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Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician

August 2021
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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
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
it’s all in your head(phones)

Ask any seasoned professional for advice about setting up a studio space and the first things they'll likely bring up are the importance of a good quality set of monitors and the need to apply at least some basic treatment to address any acoustic issues with the room itself. They're not wrong, of course; particularly if you're mixing or mastering, getting your space to sound 'right' is a must. The reality, however, is that for many modern musicians headphones play as big a role – if not bigger – than monitors. There are numerous reasons why this could be the case. There’s cost, for one: broadly speaking, a decent pair of headphones can be picked up for less than an equivalent level set of speakers, so for younger or cash-strapped producers…

1 min.
m-audio updates the oxygen midi keyboard range

M-Audio continues to revise and reboot its classic Oxygen range of MIDI keyboards, with the latest versions – known as the MKV models – getting smart controls, auto-mapping, and a built-in arpeggiator. There are 25-, 49- and 61-note models in the range, all of which feature full-size, velocity-sensitive keys, faders, trigger pads and more. The Smart Controls relate to chords and scales. With the Smart Chord feature, you can play full chords by pressing a single key, while Smart Scale ensures that you’ll only be able to play notes from your chosen scale. Both of these features are customizable, and you get more than 15 different scale variations. The Auto-mapping feature is designed to make setup a breeze, with multiple controls – Transport, Faders, Pan, Record Arm, Solo, Mute, Select – being automatically…

1 min.
focusrite buys sequential, taking ownership of dave smith’s analog synths

In a significant music tech industry development, British audio company Focusrite has announced that it is acquiring Dave Smith’s highly respected Sequential synth brand. Smith founded Sequential Circuits in 1974, designing the legendary Prophet-5 and many other influential synths and drum machines. He was also a key player in the development of the original MIDI spec, announced in 1981. Smith returned to the hardware synth market in 2002, starting Dave Smith Instruments. Over the past two decades, his products have been a crucial part of the analog revival. Dave Smith Instruments was rebranded as Sequential in 2018, with Yamaha having returned the name to Smith in 2015. A rebooted Prophet-5 was released in 2020. Sequential now joins the Focusrite Group’s family of brands, which includes both Focusrite and Focusrite Pro, Martin Audio, Optimal Audio,…

1 min.
free firmware update means arturia’s keystep pro now does even more

We’re as keen as anyone to talk about new products, but for many musicians, it’s the updates to ones they’ve already bought that are the most important. Take, for example, the new version free 2.0 firmware for Arturia’s KeyStep Pro MIDI/CV keyboard and sequencer, which adds both new performance features and stability/workflow improvements. New features include a global transpose function and global offset for the five main parameter controls. Users can now also record both arpeggios and chords into sequences. The MIDI Thru port can now be used as a second MIDI output too, making it easier to sequence multiple instruments at once. Other refinements include a smoother Mono mode, the ability to listen to sequencer steps without hitting play, and the ability to create arpeggios without the sequencer running. To our mind,…

1 min.
ableton loop create is a free online event for music-makers from around the world

Following its enforced postponement last year, Ableton’s Loop event is returning for 2021 – albeit in an online-only format. Loop Create takes place on 26-27 June, and is designed to bring together crowds of music-makers from all around the world. This will be hosted on the Ableton Loop microsite, with sessions kicking off at 11am CET and continuing throughout the two days. Sessions will then be repeated to suit different time zones. The sessions, which are designed to offer insights and techniques, will be presented in different formats, and hosted by artists, musicians, ‘technologists’ and educators. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet each other in “facilitated conversations”. Loop Create is free to attend for anyone who registers at Ableton’s website, with registration open now.…

1 min.
modal electronics say the skulpt se is the most affordable mpe hardware synth

UK brand Modal Electronics has taken its original Skulpt portable synth back to the drawing board and returned with the Skulpt SE. Offering the same compact form factor as its predecessor, this replaces the grey and black touch keypads with more traditional black and white ones. The front panel descriptors have been made more legible, and the build quality has been improved. You get 127 brand-new patches and MPE support – something that was added to the original Skulpt via a firmware update. In fact, Modal claims that Skulpt SE is the most affordable MPE-compatible hardware synth currently on the market. The sound architecture consists of two Wave groups per voice, each with four oscillators. This enables you to smoothly sweep between waveforms, and there’s additional oscillator modulation, too. There are also state-variable 2-pole…