New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)

2nd Aug 2012 | 14:06

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
24 products at a glance

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, hardware, iOS apps and other products to have fallen under the watchful eyes of the Computer Music and Future Music test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issues 180 and 181, and Future Music issue 255.

We begin by scoping out a fresh plug-in bundle from eaReckon…

NEXT: eaReckon Analog87 Series

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
eaReckon Analog87 Series (€99)
Analogue hardware emulation plug-ins are 10 a penny, but this bundle takes inspiration rather than being a straight copy

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A bargain-priced quintet of dynamics and EQ plug-ins that operate beautifully and sound fantastic.”

FULL REVIEW:eaReckon Analog87 Series

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 180)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
112dB Big Blue Compressor (€149)
Hardware mimickry meets software-empowered functionality with this new dynamics plug-in that's stuffed full of virtual valves

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Big Blue Compressor sounds amazing, can be pushed impressively hard and boasts a great feature-set.”

FULL REVIEW:112dB Big Blue Compressor

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 180)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Modartt Pianoteq 4 Pro (€399)
Having proved that physical modelling works for acoustic pianos, has Modartt taken its ambitious project any further?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Modartt's argument that you don't need samples to create a great-sounding software piano is becoming more compelling with each Pianoteq update.”

FULL REVIEW:Modartt Pianoteq 4 Pro

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 180)

BUY Modartt Pianoteq 4 Pro currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Sinevibes Reactive ($29)
Converting any audio input into pitched synth sounds, this intriguing new Mac plug-in aims to inspire

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A really fun, creative but sonically limited tool that's well worth a punt at this price.”

FULL REVIEW:Sinevibes Reactive

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 180)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Roland R-Mix (£129)
Roland has an exemplary track record when it comes to studio gear, but how will it fare in the software arena?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Fun and fairly effective, but for serious mix separation, R-Mix rather disappoints. Let's hope R-Mix Pro is in the works…”

FULL REVIEW:Roland R-Mix

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 180)

BUYRoland R-Mix currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music Co. | Thomann | Soundslive | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Photosounder SplineEQ ($19)
This colourful EQ combines the precision of linear-phase processing with the flexibility of Bézier spline curve-shaping

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Innovative and powerful, SplineEQ would still be an essential buy if it cost five times as much!”

FULL REVIEW:Photosounder SplineEQ

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 180)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Arturia MiniBrute (£429)
Arturia might be famous for software emulations of classic analogue synths, but no one expected it to release a 'real' one. We get noodling…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A great little synth, which manages to pack a lot of punch into its modest frame.”

FULL REVIEW:Arturia MiniBrute

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

BUY Arturia MiniBrute currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music Co. | Thomann | Soundslive | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Allen & Heath GS-R24 / M (from £5,549)
As analogue consoles become popular again, integration with the digital world is key. We investigate one British manufacturer's latest offering in the merging of two cultures.

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An excellent desk packed with powerful features. A genuine bit of British ingenuity.”

FULL REVIEW:Allen & Heath GS-R24 / M

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

BUYAllen & Heath GS-R24 / M currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music Co.

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
G-Raid Thunderbolt 4TB (£540)
A drive that's like a side order of Mac Pro

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The G-Raid Thunderbolt isn't cheap (and shelling out a further £40 for a lead smarts like a swig of vinegar) but if your Mac has the slot then we strongly recommend taking your storage seriously.”

FULL REVIEW:G-Raid Thunderbolt 4TB

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Lewitt LCT 240 (£250)
A welcome budget version of a classic

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“There's plenty of competition (and at some lower price points) but we found it an excellent inexpensive stand in for its pricier big brother and a great all rounder for your studio.”

FULL REVIEW:Lewitt LCT 240

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

BUY Lewitt LCT 240 currently available from:
UK/Europe: Gear4Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Shure SRH1840 (£590)
Shure helps you feel as if you're wearing a pair of monitors

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Highly recommended for those who require mix accuracy but must keep levels low.”

