ICMP's favourite music gear

Music gear can be a passion for every musician. Check out some favourites from the ICMP community...


Having the right musical equipment can be essential for today’s musicians and songwriters and at ICMP we pride ourselves on offering our students the latest gear to help them hone their skills. 

We believe our facilities are second to none when it comes to the resources we have on site, thanks in part to our partnerships with leading manufacturers such as Shure, Audient and Orange Amplifiers.

So with this in mind we wanted to celebrate music equipment and gear by asking the ICMP community for their favourite pieces to help them in their creative journeys.

We’ll be adding to this blog article over the week so please keep coming back for new content…

Ben Jones 
Performance Coordinator, BMus Popular Music Performance


My 63 American Vintage Fender P Bass in faded sonic blue is by far my favourite piece of gear and number one choice for any gig/session that suits a four string.

To me this is what a bass is and should be; deep, warm and full of that squelchy goodness that epitomises this iconic instrument."  

I am quite a purist when it comes to bass playing as I believe it is all about playing for the song and giving a track or performance the low-end warmth to allow all the vocal and other instruments to shine. This bass allows me to get a sound that will work for 90 percent of sessions and I have not met a single artist or player that has not loved its tone, even when just plugged directly into the desk. As the saying goes, oldies but goldies! 

Find out more about ICMP's BMus in Popular Music Performance

Krzysztof Kessler (Edge of The Possibility)
ICMP Music Production student 


My favourite gear is the Audient Studio workstation at ICMP. The console and the powerful computer gives anyone the opportunity to work on their music and gain experience of studio recording, engineering and mixing. The Audient Studio is a great place to make music in with high quality equipment and most powerful DAW like Pro Tools, Logic Pro X or Ableton.

Find out more about our Music Production courses and The Edge of Possibility music project. 

Fiona Huang
ICMP MA Songwriting student


Often I see people asking for recommendations for studio monitors. Although when it comes to gear, it all depends on your budget but I have been very happy working with the EVE Audio SC204.

It's great for producing as the overall balance is very even and you can hear details very easily with them. So I think these are perfect for home studios. Hopefully this will help anyone who is considering getting a pair of monitors. 

Find out more about our MA Songwriting course

Ajit Gill, BMus student


My 24'' Meinl Byzance Big Apple Dark Ride is a BEAST! It's super dark with an amazing wash.

Read our recent interview with Vertaal and listen to their playlist

Joseph Watt 
BA Creative Musicianship alumnus 


As a producer and creator, the most obvious must-have is a midi keyboard. Not long ago I upgraded to the Novation Impulse, as it has enough midi controls to not only manipulate my music fully, but to make the production flow tangible, by assigning various tasks to different midi controls. 

My second favourite production tool is my SPD-SX. It’s often overlooked as a production tool and used only for live performance. As my primary instrument is drums, it lends itself perfectly to creating realistic and natural sounding drum grooves in a mostly in-box track.

In terms of gear though, the equipment I absolutely swear by is my desktop drive. As a producer, this is a must-have. If you aren't saving your files over several drives, particularly one that you don’t transport, you are at risk of losing all your files, folders and music. If that happens, it doesn’t matter what music equipment you have, because you have nothing to show for it!

Find out more about Joseph and his music. 

Scott Colcombe
BA Songwriting alumnus


I have a few go-to plug-ins for my production software, the tools I use in almost every song. As a producer, these are my instruments, or my equivalent of a guitar pedal, they're vital to my process.

LFO Tool: This is great for creating a sense of movement and pulsation in sounds that are otherwise a bit static as well a really fun way to to creating interesting and dynamic rhythms for the whole sound or even just certain frequencies using the filter.

You can use it to massively pull the sound around or you can also use it to subtly humanise sounds, creating random spikes in velocity to give parts like computer-generated hi-hats for example a sense of real motion. 

FabFilter One: This tiny little synth has some of my favourite sounds for chords and leads. Super simple to use and comes with some great presets to get you started. It's a fun, colourful interface that begs for you to just mess around with it.

The sound reminds me of one of those toy pianos you'd get from Argos for a toddler and I think that's why I like it.

EXS24: This is the sampler built into Logic Pro, it's familiar and comes packed with all the samples you'd need to get started. The reason why it's so bread and butter for me is because of my additional samples I've found and sourced from the internet. I've installed and mapped them into the EXS24 sampler os they're quick and ready to use. I've found tonnes of analogue drum machine sounds, fun 90s orchestra stabs and vocal samples that I've collected. Personal favourites include: Roland's 808 and 727, Melosonic and Korg Mini Pops. 

One of the main things I like to add into songs are layers and layers of additional percussion. I'd always notice it fluttering in the background of Quincy Jones and Timbaland productions and have since then added it to almost everything. Triangles and block percussion really fill out the high frequencies of a track to make it pop. 

Find out more about Scott and his music. 

Ben Rotherham
BA Songwriting alumnus


My favourite equipment would definitely be my growing collection of percussion. I currently have two drum kits, a couple of small drums and a glockenspiel. I’m not much of a drummer so I’ve sampled them all a load of times with various mics and put them in to EXS24. 

Study music in London with ICMP

If you're interested in developing your musicianship, learning from our regular industry guests and collaborating within the vibrant ICMP creative community, then speak to our Admissions Team. They're on hand to help you find the right course that matches your ability and aspirations.

Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk and start your music career today.

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by Jim Ottewill
May 21, 2018
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