The 8 Best Wavetable Synthesizers 2021

Wavetable synthesis is a technique used in certain digital music synthesizers to produce natural, note-like sounds. An existing instrument’s note can be sampled and parsed into a sequence of wavetables. Wavetable synthesizers differ from subtractive, additive, and FM/AM synths. In wavetable…

The 8 Best Synthesizer Apps For iOS Mobile 2021 [FREE & PAID]

Making music on the go has never been easier! We’ve already covered some of the best DAWs for iOS and Android, and now it’s time to take a look at best synthesizer apps to go along with them. Mobile synthesis…

Best Open And Closed Back Studio Headphones in 2021

Studio headphones are an essential piece of equipment to have on hand, generally falling into two broad categories: closed- and open-back. Closed-back headphones provide the greatest isolation with some sacrifice to sound quality. Because they isolate the listener from the…

5 Best FREE VU Meter Plugins in 2021

Before people started working in-the-box, VU meters measured the average level of a signal. You’d see them on consoles and outboard gear for measuring input or output level as well as gain reduction on compressors. The default digital meter is…

12 Best Analog Summing Mixers in 2021

A summing mixer is a very interesting, if not often overlooked or misunderstood, piece of gear. Like most pieces of hardware, summing mixers vary in mileage; some have no more than a few knobs, while others have a slew of…

The 12 Best UAD Plugins in 2021

Universal Audio has a decades-long reputation as one of the premier manufacturers of pro audio equipment. Bill Putnam started the company in 1958 and was a pioneer his entire life. Putnam designed many products under different companies throughout the course…

Neumann TLM 102 vs Neumann TLM 103: Comparison

Neumann is synonymous with exceptional recording quality. Founded by Georg Neumann in Berlin, Germany in 1928, the company has been making the world’s preeminent microphones for decades. It all started with the CMV 3, or the ‘Neumann Bottle,’ which was…

9 Best Mellotron Plugins / 2021 [Free & Paid]

When the original Mellotron debuted in 1963, it was a groundbreaking new instrument. The range of sounds you could get from a keyboard were limited in the days before digital synthesizers, but the Mellotron introduced impressive new technology. Today, we’re…

Which Free Autotune Plugin Really Works?

Antares Audio Technologies introduced their proprietary Auto-Tune software in 1997. The purpose was to correct off-key pitches in real-time for perfectly tuned vocals or instruments. Autotune is a colloquial term now, frequently understood by artists as a catch-all for heavily…

Best Vocoder Plugins 2021: Fun Vocal Effects

A vocoder is an effect we’ve heard in music from the ’70s to the present day. It’s frequently described as the ‘robot voice’ heard in songs like “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys. Like everything else, vocoders have gone software in the…

Types of Audio Compressors and Their Uses

There are 5 primary types of audio compressors from the analogue world that software emulates. Different hardware makes use of certain internal components and designs for various styles of compression. If you’ve only ever used plugins, you’d be totally forgiven…

Dexed VST | Free Yamaha DX7 Plugin

Dexed VST by Digital Suburban is a free software emulation of the coveted Yamaha DX7. The first successful digital synthesizer ever, the DX7 changed the course of modern synthesis. Free VST Plugins: Dexed Dexed VST is a multi-platform, multi-format plugin…

Audio-Technica AT2020 vs AT2035: Which Mic Is Better?

Audio-Technica has a long standing history as one of the most trusted sources for consumer and professional audio equipment. From turntables and cartridges to headphones and microphones, A-T’s product range is as diverse as it is high-quality. For those looking…

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins

A transient shaper lets you control the attack and sustain of a signal. Unlike a compressor, they do not affect the level or the entire envelope of a sound. Transient shapers (also called ‘designers’) can increase or decrease the attack,…

Squarp Pyramid Review: 64-Track Sequencer

The Squarp Pyramid Mk3 sequencer is considered ‘the perfect brain for your musical setup, from studio to stage.’ It combines a powerful 64-track sequencer, a looper, a rhythm generator, a real-time effects processor, a MIDI controller, and an I/O interface.…

Sausage Fattener | All-In-One Saturation/Dynamics Plugin

Production duo Dada Life teamed up with Tailored Noise to release Sausage Fattener 10 years ago. Over time it’s become a cult classic in the plugin world, known both for its performance as well as its humorous name and interface. Don’t…

Best Headphones for Music Production 2021

Finding the right pair of headphones for music production can be tough. There are so many choices that if you ask engineers what their favorite headphones are, you’ll probably get different answers from each one. We’ve done our diligence to…

Sonnox Inflator Review: Loudness without Compromise

The Sonnox Inflator plugin has been around for almost two decades. It’s sort of a mysterious desert island tool for many engineers, somewhere in between a compressor and a limiter. The Inflator is able to increase perceived loudness, and it…

Apollo Twin X vs MkII: What’s the Difference?

