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

1st May 2012 | 13:47

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Toontrack EZkeys Grand Piano (£115)
Toontrack has decided to apply its EZ concept to the world of keyboards. How hard can it be?

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 177/178 and Future Music issue 252.

Scroll on for this month’s top picks and click through to read each product’s full review. First up: Toontrack’s EZkeys Grand Piano

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If you're a songwriter who can't play the piano, EZkeys is flexible enough to bend to your creative will.”

FULL REVIEW:Toontrack EZkeys Grand Piano

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

BUY Toontrack EZkeys Grand Piano currently available from:
UK/Europe: Thomann | Absolute Music
USA: Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
XILS-lab Le Masque: Delay (€59)
The French soft synth master makes the move into effects with a novel delay plug-in designed for studio and live use

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“From funky percussion treatments to trippy guitar and synth motionscapes, LeMasque: Delay is a delay like no other.”

FULL REVIEW: XILS-Lab Le Masque: Delay

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Garritan Instant Orchestra ($150)
Garritan offers a straightforward route into its orchestral world

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A must for orchestral ignoramuses everywhere.”

FULL REVIEW: Garritan Instant Orchestra

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

BUY Garritan Instant Orchestra currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music Co.
USA: American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Best Service Galaxy X (£219)
A mind-bogglingly vast convolution synthesizer…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A massive realm of sound that throws up all manner of fabulous surprises.”

FULL REVIEW: Best Service Galaxy X

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
ART XConnect USB microphone cable (£30)
This effort from ART makes hooking a microphone up to a computer about as simple as it gets

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A great input solution for mobile recordists, laptop DJs and anyone looking to connect a dynamic mic without the 'hassle' of a separate audio interface.”

FULL REVIEW:ART XConnect USB microphone cable

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

BUY ART XConnect USB microphone cable currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Prodipe Studio 22 Pro (£150)
Time for more class-compliant USB japes with Prodipe's 2-in/2-out audio interface

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“With Cubase 5 LE and a bizarre GM soft synth (PC-only) also in the box, this is a decent package at a fair price.”

FULL REVIEW: Prodipe Studio 22 Pro

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Straightarrow Quiver 1.1 ($69)
A brand-new development house lets fly its first volley into the modular melee - but does this minimalist-looking synth hit the target?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Behind that unassuming façade lies a modular synth of extraordinary power.”

FULL REVIEW: Straightarrow Quiver 1.1

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
ValhallaDSP ÜberMod ($50)
From the creators of ValhallaRoom comes a plug-in that takes the melding of chorus and delay to exciting new places

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Boundless modulation at a bargain price - don't miss this one, no matter what kind of music you make.”

FULL REVIEW: ValhallaDSP ÜberMod

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 177)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Clavia Nord Drum (£369)
Marking a return to electronic percussion, Clavia's new drum synth is aimed at actual drummers as well as studio rats. We pull the trigger…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A superb drum synth for drummers, percussionists and programmers alike…”

FULL REVIEW: Nord Drum

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 252)

BUY Nord Drum 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 (May 2012)
AudioEase Altiverb 7 (€499)
Have the five years since the last Altiverb update been time well spent?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Altiverb 7 looks and sounds better than ever. It's the best convolution reverb plug money can buy.”

FULL REVIEW: Audio Ease Altiverb 7

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 252)

BUY Audio Ease Altiverb 7 currently available from:
UK/Europe: Thomann
USA: Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
KRK Systems 12s Subwoofer (£700)
The 12s is KRK's latest subwoofer model, designed to make mixing extreme low end a doddle

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A solid-sounding, high quality sub, that's a worthwhile addition to any studio's monitoring set-up.”

FULL REVIEW: KRK Systems 12s Subwoofer

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 252)

BUY KRK Systems 12s Subwoofer currently available from:
UK/Europe: Thomann | Scan Pro Audio | Gear4Music | Absolute Music
USA:American Musical

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Plugin Alliance Mäag EQ4 ($199)
Plugin Alliance offers the plug-in version of the legendary tone shaping EQ with its unique 'Air' band

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“As a way of shaping a sound the Mäag EQ4 is in a league of its own. Fabulous.”

FULL REVIEW: Plugin Alliance Mäag EQ4

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 252)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Waves Loudness Meter ($299)
Work in pro mastering and need to double-check your levels for broadcast? We glue our eyes to the Waves WLM…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A pro-level metering plug-in that covers all output bases comprehensively.”

FULL REVIEW: Waves Loudness Meter

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 252)

BUY Waves Loudness Meter currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Propellerhead Software Figure (69p)
The power of Reason comes to iOS

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Figure is a fun little loop maker with a serious engine running in the background, generating serious sounds at the right price. Go get it.”

FULL REVIEW: Propellerhead Figure

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 178)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Apple GarageBand For iOS 1.2 (£2.99)
If only all point releases were as generous as this one

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Everyone from total noobs to pros should snap up this slick, fuss-free musical notepad.”

FULL REVIEW: Apple GarageBand For iOS 1.2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 178)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
Boulanger Labs csGrain (£6.99)
A Csound orchestra bundled into an iPad app

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“This is one of the coolest, most powerful iOS music apps we've come across in a while.”

FULL REVIEW: Boulanger Labs csGrain

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 178)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (May 2012)
DDMF Metaplugin 2.2 ($29)
Join the chain gang…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A couple of little irritants don't stop us from giving Metaplugin a solid thumbs-up.”

FULL REVIEW: DDMF Metaplugin 2.2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 178)


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

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