Category :

Production/ Recording

Best Setup For The Traveling Producer

A guest post by Jay von Kriegenbergh

Best Setup For The Traveling Producer

As a traveling Producer/Beatmaker/Musician your gear list will vary much from traditional studio equipment. Yes, essentially you are using the same core stuff to get the job done, but the things you take along with you are different.

The Portable computer:

Instead of a desktop pc, a on the go guy probably would want a laptop or macbook. It’s easy to carry along in a backpack while still having the pleasure of using your favorite DAW for editing purposes. When buying a laptop make sure you check if it’s fast enough for your applications and has enough storage.

When talking about digital storage it’s necessary that you buy an SSD hard drive for your laptop or macbook. These SSD drives have less storage capability for the money, but they are sturdy, have no moving parts, and are build like a tank.

USB powered audio Interface:

Interfaces like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are buss powered, meaning they are powered by your computer’s usb port. This is a nice feature to have if you are a traveling musician. You get a couple of analog inputs and outputs and also the ability to connect a microphone  with phantom power or an Instrument with Hi-Z.

Digital Audio Workstation:

You can use your favorite DAW in this case. But if you really wanna be sure your computer can handle it, try to install a light version if there is any available. If not, make sure you don’t install any VST or program onto your computer that you don’t need. For those who are not familiar with DAW’s here are a few: Protools, Cubase, Logic and Studio One.

A midi controller/keyboard

The traveling producer will need some way to dial in his midi notes and tracks when not using a mouse. The 25 key Controller Korg Taktile could really be your next purchase. This little tactical controller has enough keys, switches pads and buttons you will need to get the job done. This midi controller is also buss-powered so you're good to go.

Monitoring with Closed Back Headphones:

Yes, over the ear closed back headphones are the ones you need as a traveling musician. There has often been said that mixing on headphones is a bad thing. This could be true and more so for the closed back version. But you need something to cancel the noise around you. Closed back headphone are also great to get a recording going, because they don’t leak any signal into  the microphone and onto the signal.

Make sure you take at least a five minute break after every 30 minutes when using headphones. Your ears will fatigue very fast listening to those ear cans.

The Microphone:

If you are a singer or need to record some vocals. If you need to record a guitar or any live signal you will be needing a microphone. If you would ask me, I would say pick a Shure SM57! Why you might ask. Because it’s sturdy build and will get the job done! This microphone has been praised by many and you can find everywhere around the world on a podium. It’s even being used in the Whitehouse for speeches but has also been used by famous guitar players to record guitar amps. You just can’t go wrong with this one, it should be a producer's first mic anyway.

We got the Computer, the Audio Interface, the controller, the headphones and the microphone. This is the bare minimum you need to get your music going while being in transit to who knows where.

Post Author: Jay von Kriegenbergh is a professional audio engineer, songwriter and producer based in Amsterdam. He also blogs about everything related to audio for musicians on

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