DECEMBER 2018: IK Multimedia UNO Synth
The UNO Synth is IK Multimedia’s first foray into hardware synthesis. It’s a monophonic synthesizer with an all-analog audio path, and the power it provides for the money is unheard-of for a true analog synthesizer!
NOVEMBER 2018: Softube Tube-Tech CL 1B Mk II Plug-in CL 1B Mk II Plug-in and Lydkraft Tube-Tech CL 1B
The Tube-Tech CL 1A, a hand-wired all-tube optical compressor, was released in 1987. It was followed in 1991 by the CL 1B, which used circuit boards in place of the point-to-point hand wiring, but with zero compromise in quality. The CL 1B is still in production today; it’s gone on to become…
OCTOBER 2018: ADK Zeus
Recent ADK reviews have focused on high-end Custom Shop mics—the Z-MOD, T-FET, and TC lines. ADK truly puts the ‘custom’ in Custom Shop, gathering parts from the US, Europe and Asia and putting mics together by hand here in the USA, letting buyers work with ADK to tailor each mic’s sound…
SEPTEMBER 2018: Focal Shape Twin
Just shy of one year ago, in our November 2017 issue, we got our first look and listen to the new Focal Shape studio monitors. The Shape series offers many new design features for the French speaker company in styling, materials, and sound. At that time, we reviewed the Shape 40, the 4″ woofer baby of…
AUGUST 2018: Universal Audio A/DA STD-1
ART has been around for a good long while, but it’s not a company known for its monitors (that tended to be the province of sister company Yorkville Sound). With the RM5, though, that’s about to change. We found this remarkable new monitor system to be truly attention-getting, in all the right ways.
JULY 2018: Universal Audio A/DA STD-1
For this guitar-centric issue of Recording, we’re reviewing an often-overlooked plug-in from Universal Audio that’s fantastic on guitars. The A/DA STD-1 Stereo Tapped Delay was developed by Brainworx for UAD-2 DSP engines and Apollo/Arrow interfaces, and is based on a vintage bucket brigade delay unit which was originally released in 1980.
JUNE 2018: Toontrack EZKeys Dream Machine and Melancholic Pop MIDI Pack
Toontrack’s EZkeys platform combines beautiful sampled virtual keyboards with an easy block-based track assembly system that works standalone or inside any DAW as a plug-in. You can play the instruments by hand or load MIDI files (yours or Toontrack’s) to create an arrangement. It’s easy to use, straightforward to program, and offers authentic and…
MAY 2018: Soyuz Microphones SU-013 Small-Diaphragm FET Condensor Mic
Soyuz (“Union”) is a Russian microphone company whose products are designed, manufactured, and assembled in the city of Tula. Literally everything in a Soyuz mic is of Russian manufacture, from the metalwork of the milled brass bodies to the capsules, from the Soviet-era military tubes and custom handwound transformers to the handmade wooden boxes…
APRIL 2018: RØDE Complete Studio Kit
Australian audio tech firm RØDE celebrated the 50th Anniversary of parent company Freedman Electronics in 2017, and rounded out its golden year by stepping into a realm where it’s never been before—audio interfacing. The Complete Studio Kit is a full package for the beginning singer/songwriter, centered around the new AI-1 audio interface.
MARCH 2018: LaChapell Audio 583s mk2 Tube Preamp and 500TDI Tube DI
In our April 2009 issue, Justin Peacock reviewed the 583s preamp, designed by Scott LaChapell of aptly named LaChapell Audio. Justin was very impressed with its sonic character; he described it as a “big, wide and clear sound” that also had…
FEBRUARY 2018: RME Babyface Pro
RME isn’t a household name in the USA pro audio world, but it should be. For decades, its interfaces have reigned supreme in mission-critical reliability, and its innovations have entered the market and become standards without most folks…
JANUARY 2018: Arturia DrumBrute
Arturia started as a software company, creating emulations of famous synthesizers. Over the past decade, an unexpected move into hardware has led to a line of controllers and analog synthesizers that work and sound great yet don’t break the bank.
DECEMBER 2017: Presonus Studiolive Ar12 USB Mixer/Interface
When the first PreSonus StudioLive mixers came out in 2008, they raised a lot of eyebrows with what were, at the time, pretty much unprecedented features for mixers under $10,000. They connected to laptops via FireWire and allowed for easy storage of scenes and settings offline from the…
NOVEMBER 2017: Focal Shape 40 and Shape 65 Studio Monitors
The Shape series is the newest line of professional studio monitors from French company Focal. The Shape monitors replace Focal’s CMS models, placing them above the company’s budget-priced Alpha series (reviewed December 2014) and below the Solo6 Be, Twin6 Be, and Trio6 Be models.
