GEAR

In The Mix

In The Mix
In The Mix Studio wiz Russ Long reveals his secrets to maximize your mix All the instruments and vocals have been recorded, and now it’s time to turn those tracks into a finished record: You’re ready for the mixing process. But you know the mix can make or break even the best recordings. How do you ensure you’re crafting the perfect mix? Mixing is as much art as science, and the pros rely on hard-earned experience to transform great tracks... 

Talking Synth

Talking Synth
Talking Synth Ace musician Michael Bearden shares his tips on finding the right synth for your sound Synthesizers open up entire new worlds of music. With today’s technology, synths—digital and analog, software and hardware—offer nearly limitless options when it comes to creating sounds and textures. Synths allow musicians of all stripes to generate music from scratch or completely shape existing material to taste. But how to best harness the... 

Magic Mic

Magic Mic
Magic Mic A Grammy-winning producer shares his insights to finding the perfect studio mic  Getting clean, pristine sound begins at the source: the microphone. Designed to capture both nuance and ferocity of a performance, these devices are specialized for the studio. Some work well for specific duties, such as vocals, and others are able to handle multiple applications. But making sense of the seemingly endless varieties available is a dizzying... 

Amped Up

Amped Up
  Amped Up Find the right amplifier with sound advice from guitar master Steve Lukather  When it comes to crafting the perfect sound, the amplifier is every bit as important as the guitar itself. And with the countless variations available—from monster stacks to boutique boxes—there are seemingly endless choices when it comes to selecting the right amp. We turned to five-time Grammy-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Steve Lukather... 

Mastering the Master

Mastering the Master
Mastering the Master A studio legend details the crucial final step in the recording process Between the final mix and the finished record lies a mysterious final step: mastering. But what is it? Why is it important? Is it necessary? In fact, mastering is vital to the recording process. Imagine having to lunge for the volume knob every time a new song came on the radio, each with a vastly different sound level. Or, consider why your favorite music... 

Art of the Pickup

Art of the Pickup
Art of the Pickup Get the inside scoop on picking the perfect pickup The key to a guitarist’s tone is the pickup—the unassuming device sitting underneath guitar strings that translates vibrations into sweet melodies and sonic fury. In fact, few pieces of gear have a greater impact on a guitar’s tone—and there are seemingly endless varieties to choose from. Some players soar with the stock units that came with their guitars, while others experiment... 

Pedal Power

Pedal Power
Pedal Power Guitar master Joe Bonamassa shoots from the hip about selecting the right effects pedal For a guitarist on a quest for the ultimate pedalboard setup, the sheer number of options can make any search downright bewildering. There’s a seemingly endless supply of cutting-edge digital varieties guaranteed to pack entire guitar rigs into a single pedal. But there are also plenty of vintage classics and even hand-built boutique rarities to... 

Open Rec

Open Rec
Open Rec Discover the essentials for creating a stellar home recording studio Over the past few decades, the home studio has gone from a novelty to an extravagance to a staple of modern recording. Today nearly anyone can capture pro-studio results without ever leaving their home. In fact, much of the music we hear every day began in repurposed basements or spare bedrooms. But with new production gear hitting the streets daily, outfitting a recording... 

Road Hazards

Road Hazards
Road Hazards From the glory of a spectacular show to the appreciation of screaming fans, there’s plenty of glamour to be found onstage. But after the last chord’s played and the show’s wrapped, a rather unglamorous process begins—load-out. But then again, what could be more vital than protecting your instruments and gear from the rigors of the road as they’re transported from gig to gig? Whether you’re a pro who relies on roadies or a... 

POSITIVE APP-TITUDE

POSITIVE APP-TITUDE
POSITIVE APP-TITUDE Discover what today’s mobile music-making apps can do for you Few technologies have revolutionized how musicians write, practice, perform and record music than Apple’s iOS platform. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, software developers have harnessed the power of portable devices, creating a myriad of new and exciting creative paths for musicians. With thousands of apps to choose from and... 

