ZINIO logo
Electronic Musician

Electronic Musician

September 2021

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.

Read More
United States
Future Publishing Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
consoles for all

Software emulations of analog studio gear have existed for decades now, but still debate rages about their power and quality. Can listeners really tell the difference between an analog recording and a digital recreation of one? Can software plugins really capture the supposed warmth and cohesion of analog circuitry? Is a certain magic lost working entirely in-the-box? Whatever your thoughts on these questions, one undeniable upside to digital technology is how much it has democratized music making. Look at the plugins we're focusing on in this issues cover feature – virtual channel strips that allow any home music maker to record and process sounds in a manner that was once the sole remit of major studios housing thousands of dollars' worth of hardware. It's technology like this that has given rise…

3 min

$429 strymon.net Although Strymon predominantly caters to guitar players and their requirements for floor-based effects pedals, it has gained fans elsewhere through its delay and reverb effects alongside the occasional foray into Eurorack territory. The brand's BigSky and BlueSky reverbs, in particular, have found favor in both studio and live synthesis circles. NightSky, its latest pedal, takes some aspects of these as a starting point but it is very much designed to cut its own furrow in terms of sound and usability. Like a BigSky, the NightSky comes in a sturdy metal chassis, with foot switches and controls on the top, and audio and other connectivity (MIDI, USB and Expression pedal input) on the rear. The unit is powered by an (included) 9V DC supply adapter. The BigSky caters for a wide…

2 min

$155 unitedplugins.com Re-thinking staid ways of working can lead us down unusual creative routes. The usual approach to shaping our softsynth sounds with modulation effects, say, involves stacking or chaining said effects, with occasional automation bringing in certain modulations at key points. While an established approach, JMG and United Plugins’ Orbitron plays with an entirely other dimension: sounds – and modulation effects – quite literally, orbit each other. Your audio track is visualised at the center of the plugin’s UI, as a small white dot within a larger X/Y circle. This white dot moves in a circular motion between four different modulators, each of which can be assigned to 12 different in-built FX types. The result is a strikingly organic sound that can repeatedly transition between shimmering chorus, earteasing phaser, frequency-chewing…

3 min

Standard: $37 MIDI: $23 Deluxe: $50 You could pick up one of the Black Corporation’s iconic Deckard’s Dream synths, after parting with a few grand. Or, you could harness the power of its polyphonic splendour through this cost effective pack, exclusive to Audiotent. The library of sounds, taken from the fabled unit itself, have been lovingly run through a cool and covetable set of effects pedals (Moogerfooger Cluster Flux, anyone?) for maximum oomph. From epic pads to arpeggiated rhythms, the moment you hear these 107 wet and dry riffs fired up, you’ll get why this is such a cherished piece of kit. 107 optional MIDI files are also here, if you fancied mixing up these fine melodic loops with your own hard or soft synths. Essential. Roy Spencer audiotent.com Renegade Audio Retro Funk Vocals $40 This superbad…

4 min
wave shapes

To get your head around what is really going on with sample synthesis you need to step back a little and look at the fundamentals of what sound is, which is waves of pressure that hit the ear, which sends the data to the brain, which in turn tells us what the sound originally was. In most forms of synthesis we take math-based waveshapes and change them, in various ways to get the results we want. A sine wave is very pure so no matter how much we affect it with filters and envelopes, the sound is always very sine-like. Other waves are similarly pure and have tonal qualities that we know and love. Wavefolding adds complexity and is the end of the purity but also the start of the…

1 min
bitwig studio 4 announced: explore “new musical timelines”

Bitwig has unveiled version 4 of its eponymous DAW, which heralds the arrival of what the company is calling “new musical timelines”. In practice, this means four main things: comping for audio clips in both the Clip Launcher and Arranger; a new set of Operators for changing the chance, recurrence, and more of any note or audio event; Random Spread for any expression point; and, on a practical note, Native Apple Silicon support on Mac, including the facility to run Intel and ARM plugins side-by-side. Comping is handled in typically elegant Bitwig style. Color-coding for each take helps to keep things clear, and you can swap in different takes with a tapIn the composite lane you can move a boundary by clicking, adjust gain by dragging, or fix timing by sliding.…