In an age when production software is more powerful than ever, there’s still something to be said for shutting down the computer and going full hardware with your music making. From the tactile feel of twisting dials and bashing buttons, to the sonic unpredictability that comes from running sound through an elaborate audio chain, there’s something about working with ‘real’ instruments and effects that you just can’t recreate with software and controllers.
In this issue’s bumper cover feature, we delve into several potential setups to get you inspired and show you some ways you can create electronic music fully freed from the shackles of a DAW. Plus we pick up some advice from artists who are taking software-free routes to recording and performance.
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Claude VonStroke – The Dirtybird boss is one of the most in-demand artists in the US. We grab him in a rare moment of studio downtime to find out how he creates his distinctive take on classic house
Luke Slater – We catch up with one of the UK’s most influential techno producers
Gui Boratto – The Brazilian wonder tells us how he conjured up his acclaimed new album, Pentagram
The Track: Novelist – The rising grime MC and producer invites us into Abbey Road to talk through his track Stop Killing The Mandem
Classic Album – Django Django break down their self-titled debut LP
Ditch The Laptop! – A jumbo-length guide to living the hardware-only dream, featuring setup strategies, artist tips and more
Modular Monthly – The basics of Wavefolding with DPW’s WF-1 module
Toolkit – Everything you need to know about wavetable synths
Moog DFAM percussion synth
Tiptop Audio Z-DSP MkII
Presonus Studio One 4
Korg Volca Mix
Roundup: Creative Reverb Effects
Sound Devices MixPre-10M
Creative Kicks – Quality kicks are a staple of all electronic genres, and we’re giving you a bumper bundle stuffed with hits to suit all your needs
New Age Synths – An awkwardly-named genre, but home to some killer ambient synth sounds. Think everything from Enya to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 12GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!