REVIEWED: PROPELLERHEAD REASON 9.5
Propellerhead Software has just released the long-awaited Reason 9.5, which finally introduces VST support, opening Reason up to even more users and plugins than ever before. It’s a free update to existing Reason 9 users too, so if you already have Reason you’ve just greatly expanded your creative options. ”We’ve seen some amazing VST instruments and effects that are available in the market, and we simply wanted our Reason users to have access to them without compromising Reason’s unique workflow,” Reason product manager Mattias Häggström Gerdt says. “Reason finds all the VSTs on your computer and displays them next to your other Reason devices. You can simply drag and drop a VST plugin into the Reason rack and get started right away—or you can go as deep as you want and access the CV and audio connections for a truly modular music-making experience.”
REVIEWED: iZOTOPE RX6 ADVANCE AUDIO REPAIR SOFTWARE SUITE
I’ve been through a few versions of iZotope’s award winning audio repair software in recent years. This may not be something that everyone thinks of when setting up their digital audio workstation, as most people concentrate on amassing synthesisers, sound banks, preamps, EQ and dynamic plugins all designed to work at the front end of their audio production. But what iZotope realised some time ago was that there were a lot of issues with recorded audio that often needed to be fixed later when re-recording was not an option. So they delivered us RX audio repair solutions, which have grown over the years to become a production suite of tools that is almost invaluable for post-production sound design and mixing. But with the latest release of RX6 Advanced, the flagship product in the range, there are now even more tools that work well in a studio environment for recording instruments and voices alike.
REVIEWED: THE IMAGINE-LINE FL STUDIO 12.4 DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATION
Throughout the noughties, budding music-makers worldwide found solace in FL Studio’s unpretentious, easy to use layout and affordability. In fact FL Studio, originally released as a 4-track sequencer called Fruity Loops in 1998, could easily claim part responsibility for the rise of bedroom electronic music producers. Fast forward to now, and FL Studio has well and truly grown up to become an all encompassing professional level DAW, without losing its roots.
iZotope Ozone 7 Elements
Ozone 7 Elements is iZotope’s slimmed down, budget and beginner friendly mastering plug-in solution. The idea of a mastering plug-in with very little in the way of technical control over your sound is fairly odd, but actually makes sense in this day and age where automated online mastering services like Landr have flourished. At least with Ozone Elements you have a degree of control and some human ears actually listening to the mix.
iZotope VocalSynth Plug-In
I’ve always wanted a vintage vocoder, like a Korg VC-10 or something, so I was fairly excited to see how a premium modern plug-in meets expectations. VocalSynth is iZotope’s new vocal processing plug-in featuring four re-synthesis engines, a pitch correction engine and five effects modules, designed to help you create everything from subtle harmonies to wild robotic growls.
iZotope Ozone 7 Advanced
IZotope has been at the forefront of ‘in-the-box’ mastering tools since 2002 with their plug-in suite Ozone, responding to demand from a growing scene of bedroom producers, amateur musicians and budding engineers for a more financially friendly way to experiment with the somewhat mystified process of audio mastering. In 2015, now at version 7, Ozone is no longer just an incredibly popular, excellent sounding and user-friendly mastering suite, but a full range of plug-ins for various applications, as well as a standalone mastering app.
First debuting in 2012, Bitwig Studio has slowly been gaining a cult following on the DAW market, primarily taking aim at electronic musicians as an Ableton Live alternative - in fact, the software was in part designed by ex-Ableton software engineers. Booting up Bitwig Studio, it’s immediately apparent there’s a lot of similarities in the two platforms: there is a browser, clip launcher view (called mix view) and arrangement view with each track’s instruments/effects running along the bottom.
iZotope Ozone 6 Advanced Mastering Software Suite
There has always been limited options for high end mastering software suites. In recent years iZotope has become the new name to be added to that very select list. More recently, iZotope products have become readily available in stores within Australia, making sales and support all that much simpler. I got my hands on a copy of their new mastering suite, Ozone 6 Advanced. This is definitely going to change how I approach my plug-in use and how my mixes ultimately come to a final sound.