IK Multimedia's Syntronik is a virtual synthesiser that allows you to tap into 17 famous synthesisers, including several models by Roland and Moog. Syntronik uses advanced sampling techniques combined with a new hybrid sample and modelling synthesis engine. Add to that a new analogue modelled filter section, a very user-friendly arpeggiator and the option of having four instrument layers, each occupying their own zone of your keyboard. With over 2,000 preset sounds covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesisers and you know that Syntronik is a music 'system' that you simply must have.
What’s in a cable? If you believe the audiophile, there’s an awful lot going on in an audio cable. Audiophiles are happy to shell out well over €1000 for an RCA interconnect. They claim to hear a difference with any lead that’s cheaper. But none of these chaps has ever succeeded to pick the expensive cable out of a bunch of cheap ones without knowing which is which.
German manufacturer Delock makes cables, switches, splitters and adapters for all kinds of usages, including video and audio. I was intrigued by their inexpensive ultra-slim HDMI cable that has the same specifications as Atomos’ coiled HDMI 2.0a cables. A month of a lot of trying out this cable with different monitors and recorders later I’m pretty certain this Delock cable is a great cable if you want to record in 4K/60fps.
The iRig Pro I/O is the successor of the iRig Pro. It’s slightly bigger but offers higher specs and more professional capabilities, including headphones monitoring and a dedicated power supply that charges your iPad while recording.
Suites for mastering audio exist in all shapes and forms. IK Multimedia developed a mastering suite together with Gavin Lurssen, the owner of a multiple Grammy award winning mastering studio. It looks exactly like the real thing and is based on Lurssen's studio equipment. The app annexe DAW plug-in incorporates the best practices of the studio.
If you use your iPad for audio recording or music making with any of the power consuming iRig devices, IK Multimedia has a solution for you: the iRig PowerBridge, a continuous charging system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch while connected to digital iRig accessories. Unfortunately, some people do not fully understand how the iRig PowerBridge works, resulting in disappointment. iRig PowerBridge is not a pure iOS device charger, it’s different.
RIVER, a 500W-rated, 5.5kg portable charging station, back-up generator and emergency battery developed and designed by EcoFlow, can be used both indoors and outdoors. The Li-Ion battery can be recharged via solar charger, car charger or wall charger. The latter two are included when you buy a RIVER. The new device, which is slated to begin shipping in June, is a dream for documentary makers.
One of the best audiophile players for the Mac is Audirvana Plus. Many, myself included, would say it is the best — period. Audirvana Plus 3 is the newest version of this audiophile software and it is the first to include the ability to play MQA encoded files. But whether you’ll hear a difference is an entirely different matter, as is the question whose interests MQA is set to serve.
The MasterCheck Pro plug-in analyses loudness for audio that is delivered through loudness normalised channels. It helps mastering loudness normalised audio. Nugen Audio came up with MasterCheck Pro because loudness normalised audio makes it crucially important to understand how your music will reach the consumer. If you do not take this into account, there is a good chance that it will not sound as you originally intended.
The Bechstein Digital Grand is an exceptionally versatile instrument and plug-in. Its tonal character is said to be close to the acoustic model. While playing with high polyphony throughout all registers, each note remains clearly defined within the arrangement. The player software frustrates.