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March 2013

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It's March, and we're springing into the world of plug-ins and virtual instruments in this month's RECORDING! Come along and get schooled on the latest and greatest audio software for effects processing and virtual instrument performance, with a hefty helping of tutorial information that will have your DAW humming along nicely.

Trying to get a Windows PC to run audio software smoothly can be a daunting process; Devon Brent takes you through the process of refining and optimizing your PC for maximum power, pointing out potential pitfalls and guiding you around them to musical success.

We got a gaggle of plug-ins and virtual instruments reviewed in this issue. Paul Vnuk Jr. provides in-depth examinations of the latest Universal Audio plug-ins, emulating gear from Shadow Hills and providing an easy implementation of famed mastering engineer Bob Katz's K-Stereo ambience processor, and does a one-to-one comparison of Kush Audio's Clariphonic parallel equalizer in its hardware and software forms; Devon Brent examines new plug-ins from 2C Audio, Eventide, and Rob Papen; and we add products from Massey Plug-ins, iZotope, PSP Audioware, and more.

And that's not all! John Rossi III checks out all the improvements in Acoustica's Mixcraft 6 DAW, Paul Vnuk Jr. takes Steinberg's sexy new CMC controllers out for a spin, and on the hardware side, we review MXL's newest affordable mic, and there's an in-depth look at the powerful and affordable Behringer X32 digital console.

The issue rounds out with a new Mixing Workshop with Sean Shannon, Recording Fundamentals with Eric Ferguson continuing its look at the acoustics of the studio "sweet spot", Readers' Tapes with Marty Peters, and more. Whether you're a novice trying to get plug-ins to run smoothly in your DAW, an expert looking for the newest products and tweakiest tips, or a recording musician in need of knowledge and advice on everything from mixers to mics, you won't want to miss the March RECORDING!

Pick it up now on the newsstand... and so you get your next issue early (and save on cost), why not hit the big red Subscribe Now button on this page and have RECORDING delivered to your door each month?


Behringer X32   |   Reviewed by Allen Goodman and Mike Metlay

This digital console is equally at home in the studio or on stage, and offers massive flexibility at a remarkably low price.

Behringer has been in the business of building audio gear with more features for less money for a l......Expand

MXL CR30 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

An attractive new look for a very capable new series of MXL mics; the CR30 offers some welcome surprises.

The CR30 is a shiny new microphone from MXL, and I mean literally this thing is SHINY. That's because the CR30 is the ......Expand

Steinberg CMC Series USB Controllers For Cubase   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Six different control surfaces for this popular DAW allow you to mix and match to your exact needs.

If your DAW of choice is Cubase and you're lusting after a control surface to wean yourself off the mouse, take a look at th......Expand

RECORDING's Showcase of Sounds: Rob Papen Punch.   |   Reviewed by Devon Brent

Here's a flexible and great-sounding construction kit for beats that, well, punch!

Powerful and compelling digital drum sounds, alone or mixed with live drums, are a vital element of modern music production in styles ranging......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: 2C Audio B2   |   Reviewed by Devon Brent

An algorithmic reverb program that offers exceptional programmability and an engaging range of lush timbres.

2CAudio labels this product as going well beyond the boundaries of what's normally expected from a reverb plug-in: ......Expand

Universal Audio Precision K-Stereo and Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The two newest plug-ins for the UAD-2 effects engine offer subtle and beautiful ambience control and rich, powerful dynamics processing. Also: a quick look at the new UAD-2 OCTO card.

In our January 2013 issue we ran Darwin ......Expand

Reviewed & Revisited: Acoustica Mixcraft 6   |   Reviewed by John Rossi III

More content, a streamlined user interface, and extensive new features (including video integration) make the new version of this "budget-level DAW" a serious contender.

Mixcraft 6 and Mixcraft Pro Studio 6 are the latest ve......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: Massey Plugins CT5 Compressor   |   Reviewed by Bill Stunt

The newest version of this Pro Tools compressor offers a sweet and easily controllable sound.

Massey Plugins is a small company, a 3-man operation headed up by former Digidesign software engineer Steven Massey. Despite its s......Expand

Kush Audio Clariphonic Parallel Equalizer and Clariphonic DSP Plug-in   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Hardware or software, these fascinating equalizers produce high-end magic on your mixes.

Kush Audio came to life a good five years ago when noted audio engineer Gregory Scott (nicknamed UBK) came up with a custom mod for the......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: Eventide H3000 Factory   |   Reviewed by Devon Brent

Selected processes from the genre-defining rackmount Harmonizer give you major multi-effects power in an easy-to-use format.

One or another of the rackmount units in the Eventide Ultra-Harmonizer Effects System, with their i......Expand

Reviewed & Revisited: iZotope Alloy 2   |   Reviewed by John Rossi III

How do you improve on an exceptional channel-processing plug-in? By adding new features and an overall power boost to the sound engine, that's how.

We last looked at iZotope's Alloy in our September 2010 issue. We concluded......Expand

Plug-in Outlet: PSP Audioware PSP BussPressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This compressor provides fine dynamic control over your 2-mix, and more.

At 30 available plug-ins and growing, Poland's PSP Audioware is one of the more prolific plug-in companies around, with a reputation for plug-ins that ......Expand


Plug-in Performance on Windows-based DAWs   |   Written by Devon Brent

There's a lot you can do under the hood of your PC to get the most out of your audio software-we walk you through the process, from purchase to perfection.

Have we come a long way, baby? Avoiding problems with digital audio ......Expand

Big Money Drums--Part 2   |   Written by Michael Schulze

Last time we introduced our room and our miking techniques; now we dive into the mix itself. Maximize your percussive impact!

Last month I described a drum recording session at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denve......Expand

The Mixing Workshop: Better Mixes Through Creative Editing--Part 2 (The Band)   |   Written by Sean Shannon

We discussed drums in detail to get our mix off to a great start; now it's time to fit the rest of the players into our rock-solid rhythm bed.

In part 1 of this 2-part article on creative editing (November 2011), we tightene......Expand

Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 15: Sweet Spot Conundrums--Part 2   |   Written by Eric Ferguson

It's not enough to have your control room's sweet spot be accessible and easy to work with; it has to sound right, too!

Professional-level home and project studios used to be a rarity. Before digital recording, small studios......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Mike Metlay

The Mac As Disposable Appliance.

You may have noticed that while Devon Brent's article on page 22 is a fantastic resource for Windows users trying to get the most from their music computers, there isn't a word about the Mac ......Expand

Kef America LS50 Wireless

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