It’s always interesting to hear what other people enjoy and find useful. I decided to ask a few well established pros in the music industry about last years favorite gear, best albums and what they would like to see in 2013.

Participants: Michael Brauer (website), Tobias Lindell (Lindell Audio, studio website), Jordan Rudess (website, Dream Theater), Phil Tan (website), Greg Wells (website), Kenny Gioia (Groove 3).

What was your favorite piece of gear in 2012? (hardware or software)

Michael Brauer: Izotope RX2, Lisson Grove R-124.

Tobias Lindell: Fav. piece of gear I have to say my own 7X-500 compressor. Finally out on the market and making some good noise.

Jordan Rudess: Izotope’s Iris softsynth.

Phil Tan: My favorite hardware purchases this past year were a pair of RCF Mytho 8’s and the Korg Kronos. My favorite new plug-in is the UAD-2 Shadow Hills compressor.

Greg Wells: The BetterMaker EQ.

Kenny Gioia: 2012 is tough. It’s hard to remember exactly when each piece of gear is released but I’m pretty excited about the Slate Raven Touchscreen Interface. Not sure if we’re all ready to ditch are faders but this thing seems pretty intuitive and fun. We’ll see when it starts being shipped. What I’m really digging is this trend towards low power guitar heads like the Tiny or Micro Terror (20 Watt) or the Vox Lil’ Night Train (2 Watt) or the Blackstar (1 Watt) head but definitely the Chandler Limited GAV19t (19 Watt) which should be out soon. These amps all sound great and are affordable so we no longer have the excuse of not getting great guitar tone. On any budget. Maybe we can ditch the amp sims a bit too.

What records kicked ass in 2012?

Michael Brauer: Grizzly Bear.

Tobias Lindell:

Jordan Rudess: Deftones – Koi No Yoken.

Phil Tan: The 2012 records I listened to most were:
– Beach House: “Bloom”
– Bat for Lashes” The Haunted Man”
– Orbital: “Wonky”
– The Weeknd: “Trilogy” (not technically new, since each album was previously released in 2010-2011)
– The xx: “Coexist”
– Fiona Apple: “The Idler Wheel …”

Greg Wells: Death Cab for Cutie’s “Codes and Keys”

Kenny Gioia: Wow. So many great records lately. Definitely loving the Alabama Shakes record. The Features, Band of Horses, Glen Hansard, The Whigs, Brad, Brett Dennen, Black Keys, and anything that Jack White is involved with.

What would you like to see in 2013?

Michael Brauer: More spatial placement plugins or hardware.

Tobias Lindell: Protools 11.

Jordan Rudess: I’d Like to see the next level of multitouch playing surfaces geared towards musicians that would involve more freedom of physical space for the player as well as intelligent and expressive tactile response.

Phil Tan: Not sure there’s anything specific I’d like to see in 2013 … I don’t mind surprises!

Greg Wells: I’d like to see new band Twenty One Pilots take over the world! Very excited for them.

Kenny Gioia: I’d like to see a new version of Pro Tools that incorporates all the best features from Reaper. Also, I’d like to see a new version of Reaper that incorporates all the best features of Pro Tools. That would be awesome.