Darrell Lee is part of the Digital Three production team. As you can see his advice is ‘get good acoustics – another essential piece of equipment a lot of people forget to include’. And the foundation of a good set-up? The card and monitors…
- PreSonus mixer and interface
- Akai APC40
- M-Audio and Novation controllers
- Focusrite Liquid 56 interface
- KRK monitors
Tell us more about your studio…
Darrell It’s a small, intimate studio located in Kent. It took a year to build and has been fully operational for two years now and is almost square all around.
Tell us about the gear in the studio
I have an Apple MacBook Pro running Logic; Yamaha HS7 studio monitors; Native Instruments Maschine MK2; Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 interface; dbx 286a Pro mic pre amp/compressor; sE Electronics 2200a condenser microphone; Evolution 42 key MIDI keyboard.
Which DAW do you use and why?
Logic Pro X. Due to the fact I have a MacBook Pro, it seemed the most logical DAW to choose (no pun intended). Logic has some great features, such as the EQ and compressors and the Space Designer.
What is your favourite piece of gear?
I would have to say the Maschine MK2. It is versatile, great sounding and you can do so much with it plus it can be used with my DAW which makes it a all round winner.
How much time do you spend in the studio?
I’m in my studio almost on a daily basis. If I’m not doing a radio show or DJ-ing at an event I’m usually in the studio working on a new track. I can spend up to eight hours a day there. I do have moments when I just can’t get any inspiration for a new track so I need to take time out the studio and chill with the family and not make music for a couple of days. I’m sure many producers get this.
How do you mainly use the studio?
I work professionally in my studio. We just recently had a great vocalist working with us, laying down vocals for one of our singles, but mostly it’s just production.
What is on your shopping list?
Thats a tough one. It’s a case of ‘where do I start?’, really. I was thinking probably the new NI Maschine MK3 or Komplete Kontrol S49. I guess if I had to choose just one of those I’d have to say the Komplete Kontrol. I would love that piece of equipment.
Anything annoy you about your setup?
At the moment I’d say my MacBook Pro as it’s getting old now and I do actually need to upgrade it. The rest of my studio equipment is great though.
What is your dream piece of gear?
I would love some Adam A7x monitors – they sound amazing. I’d also love an original Yamaha DX7 as I love that old skool sound.
What is your top production advice?
Always listen to your ears. If it sounds good, go with it. Focus more on what sounds right to you and not what looks right.
What advice do you have for people building a studio?
Establish what computer platform you would like to work on and then get a decent sound card. Never get cheap monitors – the interface and monitors are the foundation of your set up. Make sure the room you work in is treated well with acoustics. Stay focused and learn from those you look up to and be the best you can.