The October issue of Sound on Sound magazine is out now. It is available here.
Sarah Belle Reid: A lauded synthesist and an inspiring educator, Sarah Belle Reid’s techniques are innovative, explorative and experimental in all the right ways. As well as working ably with sounds from within her systems, she is known for fusing acoustic sounds, namely trumpet and the human voice, with modular synthesis to astonishing effect.
PWM Malevolent: I’m a bringer‑togetherer,” Paul Whittington told our esteemed Editor In Chief Sam Inglis at this year’s Superbooth while exhibiting the Malevolent, the debut instrument from his new company PWM. Whittington was referring, specifically, to his previous work as a product manager at M‑Audio and then at Focusrite Novation, where he worked on an array of hit products including the Keystation, Oxygen, Axiom and Venom controllers, and the MiniNova, Launchpad and Launchkey respectively.
Obeheim OB-X8: Back in the distant past, I owned an Oberheim OB‑X. It was a bit tatty and wasn’t my favourite synth, so I swapped it at a famous London music store for a Prophet T8. With its wide, weighted, velocity and poly‑aftertouch sensitive keyboard, this was far more suited to my needs, so I never regretted the trade. Nevertheless, there was something a bit special about the OB‑X that I only appreciated when I no longer had it.
Majella Implexus: the Implexus is a desktop analogue synth that combines elements from the synthesis schools loosely labelled as West Coast and East Coast. But never mind that for the moment — just look at it! On arrival the Implexus immediately got the household vote as the most beautiful object in the studio. Chunky steel‑shafted knobs and switches sit on a warm, smooth aluminium wrap‑around panel, finished with handmade oak cheeks. Glowing orange radial indicators accompany the primary knobs and selector pots. It’s gorgeous.
Roland Juno-X: The Juno‑X is again based upon the BMC chip and is again akin to a digital photo album of Roland’s Greatest Hits, this time offering three flavours of Juno (instead of virtual analogue models of the Jupiter‑8, Juno‑60/106, JX‑8P and SH‑101) alongside a modified XV‑5080, RD piano, Vocoder and generic Zen Core synthesizer. Behind the buttons that select these, you’ll find the legend Preloaded Models and, during the course of the review, it became possible to replace the installed instrument‑specific engines with your choice of synth engines from the Zen universe including, somewhat perversely, the Jupiter‑8. However, in parallel with a newer and more powerful Jupiter‑X engine that is restricted to installation in the Jupiter‑X hardware, the new Juno‑X engine is exclusive to the Juno‑X hardware.
In this issue:
Reviews: Oberheim OB-X8 synthesizer [front cover] • Apogee BOOM interface • PWM Malevolent synth • Focal ST6 Twin6 monitors • Pulsar Massive EQ plug-in • Roland Juno-X • sE Electronics DynaCaster mic • Audeze MM-500 headphones • Steinberg SpectraLayers Pro 9 • Universal Audio SD-1 & SP-1 mics • Goran Grooves Handy Drums VI • EastWest Forbidden Planet • Noise Engineering Plugin Bundle 1 • Manley Reference Silver mic • IK Joe Chiccarelli Vocal Strip • Hammond SK Pro 73 • Majella Audio Implexus — and lots more!
Techniques + People: Stuart White: Recording & Mixing Beyoncé • Multi-stage Compression • Inside Track: YoungBoy ‘Loner Life’ • Modulation Effects: A Primer • The Constance Demby Mystery • How I Got That Sound: Tyler Bates • The Decca Ring Cycle: Then & Now • Modular Profile: Sarah Belle Reid • Talkback: Juan Sebastián Rodriguez • DAW workshops: Studio One, Cubase, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Logic Pro — and plenty more!