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December 2015

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Can you believe that December's here again? It's time for a beloved year-end tradition at RECORDING: our Holiday Buyer's Guide! Once again, we wrap up the year with dozens of suggestions for that recording musician in your life (yes, even if it's you)!

Our Holiday Gift Guide has been around for decades, but for the past six years we've done something no other audio magazine does: filled the Gift Guide with actual reviews of the products we recommend. Readers learn about cool new mics, effects, interfaces, DAWs, plug-ins, apps, controllers, monitors, and more... and they know how these cool gifts will actually perform for them, too.

In this year's Gift Guide, we feature over 30 products of all kinds. You'll read about Audio-Technica's BP40 dynamic mic, Yamaha's AG desktop mixers, the Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-4, Eventide's H9 MAX effects pedal, The Keith McMillen K-Board controller, Shure's PG ALTA drum mics, the AKG K553 Pro headphones, the new Worker Bee mic from Neat, plug-ins from Audio Damage, Metric Halo, PSP Audioware, ValhallaDSP, and more, soundware from Ableton, Best Service, and GForce. W

And that's just in the Gift Guide! Also in this issue: full reviews of the Munro Sonic Egg100 monitors, the Grace Design FELiX guitar preamp, Advanced Audio's new CM49 mic, Empirical Labs' DocDerr channel-strip module, the Great River PWM-501 compressor, and more.

Of course, it's not all about product reviews, even in the gift-giving season. In this issue, we bring you a very cool article from new author Michael Lauter about getting vintage and modern hardware to run smoothly in sync, a new installment of Specs: Removing the Mystery with Mike Rivers, and an intriguing editorial on why home studios should care -- passionately -- about high-definition audio.

Also in this issue, we bring you First Steps with Paul Stamler, Readers' Tapes with Marty Peters, our regular monthly columns, and much more. Whether you're in the mood to give and receive cool audio toys, or you want to learn more to maximize your studio, you'll find the December issue of RECORDING a must-read!


Recording's 2015 Holiday Buyer's Guide. Part 1: Hands-on With Hardware   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay, Paul Vnuk Jr., and Alex Hawley

We begin our annual look at all things cool and musical with a roundup of 15 great pieces of music gear from AKG, Audio-Technica, Cloud Microphones, Eventide, Keith McMillen Instruments, Neat Microphones, Novation, Radial Engineering, RHA Audio, R......Expand

Grace Design FELiX   |   Reviewed by Alex Hawley

The quality and flexibility of Grace in a guitar-friendly pedal format.

Recording's 2015 Holiday Buyer's Guide. Part 2: Playing With Plug-ins   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay and Paul Vnuk Jr.

Great new effects for your DAW! We review 8 new plug-ins from Audio Damage, Kush Audio, Metric Halo, PSP Audioware, Universal Audio, and ValhallaDSP.

Advanced Audio CM49 Multi-Pattern Tube Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This Canadian manufacturer leverages vintage ideas into modern forms with special character of their own, and this reimagining of the classic M 49 is no exception.

Great River Electronics PWM-501 500 Series Compressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

PWM is Pulse Width Modulation... usually it's found on synthesizers, but this cool compressor turns it into something really special in the world of dynamics control.

MunroSonic EGG100 Monitoring System   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The newest offering from the UK's iconoclastic speaker designer is a tiny, gorgeous-sounding rig with two egg-shaped monitors powered by a dedicated amplifier.

Empirical Labs EL-Rx DocDerr 500 Series Channel Strip   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A single-space module holding a veritable "greatest hits" of the Empirical lineup.

Recording's 2015 Holiday Buyer's Guide. Part 3: New Sounds, New Sources   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

We wrap up our collection of great holiday ideas with 7 soundware products and add-ons from Ableton, Best Service, and GForce Software.


First Steps. Part 12: Atmospheres And Control -- Equalizers   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

An EQ can help create and control the atmosphere of your recording by fine-tuning the sonics of each source to fit together. Let's learn the basics of how they work.

Get In Sync!   |   Written by Michael Lauter

In today's world of pervasive networking and audio interconnectivity, it's easy to forget that not every piece of gear knows how to talk to every other one, and that what should be simple synchronization can turn into a nightmare. Be prepared and ......Expand

Specs: Removing The Mystery. Part 4: The Many Flavors Of Distortion   |   Written by Mike Rivers

Sometimes it's desirable and pleasing, sometimes it's a problem to eliminate, but if you don't know what goes into it, you won't understand how to get rid of it when it crops up.

Fade Out   |   Written by Mark Abell

High-Resolution Audio, Please.

Kef America LS50 Wireless

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