New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)

7th Mar 2011 | 11:45

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
FXpansion Geist (£189)
The classic sample-based drum machine Guru is reborn

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, DAWs, interfaces, keyboards and synths to have fallen under the watchful eyes of Computer Music, Future Music and Guitarist’s test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issues 161/162, Future Music issues 236/237 and Guitarist issue 237and published on MusicRadar throughout February.

Scroll on for this month’s top picks and click through to read each product’s full review. First up: FXpansion’s Geist

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Geist is one of the best virtual drum machines around and will more than satisfy those who've been waiting patiently for a Guru sequel.”

FULL REVIEW: FXpansion Geist

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 161)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Overloud SpringAge (£70)
A reasonably priced, lovingly modelled, highly authentic spring reverb plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“While spring reverb isn't for everyone, those seeking its distinctive sound won't regret springing for this plug-in.”

FULL REVIEW: Overloud SpringAge

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 161)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Native Instruments The Mouth (€69)
Tim Exile's relationship with Native Instruments spawns another inspirational effect

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“No other plug-in sounds quite like this - a creative and inspirational effects bargain.”

FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments The Mouth

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 236)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Akai MPK Mini (£69)
The smallest portable controllers on the market just got a bigger brother

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Even better value than buying two separate controllers, the MPK Mini proves a great portable option.”

FULL REVIEW:Akai MPK Mini

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 236)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Ableton/Serato The Bridge (Free)
Ableton and Serato join the gap between music production and DJing

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A very sturdy Bridge indeed. And toll-free to owners of Scratch Live and Ableton Live”

FULL REVIEW:Ableton/Serato The Bridge

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 236)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Solid State Logic Nucleus (£3525)
A multi-DAW controller, soundcard, monitoring path and dual preamp in one

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A high-quality DAW controller and soundcard that requires investment but will pay back in productivity.”

FULL REVIEW: Solid State Logic Nucleus

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 236)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Roland CD-2i SD/CD Recorder (£569)
Maybe bigger is better after all - Roland gives us stereo recording done large

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A very useful asset to have around - if only it was more affordable...”

FULL REVIEW: Roland CD-2i SD/CD Recorder

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 337)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Zoom R24 (£479)
24-track HD recorder, audio interface and software controller rolled into one

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An excellent set of features in one box suitable for both hardware and software recording.”

FULL REVIEW: Zoom R24

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 337)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos (£235)
Pianos are well suited to sampling but the quest for ultimate realism is ongoing

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An excellent update to one of the best grand piano ROMplers money can buy, bringing it bang up to date.”

FULL REVIEW: Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 161)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Glanzmann Digital DJ Solutions 4midiloop (£1385)
Have Traktor's four decks met their match?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Not cheap but full four-deck-control executed flawlessly. Easy to use and beautifully built.”

FULL REVIEW: Glanzmann Digital DJ Solutions 4midiloop

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 236)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Prodipe 25C (£80)
There's not much style but some substance to this 2-octave controller

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It'll get the job done, but the Prodipe 25C doesn't go about its business with much finesse.”

FULL REVIEW: Prodipe 25C

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 161)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
iZotope RX 2 ($1439)
We awarded full marks to the original RX audio repair tool - and the sequel aims to clean up once again

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“iZotope keeps up the pace with this great update to a first-rate audio-restoration tool.”

FULL REVIEW: iZotope RX 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 161)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Kuassa Amplifikation One ($50)
From freeware to commercial competitor, Kuassa gets off to a solid start with this custom amp sim

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Kuassa kick off their career in style with a tonally capable, value-packed amp sim.”

FULL REVIEW: Kuassa Amplifikation One

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 161)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Synapse Audio Dune (£99)
It might look average, but some serious muscle lurks behind that lean exterior

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Dune combines cosily traditional synthesis with crafty innovations and a seductively polished sound.”

FULL REVIEW: Synapse Audio Dune

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 162)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
M-Audio Venom (£469)
An M-Audio keyboard with built-in interface and sounds? Meet the company's first synth...

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The Venom is a good deal more synth than meets the eye, so be careful - this baby bites.”

FULL REVIEW: M-Audio Venom

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 237)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Moog Minimoog Voyager XL (£4084)
40 years after the release of the original, we meet the ultimate Minimoog

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A terrifying price but a sound and feature list which will tug on your heart-strings. Truly sumptuous.”

FULL REVIEW: Moog Minimoog Voyager XL

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 237)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Madrona Labs Aalto ($99)
An upstart developer takes the path less travelled with this semi-modular synth

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Aalto is aimed at those with a penchant for the unusual. It sounds splendid but may put the hurt on your CPU.”

FULL REVIEW: Madrona Labs Aalto

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 162)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Tone2 ElectraX (£149)
A power-packed and hugely complete new virtual synth

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Aalto is aimed at those with a penchant for the unusual. It sounds splendid but may put the hurt on your CPU.”

FULL REVIEW: Tone2 ElectraX

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 162)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Waldorf PPG Wave 3.V (£119)
The virtual version of the legendary PPG Wave gets a long-awaited update

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“This emulation of a character-packed classic is now more convincing than ever, with greater flexibility to boot.”

FULL REVIEW: Waldorf PPG Wave 3.V

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 162)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Steinberg Cubase 6 (£508)
Two years on from its last major revision, does Cubase still have what it takes to compete?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“This important update, addressing some old gripes, and introducing some genuinely innovative features.”

FULL REVIEW: Steinberg Cubase 6

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 237)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2011)
Novation UltraNova (£599)
Novation's first synth since the Xio promises an exciting take on virtual analogue

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The UltraNova does everything well but is up against plenty of stiff competition.”

FULL REVIEW: Novation UltraNova

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 237)


Liked this? Now read: The best music tech gear of 2010: synths, DAWs, plug-ins and more

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