Production Reviews

[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.

Maschine BYTE RIOT Expansion

The NI Team continues releasing brand new soundpacks for users of its popular Maschine Production Stations to keep things fresh for aspiring producers when making new tracks and beats. The newest MASCHINE Expansion is called BYTE RIOT which brings the sounds of the early video game and computer/machine sound instruments to the MASCHINE.  It includes old-school 8-bit style robotic sounds that brings me back to my childhoold. As always it’s available for $50 and there’s also a version available for the iMaschine iphone app for only $1.

[Review] UVI Falcon

Here at DJBooth, we’re always on the lookout for inspiring, cutting-edge synths and samplers that allow producers to go deeper with sound design and synthesis and push their creative limits.  At the same time, the synth/sampler plugin marketplace is currently so flooded with options that a new offering needs to be truly outstanding to break new ground - something Parisian developer UVI has done (and then some) with it’s flagship Falcon plugin.  In this review we’ll put Falcon through it’s paces to see why it’s such a special, and borderline essential, purchase for any producer serious about sound design and synthesis.

[Review] Pioneer DJ TORAIZ AS-1

The new Pioneer DJ TORAIZ AS-1 was created in conjunction with Dave Smith and is a great synthesizer for live performances and studio production. The TORAIZ AS-1 features a 64-Step sequencer, rubber pads for playback, a bright OLED display, USB and MIDI ports, all in a metal chassis.

The TORAIZ AS-1 follows the suit of the first TORAIZ SP-16 Step sequencer where Pioneer DJ is starting to test the waters of the production and live performance realm. This TORAIZ AS-1 reminds me of the older Roland synths and even some of the newer Akai sequencers as well.  Check out our full review video below from DSTAR to see a full breakdown of the TORAIZ AS-1.

[Review] Heavyocity Punish

Heavyocity has become revered in composer and sound design circles for their outstanding Kontakt based virtual instruments and sound effects.  Many of their stellar VI’s feature a ‘punish’ knob, which acts as a one-knob saturator, distortion effect, EQ, compressor and limiter; basically, it just makes everything sound bigger and better.
Heavyocity’s new plugin PUNISH takes this one knob approach and expands upon it greatly, offering the same easy controls paired with much more flexibility for those who want to tweak further.  In this review, we’ll put the Punish plugin through its paces and find out where it ranks amongst our favorite saturation plugins.

[Review] Analog Obsession Buster

It seems just about weekly we see a new plugin emulation of the famed SSL G master buss compressor, and with so many options on the market, it can be a bit hard to get excited about new offerings that seem to cover little new ground.
Once in a while, however, a developer manages to deliver something genuinely new in the SSL emulation space, and this is precisely what Analog Obsession has done with their Buster compressor plugin.  In this review we’ll put Buster through its paces to see if there’s a new king of digital SSL style compression.

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