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

30th Jan 2012 | 16:32

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Dmitry Sches Diversion ($180)
This new synth on the block promises technological innovations, with no-compromise sonic performance

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, monitors, iOS apps, synths, interfaces, controllers, DAWs and other products to have fallen under the watchful eyes of Computer Music, Future Music, Rhythmm Total Guitar and Guitarist’s test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issue 173/174, Future Music issues 248/249, Rhythm issue 198, Total Guitar issue 223 and Guitarist issue 350.

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

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Recommended to preset lovers and hardcore sound designers alike, this is a great, thoroughly contemporary synth.”

FULL REVIEW:Dmitry Sches Diversion

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 173)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Image-Line Groove Machine ($149)
The great hardware groovebox era may be over, but the software one could be just beginning. Here's the latest contender…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“You'll have great fun with Groove Machine, but it has too many limitations tobe your primary music-making tool.”

BUY Image-Line Groove Machine currently available from:
UK/Europe: Plugin Boutique

FULL REVIEW: Image-Line Groove Machine

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 173)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Native Instruments Solid Mix Series ($199)
NI continues its journey into meat-and-potatoes signal processing with SSL-inspired equalisation and compression

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It hasn't been in the mix processor market for long, but with releases like this, NI is proving to be a real contender.”

FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments Solid Mix Series

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 173)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Tone2 AkustiX Enhancer ($79)
Six effects in one sounds like good value, but is this plug-in more or less than the sum of its parts?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It's not so hot for mastering, but AkustiX Enhancer can bring some unusual, unique enhancements to the mix.”

FULL REVIEW: Tone2 AkustiX Enhancer

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 173)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Dave Smith Instruments & Roger Linn Design Tempest ($1999)
The highly anticipated analogue drum machine finally arrives

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Redefines what a drum machine should be. Doubtless destined to be a future classic.”

FULL REVIEW:Dave Smith Instruments & Roger Linn Design Tempest

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 248)

BUY: Dave Smith Instruments & Roger Linn Design Tempest currently available from:
UK:Thomann
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Intermorphic Mixtikl 4 ($25)
This generative music program has been moving at a wicked pace, with v3 followed almost immediately by v4

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If you can see past the slightly ropey interface, you'll find a rich generative music app capable of compelling results.”

FULL REVIEW: Intermorphic Mixtikl 4

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 173)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
VirSyn Addictive Synth (£6.99)
A strong new virtual synth comes to the iPad…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An excellent addition to the iPad's growing synth arsenal - you really can't go wrong with this.”

FULL REVIEW: VirSyn Addictive Synth

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 173)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Novation Impulse 49 (£250)
Novation's latest MIDI controller aims to take the headache out of controlling your DAW

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The Impulse is well featured, though Automap 4.1 has a bug with third-party plug-ins using Logic. Other than that, we have no hesitation recommending it.”

FULL REVIEW: Novation Impulse 49

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 248)

BUY: Novation Impulse 49 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Roland SPD-SX (£585)
We take a look at Roland's new sampling and percussion pad

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“This is a must-have product which could make me run out of adjectives describing it - suffice to say the SPD-SX is as stunning as it is formidable!”

FULL REVIEW: Roland SPD-SX Sample Pad


BUY: Roland SPD-SX Sample Pad currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater| Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Avid Pro Tools 10 (£599)
Audio editing enhancements and accelerated workflow are pushed to the fore with this update

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The upgrade fee is a little hard to swallow, but taken on its own terms, Pro Tools is still awesome for recording and mixing.”

FULL REVIEW: Avid Pro Tools 10

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

BUY: Avid Pro Tools 10 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Scan Pro Audio | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Blue Microphones Yeti Pro (£209)
A mic that's far from abominable

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It might not be the most affordable unit out there, but desktop USB mics don't get much better than this.”

FULL REVIEW: Blue Yeti Pro

(Reviewed in Guitarist magazine issue 350)

BUY: Blue Yeti Pro currently available from:
UK:Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
iZotope Ozone 5 ($249)
This popular 'complete mastering system' aims to be the only plug-in you need on your master bus and a powerful mixing ally to boot

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“This massive update takes Ozone to another level, keeping apace with the best of today's mixing and mastering software.”

