This is definitely a piece of software that you have to read the manual to. It's a little clunky and most certainly isn't intuitive, demanding that you do your homework. Once you do though, there's little difficulty.Read more on Audiofanzine
I got Pro Tools 11 for free because I bought 10 when I was a student at LA Recording School. This was pretty sweet. I had it installed on my 2012 MacBook Pro with 4GB of Ram, and on the 5400 RPM 500 GB internal hard drive. I had no problems with the setup and it was in fact really fast. Now, this version does not upgrade or uninstall your previous Pro Tools version. I have 10 and 11 and they both have their independent icons and folders.
I had no issues installing or running it for the first time. I had my laptop optimized to run with Pro Tools 10 according to Avid suggestions, but I also installed 11 on another computer that hadn’t been optimized, and it presented no problems during or after setup.Read more on Audiofanzine
This is an excellent piece of hardware that would surely bring new sounds to your production. On one hand you have the massively acclaimed UA plugins, based mostly on their hardware counterpart and bringing one of the best emulations on the market. On the other, you have the actual interface that brings top class converters and vast array of input and output connectivity. It’s simply mind blowing the things you can do with it. Check out the video on YouTube where Fab Dupont explains how to connect the Apollo with the Dangerous Music D-Box.
The onboard DSP power gives you everything you’ll probably need for your session. Not so long ago, I ran a Pro Tools mixing session with 105 channels. I did not have a plugin on every single channel, but there were still a lot! It was refreshing to know that I could just put a plugin anywhere and the system would still run like nothing. I was running a 2013 Mac Mini with 16GB of Ram and Pro Tools 10.
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I was looking for something portable but functional. I'm mainly a guitar player so I didn't want to spend a fortune on a controller - so I was looking at the entry level market but still with enough features and functions that it was usable as a composition tool and controller.
The fully assignable knobs and 25 keys were the main technical features, and the knobs work really well. The keys are pretty average I guess, but it's definitely a step up from my laptop keyboard.
The other characteristic that motivated my choice was the size. It's very light and so is good for me as I am currently abroad. I was able to take it abroad with me and take it around so I can still work on music whilst away from home.
The unit connects to my laptop via USB and is also USB powered (so no extra power source required). The midi functionality works via the USB and the unit also functions as an audio interface, so that meant there was one less thing to bring (in theory).
The audio interface itself is not great. I find the sound distorts so I use a separate audio interface, which I already had (and was about three times the price of this unit). So that is something to bear in mind - if you're buying this and expecting to be able to monitor the sound via this unit you may want to think again. I still think for the price this is a good unit though.Read more on Audiofanzine
Camel Alchemy was fairly easy to install and setup. You need to set up an account with Camel and then download Alchemy plus all the presets and samples (5GB) - so it does take some time to install. Once it's installed and you're ready to go it's worth watching the tutorial videos as these are great, whether you're a novice or more experienced virtual synth user.
There are 3 levels to Alchemy - Browse, Simple, Advanced. Browse allows you to browse through the existing presets. Simple allows simple manipulation and control over the presets and Advanced allows you create, control and manipulate samples to your hearts content.
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Installation was nice and smooth, no problem at all.Read more on Audiofanzine
Daw for Windows,Linux and Mac.
They use jack as audio engine which works perfectly on Windows.
The basic version with no plugins supports the following per track :
Input assign, direct output assign, Insert assign
( all these for both software and hardware), 3 band eq, 8 bus sends, pan, fader and more.
Everything will be explaind perfectly in the manual or will be explained in video tutorials.
Very easy to handle with excellent audio quality due "analog algorithms"
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Pretty complete, cheap and plastic look like, lots of knobs, the keys are too soft.Read more on Audiofanzine
REAPER is a very small download and a quick installation. It could not be any easier to get on your computer and ready to use. The manual is lengthy, but with plenty of screenshots and diagrams explaining each of REAPER’s many features concisely. Getting your plugins and MIDI devices setup is pretty much the same as other software packages, so there’s no hassle there.
