In a Gear of the Year first, we asked you for your definitive product of the year. Here’s the top hardware and software of 2017 according to you…
Hardware Winner – Genelec The Ones
Genelec’s The Ones are the only product to get two awards in one year (quite possibly ever), but in terms of music technology – the very name of this magazine – they are packed full. They have several plusses over other monitors: an incredible bass response for the size, a very wide listening sweet spot and the fantastic SAM Smart Active Monitor System that allows the monitors to self calibrate according to the room they sit in.
Essentially, they can flatten their responses if they’re coloured by poor room acoustics, offering you accuracy no matter where you put them. They might be pricey (they are pricey), but monitors really don’t get any better than these.
Andy Jones said that: “What’s immediately striking is that sweet spot: or lack of it. We’re talking about a wide sound stage that is beautiful and accurate. “Over years of testing monitors, I do seem to find myself ducking, crouching and swinging left and right to find ‘that’ sweet spot. On listening to these, I’m immediately transfixed by the sound, even though it’s transparently obvious I’m not sitting in the (traditionally) right position.
“The Ones have effectively taken all the best bits from Genelec’s history – and there are a lot of amazing bits of that to choose from – and moulded it all into a speaker range that is second to none. They’ve been a nightmare to review as there is so much technology behind them to explain, but the bottom line is that Genelec has refined, engineered and processed its history into a range of incredible speakers.”
Software Winner – Propellerhead Reason
Contact via website
While Reason didn’t win the Best DAW category, when we asked what your favourite software of the year was, the Prop’s now-legendary software won your votes out of every other piece of software by a country mile.
This may be because while it might not be everyone’s first-choice DAW, loads of people use it as their second, or simply as a fantastic suite of instruments in itself. Reason is a highly versatile creative tool for composition in pretty much any genre you choose to use it, and besides, with the two major updates Reason has had this year, it will likely be a strong contender for the first-choice DAW in 12 months’ time.
The first of these came at version 9.5, when VST integration was introduced to the software. This might not seem like major news – after all, many DAWs can run VSTs – but Propellerhead had resisted it to this point, preferring its third-party instruments to be created as Rack Extensions.
Now, though, Reason can run any and every VST, making it one of the most flexible and wide-ranging DAWs that you can buy. A few months later and Reason 10 was revealed to the world, with two new synths, plus a bunch of sample-based ‘natural’ instruments and completely new and updated beat samples. Both updates were very different and both added a lot to Reason’s capabilities – hence, we think, its win here.
“Reason 10 gives the DAW a nicely rounded set of fresh beats, electronic extremes, acoustic sounds and experimental dreams,” said a (perhaps unintentionally) poetic Andy Jones. “You want more? You got it.”