Gear Of The Year 2019: The best DAWs, hardware instruments, monitors and accessories

It's the awards season once more and in this final year of the decade we have a bumper crop of them to give out.

2019 was a fantastic year for music production gear. So much so that we have had to up the number of categories in our regular Gear Of The Year Awards to 14. We now have everything from the Best Accessory to Best Soft Synth and you’ve been voting in your droves for the winners over the past few weeks.

Without further ado, let’s welcome to the best gear of 2019. Ladies and gentlemen, raise your glasses…

Product of the year: Hardware and software

Dreadbox Nyx 2

Hardware product of the year: Dreadbox Nyx 2

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A completely unique synth walks away with one of our biggest prizes this year. The Dreadbox Nyx V2 is the latest product from the Greek company who have been making striking looking gear for the last few years, not least of which was the original Nyx, which was a masterfully made ambient-producer’s delight. Version 2 takes its cues from Dreadbox’s Erebus 3 and has a raft of connectivity and patching options, with 30 ins and outs in total. It’s the kind of synth you could lose yourself in, with an incredible long reverb.

Ableton Live 10.1

Software of the year: Ableton Live 10.1

This was a hard one to call, but Live’s 10.1 update certainly improved the workflow significantly enough to re-enforce Ableton’s dominance in the creative DAW market. Live 10.1 adds a host of new features including user-customisable Wavetables, enhanced and more specific automation allowing the user to finally be able to type specific values. 10.1 also includes reorganised effects and support for VST3, as well as more thorough export options.

Check out the full list here

Best DAW

Steinberg Cubase Pro 10

Winner: Steinberg Cubase Pro 10

Highly commended: Reason Studios Reason 11

Also nominated:

  • Ableton Live 10.1
  • Bitwig Studio 3
  • Logic Pro X
  • Avid Pro Tools 2019
  • Korg Gadget for Mac
  • Steinberg Nuendo 10

Check out the full list here.

Best soft synth

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Kilohearts Phase Plant

Winner: Kilohearts Phase Plant

Highly commended: Audiaire Zone

Also nominated:

  • Arturia Pigments
  • Brainworx bx_oberhausen
  • Reason Scenic
  • Native Instruments Massive X
  • Softube Monoment
  • UVI FM Suite
  • Rob Papen Vecto

Check out the full list here.

Best hardware instrument

Arturia Micro

Winner: Arturia MicroFreak

Highly commended: Korg Minilogue XD

Also nominated:

  • Waldorf Quantum
  • Modal Electronics Skulpt
  • Studio Electronics Boomstar MKII
  • Dreadbox Nyx 2
  • Modal Electronics CRAFTsynth v2.0
  • Behringer Odyssey
  • Behringer MS-101
  • Novation Summit

Check out the full list here.

Best virtual instrument

Spitfire Audio LCO Textures

Winner: Spitfire Audio LCO Textures

Highly commended: Native Instruments Komplete 12

Also nominated:

  • EastWest Voices Of Opera
  • Best Service Dark Era
  • Slate and Ash Auras
  • Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 4
  • Sonokinetic Indie
  • UVI Drum Designer
  • Arturia V Collection 7

Check out the full list here.

Best outboard gear

Black Lion Audio Seventeen

Winner: Black Lion Audio Seventeen

Highly commended: Cranborne Audio 500 Series

Also nominated:

  • Thermionic Culture The Kite
  • Warm Audio WA273-EQ
  • OTO Machines BOUM

Check out the full list here.

Best controller

Nektar Panaroma T4

Winner: Nektar Panorama T4

Highly commended: Native Instruments KK M32

Also nominated:

  • zeroDebug touchAble Pro
  • Akai Pro Force
  • StudioLogic Mixface
  • Pioneer DJ Toraiz Squid

Check out the full list here.

Best software effect/utility

iZotope Ozone 9

Winner: iZotope Ozone 9

Highly commended: Oeksound Spiff

Also nominated:

  • Blue Cat Audio Late Replies
  • Denise Audio The Sweeper
  • Universal Audio Lexicon 480L
  • Mastering the Mix BASSROOM
  • iZotope Nectar 3
  • PROCESS.Audio Sugar
  • Isotonik Studios Modular Series
  • Apogee FX Rack
  • TC Electronic Finalizer
  • Mixed In Key Captain Melody
  • Antares Auto-Tune

Check out the full list here.

Best modular gear

Qu-Bit Electronix Scanned

Winner: Qu-Bit Electronix Scanned

Highly commended: AJH Next Phase

Also nominated:

  • Qu-Bit Prism
  • AJH V Shape
  • AJH Synth Fixed Filter Bank 914
  • Erica Synths Black Stereo Delay

Check out the full list here.

Best interface/mixer

Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Gen

Winner: Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Gen

Highly commended: Universal Audio Apollo X

Also nominated:

  • SSL SiX
  • Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2
  • Steinberg AXR4T
  • Roland Rubix 44

Check out the full list here.

Best innovation

Spitfire Audio Orbis

Winner: Spitfire Audio Orbis

Highly commended: Loopmasters Loopcloud 5

Also nominated:

  • Steinberg SpectraLayers Pro 6
  • Nugen Audio SigMod
  • iZotope Neutron 3 Advanced
  • VSL Ensemble Pro 7
  • Olympia Noise Patterning 2

Check out the full list here.

Best microphone

Aston Microphones Stealth

Winner: Aston Microphones Stealth

Highly commended: Warm Audio WA-251

Also nominated:

  • Tul Microphones G12 Retro
  • Chandler Limited TG Microphone
  • Audix DP7 Drum Microphone Pack
  • Golden Age Premier GA-251
  • LEWITT LCT 140 AIR
  • Sontronics Corona

Check out the full list here.

Best monitor/headphones

Winner: JBL 306P MkII

Highly commended: Neumann NDH 20

Also nominated:

  • Brainwavz Audio HM100
  • Focal Listens
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
  • ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5
  • JBL One Series 104
  • IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
  • Quested S8R and V2108

Check out the full list here.

Best accessory

Loopmasters Loopcloud 5

Winner: Loopmasters Loopcloud 5

Highly commended: Audient Nero

Also nominated:

  • ISOAcoustics ISO Pucks Mini
  • Kali Audio Mountain View
  • Olympus LS-P4
  • Push Turn Move

Check out the full list here.

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