String Theory

String Theory
String Theory Everything you need to know about finding the perfect guitar From B.B. King’s soaring vibrato to Jimmy Page’s heavy riffs and Tom Morello’s pulverizing solos, the electric guitar has formed the very foundation of rock and modern music for more than a half-century. But before you’re ready to extend the legacy of these six-string legends, you’ll need the right instrument. And selecting an electric guitar is no easy process,... 

AMPED UP

AMPED UP
AMPED UP Find the right amplifier with sound advice from guitar master Steve Lukather  When it comes to crafting the perfect sound, the amplifier is every bit as important as the guitar itself. And with the countless variations available—from monster stacks to boutique boxes—there are seemingly endless choices when it comes to selecting the right amp. We turned to five-time Grammy-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Steve Lukather... 

FALL GEAR – PRS

FALL GEAR – PRS
BIG BOTTOM BLISS PRS has released two affordable bass guitars that have players reconsidering their brand loyalties. The ash-bodied SE Kingfisher bass offers the fat and chest-pounding bottom end that jazz and R&B players dig. The alder-bodied SE Kestrel bass comes loaded with single-coil pickups and offers a bit more definition in the upper mids. Both feature extremely stable five-ply maple and walnut necks, and a two-way bridge allows for strings... 

AUDIX SCX25A MICROPHONE

AUDIX SCX25A MICROPHONE
AUDIX SCX25A MICROPHONE Phenomenal piano sound  Capturing piano is challenging especially during live performances. The Audix SCX25A-PS large diaphragm studio condenser mic kit we reviewed comes with a pair of SCX25As and two piano mounts that separate into mic clips. We found the SCX25As to be refreshingly flat in their frequency response without sounding dull, capturing the fullness of the instrument but not overaccentuating any particular range.... 

LIVE LESSONS

LIVE LESSONS
LIVE LESSONS Our experts reveal their strategies for achieving pristine live sound Sounding great live is every act’s goal—and it’s a challenge nearly all musicians face, from coffeehouse singer-songwriters to touring arena bands. Achieving perfect live sound can be complex, taking into account everything from room acoustics to microphone selection and placement, as well as the limitations of the house PA system. But with so many variables... 

COMMANDING THE MIX

COMMANDING THE MIX
COMMANDING THE MIX Nailing the right mix for your music takes skills, gear and discriminating ears  You’ve penned the perfect songs, recorded flawless tracks, and you’re well on your way to creating a masterpiece. But what about the mix? Snagging that ideal sonic blend can be tricky business, and the stakes are high. The right mix can mean the difference between fulfilling your dreams of revealing your musical brilliance to the world—or not. For... 

KEYS TO SUCCESS

KEYS TO SUCCESS
KEYS TO SUCCESS The world of keyboards is vast and complex, so how do you choose the right one for you?   From the classic analog synths of the ’70s to the cutting-edge digital workstations of today, keyboards have been an integral part of music for nearly half a century. Nearly every genre, including pop, rock and jazz, relies on keyboards in the studio and onstage as a mainstay instrument. And scoring and production for TV and film wouldn’t... 

Apogee One

Apogee One
Apogee One RECORDING ON THE GO The pocket-size Apogee One is a pro recording engineer’s Swiss army knife. Featuring Apogee’s world-class 24-bit/96 kHz digital converters and excellent input options, the redesigned Apogee One provides astonishing results to anyone recording on a laptop or iPad. A breakout cable provides inputs for mic and guitar, and the preamp provides up to 63 decibels of pristine gain. With two channels of simultaneous recording,... 

AIR Music Technology Loom and Vacuum Pro

AIR Music Technology Loom and Vacuum Pro
AIR Music Technology Loom and Vacuum Pro VIRTUAL INSPIRATION AIR Music Technology is offering a pair of soft synths—Loom and Vacuum Pro—that make in-the-box sound design a blast. First, there’s Loom, which takes all of the baffling elements of additive synthesis and distills them into 30 easy-to-use sound modules. These modules can be combined and manipulated to build amazing sounds. On the flip side, there’s Vacuum Pro, an old-school... 

Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI

Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI
Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI VINTAGE LOWS Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI is easily the most accessible recreation of the historic bass to hit the street. In its run from 1961 to 1975, the original Bass VI six-string, E-to-E baritone guitar found favor in the hands of Jack Bruce, George Harrison, and others looking to add exciting textures to their music. In that same spirit, Fender loaded the Pawn Shop Bass VI with a pair of Special Design Hot Jaguar... 

Avid S3L System

Avid S3L System
Avid S3L System SERIOUS LIVE SOUND Avid VENUE systems have been at the heart of some of the largest live sound rigs anywhere. But they’ve been priced out of reach for small and midsize venue operators until now. The Avid S3L System marries a 16-fader console with an E3 VENUE DSP engine and up to four Stage 16 Remote I/O boxes. The result is an incredibly portable live sound mixing system with powerful routing flexibility and onboard processing.... 

Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter

Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter
Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter OLD-SCHOOL MEETS NEW When analog synthesis icon Tom Oberheim re-emerged on the scene with new SEM models, longtime synth lovers rejoiced. But the CV-only synth module was lost on modern MIDI-based rigs. Enter the updated Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter. The two-oscillator synth module dishes out all of the old-school Oberheim tones, which can be triggered from any standard MIDI keyboard. What’s... 

Rupert Neve Designs 511

Rupert Neve Designs 511
Rupert Neve Designs 511 PREAMP WITH LEGACY Lots of gear claim to have some connection to the Neve legacy, but the 511 mic pre is one of the few 500 Series modules designed by Rupert Neve himself. Naturally clear and transparent, the Rupert Neve Designs 511 is an excellent match for any sound source. There’s the Portico 5012’s sweepable high-pass filter onboard, and when it’s time to kick in that timeless Neve mojo, just turn up the Silk/Texture... 

Lewitt MTP 340 CM

Lewitt MTP 340 CM
Lewitt MTP 340 CM LIVE STUDIO-CLARITY The Lewitt MTP 340 CM condenser microphone offers live singers studio-style vocal clarity. Its contoured frequency response focuses on the midrange that brings out the best in most vocal styles, while rolling off unwanted bass. In addition to its impressive SPL handling, there’s an internal pop filter that smoothes out harsh transients for an extra polished sound. And with its die-cast all-metal body and hardened... 

SOFTTUBE CONSULE 1

SOFTTUBE CONSULE 1
Softube’s Console 1 MIX WITH FEELING Softube’s Console 1 hybrid virtual mixing console system offers the flexibility of a plug-in with amazing tactile control—and provides powerful channel-strip processing with the analog workflow that only a hardware controller can. It’s a simple two-part system consisting of a channel strip plug-in and a dedicated hardware controller. With the plug-in activated on every track, the Console 1 hardware provides... 

ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE

ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE
ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE SET IT & FORGET IT ESP’s EverTune equipped instruments virtually eliminate the need for retuning. A partnership between ESP and EverTune has led to guitars—such as the ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE and LTD EC-1000 EVERTUNE—that feature the EverTune Bridge. It’s an all-mechanical, highly adjustable system that keeps string tension constant and intonation perfect across extended playing sessions—no matter how hard you... 

TASCAM DA-3000 – STUNNING RECORDING

TASCAM DA-3000 – STUNNING RECORDING
TASCAM DA-3000 STUNNING RECORDING  When absolute fidelity is vital, the TASCAM DA-3000 stereo DSD recorder is the last stop in any pro recording rig. The DA-3000 brings the stunning detail of Direct Stream Digital recording to down-to-earth recording setups. Built around the phenomenal digital converters from TASCAM’s acclaimed DA-RA1000HD recorder, the DA-3000 is capable of capturing 24-bit/192 kHz PCM or 1-bit/5.6 MHz DSD audio to inexpensive... 

SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 11

SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 11
SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 11 Next generation of editing and mastering  Sound Forge Pro 11—Sony’s latest version of their flagship recording application—offers a full step up for those who create, edit or mix in Windows. The workflow is nothing short of phenomenal. In-application tutorials do a sensational job of walking you through frequently used menus and windows. The massive time display and input meters allows tracking without having to sit... 

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+
AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+ Pristine performance and USB connectivity The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone combines the crystalline sound of the award-winning AT2020 with a host of features that make USB-based recording a treat. Perfect for tracking music and podcasts alike, the powered headphone circuit delivers crisp audio and features an external volume wheel. The Mix wheel makes it a snap to dial in the perfect blend between... 

STRING SWING FLAT-FOLDING GUITAR STAND

STRING SWING FLAT-FOLDING GUITAR STAND
STRING SWING FLAT-FOLDING GUITAR STAND Bridging security and portability String Swing has kept guitars safe for 25 years with an array of guitar hangers, and the Flat-Folding Guitar Stand is the latest addition to the company’s line. In the stowed position, both the acoustic and electric versions compress to a mere 1 1/2 inches in height. Unlike most stands on the market, they also sport a solid frame that folds into place, making it virtually roadie-proof.... 

KYSER RED BANDANA QUICK-CHANGE LIMITED EDITION CAPO

KYSER RED BANDANA QUICK-CHANGE LIMITED EDITION CAPO
KYSER RED BANDANA QUICK-CHANGE LIMITED EDITION CAPO Reliability with flair  Designed to make transposing instruments a one-handed, tuning-free affair, Kyser capos have been used for decades by players like Bruce Springsteen and Dwight Yoakam who have come to depend on their quality and design. Originally crafted as a custom piece, the limited edition Red Bandana Capo is guaranteed to dress up any guitar. Like all the capos in the Kyser line, the... 

TELEFUNKEN M80

TELEFUNKEN M80
TELEFUNKEN M80 Superior performance with dynamic convenience Featuring a wide frequency response, the M80 serves up condenser-like performance in a thin, rugged design. The head and capsule were designed to reduce proximity effect, resulting in a more consistent production experience regardless of venue. This was especially apparent in the studio when we miked our Fender Deluxe Reverb. Because of the broad range of frequencies this amp produces it’s... 

AVID PRO TOOLS 11

AVID PRO TOOLS 11
AVID PRO TOOLS 11 POWERHOUSE UPGRADE Pro Tools has long been a mainstay of the recording industry—but now Avid Pro Tools 11 offers up thrilling new prospects for users. There are countless minor workflow improvements in this latest version that streamline many routine tasks such as auditioning plug-ins and configuring sends. But the big upgrade is Pro Tools 11’s 64-bit architecture, which allows the program to better utilize system resources so... 

ASHDOWN CTM-15

ASHDOWN CTM-15
ASHDOWN CTM-15 TUBE-FIRED TRACKING AMP While Ashdown’s solid-state bass amps rock the world’s biggest stages, their tube amps are a huge hit with recording bass players. Packing more than enough juice for smaller gigs, the new CTM-15 tube head was specifically developed for the recording world. A straight shot through a three-band EQ, ending at a pair of EL84s, provides pure tube-fired tone at lower wattages. And the onboard VU meter is more than... 

IBANEZ PAT METHENY PM200

IBANEZ PAT METHENY PM200
IBANEZ PAT METHENY PM200 METHENY’S HOLLOWBODY The Ibanez Pat Metheny PM200 hollowbody electric guitar is the closest most guitarists can hope to get to playing the master’s personal jazzbox. Made in Japan by Ibanez’s top luthiers, the PM200 features impressive build quality and plays like a dream. A naturally finished, all-maple body bolstered by a custom-carved mahogany neck offers quintessential jazz guitar tone with an old-time look. The... 

