MusicTech 204: The ultimate gear guide for 2020

In this issue, we round up the very best gear for a new decade of music-making.

Make some space in your studio – because there’s some new gear coming your way very soon! The annual NAMM show is our chance to feast our eyes on a massive range of fresh music-making technology, as well as get the lowdown on what else is coming in the year. 2020’s show was no exception, with hundreds of new products all vying for our (increasingly short) attention.

This month we’ve highlighted what we think is the very best tech we saw; from synths, hardware, software, plug-ins, accessories and beyond, our cherry-picked selections should give your wallet plenty of food for thought. And, yes – it might be the case that you need to exchange some of that older gear to make room for the next generation. Speaking of new tech, this issue we also speak to the inventive co-founder of Ninja Tune records – and one half of Coldcut – Matt Black. He tells us about some of the brand new tools he’s been working on, including collaborating with Erica Synths on the Zen Delay, as well as his innovative career.

We’ve got more tutorials than ever before this month, with the welcome return of our Pro Tools series and the beginning of a new range of FL Studio tutorials – one of the world’s most popular DAWs. Selections from the test-bench this month include the AMS Neve’s RMX16 500 Series reverb, Sonnox’s Oxford Drum Gate and Waldorf’s dexterous Kyra, amongst many others.

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We’ve also launched a brand-new podcast this month, where we speak to a range of creatives and studio professionals. It’s been a busy month, but now it’s time to settle down and focus on making the best music we can. Let’s get started!

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 MusicTech 204 includes:

  • New Year, New Gear – A truckload of brand-new tech from the first NAMM show of the 2020s
  • The Joy Of Pads – How the synth pad can be the perfect production device to increase your track’s emotional intensity
  • InterviewsØrjan Nilsen, one of Norway’s finest DJs talks to us about his career and the shifting sands of the industry; Matt Black, Coldcut legend and founder of Ninja Tune, speaks to us about his illustrious career; Space Dimension Controller takes us on a trip behind his new album; James Hurr on what makes him tick and how the magic unfolds in his London Studio
  • Tutorials – Using Automation modes in Pro Tools; Ambient shimmer pads in Logic Pro; Introducing keyboards in Ableton Live; Score editing in Cubase; Using Presence XT as a sampler in Studio One; Making old-school hip-hop beats in FL Studio
  • Reviews – We get hands-on with the Korg Krome EX, Softube Console 1 Fader, Novation Launchpad X and Launchpad Mini Mk3, Arturia Pigments 2, AMS Neve RMX 16 500 Series, and more
  • DVD – 3GB of video tutorials, workshops, software plug-ins and samples including Cableguys CrushShaper (demo), BABY Audio Super VHS (demo), Acon Digital Verberate Basic 2 (freeware), Subliminal Atmospheres (samples), and bassline programming technique in Live (tutorial)

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