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I've put together a list of all the gear, software, equipment, and tools that I personally use to make deep house music. Because this is the style of music I make as Best Friends Club, I figured it would make sense that any gear I personally use would technically be my recommendation for the deep house genre. 

With that said, this list of what I think is the best gear can really be used for any electronic music, but in particular, genres of electronic dance music like deep house, house, techno, etc.

My Studio Gear

This is the main gear that I use in the studio to create songs and remixes for release on Spotify. This is also the main gear I use to create sample packs.

My studio setup revolves around the Ableton Push 2 controller so that I can basically get hands on control, look at the screen less and use that sweet, sweet scale mode (music theory is not my strongest point).

I also use a simple audio interface for the odd times I need to record vocals or guitars and a small mixer so that I can send both my computer's output and other audio sources to my studio speakers.

 

My Studio Software

Most of my studio productions are done completely inside the box using Ableton Live 10 as my DAW of choice. I use a lot of the stock Ableton plugins, with my favorites being: Analog, Operator, Saturator, Echo, AutoFilter, the Max4Live LFO, the Max4Live Shaper, and the Glue Compressor.

Other than the stock plugins, I have quite a few other third-party VSTs but, to be honest, the ones listed below are the main ones I actually go-to often.

  • Ableton Live 10 Suite - Easily the best DAW out there
  • BIAS FX 2 - For sweet guitar tones
  • XLN RC-20 - For that Lofi sound and vibe
  • SoundToys Crystallizer - For that cool magical, mystically, tinkly granular sound
  • SoundToys Decapitator - If I am not use Ableton's Saturator I am using this for grit or dirt
  • FabFilter Pro-L - Limiter I use on my mastering chain
  • FabFilter Pro-Q - Cool EQ used mostly for surgical stuff or to use the dynamic feature
  • U-He Diva - For realistic sounding analog bass sounds

My Ableton Racks

I've also created my own handy dandy Ableton racks to speed up my production process. I will make this available at some point, but for now here is just a tease of the secret sauce I am using to crank out tunes like a freak show.

  • BFC Channel Strip - This is set to be on all my tracks by default, it has quick access to: one knob sidechain, low pass, high pass, resonance, stereo width, and gain.
  • One Knob Sidechain - A simple sidechain device that uses only one knob to dial in the amount of sidechain. No need to mess with routing compressors to achieve sidechain. This just works.

Music Distribution

The main tools I use to put music out to the world on a consistent basis is Distrokid. Then, I use Facebook and Instagram ads to send more people to my release. Finally, I use a custom spreadsheet to track my streams and marketing efforts to find ways to improve and grow.

  • DistroKid (Musician Plus) - Pretty integral to what I'm doing with Best Friends Club. This plan allows me to release an unlimited amount of songs each year and schedule them to release on the exact day I want them to. Check out my article on DistroKid Musician vs Musicians Plus for help picking a plan.
  • Spotify Stream Tracker - This is a spreadsheet I've built so that I can track my Spotify streams everyday. I update it daily and use the data here to figure out way's to continually grow my Spotify streams and listeners.

My DAWless Setup

When it comes to my DAWless setup, I've focused on keep the costs low and keeping the overall size of everything low. If possible I like to be completely portable with it so that I can jam anywhere or have a very light load to take around.

When combined with the DJ controller, my DAWless setup becomes more of a "hybrid setup", with the DJ controller being able to act as both a sampler or as a way to mix in other songs traditionally. Very flexible and very cool.

  • Novation Circuit - Not a big fan of the synths, but the drum sequencing and scale mode is worth the price of admission alone
  • Elektron Model:Cycles - Amazing sounds and next-level sequencer (I still can't believe how good FM drums sound)
  • Pioneer DDJ-400 - Everything you need to DJ and prepares you for the world of CDJs
  • Apple iPad Mini 2 - Any iPad will do to be able to use a DJ app and music production apps (I personally went with a budget-conscious option here)
  • Some awesome and cheap DAWless mixer - It is some random AmazonBasics product but it is super super cheap AND doesn't need power!

My DJ Setup

  • Pioneer DDJ-400 - Everything you need to DJ and prepares you for the world of CDJs
  • Pioneer Rekordbox 5 - Comes bundled with the DDJ400 and is my go-to when DJing with a laptop
  • Djay Pro - I tend to use this iPad app so that I don't need to fuss with a laptop or computer
  • Apple iPad Mini 2 - Any iPad will do to be able to use a DJ app (I personally went with a budget-conscious option here)
  • Apple Music Subscription - I actually don't really use this to listen to music, I use it to organize my DJ library and have my songs and playlists automatically sync across my iPad, laptop, desktop and phone (so dang useful!!!)

Hopefully you found this useful! I will make sure to update this list as I add gear and remove gear. If I'm not using anything anymore I think it is just as important to take it off this list.

Thanks and happy music making. 🙂