Sound On Sound UK June 2019

Sound On Sound is the world's best recording technology magazine, packed full of in-depth, independent product tests, including music software, studio hardware, keyboards and live sound (PA) gear. Every issue also includes SOS's unique step-by-step tutorial and technique columns on all the leading DAW programs, as well as insightful interviews with leading producers, engineers and musicians.

United Kingdom
Sound On Sound Ltd
4,06 €(VAT inclusa)
30,51 €(VAT inclusa)
12 Numeri

in questo numero

2 min
going loopy

If I were ever asked to participate in the TV programme Room 101, I could find plenty of things to rant about, starting with products that are sold with sticky barcodes and price labels that do their damnedest not to peel off without leaving a sticky residue that could probably survive a nuclear blast. Plastic packaging that you can’t break into without tools is another, but I also have a more musically-focussed gripe, and one that’s symbolic of a larger trend in music tech. So, I would argue that live performance pedals that include a looper as one of their functions be consigned to the dustbin of history. Around three years ago, I was playing at a festival and at the appropriate point in the song, I hit the switch on…

15 min

Introducing... the Moog Matriarch The clue is in the name — Moogfest, the music festival set up to celebrate the works of the sonic pioneer Robert Moog, is always going to provide an irresistible opportunity for the company he founded to unveil new products, as they’ve done in the past with the limited-edition Minimoog reissue, the Subsequent 37 CV, and the Grandmother. And sure enough, on the opening day of the 2019 show at the end of April, Moog Music gave the public their first look at the new Matriarch. The synth itself isn’t due until later in the Summer, but we already know most of the spec. It’s a 49-key, four-voice paraphonic synth — in other words, whilst it can play up to four notes simultaneously, the Matriarch’s oscillators don’t each…

12 min
arturia microfreak synthesizer

Barely a month goes by without the announcement of a cute analogue monosynth, promising to deliver that certain something that plug-ins can’t. But is it really all about the analogue factor? The Eurorack scene is far from exclusively analogue, with many beloved digital modules. Perhaps the return of hardware synths is as much about the immediacy of hands-on instruments. With tons of excellent, affordable analogue synths to choose from (not least Arturia’s own MiniBrute and MicroBrute) I for one have been keen to see something different. The MicroFreak is a clever idea. Take a multi-algorithmic DSP sound engine, like Mutable Instruments’ Plaits or Braids modules or Teenage Engineering’s OP-1/OP-Z, and build it into a classic-style synth like the MicroBrute. As well as being intrigued by the potential of some fresh sounds, I…

1 min

As I had the MicroFreak in mind as a possible new travel controller, I was keen to test its connectivity as well as its stand-alone capabilities. MIDI is catered for via standard mini-jack connections and USB, and the implementation is sophisticated. You can choose whether or not the arp and sequencer are transmitted over MIDI, and whether the knobs send CC values. There’s a soft thru for the standard MIDI out, and you can choose to merge incoming MIDI with the keyboard from either the USB or MIDI ports, or both. The keyboard transmits both velocity and polyphonic aftertouch. There’s also connectivity for modulars, with CV outputs for gate, pitch and pressure and clock in/out. (The MicroFreak can also clock selectively via USB or MIDI, or can detect a source automatically).…

1 min

If you’re looking for a sub-£300 multi-algorithmic synth with a capacitive keyboard, the MicroFreak is it. The only similarly priced alternative is the Plaits module itself, presuming you already have a Eurorack system and only want the sound engine. Other options are in the region of twice as expensive. Sonicware’s ELZ-1 has multiple DSP synth types and also has an unusual keyboard. It seems pretty powerful (and has effects) but doesn’t have CV connectivity. Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z has much less tweakable synths but is strong on sequencing. Neither have the kind of traditional hands-on synth panel of the MicroFreak. Korg’s Minologue XD does. Although it’s primarily an analogue polysynth, it has a digital option that can also import Plaits algorithms, albeit one at a time.…

15 min
akai force music workstation

The current generation of MPCs, which started with the Touch then went stand-alone with the Live and MPC X, represent a big leap forward for the platform. But as innovative as they are, they consciously maintain the traditional working methods and project structure of the MPC, with its walled-off song sections. I spent a lot of time trying to get into the groove of MPC workflow; I really wanted to like it because I love the self-contained hardware. But I’ve spent too long using grooveboxes and workstations based around clips, patterns and scenes. In previous conversations, the Akai team have been patient with me, suggesting that what I was looking for was essentially a different product... and it turns out they already had that product in mind. The Force doesn’t share the…