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Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician October 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.
core principles

I'm a big advocate of the idea that, in order to create unique and ambitious music, it's first important to study the basic principles that music is based on. It's something certainly true for anybody learning an instrument – a guitarist will always learn basic picking before attempting a lightning-fast tapping solo, and a pianist will get to grips with simple triads before tackling more complex jazz chords. In electronic music making, it's a principle that can sometimes get overlooked though. Since we have access to so many ready resources – sample packs, synth presets, project templates – it's perfectly possible to construct and even mix full tracks without really understanding the core elements behind your ideas. As useful and democratizing as all these resources can be, there's still certainly something…

1 min.
dreadbox and sinevibes release super-cute typhon analog synth

Greek hardware brand Dreadox and plugin specialist Sinevibes have teamed up to launch Typhon, a new portable and compact analog synth. Typhon contains two Dreadbox analog oscillators, a 4-pole low-pass filter and three modulators with four different modes. A 32-step sequencer is also onboard; as well as being able to sequence notes in the usual way, this can also be used as a modulation source. For their part, Sinevibes have contributed 12 DSP stereo effects, including Distortion, Bit crusher, Chorus, Ensemble, Flanger, Delay and Reverb. This looks like a pretty hands-on synth with a straightforward workflow. All analogue elements have their own controls on the left, while the sliders, buttons and encoder on the right can be can be used to control the amp and filter envelopes, sequencer, modulators and effects. Other features include…

1 min.
do you need a $200 plastic bag for your teenage engineering synths? well, you’re in luck…

Whatever your take on the company, it’s fair to say that it’s difficult to second-guess what Teenage Engineering is going to come up with next. As such, the release of its new splash modular bag – a roll-up water resistant case for your OP-1, OP-Z and Pocket Operator synths – might cause an eyebrow to be raised but probably won’t come as a total surprise. It’s made of transparent “thermoplastic polyurethane” (or, ‘plastic’, to you and me). Whether you really need the water resistance is open to debate – maybe you want to play with your gear by the pool or on your, um, canoe? – but, at $200, the bag certainly isn’t cheap, so you probably need to consider if it’s really necessary. You can, if you wish, buy each…

2 min.
zoom’s heavy-duty h8 is a multitrack recorder, podcasting studio and more

You might call Zoom’s new H8 a handheld recorder, but it’s actually rather more than that. Offering an app-based workflow, it can be used not only for making field recordings, but also as a multitrack recording device and podcasting studio. With a heavy-duty sci-fi style look, the H8 offers 12 simultaneous recording tracks, interchangeable mic capsules and a touchscreen interface, which enables you to select the app you want to use. Open the Music app and you’ve got an on-the-go multitrack recording studio that enables you to mix, overdub and add EQ and compression. You can also connect Zoom’s Guitar Lab via USB to access a multitude of amps and effects. The Field app, meanwhile, can be used for location recording, sound design and more. There’s individual metering for each track, and…

1 min.
ik’s irig keys 2 mini is a super-portable midi keyboard for mobile and desktop

The iRig Keys 2 Mini is the latest and smallest addition to IK Multimedia’s iRig Keys 2 range, offering 25 mini keys and direct connection to your iOS, Android, Windows or macOS device. Other useful connectivity options include a dedicated audio output – which should be particularly useful if you don’t have one on your phone or tablet – and MIDI I/O so that the iRig Keys 2 Mini can be used as a standalone controller. Power can be drawn from your device, a USB power supply or a USB battery pack. As well as the keys, you also of course get volume and octave up/down controls, plus a push encoder and various other function buttons. A further four assignable knobs are included, too, and your preferred settings can be saved and…

7 min.
this month in software

Output turns up the heat with Thermal, an ‘interactive’ multi-stage distortion plugin Output is confident that it’s gone beyond the usual “incremental advances” in saturation and distortion technology with Thermal, its ‘interactive’ new plugin. This offers a multi-stage engine that promises greater capabilities than traditional multiband distortions, but with ease of use pushed very much to the fore. A circular XY control is linked to the distortion parameters, and you get 250 presets. If you want to go beyond the basic controls you can dig into the Advanced page, which enables you to interact with the distortion on the waveform display, tweak modulation envelopes and add effects. You can choose from 19 analog and digitally-modelled distortion algorithms and add mid/side and time-based width. “If you’re familiar with Output, you know we like to take…