Resources for Creatives

The tools you need to grow your creativity and succeed. These are products or services I use personally or have tried and highly recommend. 

Microphones

Rode K2 Microphone

This is the home recording condenser mic I use myself. Its sound quality is superb. Its fantastic for its price as far as condenser studio mics go and its got a ‘surround sound’ recording feature so you can stick the mic in the middle of the room and have the band play around it and it picks everything up. Great for acoustic band YT videos on the quick and easy.

(AWESOME HOME RECORDING MIC) 

Shure Beta 87A Microphone

This is a stage condenser mic so you can technically use it to record vocals for YouTube videos as well and still get a great result. You may need phantom power to operate this mic and its more sensitive than the other two listed BUT for jazz voices with no edge, this picks up your mid-tones like a dream. Its literally PERFECT for my voice. 

Shure SM58 Beta Microphone

The new ‘standard’ dynamic mic. A better version of the Shure 57. Sound is clearer, crisper and its just as sturdy as the original.

(MIDDLE OF THE RANGE MIC)

 

Shure SM58 Microphone

The original Shure microphone. Was the go-to industry mic for the last 20+ years. I still have one and its sturdy and reliable BUT the Beta 87A is sooooo much better.

(THE LOWEST IN QUALITY YOU SHOULD GO WITH MICS)

Drawing Supplies

 

Faber Castell Coloured Pencils – Good old fashioned colouring pencils that do a good job.

Faber Castell Graphite Sketch Pencils – for cool looking sketches with depth.

Faber Castell Pastel Pencils – My fave brand for pastel pencils. Go on smooth and don’t break when you sharpen them (well, much….)

Prismacolor Pencils – Super creamy pencils for creating bold colour. You’ll love how them feel on paper. So smooth!

Canson Pastel Matte Paper Assorted Colours – The best paper to use with pastels. Try different colours to see which one suits you the best. I still draw on white but drawing on a darker colour really makes the pastels POP! You also spend more time shading skin that way.

Canson Pastel Matte Paper Larger Size, Grey Tones – Same as above but larger in size.

Faber Castell Sharpener for Pastels and Graphite – Ok, if you use pastel pencils you will go through sharpeners like crazy (unless you sharpen with a knife, which I don’t). This one fits the pastel pencil range above and gets a super fine point. Just buy a million because they get blunt quickly.

Faber Castell Compass – If you invest in a compass, trust me, don’t get a crap one otherwise it will move mid-circle and ruin the circle. This one is affordable and doesn’t move.

Faber Castell Eraser Pen With Refills – I use my eraser pen WAY more than a regular eraser because I do such detailed work. Faber Castell erasers don’t leave smudge marks and erase cleanly. There’s NOTHING worse than a crap eraser that makes more mess than it removes.

Faber Castell Regular Eraser – Good regular rectangular eraser that works.

PS: Yes I love Faber Castell. I’ve tried other quality brands but keep going back to them because they are just so good for a reasonable price.

Creative Classes

Domestika – For inexpensive tutorials focusing on one specific project at a time. I have done several, but my fave was the Mads Berg class on Art Deco illustration.

Creative Live – For more in depth tutorials for many different creative fields. I have done quite a few of their courses including two hand lettering courses and their Ableton production course.

Other places you can learn how to do stuff for free include:

Adobe Behance Live Stream – Watch some amazing artists do their thing live.

Adobe Creative Cloud Tutorials – For learning how to use the suite of Adobe products (ie Photoshop…)

Creative Tech 

Adobe Creative Cloud – You need the Adobe suite of products in your live. Period.

Microsoft Surface Pro – Drawing tablet for PC users. Bonus – it doubles as a backup computer if your main one dies. Con – Microsoft is new to the hardware space so there is much room for improvement, especially the camera (which sucks).

Home Recording Tools

Ableton Live (Intro)

I’ve tried a few DAWS and my fave is Ableton because… you can use it LIVE (hence the name).

If you’re thinking of gigging and want some electronics in your sound, use Ableton. It will make translating the electronic sound you want to the stage so much easier that hiring a synth genius. This intro verison gives you pretty much the whole platform for basic music making. You will grow out of it though if you want to get into production but its a great starting point.

 

Ableton Live (Full version)

This is Ableton’s latest verison with all the coolness. I use this myself and its awesome. Takes a bit to learn it but look in my ‘Skill Building’ section for a cool and cheap course on how to get started with Ableton.

 

Presonus Audiobox

A soundcard you’ll need for home recording. You plug your mics into this and then plug this into your computer. I’ve had my Presonus Audiobox for 15 years now and its still awesome.

 

Skill Building

Singing Training for Beginners

My Singing Academy is perfect for you if you want to learn how your voice works and how to get it to do what you want. I take you through the mechanics of developing your vocal tone and strengthening your muscles plus we do a bit of fun song break down, vocal techniques and jazz improv at the end.

 

Vocal Warm Up Exercises

My mini course Vocal Warm Up Secrets gives you 5 different length vocal warm ups ranging from a quick 5 min warm up to a full 30 minutes.

 

Ear Trainer (Lite)

I like this free Ear Trainer app from the Apple App store. Lots of fun scales, chords and arpeggios to practice with.

 

Ear Training: Relative Pitch

The David Lucas Burge ‘Relative Pitch Ear Training Supercourse’ works. If you’re struggling with developing your musical hearing then this course breaks down how to do it, step-by-step. It IS a committment, because the course is long but if you stick with it you’ll have super ears.

 

Ear Training: Perfect Pitch

Can you train yourself to have Perfect Pitch? David Lucas Burge believes so. If you want to gain the elusive and coveted skill, then his Perfect Pitch ear training course is the way to go.

 

Other Stuff I Use

Sibelius First (music notation software)

If you’re sick of writing charts out by hand, then do yourself a favour and get a music notation program like Sibelius. This is the entry-level version. If you like it you can spring for the full version which costs a lot more but for basic stuf, the ‘lite’ version should be fine.

Site Ground (web hosting)

This is the site I use to host my website and get domains. Its user friendly and has decent customer service.

LeadPages (capturing emails)

LeadPages lets you create beautiful email pop ups and other capture forms and tracks how they are doing.

ActiveCampaign (email sending software)

Some people love MailChimp. I don’t. I find it really clumsy and limited compared to something like ActiveCampaign. If you need to send lots of people emails and you want to track how many clicks, opens, subscribes, unsubscribes etc… you get then ActiveCampaign is my preferred go-to.

Art Supplies

Copic Markers

Super high quality, re-fillable markers that don’t streak or run out quickly. I use these for the ultra fine details in my artwork when a pencil just won’t be fine enough.

Pastel Pencils

High precision, quality Faber Castle pastel pencils. This is a nice set with quite a few colours to get you started. I like Faber Castle because they don’t get brittle and snap off which means the pencil lasts a lot longer. The pigments are also nice and strong.

Pastel Pencil Sharpener

If you’re going to use Pastels, you need a quality sharpener so you can get a fine point to work with. This Faber Castle sharpener works with the Faber Castle Pastel Pencil sizes so its perfect. All sharpeners become blunt after a while so grab a few of them. I go through a new one every month.

Disclosure: Many of the links provided on this blog are affiliate links. I will be paid a commission if you use these links to make a purchase. This is at no additional cost to you and helps to support me make more art content. I will only ever recommend products that I have used myself.

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