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Gear: Building an Iconic Sound: Mala

2010 hasn't exactly been a banner year for dubstep. Wobble-craving bros are threatening to take over the scene, each month an obscure new musical strain further splinters the genre, and the music is taking more and more whippings from critics and tastemakers alike. Nevertheless, even with all the mud thrown in dubstep's direction, a few of its originators remain pretty much untouchable, both in terms of respect and their continued dedication to moving the music into the future. Mala (the south London producer known to his mum as Mark Lawrence) is one such producer. Not only has he been instrumental in keeping the extremely bass-heavy style evolving, but he and his Digital Mystikz partners-in-crime Coki, Loefah, and Sgt. Pokes are also responsible for continually bringing dubstep to the masses via their genre-defining DMZ night in Brixton. We tapped Mala for a few tips on how he crafts his crazy, unrelenting low-end sound, both from the practical and philosophical standpoints. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 11/30/2010

Gear: Building an Iconic Sound: Squarepusher

If there's one thing that will probably never vacate the world of electronic music, it's the scores of imitators ready at a moment's notice to ape the latest forward-thinking concept and blow it out and water it down until it becomes a limp, played-out, unfunny punchline. Frankly, we're sick of 'em. Which is why, for this music technology edition, we've decided to assemble a few of electronic music's trailblazers to tell us about what goes into creating a truly iconic sound. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 11/24/2010

Gear: Ultrasone HFI-680 Headphones

As the description on Ultrasone HFI-680 (MSRP: $249) headphones' packaging points out, most run-of-the-mill phones on the market attempt to put whatever you may be jammin' to inside of your head. With its patented S-Logic™ Natural Surround Sound, these cans put the audio around your head, and the thick, comfortable cushioning around the acoustically designed earcups helps keep the professional-quality sound in (no sonic bleed coming from these guys). Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 10/28/2010

Gear: Korg Monotron Analog Ribbon Synth

Remember when the MicroKorg came out? Everyone and their brother was suddenly "into" synths, and an almost equal number of bands started using the small, affordable instrument live and in the studio. Well, it seems we ought to get ready for the next level of that integration, as Korg recently released an even more compact synthesizer, the Monotron (MSRP: $90). Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 10/21/2010

Gear: Apogee Gio Foot-Controller Audio Interface

If you are a Mac-based recording musician with blazing, delicate, or down-right deafening guitar licks in your tracking plans, Apogee's Gio (MSRP: $395) could be your perfect studio companion. Apogee, an industry favorite for their pristine audio converters, aims to please the guitar-welding recordist with this new foot-controller/audio-interface combo. Technically, any Mac-based DAW (Ableton Live, for example) can be controlled by the Gio, but the product is intended for—and works best with—GarageBand '09, Logic Pro 9, and MainStage 2. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 10/14/2010

Gear: IK Multimedia AmpliTube iRig iPhone Interface

The iPhone can now take you from ringtones to ringing tone. The pocket-sized IK Multimedia iRig (MSRP: $39.99) builds off AmpliTube's low-latency gear-modeling engine. Combining an app and guitar-slide-sized dongle, a mono 1/4-inch input, and 1/8-inch stereo output, the adaptor converts the iPhone headphone jack into a functional practice amp for guitar/bass/keyboard. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 10/07/2010

Gear: In the Studio: Karizma—The Baltimore Bass Guru Talks Building Drums and Drama

Wham City and club music aside, Baltimore is still a place where you can roll up to a red light and hear deep house thumping from a car window, or find a "House Music Lives" sticker plastered on an alley door. Before club music, house was the dance music of the city—and its old-school residents remember it fondly. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 10/06/2010

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