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Native Instruments has made sure that learning how to use Maschine is as easy as possible. The software and driver installation is the same as all other Native Instruments products, very standard fare. The manual has pictures and diagrams for each of Maschine’s functions and they’ve uploaded a wealth of videos walking you through using Maschine step-by-step.Read more on Audiofanzine
Installation of UltraChannel is straight-forward, however, you will need to have an iLok account and install their License Manager software to register your copy. It’s not the most intuitive process but once you’ve got it registered, you’re ready to start loading it in your DAW.
The user interface is extremely simple with no menu diving or pages. Every function has a labeled knob, button, or slider dedicated to it and each of these functions are clearly and concisely explained in the manual.Read more on Audiofanzine
It worked fine on Vista. It's good gear, especially for me as a novice. It's USB powered, offers lots of possibilities, but after I switched to windows 8.1 pro it's been catastrophic, the sound crackles and some software programs aren't detected.Read more on Audiofanzine
While there's been plenty of lunar references in the many reviews for the new Apollo Twin series that are all over the web these days, the notion of "all in or bust" particularly applies to this review. I turned my entire home studio upside down on the flip of a coin that a new Apollo setup would simplify and improve my workflow. See I had grown quite comfortable and familiar with my surroundings, my 2008 Mac Pro tower, the trusty old RME Fireface UC connected via USB, and my centrepiece channel strip, my old LA-610 from UA. The last of my old setup, the LA-610, was especially the hardest to give up. You only have to read my in-depth review here on Audiofanzine to understand that. But the bottom line was, the setup had become too comfortable, and I had accepted it's limitations for too long. Looking to rejuvenate my recording process, I threw it all out the window for one, small silver box....the Apollo Twin Duo.
This may have seemed like a crazy downgrade to some, but after assessing all of the Apollo's features and comparing them to my own studio’s capabilities, I quickly realised I was in fact making a huge upgrade, but with a much smaller footprint. Let me point out some advantages:
1) Are the Tubes done yet?....I do many things in my studio space, music obviously, but also sound design, film editing and graphic design. When a musical idea strikes or a music-related project presents itself, I often only have a narrow window of time to lay it down. Due to the sporadic nature of these projects, having to plan ahead to turn the LA-610 on an hour in advance to heat the tubes up was too much of a headache. Additionally, if my plans changed and I didn't end up being able to record, but had already pre-heated the tubes, I felt like it was such a waste of power and tube life. With the Apollo, I simply turn on the switch, load the exact same preamp module as a plugin in the designated preamp insert point and I'm ready to record. One cable, no wait. But does it sound as good…yes, and I’ll prove it later in the review!
2) Stability and Simplicity- When I started recording as a hobbyist before taking on professional projects, I came up through the ranks of sound cards like everyone else. First was the ol’ M-Audio Fast Track, then on to an Edirol FA-101 and ultimately I settled on an RME Fireface UC. By the time I got the RME, I was taking on professional projects and had a huge appreciation for driver stability and sound quality. But even then, the USB drivers always had quirks with Pro Tools 9 and every so often the RME would go MIA. There was also the minefield that is RME’s TotalMix software that I had to navigate on a regular basis. Configuring inputs and outputs with Pro Tools was always complicated and it was always a nightmare figuring out what sound was being routed where….with Apollo however, this is all automatic. The Console software, works just like a small analog board and it’s routing capabilities are very intuitive. Also, it’s I/O automatically configures itself with Pro Tools. Additionally, because it connects via Thunderbolt, it uses a PCIe driver, that not only blows the USB connection out of the water in terms of data transfer rate, but also in terms of stability. In the first month of regular abuse, the Apollo has yet to loose communication with Pro Tools.
