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Dig My Rig, November 2011

November 1, 2011

My interest in electronic music began in college when I designed a polyphonic music synthesizer as my senior engineering project. Now I make my living as an integrated circuit design engineer, but my passion for digital music remains strong. The main theme in designing my home studio is portability. I have limited space for a studio, so I look for hardware that can provide clean sound while taking up very little space. I use Logic Pro/Studio as my primary mixing application, but Reason, Audio Mulch, Reaktor, Riffworks, and GarageBand come into play at various times.

The software runs on an Apple iMac, which connects to a Line 6 Toneport and a MOTU UltraLite for the audio interfaces. The Toneport is connected to the UltraLite using the S/PDIF interface. My MIDI gear connects to the system using a MOTU MIDI Express 128. For drums, I use a Yamaha DTXpress kit and an Alternate Mode TrapKAT, which gives me a total of 32 active heads. In Logic, the heads are assigned to trigger BFD drum samples. For guitar effects, I rely on a Line 6 Pod Pro, a DigiTech RP2000, and the Tone-port running the Gearbox software. For setting up quick MIDI tracks, I use a YouRock MIDI guitar, a M-Audio Keystation 49e keyboard, and a Starr Labs Ztar.

The great thing about this setup is that I can run it from my MacBook Pro if I want to go remote and record a live session. I can move the whole studio setup in a couple of hours with no heavy lifting!
Dan Johnson

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