The Gear That Got Me Here
When I first had the idea to get into music production, I was a sophomore in high school and had absolutely no knowledge of what I would need to begin. I remember watching videos of Kanye West and Damu The Fudgemunk sampling on an Akai MPC2000 and then scheming on how to get my hands on one even though I was a broke 15 year old. While the MPC never happened, I did get a refurbished 2007 MacBook Pro that same year and with it came Garageband. For me, this is where it all began.
As I’m sure many of you starting out do, I still had an endless amount of questions but at least I now had a piece of hardware and software that I could start figuring out. I wanted to shorten the time between turning ideas into music so while I could have gotten away with using piano roll, I turned to craigslist to find my first midi keyboard which ended up being an M-Audio Axiom 25. My next step was finding some speakers, so I hit my local music store and traded in a couple of old turn tables for a pair of Behringer MS40 studio monitors. As a quick disclaimer, I had no idea how good or bad either of these products would actually be before I bought them but the price was right and to be honest, I wasn’t really in the position to care. Along the way, I also wanted something I could fit in a backpack and take on trips with me so I picked up an Akai LPK25. Definitely a worthy investment if you’re on-the-go a lot.
Fast forward about seven to eight years and aside from my current 2015 MacBook Pro, this is the exact equipment I started my YouTube channel with, as you can see in my very first video below which has now reached over 1.4M views. If you’re just starting out, this goes to show that you don’t need the best equipment to make your entrance into the industry. Just spend a lot of time learning what you do have because the equipment is secondary to having, and executing a solid plan.
While we’re on the topic of having a plan, if yours is to start a YouTube channel, you’ll definitely need something to film with. Chances are you’ve got a phone with a pretty decent camera in your pocket so if you’re on a budget, that will definitely get you started. I use a Canon Rebel T4i because that’s what I had available to me and it’s gotten me this far. That being said, camera technology has progressed since the T4i came out and if you want something more compact, consider a mirrorless camera like the Sony a5000. The quality is incredible and it’s a few model years old so you can find them at a great price.
By now you can probably tell that I can go on forever about gear, and if I actually went into depth about everything I currently have, we would absolutely get lost in the sauce. After all, this post was intended to share what I used to get started. I’ll make this easier on the both of us and list what I’m working with in my home studio at the moment below and for my visual friends, I recently made a gear review video that I’ll share below as well. At the end of the day, I used what I had and where my equipment fell short, I tried to make up for it in the execution of my content. If I can do it, you definitely can too. Just be yourself and find a way to bring something new to the constantly growing genre of music production videos on YouTube and most importantly, have fun with it.
Have any questions or comments on what gear got you started? Let me know in comments below!
Full List of Equipment: