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Best New Gear: 5 Releases You Need to Know in October

Best New Gear: 5 Releases You Need to Know in October

Every week there are dozens of new music products announced. The gear industry is moving faster than ever and there’s always exciting new equipment on the horizon. But keeping up with it all can be exhausting, especially if you don’t check in regularly. That’s why we’re bringing you the top highlights and most notable new releases every month.

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In this edition, reverb plugins, mobile DAW apps, legendary microphones and more.

October is coming to an end, but it was a big month for new gear! We saw several high profile releases from some of the biggest manufacturers in the industry.

Some of these developments came as a total surprise, while others were too juicy not to leak in the music tech press.

Whatever your style of music creation, there’s something on this list that’s bound to make onto your gear radar for the fall.

Let’s get started.

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1. Strymon BigSky Plugin

strymon bigsky plugin

Strymon’s large format reverb pedal has been the king of creative hardware reverb for nearly a decade now.

Plenty of producers have adopted it as a key part of their workflow using reamping techniques to incorporate it into a DAW mix.

That’s why it was so shocking when the California company released the BigSky plugin in mid-October.

Promising to bring the exact reverb algorithms from the beloved pedal, the BigSky plugin has the makings of an instant hit among producers.

Promising to bring the exact reverb algorithms from the beloved pedal, the BigSky plugin has the makings of an instant hit among producers.

Preview of youtube video

2. Ableton Note

ableton note ios app

Another surprising and tantalizing release came this month from Ableton.

Live 11 is the DAW of choice for many modern electronic and hip-hop producers, but it’s been slow to adapt to the rising mobile production trend.

That’s all changed with Note, the new iOS app from the makers of Live.

Note promises flexible idea sketching with Push-style sequencing and even an onboard sampler.

It’s the perfect companion for Live, with seamless integration between studio and mobile workflows.

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If you’ve ever felt a moment of inspiration slip away while you’re outside the studio, Note could be an option to consider.

3. Fender American Vintage II series

fender american vintage ii

Fender’s latest approach to its guitar-building heritage continues with the American Vintage II series. Photos of the new line leaked earlier in October with details confirmed soon after.

With new iterations of its most classic instruments promising vintage correct specifications, many vintage guitar lovers are excited.

A number of classic eras are represented with selected favorites from the CBS and transition periods like the 1975 Telecaster Deluxe and the 1966 Jazzmaster.

Ableton Note promises flexible idea sketching with Push-style sequencing and even an onboard sampler.

The American Professional II line boasts retro appointment options including 7.5” fretboard radius, vintage-style hardware and nitro finishes.

4. Arturia MiniFreak

arturia minifreak hybrid synth

Arturia’s MiniFreak is the scaled-up successor to the wildly popular MicroFreak hybrid hardware synth.

With a highly flexible digital oscillator section and all-analog multimode filters, MiniFreak is a sound design playground.

The 6-voice polyphonic instrument is capable of multiple synthesis types including wavetable, FM and even Karplus-Strong physical modeling!

It also includes several of the famed Mutable Instruments open source oscillator styles from the brand’s archives.

5. Sony C-80

sony c-80 professional microphone

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Sony is far more well-known for its consumer tech products than pro audio gear.

But the Japanese electronics giant has produced a number of notable production pieces, including the C-800G microphone.

The C-800G is one of the pricier non-vintage microphones on the market today, with new units coming in at just under $11K.

Famous for its smooth yet airy sound capable of rendering soaring vocal performances without any sign of harshness, the C800G is a highlight in many pro mic lockers around the world.

If you’re looking to capture some of its legendary sound on a budget, the new Sony C-80 is worth a look.

Promising to bring the same design lineage of the C800G in a more affordable package, the C-80 could be the missing link for emerging producers.

Your new gear obsession

Every musician knows that great gear can be a source of inspiration.

Whether you’re looking to expand your toolset or level up your core sound, check back with LANDR to get the best updates on music equipment releases that matter.

Michael Hahn

Michael Hahn is an engineer and producer at Autoland and member of the swirling indie rock trio Slight.

@Michael Hahn

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