Universal Audio A/DA STD-1

JULY 2018: Universal Audio A/DA STD-1

For this guitar-centric issue of Recording, we’re reviewing an often-overlooked plug-in from Universal Audio that’s fantastic on guitars. The A/DA STD-1 Stereo Tapped Delay was developed by Brainworx for UAD-2 DSP engines and Apollo/Arrow interfaces, and is based on a vintage bucket brigade delay unit which was originally released in 1980.

Toontrack EZKeys Dream Machine Melancholic Pop

JUNE 2018: Toontrack EZKeys Dream Machine and Melancholic Pop MIDI Pack

Toontrack’s EZkeys platform combines beautiful sampled virtual keyboards with an easy block-based track assembly system that works standalone or inside any DAW as a plug-in. You can play the instruments by hand or load MIDI files (yours or Toontrack’s) to create an arrangement. It’s easy to use, straightforward to program, and offers authentic and…

Soyuz Microphones SU-013

MAY 2018: Soyuz Microphones SU-013 Small-Diaphragm FET Condensor Mic

Soyuz (“Union”) is a Russian microphone company whose products are designed, manufactured, and assembled in the city of Tula. Literally everything in a Soyuz mic is of Russian manufacture, from the metalwork of the milled brass bodies to the capsules, from the Soviet-era military tubes and custom handwound transformers to the handmade wooden boxes…

RODE Complete Studio Kit

APRIL 2018: RØDE Complete Studio Kit

Australian audio tech firm RØDE celebrated the 50th Anniversary of parent company Freedman Electronics in 2017, and rounded out its golden year by stepping into a realm where it’s never been before—audio interfacing. The Complete Studio Kit is a full package for the beginning singer/songwriter, centered around the new AI-1 audio interface.

March 2018 LaChapell Audio 583s mk2 Tube Preamp and 500TDI Tube DI

MARCH 2018: LaChapell Audio 583s mk2 Tube Preamp and 500TDI Tube DI

In our April 2009 issue, Justin Peacock reviewed the 583s preamp, designed by Scott LaChapell of aptly named LaChapell Audio. Justin was very impressed with its sonic character; he described it as a “big, wide and clear sound” that also had…

February 2018 RME Babyface Pro

FEBRUARY 2018: RME Babyface Pro

RME isn’t a household name in the USA pro audio world, but it should be. For decades, its interfaces have reigned supreme in mission-critical reliability, and its innovations have entered the market and become standards without most folks…

Arturia DrumBrute

JANUARY 2018: Arturia DrumBrute

Arturia started as a software company, creating emulations of famous synthesizers. Over the past decade, an unexpected move into hardware has led to a line of controllers and analog synthesizers that work and sound great yet don’t break the bank.


Presonus Studiolive Ar12 USB Mixer

DECEMBER 2017: Presonus Studiolive Ar12 USB Mixer/Interface

When the first PreSonus StudioLive mixers came out in 2008, they raised a lot of eyebrows with what were, at the time, pretty much unprecedented features for mixers under $10,000. They connected to laptops via FireWire and allowed for easy storage of scenes and settings offline from the…

Focal Shape 40 Shape 65 Studio Monitors

NOVEMBER 2017: Focal Shape 40 and Shape 65 Studio Monitors

The Shape series is the newest line of professional studio monitors from French company Focal. The Shape monitors replace Focal’s CMS models, placing them above the company’s budget-priced Alpha series (reviewed December 2014) and below the Solo6 Be, Twin6 Be, and Trio6 Be models.

Mojave Audio MA-1000 Condenser Mic

OCTOBER 2017: Mojave Audio MA-1000 Condenser Mic

Mojave Audio is helmed by engineer and 3-string bass player Dusty Wakeman, and showcases the condenser mic designs of David Royer (whose newest ribbon mic, the Royer Labs R-10, is also featured in this issue). Over the past decade-plus, Mojave mics have become favored by many A-list engineers…

Empirical Labs Arousor

SEPTEMBER 2017: Empirical Labs Arousor

Twenty years after its creation, the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor is a modern classic. It just hit serial number 30,000, and its most common descriptor over the years has been “the Swiss Army knife of compressors.” It’s curious, then, that despite rumors and “coming soons” from…

Mackie DL32R 32-Channel Digital Mixer

AUGUST 2017: Mackie DL32R 32-Channel Digital Mixer

One of my first non-review articles for Recording, written over ten years ago, focused on using a thrown together remote rig for tracking a band in a large old house. This “portable” rig was made up of a Mackie 1604 VLZ mixer, an Alesis ADAT XT20 used just as an 8-channel converter…

API TranZformer GT

JULY 2017: API TranZformer GT

Automated Processes, Inc. (API) has a long-standing legacy of world-class analog recording consoles and 500 Series modules. API gear is known for having a warm and distinct sonic character, heard on many legendary albums throughout music history.

