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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.