The Buyer’s Guide To A Singer-Songwriter Setup

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The part of the MusicTech Essential Guide, where we choose a starter studio for a specific task or budget. This time, it’s everything a singer-songwriter needs for both mobile and desktop on a budget…


singer-songwriter setup

Speakers/Headphones

A decent set of speakers is essential and we’ve included two sets of headphones for songwriting on the move, too…





IKM iLoud Micro
Price £218
Contact via website
Web www.ikmultimedia.com
We said: “Probably the smallest proper monitors around; great for the travelling singer-songwriter.”

Focal Alpha Range
Price £185
Contact SCV London
0330 122 2500
Web www.focalprofessional.com
We said: “The clarity, accuracy and sheer audio quality this monitor provides is rare indeed at this price point.”

Audio-Technica ATH-M70x
Price £299
Contact AT on 0113 277 1441
Web eu.audio-technica.com/en
We said: “Accurate and great for long sessions – not a common combination – so perfect for mixing.”

Yamaha HPH-MT8
Price £170 (street)
Contact Yamaha 0844 811 1116 (UK)
Web www.yamahaproaudio.com
We said: “These ’phones stand up to models that cost a lot more – a great buy.”

Microphone

You’ll want a decent microphone for your singing and something to mic up an instrument or two as well. Here are some great budget offerings…





RØDE NT-USB
Price £129
Web www.sourcedistribution.co.uk or www.rode.com
We said: “One of the better options for mobile recording… The mic punches well above its price tag and will give you pro recordings for non-pro cash.”

Shure MV88 Phone Mic
Price £135
Contact Shure UK 01992 703058
Web www.shure.co.uk
We said: “Great phone mic – and you get some vintage Shure vibe, too.”

Aston Orgin
Price £199
Contact Sonic Distribution
Web www.astonmics.com
We said: “The Origin is a refreshing twist, and a superb-sounding mic for a variety of tasks.”

Audio-Technica AE2300
Price £249
Contact Audio Technica
0113 277 1441
Web www.audio-technica.com
We said: “The AE2300 has the makings of a modern classic and is a bit of a bargain, too.”

Gadget/Interface

A couple of cool interfaces and a gadget used by a certain Ed Sheeran…





Boss RC-30 Loop Station
Price £169
Contact via website
Web www.roland.com
The looper that Ed Sheeran uses to build his songs up live (and had to explain to Glasto fans who thought he was cheating. Doh!).

Audient iD4
Price £190
Contact Audient 01256 381944
Web www.audient.com
We said: “Focuses on audio quality rather than gimmicks. This is attractive, sonically impressive and fiendishly useful.”

Olympus LS Pocket LS-P2
Price £179
Contact via website
Web www.olympus.co.uk
You want to capture quick ideas with one of the most compact recording solutions around? Sing or play into this baby…

Focusrite iTrack One Pre
Price £119 (street)
Contact 01494 462246
Web uk.focusrite.com
We said: “Use pro mics without external power… That, and a quality Focusrite preamp, makes this one of the best mobile devices we’ve looked at.”

DAW

We’ve included DAWs for both mobile and desktop singer- songwriters here…





Steinberg Cubasis 2
Price £49.99
Contact via website
Web www.steinberg.net
We said: “It’s one of the best DAW experiences to blend old-school sequencing with new-school touch.”

Auria Pro
Price £34.99
Contact via website
Web auriaapp.com
We said: “The most ‘pro’ app here – and the ideal choice if you’re in a band and want to record gigs or studio sessions.”

Apple Logic
Price £199
Contact via website
Web www.apple.com
We said: “Few other DAWs match the usability and sheer sonic dexterity that Logic Pro X offers.”

Steinberg Cubase
Price £80 to £488
Contact via website
Web www.steinberg.net
We said: “An elegant and powerful DAW that’s a delight to use. The workflow is highly efficient and the interface is beautiful.”

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