In this studio interview we talk to Steve Broadbent about his music making setup and discover his unique studio philosophy…
Steve Broadbent has everything in reach, but that desk height can be annoying…
MT: What are the key components of your studio?
Steve Broadbent: iMac 21.5-inch computer; Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo interface; Behringer ADA8200 ADAT Pre; Dynaudio DBM50 monitors; AKG K240 MKII and Senheisser HD 380 Pro headphones; M-Audio Oxygen 49; Line 6 POD HD Desktop; Rode NTR, NTK, NT1-A, NT-USB and M5; Roland TD-9KX2 and E-Drums; Reaper; NI Komplete 9 Ultimate; BFD3 with a few expansions; Steven Slate drums; various Slate Digital plug-ins.
MT: Which DAW do you use and why?
I use Reaper. It’s a tiny download, cost me only AU$70 for two full version upgrades and it’s incredibly customisable, with toolbars, layouts and themes. It takes a while to get it the way you like it, but it grows with you.
MT: What is your favourite gear?
My Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo audio interface. It allows me to monitor all sorts of effects live on the way in, with the option to write the FX to the track. I love the Marshall amps for my guitar. My only regret is that I went with the Solo and not the Duo, as I hit the DSP limit quickly.
MT: How do you use your setup?
As a hobby. I did record a couple of bands for money, but found it time consuming and the bands were inexperienced. I play most instruments on most of my own tracks, but have recently started doing online collaborations. You can find some of my music here: https://soundcloud.com/steve-broadbent
MT: Next on your shopping list?
It should be acoustic treatment, but I don’t want to damage the walls and I don’t know how long the studio will stay in the current room. Acoustic treatment is helpful, but when it’s just a hobby and you’re pretty happy with the sound you’re getting, then it’s less important. People get really upset when you don’t have acoustic treatment. It can be a touchy subject!
MT: Does anything annoy you?
Desk height. You can’t have everything in reach. Also, I have everything I need and yet I finish much less music than I did when I had very little gear – I suppose I’ve developed a fear of writing bad music. Finally, there can be noise pollution from the neighbourhood.
MT: Do you have any advice?
Force yourself to finish almost everything you start. Write for the bin. You can get by with very little and there are plenty of great free plug-ins that will do what very expensive plug-ins can do. Don’t think that if you only had [insert gear name here] you could make better music. I think that restrictions and barriers are conducive to creativity, whereas endless options are the opposite