3) Latency - The biggest draw to Thunderbolt is that it matches hardwired, PCIe speeds, meaning recording at lower buffer sizes is feasible with minimal latency. The argument that manufacturers like RME make in this regard, is that in Low-Latency mode, Pro Tools bypasses it’s own output and allows you to monitor solely through the DSP-powered mixer on your sound card, thus in real-time with zero latency regardless of your buffer size. This is true…unless you are using software instruments or guitar emulations. In that case, you will only hear the DI sound from your instrument and won’t be able to monitor with fully processed sound. Apollo makes low-latency recording incredibly easy as well as monitoring with plugins. Because Apollo automatically works with Low Latency mode, there is no configuring and muting tracks to achieve direct monitoring with PT: when you record-arm a track in PT it is simply only heard through Apollo. Because Apollo can load UAD plugins, you can place a preamp, a guitar amp emulation, and even a compressor in the signal path all in real time with no latency before the sound is even sent to PT…that is something no other sound card can do at the moment. You can also have additional Aux sends set up within the console app with reverb and delay plugins in real time to further improve your monitoring experience and ultimately your performance.
4) Hardware controls - The physical design of the Apollo Twin is also a huge upgrade over my old Fireface. Navigating monitoring levels was just too complicated for the Fireface’s tiny numeric display and I found myself constantly adjusting monitor levels with my mouse in the TotalMix window. The Apollo interacts more sensibly. It’s desktop design means it doesn’t have to be tucked away in the rack, but rather it can sit on my desk at arm’s reach. The ability to intuitively switch between monitoring on speakers or headphones is a huge improvement in my workflow. The ability to switch between preamps on the fly and adjust gain and other parameters is also a breeze. It’s no-fuss, no-manual-required operation.
5) One and done…I’ve probably used the words ‘simple’ or ‘plug and play’ in various forms quite a bit so far in this review. That’s because it’s the characteristic that has made the Apollo such an upgrade for me. One Thunderbolt cable and I’m done. I have all of my UAD instances loaded up in my channel strips in real-time, which means top quality processing with zero latency and no laborious patching of cables between physical outboard gear. Read more on Audiofanzine
I bought this card to use it with virtual instrument plug-ins of acoustic pianos, to have a better sound than with the headphone output of my latpop.
I also wanted MIDI to connect my digital piano to the soundcard.
I went for Motu due to their good reputation in terms of audio quality and I got the Audio-Express because I had no need of many audio inputs.
I use it with an Acer laptop running Windows 7 an I connect the card via Usb2.Read more on Audiofanzine
Cubase 7 is offering numerous features that will fit in your workflow right away. Many users will not expect the additions to the latest edition of Cubase because many DAWs aren’t really upgrading the main characteristics of the DAW, but only add a few updates just to release a new version. The Steinberg developers have done an amazing job and it is great to know more about the new features in Cubase 7. One of the most notable changes comes to the program’s mixer window. It is called MixConsole and you will notice the changes right away because they have changed it completely. The workflow will be a bit confusing at the beginning, but you will get used to it quickly. It offers an option to use it full screen and the channel linking is drastically improved. In the previous versions, it wasn’t easy to find the plugins you want to use, but that is not a problem anymore with the upgraded search engine of the Cubase 7. The control room is designed much better and it is more user-friendly than before. Also, they have re-designed the buttons and controls on the mixer, which gives you a new feeling while you are working on your new track.Read more on Audiofanzine
Celemony's Melodyne is the best pitch correction tool out there! Help a singer stay in key with this incredibly useful tool. Right down to the syllable, you can edit the pitch of your singers notes with ease. Effortless installation and works with almost every current computer! Buy it online for instant use! No tinkering with your system, install Melodyne and get to work.
-Listed below are features of all versions of Melodyne
-Melodic and percussive algorithms
-Polyphonic algorithms (DNA direct note access only available on editor & full version)
-Pitch, vibrato, pitch drift, formants, volume, timing, attack speed, note separation and time handle tools
-Note assignment, copy/paste/cut, macro features
-Audio to MIDI
-Scale detective, scale correction, multi tracking (full version), quantize audio and transfer melodies between tracks
-Works as a plug-in (except on full version)
-Works with Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase & Nuendo, Live, Sonar, Studio One and Digital Preformer
-30 day free trialRead more on Audiofanzine
I actually got this as part of a college program and used it everyday. I know it's plastic, but this thing is durable. The Oxygen 8 V2 is perfect for somebody that wants to make MIDI music on the go. Bring it to your favourite jam space just incase, it will fit easily on almost any desktop, use it to control your DAW or even hook it up to a synth and play on.
