MusicTech 213: Inside The Avalanches’ studio

Also inside this issue: how to make synth bass sparkle and an in-depth guide on compression.

There was a time, not too long ago, when the release of a new record was an event of gargantuan importance, and worthy of marking in your calendar. With each passing year, it seems that new albums are to be expected at a nearly monthly rate – competing as they are, in the overflowing streaming domain.

There are still those artists, though, who operate on their own steam, releasing albums-as-statements only when they’re ready. Nobody defines this ethos more than sampling supremos The Avalanches.

This month’s cover stars spent a legendarily long amount of time crafting their immaculate sophomore record Wildflower after the 2000 release of era-defining debut Since I Left You, and now prepare to unleash their third offering – the highly anticipated We Will Always Love You.

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Once again, Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi have built new songs on the foundations of what went before, but this time they’ve largely discarded their trusty Akai samplers of old, and have taken the plunge into a largely in-the-box workflow. We speak to the pair at length and discover more about their improved processes, newfound momentum and the record’s cosmic direction.

Also this issue, we get deep and dirty as we explain how you can build your own powerful synth basses. Following our guidance, you’ll be granted impactful low-end in no time. As always, we have a range of DAW-specific tutorials, too.

Under review this issue we place Waldorf’s Iridium under the microscope, test a new batch of studio gear from the likes of Telfunken, Akai and Black Lion Audio, as well as installing a fresh harvest of plug-ins from Waves, UVI and Baby Audio. We also find the time to chat with MPG Engineer of the Year Caesar Edmunds and inventive techno artisan BEC. I hope you enjoy this issue.

MusicTech 213 includes:

  • The Avalanches – The kings of sampling detail the technical secrets behind their majestic third album
  • Making synth bass sparkle – Want to sculpt sublime synth bass and ensure that its frequencies don’t collide with those of your kick drum? Pore over our in-depth guide
  • Compress to success – To master compression, you’ll have to get your knees up and understand the difference between range and hysteresis. We’re here to help
  • Interviews – Brighton-born techno star Bec on her new label and her Berlin studio setup; Promising engineer Caesar Edmunds on his work at London’s Assault and Battery studio
  • Tutorials – Using melodic step sequencing in Logic; Mastering in-depth mastering in Live; Managing shortcuts and macros in Cubase; Getting creative with loop-processing in Studio One; Designing neurofunk-fit bass sounds in FL Studio
  • Reviews – We get hands-on with the Waldorf Iridium, Black Lion Audio Eighteen, Bettermaker EQ232D, Pioneer CDJ-3000, Eventide Blackhole and more
  • DVD – 3GB of video tutorials, workshops, software plug-ins and samples including WA Production ComBear (freeware), Plugin Alliance Bettermaker EQ232D (demo), United Plugins Transmutator (demo), Equinox Sounds Cinematic MIDI Pianos (samples), Native Instruments Cremona Quartet (demo), and more
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