OCTOBER 2017: Mojave Audio MA-1000 Condenser Mic
Mojave Audio is helmed by engineer and 3-string bass player Dusty Wakeman, and showcases the condenser mic designs of David Royer (whose newest ribbon mic, the Royer Labs R-10, is also featured in this issue). Over the past decade-plus, Mojave mics have become favored by many A-list engineers…
SEPTEMBER 2017: Empirical Labs Arousor
Twenty years after its creation, the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor is a modern classic. It just hit serial number 30,000, and its most common descriptor over the years has been “the Swiss Army knife of compressors.” It’s curious, then, that despite rumors and “coming soons” from…
AUGUST 2017: Mackie DL32R 32-Channel Digital Mixer
One of my first non-review articles for Recording, written over ten years ago, focused on using a thrown together remote rig for tracking a band in a large old house. This “portable” rig was made up of a Mackie 1604 VLZ mixer, an Alesis ADAT XT20 used just as an 8-channel converter…
JULY 2017: API TranZformer GT
Automated Processes, Inc. (API) has a long-standing legacy of world-class analog recording consoles and 500 Series modules. API gear is known for having a warm and distinct sonic character, heard on many legendary albums throughout music history.
JUNE 2017: Steinberg Cubase Pro 9
Several months ago, Steinberg’s flagship DAW Cubase was upgraded significantly; it’s now at version 9. I’ve been working with it for quite a while now, and in preparation for writing this review, I’ve just re-read last year’s review of Cubase 8.5, which I called…
MAY 2017: LEWITT LCT 440 PURE
I cant believe it’s been five years since we first met Austria-based LEWITT Microphones. In that short time, LEWITT has built quite the lineup, with a reputation for sonically clean, technologically innovative, and visually unique microphones. The various lines of handheld…
APRIL 2017: Acoustica Mixcraft 8
In our previous review of Acoustica Mixcraft 7 (April 2016), we found it to be a great DAW for beginning Windows producers, yet one that had the kind of professional production (and performance) functionality that could make it useful for everyone.
MARCH 2017: Prism Sound CALLIA USB Audio DAC/Preamplifier
Prism Sound is a UK company known for digital audio converters that are best described as “next level”; these products are found in many of the world’s top mastering studios. Prism Sound also offers a line of no-compromise multichannel solutions for the tracking and mixing studio.
FEBRUARY 2017: Universal Audio Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip Plug-in For UAD-2
The VOXBOX is one of the most impressive pieces of gear in the Manley line, released two decades ago and reviewed by producer/engineer William Wittman in our October 1998 issue. Unlike other Manley stalwarts like the SLAM!, Vari-Mu, Massive Passive, and others…
JANUARY 2017: SPL Transient Designer TDx
In the late 1990s, Germany’s Sound Performance Labs (SPL) introduced the Transient Designer, which has become a studio staple worldwide for altering audio sources’ attack and decay. Essentially it is a device that can enhance or lessen the sharpness of a source’s attack—
DECEMBER 2016: Apogee ONE For Mac
t’s always a pleasure reviewing Apogee gear—no matter what we throw at it, we always get top-quality audio in return, with the detail, clarity, and musicality that’s inherent in the sources we record. While in recent months we’ve taken a hard look at the top-shelf Apogee products…
NOVEMBER 2016: AKG K872
In our March 2014 issue, Ears On covered several of AKG’s high-end studio phones, including the K812, a remarkable open-back design that offers impeccable detail and clarity of a sort rarely heard in headphones at any price point.
OCTOBER 2016: Lauten Audio LA-320 Tube Condenser Microphone
The LA-320 is the latest tube mic from Lauten Audio. We have been following the Lauten story since August 2007, when we reviewed its first offering, the now sadly discontinued tube-based LT-321 Horizon microphone.
SEPTEMBER 2016: Audio-Technica ATH-E40, ATH-E50, and ATH-E70 In-Ear Monitor Headphones
Audio-Technica has been in the business of consumer and sports in-ear monitoring for quite a while, and is also a well-respected name in the world of professional studio headphones for decades. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the two worlds came together…
AUGUST 2016: Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Desktop Mixer/Interface
I’ve been a fan of Allen & Heath mixers since reviewing a MixWizard console nearly 20 years ago. This month we review the new ZEDi-10FX, a desktop mixer/interface with surprising hidden power.
JULY 2016: Line 6 Helix and Relay G10
Line 6 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. From 1996’s AxSys digital modeling guitar amplifier, Line 6 soon expanded into pedalboards and stomp boxes with the POD amp modelers, as well as wireless systems, the Variax modeling guitars, more powerful DSP amplifiers, and audio interfaces.
MAY 2016: Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
While Illinois-based Shure Incorporated is iconic, compared to many mic manufacturers it’s not that prolific. Many of Shure’s models receive an occasional incremental A or B update, but the bulk of their microphone line has remained largely unchanged for years.
