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My (Partial) Gear List and Cheaper Alternatives

I get a lot of people asking me what gear I use or what they should get to start out in audio. I provided a list of the equipment I mainly use, as well as a cheaper alternative. As a bonus, I also included all of my photography/film making gear. For those, I did not include the cheaper alternatives, mainly because I am actually not too aware of any. is my gear:

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40

This is the brain of my operation. All of my audio is routed to this and everything gets sent to my computer from the Saffire Pro 40. It has 8 ins and 8 outs right on board, with additional digital ins and outs using S/PDIF and ADAT. The preamps sound amazing on this. The one con that I can think of is the fact that it is connected via firewire, which can be slower than thunderbolt devices. USB 3.0 is also a contender. Firewire always seemed a little untrustworthy to me (especially if you know what hot swapping is), although I have never had a single problem with it thus far.

Check it out on Amazon:

Cheaper option: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Warm Audio WA-87

This is a very authentic clone to the Neuman U87. And its for a much smaller fraction of the price compared to the original. I honestly can’t think of a single con about this microphone, and it has quickly become my favorite mic in my mic cabinet!

Check it out on Amazon:

Cheaper Option: Rode NT-1A

Yamaha HS8

These monitors are beasts at what they do. The Yamaha HS8’s have a very wide frequency response that will allow you to bypass a sub if you are in a small enough room. Everything is crispy sounding and when they are matched with (what I think is the best cheap studio upgrade) Auralex Mopads, they will give you a very accurate listening situation.

Check it out on Amazon:

Cheaper Option: Yamaha HS5

ART PRO VLA II Compressor

This is a VERY good compressor for rap vocals in my opinion. It is definitely a good "first" piece of outboard gear that will show you the ins and outs of running audio to different pieces of hardware gear, and will also give you a very nice, warm, colored tone. Plus you can drive this compressor a bit and get some nice saturation which is always a plus!

Check it out on Amazon:

It is already cheap for outboard gear...

Universal Audio 710 TwinFinity

This part is not 100% necessary, although it does add to the clarity and tone of your vocals. The UA 710 allows you to dial in how much tube you want in the signal chain which will allow you to add the right amount of warmth to your tracks. I found this to be very useful when recording acoustic guitar, or I want an analog driven bass guitar.

Check it out on Amazon:

Not too many cheap options for this category…

Sony A6000 Mirrorless

I love this camera. It is a mirrorless and has continuous lock on auto focus which will give you the assurance that you are always in focus if you are shooting video, or vlogging. Since it is mirrorless, it is also a very light camera. You can download apps onto the camera as well which allows time lapse, and remote shooting from your mobile device. The interchangeable lenses also allow for various focal lengths and different f stops. In my camera at its price point.

Check it out on Amazon:

Sony 50mm F1.8 Lens

I use this lens in dark situations. It stops down to 1.8 so it is very good in low light situations.

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DJI Phantom 3 Standard

2.7k aerial shots? What's not to like?!

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DJI Ronin M

Definitely one of those pieces of equipment that you don't realize how badly you need this...until you use it. This is the piece of equipment that will give you those Hollywood smooth shots and really create fluidity in your film projects. Pretty expensive, but totally worth it. If you know someone in the industry, try getting that hefty discount!

Check it out on Amazon:

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