The artist formerly known as Bobby Browser shows us round his unique loft studio in Brooklyn.
Bobby B – My Studio
Here I am climbing up to my small loft studio in the Bushwick neighbourhood of Brooklyn. You can see the Sequential Circuits Studio 440 on the right.
Notice the number of pipes that you can ram your head into.
Korg Volca Bass
The Korg Volca series has ripped apart the x0x market with super good-sounding cheap boxes. I’ve been wanting these kinds of things for so long that I even tried DIY projects to make similar equipment, including a modded Boss DR-110 and a hacked Korg Monotron with a sequencer. Those projects took a lot of time and in the end I became discouraged with DIY stuff because it never really worked properly. Fast forward to 2013, the Volca Bass is in my opinion the best one, and that’s because of the three-track sequencer. One can make several different length patterns.
Teenage Engineering OP-1
The OP-1 is quite likely one of the coolest audio tools ever made. It’s versatile, pretty original, but at the same time very basic. Most people think it’s a toy, but if you actually read the manual you’ll see it can do some very special things. For example, using its various sequencers, one can make weird or unexpected patterns similar to a roland TR drum machine connected via trigger to a Juno-6, JX-3P or SH-101. It can also do that Serato scratch rewind thing we hear so much in modern hip-hop and pop music. Its only downfall is that it is TOO small, so when playing live one has to be super careful not to push the stop button or the loop in/out button.
Asus UL30A laptop
This has been my workhorse computer for the last four years. I’ve made and recorded so many tracks on this thing. Yes, it has problems like all computers do, but it proves you don’t need a MacBook or a fast computer to do music production. If you run into trouble, just freeze tracks or bounce them down to stems and keep working. In the old days, people made very complex music on very slow machines. It’s all about how much you want it. On the downside, it does takes a long time to export audio and render video, so I use the time to take breaks and have a snack or close my eyes and ears.
MIDIMan mini mixer
I’m gonna let the cat of out the bag with this one: it’s arguably the best mini mixer ever. Six mono channels with pan and level, dead simple to use, and it has low noise for its size. I’ve used it on tour to practise with and, in a pinch, for a performance. For most people, however, it’s the mixer in Guitar Center that’s strapped up to the wall where all the display keyboards connect. There is a larger one too with a lot more channels and two aux sends, but I like this one the best. It’s perfect for practising on tour or just for home use as a tiny, unobtrusive mixer.
This is a cheap and lightweight rack effect unit that I’ve seen praised by such people as Legowelt, Beau Wanzer, and a grip of other CBS/IFM guys. It’s got the ability to easily manipulate left and right delay times, which allows for quick exploration of stereo delay settings. It also has this kind of crappy vocoder which is not super complicated, but gets the job done in interesting ways. I’ve used it on an aux for echo and reverb in my last few live sets with good results.
Weller soldering iron
When any electronics go crazy, this thing can really come in handy. Spending a few extra bucks on a nice soldering iron and tools makes a big difference if you repair gear a lot or like to do DIY projects.