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Reviewed: Audient Sono Interface
Audient is a company known for consistently producing high-quality products that push their own boundaries and embrace change while remaining firmly grounded in their history and holding themselves to a high regard. From their large format consoles to the more recent line of interfaces, such as the ID44, Audient produce top quality products in whatever they put together. That is why the Audient Sono, a partnership with cabinet impulse response behemoth Two Notes Engineering, is really a phenomenal leap forward for guitarists that incorporates a multitude of widely used and loved technologies into one easy-to-use box. Featuring two preamps, headphone and monitor outs, onboard EQ and drive as well as an optical input to expand the inputs available on the Sono, this product, while aimed at a specific market, can really be the catalyst for some amazing sounds and recordings.
Reviewed: Aston Stealth Microphone
Aston is a relative newcomer to pro audio and after launching the Origin a few years ago, the brand has quickly risen as a leader in affordable, workhorse microphones used by a huge range of top-level engineers and musicians. The newest addition to this range is the Aston Stealth: a robust condenser microphone with multiple voicing options that run both with and without phantom power. In the box is the Stealth itself, a cutesy little Aston logo pin and an innovatively designed mic stand clip. It took some fiddling before understanding how it works to support the weighty microphone. Aston microphones are built in Britain, and their intuitive design makes them a true workhorse that will be heard on countless records for years to come. Sincerely, they are a legend in the making.
Reviewed: Shure Microphones MV88+ Video Kit
As smartphone camera technology has continued to add more megapixels by the minute, it has replaced handheld cameras. Using an iPhone is now commonplace for interviews, home demos, field recording and most things apart from cinema. Arguably, sound quality has fallen by the wayside, as picture quality blinds us to the comparatively low fidelity sound the miniature microphone provides. If there was to be any brand to save us from this audio muck, it would have to be Shure. The Motiv MV88+ Video Kit is a professional companion to your iPhone recording, providing an excellent digital stereo condenser microphone with accessories to make you a pro out of the box.
Reviewed: Line 6 Relay G10S Wireless
Growing up, wireless guitar seemed like the domain of lame arena rock - nothing was worse than seeing Slash or The Edge wander down their ego ramp into the fervent crowd. For me, that changed seeing guitarists like Omar Rodriguez Lopez. Seeing the visceral nu-punk abandon he whipped his guitar across the stage with offered an appreciation of the true performative freedom it gave. Most, still, are priced out of the market. Line 6 are trying to change this prohibitive cost to offer wireless guitar systems to the fledgling masses with its new Relay G10S.
Reviewed: PreSonus Studio Series USB-C Interfaces
PreSonus are one of the most consistent companies in pro-audio. Since 1995, they’ve been bubbling away at producing products that meet the needs of engineers and musicians of all skill-levels: ranging from budding bedroom producers laying down demos for future hit songs, to professional engineers working in recording and rehearsal studios. In addition to phenomenal, practical audio interfaces in the updated Studio Series, PreSonus is known for it’s FaderPort products, digital mixers and ridiculously popular monitor controllers - the PreSonus Central Station PLUS is almost as synonymous with top-tier recording studios as Yamaha’s NS-10 monitors.
Reviewed: Fender Acoustasonic Series Telecaster
A guitar collection, particularly as a financially unendowed musician, can be a cumbersome and indulgent burden. Even trimming your electrics can leave you with multiple acoustics, lost in alternate tunings and the minutiae of resonance. Fender’s American Acoustasonic Series is a fix-it-all acoustic and electric cross that might be the most 21st century guitar from the manufacturer yet. The Telecaster is the first to get the Acoustasonic treatment, acting as a litmus test for the unprecedented new model.
Reviewed: MarkBass Marcus Miller CMD Amplifiers
Markbass is a company that has produced top-quality bass gear for decades. Their gear ranges from top-tier professional gear used by the likes of Saxon and Randy Jackson, as well as session players for Steve Vai, Slash, Eurythmics and Massive Attack. Their products are used by professionals and amateurs alike; enter the Marcus Miller CMD series of bass amplifiers, a signature series from legendary bassist Marcus Miller.
SVS PB-3000 Subwoofer
The SVS PB-3000 is an 800 watt subwoofer speaker designed for home and professional use. The multitude of connection options make incorporating it into any existing system easy, and the tuning options make it a great professional reference monitor for mixing (or blowing away bands and A&R reps!). Featuring a 13” speaker and dual ports that ensure the speaker can reproduce even the lowest octaves with startling clarity, and even an untuned room can benefit from the low end rumble that you feel as well as you hear. The back panel features EQ, a phase switch and volume on clear, backlit meters. SVS also offer an app that controls these parameters remotely, so you can tune from wherever you’ll be listening.