The BBE MaxCom is a two-channel compressor-limiter-gate with BBE’s Sonic Maximizer. Just mentioning the Sonic Maximizer feature will elicit debate among many sound engineers, and quite a few musicians. Some love it, others not so much. Let’s have a look at this combination of a compressor with the Sonic Maximizer and see what it can do for us.
It’s easy to identify a Nord keyboard from a mile away. The distinctive red color has become iconic in the keyboard industry. Their first venture was the original Nord Lead, which caused ripples as a result of its outstanding sound and distinctive interface. The Lead family has gone through several changes through the years, but it’s been a while since they’ve shown us a new member… So, what cool new twists did our friends from Scandinavia bring us this time?
The PRX700 Series is JBL’s follow-on to the PRX600 Series active speaker line. Because the price of neodymium has skyrocketed in recent years, manufacturers are increasingly facing the decision of whether to continue using neo as a driver magnet or go “back” to ferrite. JBL has retained the neo high frequency drivers but moved to ferrite magnets for the low frequency drivers, among several other design changes in the 700 Series. Today we’ll look at the PRX715 speaker and ask - is there life after neodymium?
Part two of Harmony Central's review of the Redwitch Seven Sisters line... let's check out the sisters of compression, tremolo, and delay!
There's no denying that 500 series modules have become a big hit in the studio world. Originally developed by API, the 500 series format has become increasingly popular over the past several years, and a wide variety of companies now offer modules of various types that are designed to work with 500 series power racks such as the Radial Engineering Workhorse SixPack. While the Radial SixPack is designed to hold your 500 series goodies, the question remains - how well does it deliver the goods?
To say opinions about Bose personal audio systems are polarized would be an understatement. As the Live Sound forum moderator, I’ve often felt more like a referee trying to break up a hockey fight in many of the discussions. So let's strip away the preconceptions and take a long, hard look at the reality of the Bose L1 Model 1S system.
I’m not sure how many people know that Genelec is the company that brought the first powered studio monitors to the pro audio market over 30 years ago. Regardless, to me – and many others - they’ve been one of the standards to which other manufacturers have aspired for quite a while. Now, they’ve introduced their latest offering - the affordable M series. Do they stand up to the high expectations that Genelec has set?
Dave Smith is well known for pioneering more things in the synthesizer world than just about any other designer. However, my favorite aspect of Dave’s designs is he tends to make them do things that no one else’s instruments can do. When I first laid eyes on the Prophet 12, it was quite clear that he was again seriously pushing the envelope of what a synthesizer can do. Just how far does his latest creation go?
Redwitch Effects delves deep into Greek lore and brings the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, to life in an affordable line of professional, lithium ion powered pedals that are small in size but massive in tone. Let's visit with the gainier side of the sisterhood.
Sandberg guitars and basses are far more well-known in their native Germany than they are here in the USA, but that appears to be rapidly changing as more American players become familiar with this boutique European brand. Sandberg takes an artistic approach to building instruments, and their models offer the buyer outstanding flexibility in terms of options. The folks at Sandberg obviously have a lot of passion about music and musical instruments; the question is, is that passion evident in the instruments they build?
Soundcraft’s Expression Si digital console supersedes the Si Compact line. It’s available in 16, 24, and 32-channel input sizes. With appropriate optional I/O devices, up to 66 input channels can be handled on all three models. All three models share identical feature sets; only the number of channel fader sets and input jacks varies. The big question: Are these digital boards as easy to mix on as an analog board? Let's see...
Hammond is responsible for defining the electric organ, and has intractably established the standard to which all other organ manufacturers aspire. I’ve always wanted to own and/or gig with a real Hammond…but the size, weight and cost of the classic models have always made that impossible for me. When I heard that Hammond had released a portable version of their venerated B3, I just had to take it for a test drive. Feel free to come along for the ride!
