Artist Gear Setup: James Zabiela
Today we have an extra special artist gear setup for the DJTT community featuring technical jedi, James Zabiela. It’s been a few years since DJTT first spoke with James Zabiela about what’s in his bag. He packs an incredible amount in his bag and for anyone that’s ever seen him perform he takes full advantage of his gear. Keep reading to learn about his performance gear, the book he’s reading that he’s called a “game changer”, and why there’s a lego Darth Vader in his bag.
- Tuna Knobs (1) – A kickstarter funded project that allows tactile control of dials in iPad apps such as Touch OSC.
- Vestax Pad One (2) – The best, most durable and reliable pad controller I’ve used plus with ease of editing control values on the unit itself. This controls Ableton, some of the mappings mirror those on the iPad but obviously you get more control and zero latency with this (and the DJM which is also serves as a control surface). It also doesn’t mind being sweated on. It’s main use is for my gater/reverb fx & trigger dummy envelopes but it also does more mundane tasks such pitch bend and clip view. Now Vestax has gone bankrupt I’m waiting for DJ TechTools to make a suitable replacement controller.
- Korg Kaossilator (3) – The Kaossilator 2 came out and broke in about twenty minutes after being unboxed, this baby has been going for years. I run this into the RMX-1000 to sample and loop it. It’s fairly useless on it own if you’re wanting to add it to your DJ sets. The RMX-1000 is capable of feedback loops which you can set in Remixbox software.
- Pioneer RMX-1000 (4) – My favourite effect is the HPF Echo, I have changed the settings so when you whip it all the way around it cuts the signal completely but leaves the tail. This makes it really fun during mix-outs, allowing you to expressively cut & echo back in bit of the previous track. I do have some of my own hits on an SD card but space wise it’s limiting so for that kind of thing I mostly use Ableton. Watch Ean’s review of the Pioneer RMX-1000.
- MacBook Pro (5) – Filled with 1 pimpin’ TB of Flash Memory, external hard drives are for suckers.
- MacBook Pro Power – Guaranteed to lose this every few months.
- Spunge laptop case – This acts as a good buffer against vibration in venues where laptop stands aren’t present.
Headphones & Ear Protection
- Pioneer HDJ-2000s (6)
- Bose QC 20i earphones (7) – Essential travel item & unlike previous over ear models you can even use these in a loud DJ booth for last minute prep and the noise cancelling won’t wig out.
- Custom Ear Defenders (8) – In need of a wash.
- Ortofon Concorde Stylus (9) – In gigs where I don’t have to fly, I’ve started playing some vinyl again. I buy a lot of vinyl and there seems to be a lot more releases than in recent times that are vinyl only.
- USB Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 Keys – These are the best I’ve found to work Rekordbox and the CDJ2000s, other keys with exactly the same specs I’ve had in the past have had slower transfer rates.
- UDG mini digi wallet (10) – For keeping USBs and SD Cards safe.
Cables, USB Hub, & Adapters
- Ethernet Cable plus adaptor – For when all the USB ports on the CDJs are taken, I can network my laptop in.
- DJ TechTools USB Chroma Cables (11) – I didn’t pay for these.
- 1000 spare cables and jacks (12) – Stolen from a night club near you.
- UDG USB Hub – Should my adhoc network go down, this allows me to connect the iPad into the a spare USB port. Learn more about powered and unpowered USB hubs
- Universal Travel Adaptors – These work in every country
- Burton Bird Feet Sock – Extra thick, acts as a protective case for my Vestax Pad One & now they’ve gone bust I have to look after them.
- Hairbrush – Not like you’d notice
- Sunglasses – For the day/morning after
- Emergency Chocolate M&Ms
- Lego Jeff Vader (13) – for good luck
- TARDIS keychain torch (14)
- Packet of spare batteries for the Kaossilator, which can usually last throughout 4/5 gigs.
Watch the first what’s in your bag with James Zabiela. As you’ll see his bag was just as packed:
- Making Music 74 Creative Strategies For Electronic Music Producers – This book has been a game changer and inspired me to buy all the junk in this photo whilst on the road in Australia.
- Roland Tricapture soundcard – Hastily bought on the road on tour in order to record the Korg. Does the job.
- Roland Midi to Usb interface.
- Apogee Mic – For getting quick field recordings into iPhone when out on walks.
- Tascam DR-40 – For recording my sets with crowd noise.
- Korg Volca Bass – Amazing sounding 303 bass vibes
- Smelly Nikes
Looking for more artist gear setups? See what’s in these artists bags:
What artist gear setup would you like to see?
Let us know in the comments below!