The best synths to buy in 2020: 14 best polysynths

Complex chords, multi-timbral parts or lush ambient progressions – if you’re looking to fulfil any of these duties on a synth, then you’ll likely want one with polyphonic talents. In the last few years, hardware instruments have been enjoying a major resurgence; polysynths and their monophonic brethren now come in more shapes, sizes and employ…

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12 best controllers for Ableton Live

1. Ableton Push 2 Price £529/$799 It’s the de facto controller for Live. Many pick up the Live/Push combo on day one of their musical mission. Push is available bundled with any of the three versions of Live. The truth is that Push does such a thorough job out of the box, you need a…

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13 of the best freeware reverbs

In situations where natural ambience is scarce or subpar, plug-in reverbs can fill the gap to add a sense of depth and space to our productions. From organic and grounded to ethereal and otherworldly, we’ve compiled a list of the best software reverbs that can be applied both as creative effects and to solve more…

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10 of the best freeware soft synths

Hardware synths can be expensive. Even soft synths can cost over £200. So, before you empty your wallet for that synth you think you need so badly, why not see what instruments the freeware community has cooked up? We’ve handpicked some of our favourites, which include original soft synths, modular environments, software emulations of classic…

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The best mics to buy in 2020: 16 best vocal microphones

Vocals are often the most recognisable element in a song – after all, the human voice is our oldest musical instrument. Because of our familiarity with its qualities, it’s also where listeners are most likely to pick up on recording artefacts, mixing mistakes and other oddities. So your vocals must be well-recorded, and choosing the…

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6 of the best software reverbs

Best plate: UVI Plate Plate reverbs sound artificial but are a sensible option if you’re looking for clean tails that will sit comfortably in your mix. UVI’s take on plate reverb gives you classic sounds akin to the EMT 140 and 240 but also lets you go beyond them. Through physical modelling, you can edit…

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6 of the best freeware mastering tools

Traditionally, when one thinks of a mastering suite, it’s common to imagine a pristine console room racked out with high-end compressors, limiters, EQs and acoustic treatment that is unattainable to mere mortals. The truth is, even the mastering engineers at Abbey Road Studios are working in-the-box, as we found out recently. So why can’t you?…

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