oscillators detuned with reverb or delay or chorus going with long release times it just gets harder to get it to sit properly in a mix. It just becomes indistinguishable and becomes more "A sound" rather than "A nice sound". if that makes any sense. But you are right, one could always just split the keyboard and effectively have two 8 voice poly synths. I just would find I'd still wouldn't be using that many voices even if I did that (I'm more looking at it as each synth is delegated to a specific duty or sound in the overall composition, much like an orchestra, and I wouldn't want the brass section overpowering the choir or the strings overpowering the rhythm etc etc)

I know I'm alone in that (Everyone disagrees with me on this forum) but I'm just not a fan of 16 voice analog synths. Digital synths or FM synths, it's not too bad (although I mostly use those for bell, EP, slap bass type tones). I think 10 is really more than enough. But that's just me. Everyone's different.

I agree that too much polyphony can get messy, and I don't think I would want a 16 voice that was unable to be split into two 8 voice.  Sometimes less is more depending on the sound at hand.  Reducing release times can be a fix, at least some of the time.
Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2-16, Korg Minilogue XD module, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 07:16:10 PM »
Even in the case of piano-type patches, especially those that have a strong bottom end, an eight-voice limitation is an excellent way of keeping the sound clean.  I often play broad arpeggios with my left hand.  In the lower register they can sound quite muddy.  It's often helpful to minimize the voice count - even to four - and compensate for the loss of ringing notes with reverb.
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.co

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2020, 07:30:37 PM »
Even in the case of piano-type patches, especially those that have a strong bottom end, an eight-voice limitation is an excellent way of keeping the sound clean.  I often play broad arpeggios with my left hand.  In the lower register they can sound quite muddy.  It's often helpful to minimize the voice count - even to four - and compensate for the loss of ringing notes with reverb.

Stevie Wonder once remarked about Kurzweil's K250 that he felt that it was easier to have it sit in a mix and never noticed the 12 voices of polyphony, even on piano patches.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2020, 08:04:12 AM »
Unless  my purpose is using a sequencer at a fast tempo and short notes I  don't think I can achieve 8 note polyphony.  In normal playing I rarely come close.  So yes, the 8 and 8 split, or even 6 and 6, is more useful to me than a flat 16 poly.
DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

LPF83

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Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2020, 05:25:31 PM »
Interesting comments about piano - I haven't thought much about this before because my use of piano sounds is relatively sparse.

Could sustain/release be controlled with MIDI pedals to imitate what happens with an acoustic piano?  And is the abundance of polyphony on an acoustic piano not also a similar problem?
Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2-16, Korg Minilogue XD module, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre.

Re: LOOKING FOR SEQUENTIAL SYNTH MUSICAL CONSULTANT AND TUTOR
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2020, 10:39:28 PM »
Interesting comments about piano - I haven't thought much about this before because my use of piano sounds is relatively sparse.

Could sustain/release be controlled with MIDI pedals to imitate what happens with an acoustic piano?  And is the abundance of polyphony on an acoustic piano not also a similar problem?

It is in a way similar. Sometimes itís used as an effect in a crescendo type fashion. If you think of a piano sound, there is an initial strike that dies off, even with the sustain pedal on, with a synth pad or string patch itís generally a constant sound and as such it begins to ďpile upĒ rather than than a barrage of attacks in a crescendo. However, even in a crescendo on a synth I find that the more polyphony it has the more cluttered it sounds. Same with Unison, when you have dozens of oscillators stacked together and detuned it becomes overbearing and doesnít work that well in a musical context.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.