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

1st Jun 2012 | 09:00

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
23 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 178/179 and Future Music issue 253 and published on MusicRadar in May 2012.

Scroll on for this month's top picks and click through to read each product's full review.

NEXT: Rob Papen Blade

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Rob Papen Blade (£99)
The team that brought you SubBoomBass hefts its additive axe - does the new synth have what it takes to cut through the mix?

MusicRadar's verdict:

"Rob Papen's take on additive synthesis has some clever tricks up its sleeve and does the business sonically."

FULL REVIEW:Rob Papen Blade

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 178)

BUYRob Papen Blade currently available from:
UK/Europe:Thomann | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
u-he Diva ($215)
Our plug-in folders are bursting with virtual analogue synths, but a new one bearing the u-he name always gets our immediate attention

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Diva is architecturally straightforward, but it sounds phenomenal and arguably puts paid to the analogue vs digital debate.”

FULL REVIEW:u-he Diva

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 178)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Eventide 2016 Stereo Room (£159)
The hardware processing giant's latest native plug-in resurrects one algorithm from its classic reverb

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“2016 Stereo Room may only offer one algorithm, but it's a real beauty.”

FULL REVIEW:Eventide 2016 Stereo Room

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 178)

BUYEventide 2016 Stereo Room currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
MeldaProduction MAutoDynamicEQ (€120)
Dynamic equalisation is becoming ubiquitous, but this particular take on the concept has a few new tricks up its sleeve

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Match and dynamic EQ succesfully brought together in one plug-in, delivering both with equal aplomb.”

FULL REVIEW:MeldaProduction MAutoDynamicEQ

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 178)

BUYMeldaProduction MAutoDynamicEQ currently available from:
UK/Europe: Plugin Boutique

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
MusicDevelopments RapidComposer ($295)
Beneath its academic-looking exterior, has this innovative MIDI editor got what it takes to help you make better compositions?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Breaking new ground, RapidComposer is an amazing (but buggy) compositional tool - we're impressed!”

FULL REVIEW:MusicDevelopments RapidComposer

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Sonoris Mastering Compressor (€199)
Looks prove to be deceptive as this retro-looking dynamics plug-in delivers anything but an old-fashioned sound

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Sonoris' Mastering Compressor is one of the very finest dynamics tools we've ever loaded on our master bus.”

FULL REVIEW:Sonoris Mastering Compressor

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 178)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Sonokinetic Vivace (€200)
Enhance your orchestral soundtracks with this collection of cinematic effects, patterns, atmospheres and moods

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A classy collection of splendid-sounding orchestral phrases that your listeners will easily mistake for the real thing.”

FULL REVIEW:Sonokinetic Vivace

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 178)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
FabFilter Saturn (£114)
The Dutch master's latest plug-in takes saturation and distortion to new heights

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“One of very few multiband plug-ins, Saturn is easy to use, wildly creative and sounds incredible.”

FULL REVIEW:FabFilter Saturn

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Heavyocity Evolve R2 (€199)
In an ongoing quest for exciting sounds, we scale the latest update to this seminal sample library

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Superb for adding something special to your soundtracks and dancefloor smashes.”

FULL REVIEW:Heavyocity Evolve R2

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Prodipe STC-3D Ludovic Lanen (£130)
This new studio condenser is worthy of your attention

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“We'd have no problem recommending this as an ideal inexpensive all-rounder.”

FULL REVIEW:Prodipe STC-3D Ludovic Lanen

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Nord C2D (£2599)
The C2D adds real drawbars to the already excellent and now improved C2 engine. We get hands-on with Nord's new B3 beater

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A significant improvement over the C2, the C2D now appeals to tonewheel purists too.”

FULL REVIEW:Nord C2D

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

BUYNord C2D currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music Co. | Thomann | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Plugin Alliance Noveltech Character ($99)
This may come as a surprise, but Plug Alliance may have come up with an Enhancer that actually works

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Enhances the character of the source without colouring it with its own sound. Excellent.”

FULL REVIEW:Plugin Alliance Noveltech Character

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Roland Jupiter-50 (£2000)
Hot on the heels of the flagship Jupiter-80 comes its leaner little brother. How does it compare?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Cheaper and more portable than the '80 if you don't need its keybed, polyphony or touchscreen.”

FULL REVIEW:Roland Jupiter-50

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

BUYRoland Jupiter-50 currently available from:
UK/Europe:Andertons Music Co. | Thomann | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Waves InPhase (from $99)
A phase correcting tool can be a lifesaver, both when tracking and mixing projects. We get aligned with Waves' InPhase…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If phasing issues are blighting your mixes, Waves has the remedy with this superb correction tool.”

FULL REVIEW:Waves InPhase

(Reviewed in Future Music issue 253)

BUY Waves InPhase currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machines (€99)
What can Arturia's Spark offer second time around?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“We'd really like to see Arturia tidy the Spark interface up; there's a ton of functionality here, but it all feels a bit confused.”

FULL REVIEW:Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machines

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

BUYArturia Spark Vintage Drum Machines currently available from:
UK/Europe:Andertons Music Co. | Thomann | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA:Full Compass | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
iceGear Cassini (£2.99)
An analogue-style polysynth for iPhone

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Is it worth buying if you've already got Argon? Absolutely - the polyphony alone makes it worth the measly asking price, but there's also much more modulation here and a better interface.”

FULL REVIEW:iceGear Cassini

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Waves / Musicsoft Arts Mashup (£27.99)
A new contender for the iPad DJing crown

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Mashup's ergonomics, interface and design are outstanding, and the iPod/iPhone headphone monitoring system is almost worth the price alone.”

FULL REVIEW:Waves / Musicsoft Arts Mashup

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Ultimate Sound Bank UVI Electro Suite (£149)
A genre-specific 'workstation' for electro producers

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“In short, very impressive!”

FULL REVIEW:Ultimate Sound Bank UVI Electro Suite

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
IK Multimedia iKlip Studio (£30)
Now the iKlip Studio aims to bring the iPad-holding experience to the desktop…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Does its job at least as well as the next iPad stand.”

FULL REVIEW:IK Multimedia iKlip Studio

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

BUYIK Multimedia iKlip Studio currently available from:
UK/Europe:Andertons Music Co. | Thomann
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass | American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
XILS-lab Chor'X (€59)
Vintage chorus emulation meets true stereo spatial processing in this action-packed new plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Quirky and characterful, Chor'X combines retro-style chorusing with true stereo signal placement to good effect.”

FULL REVIEW:XILS-lab Chor'X

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
FXpansion Etch (£69)
The premium Brit developer continues to push the DCAM manifesto with this massively modulatable dual filter plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Etch immediately takes its place at the top table of filter plug-ins. If you care about filtering, you simply have to try it.”

FULL REVIEW:FXpansion Etch

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

BUY FXpansion Etch currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
iZotope Iris (£169)
iZotope knocked our socks off with the RX spectral editor, and now the developer's visual editing technology is being used to power a synth

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Iris makes spectral sound design easier and more fun than ever - put in the effort to master it and you'll reap the rewards.”

FULL REVIEW:iZotope Iris

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

BUY iZotope Iris currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass | American Musical | Absolute Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (June 2012)
Tone2 Saurus (£90)
Yet another developer brings us yet another analogue synth emulation. It's survival of the fittest out there, so can Saurus compete?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Beautifully designed and with some modern niceties, Saurus has a fabulous sound and a very appealing price tag.”

FULL REVIEW:Tone2 Saurus

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 179)

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