All prices are manufacturers’ suggested retail price. Toolbox material is provided courtesy of Harmony Central, Inc., and is used with the express written permission of the publisher.

Alesis iMultiMix 16 USB

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What Digital mixer and computer audio interface.

Why Fuses professional-quality mixing, three-band EQ per channel, guitar/line inputs, and iPod recording in a single package.

Specs 100 studio-grade 28-bit digital effects, limiter, and control wheel transport controls for iPod. Includes Steinberg Cubase LE 4 and Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition recording software. Also plays music from iPod for use as a source or backing track for live performance.

Price $799 retail


TC Electronic PowerCore 6000

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What External DSP accelerator for computer-based DAWs.

Why Not only does it let you run TC plug-ins without burdening your CPU, but this package includes all the effects from TC’s renowned System 6000, the flagship dedicated effects unit used in high-end studios.

Specs Eight Freescale DSP chips. SRAM-based memory increases performance of reverbs and delays. Runs as AU plug-in on Mac; VST on PC.

Plug-ins VSS3 Stereo Source Reverb, MD3 Stereo Mastering, BrickWall Limiter, NonLin 2 Stereo Effects Reverb, DVR2 Digital Vintage Reverb, UnWrap Stereo to Surround Conversion, TapFactory Multi-tap Delay.

Price $3,495 retail


DiscMakers Reflex Daisy Chain Series

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What DVD/CD duplicator tower.

Why It’s both high-speed and scalable. Connect up to hundreds of towers together—all operated by a single source.

Specs The seven-drive units have a throughput of 56 DVDs or 105 CDs per hour; 10-drive units can turn out 80 DVDs or 150 CDs per hour. Each 320GB hard drive stores up to 63 full-size DVD images. Lets you mix seven- and 10-drive models.

Price $TBA


Waves Tony Maserati Collection

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What Audio processing plug-ins developed with Grammy-winning recording engineer Tony Maserati.

Why Not only do they help you get Maserati’s production sound, they’re simple to use because each plug-in focuses on a specific type of instrument.

Plug-ins VX1 Vocal Enhancer, DRM Drum Slammer, ACG Acoustic Guitar Designer, HMX Harmonics Generator, B72 Bass Phattener, and GTi Guitar Toner. All are native processing only.

Price $800 retail, also included as part of Waves Mercury Bundle at no extra cost.


Audio-Technica AT8022

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What Stereo condenser microphone.

Why Records a pristine stereo soundfield in a compact housing.

Specs Coincident X-Y capsule arrangement. Supplied with two cables for use with either pro or consumer gear. Switchable lowfrequency rolloff and battery or phantom power.

Price $499 retail


LaCie 4big Quadra

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What Four-bay RAID.

Why Large capacity, speed, and advanced security.

Specs 2TB to 6TB of storage, four hotswappable disks for non-stop data access, configurable as RAID type of your choice. Includes Genie and Intego Backup Manager Pro. Apple Time Machine compatible. eSATA, Firewire 400/800, and high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity.

Price Starting at $749 retail


McDSP Emerald Pack 3.0

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What Audio processing plug-ins.

Why Whether it’s vintage preamp and compressor emulation or a virtual analog synth, McDSP’s plugins are regarded as some of the best-sounding in the business for Pro Tools users.

Plug-ins Analog Channel, Channel G, Chrome Tone, CompressorBank, DE555, FilterBank, FutzBox, MC2000, ML4000, NF575, Revolver, Synthesizer One.

Price $2,795 (HD), $1,495 (Native)


Ableton Suite 8

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What World-changing, live performance-oriented DAW software.

Why Everything you need to make a song or score, warp audio as though it were Silly Putty, make beats, DJ, and generally experience music production bliss.

Specs The tools and features in Live 8 plus a wide range of synths, a powerful sampler, electric and acoustic drums, mallets, and numerous sampled instruments.

Price $699 retail

Presonus Studio Channel

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What Channel strip.

Why Combines Class-A tube mic preamp, VCA-based compressor, and three-band parametric EQ.

Specs Tube gain and tube drive. Precision analog VU meter for gain reduction and output. EQ Pre/Post compressor switch. 80Hz high pass filter. 20dB pad. Phase invert.

Price $359 retail/$299 street

Ultrasone Edition 8

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What Really high-end headphones.

Why Listen to a pair like we did, and you’ll know.

Specs Closed-back. Interior ear cups are covered in Ethiopian sheepskin, which provides the most isolation of any leather. Outer ear cups are covered in Ruthenium, known for its brilliant metallic sheen and durable properties. MU-Metal shielding (ULE technology) reduces the amount of radiation directed to the listener by up to 98%, as compared to conventional headphones. Leather bag for storage and transportation.

Price $1,499 retail


Sonar 8 Power! by Scott R. Garrigus

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What Book.

Why Provides detailed training for Cakewalk’s Sonar 8 music recording software.

Specs Walks you through all of the features of the software with step-bystep instructions and exercises.

Price $49 retail



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What Two-way, bi-amplified studio monitor with 5" woofer.

Why Other than acoustic instruments, your monitor speakers are the only part of your studio system that you actually hear — so it’s a worthwhile investment to get good ones.

Specs Balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS as well as unbalanced RCA inputs. Level control. Magnetic shielding for use close to TVs and displays. Neoprene rubber pad on bottom provides acoustic isolation and increases stability when speaker is placed on a speaker stand or console top. Four threaded mounting points in industrystandard pattern for “flying” from walls.

Price $TBA


Steinberg Cubase 5

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What Multitrack recording and MIDI sequencing DAW software.

Why Steinberg invented the VST format, and the benefits are taken to new heights here.

Cool new stuff VariAudio and PitchCorrect provide integrated intonation editing for monophonic vocal recordings. New tools for creating beats, generating rhythms, and working with loops. Includes the first VST3 convolution reverb and improved automation for more dynamic mixes.

Price $TBA


Shure X2u XLR-to-USB

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What Signal adapter.

Why Lets you use your most trusted microphones for all your digital recordings.

Specs Plug-and-play USB connectivity compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, and Mac OS 10.1 or later. 48V phantom power for condenser mics. Monitor mix control blends live mic signal and playback audio. Mini 1/8" headphone jack with volume control. Integrated preamp with mic gain control. Zero-latency monitoring for realtime playback and multitracking without disorientation. Resolution of 16 bits and up to 48kHz.

Price $129 retail