Steinberg Cubase Pro 9

JUNE 2017: Steinberg Cubase Pro 9

Several months ago, Steinberg’s flagship DAW Cubase was upgraded significantly; it’s now at version 9. I’ve been working with it for quite a while now, and in preparation for writing this review, I’ve just re-read last year’s review of Cubase 8.5, which I called…

LEWITT LCT 440 PURE Microphone


I cant believe it’s been five years since we first met Austria-based LEWITT Microphones. In that short time, LEWITT has built quite the lineup, with a reputation for sonically clean, technologically innovative, and visually unique microphones. The various lines of handheld…

Acoustica Mixcraft 8

APRIL 2017: Acoustica Mixcraft 8

In our previous review of Acoustica Mixcraft 7 (April 2016), we found it to be a great DAW for beginning Windows producers, yet one that had the kind of professional production (and performance) functionality that could make it useful for everyone.

Prism Sound CALLIA USB Audio DAC/Preamplifier

MARCH 2017: Prism Sound CALLIA USB Audio DAC/Preamplifier

Prism Sound is a UK company known for digital audio converters that are best described as “next level”; these products are found in many of the world’s top mastering studios. Prism Sound also offers a line of no-compromise multichannel solutions for the tracking and mixing studio.

Universal Audio Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip Plug-in For UAD-2

FEBRUARY 2017: Universal Audio Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip Plug-in For UAD-2

The VOXBOX is one of the most impressive pieces of gear in the Manley line, released two decades ago and reviewed by producer/engineer William Wittman in our October 1998 issue. Unlike other Manley stalwarts like the SLAM!, Vari-Mu, Massive Passive, and others…

SPL Transient Designer TDx

JANUARY 2017: SPL Transient Designer TDx

In the late 1990s, Germany’s Sound Performance Labs (SPL) introduced the Transient Designer, which has become a studio staple worldwide for altering audio sources’ attack and decay. Essentially it is a device that can enhance or lessen the sharpness of a source’s attack—


Apogee ONE For Mac

DECEMBER 2016: Apogee ONE For Mac

t’s always a pleasure reviewing Apogee gear—no matter what we throw at it, we always get top-quality audio in return, with the detail, clarity, and musicality that’s inherent in the sources we record. While in recent months we’ve taken a hard look at the top-shelf Apogee products…

AKG K872


In our March 2014 issue, Ears On covered several of AKG’s high-end studio phones, including the K812, a remarkable open-back design that offers impeccable detail and clarity of a sort rarely heard in headphones at any price point.

Lauten Audio LA-320 Tube Condenser Microphone

OCTOBER 2016: Lauten Audio LA-320 Tube Condenser Microphone

The LA-320 is the latest tube mic from Lauten Audio. We have been following the Lauten story since August 2007, when we reviewed its first offering, the now sadly discontinued tube-based LT-321 Horizon microphone.

Audio-Technica ATH-E40 ATH-E50 ATH-E70

SEPTEMBER 2016: Audio-Technica ATH-E40, ATH-E50, and ATH-E70 In-Ear Monitor Headphones

Audio-Technica has been in the business of consumer and sports in-ear monitoring for quite a while, and is also a well-respected name in the world of professional studio headphones for decades. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the two worlds came together…

Apogee ONE For Mac

AUGUST 2016: Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Desktop Mixer/Interface

I’ve been a fan of Allen & Heath mixers since reviewing a MixWizard console nearly 20 years ago. This month we review the new ZEDi-10FX, a desktop mixer/interface with surprising hidden power.

Line 6 Helix and Relay G10

JULY 2016: Line 6 Helix and Relay G10

Line 6 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. From 1996’s AxSys digital modeling guitar amplifier, Line 6 soon expanded into pedalboards and stomp boxes with the POD amp modelers, as well as wireless systems, the Variax modeling guitars, more powerful DSP amplifiers, and audio interfaces.

Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Cardioid Dynamic Mic

MAY 2016: Shure KSM8 Dualdyne Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

While Illinois-based Shure Incorporated is iconic, compared to many mic manufacturers it’s not that prolific. Many of Shure’s models receive an occasional incremental A or B update, but the bulk of their microphone line has remained largely unchanged for years.

Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 7

APRIL 2016: Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 7

Mixcraft Pro Studio has been on our radar for some time. John Rossi III reviewed versions 4, 5 and 6 in previous issues, always praising it for its simplicity while pointing out its breadth and value. John wasn’t available for this review, but his previous articles reveal…

Amphion Two18 Passive Monitors

MARCH 2016: Amphion Two18 Passive Monitors (and Amp500 Power Amplifier)

Last year in our March 2015 issue, we took our first look at Amphion with the One18 passive studio monitor. This time we are looking at the One18’s big brother, the flagship of the Amphion line — the Two18. Amphion is headquartered in Kuopio, Finland, and run by Anssi Hyvönen.

