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

1st Nov 2012 | 15:10

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Sony Creative Software SpectraLayers Pro
Photoshop for audio?

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, apps, DJ gear and other hardware to have fallen under the watchful eyes of Computer Music, Future Music, Rhythm Total Guitar and Guitarist's test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issue 183, Future Music issue 258, and Guitarist issue 360.

Scroll on for this month's top picks and click through to read each product's full review. First up: Sony Creative Software SpectraLayers Pro.


MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Powerful but overly fiddly, SpectraLayers can give some amazing results if you've got the patience for it."

FULL REVIEW: Sony Creative Software SpectraLayers Pro

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

BUY Sony Creative Software SpectraLayers Pro currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Brainworx bx_rockrack
Brainworx's bx_rockrack aims to apply a recording engineer's approach to guitar amp emulation, supplanting quantity with quality

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"In terms of raw numbers, there's less here than most competitors, but what's there sounds absolutely fantastic."

-

FULL REVIEW:Brainworx bx_rockrack

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Garritan Classic Pipe organs
The 'King Of Instruments', sampled

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Short of actually booking yourself in for a session at your local church, this is as good as it gets."

BUY Garritan Classic Pipe Organs currently available from:
USA: American Musical

FULL REVIEW: Garritan Classic Pipe organs

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
UVI String Machines
70s and 80s string synths galore

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Fantastic classic string synth sounds that don't cost the earth."

FULL REVIEW: UVI String Machines

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

BUY UVI String Machines currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
WaveMachine Labs Auria
A pro-level DAW for the iPad

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"This really is a full-on professional DAW for iPad, albeit one that currently only records, processes and mixes audio, not MIDI."

FULL REVIEW: WaveMachine Labs Auria

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Vlek Beatsurfing
Create your own control surfaces by laying out and configuring Beatsurfing's Objects - Lines, Circles, Polygons and Faders

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Beatsurfing is a deceptively powerful controller - very straightforward to use, yet capable of great depth and artistic inspiration."

FULL REVIEW: Vlek Beatsurfing

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Steinberg Retrologue
The Cubase 6.5 synth standard goes it alone

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"An extremely capable analogue synth with an attainable price tag."

FULL REVIEW: Steinberg Retrologue

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
u-he The Dark Zebra
A soundbank of 400 patches by Hans Zimmer and Howard Scarr, as used in the soundtracks for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The Dark Zebra is an odd semi-upgrade, and we're not totally sure how we feel about the price, but the quality of the patches and new synth modules is unquestionable."

FULL REVIEW: u-he The Dark Zebra

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Intermorphic Noatikl 2
The mighty 'morphic returns

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"If melodic inspiration's what you need, Noatikl's generative wizardry can help - now with added sound generation!"

FULL REVIEW: Intermorphic Noatikl 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
PSP Audioware BussPressor
BussPressor's feature-set and sound makes it more suited to the kind of organic response required for acoustic and rock styles

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Affordable, quality mix bus compression from the masters of dynamics processing, with all mod cons."

FULL REVIEW: PSP Audioware BussPressor

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

BUY PSP Audioware BussPressor currently available from:
UK/Europe: Plugin Boutique

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
IK Multimedia ARC System 2
The ARC System claims to compensate for the frequency and phase distortions caused by your monitors and room

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"For anyone who's serious about getting the best sound from their setup, we strongly recommend ARC System 2."

FULL REVIEW: IK Multimedia ARC System 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

BUY IK Multimedia ARC System 2 currently available from:
UK: Thomann
USA: Sweetwater
FR:Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Nomad Factory Magma
Magma gives you a rack with 65 modules covering pretty much all processing eventualities all housed within a single plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A flexible, easy-to-use effects suite that sacrifices a certain amount of depth in favour of breadth."

FULL REVIEW: Nomad Factory Magma

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

BUY Nomad Factory Magma currently available from:
USA: Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
XILS-Lab Oxium
Is this new software synth a breath of fresh air?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Quirky, fun and sonically lush, Oxium is another forward-thinking, characterful winner from XILS-Lab."

FULL REVIEW: XILS-Lab Oxium

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 183)

BUY XILS-Lab Oxium currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Roland Integra-7 Sound Module
The return of the rack synth

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A sonic chameleon - a cross platform DAW editor/tablet app would complete this killer package."

