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April 2017

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The majority of RECORDING’s readers would call themselves “recording songwriters”—musicians who love to capture and record their songwriting ideas, either for other artists or for their own catalogue. In our April issue, we look at the songwriter’s recording tools of the trade.

This issue is packed full of songwriter-friendly recording gear. We’ve got cool new mics from Blue, LEWITT, and Soyuz; mixing and interfacing solutions from Keith McMillen Instruments, PreSonus, and TASCAM; inspiring plug-ins and soundware from Applied Acoustics Systems, Madrona Labs, and PSP Audioware, and even a fun controller for DAW-shy guitarists from Zivix.

There’s also a look at new processors from Chandler Limited, Manley Labs, and Avedis Audio, the newest version of Acoustica Mixcraft, and more.

Bill Stunt, recording engineer and producer extraordinaire for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, handles all kinds of projects in his home songwriting studio. In a comprehensive article, Bill talks about his own choices for hardware and software, and how he built up a powerful and flexible studio on a budget to handle any demo or song development task.

Also in this issue, singer/songwriter Woody Simmons takes us through the construction of her home songwriting studio, a DIY effort that’s given her a fantastic space for her creative ideas. If a million-dollar construction contract isn’t in your future, you’ll love Woody’s story of how she went from zero to studio owner in surprisingly few dollars.

All these features and reviews are accompanied by a quick look at some cool new songwriting tools that didn’t quite make last month’s NAMM Show report, Readers’ Tracks with Marty Peters, our usual monthly columns, and more. If you’ve got the jones to write songs and capture them at their best, 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?


PreSonus Studio 192 Mobile Interface and DigiMax DP88   |   Reviewed by Alex Hawley

Powerful onboard DSP and tight integration with the Studio One DAW make this portable interface a great studio tool... and it's easy to expand with extra preamps, too.

Keith McMillen Instruments K-Mix   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

It's an audio interface, it's a digital mixer with onboard effects, it's a DAW control surface... and it's practically indestructible. Is this the ultimate portable DAW peripheral?

Soundware Showcase: Applied Acoustics Systems Chromaphone 2   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr. and Mike Metlay

Added and improved features add value to this powerful percussion-modeling virtual instrument. Also reviewed: the Cinematix, Epicycles, and Synbiosis sound packs.

Chandler Limited Abbey Road TG Microphone Cassette   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

"Microphone cassette" was EMI Studios' original term for a channel strip, and this rack unit combines preamp, EQ, and a fascinating new compressor into a powerful package.

Reviewed & Revisited: Blue Essential Series Microphones   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The Spark, Bluebird, and Baby Bottle receive an update in features and accessorization, all while retaining their signature sonics.

Plug-in Outlet: Madrona Labs Virta   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

A playable, controllable effects processor for fascinating sonic explorations.

Manley Labs ELOP+ Stereo Limiter/Compressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

New manufacturing techniques allow a classic dynamics-control design to be updated and improved, all while substantially lowering the cost of entry.

Zivix jamstik+   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This tiny wireless guitar controller lets songwriters control DAWs, play virtual instruments, and even learn to play guitar in the first place.

Reviewed & Revisited: Acoustica Mixcraft 8   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

A revamped user interface, expanded compatibility, and new production features are turning this "DAW for the rest of us" into a full-on professional contender.

Soyuz Microphones SU-019 FET Condenser Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Handmade classic microphone beauty from Russia... now in solid state!

TASCAM US-42 MiNiSTUDIO Creator   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

This desktop interface is ideal for recording songwriters, Internet broadcasters, and podcast creators alike.

Avedis Audio E27 500 Series EQ Module and PSP Audioware PSP E27   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A beautiful paragon of modern tone control is back in production, and there's a fantastic software emulation available right alongside the boutique hardware. Includes interviews with Avedis Kifedjian and with PSP Audioware’s Mateusz Wozniak.


A Songwriter’s Studio: One Guy’s Journey   |   Written by Bill Stunt

A songwriter's creative space is only as effective as a clear vision and set of goals will let it be. Here's how one recording musician created his perfect home recording setup.

Building The Vu   |   Written by Woody Simmons

As it ends a decade of successful recording projects, the beautiful California studio's creator tells the tale of how it was built... as inspiration for DIY builders who might want to follow her trail.

Online Songwriting Tools   |   Written by Mike Metlay

The Internet can actually work as a platform for collaborative music creation, once you figure out how to make it work for you. We take a quick look at three established platforms for web-based songwriting and production.

Fade Out   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

Better Recordings Through Better Recording Musicians.

Kef America

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