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April 2016

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The craft of songwriting never really changes, but the tools we use to speed our creativity along get better every year. In the April issue of RECORDING, we revisit the modern toolbox of the recording songwriter and provide lots of great information you can use right away.

This issue features a great slate of songwriter-friendly music hardware and software. We bring you reviews of the latest versions of MasterWriter, the acclaimed songwriting platform, and of Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio, an affordable and flexible DAW for Windows. On the iOS side, we have new interfaces and songwriting mics from IK Multimedia, Shure, and Sonoma Wire Works.

We also feature reviews of iZotope's amazing Ozone 7 Advanced mastering suite, SPL's impeccable Creon desktop recording interface, new recording hardware from Eventide and Empirical Labs, and an in-depth look at the new Origin mic from British maker Aston Microphones.

This issue has three interviews packed full of interesting insights into the songwriting process. Mark Pirro, bassist and cofounder of the extraordinary ensemble The Polyphonic Spree, chats with us as he prepares to take the Spree to a David Bowie tribute performance in New York. Timothy Drury, sideman to everyone from The Eagles to Whitesnake and successful composer for film, TV, and online media, shares his secrets for maximum studio creativity. And mastering Engineer Maor Appelbaum, fresh from projects with Faith No More and Yes, explains why even the demo songwriter should seriously consider mastering before letting his or her material leave the studio.

All this plus a fascinating article from ace promoter Katy Krassner on how Instagram can benefit the recording songwriter, First Steps with Paul Stamler, Readers' Tracks with Marty Peters, a full report on the 2016 Winter NAMM Show, our monthly columns, and more. Whether you're a songwriter looking to hone skills or choose better gear, or any recording musician in search of inspiration, you won’t want to miss the April 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?


Aston Microphones Origin   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A mic made in the UK that's beautiful, affordable, sturdy, and sonically versatile.

Reviewed & Revisited: iZotope Ozone 7 Advanced   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

New vintage-tone plug-ins and a smoother interface highlight the latest version of the beloved mastering effects bundle.

MasterWriter 3.0   |   Reviewed by Rodrigo O. Sanchez

If you're a songwriter who needs help organizing and saving ideas, this software tool kit may be just what you need.

Empirical Labs Mike-E   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

We all know about the Distressor and the Fatso... now it's time to meet the OTHER other Empirical Labs compressor, and the mic preamp that goes with it.

SPL Creon USB Audio Interface / Monitor Controller   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This desktop audio interface marries impeccable sound quality to home-studio-friendly routing options.

Eventide DDL-500   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

How much cool delay vibe can you pack into a single 500 Series module? A whole lot, if you're Eventide...

Reviewed & Revisited: Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 7   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

The music composition DAW "for the rest of us" adds more features, streamlined operation, and tons of new content, making it an even better value than ever.

iOS Music Tools: Songwriter Recording Solutions   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Get your demos into your iOS device in style, with iOS-friendly interfaces and microphones from Shure, Sonoma Wire Works, and IK Multimedia.


Making It: An Interview With Timothy Drury   |   Interviewed by Mike Metlay

Touring sideman to everyone from the Eagles to Stevie Nicks, photographer, composer, and new-media pioneer: his secret to success is to do as much as he can, all the time.

Many Paths, One Goal: The Polyphonic Spree's Mark Pirro   |   Interviewed by Mike Metlay

How many different ways can a songwriter's ideas be turned into fully-realized tracks for a band of over 20 members? A whole bunch, as it turns out.

Why Do Songwriters Need Mastering?   |   Interviewed by Mike Metlay

Mastering engineer Maor Appelbaum discusses the realities of the modern songwriting world... and why having a simple demo mastered isn't as crazy as it may sound.


2016 Winter NAMM Show -- New Gear On Display   |   Written by Mike Metlay and Paul Vnuk Jr. with Allen Goodman

Here's a quick glimpse at some of the cool new toys coming our way this year.

Instagram For The Songwriter   |   Written by Katy Krassner

Far more than just a platform for kids to share selfies, Instagram packs a big social-media punch. Here's how to get the most from it to promote your songwriting efforts.

First Steps. Part 16: Computers   |   Written by Paul J. Stamler

We're not going to weigh in on the debate between Macs and PCs, but we are going to explain some basic principles to help you set up the most effective possible DAW rig.

Fade Out   |   Written by Mike Metlay

21st Century Schizoid Jam: the promise of Ableton Link.

Kef America

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