FULL REVIEW:Shure SRH1840

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

BUY: Shure SRH1840 currently available from:
UK/Europe: Thomann
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Cinesamples Piano In Blue ($129)
We take a piano library with an illustrious heritage for a spin

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A beautiful-sounding and effortlessly playable sampled piano. Nice!”

FULL REVIEW:Cinesamples Piano In Blue

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Waves NLS ($249)
With emulations of three highly-regarded analogue consoles, Waves wants to put Non Linear Summing on everyone's wishlist

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Waves proves once again that it has the ability to hit the top. An excellent plug-in.”

FULL REVIEW:Waves NLS

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

BUY Waves NLS currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Universal Audio Apollo (£2149)
A confident landing on planet audio interface. We find out what happens when you put UAD DSP power into a multichannel FireWire device

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A top-quality audio interface with the best DSP plug-in set on the market.”

FULL REVIEW:Universal Audio Apollo

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

BUYUniversal Audio Apollo currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music Co. | Thomann | Soundslive | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Zynaptiq UNVEIL (€399)
Is it really possible to extract the reverb from a full mix using just a single plug-in? Apparently so, as we discover…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An amazing feat of software engineering, Unveil certainly delivers on its promise.”

FULL REVIEW:Zynaptiq UNVEIL

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 255)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Subsonic Labs Wolfram ($80)
Effects processors aren't exactly in short supply, but that doesn't prevent this semimodular toolbox from offering up a few surprises

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A very capable semimodular effects plug‑in at a fair price.”

FULL REVIEW:Subsonic Labs Wolfram

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Sugar Bytes Cyclop ($139)
An ultra-modern monster, this forward-thinking synth seems to have its eye on shaking up the world of electronic music production

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Unique, fun and powerful, though not the most versatile synth in the world.”

FULL REVIEW:Sugar Bytes Cyclop

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
MOTU MachFive 3 (£319)
The mighty American soft sampler rises again - although as of this version, such a simple description might no longer do it justice…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A flexible and complete sound design environment that not only rivals Kontakt 5 as a sampler, but also is a splendid synth.”

FULL REVIEW:MOTU MachFive 3

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

BUY MOTU MachFive 3 currently available from:
UK/Europe: Thomann | Soundslive | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
FXpansion Etch Red (€39)
Exciting dual-filter Reason Rack Extension

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“We have a feeling there are going tobe quite a few essential Rack Extensions appearing in the Propellerhead shop over the coming months, but we don't think we'll see a better filter than this one any time soon.”

FULL REVIEW:FXpansion Etch Red

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Cinematic Samples Cinematic Strings 2 (£375)
Get to grips with orchestral string programming

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Overall a phenomenal package for the money.”

FULL REVIEW:Cinematic Samples Cinematic Strings 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Tangible FX iMoov (£2.49)
Motion MIDI controller for iOS devices

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A nicely designed, impressively responsive app that any computer musician would enjoy and possibly find useful.”

FULL REVIEW:Tangible FX iMoov

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Propellerhead Software Polar (€55)
Stereo pitchshifter Reason Rack Extension

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A great way to sex up your mixdowns in just about anygenre, from the most banging house choonz up to and including acoustic folk.”

FULL REVIEW:Propellerhead Software Polar

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Propellerhead Software Radical Piano (€79)
The only new Propellerhead instrument on offer in the Reason Rack Extensions series

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“In the end, this is just a piano – and not a world-class one.”

FULL REVIEW:Propellerhead Software Radical Piano

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (August 2012)
Propellerhead Software Pulsar (€39)
Dual-LFO modulation generator Rack Extension

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“For experimental minds, Pulsar is currently the only essential Propellerhead Rack Extension. Even better, it's free until 1 October 2012!”

FULL REVIEW:Propellerhead Software Pulsar

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 181)

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