Moog synths have typically carried a pretty hefty price tag, but that changed a few years back with the introduction of the Little Phatty...however, there were some obvious physical and (arguably) sonic compromises that had to be made to hit lower price points. The Sub Phatty, their latest entry into the sub $1000 category has a look that refers not so subtly to their most recognizable self-contained instrument – the MiniMoog. Is it just the look, or does the sound live up to that venerable legacy?
Onkyo is no stranger to the world of high-end consumer audio. Their components and systems are considered to be some of the best available by savvy hi-fi enthusiasts, but they're far less commonly found in recording studios, and despite their considerable experience with audio products, the ES-HF300(s) is their first headphone. While they were designed for mobile use, the question is - can these headphones meet the varied needs of musicians and studio users?
Ever since bringing the best-selling synthesizer of all time (the venerable M1) to market in the mid 80’s, Korg has been a major player in the workstation arena. Sure, there are other companies that have made (and still make) excellent workstations, but Korg’s unrelenting commitment to that market has made them the big dog in this arena. So, how does their latest affordable workstation stand up to the other offerings on the market? Let’s investigate…
Sometimes as I was writing this review, it felt like I was working on an episode of Mythbusters. In my forum surfing, I noticed that there are a few misconceptions and strongly-stated comments about Gibson basses out there that didn't seem to line up with the bass that I had sitting in my hands. But the questions remain - how does the new EB Bass perform, and is there any truth to any of the myths? Let's find out…
Large-diaphragm condenser microphones are usually the gems of a project studio's mic collection, and they're often called upon to do multiple things - especially if the studio has a limited collection of microphones at their disposal. The Genesis FET is a large diaphragm solid-state cardioid condenser microphone designed to excel on vocals, but it's also intended to perform well as a utility mic, and MXL claims it will work well on a variety of sound sources. How well does it meet those expectations? Let's find out…
Yamaha acoustic pianos are highly regarded, and they also established beachheads in the electric piano market not once, but twice – with the CP80 and CP70B, and then again with those DX7 EPs that showed up on a ton of Pop/R&B records in the 80’s and 90’s, and are still used today. Yamaha themselves are saying that the CP4 – their latest offering in the stage piano market – is the best one they’ve made yet. A bold statement…I’m thinking we need to check that out.
Quality monitoring is one of the most important aspects of any studio rig, but unfortunately, not everyone can afford top-of-the-line speakers. KRK's third generation of their popular and affordable Rokit 6 active two-way near field monitors are significantly different than earlier models, with several new features and changes designed to improve their performance. Let's take a closer look and see just how successful they were at achieving that goal.
If history informs the future it's important to understand, not just learn, the past if we want to move forward. Author Rod Fogg embraces history as a path to better jazz playing by weaving a survey of the evolution of jazz music and deep dive into the physical construction of the jazz guitar with over two hundred pages of jazz theory and lessons and a supporting CD.
Korg's Beat Boy may just be the ultimate portable digital scratch pad and virtual partner for the aspiring or practicing songwriter. Interested in how this simple, pocket sized tool can make you a better player?
Sometimes you need to keep it quiet, whether to keep on-stage levels under control, or when recording to avoid mic bleed - or to keep from having the police called on you while tracking late at night. For those types of situations, running direct with a speaker simulator is one of your best options. The downside is that they never quite seem to measure up to the sound of a real mic and cabinet. Is this product any different? Read on to find out!
What do The Doors, Stevie Wonder, and Kenny Kirkland have in common? Sick electronic piano tones cemented in music history. UVI tackles over 40 years of classic electric piano with their proprietary sampled virtual instrument bundles UVI Tines Anthology, bringing the past forward to the present.
An innovative new product that incorporated sequential activation of conditioned power, Rockn Stompn Sequenced Power Conditioner Strip is the answer to a problem most people have long ago given up on trying to fix in their home studio or practice space.
If you thought that radical improvements couldn't be made for this small instrument, think again! I got a fever and the only prescription is...
