DIY Muso Spotlight – Steve Broadbent

Hello! Welcome to a new thing for DIY Music. 

This is the first of my DIY Muso Spotlight articles, in which I will be shifting the attention to you, my fellow DIY musicians. The idea is to get an insight into what everyone is up to, what gear their using and how they approach their music.

First up is my Australian buddy, Steve Broadbent, who I’ve got to know purely via the magic of social media and various musician groups on Facebook. I’ve always admired his creativity and musicainship, so Steve seemed like an ideal guinea-pig for the first DIY Muso Spotlight article. So let’s get right to it.

Spotlight On: Steve Broadbent

steve-broadbent-studio

Age: 33
Location: Penrith, NSW, Australia

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theprojectstudio/
Soundcloud account: https://soundcloud.com/steve-broadbent

DAW: Reaper 5.

Audio Interface: UAD Apollo twin solo (with Behringer ADA8200 ADAT Pre).

Monitors: Dynaudio.

Headphones: AKG K240 mk2, Sennheiser HD380 Pro.

Controllers (midi/surfaces): M Audio Oxygen 49, Roland td9kx2 E-Drums, Korg Nanopad2.

Instruments: Acoustic and electric guitars (Squire Tele Thinline, Ibanez Artwood, 2 Ibanez Acoustics, Art and Lutherie Acoustic), Ibanez bass and some percussion.

Microphones:  Rode NT-R, NTK, 2x NT1-A and NT-USB.

Anything else I missed: Native instruments Komplete 9 Ultimate, Slate Digital plugins, BFD2/3 with expansions.

Who/What are your biggest musical influences? In the beginning, Metallica, then Red Hot Chili Peppers, then Jack Johnson and John Mayer. Now I seem to get most of my influences from fused electronic ambient rock and folk.

Which instruments do you play? Guitar and sing. I can play a little piano and drums and bass.

Which piece of hardware could you absolutely not do without, and why? I love my whole studio but would be nothing without a guitar.

When did you first get into recording/producing? When I turned 18 (2000).

How did you get into recording/producing? My friend bought a Tascam 4 track. I always wanted to record myself and layer sounds over one another. I borrowed the Tascam and wrote my first song which was terrible sounding, but I was proud of it at the time. Then I saved up and bought my first interface and software package 2nd hand.

What was your very first set-up? Logic audio Pro ISIS on an IBM intel 3 processor running windows xp.

Could you talk us through your usual recording/producing process? I often try to write and layer 3 song sections these days and keep layering until I think I have enough interesting parts. Then I arrange by creating a structure. Then I cut layers out in parts so that I create build ups and different versions of the same verse etc with layers added or taken out. Otherwise, I write on guitar away from recording, then record the guitar and vocals and build layers around it as I see fit.

How do you manage your mastering? Each song is different but I use mostly Slate Digital plugins for that. Some favourites are FGX for loudness, Virtual Bus Compressors and Virtual Tape Machines for vibe. I rarely use EQ on the master bus, but sometimes that or a multi band compressor is used to change the brightness or tighten the low end.

Which piece of hardware could you absolutely not do without, and why? I love my whole studio but would be nothing without a guitar.

Which piece of hardware do you love the most, and why? Probably the UAD Apollo twin as it allows me to run effects on the way in and has some great mic pre emulations and the best amp sims I have ever heard.

Which plugins could you absolutely not do without, and why? I do rely heavily on software instruments but I could do without any plugins. I sometimes force myself to record whole songs on a tablet with just a usb mic and a very basic DAW. This makes me focus on making a song better before producing.

Which plugins do you love the most, and why? Probably Native instruments Battery, cause it is the easiest sampler in the world to use for drums. I love what Slate Digital VBC and FGX do to the sound of my recordings though.

What would you say was the most significant upgrade/addition to your setup? I think everything I have now is what I want, but the things that improved my sound the most was getting good monitors and a little bit of acoustic treatment.

What would you say are the most significant recording/producing lessons you’ve learnt up to now? Creating space in your mix with EQ, i.e. Sculpting your mix.

What’s next for your set-up in terms of new hardware/software and/or upgrades? Nothing for the moment. I am pretty happy. I may add some more acoustic treatment though.

What’s next for you as a DIY musician? Try and write and finish some songs. I haven’t done much song finishing in a long time.

Thanks Steve!

Don’t forget to check out Steve’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theprojectstudio/

And listen to some of Steve’s music here:

 


Thanks for reading the first DIY Muso Spotlight, I hope you enjoyed it and found it valuable. Please feel free to add your questions or comments below. If you would like to have the spotlight turned on you then don’t hesitate to ask!

Please pop over to the DIY music page on Facebook and give us a like. You should also definitely join our awesome community in the DIY Music Group for sharing great articles and ideas as well as discussing all kinds of DIY Music related stuff and helping each other out. See you there!

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