Exploring the Setups of Denton Musicians
For the beginner musician, exploring live and at-home studio setups can be daunting. Even the cheapest of pedals and amps can be a major investment, and every consumer wants to make sure they're buying quality goods that will last them a while. So, what audio equipment do the musicians of Denton swear by? The Dentonite asked three local musicians to share their favorite equipment and the reasons for their choices.
Skyler Hill offered to share his at-home studio space, as well as his simple live setup he trusts when performing. For an amateur audio buff, good speakers are a kind of rite of passage. Hill recommends the KRK Rokit 5, which he describes as the "entry-level standard for any home producer." "They're unbiased, which means you're hearing true audio as it was recorded," he explains. The speakers are on speaker stands to remove the bleeding of frequencies through a desk or through the walls. For editing, Hill uses Ableton Live 10, which works directly with his Korg NanoControl 2, a MIDI controller he uses to add additional synth effects. As a basic MIDI keybord, Hill uses the M-Audio 61-key Keystation.
"The AKG open-back headphones are using specifically for mixing," he explained. "Closed-back headphones are used more for recording usage." During live performances, Hill uses a combination of an iPad Mini and a Verbtronics Mini MIDI controller. For gigs, his guitar and amp of choice is the Parker P36 and a Fender Blues, Jr. And for guitar effects? A ZOOM MS-100BT, a multi-effects pedal.
Local violinist Leoncarlo Canlas is known for live displays of scintillating string music, often evoking the sounds of an entire orchestra. The art of his sound lies in his complicated pedal chain that allow for a variety of effects. It begins with a paracoustic DI, which Canlas says allows him control over his signal before the sound travels to the other pedals. Though a solo musician, Canlas uses a Digitech Whammy to produce the effect of a full orchestra. "I keep the effects pretty simple, and alter it by manipulating the octave and utilizing a delay pedal to give the illusion of an orchestra." To master songwriting, Canlas uses his trusty Boss RC-300 Loop Station, which allows him to layer sounds on top of one another. "I've been using [the loop station] for years, it has a really good signal," he said. Canlas ends the chain with a Korg Kaoss Pad, which sums up all of the prior effects and processes them, allowing for Canlas to manipulate his sound with ease. The Kaoss pad isn't on his pedalboard, but instead elevated by a music stand to allow for access while performing. And finally, he runs the signal through yet another looper - a Line 6 DL4. "I handle loops in the way that a DJ would DJ a set. I fade between the two loopers to create interest."
"I've had this [amp] for years," Canlas said of his Fender Acoustasonic 30 - so if you're looking for a sturdy model, this might be a suggestion straight from one of the most prolific and well-known live musicians in Denton. In between teaching lessons at Bonduris, Canlas likes to set up a recording studio, which consists of an AKG Perception 420 Microphone (sometimes coupled with a RODE NT1), his MacBook, a legal copy of Logic Pro, and an M-Audio FastTrack Pro 2 - an audio interface.
Stone Wolf is a new metal band on the scene, but their garage practice sessions are the perfect image of what any aspiring musician hopes their band's setups might look like. The hot garage is aerated by a large industrial fan, and ratty thrifted furniture lines the walls. Click through the gallery for product details and each player's setups. As for advice, Stone Wolf recommends looking for second-hand equipment on reverb.com, Facebook Marketplace, and local pawn shops.