Computer Music issue 211 - Modular Synthesis - December 2014

VIDEO for EVERY TUTORIAL, 40+ VST/AU plugins for FREE, over 800 samples and more, with Vault download for whichever format you choose.


GOOGLE PLAY (Android, Chrome for PC/Mac)
ZINIO (PC, Mac, Android,iPad)
(NOTE: Technimatic video only available with Print & Apple Newsstand editions)


Get unlimited potential in synthesis, sound design and effects processing with our huge modular cover feature. We're exploring the anything-goes world of digital modular music making, and we've teamed up with software giants XILS-lab to bring you an awesome modular synth to start your journey with. We'll open your eyes to seemingly limitless sonic possibilities, and we'll give you everything you need to do it today - whether you're patching your first sound or you're looking to dive in at the deep end, we'll show you how in over 20 videos!

Over 22 pages, you'll learn how to:

  • Get started with this issue's free modular synth, XILS 3 CM
  • Patch everything from basic sounds to complex timbres
  • Build an entire track using only one modular synth and a sequencer
  • Explore other instruments with huge flexible capabilities
  • Make your own custom effects using Native Instruments' Reaktor

…And a lot more

Get your head in the game right now with a quick look at one of the tutorial videos from this huge feature


No modular masterclass would be complete without a modular synth to get you in the experimental mindset, so we've even got you one of those! XILS 3 CM is a beautifully created tribute to the EMS VCS 3 modular system, made famous by the likes of Pink Floyd and Roxy Music. Check out the full spec of your new favourite plugin.

To demonstrate the versatility of XILS 3 CM, we got in the modular mindset and used it to make every single part of an entire track - find out how we went about doing it in the full article, and check out the finished track in the video below.


• Our modular focus continues as we jump into Native Instruments' Reaktor 5. It's not just your synthesis chops that will benefit from getting into the modular workflow - over five videos, we've put together a custom-made delay effect, and you can build your own along with us.

• We'll give you the essential knowledge required to make your own awesome effects, and you can take from there as far as you want. Check out how we get started by making a basic stereo widener.


• Halloween may be behind us, but it doesn't mean you can't scare your listeners silly using some of these 938 pro-quality samples in your tracks. They're free with this issue, and they've been specially made for us, so you won't find them anywhere else.

CM211 horrorscape samples

CM211 horrorscape samples


• Take Ableton's DAW out for a night on the town! We'll show you how to bring your arrangements into Live's session view ready for a performance. Not content with that, we'll give you the knowledge you need to get your session set up for live tweaking using MIDI, give you top advice on the dos and don't of playing it out live, and show you how to impress the punters with some live audio and MIDI recording.

• We've poured years of Ableton Live experience into these guru tips and videos - here's a taster of what to expect

Catch up with TECHNIMATIC in the studio in our PRODUCER MASTERCLASS video***

• Join the top dogs of liquid DnB in their London studio. In this 92-minute masterclass, Technimatic show us how they made Night Visionusing Logic Pro and Reason - see the first half of the in-studio video below and get the rest in Computer Music 211. (***This video available only with Apple Newsstand and Print editions)


• Having trouble livening up your tracks? Get the rhythm flowing with our ten top tips for percussion parts. From snappy rhythmic ideas to multilayered percussion ensembles, you'll come out of each of these ten videos with the inspiration to inject a groove into every track you make. Here's one to get you in the mood - ever fancied making your own DIY percussion? In this video, we show you how to turn a rough-and-ready home recording into a useable top layer.


  • The Radiophonic Workshop:The 'godfathers of British electronica' have reformed and are touring with an impressive show of legendary soundtracks, backed by their epic history of sonic innovation;
  • Kirnu:We talk to Arto Vaarala, the programmer and head of the company who brought you the awesome Cream CM arpeggiator (free with CM210);
  • Apollonia: The electronic threesome let us in on their five top-rated bits of music software.


  • Propellerhead Reason 8
  • FabFilter Pro-Q 2
  • iZotope RX 4
  • Cableguys VolumeShaper 4
  • Zynaptiq Unchirp
  • Audio Damage Basic
  • Acustica Audio Blue EQ

PLUS 16 more reviews


• Every issue of Computer Music comes with CM Plugins, an exclusive collection of pro-quality VST/AU instruments and effects for PC and Mac. Check out our full CM Plugins list and the CM Plugins FAQ for more info.


***Producer Masterclass video is not currently downloadable. Apple Newsstand readers can watch it directly inside the app via internet streaming. Print edition includes Producer Masterclass on the DVD. Other digital formats inc. Zinio & Google Play do not include Producer Masterclass video.

cm211 is on sale now in the UK, Apple Newsstand and Zinio. Overseas dates for print edition are roughly: USA + 4 weeks after UK / Australia +8 weeks / Europe +2 weeks / South Africa +6 weeks / Canada +4 weeks

See more back issues in our cmbackissueslist

Computer Music

Computer Music magazine is the world’s best selling publication dedicated solely to making great music with your Mac or PC computer. Each issue it brings its lucky readers the best in cutting-edge tutorials, need-to-know, expert software reviews and even all the tools you actually need to make great music today, courtesy of our legendary CM Plugin Suite.