A great tool for producers, live performers, or people who just like to eff around with their voice, Roland's VP-7 Vocal Processor (MSRP: $639) stands as one of the most intuitive and multi-faceted vocal-effects pedals currently available. Run a MIDI cable from any of your synths into this box, plug in a microphone, and create any number of vocal harmonies yourself, or use the available voice types Female Choir, Boys Choir, Gregorian Choir, and Jazz Scat to have the box sing for you. Read more »
There are two distinctly different sides to New York-based producer/DJ Matthew Dear: his lengthy excursions into DJ-friendly techno (most commonly heard under his Audion guise) and his eponymous pop-oriented side, with which he's explored playing as a live three-piece with his Big Hands band, and has crafted two critically acclaimed full-lengths. If there's one major element that sets these sides apart, though, it's singing. Read more »
After several years of holding the format close to its chest, Ableton has opened up the creation of its Live instruments to third-party sound designers for the first time. Released under the banner of Partner Instruments (MSRP: $29-$79 each), the series initially brings a total of seven different audio designers to the table, each with its own new range of instruments for Ableton Live. Read more »
Two new Kore 2/Kore 2 Player instruments have officially dropped, each with its own unique premise. The first, Paranormal Spectrums (MSRP: $79), is designed to create dark, ominous sound aesthetics. It's comprised of 100 sounds with eight distinct variations for each, meaning you've got 800 instantly usable starting points for getting your otherworldly freaky-deaky on. Deep Freq (MSRP: $79), alternatively, is the latest brainchild of sound designer Denis Gökdag, and was built as a frequency manipulator effect unit. Read more »
If you're in the market for some professional-grade earphones with plenty of next-level bells and whistles, AKG has got your number—K 390 NC (MSRP: $199), to be exact. These earbuds flex the kind of pristine sound true audiophiles would swear by thanks to flight adapter and active noise reduction features, but are also built for the average listener looking for a set of headphones that fit comfortably and control whatever iToys you've got at hand. Read more »
There are producers aplenty that would argue one-click mixing is damaging, but there's a niche without multimillion-dollar studio access that can appreciate chained audio processing plug-ins. Waves' Chris Lord-Alge Artists Signature Collection (MSRP: $830, henceforth referred to as CLA Sigs) offers some effortless impact to those who don't want to carve individual frequencies. And yet, these aren't casual tools.
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Oslo-based space-disco producer Joachim Dyrdahl has made a name for himself as Diskjokke with releases on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label as well as Get Physical sub-label Kindish. A classically trained violinist and math whiz, Dyrdahl's approach to beat-making is best described as holistic, incorporating influences that range from country music to early Italo. Read more »
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