When it comes to finding the right gear or software for making music, recording music, playing gigs, or performing live DJ sets, the choices can seem endless. Sometimes there are so many options out there that you can end up feeling more confused after looking around for the best choices, than you were before you started searching on the web!
To make things simple we have put together a series of excellent guides and reviews which let you quickly find out what your best options are to get the job done. We have also included many video demos to show you what the hardware equipment can do.
- Music Recording & Production
- DJ Equipment & Software
- Instruments & Controllers
- iPad Apps & Equipment
- Other Gear
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Music Recording & Production - Hardware
USB audio adapters are the most convenient way to plug your microphones and instruments into your computer. We cover a full range of options which have between two and eight inputs.
Are you still using ordinary computer speakers to monitor & edit your music? Now that you can get high quality studio monitors for less than $200 there really is no excuse for not upgrading. Oh, and there are even a couple of really good options under $100 from reliable brands like Alesis and Numark.
If you're still using your mouse to produce music on a DAW, then you really need to check these controllers out. You can have anything from a large mixing console with faders, sliders, knobs, jog wheels, buttons, LEDs etc., to smaller configurations for just a single channel or anything in between.
Whether you are just starting out or looking to upgrade, these versatile microphones will make a great addition to your home studio.
With our selection of the best cheap USB Microphones, you have one less excuse to stop you from recording and producing your own music right at home. You might also like to check out GuitarSite.com's AKG Mic Review page.
You will need a MIDI interface, or adapter, if you want to record MIDI onto your computer, or if you want to use a MIDI Controller to send MIDI to your computer to to play soft synths or control applications like DJ software from a DJ Controller.
Here are the best microphones for recording drums both in live and studio situations.
Music Recording & Production - Software & Plugins
Here we cover the full range of music production applications from the big commercial applications, through to the highly effective free options. It covers everything from recording to beat makers and music sequencers. We also have a special section devoted to online web-based services you can use for recording and editing music.
There are over 200 listings for Delay/Echo on this site alone - far too many to wade through if you just need something really good right now. With this article we make it extremely easy to find a great delay VST plugin.
This has our list of the top 10 reverb plugins with both Mac & Windows options along with our usual reviews and explanations.
This is an extremely popular guide and covers all types of plugins from Synths to Samplers and Drum Machines.
This is just like the Mac roundup above, but this time it's all about Windows plugins.
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation - programs for recording, editing, and even mastering your music. We present the best options for the major platforms including Mac, Windows, and Linux. Both free and commercial applications are included.
This has everything you need from virtual effects pedals through to amplifier and cabinet simulators - and VSTi's to produce realistic guitar sounds.
Make your songs really shine with this range of VSTs specifically designed for processing vocal tracks. You can correct pitch, create harmonies, apply bizarre voice modulations, and even just find simple presets for EQ, reverb, and compression while you get on with the important creative side of recording and singing.
DJ Equipment & Software
Sure you can do an awful lot with DJ software these days, but if you really want to get the room going crazy by bringing out the most powerful features of your software, you really need to get your hands on a hardware controller. These give you an array of jog wheels, pads, knobs, faders, and LEDs to let you really take control of all the features and effects your software has to offer.
If the premium controllers listed in the roundup above are a bit too much of a stretch for your budget, then check out these affordable, yet excellent, alternative DJ controllers..
Not all speakers are suitable for a mobile DJ setup - in fact many that may be great for live music can be a real hassle for mobile DJ's. We show you which are the most suitable, and even help you decide on whether to get powered or passive systems.
There are a few aspects of DJing which require different features in headphones compared to regular listening or working in the recording studio. With this in mind we have reviewed most of the options currently available and produced this list of the best sets of cans for DJs.
We've reviewed all the DJ Mixers you can get for under $100 and produced this roundup of the best of the bunch. There's actually some reasonably good brands in our list - so come and take a look!
The quality of free applications for DJ's has come a long way - now you can do pretty much everything that a DJ needs to do, on your computer, without having to spend a dime. Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iPad are all covered here.
Instruments & Controllers
Here we provide you with a list of what are, in our considered opinion, the very cream of the electronic drum sets available today.
Not all of us can afford to spend $5,000 on electronic drums, so we took a good look at all the kits that sell for under $500 and came up with this roundup of really good kits you can get on a budget.
We present the best selection of MIDI keyboards that all have price tags under $100. You don't have to skimp on quality either - here you'll find big brand names like Akai, Korg, and M-Audio as well as a few others.
Rather than the low cost options above, this review details the very best MIDI keyboards currently available. It includes big brands such at Arturia, Novation, M-Audio, Nektar, Akai, Roland and more.
This is our roundup of what we believe are the top 5 cheap drum machines that are currently available.
Analog sound modeling has improved through the years, allowing manufacturers to produce cheap synthesizers that can get the job done. We looked at units below the $500 mark, and picked out the ones that offer analog synth modeling with reasonable quality, while considering their ability to let you better shape your sound - without re-shaping your savings.
The Roland A-88 is a standout MIDI keyboard, featuring Roland's impressive Ivory Feel-G Keyboard in slim form.
iPad Apps & Equipment
There is now a huge range of gadgets and equipment you can get to work with your iPad. We show you some of the coolest items available from doing things including simple audio & MIDI input, to a range of docking stations that will let you do everything from turning your iPad into a hardware synth, virtual guitar, and even a remote control for you mixer. And a bunch of other useful things too!
Here you will find everything you need for recording your band, virtual guitar effects, software versions of your favorite synth, to beat makers and apps for writing songs.
The Guitar Journal has a range of articles and advice on iPad and Android hardware and apps which are specifically for those of you who play guitar.
These days you don't have to break the bank to get a good set of headphones. This will let you know what you need for Listening, Recording, and DJ'ing.
Here you'll find a great set of floor pedals designed to let you take control of your vocals in a live setting. These will let you do anything from applying basic effects like reverb and EQ right through to producing real-time 4 part harmonies. And just because they're made with live performance in mind doesn't mean you can't use them for recording.
You don't have to carry around large speakers or foldback wedges anymore - now you can have your monitors sitting literally in your ears. Not only does this give you the freedom to move about while playing or singing, but they also let you have your own personal mix with the levels just the way you want them.
This roundup is your guide to the best speaker systems which come with built-in amplifiers.
This is a very popular 2 channel USB audio interface.
This roundup does a great job of showing you which tuner to get for acoustic guitars.
This is a Pinterest board which is dedicated to everything related to parlor guitars.
We are constantly adding more reviews and guides. If there is something you would like to see here then please let us know via our Contact Form.