Universal Audio is one of the most famous names in all of recording. Founded by Bill Putnam in 1958, the company has been at the forefront of technological advances for more than 60 years. If you’re thinking about adding a…

RE20 vs SM7B: Battle of the Broadcast Mics

Today we’re looking at two competitors, the RE20 vs SM7B. Both are celebrated mics, often used similarly for radio, podcast, and voiceover. That’s not all they can handle, though, with the RE20 becoming a a favorite on low-end instruments like…

Cytomic The Glue: Best SSL Bus Compressors?

Cytomic The Glue is an affordable SSL-style bus compressor plugin. The plugins gets its name from the SSL hardware’s famous ability to ‘glue’ mixes together. Even though there are tons of SSL bus compression plugins on the market, Cytomic makes…

Kaotica Eyeball Review: Is It Worth It?

The Kaotica Eyeball is a microphone isolation ball with an integrated pop filter. It’s a big foam sphere you slide over the microphone capsule to protect it from reflections. The Eyeball intends to keep untreated room sound out of your…

PreSonus FaderPort: Does Your DAW Need One?

The PreSonus FaderPort gives users tactile control over features in their DAW. With transport buttons and a single fader, it’s main use is for writing automation in a hands-on way. Control surfaces like these bridge some of the gaps between…

The Audio Mixer: Key Features & Functions

At the most basic level, an audio mixer combines multiple signals and routes them to a common output for recording or amplification through a sound reinforcement system. “Signals” are those sounds captured by microphones or received from electric instruments. Also…

Aphex Aural Exciter | Breathing Life into Recordings

The Aphex Aural Exciter is one of the most recognized exciter effects. Its main job is to add a bit of top-end sheen to a signal while imparting some subtle harmonic distortion as well. Lots of engineers like it on…

Is Waves Vocal Rider the Solution to Levels?

Vocal levels are one of the most important things to get right. Even with all the compressors in the world, nothing compares to putting in the work and riding the fader — automating the levels in each part of the…

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor is nothing short of a modern classic. The thing is a monster, equally recognized by its imposing looks and its premium sound. For engineers who need unrivaled dynamic control, the Shadow Hills gets the job…

Softube Saturation Knob | Free Plugins

Softube Saturation Knob has been around for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any less great than it was when it first came out. This plugin from Softube is easy to use, sounds great, and best of all,…

Vocaloid 5: Virtual Singers in Your DAW

Vocaloid is a very unique type of voice synthesizer software. Initially not meant to be a full commercial product, research on its technology began in 2000. Yamaha then got involved during the development process, and the first version of Vocaloid came out in…

SurferEQ by Sound Radix | Adaptive Pitch-Tracking EQ

SurferEQ 2 by Sound Radix is a genuinely innovative equalizer plugin. It’s been around for a while now, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive today than it was at release. Sound Radix incorporated real-time pitch-tracking technology to completely…

Monitor Isolation Pads | Home Studio Accessories

Monitor isolation pads are a small but important addition to any home studio arrangement. In this article we’ll look at what they are, whether they’re 100% necessary, and how you might make some of your own! What are monitor isolation…

9 Best Saturation VST Plugins Available 2021

Saturation is the secret weapon for adding some grit back to pristine digital recordings. Whether you just want to add a bit of body and richness to an instrument, or make it unrecognizable with blazing distortion, saturation is one of…

Avid Pro Tools First | Free DAW Overview

Avid Pro Tools is the industry standard. It’s the platform for virtually every studio because it excels at tracking, editing, mixing, and production. Pro Tools First provides an introduction to the gold standard DAW without committing to a pricey monthly…

RC-20 Retro Color Review

RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio is a popular creative effects plugin. With its multiple parameters, you can quickly add character and vintage vibe to any sound source in your mix. RC-20 Retro Color Overview The idea behind Retro Color…

