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

3rd Oct 2011 | 06:00

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
IK Multimedia Black 76 (€90)
This limiting amplifier plug-in isn't too limited in capability

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, controllers, DAWs, outboard, samplers, apps, monitors and other products to have fallen under the watchful eyes of Computer Music and Future Music’s test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issue 169/170 and Future Music issue 244.

Scroll on for this month’s top picks and click through to read each product’s full review. First up: IK Multimedia’s Black 76

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Black 76 delivers the all-buttons-in character especially well. No plug-in has totally nailed the sound of the 1176 hardware, but IK's Black 76 comes very close.”

FULL REVIEW:IK Multimedia Black 76

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Native Instruments VC 76 (€99)
A UREI 1176-style compressor plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Overall, despite the niggles, this is a good emulation with some useful extras.”

FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments VC 76

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Wizdom Music SampleWiz (£6.99)
Great versatility in an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch sampling app

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“SampleWiz is a winner. If we wanted for anything, it would be multi-sampling. However, that might compromise the instrument's immediacy, and that simply wouldn't do.”

FULL REVIEW: Wizdom Music SampleWiz

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Big Fish Audio RiG: Urban Workstation (£129)
Aiming to be a complete rig of urban sounds in one virtual instrument

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Overall, we feel that the patches could incorporate the onboard effects better, and with the exception of the drum sounds and synth patches, there's little here that's explicitly 'urban'. Even so, the underlying sample set is pretty good.”

FULL REVIEW: Big Fish Audio RiG: Urban Workstation

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

BUY: Big Fish Audio RiG: Urban Workstation currently available from:
USA:Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Fingerlab DM1 (£3.99)
Play the drums with just one little finger

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“At present the omissions make DM1 more of a casual plaything than a serious proposition. We can't deny that we had fun with it, though.”

FULL REVIEW:Fingerlab DM1

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Elektron Octatrack DPS-1 (€1240)
Is this Swedish sampler the second-coming of hardware sampling?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Elektron's reimagining results in a unique approach to sample-based composition and performance.”

FULL REVIEW: Elektron Octatrack DPS-1

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

BUY: Elektron Octatrack DPS-1 currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Gear4Music
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 (£2,042)
Is this flagship DJ mixer the Rolls Royce of club mixers?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Pretty much the ultimate mixer. Once you've mastered it you can really steal the show.”

FULL REVIEW: Allen & Heath Xone:DB4

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

BUY: Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 currently available from:
UK: Thomann
FR:Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017 (£954)
From audio engineering nobility comes recording mobility

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Quality tones in software with plenty of tweakability.”

FULL REVIEW: Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

BUY: Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017 currently available from:
UK: Thomann
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Korg Wavedrum Mini (£299)
A smaller, more portable follow-up to the success of last year's model

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Slimming down the feature set loses a large part of the Wavedrum's appeal.”

FULL REVIEW: Korg Wavedrum Mini

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

BUY: Korg Wavedrum Mini currently available from:
UK:Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Alesis Performance Pad Pro (£229)
We give this latest percussion pad a thorough beating

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“It sounds okay and the drum machine is a bonus, but it's too basic to wear the 'pro' badge.”

FULL REVIEW: Alesis Performance Pad Pro

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

BUY: Alesis Performance Pad Pro currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Star's Music | Woodbrass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Vengeance-Sound Mastering Suite: Stereo Bundle (£85)
Armed with a new bundle of stereo plugs, we get ready to feel the width

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“From subtle enhancement to ultra-wide weirdness, this plug-in caters for all stereo situations.”

FULL REVIEW: Vengeance Mastering Suite: Stereo Bundle

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Behringer Truth B1031A (£230)
The Truth range gets a familiar new sibling…

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A quality set of active monitors at a breakthrough price. Thoroughly recommended for the money.”

FULL REVIEW: Behringer Truth B1031A Active Monitors

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

BUY: Behringer Truth B1031A currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Cockos Reaper 4 ($65)
This beloved bargain DAW undergoes an evolutionary update with just the right tweaks and touches

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Reaper is a genuine alternative to more blinged-out DAWs, and it continues to improve at a scarily rapid pace.”

FULL REVIEW: Cockos Reaper 4

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 170)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Spitfire Audio Albion Orchestral Library (£349)
If you've looked at orchestral sample libraries but baulked at their prices, read on

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Great-sounding and diverse orchestral samples at a wallet-pleasing price.”

FULL REVIEW: Spitfire Audio Albion Orchestral Library

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 244)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (October 2011)
Native Instruments Kontakt 5 (€379)
As NI's Komplete 8 bundle touches down, their super-sampler reaches v5

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A good update rather than a mind-blowing one, but taken as a whole, Kontakt is still the ultimate sampler.”

FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments Kontakt 5

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 170)


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

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