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

1st Sep 2011 | 14:00

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
EastWest Ministry Of Rock 2 (€335)
Sample expert EastWest offers up this hard-rock flavoured ROMpler

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 synths, plug-ins, keyboards, apps, mics, monitors and other products to have fallen under the watchful eyes of Computer Music, Future Music and Total Guitar’s test teams. All the gear on show here was originally reviewed in Computer Music issue 168/169, Future Music issue 243, Guitarist issue 345 and Total Guitar issue 218 and published on MusicRadar throughout August.

Scroll on for this month’s top picks and click through to read each product’s full review. First up: EastWest’s Ministry Of Rock 2

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A well-executed and sensibly priced library that deserves a place among rock royalty.”

FULL REVIEW: EastWest Ministry of Rock 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 168)

BUY: EastWest Ministry of Rock 2 currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Nomad Factory Echoes ($129)
Five classic analogue echo units revisited in a single plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A flavoursome, flexible vintage delay unit..”

FULL REVIEW: Nomad Factory Echoes

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 168)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Image-Line FL Studio Mobile (£8.99)
For the first time ever, FL Studio steps outside the Windows platform for this iOS app

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“No editable synths or custom sample-based instruments makes FL Studio Mobile a poor cousin.”

FULL REVIEW: Image-Line FL Studio Mobile

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Clavia Nord Stage 2 HA88 (£3399)
The latest version of the company's flagship series

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A huge upgrade, cementing its status as the most authentic stage piano/organ/synth available.”

FULL REVIEW: Clavia Nord Stage 2 HA88

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Clavia Nord Stage 2 HA88 currently available from:
UK:Andertons Music | Gear4Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Roland Jupiter-80 (£2939)
The first Jupiter-badged synth since the '80s, but is it worthy of wearing the legendary name?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“We'd love more sliders but this is expressive sonic power. It sounds amazing and inspires creativity.”

FULL REVIEW:Roland Jupiter-80

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Roland Jupiter-80 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 (September 2011)
Yamaha TNR-i (£13.99)
The much-loved but expensive Tenori-on hits the iOS platform as a good-value app

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Your chance to finally get with the Tenori program. Cheap, fun and mind-wideningly inspiring.”

FULL REVIEW: Yamaha TNR-i

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Peavey Revalver Mk III.V (£191)
The innard-tweaking software amp and effects rig gets an upgrade

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Quality tones in software with plenty of tweakability.”

FULL REVIEW: Peavey Revalver Mk III.V

(Reviewed in Guitarist issue 345)

BUY: Peavey Revalver Mk III.V currently available from:
UK: Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Boss Micro BR BR-80 Digital Recorder (£235)
Forget your mobile: this recorder could be the best call you ever make

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Yes, you can take your pick from much cheaper multi-track apps for your phone, but when you see just how much functionality Boss has squeezed into this pocket-sized plastic casing, we reckon the BR‑80 could be a smarter call for your idea-recording needs.”

FULL REVIEW: Boss Micro BR BR-80 Digital Recorder

(Reviewed in Total Guitar magazine issue 218)

BUY: Boss Micro BR BR-80 Digital Recorder currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann | Woodbrass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Adam Audio A7X Active Monitors (£899)
Are these an improvement on the much-loved A7s?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“One of the best monitors on the market. The A7X beats the original in almost every way.”

FULL REVIEW: Adam Audio A7X Active Monitors

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Adam Audio A7X Active Monitors currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Neve Portico 5042 Tape Emulator (£1516)
We get saturation-crazy with this pint-sized box of tricks

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A subtle and addictive weapon that artfully combines simplicity with superb audio quality.”

FULL REVIEW: Neve Designs Portico 5042 Tape Emulator

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Neve Designs Portico 5042 Tape Emulator currently available from:
UK:Thomann
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Apogee Duet 2 (£445)
Can this updated interface improve upon its predecessor's successes?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“With improved sound, I/O and design, Duet is a worthy update to Apogee's original.”

