Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician October 2018

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.

United States
Future Publishing Limited US
12 期号


it was 20 years ago today…

Or nearly so. And I find this Beatles lyric impossible to resist as I sit down to compose my final Editor’s Note. In fact, it was in the late spring of 1998 when I became an Associate Editor at Electronic Musician magazine, eventually working my way up to level of Editor-in-Chief. In the intervening years, EM has gone through a great many personnel and ownership changes, yet the magazine’s mission has remained the same: To educate its readers so that they may realize their musical aspirations. Although the technology we use today to make, record and distribute music has expanded tremendously since my first day in the editorial pool, very little has changed when it comes to the actual creative aspects of working with sound. It still takes plenty of time, inspiration…

what’s the buzz?

The most surprising gadget in my gig bag is a battery-powered speaker called the Wowee One. It’s about the size of two stacked iPhone 5s, turns on when you plug in an audio cable, and pumps out an astonishing amount of bass. The secret is a secondary transducer that sends low-frequency vibrations through a gel pad on the bottom. Held in your hand, the Wowee blares harsh midrange tones. But place it on a resonant surface like a box, coffee table, or fried chicken bucket, and it transforms the surface into a thumping woofer. Part of the fun of vibration speakers is trying them on different surfaces. The loudest surface in my house turned out to be my son’s air hockey table (see Fig. 1). As a sound designer, I think…

report from gearfest 2018

Every year, the persistently nice people at Sweetwater Sound host a free two-day gathering of their customers and the companies that make the products they sell. The 17th annual GearFest took place this year on June 22–23. Sweetwater, as you may already know, is the single largest music store in the U.S. and the busiest online dealer specializing in musical instruments and equipment. Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the company lies at the intersection of music, technology and retail commerce, and does an annual business of well over half a billion dollars. Sweetwater not only encouraged the public to attend this year’s GearFest, but they also provided space on their sprawling campus for attendees to camp out if they wanted. The turnout for GearFest was impressive, as always, despite an ominous weather…

new gear

1 YAMAHA VOCALOID 5 Vocal synthesis software $244/$390 HIGHLIGHTS Two versions available: Standard (4 voicebanks) and Premium (8 voicebanks) • male and female voices • Japanese and English languages • works as VST and AU plug-in, and in standalone mode • Vocaloid 4.5 Editor for Cubase • 2,000 drag-and-drop audio and phrase presets • create custom phrases • 3 new vocal expression parameters • style function • “Cool” and “Cute” parameters • 11 effects TARGET MARKET Producers, composers, musicians ANALYSIS This is the first major upgrade in four years of this powerful vocal synth. vocaloid.com 2 PEARL/KORG E/MERGE Electronic drum kits $3,999-$4,199 HIGHLIGHTS Combines Korg’s Wave Trigger Technology and Pearl’s PureTouch pad system with the MDL1 sound module containing samples of Pearl drums • two 5-piece configurations available: e/Hybrid with an 18 x 12” acoustic bass drum, and e/Traditional with a kick-pad…

portable audio interfaces

In this column I have been extolling apps as an excellent means of creating new sounds with your guitar. In order to use them, however, you need a way to send your instrument’s signal through your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to be processed on its way to an amp, PA, or computer. A number of companies make interfaces that serve this function. The list leans heavily on IK Multimedia products because they jumped on the bandwagon early and offer the widest variety of viable options. The full specs for each product are available online, but here are the essential details a guitarist should know. IK MULTIMEDIA IRIG HD 2 ($99.99) This basic interface offers 24-bit/96kHz conversion, a 1/4” hi-Z input and a 1/4” amp output. The adjustable input gain control prevents overloading apps. The…

separation strategies

When it comes to the sound of your studio, the proper application of room treatment — absorbers, diffusers, bass traps — is one way you can tame problematic acoustical phenomena and balance its overall frequency response. Any treatment you add, of course, should be carefully considered based on adequate measurements, if you want actually hear an improvement and not waste your money. But no matter where you’re recording or rehearsing, there is a range of portable and relatively low-cost acoustical products that are designed to solve issues found in home-studios, rehearsal rooms, schools and houses of worship everywhere. That is, to increase the acoustic separation between nearby instruments, to decouple drums and amps from wooden floors and stages, and to minimize mic bleed when tracking or amplifying instruments in a live…