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September 2017

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Mixing can be a mystery to the new engineer, and full of surprises even for the seasoned professional. In the September issue of RECORDING, we look at the tools and tricks for making a mix.

The modern mixing landscape is very different than it was even a few years ago. Large-format consoles and racks of outboard gear are being replaced, or at least supplemented, with new technologies from control surfaces to plug-ins. This issue’s slate of reviews includes the Slate RAVEN MTi2 control surface, Softube’s Console 1 hardware controller with its new integration in the Universal Audio UAD world, new takes on ultra-small-format mixing from Radial Engineering and Roland, and powerful 500 Series modules by JHS Pedals.

This issue also covers a wide variety of mix-friendly plug-ins, including great processors from PSP Audioware, Zynaptiq, and Empirical Labs (whose Arousor review includes a chat with inventor Dave Derr). We also include a look at new features in Harrison’s MixBus 4 DAW, Lewitt’s newest entry-level mic, and more.

Every mix engineer has to start somewhere, and the good ones start to amass knowledge at the very beginning and don’t stop until they retire... if even then! We bring you an interview with Ryan Freeland, whose recent projects include albums by Aimee Mann, Ray LaMontagne, and Bonnie Raitt. Ryan talks about the creative process and how a mix engineer lets the artists sound their best, all while placing a unique stamp on the results.

On the other end of the experience scale, Alex Hawley is a successful young engineer who’s established himself solidly in everything from rock to TV commercials. He shares his insights into getting started with mixing and avoiding the pitfalls common to beginners... and to some pros.

This issue also features Readers’ Tracks with Marty Peters, our regular monthly columns, and much more. If you want the right tools and the best knowledge for your mixing projects, you can’t afford to miss the September 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?


LEWITT LCT 240 PRO   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Can a mic get even more affordable than the LCT 440 PURE and still have that signature LEWITT quality? Why, yes. Yes it can.

Slate Media Technology RAVEN MTi2   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

With top-to-bottom customization—right down to its glass formula—and tailor-made software for a variety of DAWs, this control surface is way more than just a touchscreen monitor.

Reviewed & Revisited: Softube Console I MkII (and Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII)   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

The new version of this hardware control surface features the same quality, a greatly reduced price, and integration with Universal Audio UAD-2 software... which we test via the newest and coolest Apollo interface.

Radial Engineering Key-Largo Keyboard Mixer   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Sometimes the best thing you can do with your submixing and interface problems is to stomp on them.

Plug-In Outlet: Empirical Labs Arousor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

This plug-in compressor is based on the famed Distressor rack, but goes way deeper. Read about our test sessions, and learn more about how the plug-in came about in an interview with Empirical founder Dave Derr.

Plug-In Outlet: PSP Audioware PSP FETpressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The best of classic FET compressor architecture, presented in a plug-in that’s nobody’s clone.

Reviewed & Revisited: Harrison Mixbus 4   |   Reviewed by James Lindenschmidt

The latest version of this mix-friendly DAW adds improved control surface support, VCA faders, and much more. Oh, and it runs on Mac, Windows... and Linux.

Plug-In Outlet: Zynaptiq ADAPTIVERB   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

A reverb that can listen to a song and actually dodge clashing key changes, or only put in ambience where there’s room in the music? It’s not fantasy—it’s Zynaptiq.

Roland GO:MIXER   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. Want to have great audio with your smartphone music video? Plug in a tiny mixer so you can treat your music right.

RTW MM3 MusicMeter   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Portable, powerful metering with lots of options, that doesn’t rely on a DAW.

Plug-In Outlet: Toontrack EZmix Packs: Ambient Delays, Ambient Reverbs, Filters & Modulation   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Ambient music plays by different rules than other genres, and these presets for EZmix 2 understand and deliver on those rules.

Plug-In Outlet: Soundtoys Sie-Q   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

A vintage German EQ design from the 1950s takes on new life in software form.

JHS SuperBolt 500 and Emperor 500 Effects Modules   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

The rich and powerful distortion of the SuperBolt and the creamy chorus/vibrato of the Emperor have been taken out of the guitar pedalboard and put into the 500 Series rack.


Ryan Freeland: Track For The Mix, Mix For The Master   |   Interviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

He’s got four Grammy® awards and tons of nominations, he’s worked with everyone from Aimee Mann and Ray LaMontagne to Bonnie Raitt, and his advice to would-be mixers is approachable and very worthwhile.


A Beginner’s Top 3 Mixing Strategies   |   Written by Alex Hawley

A young mix engineer making his mark in the professional world shares his three favorite practices for getting good at mixing. Start here and you’re on your way!

Keeping Track   |   Written by Aaron J. Trumm

Metadata, the information stored digitally with songs and albums, isn’t very exciting, but knowing how to handle it can help you organize your projects, help your fans keep track of your work... and even make you money.

Fade Out   |   Written by Scott Dorsey

The Room-In-Room Effect.

Kef America LS50 Wireless

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