Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)

2nd Jul 2010 | 13:27

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Roland Octapad SPD-30 (£629)
Latest electronic drum trigger pad is a winner

Every month, MusicRadar’s industry-leading sister magazines - Guitarist, Computer Music, Total Guitar, Rhythm and Future Music - publish the best independent and in-depth music-making gear reviews.

We’ve collated the latest plug-ins, controllers, synths and mics to have fallen under the watchful eyes of Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm’s test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issue 152, Future Music issue 227 and Rhythm issue 178. It was published on MusicRadar throughout June and July.

Scroll on for this month’s top picks and click through to read each product’s full review. First up: Roland Octapad SPD-30

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“For drummers or percussionists looking to add electronic sounds to an acoustic set-up with the minimum of fuss, the SPD-30 is a great choice. And the fact that it's the latest in a line of well-proven tools allows for real confidence in its long-term abilities.”

FULL REVIEW: Roland Octapad SPD-30

(Reviewed in Rhythm magazine issue 178)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Xfer Records Nerve ($199)
Deadmau5's company releases a forward-thinking drum machine

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Nerve isn't perfect, but the fundamentals are tight and it has some terrific features that make it stand out from the pack.”

FULL REVIEW: Xfer Records Nerve $199

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
FXpansion BFD Eco (£100)
A more compact, lower-priced version of the drum ROMpler

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Eco offers a sensible combination of ease of use and flexibility, all with BFD's famously good sound.”

FULL REVIEW: FXpansion BFD Eco

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Magix Vandal (£155)
An amp sim plug-in from the Samplitude stable

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Vandal isn't feature-heavy, nor is it covered in faux Marshall logos, but it's got it where it counts, with impressively real amp tones.”

FULL REVIEW: Magix Vandal

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Toontrack EZmix (£45)
A one-stop mixing plug-in that anyone can use

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If your focus is on making tunes rather than production techniques, EZmix could be a time- and sanity-saving investment.”

FULL REVIEW: Toontrack EZmix

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Universal Audio FATSO ($299)
Heavyweight analogue processing for your UAD-2

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“FATSO can bring something special to your mixes, although it shouldn't be mistaken for a workhorse compressor.”

FULL REVIEW: Universal Audio FATSO

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Universal Audio Manley Massive Passive ($299)
A UAD EQ that does the extra mile

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Perhaps the most impressive EQ yet from Universal Audio, albeit at the expense of a sizeable strain on your UAD-2 card.”

FULL REVIEW: Universal Audio Manley Massive Passive

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Voxengo Deft Compressor ($100)
A subtle, musical take on compression

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It's not a do-it-all compressor, but Deft is different enough to make it attractive as an addition to your dynamics toolbox.”

FULL REVIEW: Voxengo Deft Compressor

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Slate Digital Trigger Platinum (£255)
Drum replacement done very, very well

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Trigger is the new gold standard in drum replacement software. It's easy to use, triggers like a dream, and sounds terrific.”

FULL REVIEW: Slate Digital Trigger Platinum

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Apple iPad (£429)
Should you buy it for music-making?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The first mainstream tablet computer offers an unparalleled hands-on user experience.”

FULL REVIEW: Apple iPad

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Roland Lucina AX-09 (£549)
The AX keytar range gets a more affordable member

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The Lucina sounds good and is compact, but for a rather niche product, it's expensive.”

FULL REVIEW: Roland Lucina AX-09

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Analogue Solutions Tereshkova (£1,820)
A suitcase-style semi-modular synth

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A serious amount of analogue goodness crammed into a highly portable format.”

FULL REVIEW: Analogue Solutions Tereshkova

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
XILS-lab PolyKB (€149)
A straight emulation of a rare old analogue synth

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A lush sounding recreation of the Poly Kobol - great tones with the benefits of MIDI and automation.”

FULL REVIEW: XILS-lab PolyKB

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Echo Audio AudioFire Pre8 (£579)
Another mid-range audio interface option to consider

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A very high-quality interface from Echo Audio - heavy on I/O and mic pre quality.”

FULL REVIEW: Echo Audio AudioFire Pre8

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Allen & Heath ZED-10FX (£293)
A compact and flexible mixer/audio interface

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A flexible, incredibly solid mixer with plenty of routing and FX tricks up its sleeve.”

FULL REVIEW:Allen & Heath ZED-10FX

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
M-Audio Oxygen 49 (£135)
The next-generation version of this popular controller keyboard

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An excellent budget MIDI controller keyboard that continues to improve. Ideal for beginners.”

FULL REVIEW:M-Audio Oxygen 49

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Five12 Numerology 2.3 (£85)
Old-school step sequencing with added Novation Launchpad compatibility

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Numerology produces great results and the Launchpad integration makes it a killer live tool.”

FULL REVIEW:Five12 Numerology 2.3

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
JZ Microphones Vintage 47 (£1,130)
A new mic inspired by Neumann's classic U47

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Definitely worth checking out if you want sonic accuracy with a vintage flavour.”

FULL REVIEW:JZ Microphones Vintage 47

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 228)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Native Instruments Alicia's Keys (£85)
Get the soul diva's piano sound in software

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If you want Alicia Keys' piano sound, you'll want this.”

FULL REVIEW:Native Instruments Alicia's Keys

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer (£59)
Get MIDI in and out of your iPhone/iPod touch

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The hardware works as promised, but at the moment, you might wonder what you're going to use it for.”

FULL REVIEW: Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)

Best music tech gear of the month: review round-up (July 2010)
NuGen Audio Stereoizer 3 ($99)
A plug-in for those whose music lacks width

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A terriic new interface and an even better sound make Stereoizer 3 perfect for enhancing mono or stereo sound sources.”

FULL REVIEW:NuGen Audio Stereoizer 3

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 153)


Liked this? Now read: In pictures: the best hi-tech gear of 2009

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