Toolbox September 2010

The latest music production gear, from the September 2010 issue of EQ.

By Mike Rozkin

All prices are MSRP unless stated otherwise


Akai Pro SynthStation

What Music production app for both iPhone and iPod Touch

Why Built around Akai’s history in synthesis and drawing on the company’s newest MINIAK synth, the SynthStation app sounds great and offers wide-ranging sonic flexibility with its virtual analog synthesis.

How Contains over 50 drum kits with all the classic sounds of the past, legendary MPC samples, and most popular modern samples. Full mixing section provides control over the individual synth and drum parts. Through a WIFI connection, download both an audio (.WAV) and MIDI file of the performance for further editing or uploading online.

Price $9



Denon DJ DN-X1600

What Digital DJ mixer

Why Versatile, cost-effective mixer for professional club or studio use, as well as for party DJs and amateur spinners.

How Offers superior sound quality, utilizing a 32-bit floating DSP and a 32-bit D/A converter. Ideal Grounding Construction protects the mixer from external noise. Fourteen digital effects can be freely assigned to any channels. Effects include Delay, Echo, Ping-Pong Delay, Trans, Flanger, Filter, Phaser, Reverb, Echo Reverb, Loop, Reverse Loop, Pitch Shift, Beat Breaker, and Beat Scratch.

Price $1,299



Native Instruments Session Strings

What Versatile virtual string ensemble for Kontakt 4

Why Provides a full set of optional Motown versions for all included sounds, utilizing a special sonic treatment that authentically recreates the distinctive and highly sought-after vintage string sound of the legendary soul recordings from the ’60s and ’70s.

How Recreates a string ensemble comprising four violins, three violas, two celli, and two double basses. Animator is a powerful function that can be engaged seamlessly during play to transform incoming notes into virtuous staccato, spiccato, and pizzicato chords and arpeggios, with the timing and groove easily adjustable by the user, while maintaining natural legato articulation at the same time. An integrated studio-grade convolution reverb also provides a variety of completely realistic room ambiences.

Price $119



Audio-Technica ATH-M10

What Professional monitor headphones

Why Ideal headphone monitoring solution for project studios, home studios, and critical music listening at a very accessible price point.

How Deliver exceptional clarity, comfortable lightweight design, and a natural, accurate frequency response ideal for mixing and monitoring. Closedback padded around-the-ear ear cups provide maximum acoustic isolation and long-wearing comfort. Features include 40mm drivers, providing a natural, balanced frequency response and a comfortable, lightweight, adjustable headband.

Price $59



TC-Helicon VoiceLive Touch

What Vocal processor and looper

Why Delivers premium quality vocal effects and VLOOP, an incredible performance vocal looper. Thanks to the integrated mic stand mount, it sits precisely where it’s needed for total hands-on control on the mic stand.

How Includes effects made famous by VoiceLive 2 including HardTune, µMod, tap delay, reverb, harmony, doubling, and transducer. Instant touch interface with a bright, easy to read scrolling display. Global Tone feature tailors adaptive EQ, compression, and de-ess to your voice. Includes eight voices of NaturalPlay harmonies controlled by guitar, MIDI, or USB/aux input. Voicing buttons offer instant harmony arranging, ingenious design allows mic attachment and desktop use for easy access, talk button bypasses all effects so you can talk with the audience, and 25 favorites allow you to store and recall your customized effects quickly.

Price $695



Blue Pro Drum Kit Kit

What Three Blue mics for recording drums

Why Inspired by the legendary three-mic technique for recording drums made famous by bands like The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and professional engineers.

How Custom-made ATA flight case with a padded interior houses the two Dragonfly microphones, the Mouse microphone, and shock mounts for each. The Dragonfly was created by boosting the upper bass frequencies to help thicken up typically thin signal sources. This, coupled with a slightly lowered midrange and an extended top end, helps cymbals to be recorded with a live, smooth timbre. Filling in the deeper bass frequencies, the Mouse microphone handles loud signal sources such as the kick drum.

Price $1,999



Marantz Professional PMD661

What Compact digital recorder

Why Direct result of feedback from users in the field, working in an array of recording environments in various vertical markets such as broadcast, government, faith, and education.

How Features include MP3/.WAV (BWF) recording, with files saved directly to SD/SDHC memory cards, 44.1/48/96kHz sample rate selections, in 16- or 24-bit quantization, switchable balanced XLR mic/line inputs with +48V phantom power, S/PDIF digital input, built-in stereo condenser microphones, easy-view OLED display, easy-to-use multi-function interface with improved navigation, 1/4" headphone jack with independent level control, built-in stereo speakers, battery-powered operation via four AA Alkaline, providing over five hours of typical operation.

Price $799