What is this

  • This is NOT an overview of everything I use. It’s just the stuff that I enjoy using (or is necessary, but the least terrible option).
    • Some of these (like DAWS) are not my “daily driver”. Sometimes I use things that aren’t my favourite because of necessary functionality, ease of use, accessibility or consumability (for items that are consumable or use consumables).
  • I could write entire articles on why I like many of these things over their competitors, so I will only be adding small notes if anything on this page.

  • I will try to keep this up to date if and when my tastes change. If you have questions about anything listed, or suggestions, then please leave a comment.

  • There are NO AFFILIATE LINKS. No discount codes. I have not listed any products for companies that I’ve done paid work for (even if it’s my favourite product). Every link is clean and safe to click. I get absolutely nothing for you clicking around. Your browsing habits are not tracked by me in any way.

  • If I lost all of this, it’d be fine. It’s ok to enjoy things.

A Common Thread

There’s one thing I generally like: creators that are opinionated. I like to experience someone’s vision, to see how they see the world and experience their ideas of how to get things done.

If something is a wishy-washy mess of bleh, then I usually don’t care.

I want to see enjoy a design, a vision, a concept.

Rarely do I want things that allow me to explore my own visions. I make stuff. My house is a series of workshops. I can program. I can work with metal. I can work with wood. I can work with electronics. I can work with clays and ceramics. I can draw. I’m not the best at any of these things, but if I have a vision then I am confident that I can attempt to execute it myself.

I want to experience design.

Computing

I currently use an Apple iMac Pro and a 2018 macbook pro. I quite like both computers.

My favourite computer I’ve ever owned, and still use, is my 11” 2018 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. I bring it everywhere. I use it for nearly everything.

OS

I DESPISE WINDOWS.

I like macOS, and Ubuntu with dwm.

Graphics

Productivity

  • Omnifocus - I use omnifocus to organize nearly every aspect of my life. It is central to my ability to function as a human.
  • Omnigraffle - I use omnigraffle to organize my ideas before I execute them.
  • Visual Studio Code - I’ve been happily using VS Code for nearly 2 months now. Zero qualms unlike last time. Main Extensions I use are as follows:
    • Vim - I use Vim bindings no matter what editor I’m in. I’m a fairly advanced vim user and heavily rely on good vim emulation.
    • Calva - Calva is pretty nice. Wish it didn’t rely on nrepl, but… whatever.
    • Gitlens - Oh. My. Goodness. Gitlens is the coolest. It’d be an entire post in itself to explain why I love this so much. Gitlens alone is nearly a singular killer reason to try VSCode.
    • Code Spell Checker
    • Path Intellisense
    • Bracket Pair Colourizer - Yeah, I’m one of those people. I’ve been using some form of this for over 25 years. I’ve always used the same colours and it’s hardcoded into my brain for reading code now. I don’t recommend it, but I can’t work without it.
    • A bunch of java crap that I’m not going to link.
  • Alfred - I use Alfred for so much. I easily use it 100s of times a day. App Launching, App Switching, Math, Conversions, Clipboard Management, Itunes Control, General System Automation, Document Opening and more.

Backup

Hardware

Language Learning

Specifically I study Korean and Vietnamese.

General Music Software

Music Production

Microphones

  • Shure SM7B - Fits my voice brilliantly.
  • M201TG - My favorite guitar amp mic.
  • Royer R-121 - If the M201TG doesn’t do it, the R-121 will.

I’ve never owned a condenser mic that I would call “My favourite”. However, the warbler series offers what I would consider the absolute best value on the market. Not the best mics, but the best for your money by a significant margin.

Cabling

  • Mogami Platinum Silent Guitar Cabling - I don’t believe that cabling makes a difference for most studio applications, but guitar cables do matter. These also have a super cool switch that breaks the connection when removing the cable. Zero hum when unplugged.
  • GLS Audio - Excellent cabling for the price. Sufficient quality in most cases to be worth buying over making my own cabling from bulk.

Audio Interface

Control Surfaces

  • Softube Console 1 - I like the workflow and it integrates nicely with the UA Interfaces.
  • Pro Tools Control - iOS. Works with any euphonix compatible DAW. Better than most DAW company’s native product.

Speakers

Instruments

Guitars

  • 2007 Fender Custom Shop Jaguar bass - My absolute favourite instrument. If my house was going to be levelled and I could only grab one thing. This is it.
  • Fender 1952 Time Machine NOS Telecaster.

Drums

Accessories

Pedals

Computer Music Production

DAW

  • Waveform - Not the DAW that I use the most. I think that the Waveform team is doing some of the coolest stuff and improving their software faster than any other company.
  • Bitwig - Similar to Waveform. Fast moving. They have a vision. It’s unique.

Reminder: What I use and what’s my favourite aren’t the same things. My primary DAW isn’t necessarily my favourite, and I may use it because of necessary functionality rather than a desire to enjoy the product.

Channel Strips

I prefer to reach for a channel strip before anything else.

EQ

Compression

Limiting

  • Limitless - The best. End of story.
  • Elephant - My “Grab and Go” for (I think?) 15+ years. It’s always improving and staying on the cutting edge of Limiting capabilities.

Transient Processing

Reverb

Delay

Spatial

Synthesizers

  • Bazille
  • Pulsar Modular - I only trialed this. I did not purchase on principle, as the author did not respond to any of my presales e-mails over the course of 4 months (Including two anonymized e-mails in case he was somehow ignoring me specifically).
  • The Legend - The Best emulation on the market.
  • Aalto
  • MSoundFactory - I wouldn’t recommend MSF to anyone unless you enjoy a menu/window based workflow and endless deep diving into parameters. Something about MSF makes me forgive the sins of UI design and I love using it.