Flux BitterSweet v3 | Free Transient Designer Plugin

The first transient designer came out in the late ’90s. It was a whole new concept that left lots of people wondering whether it was a compressor, or a noise gate, or something else entirely. The real answer is the…

PreSonus vs Focusrite Audio Interfaces 2021

An audio interface is one of the first things you’ll buy for your home studio. Typically two inputs are enough for the majority of home recordings, and there are tons of affordable entry-level interfaces. In terms of PreSonus vs Focusrite,…

Slate Trigger: Industry Standard Drum Replacement

Drums are difficult to mix. Just the sheer number of mics creates unique challenges we don’t encounter with other instruments. This is probably why there are so many plugins dedicated to drum mixing; and Slate Trigger tops the list as…

IEM vs Earbuds – What’s the Difference?

Technology moves fast these days. Everyone has a personal listening device in their pocket, and with those come a slew of choices for how to get that sound to your ears. IEM (short for in-ear monitors) vs earbuds appear fairly…

Neural DSP Quad Cortex: Next Generation Modeling

The Neural DSP Quad Cortex is the most hyped piece of gear for guitarists right now. Neural have already garnered praise for their high-quality plugins, and their first foray into hardware appears to be a game-changer. Neural DSP Quad Cortex…

Tyrell N6 Review: The Best Free Synth?

The Tyrell N6 is a free software synthesizer designed by u-he founder Urs Heckmann. A “compact, sporty synth,” Nexus 6 boasts a huge array of classic analogue sounds in a streamlined, intuitive interface. How the Tyrell N6 Was Born Tyrell…

A Short History of the Vocoder

The vocoder has been around for a very long time… In 1938, Homer Dudley at Bell Labs invented it to reduce the bandwidth of speech transmission for telecommunications. In other words, it was originally intended as a voice codec for audio…

Seventh Heaven Reverb | Convolution Reverbs

LiquidSonics Seventh Heaven reverb is a plugin reproduction of the Bricasti M7 hardware unit. The company is known for their superior convolution modeling, which Seventh Heaven has in spades! Seventh Heaven Reverb: A Convolution Masterpiece Convolution digitally simulates an actual…

Flanger vs. Phaser: What’s the Difference?

Two of the most common modulation effects are flanger vs. phaser. We’ve heard both all over various recordings, and they do have a similar sound. This lends itself to some confusion, but if you know the subtle differences between each,…

Audient Nero Desktop Monitor Controller Demo & Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway As you know we love Audient at Produce Like A Pro and they've recently announced that they have a new monitor controller out (Nero) but there is only one in America! Today I'm sitting with my good…
Black Box HG-2 Review | High-End Tube Saturation

The Black Box HG-2 is a hardware unit designed to add saturation, harmonics, natural compression, and increased RMS for mixing and mastering. In one tool, it accomplishes what would normally require multiple stages of processing. HG-2 exists as a highly detailed plugin…

Room EQ Wizard | Free Acoustics Software

Room EQ Wizard (REW) is free room acoustics software for measuring and analyzing room and loudspeaker responses. The analysis helps you optimize your studio by finding the best spot for the speakers and listening position. Shooting the room gives you…

Best EQ Plugins in 2021 [Free & Paid]

Equalization is one of the most powerful tools we have as mixers. It can make instruments sound better, make instruments sound different, carve out space in a mix, add clarity, remove muddiness, and so much more. In that sense, the flexibility of…

SSL Fusion: The Vintage Drive You Need?

Founded in 1969, Solid State Logic is renowned as one of the finest manufacturers of high-end consoles and recording equipment in the world. In the ’80s, their famed 4000 E series console set the benchmark for recorded music, becoming a…

Plate Reverb Plugins vs. the Real Thing

On one side is the real EMT 140 plate reverb unit: a 600-pound, 8′ x 4′ behemoth introduced in 1957 as one of the first kinds of artificial reverb. On the other is a wide variety of plate reverb plugins…

Are these the Best Value Small Diaphragm Mics? (Only $149!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway Hello everybody! This year at NAMM we visited with our good friends at Lewitt and they showed us some brand new Microphones the LCT 140 AIR & LCT 040 MATCH. - They're finally coming out! One great thing…