Gear :: Reviews

Robair Report | Working With Limitations

Jan 1, 2013, By Gino Robair

After a recent lecture about DAWs, one of my students asked me which audio recording program I used back in the ’70s. The wide-eyed pupil was very curious to hear what it was like to record when I was his age. But he and the class were shocked to learn that we didn’t have personal computers to make records back then. Our recording program was a strip of plastic moving at a fixed speed over a magnet....

TechTalk: Quality Is Cheaper

Nov 1, 2012, By Kevin Becka

I often have students, colleagues and Facebook friends ask, “What is the best mic, speaker, headphones, interface, etc., I can buy?” Since my job is to review hardware and software, learn about new technology and teach it to others, I should be the perfect guy to ask....

Universal Audio Apollo

Oct 1, 2012, By Chris Grainger

Bill Putnam founded Universal Audio with the idea that his designs would be synonymous with technical and sonic quality, and the UA design team has forged Putnam’s ideas into their latest offering, the Apollo High Resolution Interface with UAD-2 processing. Apollo offers many features, including mic/line inputs, a range of outputs, monitoring, a software console and more. ...

Focal SM9 Studio Monitors

Oct 1, 2012, By Kevin Becka

Focal Professional has been making studio monitors for only a short time, but Focal/JMLab has been around for more than 30 years. Besides making pro audio monitors, the company manufactures home and car audio products, headphones and public address systems. They’ve also been the OEM for other companies such as L-Acoustics and KRK, and recently penned a deal to collaborate with Fender Guitar on some soon-to-be-released products. ...

Aphex Channel

Oct 1, 2012, By Brandon Hickey

Aphex has made a name for itself with its unique brands of processors, preamps, converters, instrument pedals and accessories. Whether helping a particular element poke through the fog of a dense mix, or adding extra luster to an entire mix, patented processes like the Aural Exciter and Big Bottom are welcome additions to any signal flow. The Aphex Channel reviewed here features a fixed signal flow including up to seven different signal processors. It also has a good number of inputs and outputs, both analog and digital, making it a DAW-friendly front end....

MXL CR30 Microphone

Oct 1, 2012, By Matt Bishop

Due to the boom in home and personal recording, a wide range of manufacturers offer value-based options from the beginning to end of the signal chain. Microphones in particular have seen a surge in affordable products that look a lot like their higher-priced cousins. The problem is in figuring out which of these can live up to the billing and deliver the goods. ...

Tape Emulation

Oct 1, 2012, The Mix Editors

Remember when “tube” was all the rage? The underlying drive was to get digital to sound more analog by introducing a tube into the signal chain. Not to be outdone, software manufacturers over the years have done their part with versions of tape emulators like the Massey Tapehead, Ferric TDS or Digidesign’s Reel Tape. Avid moved it into the next generation with the Pro Tools HD-specific HEAT feature, which is not really a plug-in but gets to the same point. Console manufacturer Harrison even offers another DAW-specific tape emulator in their Mixbus DAW. ...

Yamaha 01V96i Digital Mixing Console

Sep 1, 2012, By Steve La Cerra

Yamaha’s 01V96i mixing console expands upon the success of its predecessors (the 01V and 01V96), performing double-duty for use in live sound mixing and DAW recording. Featuring a variety of analog and digital I/O, the 01V96i maintains its 40-channel input capacity (32 mono, plus 4 stereo) even at sample rates up to 96 kHz, employing 24-bit/96k converters and 32-bit internal processing....

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