6 best samplers and ROMplers

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Native Instruments Kontakt 6 NI has steadily built Kontakt into an awesome powerhouse of a sampler and its latest iteration is one of the most powerful sample-based instruments that’s ever existed. Its flexible sampling stage is linked to an equally flexible synthesis stage and incorporates powerful DSP abilities and great-sounding effects. Price £359 Steinberg HALion […]

12 best products for live performance

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Elektron Model:Samples The first in Elektron’s more affordable ‘Model’ series (well, it’s probably going to be a series), Model:Samples is an accessible machine that shouldn’t be dismissed. Even though it’s a sample playback-only device, which could be considered limiting, it has a very user-friendly array of interactive controls and also has a decent MIDI spec. […]

Six of Steve Aoki’s favourite synths and instruments

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Roland TR-8 The first in the Japanese instrument maker’s Aira series, the TR-8 is a digital-hardware reimagining of the classic 80s drum machine with all the punch and joy of the original, plus some extra effects. We called it a “great sounding and great looking drum machine” in our 2014 review. Steve Aoki says: “It’s […]

12 best rotary mixers for DJs

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Omnitronic TRM-202MK3 At just £389, the TRM-202 is by far our cheapest selection; German brand Omnitronic is best known for budget products rather than high-end audiophile kit. The sound of the TRM is certainly a step below any of the more expensive options and the build quality is also lower (although aftermarket wood kits are […]

6 of the best subtractive synths

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Moog One Moog is a legend of analogue synth design and some of its original models are amongst the most sought after instruments around. The Moog One is a full-sized 61-key polyphonic analogue synth that packs years of Moog pedigree and expertise alongside modern features to create an achingly desirable synth. Retails for £6,000 (8-voice)/£7,800 […]

Six best turntables money can buy

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Technics SL-1000R Nine years ago, Technics – once a major player in the hi-fi game and manufacturers of what is undoubtedly the definitive DJ deck – ceased production of all turntables. This proved to be a relatively short hiatus, however, and evidence that the company is taking its comeback seriously comes in the form of […]

15 of the best software and virtual synths

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There are many reasons to opt for a software synthesizer over a hardware one. Software, especially in 2019, can faithfully emulate iconic models, offer brave new sounds, and even present fresh ways to synthesise audio – all at prices that are typically far lower than their real-world counterparts. From legendary models to complex modular setups […]