For much of the past decade a lot of hardware developers, at least the more affordable end of the market, have seemingly been obsessed with recreating the sound of vintage gear. However, after years of 808-alikes and vintage-styled monosynths, things seem to be swinging back toward towards innovation (with the exception of Behringer, of course, who continue their mission to clone every instrument ever released). 2020 so far seems to have been a year of interesting and unique instruments, and even retro-leaning gear like Pol end’s Tracker has put a fresh spin on old ideas.
It’s that sense of innovation we’re trying to tap into with this issue’s cover feature; taking the bread-and-butter theme of beat-making and exploring lesser used ideas and unique modern tools.
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Cut Copy – The Melbourne electronic outfit invite us into the studio to talk about the making of their climate change-inspired new LP
Sylvan Esso – The US electronic pop duo on building their own studio and delving into modular for new LP, Free Love
Hugar – In the studio with the Icelandic ambient musicians and cinematic composers
The Track: Joachim Pastor – The classically-trained French producer breaks down his latest laidback, summery house jam, Right Now
Classic Album – Run The Jewels man El-P breaks down his solo debut Fantastic Damage
Future Drums – Go beyond basic sampling and subtractive synthesis with our guide to lesser-used percussive tools and techniques
Producer’s Guide – Exploring the capabilities of convolution reverb
Retrospective – Exploring the history of broken beat
Sound Design – Craft classic vintage string machine patches
iZotope Stutter Edit 2
Antelope Audio Zen Tour
Denon DJ Prime GO
PreSonus Quantum 2626 audio interface
Ultra Minimal – Strip your sonic palette back to the micro-level with this pack of minimal bleeps, glitchy drums and percussive arp lines
Modular Bass & Leads – Put a little modular weirdness at the heart of your next track with our bundle of patch-tastic loops and lines
Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs, newly updated and expanded for 2020 with over 18GB 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!