Reverb Top 5: Artists Share Their Favorite Gear

The concept is simple: We asked some of our favorite artists and creators to share their favorite gear with us. We ended up inspired, entertained, and—in some cases—downright surprised by their picks. So what would be in your #ReverbTop5?

Mike Dean

The legendary Mike Dean has recorded, mixed, and produced some of the universe’s most influential artists (2Pac, Jay-Z, Kanye, Beyoncé...just to name a few.) Between these collabs, his solo work, and running his own record label, anyone can see how Dean became such a massive gearhead. So what does an absolute GOAT have to have on hand in the studio?

Yvette Young

Multi-instrumentalist and full-time guitar hero Yvette Young put out an album, Technicolor, with Covet earlier this year. Which effects inspired Yvette’s Technicolor tones?

Rachel K Collier

We asked electronic musician and producer Rachel K Collier to share some of her must-have gear picks. Here's the armful of sonic treasures she would save from a burning building.

Bianca Richardson

Drummer Bianca Richardson (a.k.a. b.richdrumz)’s behind-the-kit chops and boundless enthusiasm make her a natural inspiration for music makers. But what inspires Bianca’s own process?

Andrew Huang

Musician, producer, and YouTube personality Andrew Huang is well-known for his wild and inspiring sonic experimentations. So which Eurorack modules topped his list in 2020?

Gothic Tropic

Cecilia Peruti (Gothic Tropic) has toured the globe with world-famous acts like Beck and Charli XCX, and keeps her own fans on their toes with songs spanning a range of styles from neo-psychedelia to infectious alt-pop and beyond… So what specific instruments shaped this sonic chameleon’s sound?

Big Freedia

Bounce music legend Big Freedia revolutionized the way we move with her signature blend of high-impact rhythm and New Orleans soul. But what should you be shaking when you hear one of her party-starting jams?

Music Is Win

Tyler Larson regularly spotlights his gear nerdery on his popular YouTube channel, Music Is Win. But which prestige pieces are on his list of truly drool-worthy gear?

Butch Walker

Butch Walker is a musician, a songwriter, and a producer who has spent decades collecting gear and well-earned accolades—both as a solo performer and by crafting hits for the likes of huge acts like Green Day, Weezer, and Taylor Swift. So which game-changing gear made his personal Top 5?

Peter Cottontale

Chicago-based producer, performer, and keys hero Peter Cottontale has a habit of teaming up with some of the biggest names in music (Chance the Rapper, SZA, Yebba) to create playlists full of memorable tracks. So what pieces of gear left him totally starstruck?

Chloe Chaidez

Self-described “alien-girl” Chloe Chaidez has been fronting high-flying, L.A.-based rock outfit KITTEN since its formation. So what are some of the sonic secrets behind the band’s energetic sound?

Madame Gandhi

The exceptional Madame Gandhi has toured the globe with M.I.A., graduated from Harvard Business School, run several marathons, and continues to be a forward-thinking musician, producer, artist, and activist. So what instruments does a gear lover who does it all like to have on hand in the studio?

Daniel Donato

Telecaster master Daniel Donato learned his chops from the greats, sharpened his skills, and helped introduce a young generation to the art of Nashville picking. So what are the instrumental ingredients behind Donato’s signature Cosmic Country flavor?

Ryan Bruce of Riffs, Beards, and Gear

One look at Ryan “Fluff” Bruce’s popular YouTube channel and you know exactly what he’s about: Riffs. Beards. And most importantly? Gear. So obviously we had to ask him...what are a few of his favorite gear things?

Celisse

In addition to her soulful solo work, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Celisse Henderson has graced the world’s stages alongside Broadway elite, pop icons like Lizzo, and rock royals like Trey Anastasio. So which pieces of gear does she consider live performance essentials?

Justus West

Grammy-nominated producer Justus West has worked alongside the likes of Ty Dolla $ign, Mac Miller, and Alicia Keys. As a guitarist, and in his solo work, he is a soundscaping wizard with a soft spot for ambience. So which effects does Justus call his “ultimate vibe setters”?

BoBeats

If you’ve started exploring the synth space, you’ve likely happened upon a video or two from BoBeats. The friendly and knowledgeable Swedish synthesizer maven has inspired thousands of music makers to deepen their knowledge of their machines ...or try something totally new.

