The Best of 2017 – The 10/10’s

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2017 was an amazing year for music tech. With countless new improvements and innovations to choose from, we present a selection of our top 10/10 releases from across the year…

best of 2017

[Click each title for the full review]

RME Fireface UFX+


best of 2017

Price £2,220
Contact RME | Synthax Audio UK | 01727 821 870

Though the price tag may shake you, RME’s Fireface UFX+ is undoubtedly worth every penny, and thanks to the addition of TotalMix FX, its applications extend beyond the studio into live mixing.

We Say: “I want one! This is a perfect hub for a pro, futureproof studio. The Fireface UFX+ with TotalMix FX combine to deliver a sublime workflow and crystal audio quality.”

Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 2



Price €599 + VAT
Contact Orchestral Tools | +049 (0) 7665 939 8678

We know at the time of writing that Metropolis Ark 3 has been out for a little while now (we loved it!), but a year on and there’s still so much to love about Ark 2. The shift to much darker sonic palettes and reviewer Dave Gale coming up empty when it came to cons has immortalised it as one of the finest library’s available.

We Say: “This is an exceptional collection of orchestral and non-orchestral instruments, with many, many highlights that could easily make a real difference to your sonic palette.”

Spitfire Audio: Spitfire Symphony Orchestra



Price £1,599 + VAT
Contact Spitfire Audio

In what was, at the time, their most extensive symphonic library, Spitfire Audio created something very special in Symphony Orchestra. Both comprehensive and rooted in British sonority it remains one of the best examples on the market to this day.

We Say: “This is a very fine volume of work, that will perform in all areas. It represents one of the finest in its class available today.”

Cubase 9



Price £468
Contact Steinberg

Though our review of 9.5 is imminent, we couldn’t not mention Cubase 9. Upon release we were blown away by its array of groundbreaking features, easy-to-use workflows and new plug-ins. We don’t want to spoil it, but 9.5 doesn’t disappoint. Stay tuned!

We Say: “Cubase 9 is an elegant and powerful DAW that is a delight to use. The workflow is highly efficient and the interface is beautiful. An exceptional DAW to create inspired music with pristine quality.”

Focusrite Red 8Pre


focusrite red 8pre

Price £3,200
Contact Focusrite

Despited being limited to Mac users and carrying a hefty price tag, Focusrite’s Red 8Pre managed to quash any doubts that may have been harboured against it. Covering almost all interfacing scenarios, reviewer Mike Hillier and MusicTech as a whole were blown away by the creative opportunities afforded us.

We Say: “An absolutely incredible interface, which ensures connection possibilities for almost all conceivable analogue and digital needs.”

Sontronics Mercury



Price £1,349
Contact Sontronics

Considered a classic-in-the-making by reviewer Marc JB, the Sontronics Mercury was a real highlight of 2017. Delivering precision and warmth in spades it becomes easier every time to justify the price tag and dream of adding it to your collection.

We Say: “The Mercury is a classic microphone in the making. The level of detail and warmth in the sound reproduction make this an inspiring tool to use for recording. The sound is subtly driven and open, with a shimmering air that pushes through the mix, the Mercury needs very little signal processing to sound amazing. Sontronics is passionate about its products and the Mercury is a beautifully designed microphone for the modern producer.”

Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mk II



Price SOLO £699 | DUO £899 | QUAD £1,299
Contact Universal Audio

Winner of our best interface in our most recent Gear of the Year awards, the Apollo Twin Mk II combines high-quality interfacing with UA’s stellar plug-ins, boasting endorsements from studios across the globe.

We Say: “With a host of new improvements, the Apollo Twin Mk II is the most complete solution for tracking and mixing on a desktop computer.”

Teenage Engineering P0-32 tonic



Price £85 (case £35) | Microtonic software $99
Contact Sound Technology | 01462 480 000 | Teenage Engineering

Awarded not only a 10/10 but also the innovation of 2017 award, the P0-32 tonic remains a pint-sized favourite at MusicTech. Not only a fantastic portable beat-making companion, it’s “the best £180 you can spend on beats.”

We Say: “P0-32 tonic has certainly added a tonic to our beats in both hardware and software. Separately, the hardware and software is superb. Together, they are unbeatable.”

iZotope RX 6 Advanced


RX 6 Audio Editor

Price RX 6 Advanced £939 | RX 6 Standard £315 | RX Elements £99
Contact iZotope

It’s long been a critically-acclaimed piece of software, but RX’s brilliance truly shines in its latest iteration. The seemingly magical ability to remove not only distortion and clips, but even advanced issues like excessive reverb make it a must-have – if you can stomach the price tag.

We Say: “Now an essential tool for both music and post production, iZotope’s RX 6 has matured to be a dependable and highly useful audio editor.”

Melda MTurboReverb



Price £149/$179
Contact Melda Production

Lush and creative reverb, ‘one button’ simplicity and infinite programmability, the MTurboReverb is as versatile as it is ambitious – a plug-in that as Marc JB points out will result in “instant reverb delight.”

We Say: “A stunning-sounding reverb with lots of character, MTurboReverb is highly usable in the mix and quick to navigate. Look under the hood and there’s an infinitely programmable engine for to immerse yourself in reverb algorithm design.”

Chandler REDD Microphone



Price £4,399
Contact Nova Distribution | 0203 589 2530

Eye-watering price aside, Chandler’s REDD Microphone simply can’t be beat and was a favourite amongst our readers when it picked up the ‘Highly Commended’ award at our most recent Gear of the Year awards.

We Say: “The Chandler REDD Microphone is one of the most glorious-sounding microphones we’ve had the pleasure of testing. But such quality comes at a price.”

Focal Shape 65



Price £1,200
Contact Focal | SCV Distribution | 03301 22500

Laying claim to the ‘Highly Commended’ award in last year’s Gear of the Year, the Focal Shape 65 are an impressive set of monitors, a deal sweetened by their incredibly low price when compared with their main competition.

We Say: “The Shapes are a step up from the cheaper Alphas. In fact, they’re a step up from much more expensive options. Quite superb.”

Dynamount X1-R


x1-r

Price £699
Contact DynaMount

Whilst some may consider this an expensive and unnecessary luxury, we were enamoured by the X1-R. With precision control and versatile mounting options we think you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll enjoy using it.

We Say: “Do yourself a favour and get a DynaMount… I’m pretty sure you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one.”

Reason 10



Price €349
Contact Propellerhead Software

An incredible reimagining of a well-loved DAW, our readers ‘Software Product of the Year’ and just months after 9.5 was awarded a 10/10, Reason 10 knocked it out of the park. Boasting the added VST support, a score of new features, including the monstrous Europe synth we can’t praise it enough.

We Say: “Reason 10 gives the DAW a nicely rounded set of fresh beats, electronic extremes, acoustic sounds and experimental dreams. You want more? You got it.”

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