Guitar Software

  • No Amp Sims. - There’s definitely ‘my favourite amp’ sim. But nothing that I’d rather play over a real amp, yet.
  • Redwirez Cabinets
  • Blue Cat Axiom - Not as an amp sim specifically, but as a universal guitar tool.

Samples

Other

  • StandardClip - Clipping is GOOD, when done right. This is where you get it done right.
  • Voxengo Soniformer - I consider this my “secret weapon”. It’s a 32-band multiband compressor, but the way you interact with the controls is unique, intuitive and appropriate.

Woodworking and Manly Stuff

Electrically Powered Blades

Hand Tool Blades

Hand Tools

Marking and Measurement

  • Uni-ball Diamond Infused Lead - I thought it’d be a gimmick. It might be, but it works. No more breaking lead on rough grain, but I get to maintain consistent lines and sharpness with a mechanical pencil.
  • Kuru Toga Roulette Pencil - Much better than the Pentel GraphGear series.
  • Variety of vintage Mechanical Pencils - I collect vintage mechanical pencils. I have too many that I like to list.

Other

  • My Shop Apron - Made by my wife for me. Works brilliantly.
  • Incra Miter 1000HD - Forget having a shop-made wooden miter sled. I prefer this miter gauge for precision work.
  • RabidModels Cyanoacrylate - Some of the best prices and value. I particularly like their “Flex” product.
  • Veritas Honing Guide - Some tools need precise bevels, and this is the best honing jig on the market. I’ve tried them all. I hone by hand while “working” and finish my day with a precise bevel grind.

Knives

  • Opinel No.8 - I have many fancy pocket knives, but my Opinel No.8 goes with me everywhere.

Kitchen and Food

  • Kitaoka Blue #2 - I have a number of Kitaoko Blue #2 kitchen knives. High on my list of “Would grab in a fire”.
  • Chopsticks - I make my own chopsticks from exotic woods with rough tips. I eat most of my food with chopsticks, not for weeb reasons but because it’s been easier for me since I started to have hand issues.
  • Wüstof Offset Spatula - You might think that $50 for a spatula is crazy, until you use one for a few years then try to go back to anything else.
  • Chefalarm - Best on the market that I’ve found. Absolute essential kitchen tool. I prefer this over the Thermapen.
  • IR Thermometer - I also believe this to be essential, particularly if you like to cook on Cast Iron and Carbon Steel like I do.
  • Blue Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk - I’m allergic to dairy products, and Almonds are one of the few nuts that I’m not allergic to. For some reason I can’t smell or taste almonds, so this just ends up being a pleasantly thick, slightly sweet vanilla drink.
  • Phở - I eat phở nearly every day for lunch. I make my own from scratch.
  • Earthgrown Veggie Patties - Particularly the Kale ones. I eat these things bees eat sugar.

Electronics

Clothing

  • Darn Tough - Lifetime warranty (I’ve had socks replaced for free around 10 times now), and quite comfortable.
    • (I’m supposed to wear compression stockings, but I love my darntough socks too much!)

Books

I’m keeping this relatively short. Note: I don’t like Fiction.

Music

Only what I’ve been listening to in the last ~2 years, not an exhaustive list of music I enjoy.

  • David Bazan
  • Damien Jurado
  • Toe, Té, Mouse on the Keys, LITE, Jizue, Uchu Conbini, Elephant Gym, Jizue, Toconoma, Haisuinonasa, Tricot, Ame No Parade, Lucie, Too, Rega, österreich/The Cabs, Haranemuri etc… you get the idea.
  • Melt-banana, D-Clone, Ghoul, Hi-Standard, The Stalin, Gauze, Disclose, Balzac, Guitar Wolf, Suns Owl, Ging Nag Boyz etc… you get the idea.
  • TTNG, Tera Melos, American Football, Yvette Young/Covet, Maps and Atlases, Colossal, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Giraffes? Giraffes!, Bear vs Shark, Minus the Bear, Ghosts & Vodka, Make Believe, etc… you get the idea.
  • Mogwai, This Will Destroy You, Mono, Tortoise, Album Leaf, Do Make Say Think, El Ten Eleven, (post ok computer) Radiohead, 65daysofstatic, Caspian, And So I Watch You From Afar, Caribou, Manitoba, etc… you get the idea.
  • Animals as Leaders, Scale the Summit, Dillinger Escape Plan, Periphery, Chon, Tesseract, Chimp Spanner, Polyphia, Plini, etc… you get the idea.
  • Whatever the hippest K-pop is. Particularly Red Velvet.
  • Squarepusher/Shobaleader One
  • Vulfpeck
  • Kamasi Washington

Software Development

  • Clojure - Clojure saved me from leaving the software development world entirely. I love working with it. I don’t necessarily agree with every aspect of it, but I value that there is a clear thread of intention and architecture.
  • Calva - I’ve been using Calva for nearly 3 months now. It’s not the most advanced CLJ/CLJS environment, but it works simply. I’ve grown to prefer Calva + VSCode over the wasteland of Emacs’ package ecosystem. All I need is a send to repl and some structural editing tools. Clojure makes the rest pretty simple.
  • Cider and nRepl - I actually don’t like Cider or nRepl as software. In fact, I rather despise nRepl. What I love is the push to develop better tooling and the passion behind the projects. I monetarily support these projects even though I do not enjoy using them.
  • nim - Rust is clearly trying to be a better C++. Nim is trying to be a better language. Nim is an interesting exploration into what a systems language can be if you stop trying to be C++. (and it has proper lisp-like macros.)
    • I can’t stand the indentation thing… but you can’t get everything right I guess.
  • zsh - Big fan of ZSH. Used to prefer fish, but I was constantly dealing with bash-incompatibilities.