Lewitt LCT 550 Condenser Microphone

FEBRUARY 2016: Lewitt LCT 550 Condenser Microphone

Back in February 2012 we introduced readers to Lewitt Microphones. Lewitt’s mics are a shining example of the new globally-sourced microphone paradigm. All of its mics are designed in the company’s Austrian headquarters, and then built to demanding specs with affordable Asian manufacture.

Spitfire Audio HZ Percussion

JANUARY 2016: Spitfire Audio HZ Percussion

Quick — think of three film composers. If the first name that popped into your head was John Williams, then I’m almost certain the next name in your list is Hans Zimmer. And based on the multitude of copycats out there in film and games, it’s safe to say he’s one of the most influential composers of our time.


Grace Design FELiX

DECEMBER 2015: Grace Design FELiX

Grace Design is highly respected in the audio industry for its microphone preamps, converters, and monitoring solutions. I was first introduced to Grace while working with an m201 at a studio in Boulder, Colorado. Certain traits stuck with me — clean, transparent, high headroom, great transient response, and very low noise.

Focusrite Clarett 8Pre Thunderbolt Audio interface

NOVEMBER 2015: Focusrite Clarett 8Pre Thunderbolt Audio interface

While Focusrite is often thought of as one of the premier audio interface companies on today’s market, it got its start as a large format console manufacturer. For much of its long history, Focusrite has been responsible for some of the industry’s most respected and classic microphone preamps…

OCTOBER 2015: ADK Custom Shop Z-MOD Z-251 and T-FET Cremona 251-T

ADK is an American microphone company helmed by collector, connoisseur, and mic expert Larry Villella. Back in 1998, ADK was one of the first companies to introduce great-sounding low-cost import microphones into the mic market, which in turn fueled the home studio revolution.

Roswell Pro Audio Mini K47

SEPTEMBER 2015: Roswell Pro Audio Mini K47

Roswell Audio is a brand-new microphone company whose plan is to offer a full range of high-quality microphone designs. Some of these will be made overseas, while others will use the increasingly common hybrid approach favored by many boutique companies…

Eiosis AirEQ Premium

AUGUST 2015: Eiosis AirEQ Premium

In this review, we will be looking at a unique new take on equalization from the mind of Fabrice Gabriel and his company Eiosis. Fabrice is one of the world’s foremost plug-in designers and circuit modelers. He is responsible for the design of all of the Slate Digital plug-ins…

Eventide UltraReverb

JULY 2015: Eventide UltraReverb

In the world of professional audio effects, Eventide sits squarely at the top. Its history of groundbreaking digital audio equipment stretches back decades to the original Instant Phaser in 1971, with the first digital pitch shifter, 1975’s H910 Harmonizer…

Zoom TAC-2R Thunderbolt Audio Converter

JUNE 2015: Zoom TAC-2R Thunderbolt Audio Converter

Thunderbolt is the high-speed connection protocol introduced on Apple computers in 2011. Now available in two versions, it offers either 10 or 20 Gbps (yes, that’s Gigabits per second) throughput — fast enough to reduce latency on audio connections to unheard-of levels…

Sennheiser MK 8 Condenser Microphone

MAY 2015: Sennheiser MK 8 Condenser Microphone

Sennheiser is one of the longest-standing brands in the pro audio industry, well known for wireless transceivers, headphones, and of course mics. Until very recently the company was mainly known for dynamic mics such as the classic MD 421 and MD 441…

Universal Audio UAD-2 Neve 1073 Preamp EQ Plug-In

APRIL 2015: Universal Audio UAD-2 Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ Plug-In Collection

One of the highlights of Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin interface/DSP Engine (reviewed August 2014) is its Unison preamp technology, also found in the original 8-channel Apollo. Unison uses software coupled with physical hardware to emulate the sound and characteristics of vintage mic preamps.

Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface

MARCH 2015: Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface

Santa Monica-based Apogee has been at the forefront of digital audio technology for 30 years. Since the company’s birth in 1985, it’s gone from building custom filters for early digital tape machines to creating some of the world’s first standalone A/D and D/A converters.

Audio-Technica AT5045 Microphone

FEBRUARY 2015: Audio-Technica AT5045 Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone

Back in May of 2013, I had the pleasure of introducing readers to a cutting-edge microphone from Audio-Technica known as the AT5040. The AT5040 was built from the ground up with a no-holds-barred, “money is no object” philosophy, with the goal of creating a top-shelf vocal mic…

Chandler Limited REDD.47 Abbey Road

JANUARY 2015: Chandler Limited REDD.47 Abbey Road Tube Mic Preamp

In the history of recording consoles, few other audio desks are as shrouded in romance, mystery, and desire as the Abbey Road/EMI Studios REDD.51. Two of these valve-based desks were used in Abbey Road Studios in the 1960s.