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February 2016

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February is Vocal Month at RECORDING! In this issue, we bring you cool tools and proven techniques for getting the most out of your vocal sessions.

A great vocal recording starts with a great mic. In this issue we bring you two newcomers to the vocal recording world: the King Bee from Neat Microphones and the Lewitt LCT 550. From there, you'll want a great interface, and this issue features an in-depth review of Antelope's MP32 mic preamp and Orion32+ interface, including tests at the famed Chicago Recording Company. And finally, modern production may require some professional cleanup in your DAW, and famed LA engineer Greg Ogan tells us about Synchro Arts ReVoice.

There's more in this issue than vocal tools, though. We're also featuring reviews of Blue's intriguing new Lola headphones, Slate Digital's Virtual Mix Rack (and all of its modules), new speakers from PreSonus, Novation's innovative Launchpad Pro, and more.

You may never have heard of Pablo Munguia, but you've heard his work -- he's a multiple award-winning engineer who's worked with everyone from The Who and Tom Petty to Sheryl Crow and Seal. In this issue, Pablo speaks to Beto Hale about the tried and true techniques he uses to get perfect vocals every time.

Also in this issue: Joe Albano returns to our pages with a very instructive article that we've lovingly entitled: "My Vocal Tracks Sound Like Crap! NOW What?" If all of your efforts have resulted in less-than-spectacular vocal recordings, Joe's ready to come to the rescue with lots of great advice.

All this plus Readers' Tracks with Marty Peters, First Steps with Paul J. Stamler, Specs -- Removing The Mystery with Mike Rivers, our regular monthly features, and more, makes the February RECORDING a bonus-sized extravaganza you won't want to miss!

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?


Plug-in Outlet: Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A CPU-friendly, easy-to-use modular system with a wide variety of available modules, this package is truly a plug-in for all seasons.

Plug-in Outlet: Synchro Arts ReVoice Pro 3.1   |   Reviewed by Greg Ogan

Pitch, time, and level correction for vocals made easy, with a clean and unobtrusive sound that will please any professional mixer.

iOS Music Tools: UVI BeatHawk   |   Reviewed by Dino J.A. Deane

This self-contained composition and arranging app allows for songwriting on your iPad that's inspiring, great-sounding, and fast.

Lewitt LCT 550 Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Have you ever heard what a mic with 0 dB self-noise sounds like? Neither have we... and we really tried!

Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Only three of these precious units, once used at Abbey Road to track the Beatles, still exist -- and this new processor lets you bring home all three of them. Includes an interview with designer Wade Goeke on how these rare devices were brought ba......Expand

Reviewed & Revisited: Antelope Audio Orion32+   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This new version of the Orion comes out swinging, with Thunderbolt connectivity, an onboard DSP mixer/effects chip, and a great-sounding onboard reverb. Also featured: the MP32 32-channel mic preamp rack.

PreSonus Eris E44 MTM Studio Monitors   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

A slight twist on the dual-woofer paradigm produces a speaker that delivers remarkable imaging for the money.

Novation Launchpad Pro   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Navigate Ableton Live and external MIDI devices alike from this colorful, comfortable control surface.

Neat Microphones King Bee   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This big, bold black and yellow mic comes with everything you need to start tracking in your studio... and the sound quality to make your tracks shine.

Blue Lola Headphones   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The ambitious Mo-Fi has a new, nicely refined sibling, one well worth a second listen for its great isolation and solid sonics.

ROLI Seaboard RISE   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Whether running its dedicated Equator virtual instrument or playing plug-ins in your DAW, this unusual not-really-a-keyboard will give new dimensions to your performance. Five of them, in fact.

Placid Audio Carbonphone   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

The carbon microphone dates back to the 1870s and is still in use today... but it's never been as strange and wonderful as this fascinating mic.


A Vocal Master Class With Pablo Munguia   |   Interviewed by Beto Hale

This producer/engineer has worked with everyone from Sting and Mariah Carey to Celine Dion and Carole King... and he's ready to share how he nails down killer vocals.


"My Vocal Tracks Sound Like Crap! NOW What?"   |   Written by Joe Albano

Capturing great vocals is rarely easy, and things can go off the rails for a lot of reasons. Fortunately, many of the most common problems have solutions close at hand.

First Steps. Part 14: Digital Recording I   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

Turning audio into ones and zeroes and back again is part and parcel of modern recording. You have to understand what's going on under the hood in order to make your digital gear work its best, so let's get started!

Kef America LS50 Wireless

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