-25 velocity sensitive keys
-Pitch bend and modulation wheel
-8 MIDI control knobs
-6 MIDI transport buttons
-5 MIDI function buttons
-Octave up/down or transpose up/down button
-3 digit LED screen
-Optional DC power jack
-Sustain pedal jack
-Kensington lock hole
-Ableton Live Lite 4 included
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TASCAM US 2000 - great product and features, even better price. The TASCAM US 2000 is a USB 16 input 4 output analogue to digital converter. This audio interface takes up just a single rack space where others would fill at least 2. With a street price of about $400 USD it's pretty irresistible.
The US 2000 was an obvious choice for my needs. I wanted at least 8 pre-amped channels, however my biggest need was more than 2 outputs. When I realized the US 2000 had 6 TRS inputs on the back I knew I had to have it. This gave me the option to pretty much mic up a whole 5 piece rock band into one single rack space unit.
-44.1/48/88.2/96kHz sample rate
-16/24 bit rate
-20Hz to 20kHz, +/-1dB(MIC IN to MONITOR OUTPUT) frequency response
-Signal to noise ratio - 90dB(LINE IN to MONITOR OUTPUT,20kHz LPF + A-weighted)
-2.4kohms input impedance
-Nominal input level of -60dBu(when gain knob is at maximum) -4dBu(when gain knob is at minimum)
-Maximum input level of +12dBu
-Line inputs have a -10dB +4 dB switch
-Mono or stereo switch for each pair of input channels (with exception of digital channels)
-Phantom power switch for every 2 pre-amped inputs
-16 inputs (8 Pre-amped + 6 TRS line in + 2 S/PDIF)
-Tracks 7 & 8 have insert jacks in the back
-2 dedicated monitor outputs
-4 line outputs (1-2 reflect the monitor outputs)
-1 headphone jack on front with dedicated volume knob (100mW+100mW or more (32ohms loaded))
-Monitor & computer output knobs on front
-Input monitoring knob
-100 LED meter for input and output
-Cubase LE 5 included
-Power - AC100V to 240V, 50/60Hz - 14W consumption
-Dimensions - 482.6(W)×44(H)×280(D)mm
-Weighs 2.5kgRead more on Audiofanzine
Many people aren’t aware of the differences between Nuendo and Cubase, which is understandable since they are DAWs with an identical look. If you compare them, there aren’t many things that are going to make a huge difference. But, the programs can offer more than people think, so be careful what you are purchasing. Basically, Nuendo is created to help in more efficient audio post-production and contains productive features, which are going to enable easier workflow. For the people familiar with the previous versions of Nuendo, there are definitely a few significant upgrades of the software, which will make the work much more interesting. The MixConsole is the feature that everyone is excited for since the Nuendo users were having trouble with the mixer of this DAW and its ability for completing the ideas of the user. The music producers need faster workflow, and the MixConsole will make everything better when it comes to working with tracks, so you shouldn’t worry about delays in your work.Read more on Audiofanzine
The transport panel, and the illuminated key pads, since they help you to know, at a glance, what choices have you made. Usb and Midi connections, pedal (sust) and power line.Read more on Audiofanzine
Thats right, offline bounce lets you turn your track into a mixdown at up to 150X real time! Major selling point for Pro Tools 11 for sure. This is especially appealing to those who do audiobook or podcasting work. Not all is sunshine and rainbows with PT 11 (sorry to ruin your day). The latest edition of Pro Tools will NOT run your old 32-bit plug-ins (which was virtually all plug-ins at the time of release). Lets get to the specs and see what this version of Pro Tools has to offer:
-96/48/24 maximum simultaneous tracks @ 48/96/192 kHz
-192 kHz & 32-bit maximum
-32 inputs & 32 maximum simultaneous audio recording tracks
-128 instrument Tracks
-512 MIDI tracks
-128 auxiliary tracks
-1 video track
-Support of 64-bit plug-ins
-Offline bounce mode
-16k delay compensation
-60+ virtual instruments, effects, sound processing, & utility plug-ins
-Ultra low latency with a dedicated input buffer
-New video engine
-Compatible with any core audio or ASIO compatible interfaceRead more on Audiofanzine
It's not at the top of my list, but it's no where near the bottom. It was obtained in a bundle deal and it pays for itself every time I use it. I probably wouldn't have bought one, and it would have been a shame. This thing is reliable and sounds great. USB is great but I always feel more confident with Firewire (not to mention you then have the ability to daisy chain). This audio interface would be a great addition to any studio, professional to bedroom.
