Anthony Sestito has been performing and helping to record local acts in and around Toronto and the GTA for a while now. With his knowledge of the local scene and experience as a performance artist, he’s assisted these locals to achieve success around in our surrounding area. Scroll down to check out what Anthony has to say about his favourite gear.

What one piece of equipment do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Anthony: The one piece of gear I use most to obtain my signature sound is my main DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that being Ableton Live 8 and the many third-party VST’s (Virtual Studio Technology) I have within it.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Anthony: What makes it so important to me is the endless things I can do within the software and with the tools in the software. I can achieve things I never thought possible because of how flexible and powerful the software is. Everything from automation on almost every parameter of everything within the software, to how it co-operates and works with all of my outboard and analog gear blows me away every time I fire it up.

There isn’t anything that I’ve found so far that can’t be accomplished both in the studio, or implemented in a live rig with Ableton. Its flexibility allows me to professionally record bands and artists at home in the studio, use it as a live keyboard rig, a mobile recording studio, and then take it to the club at the end of the night and DJ with it – it’s simply incredible. The way it makes you think and use the tools within it in a unique way that suits you and your needs gives you the opportunity to be so creative and unique in so many aspects.

What are the major pros and cons?
Anthony: The pros to the software include its flexibility within many different environments, it’s not bound to a specific piece of hardware so I can run any interface I choose (in my case all Focusrite interfaces and pre’s), the automation editing is second to none for editing parameters on VST’s, the way it can interact with outboard synths and MIDI controllers is, again, second to none. Cons, I really haven’t found any in my particular case but if it had to be anything it would be the lack of dual monitor support – which doesn’t affect me at the moment because I only use one screen in the studio and live. It is also not as highly recognized as a studio tool as Pro Tools for instance which remains the industry standard, but that’s not to say that what can be achieved in Pro Tools can’t be achieved in Ableton.

How long have you used this piece of equipment and would you ever change it?
Anthony: I’ve used Ableton Live for the past three years when it came out as Live 7 and it has never let me down or steered me in the wrong direction. I use it as my main DAW for recording bands and artists of all genres in my recording studio, I use it as the main rig for processing and my keyboard rig in my most recent project with Chiara Young, I use it in my mobile recording rig for location recording/processing at events, and I also use it as my DJ rig when I’m out performing. I would never change it, there are things I would add, but I would never change a thing – it just works and allows me to be creative, that’s important to me.

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Anthony: The DAW can be intimidating, there are so many different aspects to it that even I have yet to uncover in the three years I’ve been working with it – but I can’t ever go without it. For the serious programmer I recommend it, but it takes work to really understand its full potential.