YAMAHA DTX502

YAMAHA DTX502
YAMAHA DTX502 NEXT-GEN DIGITAL DRUMS Following the release of the Yamaha DTX502 drum module, the company released three new electronic drum kits: the DTX562K, DTX532K and DTX522K. Featuring new drum pad configurations and a full set of three-zone cymbals, these kits have garnered acclaim from high-level performers. The DTX502 drum module itself provides 250 phenomenal new sounds—now up to 691—and support for cymbal muting, natural-sounding swells,... 

LINE 6 SONIC PORT

LINE 6 SONIC PORT
LINE 6 SONIC PORT POD TONE FOR YOUR PHONE The Line 6 Sonic Port turns nearly any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a tone machine driven by real POD guitar effects. The Mobile POD app—which requires the Sonic Port—offers up more than 10,000 killer guitar tones featuring 32 amp models, 16 cabinets, and 16 classic stompbox effects. The Sonic Port also works with many other iOS apps, and even unlocks POD tones in the popular Jammit backing track app.... 

ZOOM H6 HANDY RECORDER

ZOOM H6 HANDY RECORDER
ZOOM H6 HANDY RECORDER MULTITRACK MAGIC The Zoom H6 Handy Recorder makes capturing quality audio in the field a breeze. It’s perfect for recording rehearsals, capturing mixer feeds, tracking on location and much more. The portable six-track recording system comes equipped with four XLR/TRS combo inputs complete with onboard microphone preamps, phantom power, and external volume controls. Plus, there’s an attachment port that accepts additional... 

STUDIOLOGIC SLEDGE

STUDIOLOGIC SLEDGE
STUDIOLOGIC SLEDGE SUPER SYNTH With 35 tweakable knobs and a five-octave Fatar TP/9 keybed onboard, the Studiologic Sledge digital synthesizer is a feast for the fingertips. It’s built around an analog layout and fueled by a Waldorf sound engine loaded with digital wavetables from the legendary PPG Wave. A trio of oscillators and full subtractive synthesis controls provide a solid foundation for massive stacks, complex atmospherics and everything... 

TELEFUNKEN M82

TELEFUNKEN M82
TELEFUNKEN M82 ADD PUNCH TO YOUR KICK Telefunken M82 dynamic microphone makes it a snap to capture the best kick drum and other bass-heavy sounds right at the source. In addition to a 1.37” moving-coil diaphragm that comfortably captures low-end punch and body, this versatile mic sports a couple of switchable settings for fine-tuning its response. There’s a KICK EQ mode that notches out 350 Hz to eliminate boxiness, and a high boost mode for adding... 

NUMARK ORBIT

NUMARK ORBIT
NUMARK ORBIT GRAB & GO COMMANDER The Numark Orbit wireless handheld controller is a natural fit for any digital DJ longing to step out from the booth without letting go of the mix. With its 16 multicolor backlit pads, touch-sensitive aluminum control wheel, and unique accelerometer-driven two-axis position sensor, the Orbit provides artists with control over dozens of MIDI-based functions—taking freestyle controlling to a new level. But it’s... 

FENDER PASSPORT MINI

FENDER PASSPORT MINI
FENDER PASSPORT MINI PORTABLE PA POWER  For small coffeehouse gigs, street-corner busking, or playing in the park, the Fender Passport Mini packs plenty of battery-powered portable PA power. One channel provides inputs for a microphone or line-level, and the other features a guitar input, plus there’s a stereo input for a music player. In addition to the preset delays, reverbs and modulations, Fender’s FUSE software provides access to a massive... 