-8 Pre-amped inputs
-2 Main outputs
-8 ADAT inputs/outputs
-Dedicated phantom power & -20dB pad for each pre-amp channel
-8 LED input meters
-XLR/TRS jacks on back
-Up to 96kHz & 24-bit
-Headphone jack on front for monitoring
-A single button/dial to control headphone monitoring and main outputs
-Single rack spaceRead more on Audiofanzine
Hassle-free installation on my PC running Win7 64 bits (obviously). The most complicated part is transferring the license to the iLock lol
No incompatibilities with my pc nor soundcard (Motu 828mk3 Hybrid). The only 2 plug-ins not recognized are RTAS. I must update them to AAX.
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I use this soundcard as the core of my home studio where I produce my music and mix and master songs for other people.
I also use it as MIDI interface for my synths, an also to record them with Live.
I use Live 9 to produce my music and Reaper for mixing and mastering and this card works fine in any situation with my two workstations.
I chose it specially for TotalMix FX, which allows you to do complex routings and access a very good EQ and compressor without using the PC's processor.Read more on Audiofanzine
32-key master keyboard with 8 pads.
I hesitated getting an AKAI MPK mini, but the keys are really small for my big fingers.
The M-audio seemed better fitted and it turns out it is.
Connections: USBRead more on Audiofanzine
The Ensemble is a sleek firewire interface that was tailored specifically for Logic Pro users. It has four built in microphone preamps that have channels for sends and returns. After that, it has four coinciding HI-Z line ins. Aside from the Firewire output, it also has eight Hi-Z line outs that are labeled as analog outputs. On the front of the interface it has two 1/4" headphone outputs and an additional couple of HI-Z inputs.
I personally use it for it's conversion.
I use one of two separate preamps with the ensemble (the pre's on the Mackie Onyx 1620 or a Peavey PV 2.6C poweramp). The sound seems relatively warm in comparison to a lot of other interfaces on the market. This can be for better or for worse if the built in mic pre's are the only amps being used.
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"I hear you're buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and are throwing your computer out the window because you want to make something real!"
So goes the line in James Murphy's disco rant on LCD Soundsystem's first album. Ironically in an age where so much technology is literally at our fingertips, in the form of iPads and smartphones alike, there is an ever-mounting interest in what it means to be analogue. For the general music consumer, the rebirth of vinyl records is an obvious example. For the recording musician, the renewed enthusiasm for 80s era synths since the turn of the century has mounted to a frenzy of musicians scouring garage sales, pawn shops and online auctions all trying to find that one forgotten, unique, but synthetic, yet analog tone.
As a result, a few classics of the era have become studio mainstays and are preserved much in the same way fabled compressors and rack-mounted gear are preserved. But much like rack-mounted gear, the size, weight and maintenance of such equipment is a major constraint for the project studio owner or the mobile music professional. With this is in mind, developers have done much in the way of creating virtual instruments as plugins, much in the same way they developed plugins for emulating rack-mounted signal processors. In both instances, the hands-on tactility of the original components is what is ultimately lost. However, virtual instruments for the iPad is a whole new ball game, offering an interesting mix of both the plugin and the hardware.
