12 best budget studio monitors

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Over the last few years, we have reviewed just about every studio monitor ever released, and are noticing a trend that smaller and cheaper monitors are starting to sound better and better. Here are the best dozen that we have looked at costing less than £500 a pair (all prices stated are street price). Under […]

15 great gifts for producers under £100

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Whether you’re shopping for yourself or another human who loves music production, these are some of our top picks for useful and inspirational gifts under £100. Arturia MicroLab This little, rugged MIDI controller keyboard comes bundled with a ‘lite’ version of Arturia’s excellent Analog Lab software, UVI’s Steinway Piano model and a stripped back version […]

6 of the best Lewitt Audio microphones

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LCT 040 Match The tiny LCT 040 Match is a lightweight, small-diaphragm condenser mic with a 17mm pressure-gradient transducer in the capsule and fixed cardioid polar pattern. It comes as both as an individual and precisely matched stereo pair for superior stereo recording. We used them in several recording scenarios when testing them, including upright […]

6 of the best freeware for live performance

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Circular Labs Mobius Ever fancied some of the looping action that has helped propel Ed Sheeran to his monumental heights? These live hardware loopers are all the rage thanks to the songwriter extraordinaire, but Mobius delivers the simple produce-a-song-as-you-loop philosophy in software form, for free. You get eight separate tracks to loop, plus several loops […]

6 of the best freeware utilities

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GT Analyser Getting a good overview of a sound or your entire mix is as important as being able to hear it, and we’ve included several free utilities that enable you to ‘view’ your sound. GT Analyser is one of the most sleek and modern, a high-resolution spectrum analyser plug-in that offers stereo and mid-side […]

6 of the best freeware orchestral plug-ins

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AmpleSound Percussion Cloudrum While the rest of the titles in this round-up mostly concentrate on full orchestras – bar the Versilian piano – this is more of an out-there Steel Tongue percussion plug-in, but it has such a lovely, delicate and acoustic sound, we just had to fit it in this round-up. It’s a 700MB […]

6 of the best freeware mix effects

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Ignite Amps PTEq-X It’s a Pultec in looks and (almost) name, but Ignite Amps – one of the best developers of guitar-effect freeware – has added a few extras to this EQ. PTEq features three types of EQ – PEQ1A, MQ5 and HL3C models – and four valve types. There are more precise frequency controls […]

6 of the best modelling synths

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Novation SuperNova/SuperNova II The SuperNova and SuperNova II are virtual-analogue synths that deliver a lovely, rich sound. Most commonly found as a rack module (a keyboard version does exist), the synth’s extensive control panel provides oodles of MIDI-recordable hands-on control over the instrument. The version 2 model has an external audio input, too. Circa £550 […]