7 Essentials In Brendan’s Remote-Ready Studio.

A collage of remote recording studio equipment

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I, like everyone else in the music industry, had to change my business model drastically.

Going to studios to track drums was not possible for quite some time and I already had a home studio that was well suited to churn out top quality drum tracks. However when it came to particular aspects of remote work – fast workflow, content creation and visual appeal – my studio was lacking.

If there’s one thing I inherited from my father, it’s the propensity to over-investigate and research new purchases – so I hit the internet in search of affordable solutions to my problems. This list will hopefully shine some light on a few items that I’ve found that improved my remote recording business immensely.

Why I like it:

Visual feedback is just as important as verbal feedback – and I wanted something with great video quality for a decent price. I love the a6100 – you can use it like I do with an Elgato CamLink 4k HDMI capture card, or you can use its built in USB webcam function – plug and play!

Neewar LED Panel Lights

Why I like it:

Lighting my studio so that clients can see me clearly and watch my performances in the best light was important – but I didn’t want to break the bank. Neewer’s LED panel lights are affordable and allow for a basic blending of warm and cool lights with their bicolour LEDs.

Aston Stealth

Why I like it:

When working at my desk with remote clients, I wanted them to be able to hear my voice clearly – and a webcam microphone wasn’t going to cut it. The Aston Stealth has four different tone settings and is a great alternative to other broadcast type microphones. And once again, it doesn’t break the bank.

Shure SM58

Why I like it:

When working behind the drums – most typically when tracking for a remote client – I also wanted my voice to be heard clearly while eliminating much of the bleed from the drums themselves when demonstrating parts. The Shure SM58 is an industry standard mic that everyone should own – I happened to have one and now it lives behind the drum kit!

Radial Hotshot ABo

Why I like it:

This piece of gear is a little overkill for most people, but because I play the drums, my talkback microphone absolutely cannot be open while I’m tracking or it would ruin my client’s ears! The Radial Hotshot ABo foot pedal allows me to mute and unmute my talkback microphone without having to use my hands to do so. The Hotshot pedal comes in a couple of variations – mainly with latching or momentary switches. I use the latching switch version at home and the momentary version for talkback microphones when playing live on stage.

Rode PSA1 Microphone Arm

Why I like it:

Having a flexible arm to hold my desk microphone is invaluable – when working on my own, I can swing the mic out of the way – and as soon as I connect with a client or need to film a piece of content, I can place the microphone exactly where I need it. I can’t recommend the PSA1 enough.

Logitech c920 Webcam

Why I like it:

Because my Sony a6100 mainly lives behind my computer monitor at my desk, I needed a simple camera to use behind the drum kit while working with remote clients. The c920 is a very affordable and very common webcam, captures in 1080p and is small enough to be placed almost anywhere.