Top 10 Products of 2018
Output’s newly released Arcade is another bold step in the right direction.
It’s the first cloud based virtual instrument that operates on a subscription model. Its endless options of loops and amazing sounds will definitely leave you impressed. Watch the demo videos below.
One amazing feature is that instead of organising patches in the traditional way, all content can be downloaded from Output’s server directly into the plug-in itself. Arcade then automatically allocates it into unique categories such as ‘Modular Circuitry’, ‘Field of Sounds’ and ‘Toys’. Each of these categories has its own interface with four main sliders that can control your choice of assignable effects. If it sounds complicated, don’t worry because it’s not. It’s actually quite straightforward and you’re going to love working with it! Arcade is a groundbreaking virtual instrument and unbelievably inexpensive. We massively recommend it!back to menu ↑
Ableton Live 10
Ableton is a remarkable all-in-one music production solution and is currently a favourite for many producers (particularly those specializing in electronic dance music).
Ableton Live is a powerful digital audio workstation, ideal for live performances. Most DJs and electronic-influenced musicians swear by it and use it religiously. It’s a steady and stable DAW that is preferred by creatives who wish to experiment and build unique audio projects. One of the best things about Ableton is that once you’ve unwrapped and installed it, you’re pretty much ready to produce your next potential hit! The functionality is amazingly easy and straightforward. Drag and drop any loop and have it instantly locked to your project tempo; Map any midi controller to any parameter within seconds (e.g. automating track volumes, filters, etc); add multiple signal processing effects instantly (with access to the sends) without having to open multiple windows. Ableton Live is any producer’s dream production and audio tool kit.back to menu ↑
Apogee Elements 46
This is an awesome and reasonably priced software controlled thunderbolt audio interface. For those who love the legendary apogee conversion sound in a reasonably priced interface, the Elements series could be a good choice for you. There are three option from the Element series. Depending according to your channel requirement you can go for the Element 24, Element 48, or Element 88.
It comes with world class Apogee mic preamps (with selectable phantom power) and can record up to 24-bit/192 khz AD/DA conversion. The Element interfaces, with the exception of microphone connections, are handled through software (and a remote control if so desired), and therefore the housing is surprisingly plain.back to menu ↑
Native Instruments Komplete 12
This is the bundle of all bundles with the amazing products from Native Instruments ranging from synthesisers to world class effect processors.
We absolutely LOVE this product and highly recommend it to anyone with the means to purchase it. Products that stand out are: Massive, Kontakt, Absynth, FM8, Reactor, Form as well as the amazing Kontakt libraries such as: Giant, West Africa, Damage, Battery not to mention the awesome plugins such as: RC48, RC24 and other award winning products. It’s the ultimate production tool kit for any producer. This is a must-have product and comes highly recommended!back to menu ↑
Steinberg Cubase 10
Cubase is the original DAW with millions of musicians, composers, producers and engineers using it on a daily basis.
With its pristine playback engine and unrivaled advanced tools, it’s no wonder that many users consider it as the most complete DAW on the market today. It’s fair to say that Cubase sets the benchmark for contemporary music production software. Cubase will allow you to do anything from full-scale symphonic arrangements to modern day Pop hits. Nothing has been overlooked. Everything from mixing, editing, composing, producing to scoring and more has been made possible by Cubase. Its powerful platform allows you to create complex templates and integrate 5.1 surround sound capabilities seamlessly. Once you’ve tasted Cubase it’s hard to use anything else. Its easy-to-use powerful tools and functionality is bound to seduce you forever. As you can tell, it’s our preferred DAW!back to menu ↑
Unlike Waves, Soundtoys is somewhat of an industry secret. Only the very elite industry professionals use it. It’s a highly recommended plugin collection for any serious producer/engineer wishing to take their work to the next level. One thing about SoundToys you need to remember is that, as with most elite products, the difference you hear is often subtle or even understated. The truth is, the difference between a good sound and a great sound lies in a 10% margin. SoundToys provides you that 10%.
Plugins like the Crystallizer Granular Delay, Decapitator Distortion and Filter Freak sound awesome and are very easy to navigate once you pass through the quick learning curve. Many of the plugins are inspired by vintage hardware gears, for example the PrimalTap is based on Lexicon’s most famous game-changing hardware gear Prime Time Digital Delay. One of our personal favourite plugins in the bundle is the Microshift. It’s a powerful easy-to-use program that allows you to add awesome width and a rich harmonized sound. All the plugins in the bundle are really powerful and it would not be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the best plugin collections on the market.back to menu ↑
Yet another amazing product by the good folks at Output. We love this product and use it frequently. Movement is a plugin that allows you to run any sound into it and then transform it into something impressive and totally unexpected. It’s a great product. Check out the video demo below.
Movement is Output’s first audio based plugin which is designed to manipulate any audio sound source to a rhythmic pattern. It has two effects engines (rack A and B) that represent a range of processing units including filters, delays, reverbs, compression and distortion. With the help of powerful tools in this software we can turn a smooth pad into something pulse based and groovy. Our two favorite features are the Flux Control and the X-Y Sliders which allow modulation on different LFOs as well as step sequencers to create unimaginable results. We highly recommend purchasing Movement as part of a bundle deal from Output. Let’s face it, every single one of Output’s products are amazing and effective in helping to achieve great modern production results!back to menu ↑
Spectrasonics OMNISPHERE 2
This is another great product from Spectrasonics. We love this product and still use it frequently in our own productions as it’s easy to use and very powerful.
The range and breadth of sounds are truly impressive. Whether you’re looking for beautiful atmospheric pads or amazing sounding choirs (check out the “Tuvan Drones” preset), Omnisphere will not let you down. As with all other products from Spectrasonics you can load up to 8 patches in one instance (which is uncommon in the softsynth world).
The latest version supports remote (iPad app) controlled Orb feature, which is quite cool. The possibility to create your own patch by uploading audio files and utilizing the powerful features of the new interface makes Omnisphere a truly powerful synthesiser. If you want to dig deep and produce awesome creative soundscapes try the granular synthesis — when we first heard it we were blown away. In this new version, Omnisphere has added a new list of patches that are quite exceptional and most of them are inspired by original vintage (and existing) hardware synth models.back to menu ↑
Hercules MS300B Low Profile Mic Stand
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This is an awesome stand for all kinds of low profile applications. We actually love this product. Whether in the studio during drum sessions (stand for kick drum mic) or for use as a table mic stand, the excellent tilt design helps you to position your mic in any manner.
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Auto-Tune is perhaps the most famous pitch-correction programme in the world. So much so that it’s now part of popular culture. Everyone seems to know (or has heard of at some point) the phrase “auto-tune”. It is undeniably a very powerful software which continues to play an important role in the music industry. Some of us use it frequently but always prefer the ‘graphic mode’ which is a more precise and better way to achieve natural results. Its interface is quite straightforward making it very easy to use. You can achieve fast results (depending on the genre) by setting up the key signature and adjusting the ‘retune speed’. There are five modes to choose from (Soprano, Alto/Tenor, Low Male Voice, Instrument, Bass instrument). From our experience, the Alto/Tenor mode performs best for most requirements and the retune speed is best left on its default setting. It’s a great tuning programme and it comes highly recommended.