Is it a guitar, or is it a bass? Actually, it's a bit of both. Originally released by Fender in 1961, this is an instrument with an illustrious history and some well-known users, but until recently, this long-discontinued and somewhat rare model has been hard to get, and has never before been available at anywhere near this price. How does Squier's Vintage Modified Bass VI compare to its predecessors? Let's find out!
Active speakers are gaining popularity in all areas of sound reinforcement, and there’s quite a bit of competition in the market. When I was asked to review the Cerwin-Vega P-Series, I had already heard that it was being marketed to DJ’s, and a quick visit to Cerwin-Vega’s web pages confirm this, with video and text firmly aimed at the DJ market - but can it also work for live sound too? Let’s have a look.
Much like bacon, the BBE Sonic Stomp Sonic Maximizer makes everything better. Like lifting a blanket off your amplifier, two simple controls make your tone clearer, fatter, and more present at the stomp of a switch.
Native Instruments puts the nail in the coffin of the believe that you can't have it all with Komplete 9 Ultimate, one of the most comprehensive virtual instrument and effects packages in the world. Featuring 65 individual NI products and over 16,000 professional quality sounds, Komplete 9 Ultimate is a beefy 370 GB of pure inspiration in a single hard drive.
Like many people, my first thought when I heard about "robotic tuners" was that they probably weren't for me. After all, I already know how to tune a guitar, and I own several electronic tuners - why would I need a robotic system to do it for me? Well, let me tell you, my thoughts and perceptions have changed considerably now that I've had a chance to use the TronicalTune / Min-ETune system for a while. In what ways? Read on to find out!
Instrument cables are an important and somewhat overlooked aspect of a great rig, but there's also a lot of wild claims out there when it comes to cables. Still, some factors are important to consider - capacitance, durability, flexibility, and overall construction and sound quality are among them - and the question is, how well does the Lava Clear Connect II measure up?
Sometimes reviewing cables can be really boring, but then you run into something like this....
I’m not sure anyone’s been making studio monitors as long as JBL. As far back as I can remember, they’ve always seemed have a comprehensive range of great sounding offerings to fit just about any application or budget. Their new LSR 3 Series aim to bring features from their top of the line studio monitors to a more mainstream price point. How successful were they? Let’s wire them up and take a listen.
UVI points its state-of-the art sampling technology at capturing the sound and feel of over fifty of the most sought after analog synthesizers spanning dozens of manufacturers to provide one of the biggest collections of classic sounds around.
Rob Papen's eXplorer II, a comprehensive mix of 9 of the most popular effects and virtual instrument modules, brings thousands of synths, drum machines, reverbs, delays, and filters together for a one-stop song creation experience.
There can never be enough pianos. Acoustic, electronic, sampled, modeled – I’m a big fan. You could say it’s my favorite instrument – because it is. I’ve been a fan of Korg pianos for a very long time, dating as far back as their SG-1D digital grand back in the late 80s. They make a whole range of stage and home pianos at all sorts of different price points. Let’s take a look at the SP-280, one of their more affordable instruments.
Bringing 11 different octave combinations to your feet in a pedal about the size of a lighter, the Mooer Pure Octave instantly morphs guitars into forms as varied as bassy squarewaves, grinding organs, and synthy flutes that tracks polyphonic signals across every fret of the neck.
UVI UltraMini boasts to have two analog souls controlled by one digital master, with 422 presets and 6,244 samples available to harness some of the most sought after vintage analog sounds of yeterday with the power of parameter control of today.
The original Vox Repeat Percussion V809 that the EarthQuaker Devices Hummingbird is based on was a rather unusual tremolo, especially when it was first released back in the mid 1960s. The originals were housed in a small Bakelite housing with a female 1/4" output jack, and a fixed male 1/4" input plug. EarthQuaker Devices has used the original Repeat Percussion as a starting point, and expanded and improved on the idea in various ways. Let's take a closer look at the details.
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