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The Magazine

November 2017

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In the November issue of RECORDING, we take a long look at the place where the music happens—your studio. Before you set up that sexy new microphone or launch that cool new plug-in, you’ve got to be sure your room is ready for your tunes... and to do that, you’ll need the solid advice and vital studio tools we’re showcasing.

What goes into a studio that helps you work more efficiently and produce more musical results? Lots of things, like acoustics that tell you what you’re really hearing, gear that does what you need, and attention to your own physical comfort as you work.

In this issue, we bring you in-depth articles on all of those topics and more, with hard looks at everything from studio ergonomics and testing room acoustics to understanding what your gear is doing—from the basics of signal flow to the moment when you need to actually test a piece of gear to be sure it’s doing what it claims to do.

Monitors and monitor support take the forefront of the November slate of reviews, with new speakers by Neumann, KRK, and Focal, and monitor control and amplification systems from Grace Design and Mackie. But we have lots of other products to trick out your studio as well, from Zaor monitor stands and the Impressions acoustic panels from GIK Acoustics to IsoAcoustics’ new Iso-Puck speaker isolators and Latch Lake’s newest soundstage-grade mic stands.

We also feature a hard listen to Townsend Labs’ Sphere L22 modeling microphone, the beautiful new Keyscape virtual instrument from Spectrasonics, and more. There’s even a review of the engineer’s best friend during long sessions: the ErgoLab Stealth Studio Chair!

All this content is backed up with our usual monthly features, Readers’ Tracks with Marty Peters, and more. It’s time for you to make your studio work for you rather than the other way around... and the November RECORDING will show you how!


Trick Out Your Studio: GIK Acoustics Impression Series Acoustic Panels   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Style meets substance in this beautiful range of absorption/diffusion wall treatments.

Trick Out Your Studio: Zaor Classic and MIZA MkII Monitor Stands   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Solid construction, adjustable height, and beauty come together in floor stands for your room.

Focal Shape 40 and Shape 65 Studio Monitors   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Features usually found on much more expensive Focal models—and some that are entirely new—give these small speakers surprising power and clarity.

Trick Out Your Studio: IsoAcoustics Iso-Pucks   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Speaker isolation now comes in a small, modular, low-profile format that’s great on monitors, guitar amps, and more.

Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Modeling Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Hardware plus software equals a whole range of beautiful microphones... and some that have never existed before.

Grace Design m900 Headphone Amplifier   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The signature Grace approach to D/A conversion and headphone amplification now comes in a package that goes anywhere and fits any budget.

Neumann KH 80 DSP Monitors   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

If you’ve flipped past reviews of Neumann speakers in the past because you thought they were beyond your reach, stop here—these speakers are as affordable as they are spectacular.

Trick Out Your Studio: Latch Lake micKing 1100 Heavy -Duty Mic Stand   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Whether on its own or tricked out with handy accessories like the Spin Grip and Xtra Boom, this top-flight stand will handle even the heaviest mics reliably and safely.

Mackie Big Knob Studio+ and Big Knob Passive   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Over a decade after the original Big Knob redefined monitor control for the small studio, two new models offer features for the modern recording rig.

Reviewed & Revisited: KRK Systems V8 S4 Powered Monitors   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The fourth generation of the V Series introduces a new tweeter design, creating a sound that takes a step beyond previous models.

Soundware Showcase: Spectrasonics Keyscape and Keyscape Creative   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This gorgeous collection of rare and unique keyboards is great on its own, but you can also blend their sounds effortlessly into the Omnisphere 2 virtual synthesizer.

Trick Out Your Studio: ErgoLabs StealthPRO Chair   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Any career engineer can tell you that a good chair is vital to health and productivity, and here’s one of the very best you can get.


A Sound Studio   |   Written by Mike Metlay

We don’t just mean the sound you hear, but “sound” in the sense of well-made and healthy. Take a moment to learn about how you and your studio can go further and do more.

Beyond The Clap Test: Evaluate Your Room—Part 1   |   Written by James Lindenschmidt

There’s a lot more to understanding room acoustics than walking around clapping your hands. We begin a look at proper room measurement, using free tools anyone can get.

Understanding The Audio Signal Path—Part 1   |   Written by Bill Stunt

The signal chain could be all hardware or inside your DAW, but the principles of gain staging for the best possible sound remain true everywhere.

Trust, But Verify—Part 1   |   Written by Mike Rivers

You don’t have to have a laboratory test bench to learn useful information that your gear’s spec sheets don’t tell you... and understanding your rig can be fun, too.

Fade Out   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

The Borja Legacy.

Kef America

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