APRIL 2016: Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 7
Mixcraft Pro Studio has been on our radar for some time. John Rossi III reviewed versions 4, 5 and 6 in previous issues, always praising it for its simplicity while pointing out its breadth and value. John wasn’t available for this review, but his previous articles reveal…
MARCH 2016: Amphion Two18 Passive Monitors (and Amp500 Power Amplifier)
Last year in our March 2015 issue, we took our first look at Amphion with the One18 passive studio monitor. This time we are looking at the One18’s big brother, the flagship of the Amphion line — the Two18. Amphion is headquartered in Kuopio, Finland, and run by Anssi Hyvönen.
FEBRUARY 2016: Lewitt LCT 550 Condenser Microphone
Back in February 2012 we introduced readers to Lewitt Microphones. Lewitt’s mics are a shining example of the new globally-sourced microphone paradigm. All of its mics are designed in the company’s Austrian headquarters, and then built to demanding specs with affordable Asian manufacture.
JANUARY 2016: Spitfire Audio HZ Percussion
Quick — think of three film composers. If the first name that popped into your head was John Williams, then I’m almost certain the next name in your list is Hans Zimmer. And based on the multitude of copycats out there in film and games, it’s safe to say he’s one of the most influential composers of our time.
DECEMBER 2015: Grace Design FELiX
Grace Design is highly respected in the audio industry for its microphone preamps, converters, and monitoring solutions. I was first introduced to Grace while working with an m201 at a studio in Boulder, Colorado. Certain traits stuck with me — clean, transparent, high headroom, great transient response, and very low noise.
NOVEMBER 2015: Focusrite Clarett 8Pre Thunderbolt Audio interface
While Focusrite is often thought of as one of the premier audio interface companies on today’s market, it got its start as a large format console manufacturer. For much of its long history, Focusrite has been responsible for some of the industry’s most respected and classic microphone preamps…
OCTOBER 2015: ADK Custom Shop Z-MOD Z-251 and T-FET Cremona 251-T
ADK is an American microphone company helmed by collector, connoisseur, and mic expert Larry Villella. Back in 1998, ADK was one of the first companies to introduce great-sounding low-cost import microphones into the mic market, which in turn fueled the home studio revolution.
SEPTEMBER 2015: Roswell Pro Audio Mini K47
Roswell Audio is a brand-new microphone company whose plan is to offer a full range of high-quality microphone designs. Some of these will be made overseas, while others will use the increasingly common hybrid approach favored by many boutique companies…
AUGUST 2015: Eiosis AirEQ Premium
In this review, we will be looking at a unique new take on equalization from the mind of Fabrice Gabriel and his company Eiosis. Fabrice is one of the world’s foremost plug-in designers and circuit modelers. He is responsible for the design of all of the Slate Digital plug-ins…
JULY 2015: Eventide UltraReverb
In the world of professional audio effects, Eventide sits squarely at the top. Its history of groundbreaking digital audio equipment stretches back decades to the original Instant Phaser in 1971, with the first digital pitch shifter, 1975’s H910 Harmonizer…
JUNE 2015: Zoom TAC-2R Thunderbolt Audio Converter
Thunderbolt is the high-speed connection protocol introduced on Apple computers in 2011. Now available in two versions, it offers either 10 or 20 Gbps (yes, that’s Gigabits per second) throughput — fast enough to reduce latency on audio connections to unheard-of levels…
MAY 2015: Sennheiser MK 8 Condenser Microphone
Sennheiser is one of the longest-standing brands in the pro audio industry, well known for wireless transceivers, headphones, and of course mics. Until very recently the company was mainly known for dynamic mics such as the classic MD 421 and MD 441…
APRIL 2015: Universal Audio UAD-2 Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ Plug-In Collection
One of the highlights of Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin interface/DSP Engine (reviewed August 2014) is its Unison preamp technology, also found in the original 8-channel Apollo. Unison uses software coupled with physical hardware to emulate the sound and characteristics of vintage mic preamps.
MARCH 2015: Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface
Santa Monica-based Apogee has been at the forefront of digital audio technology for 30 years. Since the company’s birth in 1985, it’s gone from building custom filters for early digital tape machines to creating some of the world’s first standalone A/D and D/A converters.
FEBRUARY 2015: Audio-Technica AT5045 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone
Back in May of 2013, I had the pleasure of introducing readers to a cutting-edge microphone from Audio-Technica known as the AT5040. The AT5040 was built from the ground up with a no-holds-barred, “money is no object” philosophy, with the goal of creating a top-shelf vocal mic…
JANUARY 2015: Chandler Limited REDD.47 Abbey Road Tube Mic Preamp
In the history of recording consoles, few other audio desks are as shrouded in romance, mystery, and desire as the Abbey Road/EMI Studios REDD.51. Two of these valve-based desks were used in Abbey Road Studios in the 1960s.