10 tips on using microphones

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Know your types Dynamic mics tend to be the workhorses of the microphone world. They are cheap, can take a bit of signal, and tend to be used as mics for some of the bigger-sounding instruments and live vocals. Condensers are more sensitive so are better for more intricate and detailed recordings of, say, acoustic […]

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 […]

Mastering advice from the pros

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Emily Lazar Emily Lazar is a Grammy-winning mastering engineer who operates from The Lodge studios in the heart of New York. With over 4,000 projects under her belt, she’s mastered some of the most important artists in rock and pop history. She lets us in on her philosophy… The tools I use most are my […]

Mastering at home with WaveLab

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Mastering with a conventional DAW can be a good way of working, but it has its shortcomings. The most significant of these is the way processors are applied as plugins on a track, with the need to continually save and load processor settings when moving between different songs in your collection or album. You can […]

An introduction to stem mastering

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Audio mastering can mean many different things to many different people, and the specific processes involved can vary greatly depending on the nature of the material and type of production. The thing that all audio mastering disciplines have in common, though, is the aim of preparing and optimising the material for the next stage of […]

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 […]