Audio & music gear reviews
Instruments from the Cloud - A review of the EastWest Composer Cloud subscription service
Subscription-based plans are becoming more common for music software. While presumably a good thing for the developers, they’re not necessarily so great for users, who have to pay over and over for a license, and can lose access to the software if they let the subscription lapse, or if the developer goes belly up. That said, one subscription pla...
High Caliber - Sonarworks Headphone Calibration Review
You all know what it's like to finish a mix that sounds amazing on your headphones and then try to show it to your grandma on her hi-fi system, only to discover that it sounds terrible. The mix is completely different: It lacks lows on the chorus but has too much on the verse, the vocals can't be heard. In short, it's awful. Granny is about to d...
A Bird in the Stand - A review of the Blue Microphones Hummingbird
A mic with a swiveling capsule is not a new concept, but it isn’t something you typically find in a mic as affordable as the Blue Hummingbird. The swiveling feature is no gimmick — it makes a big difference in mic positioning, both in terms of physically being able to place the mic where you want it, and in the ability to find the best placement...
Advancing the State of the Art - Review of the Akai Advance 49 Keyboard Controller
Imagine a MIDI-controller keyboard that lets you seamlessly switch between virtual instruments from different manufacturers, keeps all your patches together in a single browser, and automatically maps controller information to its knobs and switches.
Music in Bloom - Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock II Review
There are lots of software solutions for live performance. Strangely enough, Sensomusic's Usine Hollyhock II doesn't come up on the radar as often as other products. And yet...
Another Three from UAD - A review of the new plug-ins in Universal Audio UAD 8.1.1 software
Universal Audio just released a new version of its software for Apollo and other UAD-2 devices. The release is highlighted by three new plug-ins, including spot-on emulations of the Neve 88RS Channel Strip Collection, the Tube Tech CL-1B Compressor, and the Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959.
Tony Goes Virtual - A review of SONiVOX Tony Coleman Drums
SONiVOX's Tony Coleman Drums (Mac/Win), is a virtual drum plug-in featuring sampled kit sounds from Coleman, who’s played with a who’s who of blues and R&B artists including B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Albert King, Albert Collins, Etta James, James Cotton, and Buddy Guy, among others. The sampling session featured Coleman playing his Mapex kit...
Tighten it Up - Review of Synchro Arts Revoice Pro 3
The folks at Synchro Arts, renowned for their VocAlign software, recently came out with Revoice Pro 3, the latest version of their application that incorporates vocal alignment, pitch correction, doubling and more. We took it for a test drive, and here’s what we found.
Vocals Like Vig - Review of the Waves Butch Vig Vocals plug-in
In the tradition of its Jack Joseph Puig, Chris Lord Alge, Eddie Kramer, and Manny Marroquin signature plug-ins, Waves has released Butch Vig Vocals (Mac/PC), a processor plug-in designed to let you easily dial in great Butch-Vig-style vocal sounds. Featuring a very unusual-looking retro/sci-fi GUI, it offers compression, filtering, EQ, de-essin...
The Hear and Now - A review of the Audio-Technica ATH-M70x headphones
If you’re serious about your production work, you probably should have at least one pair of premium headphones in your studio. They’re extremely helpful both when mixing and tracking, and the more accurate their reproduction, the more useful they’ll be. Audio-Technica announced several new reference headphone models at NAMM this year, among them...