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Gear: Are the Days of the Mastering Engineer Numbered? Taking a Closer Look at LANDR

The premise of LANDR, from Montreal-based startup MixGenius, mirrors that of many other services in our newly remodeled digital lives: remove the middleman and replace him with a host of multifaceted computer algorithms to do the job better, faster, and cheaper. LANDR is an attempt to apply this very model to the realm of music production—specifically, the mastering process. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 09/03/2014

Gear: Native Instruments Announces Komplete 10, Reveals New Keyboard Controllers

Berlin's Native Instruments has announced the details of the next generation of the company's flagship software suite, Komplete 10, while also revealing its forthcoming line of Kontrol S-Series keyboard controllers. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 09/02/2014

Gear: Dave Smith Introduces First Modular Component, DSM01

Dave Smith Instruments has introduced the DSM01, the company's first component made to be used within Eurorack modular systems. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 08/29/2014

Gear: Ask the Experts: Om Unit

Earlier this summer, XLR8R launched the Ask the Experts series as a way of letting our audience directly solicit production advice from established artists. Our first edition featured Modeselektor, while round two is being handled by bass manipulator Om Unit (a.k.a. Jim Coles). A key contributor to the UK's embrace of juke and footwork sounds in recent years, he was also one of the first producers to seriously experiment with combining those distinctly American rhythms with jungle and drum & bass. Coles' willingness to try new things doesn't stop there, as he's also been one of the innovators of the slow/fast sound, which he recently celebrated by putting together the Cosmology compilation for his own Cosmic Bridge label. With all of this low-end-centric knowledge rattling around in Om Unit's brain, we knew that XLR8R readers would jump at the chance to throw questions his way, and while he couldn't respond to all of inquires we received, he's selected a few that caught his attention and provided some very thoughtful answers. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 08/28/2014

Gear: Artist Tips: Marcel Dettmann's Five Keys to Being a Good DJ

Marcel Dettmann is an excellent DJ. At this point, it would be difficult to find pretty much anyone who would dispute that notion. After all, the veteran German spinner has long served as a resident DJ at Berghain, and this week, another of the world's most famous clubs, London's Fabric, has put Dettmann at the helm of the latest installment of its esteemed mix series. (For those odd few that remain unimpressed by these credentials, Dettmann's XLR8R podcast from last year still serves as concrete proof of his talents.) With two decades of experience under his belt, Dettmann has a wealth of knowledge to draw upon, which is why we inquired if he would be willing to share a bit of it for our 'Artist Tips' series. Often times, these articles center around artists' work in the studio, but for this edition, we asked Dettmann to focus on how to succeed in the confines of the DJ booth. His suggestions here are more philosophical than technical, but we're betting that aspiring DJs will find them plenty helpful all the same. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 08/19/2014

Gear: Ikonika Lists Five Essential Pieces from Her Studio Arsenal

Next week, Ikonika (a.k.a. Sara Abdel-Hamid) will release 'Position,' a seven-track effort that features some of the London producer's most purely club-focused work to date. Following her synth-driven and '80s-referencing 2013 LP, 'Aerotropolis,' the new EP marks something of a new direction for Ikonika, particularly in the title track's distorted drums and obvious nods to ballroom. Still, this isn't exactly surprising; after all, the longtime Hyperdub affiliate and Hum + Buzz co-founder has been gradually refining her sound ever since she first appeared on wax in 2008. And while part of that evolution can simply be chalked up to additional experience, both in the club and behind the boards, part of the process can undoubtedly be attributed to changes in her production set-up. Curious about what tools are guiding her workflow these days, we asked Ikonika to detail the five most important pieces from her studio. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 08/18/2014

Gear: Pioneer Introduces the DDJ-SX2

An updated version of the company's DDJ-SX DJ controller (made specifically for use with Serato DJ), Pioneer has introduced the forthcoming DDJ-SX2. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 08/07/2014

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