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Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician April 2020

The new ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN is a “must have” resource for anyone who makes music, plays music, and shares music. Every issue includes "gig tested" product reviews on music gear, tons of how-to's, and interviews with today's stars revealing the secrets of their songwriting approaches and audio-production concepts.

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United States
Future Publishing Limited US
$8(Incl. tax)
$40.07(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
old and new

Every January, the annual NAMM show in Anaheim brings an unrivalled influx of new synths, drum machines studio hardware, software tools and much more besides. Not only is it a chance to get hands-on with some cool new instruments, it's also a good opportunity to try and identify a few trends electronic music makers will see over the coming year. This year's show was notable for some great-looking music hardware but, arguably, a lack of truly 'new' releases. Big-hitters tended to be updates to existing product lines: Korg's Wavestate and ARP 2600, the Sequential Pro 3, Akai MPC One, Nord Wave 2, Moog Subsequent 25, Novation Launchpad Pro and even Arturia's KeyStep – while each innovative in their own ways – are all derived from existing hardware products. That's not to…

9 min.
new gear

5 essential synths of NAMM 2020 Korg Wavestate A successor to the much-loved Wavestation, Wavestate manages to be both a faithful tribute to that ’90s classic and a cutting-edge tool. On the one hand, this is very much designed to capture the sound and feel of its predecessor, right down to classic vector joystick and inclusion of a fair few recognisable waves. But Wavestate also expands on the underlying tech in a number of interesting ways, thanks to its ‘wave sequencing 2.0’ engine. Check out our review this issue for a full lowdown! It’s out now priced at $799. Clavia Nord Wave 2 Clavia says that the Nord Wave 2 is its most versatile synth yet, and when you look at the specs, it’s hard to argue. This is a 4-part synth with dedicated volume/pan…

3 min.
soft opinions

As one of Electronic Musician's cadre of Editors At Large, James is responsible for keeping his finger on the pulse of the music software world, reporting on the latest developments in plugins and DAWs. He also takes a more irreverent look at music software as co-host of Appetite For Production Podcast, and is often to be found creeping about on Twitter: @rusty_jam Subscription software seems to be everywhere now. Thanks to pioneers like Adobe, streaming platforms, and the mainstream “software as a service” trend, paying monthly for software has been pretty normalized as we enter 2020. Those who remember buying CDs and floppy disks in a box have seen things transform, and many think it’s for the worst. In the world of music software, the obvious example is Avid, whose “No Pay…

7 min.
namm 2020 in software

Universal Audio’s LUNA is a free DAW for Apollo audio interface owners In an audacious move – and one that could have far-reaching ramifications for the music production industry – Universal Audio has announced the LUNA Recording System. As far as we can tell, this is nothing short of a free DAW for users of the company’s Apollo and Arrow audio interfaces, and that could be very big news indeed. The first thing to consider is the main LUNA Application, which, as you’d expect, offers super-tight integration with UA’s interfaces. In fact, we’re told that it enables you to record through DSP-powered UAD plugins with no discernable latency; this is thanks to the new Accelerated Realtime Monitoring feature. UA suggests that this provides performance and reliability on a par with $10k+ DSP-assisted…

4 min.
mixed in key captain plugins

All aboard for a new monthly look at some of the latest, greatest and most underratest software tools. To kick off this regular feature, we'll check out Captain Plugins, a suite of specialized MIDI processors by Mixed In Key. Displaying wanton disregard for naval hierarchy, there are five plugins, all of which have been promoted to the eponymous rank: Captain Chords, Captain Melody, Captain Deep, Captain Play, and the new Captain Beat. On their own, these plugins may be quite basic MIDI devices that help you with music theory and generate patterns for you, but the magic happens when you start combining them. Set up your chord progression in Captain Chords, and Captains Melody and Deep will be able to read them to derive lead riffs and basslines (respectively) that are all…

14 min.
go granular!

Granular processing is a synthesis and effects processing technique that often appears mysterious to newcomers. This is exacerbated by the fact that even commercial granular softsynths and effect plugins don’t approach it consistently in terms of features – unlike FM, virtual analog, and physical modelling, which all operate within distinct and clearly defined paradigms. However, as a general rule, let’s go along with Wikipedia, which says: “It is based on the same principle as sampling. However, the samples are not played back conventionally, but are instead split into small pieces of around 1 to 50ms.” So granular synthesis is, in short, a subset of sampling. Historically speaking, the first artist to prototype a definition for granular sound was the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, in the late 1950s. Xenakis was also an architect…