2020 has not been the year any of us were expecting it to be. Tours and festivals have been cancelled, clubs have closed and musicians the world over have found their plans upended. While the music making world has felt the shockwaves as global culture ground to a halt, one glimmer of positivity has remained – despite the cancellation of trade shows and temporary closure of a lot of shops, it’s actually been something of a vintage year for electronic music gear.
From boundary-pushing synths, to revived classics, cutting-edge production tools to instruments that put a new spin on retro designs, 2020 has seen the launch of some of the most exciting hardware, software and studio gear we’ve tried in years.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a new instrument to explore, taking some time out to re-kit your studio, or dreaming of your next gear purchase once things get back to normal, this year’s FM Gear Of The Year rundown has you covered!
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Drew McDowall – The Coil veteran and art-punk lynchpin sheds light on his projects new and old
Penelope Trappes – The UK-based Australian on how she crafts her intricate and unique soundscapes
The Track: Rich NxT – The FUSE resident and tech house master breaks down his acid-influence track Natural
Classic Album – The Field gives us a track-by-track guide to Looping State Of Mind
Gear Of The Year 2020 – We round-up the year’s bumper crop of music making hardware and software, to bring you our guide to the essential gear you need in your studio for 2021
Producer’s Guide – Get patching with our Moog Matriarch masterclass
Retrospective – In defense of the much-maligned term trip-hop
ALM Busy Circuits System Coupe
Tascam Model 12
Erica Black VCO 2
Leapwing Audio RootOne
Hybrid Beats – We blend and layer acoustic drum sounds with synth percussion for this pack of beats, hits and loops that let you have it both ways
Ring Modulation – Tap into the harsh, metallic sound of ring mod with this pack of creative loops, gritty vocal lines, crunchy beats and odd FX
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!