Review

Reviews

By George Shilling

With many years as a recording engineer and producer George knows the good from the bad. In many cases it's a matter of taste, some prefer one EQ over another but George writes unbiased and objective reviews of the equipment tested to help you discover new or interesting gear.

Warm Audio Bus-Comp Stereo VCA compressor
Aug 23 2022 Stereo VCA compressor
Warm Audio Bus-Comp

Since 2011 Warm Audio of Austin, TX have built up quite a range of studio outboard based on classic designs, marketed at bargain prices. The Bus-Comp is no exception.

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Bettermaker EQ232D Equalizer plugin from Plugin Alliance
Jul 25 2022 Equalizer plugin from Plugin Alliance
Bettermaker EQ232D

Many Bettermaker outboard processors have passed through my studio including the knob-less (but still very physical) version of the hardware EQ232P, with its excellent sonics and clever expansion on the Pultec theme.

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Tone Projects Unisum Mastering Compressor Multiband compressor plugin
Jul 18 2022 Multiband compressor plugin
Tone Projects Unisum Mastering Compressor

Rune Lund-Hermansen is the brains behind Tone Projects – clearly a man of many talents, as for nearly 7 years he was Lead Product Designer for every wine drinker’s favourite phone app, Vivino.

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Bettermaker Bus Compressor Stereo VCA compressor with digital recall
Jul 6 2022 Stereo VCA compressor with digital recall
Bettermaker Bus Compressor

Bettermaker’s new Bus Compressor treads a now familiar path for the Polish hardware manufacturer. They have built a reputation for digitally controlled, recallable, high quality analogue hardware since the EQ230P Pultec-style EQ.

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Leapwing Al Schmitt Signature sound plugin
Jun 26 2022 Signature sound plugin
Leapwing Al Schmitt

Leapwing have scored themselves something of a coup by bagging Al Schmitt’s talents and working with him to make something useful for mixing and mastering engineers.

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Empirical Labs Arouser Compressor plugin
Jun 16 2022 Compressor plugin
Empirical Labs Arouser

Dave Derr introduced his first hardware unit the Distressor in the mid-1990s and scored remarkable success with what was perceived to be a modern advance on classic knee compressor designs like the 1176 and LA-2A.

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Scope Labs Periscope Condenser microphone with built-in compressor
May 31 2022 Condenser microphone with built-in compressor
Scope Labs Periscope

There have been quite a few ‘character’ microphones that provide a non-linear response, e.g. the Bastard BM88. It’s cheap fun for a bit of lo-fi telephoney character if you are going for a wax cylinder sort of sound.

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Eventide H9000 Harmonizer and multi-fx processor
May 15 2022 Harmonizer and multi-fx processor
Eventide H9000

Eventide invented the Harmonizer in the 1970s and have updated the line as technology has progressed. The studio where I started in 1984 had a H910 in each studio, so I have always enjoyed a bit of harmonizing.

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AMS RMX16 500 500 Series digital reverb module
May 5 2022 500 Series digital reverb module
AMS RMX16 500

When I started work at Livingston Studios at the end of 1984 there was an AMS RMX-16 in both studios. This was the only source of artificial reverb other than the EMT140 plates.

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Sonnox Oxford Drum Gate Gate plugin
Apr 27 2022 Gate plugin
Sonnox Oxford Drum Gate

Engineers have been gating drums since the Kepex was introduced by Allison Research in 1970, and apart from the 1982 Drawmer DS201 adding useful key filters, not much new has happened in the world of noise gating, apart from the ‘look ahead’ function afforded by...

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Toneforge Guilty Pleasure by Joey Sturgis Guitar amp simulator plugin
Dec 28 2017 Guitar amp simulator plugin
Toneforge Guilty Pleasure by Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis is an American record producer with a studio in Indiana and a reputation as a leading expert working in the metalcore scene.

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Tim de Paravicini and his 1-inch stereo recorder
Dec 23 2013
Tim de Paravicini and his 1-inch stereo recorder

In the music industry, there are two types of people: those who cannot wait for every new software update and aspire to own every piece cutting edge technology, and those who prefer the tried and trusted, only accepting 'new' when it has really proved itself...

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Audient Zen Analogue recording console
Dec 23 2012 Analogue recording console
Audient Zen

It’s not often you get the chance to review equipment that is named after the editor of the magazine, so the email with the subject “Zen for review” initially led me to some mistaken assumptions.

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AnaMod AM670 Stereo Limiter
Dec 23 2012 Stereo Limiter
AnaMod AM670

So, here we go again with yet another Fairchild 670 recreation. Only, hold on, this one really doesn’t feel quite right. Yes, they’ve made a good stab at the front panel, but this thing is almost as light as a feather.

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AnaMod ATS-1 Two channel analogue tape simulator
Dec 23 2012 Two channel analogue tape simulator
AnaMod ATS-1

AnaMod was founded in 2006 by two industry veterans, Dave Amels (formerly of Bomb Factory, Voce and others) and Greg Gualtieri who is currently president of Pendulum Audio. The company has a unique ethos, with a fascinating approach to design.

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API 1608 16 channel recording console
Dec 23 2012 16 channel recording console
API 1608

The 1608 is a small format recording console based on the 1604 which API produced in the 1970s and early 1980s. Although I have never encountered one in the UK, examples in the USA are still cherished and lovingly restored.

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