TAYLOR SPRING 2013 LIMITED 400 SERIES

TAYLOR SPRING 2013 LIMITED 400 SERIES
TAYLOR SPRING 2013 LIMITED 400 SERIES GRANADILLO GRANDEUR Bob Taylor’s passion for exotic tonewoods is one of the defining characteristics of his company’s guitar lineup, which has pioneered the use of Hawaiian koa, cocobolo, striped ebony and other varieties. For the Spring 2013 Limited 400 Series, Taylor turned to granadillo for a unique look and sound. A granadillo back and sides topped with a Sitka spruce top voices these guitars with bold... 

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+
Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+ RECORDING RIG IN A MIC A full recording studio is great when tracking an album, but what if you just want to lay down a fleeting song idea? The Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+  bypasses the hassle of juggling studio gear by packing all of the essentials into a single condenser microphone. Based on the original AT2020, this excellent sounding mic connects via USB to any Mac or Windows PC, and a built-in headphone jack provides... 

Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series

Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series
Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series MUST-HAVE STUDIO TOOLS The Waves Manny Marroquin Signature Series plug-in collection includes six ingenious plug-ins masterminded by a hit producer-engineer behind many of today’s hottest pop acts. These plug-ins range from the more straightforward MM Reverb and MM Delay to the specialized MM Triple D and the MM Tone Shaper. Simple controls and logical layouts provide intuitive operation, without limiting an... 

ANTELOPE AUDIO ORION 32

ANTELOPE AUDIO ORION 32
ANTELOPE AUDIO ORION 32 STELLAR I/O FOR ANY PLATFORM The Antelope Audio Orion 32 USB audio interface packs a boatload of pristine AD/DA conversion into a single rack space, delivering a staggering 32 channels of both input and output at up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. In addition to its analog I/O—all handled by standard DB-25 connectors—the Orion 32 also sports ADAT and MADI digital connections, so it can easily integrate into a more advanced... 

Electro-Harmonix Epitome

Electro-Harmonix Epitome
Electro-Harmonix Epitome TRIPLE-THREAT TONE MACHINE Merging three creative pedals into one, the Electro-Harmonix Epitome multieffects pedal offers guitarists an easy way to conjure up dramatic and spatially complex tones. Inside its pedalboard-friendly chassis are a Micro POG octave, a Stereo Electric Mistress chorus/flanger, and a Holy Grail Plus reverb. This combo can create anything from mild shimmer to pure psychedelic madness. Each effects engine’s... 

Fender Cabronita Precision Bass

Fender Cabronita Precision Bass
Fender Cabronita Precision Bass BASS WITH ATTITUDE High output, solid low-end and pure attitude are what define the Fender Cabronita Precision Bass. Beyond its bold coloring and first-generation P-Bass headstock, this instrument boasts a specially designed Fideli’Tron Bass mini humbucker. This pickup delivers deep and punchy tone with none of the dullness and boominess that routinely plagues dual-coil bass pickups. Best of all, the Fideli’Tron... 

KORG VOLCA KEYS, VOLCA BASS, VOLCA BEATS

KORG VOLCA KEYS, VOLCA BASS, VOLCA BEATS
KORG VOLCA KEYS, VOLCA BASS, VOLCA BEATS BRINGING ANALOG BACK Korg has been on a mission to bring quality analog synthesis to the masses. First with the monotron series, then the monotribe mini workstation, and most recently with the Volca series modules. These new additions—the Volca Keys, Volca Bass, and Volca Beats—are especially compelling as they combine classic analog designs with digital convenience, including patch recall and MIDI input.... 

Dave Smith Instruments’ Prophet 12

Dave Smith Instruments’ Prophet 12
Dave Smith Instruments’ Prophet 12 PUSHING THE DIGITAL-ANALOG ENVELOPE Since the 2013 Winter NAMM Show, the keyboard world has been abuzz about Dave Smith Instrument’s latest innovation—Prophet 12. A departure from this analog synth maker’s penchant for vintage analog designs, the Prophet 12 packs serious sonic firepower under the hood, including 48 oscillators (plus an additional 12 suboscillators), flexible routing and warm analog filtering.... 
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