FULL REVIEW: Apogee Duet 2

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Apogee Duet 2 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Star's Music

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
SubtleNoiseMaker Cacophonator II (€260)
If you like your gear experimental, you're in luck

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“If you can cope with its unpredictable nature, the Cacophonator can make great sounds.”

FULL REVIEW: SubtleNoiseMaker Cacophonator II

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 (£665)
Are stompboxes just for guitarists? Not if this is anything to go by

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An inspiring collection of effects designed for, but not limited to, live vocal performance.”

FULL REVIEW: TC-Helicon VoiceLive 2

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: TC-Helicon VoiceLive 2 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Thomann | Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Univers Sons | Woodbrass | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
SE Electronics RN17 (£1139)
A small new diaphragm mic from the sE/Rupert Neve coupling

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A distinctly natural and detailed mic that will produce great results whatever the session.”

FULL REVIEW: sE RN17

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: sE RN17 currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR:Michenaud | Univers Sons | Musikia

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Waves Kramer MPX Master Tape ($200)
A retro-tape plug-in as Waves joins the old-school battle

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Warmth, character and flexibility - MPX is a great choice for those seeking a classic sound.”

FULL REVIEW:Waves Kramer MPX Master-Tape plug-in

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Waves Kramer MPX Master-Tape plug-in currently available from:
UK: Thomann
USA: Sweetwater
FR: Thomann

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Native Instruments Session Strings Pro (€299)
The market is awash with string libraries: can this match up?

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Matching versatility and classy sound to reasonable price - SSP is truly excellent.”

FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments Session Strings Pro

(Reviewed in Future Music magazine issue 243)

BUY: Native Instruments Session Strings Pro currently available from:
UK:Andertons Music
USA:Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Dada Life Sausage Fattener ($29)
Recreate the dance duo's sound with this plug-in

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“File this one under 'essential'.”

FULL REVIEW: Dada Life Sausage Fattener

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 168)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Native Instruments VC 2A (€99)
A new compressor for your virtual rig? This might fit the bill

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“The signature sound is there in abundance - it's just a shame you can't use it independently of the Guitar Rig shell.”

FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments VC 2A

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 168)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Quik Quak Pitchwheel 4 (£50)
A plug-in that's as simple as it sounds

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“While not essential, PitchWheel is a pretty unique proposition and one that QuikQuak has pulled off nicely.”

FULL REVIEW: QuikQuak Pitchwheel 4

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 168)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 (£69)
Not many synths have put in as many years of active service as Z3TA+, and this update suggests its finest hour may be yet to come

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“A solid update sees this seasoned synth back in action. A welcome return.”

FULL REVIEW: Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

BUY: Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2 currently available from:
UK: Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
GForce impOSCar 2 (€167)
Inspired by the classic OSCar hardware synth, this uncanny sound-alike delivers its own future-retro flavour

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Don't be fooled by the name, for impOSCar goes far beyond mere mimicry to deliver GForce's own synthetic vision.”

FULL REVIEW: GForce impOSCar 2

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

BUY: GForce impOSCar 2 currently available from:
UK: Gear4Music
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
XILS-lab Synthix (€169)
A rare classic synth from the '80s is brought screaming back to life in virtual form and kicked headlong into the future

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“An emulation of a classic synth, but with a character all its own. Bring your waders, though - this thing is deep!”

FULL REVIEW: XILS-lab Synthix

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

BUY: XILS-lab Synthix currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Sugar Bytes Turnado (€139)
Glitch effects come in all shapes and sizes - this new one from Germany is blessed with eight mighty knobs

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Turnado is fun, immediate and inspires creativity. For wild effects on tap, there's little to touch it.”

FULL REVIEW: Sugar Bytes Turnado

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

New music tech gear of the month: review round-up (September 2011)
Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection (£199)
This long-awaited package aims to bring the subtle sonic enhancement of classic mixing consoles to your DAW

MusicRadar’s verdict:

“Four console types, time-saving grouping features and a splendid sound make VCC a must-try for all serious mix engineers.”

FULL REVIEW: Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection

(Reviewed in Computer Music magazine issue 169)

BUY: Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection currently available from:
USA:Sweetwater | Full Compass


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

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