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September 2015

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Making that perfect mix is something every recording musician and engineer strives to do well. There are many choices and many tricks to a great mix -- using compression to smooth out dynamics and glue a mix together; carving out space for instruments and vocals using EQ; gain staging for a mix with power and dynamic range that's not pushed into the digital red; nailing down the best monitoring setup so you can believe what you're hearing; or determining what hardware will help you get the most from your mixes -- be it an audio interface, mixing console, summing mixer, or some combination of all of them.

There's a lot to learn, and we'll take you there in September's RECORDING. We'll bring you a variety of reviews and features that home in on getting the best possible mixes from your studio.

This issue's reviews include a number of mix-centric products -- new expansion packs for Toontrack EZmix 2, affordable mixing plug-ins from Final Mix, mix-friendly hardware from MOTU and Soundcraft, and a quick look at Harrison MixBus 3. In addition, we'll feature the flexible new Royer R-122 MkII ribbon mic, dbx's 676 channel strip, the powerful twotwo.6 monitors from PMC, Audio-Technica's groundbreaking ATH-R70x open headphones, a notable mic from new maker Roswell Pro Audio, and more.

In this issue, we'll hear famous mix engineers who share their experiences and advice on the mixing process. Grammy-winning engineer Marc Urselli returns to our pages with an in-depth look at analog summing mixers, and mixer-to-the-stars Greg Ogan teaches us how to take our mixes to the next level.

With all this content, First Steps with Paul J. Stamler, Readers' Tapes with Marty Peters, our well-liked monthly content, and more, you aren't going to want to miss the September RECORDING. You need this knowledge in the mix!


Soundcraft Si Impact Mixer   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This affordable console is streamlined to supercharge the mixing process.

MOTU UltraLite AVB   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The power of AVB networking turns this half-rack audio interface into a portable powerhouse digital mixer.

Reviewed & Revisited: PMC twotwo.6 Monitors   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

After our great experience with the twotwo.5, it's time to listen to its bigger sibling.

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Headphones   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Audio-Technica's first open-backed pro headphone combines feather-light comfort with clear and uncompromising sound.

Royer Labs R-122 MKII Ribbon Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Upgraded electronics turns this well-loved active ribbon into a workhorse that's stellar on almost any source... including drums using the Ross Hogarth miking method, explained in detail here.

Roswell Pro Audio Mini K47 Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A new audio company combines a little-known capsule with hand-tweaked performance to bring in great audio at an entry-level price.

Harrison Mixbus 3: A Walking Tour   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The famed console manufacturer has its own DAW, with a complete feature set, an affordable price tag, and that Harrison magic.

dbx 676 Tube Mic Channel Strip   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A tube preamp, useful EQ, and classic dbx compression and limiting make this rack processor a very appealing all-in-one miking solution.

Plug-In Outlet: Toontrack Rooms & Verbs and Lo-Fi for EZmix 2   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The latest EZmix Packs help you put your mixes in beautiful environments... or, if you prefer, give them grunge, grit, and edge.

Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio The Grange   |   Reviewed by Jon Hillman

Three of the world's most famous drummers playing in one of the world's most famous rooms... and they're all inside your DAW.

Plug-In Outlet: Final Mix Software Rob Chiarelli Signature Plug-Ins   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

M1Limiter Lite, Parallel Drums, Drum Buss Lite, and Synth Buss Lite are simple plug-ins to help perform basic mix tasks with ease, and you can buy all four for under $100.

Soundware Showcase: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2   |   Reviewed by Allen Goodman and Mike Metlay

This virtual instrument was considered the very best of the best by many engineers already, and this upgrade catapults it light years ahead of the pack.


Mix To The Max!   |   Written by Greg Ogan

The mixing process can be fraught with problems for newcomer and pro alike. A famed engineer walks us through common mistakes and solutions, plus a set of useful mix tricks to give your work that extra bit of pizazz.

Summing Mixers Compared   |   Written by Marc Urselli

A Grammy-winning engineer explains why you might want a summing mixer in your studio, and tests out three of them -- by Dangerous Music, Rupert Neve Design, and SSL -- against a classic Harrison analog console and in-the-box Pro Tools solutions.Expand

First Steps. Part 9: Give Me A Boost -- Mic Preamps I   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

Mic preamps seem simple on the surface. But we need to understand how a preamp "just makes a mic signal louder" in order to get the most out of them when tracking.

Fade Out   |   Written by Frank Marra

What Pro Tools | First Means To All Of Us.

Kef America

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