Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Rob Cantor

Rob Cantor

Singer, songwriter

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Rob Cantor. I'm a singer & songwriter from Michigan, currently residing in sunny Los Angeles. I write for hire, I play in a band called Tally Hall and I also release music on my own behalf. I try to make fun and interesting music videos, too. For example, this one and this one. Oh -- and this one too.

What hardware do you use?

I have a 27" iMac (3.4 GHz, 24GB RAM) and an Apogee Duet 2 interface. My main microphone is a Manley Reference Cardioid, and my monitor speakers are KRK Rokit 8's. As for guitars, I use a Gibson Les Paul Standard (classic ebony finish, if you must know!) and a Gibson J-185 acoustic. And nary a day goes by that I don't use my trusty little M-Audio KeyStudio MIDI controller to trigger some Kontakt library.

And what software?

I use Logic Pro X, along with a bazillian different plug-ins and sample libraries. The aforementioned Kontakt sampler is in constant use when I'm working. For drums, I like the Native Instruments Abbey Road Drummer libraries, as well as their DrumLab patch. There's a tambourine library by a cool little company called Tres Sonique that I use on just about every tune I write. I also have some great vintage drum machines samples that I go to often -- the Oberheim DMX sounds especially good. I love the sound of OldBlackGrand, a piano patch by Pleyel, and if I need something brighter, I go for Piano in Blue by Cinesamples. For orchestral stuff, I like Spitfire -- either Albion or Sable.

For soft-synths, my favorites are NI's Massive or U-he's Diva. As for plugins, my most valuable players are SoundToys Decapitator, Waves CLA-76, UAD's Fairchild 670, Lexicon's Verbs, and Logic's built-in delays.

What would be your dream setup?

Like most everyone, I would love more analog gear. Especially helpful would be a vintage mic pre-amp (Neve 1073, if you're looking for a great gift idea!) and an outboard compressor (UA 1176, maybe). I could also use upgrade in the monitor department -- I'd love a nice pair of Adams.

And, heck, while we're dreaming... I'll take a bunch more great mics, a vibey upright piano, some analog synths, a vintage drumset, more fun outboard gear, a live room, a jacuzzi, and a tuxedo-clad butler named Helmsley, who I could send out for Taco Bell.