The Best Gear for Country Music – The Buyer’s Guide

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So you want to make country music, but you don’t have a band? Here are some additions to your software studio that will help you pave the way…

country music

DAW

You’ll need a decent DAW, of course, but we think that these ones have a great leaning towards either capturing or creating the acoustic sound of country music…


Apple Logic

country music

Price £199
Contact www.apple.com

We say: “It’s got such a good collection of instruments that will handle most genres and Drummer and Drum Kit Designer will easily handle beats across a variety of genres.”


Presonus Studio One

Price £344
Contact www.presonus.com

We say: “Loads of content for a variety of genres and the all new version 4 has some great new ways to compose and arrange including a new Chord Track feature.”


AVID Pro Tools

Price £440
Contact www.avid.com

We say: “It’s the ultimate DAW for songwriting and recording although a little pricey for some.” (But probably used in more country music studios than any other.)


Acoustica Mixcraft Pro

Price 
$179
Contact www.acoustica.com

We say: “Bang for buck there are few other DAWs that have this amount of content and sounds for such a diverse range of instruments.”


Guitars

There are some incredible virtual guitar libraries out there but we think these will have you traveling further west than most (and, no, we don’t mean Bristol)…


Native Instruments Strummed Acoustic 2

country music

Price £89
Contact www.native-instruments.com

We say: “A great vintage 6- and 12-string library with an auto chord feature to create songs and patterns a-plenty for folk, country, bluegrass and lots more. It does bass too…”


Chris Hein Guitars

country music

Price €189
Contact Best Service


We say: “Nine different guitar types including nylon, steel, mandolin and banjo within 18GB of high quality sounds and there’s a useful Slide Mode too.”


Orange Tree Samples Evolution Electric Guitar Strawberry

country music

Price $179
Contact Orange Tree Samples

We say: “One of the best ways for keyboard players to make authentic electric guitar sounds with a great range of clean sounds plus many with built-in effects and amp/cab emulations.”


Vir 2 Electri6ity

Price $399.95
Contact http://www.vir2.com/instruments/electri6ity/

We say: “If you simply want to recreate classic guitar sounds – think Les Paul, Rickenbacker, Stratocaster and Telecaster – then look no further.”


Microphone

You’ll want something you can belt out the ballads on in the studio and live. Here are some great budget options…


Audio-Technica AT2020

country music

Price Price £85
Contact 
www.audio-technica.com

We say: “Incredible sound quality for the price and very flexible microphone overall.”


Aston Origin

Price Price £199
Contact 
www.astonmics.com

We say: “Stunning clear quality, with plenty of depth and a smooth, natural high-end on vocals. and instantly useable on guitar.”


Shure SM58

band studio

Price £92
Contact www.shuredistribution.co.uk

We say: “It’s the vocal standard. A gazillion singers across the world can’t be wrong, right?”


sE Electronics V3

buyer's guide to recording

Price Price £56
Contactwww.seelectronics.com

We say: “A pronounced presence, which was absolutely perfect for our female singer. The extra presence helped to hype the vocal in a musical manner.”


Drums and samples

To fill in the gaps in the rest of your (virtual) band, here are some great ways to get some beats and other country samples…


Toontrack Traditional Country EZX

country music

Price $43.95 (plus EZdrummer 2.1 or Superior Drummer 2.4.2)
Contact www.timespace.com

We say: “We’ve had tons of acoustic/folk song ideas just in the short time that we’ve had this expansion. It’s a great piece of work. There’s no better way to get drums like it.”


BigFishAudio Nashville Sessions

country music

Price £86.95
Contact www.loopmasters.com

We say: “A massive amount of content and construction kits to build your own instrumental country backing tracks.”


Frontline Producer Americana Guitars

country music

Price £24.95
Contact www.loopmasters.com

We say: “If guitar libraries were too expensive then this budget sample collection will cover a lot of your country and US-genre needs.”


Loopmasters VIBES Vol 4 – Outlaw Country

country music

Price £24.95
Contact www.loopmasters.com

We say: “5.9GB of more traditional country samples including Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Outlaw Country which evolved from 1970s country music.”


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About Author

Andy Jones

Andy Jones has an MA in Music Technology and has been writing about it for 25 years. He has launched and edited several magazines on the subject and was editor of MusicTech for the last four years. Naturally, he has far too many synthesisers...