FULL REVIEW: iZotope Ozone 5

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

BUY: iZotope Ozone 5 currently available from:
UK: Thomann
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Univers Sons | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Linplug Relectro ($79)
What do you get if you set out to make a synth and end up creating a processing plug-in? LinPlug thinks it has the answer…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A flawed but intriguing processor that'll no doubt find favour with experimentalists and sound design fiends.”

FULL REVIEW: LinPlug Relectro

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
KV331 Audio SynthMaster 2.5 ($99)
This super-powerful synth is finally unleashed, bearing an assertive name and an ambitious set of features. Was it worth the wait?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If ever there was a desert island synth, SynthMaster is it, covering all sonic bases with authority and a superb tone.”

FULL REVIEW: KV331 Audio SynthMaster 2.5

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Audio Damage Filterstation ($49)
Common sense abounds in this unusually down-to-earth plug-in from one of our favourite developers

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“For a flexible, no-nonsense filter plug-in, Filterstation is bang on the money.”

FULL REVIEW: Audio Damage Filterstation

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
DMG Audio EQuick (£75)
A simplified approach to equalisation from the creators of the ultra-powerful EQuality and Compassion plug-ins

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Another powerful and well-thought-out mixing tool from DMGAudio, putting a different spin on EQuality's proven sound.”

FULL REVIEW: DMGAudio EQuick

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Toontrack Metal Machine EZX (£55)
Matchless metal mayhem from Toontrack

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The king of virtual metal kits? It could well be…”

BUY Toontrack Metal Machine EZX currently available from:
UK/Europe: Thomann | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

FULL REVIEW: Toontrack Metal Machine EZX

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

BUY: Toontrack Metal Machine EZX currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:
Thomann | Univers Sons

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Moog Animoog (£20.99)
After all the hype, the Animoog had better deliver…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“No longer a bargain, but still a quality product.”

FULL REVIEW: Moog Music Animoog

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

BUY: Moog Music Animoog currently available from:
USA:Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Best Service Chris Hein Horns Compact (£159)
An excellent compact brass and woodwind selection

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A strong budget option.”

FULL REVIEW: Best Service Chris Hein Horns Compact

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

BUY: Best Service Chris Hein Horns Compact currently available from:
UK: Thomann
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Slate Digital VCC RC-Tube ($74)
Plug yourself into a vintage tube desk…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Get yourself down the Tube…”

FULL REVIEW: Slate Digital VCC RC-Tube

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Image-Line Harmor ($149)
The folks behind FL Studio have unleashed yet another additive synth, but is it more or less than the sum of its parts?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Additive synthesis is finally coming of age, with synths such as Harmor easily living up to the potential for massive sonic firepower.”

BUY Image-Line Harmor currently available from:
UK/Europe: Plugin Boutique

FULL REVIEW: Image-Line Harmor

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 174)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Line 6 Mobile In Mobile POD (TBC)
Can the modelling king turn its hand to mobile apps? The proof is in the PODding

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A promising package dragged down by its various flaws.”

FULL REVIEW: Line 6 Mobile In and Mobile POD

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 223)

BUY: Line 6 Mobile In and Mobile POD currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Brainworx VSC-2 Plug-in (€237)
We're a fan of its other plug-ins, but can Brainworx truly emulate the stunning Vertigo Sound VCS-2?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“To keep the status quo or for some real punch, the VCS-2 won't let you down. Highly recommended.”

FULL REVIEW: Brainworx VSC-2

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 248)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
KRK Systems Rokit RP10-3 (TBC)
Monitor master KRK launches its first three-way offering. We listen and learn

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The RP10-3s offer high-quality three-way monitoring at an incredibly competitive price.”

FULL REVIEW: KRK Rokit RP10-3

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 248)

BUY: KRK Rokit RP10-3 currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Scan | Gear4Music
USA: Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Star's Music | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Apogee Jam (£75)
A Jam worthy of spreading…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A treat to use, and a no-brainer for guitarists looking to maximise the value of their iPad.”

FULL REVIEW: Apogee Jam

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 248)

BUY: Apogee Jam currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Olympus LS-3 (£180)
Olympus moves its voice recording range on a notch

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Another simply excellent recorder from Olympus.”

