Here is a selection of products I am currently using in my home studio, out at gigs, or have had my eye on for future purchase. This collection includes various MIDI controllers, synths, studio gear and DJ accessories. All products are available through Amazon, my preferred marketplace (mainly because of free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime). If you’d prefer to Try Before You Buy, I’d personally recommend your local Guitar Center.
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I use both a Push (1st gen) to produce in the studio, as well as an APC 40 (1st gen). Push 2 includes some great feature enhancements, and the APC 40 MKII includes RGB pads. Note, many reviews suggest the new APC has a cheaper feel than the original.
Although your laptop likely has a 3.5mm (1/8″ mini-pin) audio out, chances are you’ll require a higher quality interface to drive music to a mixer / monitor, or to capture (line-in / mic) performances via an input. Depending on your gig situation, you may also want to consider a portable option.
I recommend grabbing a pair of decent monitors, and some good, comfortable headphones. Get into the habit of listening to your mix in multiple environments (car, studio, phone, laptop), and at different volumes.
Performance / Analog Gear
Ready to get out of the box? Try adding some analog gear or an external device to your setup.
Nice to Haves
Looking at the gear prices above, and depending on your needs, a robust Ableton setup can easily set you back a couple thousand dollars. (Not bad, considering the cost of one Pioneer CDJ!!). However, I’ve found the following items to be extremely helpful, especially when traveling and gigging out.