Here’s a list of must-have gear for 2021:
- Shure SLXD Wireless
- Fitting nicely between music store and tour-grade quality, the new SLXD line has all the trademark Shure reliability at an approachable price. The 24-bit digital circuitry and predictive switching deliver robust performance, while the scan and IR sync modes make set-up a breeze. If you are in the market for wireless, this is the one to buy, and at around $700, a bargain as well.
- Startech UVCHDCAP Capture
- Now that live-streaming is mainstream, you need a low-cost, reliable encoder to get and keep connection. This unit is simple plug-and-play with high quality resolution and the ability to live broadcast your video source over the Web. Even if you already own an encoder, having a $219 back-up is a wise move.
- Saramonic Content Creation Kit
- For $399, this backpack and its contents are capable of amazing field capture work. It includes a shotgun mic with camera mount, motorized smartphone gimbal, mini condenser mic, aluminum tripod and a batch of cables, making any outdoor session a breeze to pull off.
- Gossen Digisix 2 Light Meter
- At $169, this is a steal-of-a-deal for a light meter with both reflective and incident modes as well as a digital exposure meter with analog settings. Usable in both photography and video applications, this is one gadget you don’t want to be without.
- Native Instruments Maschine +
- If you want a music production system unfettered by a computer, this is your box. For $1399, it gives you a full audio interface and enough controls, buttons, switches and pads to create anything audibly imaginable. With studio-quality processing and a strong case built for professional use, you can have it all without the need to rely on a computer.
- TC Electronic Ditto Plus Looper Pedal
- At $199, this pedal should find its way onto every guitarist’s floorboard. With a one-hour recording capacity and 99 loop sessions available, it can remember all your best riffs. You can layer long overdubs over shorter loops and import and export via USB. The one knob control is about as simple as it gets.
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Kent Morris is a 40-year veteran of the AVL arena driven by passion for excellence tempered by the knowledge digital is a temporary state.