FULL REVIEW: Roland Integra-7 Sound Module

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY Roland Integra-7 Sound Module currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
UAD-2 Sonnox EQ
Sonnox EQ recreates the tone-shaping capabilities from the OXF-R3 digital mixing console

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"You must decide which platform best suits your needs for this great-sounding EQ."

FULL REVIEW: UAD-2 Sonnox EQ

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
FXpansion DCAM Dynamics
A dynamic duo? More like a quartet, actually...

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Four excellent and diverse compressors from one of the finest development houses."

FULL REVIEW: FXpansion DCAM Dynamics

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY FXpansion DCAM Dynamics currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Vermona Retroverb Lancet
A desktop-friendly spring reverb unit

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A great processor box that offers something original and exciting. We defy anyone not to have fun with it."

FULL REVIEW: Vermona Retroverb Lancet

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY Vermona Retroverb Lancet currently available from:
UK: Thomann
FR:Thomann | Star's Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Griffin StudioConnect
A lightweight 'dock' for the iPad with phono outputs, mono 1⁄4" and stereo 3.5mm inputs, MIDI DIN I/O and a 3.5mm headphone jack round front.

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The StudioConnect really does very little to connect you to your studio so maybe a name change is in order - and halve the price while you're at it."

FULL REVIEW: Griffin StudioConnect

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY Griffin StudioConnect currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Reloop Terminal Mix4
Does this Serato controller scratch the Itch? Not exactly…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Solid design with great jogwheels, but, bafflingly, the software only supports two of the four channels."

BUY Reloop Terminal Mix4 currently available from:
USA: American Musical

FULL REVIEW: Reloop Terminal Mix4

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY: Reloop Terminal Mix4 currently available from:
FR:Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Sinevibes Array
Array comprises a bank of eight parallel -36dB/octave resonant band-pass filters

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Delivers spectacular rhythmic multiband filtering, albeit with little in the way of fine control."

FULL REVIEW: Sinevibes Array

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY Sinevibes Array currently available from:
UK/Europe: Plugin Boutique

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Unity Audio The Rock MK2
Unlike many new monitors, the controls and connections on The Rock MK2 are reassuringly simple

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"An excellent pair of monitors that tell you the truth right across the audio spectrum."

FULL REVIEW: Unity Audio The Rock MK2

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY Unity Audio The Rock MK2 currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater
FR:Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Thermionic Culture Solo Vulture
There's one channel but four flavours on this controllable, top quality valve distortion unit

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A highly desirable item for those who appreciate what valves can do in the right hands."

FULL REVIEW: Thermionic Culture Solo Vulture

(Reviewed in Future Music Magazine 258)

BUY: Thermionic Culture Solo Vulture currently available from:
FR:Star's Music | Univers Sons | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Numark 4Trak DJ Controller
Traktor-powered wheels of steel

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A large and well-specified controller with great build quality and a useful standalone mixer."

FULL REVIEW: Numark 4Trak DJ Controller

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 258)

BUY Numark 4Trak DJ Controller currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music. | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Star's Music | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
iZotope Alloy 2
Get your channel strips in shape

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Alloy 2's take on the channel strip concept is futuristic, brilliantly designed and sounds fantastic."

FULL REVIEW:iZotope Alloy 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 184)

BUY iZotope Alloy 2 currently available from:
UK/Europe: Andertons Music | Thomann
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Univers Sons

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Rob Papen Predator-RE
A synth plug-in worth hunting down

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"The best synth in Reason. Make it yours."

FULL REVIEW:Rob Papen Predator-RE

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 184)

BUY: Rob Papen Predator-RE currently available from:
UK:Absolute Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Steinberg Padshop Pro
The user-friendly granular synth gets updated

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Making granular synthesis easy and fun, Pro is a must-upgrade for Padshop users and a bargain for everyone else."

FULL REVIEW:Steinberg Padshop Pro

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 184)

BUY Steinberg Pads
UK:
Andertons Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 6
Mixcraft becomes a serious DAW contender

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"Not as generational a leap as v5, but still a very powerful, well-equipped DAW."

FULL REVIEW:Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 6

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 184)

BUY Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 6 currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (November 2012)
Yonac Magellan
An iPad synth that refuses to compromise

MusicRadar’s verdict:

"A comprehensive, tactile synth for the iPad that's capable of creating some truly excellent sounds."

FULL REVIEW:Yonac Magellan

(Reviewed in Computer Music issue 184)

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