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Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician June 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.
time for music making…

For many of us around the world, these are disrupted, unusual and difficult times, and in such situations it can be helpful to take some solace in what’s familiar and comforting for us – such as making music. In a hopeful attempt to offer a little light relief, this issue we're taking a dive into the history, design and appliications of one of the most important electronic instruments of all time – the TR-909. Despite being considered a commercial flop upon its release, this humble hardware beatmaker has gone on to become the very foundation of modern electronic music. You'd think those sounds would be done to death by now, but there’s still plenty of scope for finding new inspiration from those classic kicks, snares, cymbals and percs. There’s plenty more inspiration…

4 min.
new gear

Polyend Tracker is a different kind of portable music production device Following numerous teases, Polyend has finally taken the wraps off Tracker. This, unsurprisingly, is a hardware tracker, though not, as Polyend says, “the first hardware tracker in the music world”. What Tracker does appear to be, though, is a refreshingly different kind of standalone, portable music-making device. It offers a sampler and wavetable/granular synthesis (plus an FM radio to grab random sounds from), a step sequencer and song arranger so that you can put together complete tracks, and a performance mode that enables you to take your Tracker productions to the stage. Tracker doesn’t have to work in isolation, though; bi-directional MIDI means that you can use it with the other software and hardware in your studio, too, while a large screen,…

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 Although I’m concerned with the software side of music technology, it couldn’t have escaped my notice how much Behringer has been in the news recently. As well as releasing and announcing a huge number of synths, modular gear and a lot more besides, the controversial company also continues to be outspoken, to say the least. And so when Behringer announced this month it was planning to develop its own DAW…

7 min.
this month

ACID Pro 10 DAW lands with new features, and the Suite version includes Xfer’s Serum soft synth We’re slightly confused as to how it differs from ACID Pro Next, which was announced last year but now seems to have disappeared, but Magix has announced that ACID Pro 10, the latest version of its loop-based DAW, is now available. This includes an “all-new” version of Zynaptiq’s Stem Maker audio separation technology, which enables you to extract individual elements (drums, vocals etc) from mixed audio. Stem Maker 2 promises refined separation and better overall sound quality. There are also ACID Morph pads; assign audio tracks, instruments or busses to a pad and you can then morph sounds and effects, giving you a new creative option. The MIDI Playable Chopper, meanwhile, gets a new transient detection…

3 min.
tonsturm frq shift

Here’s a recent software release that sees the process of audio frequency shifting taken to its extremes, While the better-known pitch shifting effect is all about multiplying or dividing signals, frequency shifting is all about addition and subtraction. While the former can give musical, harmonically sensible results, frequency shifting is much more, shall we say, irrational. Tonsturm’s Frq Shift plugin does the frequency shifting basics, but it also takes things further with feedback controls, effects added in the feedback loop, and modulation from a choice of sources to practically any destination. Let’s take a look… 1. Pitch shifting Most pitch shifting is just that – we use a pitch shifter plugin (as shown on the left) to increase or decrease the pitch of a whole signal. Start with a 100Hz saw wave, shift…

5 min.
909 sessions

When it comes to legendary names among drum machines, Roland stand firmly at the top, having created a number of seminal beatboxes that have pounded their way into our collective consciousness over the years thanks to the innumerable hit tracks in which they’ve appeared. From the delicate pitter-patter of the CR-78 that opens Phil Collins’ 'In the Air Tonight' to the shutter-shaking TR-808 kick that rumbled through Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force’s 'Planet Rock', these machines have shaped the soundtracks of the last four decades. And though the 808 is the one drum machine everyone can name-check, it was its follow-up that arguably shaped the musical direction of the 1990s and beyond. Along with another underrated Roland also ran, the TB-303 BassLine, the tight ’n’ punchy sounds of the TR-909…