As someone who has tested Korg's iMS-20 app and Moog's Animoog app, I have become quite fond of their new iPolysix, the virtual reincarnation of their fabled Polysix synthesizer from the early 80s. This is primarily because of its simplicity. It is a lot less like owning an "all-in-one" synth emulation app and more like owning a singular analog instrument. In essence, the extent of this app's features are no more than those physically available on the original instrument itself. Given it's hearty $40 price tag in terms of the app market, this may be a turn-off for the feature-obsessed consumer, but for the purist looking for a singular, competent analog piece, this is its greatest point of attraction. Because the development of this app was dedicated to the faithful recreation of one singular, sought after piece of equipment, its authenticity can rival that of its original, analogue counterpart. That means in the hands of an artist, all of it's original constraints and idiosyncrasies work together with the creative process to make sounds using the app the same way one would with the analog piece.
This also means that if the sound the artist was after couldn't be accomplished with the instrument on its own, that it could be integrated with other studio equipment to achieve the desired effect. This is where I most love this app. I fire it up and my iPad transforms into an analog synth. I can then use it's interface just as I would the original unit and integrate directly into my studio as another instrument. In the example composition I have provided, I recorded two tracks into pro tools, routing from the headphone output of the iPad through a Palmer DAACAPO impedence converter and through a chain of guitar effects pedals. The results is a composite tone that has resulted not from the iPolysix on it's own, but as an integrated, physical piece of hardware in my studio.
The beauty of the iPolysix being a virtual synth outside of the box is that you get all of the ease of presets, zero-maintenance and minuscule physical footprint with all of the creative possibilities of integrating it physically with the other elements of your studio. If you're already an iPad owner and you consider the use of this app more like an outboard piece of gear, then the $40 price tag for a classic analogue synth is pretty incredible.
+out of the box integration
+authentic recreation of the original hardware
+authentic, analog tone
+ease of use, maintenance and portability
+midi in/out wirelessly via Wifi, for direct integration into Pro Tools or Ableton
-most purists will still want to use a high-end midi controller in place of the touch-screen keys, which defeats the small footprint
-more of an iPad con, but the headphone output has low stereo output
-perhaps the lack of features and varying synth tones will be a turn-off for those in search of a more flexible appRead more on Audiofanzine
I was about to start a project that required orchestral samples and I got advice to use Quantum Leap: it turns out that this was great, because it spared me from going through hundreds of mediocre plugins.
The installing process is as simple as any other plugin of the sort: install it and load it from your DAW. I never had any compatibility issues, and the software is clear enough that it does not require a manual for basic use: all the modelling tools are visible from start. I only did resort to the manual when I came to use Keyswitch samples and other advanced options, and not only the instructions were clear but also it provided me with means of making my music more realistic and full of subtleties. Read more on Audiofanzine
The general configuration is as easy as it gets: a very straightforward install and then you just load Kontakt and drop the program in it. Then select the types of voices. You will probably take some time to get acquainted with the tool and develop a good workflow. You get to pick and choose consonants and wovels to build your words, which makes for a tiresome process. Actually some users developed utilities to solve this.Read more on Audiofanzine
The Softube Tube-Tech CL1B is a plugin emulation of the original hardware unit by the same name. The hardware compressor has been around since 1987 and was created in Denmark as an updated LA-2A opto style of compressor. It has a legendary reputation and a starring role as the go to compressor in many top studios around the world, so it's easy to see why Softube decided to make a plugin to mimic the hardware. From the beginning, installation is straight forward although you do need an iLok to run the plugin...and the less said about that the better.
Anyway, once you have everything up and running in your DAW the configuration is very simple and the GUI is exactly the same as the hardware unit and beautifully done, infact you'll probably spend the first 5 minutes foaming at the mouth at how good it looks but of course it's not all about the looks, luckily though it sounds even better. The manual should be briefly consulted to get yourself familiar with the 3 different 'attack/release SELECT' sections, or you could just take my word for it when i say;
'Fixed' has an Attack time of 1 millisecond, and a Release time of 50 milliseconds.
'Manual' allows the user to set the attack time from 0.5 to 300 milliseconds and the release time from 0.05 seconds to 10 seconds.
and 'Fix/Man' is a combination of both and you will definitely need to read the manual for this as it is quite complex
It also features a side-chaining option like a lot of other compressors, the manual has a section where it gives settings to try for different applications such as vocals, guitars etc and this could be a starting point for new users of the CL1B.Read more on Audiofanzine