Production Reviews

[Review] Beyerdynamic Custom Studio Headphones

The Beyerdynamic Custom Studio Headphones have been around for some time now, but they have a durable over-the-ear construction with lots of features that’s sure to make any studio operator feel right at home.  The Custom Studio headphones have a metal headband with metal extensions, a leather cushion headband, and soft earcups for utimate durability and comfort in one package.  They Headphones are completely over the ear in design and they have superb sound isolation and very low sound leakage making them ideal for booth recording and monitoring.  Check out our full review video and review summary below to see if the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio will work in your own studio.

[Review] Native Instruments KOMPLETE KONTROL S61 MK2

KOMPLETE KONTROL Mk2 extends the original keyboard’s workflow with 17 additional function buttons and two high-resolution color screens for browsing, previewing sounds, and more. And now – thanks to enhanced DAW and MASCHINE integration – it’s possible to mix, navigate, and edit projects directly from the hardware. The professional-grade Fatar keybeds and unique Light Guide are joined by new pitch and mod wheels, plus a horizontal touch strip for additional expression.  Check out our in-depth review video and summary below to see if the KOMPLETE KONTROL MK2 Keyboards are the right fit for your own studio and performance needs.

[Review] Native Instruments MASCHINE MK3

MASCHINE Mk3 delivers the best ever workflow for quickly sketching and capturing ideas. It adds two high-resolution color screens for easier sound browsing, editing, sample-slicing, and more. The new hardware also features more dedicated function buttons and larger, more responsive pads that retain the same ergonomic layout users know and love. For enhanced convenience and portability, MASCHINE now features a built-in 96kHz / 24-bit audio interface.  Check out our in-depth review video and summary below to see if the Maschine MK3 is the right fit for your own studio and performance needs.

[Review] Acustica Audio Ebony

There are a select few hardware devices which elicit universal praise (and gear lust) from audio engineers - and right at the top of that list is the original EMT Studiotechnik EMT 140 Plate Reverb.  The EMT, which quickly became ‘the’ sound of the legendary Abbey Road Studios, has in the decades since become the most sought after reverb sound for engineers and studios worldwide.

Unfortunately, hardware EMT 140’s are as unattainable as they are legendary; cost and availability aside, you’ll have a hard time lugging the 600+ pound unit into your home or project studio anytime soon.  To date, only a select few developers have created digital emulations of the prized EMT Plate, so we were thrilled to see Acustica Audio - who we believe are making many of the best-sounding plugins on the market today - had released their take on the famous unit.  In this review, we’ll put their EMT emulation through its paces to see where it ranks among our favorite digital reverbs - and if there’s a new king in town for in-the-box EMT Plates.

Native Instruments MASCHINE MK3 & KOMPLETE KONTROL S61 MK2 Unboxing Video

Watch our unboxing of the next generation of MASCHINE and KOMPLETE KONTROL.

[Review] Synapse Audio The Legend

Ask almost any in-the-know producer what the most legendary analog synth of all time is and more often than not you’ll get the same answer: the Minimoog Model D, the groundbreaking flagship of famed synth designer Bob Moog and his company, Moog Music.  The Moog name is synonymous with quality, fatness, and arguably the best filter design ever seen in a synth - we’ve got a pair of Moog Ladder Filter 500 series units in our NYC studios (identical to those found in the Model D), and they’re every bit as good as the hype. 

With legendary status also comes a host of imitations, and so it’s no surprise that scores of plugin emulations of Moog designs have hit the market over the last decade.  While many developers market their Moog emulations with a focus on emulating the waveforms found in Moog synths, the beauty of analog gear is much more complex; everything from the filter envelopes to the power supply and output transformers are responsible for the incredible fatness we associate with vintage synths.  This is precisely the area respected developer Synapse Audio (of Dune and Dune 2 fame) has chosen to focus on with their Moog Model D emulation, The Legend, which is available as a VST and AU plugin; in addition to focusing on some often-overlooked aspects of analog circuitry, Synapse has tried to push the Moog design forward where possible, most notably with the addition of polyphony and unison controls.  In this review we’ll put The Legend through its paces and see where it ranks among the many Moog emulations.

[DJ Expo 2017] Roland DJ-505 & DJ-202 Walkthrough Video

We were on hand at the DJ Expo in Atlantic City, NJ Earlier today to talk to the Roland company about their latest products.  Roland continues to march forward with their DJ range lineup that now includes the new DJ-505 which is a trimmed down 2-channel version of the DJ-808 we reviewed earlier this year and a DJ-202 which is an entry level Serato DJ Intro compact/affordable controller.  The DJ-505 looks really cool and compact while also being fun to use as it includes the Roland drum sounds that made the original DJ-808 a BLAST to use.  The DJ-202 looks to be Roland’s entry-level controller which can compete with other smaller DJ controllers in the same $300 price range.  Check out our quick walkthrough video right from the DJ Expo showroom floor to see these new controllers in action.

[Review] IK Multimedia Syntronik

There’s no shortage of options for producers looking to bring some virtual analogue flavor into their studio or DAW; over the past decade we’ve seen dozens of plugins hit the market that emulate vintage synths from Moog, Oberheim, Roland, Sequential Circuits, and many others.

With so many options on the market, we’re always looking for vintage emulations that break new ground or offer a genuine step up in sound quality and functionality - something IK Multimedia has done with their newly released Syntronik plugin.  Offering stunning emulations of 17 legendary instruments - including the Minimoog Model D, Jupiter 8, Prophet 10 and more - and an exhaustive 50GB sample library, Syntronik might just be the most complete option on the market for producers craving that vintage synth vibe.

Roland TR-08: Egyptian Lover Demo [VIDEO]

Roland has just revealed it’s newest Bass drum sequencer called the TR-08 which has nearly the same sounds and patterns as the iconic 808 which Roland is still revered for.  The new TR-08 will only cost $850 and is a digital representation of the original analog 808.  The digital TR-08 is so similar to the original that Egyptian Lover (808 King) has a complete demo showing the old and the new side-by-side for this dope comparison.

Native Instruments presents: Hyper Beats from the Bairros [Video]

Today, Native Instruments has just released a short series of three videos that explores the beat making philosophies of the new sound of Bairros.  The NI team shows the fusing of African rhythms, hip-hop, and electronic music through the eyes of the producers who are making this new genre known.

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