FULL REVIEW: Olympus LS-3

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 248)

BUY: Olympus LS-3 currently available from:
UK: Thomann
FR: Thomann | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Arturia Oberheim SEM V (€229)
Arturia returns with another emulation of a classic synth. We do the time warp… again

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Not just an emulation of a classic, this is a great synth in its own right.”

FULL REVIEW: Arturia Oberheim SEM V

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Arturia Oberheim SEM V currently available from:
UK: Thomann
FR:Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Korg Monotron Delay (£42)
We check out Korg's new Delay addition to the Monotron line

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An FX monster with a great delay section. A shame about the filter's fixed resonance.”

FULL REVIEW: Korg Monotron Delay

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Korg Monotron Delay currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Korg Monotron Duo (£42)
Korg's Monotron range grows in numbers with the new Duo

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An extra oscillator and new ribbon modes make the Duo first-class for melodies”


FULL REVIEW: Korg Monotron Duo

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Korg Monotron Duo currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Liine Lemur iOS (£35)
The legendary controller migrates to iOS. Has Lemur found its natural habitat?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The most powerful music controller ever, on the most intuitive platform around, at a very reasonable price.”

FULL REVIEW: Liine Lemur iOS

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Steinberg Yamaha Vintage Channel Strip (£320)
An EQ and compression bundle seeking to evoke classic units

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Competent but not top-drawer stuff.”

FULL REVIEW: Yamaha Vintage Channel Strip bundle

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Yamaha Vintage Channel Strip bundle currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music
USA: Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Steinberg Yamaha Vintage Open Deck (£168)
Tape-recorder and playback emulator plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An intriguing prospect that ultimately fails to excite.”

FULL REVIEW: Yamaha Vintage Open Deck bundle

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Yamaha Vintage Open Deck bundle currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann
USA: Full Compass
FR:Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Steinberg Yamaha Vintage Stomp Pack (£168)
Can this phaser, flanger and wah-based plug-in stoke some vintage passion?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A reasonable plug-in bundle that doesn't do enough to really stand out.”

FULL REVIEW: Yamaha Vintage Stomp Pack bundle

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Yamaha Vintage Stomp Pack bundle currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann
USA: Full Compass
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
M-Audio BX5 D2 (£190)
Updating a best-seller is never easy… so how has M-Audio got on overhauling the BX5 compact monitor?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The new BX5 design equates to yet more quality while affordability is retained.”

FULL REVIEW: M-Audio BX5 D2

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: M-Audio BX5 D2 currently available from:
UK:Andertons Music | Thomann | Scan | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Ultimate Support MS-100 Speaker Stands (£378)
Speaker/desktop monitor stands

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Highly recommended.”

FULL REVIEW: Ultimate Support MS-100 Speaker Stands

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
iLuv iSP170 (£15)
Can a £15 pair of speakers deliver the goods?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“OK if you just want to amp up your laptop.”

FULL REVIEW: iLuv iSP170

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Crane Stand Pro laptop stand (£149)
More than what it needs to be - but a beautiful piece of kit…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If you want a lovely-looking stand that's built like a tank, here it is.”

FULL REVIEW: Crane Stand Pro

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: Crane Stand Pro currently available from:
UK: Thomann
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Presonus Studio One 2 Professional (£330)
Over the last two years Studio One has been gaining support among producers looking for a clean and efficient DAW. Can the latest incarnation muster as much praise?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A few niggles remain, but overall version 2 turns Studio One into a formidable DAW.”

FULL REVIEW: PreSonus Studio One 2 Professional

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)

BUY: PreSonus Studio One 2 Professional currently available from:
UK: Scan | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Michenaud | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (February 2012)
Universal Audio UAD-2 MXR Flanger/Doubler plug-in ($199)
Version 6.1 of UAD's software is here, and with it comes a new processor… but does the MXR Flanger/Doubler have what it takes?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Warm, rich flanging/doubling with plenty of options from another successful UAD emulation.”

FULL REVIEW: UAD-2 MXR Flanger/Doubler plug-in

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 249)


Liked this? Now read: The best music tech gear of 2011: synths, DAWs, plug-ins, keyboards, apps and more

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