Posted October 13, 2012 by Stephan Earl in Home Studio Setup

Home Recording Studio Tour Part 2 – Software

In this three-part video blog, I take you on a tour of my new home recording studio.  In part 1, I show you the hardware that Im currently using to create music.  In part 2, I show you some of the software and plug-ins that I’m using.  And in part 3, I’ll take you through my workflow.

Here is a listing of the recording software, virtual instruments and virtual effects that are mentioned in Part 2 of this studio tour (Coming Soon!)

Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions on the software or anything mentioned during this studio tour.  Click here to view Part 1 of this studio tour.

Current home studio recording software:

NOTE: A green check to the left of the software means this is software that I use on a regular basis to compose, record and produce music.  A standard bullet to the left of the software along with  “T&C” in parenthesis, means I use the software, but  mainly for testing and comparison purposes.  Any other descriptions of usage in parenthesis merely describes how I use the software within my normal composing, recording and production workflow.  There may be other software that I have, but don’t use, and they are not mentioned on this list.


  • Steinberg Cubase 6.5 (Primary DAW)
  • Ableton Live 8 (used as a music production scratchpad and for live performance)
  • PG Music Band-in-a-Box (often for composing)
  • Apple Logic Express 9 (T&C)
  • PreSonus Studio One 2 (T&C)
  • Avid Pro Tools M-Powered 8 (T&C)


  • Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos (Steinway D – organic, warm, fat when solo)
  • Steinberg The Grand 3 (Yamaha C7 – crisp, snappy, cuts through mix)
  • Galaxy Pianos Vintage D (warm and jazzy)
  • Imperfect Samples Braunschweig Upright Piano (broke-down, in your face beautiful)
  • Scarbee Mark I
  • The Giant, EZ Keys, PianoTeq 4 (T&C)
  • MusicLab Real Guitar 3 (strum, pick)
  • MusicLab RealStrat 3 (strum, pick, solo)
  • MusicLab Real LPC 3 (strum, pick, solo)
  • Ilya Efimov Nylon Guitar (pick, solo)
  • Orange Tree Samples Evolution Acoustic Guitar Steel String (pick, solo)
  • Spectrasonics Trilian
  • Scarbee Jay Bass, MM-Bass, Pre-Bass
  • Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0
  • Arturia SPARK (main drum sampler)
  • Native Instruments Maschine
  • Spectrasonics Stylus RMX
  • Addictive Drums, Battery 3, EZ Drummer (T&C)
  • Modartt PianoTeq 4 (Vibraphones, Xylophone, Steel Pans)
  • Spectrasonics Omnisphere
  • Camel Audio Alchemy
  • Native Instruments Kontakt 5 (mainly for 3rd-party libraries)
  • Steinberg HALion 4
WIND / STRINGS (controlled by Akai EWI)
  • Sample Modeling –  The Trumpet, Ms. Sax S., Sax Brothers, Clarinet
  • Dan Dean Solo Strings Advanced
  • EastWest – RA, Silk, Symphonic Choirs, Voices of Passion
  • iZotope Alloy 2
  • iZotope Ozone 5
  • Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5
  • Nomad Factory MAGMA
  • EZ MIx, CLA Artist Signature Series, TrackPlug 5, Mix Control Pro, Nectar, (T&C)


The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. – Alfred North Whitehead

Below are some of my other home recording studio setups over the years.

Current Home Studio

Current Home Recording Studio - Home Music Production

Home Studio 3.0

Here’s an image of my Mac-based home recording studio version 3.0.  It was a simple ergonomic setup with an iPad used as the primary controller.

Home Recording Studio ver 3.0 - Home Music Production

Home Studio 2.0

Visit My Home Recording Studio ver 2.0 to read more about this PC-based three monitor setup.

Home Recording Studio ver 2.0 - Home Music Production

Home Studio 1.0

Visit My Home Recording Studio ver 1.0 to read more about this three monitor, networked  PC-based setup.

Home Recording Studio ver 1.0 - Home Music Production

1991 Home Studio

Here’s an image of my home recording studio in 1991.  I’ll have a post on this gear soon, but it was a PC DOS focused setup running “Sequencer Plus” by Voyetra. The controllers are Roland’s S-10 sampler and D-10 keyboard.  Recording went to a Tascam 688 8-track then down to DAT tape.

Home Recording Studio 1991 - Home Music Production

Stephan Earl

Composing, recording and producing music in the home studio environment for over 25 years, musician and author Stephan Earl now enjoys sharing his home studio setup experience with other home studio recording musicians via HomeMusicProduction.com.