Jeff Tweedy

Maybe you know Jeff Tweedy as the frontman of Wilco. Or as a best-selling author. Or as one of Parks & Recreation’s raddest guest stars. Or as Spencer’s dad. But you probably don’t know which pieces of gear Tweedy put on his Top 5 list...

TRAKGIRL

Composer and producer TRAKGIRL has worked in some of the world’s greatest studios with an impressive lineup of artists like Jhené Aiko and Belly...all while developing The 7%—a platform for women and unrepresented creatives in music. So which throwback classics give this busy entrepreneur nostalgic vibes?

Jacob Collier

Long before the wizardly Jacob Collier signed to Quincy Jones’s management company, before he pushed technological boundaries with his live performances, and before he won four Grammy Awards (he’s up for three more this year)...he studiously honed his craft by diving headfirst into the modern art of bedroom production. So what gear does Jacob say was instrumental in his path to success?

And in case that wasn’t enough...Jacob came through with some bonus picks that have made his quarantine worthwhile. Enjoy!

  • Kii Three Speakers
  • “These jaw-dropping monitors changed the way I hear and mix completely. I feel everything through them. I remember listening to music on them for the first time, and hearing details I had never heard before in the most familiar of pieces. They power my imagination for a minimum of 16 hours every day. The detail and imaging is truly unbelievable, and they’re phase coherent down to 0Hz!”
  • AEA KU5A
  • “A new favourite of mine! A gorgeous, mellow and warm flavour, with an effortless presence - especially for vocal stuff. A truly wonderful counterpoint to my familiar condenser mic sound, especially when I start layering vocals on top of each other in their hundreds.”
  • Grace M108
  • “The clearest, cleanest preamps I own! I couldn’t do without them – I especially love them on stringed instruments, percussion, and piano.”
  • Avedis MA5
  • “Huge, smooth and heartfelt... my favourite for vocal work. Every vocal I record goes through one of these... And that 28k boost is like magic! Phenomenal on bass, kick and snare too. Can’t get enough!”
  • Logic Earthworks Piano Bar
  • “A hidden gem! All the piano I have recorded these past few years, across all four volumes of Djesse, is the sound of these wonderful mics. My piano has been my primary musical space of calm and solace over these past 8 months, and these mics do a profoundly wonderful job helping me share that space with the world.”
Sarah Lipstate

Sarah Lipstate exhibits her pedal prowess by creating moody experimental soundscapes both as a solo artist (Noveller) and as a collaborator (with the likes of icons such as Iggy Pop.) So which vintage effects have had lasting effects on her tone?

Jessica Burdeaux

Whether she’s blowing minds with wild pop covers and tricky grooves on Instagram, jamming with the 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers, or popping by the Reverb studio to teach us a beat, drummer Jessica Burdeaux (a.k.a.J Burds Beats) has gotten a lot of questions about the gear she regularly uses. So—once and for all—what is that thing?!?!

Arianna Powell

Guitarist Arianna Powell is a versatile player who can effortlessly flip from searing shreds to laid-back grooves with ease. As a result of her range and technique, she’s made a name for herself tearing it up as a session player and touring guitarist for huge pop acts like Halsey, Black Eyed Peas, and Nick Jonas. So which effects are absolute must-haves on her board?

BandMemes666

If you’re a music maker or a gearhead with a good sense of humor about yourself, you probably already follow @bandmemes666 on Instagram. If you don’t, consider this your call to action. But we discovered that behind the delightfully relatable music memes, their wise creator has been dealing with the equally relatable trauma of mysteriously disappearing gear… So which key pieces should you never, ever lend to your bandmates?

Larkin Poe

Rebecca and Megan Lovell (the sisters behind roots rock duo Larkin Poe) have played with legends, headlined festivals, topped the charts, and just released their 5th studio album. But it’s 2020, and—much like the rest of us—they found themselves seeking out new ways to pass the time during quarantine. So which gear discoveries kept this soulful sister act entertained this year?

Nahre Sol

Pianist/composer Nahre Sol has made it her mission to explore sound. From her YouTube investigations of varied music genres from the POV of a classically trained musician to her more recent adventures cohosting the music education series Sound Field on PBS, there is no sonic stone Nahre leaves unturned. So which synth classics spark her curiosity?

Samurai Guitarist

Steve Onotera (a.k.a. Samurai Guitarist) has crossed paths with some truly wild gear. He’s explored so many of these auditory anomalies on his popular YouTube channel that we had to ask… Which of these gear oddballs are so kooky that you just might want one?

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