February 2011 In This Issue

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Competition

Win Avid Music Production Studio Worth 4,440 GBP

Deadline: 2011-03-11

This month, SOS readers can win a fantastic selection of Avid goodies including a copy of Pro Tools 9, the Complete Production Toolkit 2, a new Mbox interface and an MC Control V2. Phew! And it's all worth over £4,000 — just enter before the 11th March 2011 for your chance to win.

Reviews

2Box DrumIt Five

Electronic Drum Kit

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Fancy a set of electronic drums that lets you create your own kits? Swedish company 2Box's debut offering could be just the thing...

Acoustic Energy ProSat & ProSub

2.1 Monitoring System

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Acoustic Energy look to strengthen their foothold in the studio monitoring market with this impressive nearfield system.

Avid Pro Tools Mbox

USB Audio MIDI Interface

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Now that Pro Tools fans can choose any interface they like, do Avid's latest Mboxes offer enough to keep their users in the fold?

Big Fish Audio | Rotation Hip Hop

Sample Library

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There can be no doubt that, as a genre of music, hip-hop has overcome its street‑based roots to become a major...

Fostex PM0.4n

Desktop Monitors

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Paul White checks out a solution to those studios limited on space (and finances) in need of a good set of monitors.

Line 6 Pod HD500

Guitar Amp & Effects Modeller

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Line 6 were amongst the first to create realistic-sounding modelled guitar amps and effects. Does their latest offering keep them at the front of the pack?

Little Endian SpectrumWorx 2

Modular Effects Processor

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If you like weird and wonderful effects, you need to enter the spectral domain — and SpectrumWorx 2 will take you there in some style.

Manley MicMAID

Mic & Preamp Switcher

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The patchbay remains the cornerstone of most commercial studios, but using one to patch mics into different preamps can be risky — which is where the MicMAID comes in...

Novation Ultranova

Synthesizer

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The Ultranova may be a return to Novation's roots, but it's still a very forward-looking synthesizer...

Royer Labs R101

Ribbon Microphone

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High-quality ribbon microphones don't come cheap, but the new R101 brings Royer quality within reach of the project-studio recordist.

Sample Magic | Soundtrack & Chill

Sample Library

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Sample Magic are now well established in the sample library world. While they are perhaps best known for their dance‑ and...

SE Electronics Voodoo VR1 & VR2

Ribbon Microphones

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SE have aimed to combine the smoothness of ribbon mics with the high-end extension of a condenser. What witchcraft is this?

SE Electronics Voodoo VR1 & VR2 | Media

Ribbon Microphones

These audio files accompany the SE Electronics Voodoo VR1 & VR2 review that featured in SOS February 2011.

Spitfire Percussion

Sample Library

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The British are back! Spitfire Audio's orchestral percussion library flies the flag for the UK.

SSL X-Patch

Studio Router

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Creating complex routing chains in a hybrid DAW/outboard setup presents its own set of problems — to which Solid State Logic offer this solution...

Starr Labs Ztar Z7S

MIDI Controller

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Fed up with the vagaries of pitch-to-MIDI guitar, but don't have time to learn to play a keyboard? The Ztar offers clean, keyboard-like MIDI from an instrument that guitar players can relate to instantly. It could be just what you need...

Synthogy Ivory II Grand Pianos

Virtual Instrument

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Synthogy's Ivory piano library was met with enormous acclaim on its release. Can its successor improve on that legacy?

The Music Producer's Handbook

Book & DVD

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Matt Houghton has a read of a manual which gives all kinds of tips to those looking to get into music production.

Vital Arts Media | Plectrum

Sample Library

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Now, here's a first. I was so taken with some of the sounds on an album I'd bought (the excellent Leylines, by AES...

Wave Alchemy | Drum Tools: Minimal Techno & Tech House

Sample Library

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Drum Tools has been produced and recorded by Wave Alchemy's Daniel Byers and Steven Heath. The two have all the gear...

Waves CLA Artist Signature Collection

Plug-in Suite

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Not all of us can afford to have our tracks mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. But Waves' latest plug-in bundle might just be the next best thing...

People + Opinion

Daniel Lanois & Mark Howard: Recording Neil Young's Le Noise

Interview | Producer

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Neil Young has made his share of experimental albums, but his latest might be the most extreme, thanks to Daniel Lanois' revolutionary approach to live dub mixing.

David Greeves: There's No Wrong Way To Be Right...

Sounding Off

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Former SOS member and ex-editor of Guitar Buyer magazine David Greeves shares his thoughts on striving for record perfection.

Esquire Magazine: Ultimate Home Studio

Feature

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A no-expense-spared makeover of a Hollywood house naturally requires a top-quality home recording studio — especially if putting it together can help raise $7.5 million for charities...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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Zooropa * Fractal * James Parker * The Ridings * Mundane Sands * Give Chase * Anton Evans * Coral Caves * Lads O' The Fair * Floodplains

Taylor Swift Speak Now

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

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Taylor Swift has become country music's biggest mainstream star, thanks in part to a stellar production team. Producer Nathan Chapman and mixer Justin Niebank lift the lid on Swift's latest hit album, Speak Now.

These Spoolish Things

Leader

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Paul White welcomes the development of tape emulation plug-ins.

Technique

2011 Preview

Apple Notes

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2010 was a big year for Apple — so what treats are in store for 2011?

Audio Editing In DAWs

Tips & Techniques

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Today's multitrack software packages give us endless flexibility to manipulate the audio we've recorded, but the possibilities can be confusing to begin with. We introduce the tools of the audio editor's trade...

Automation Modes

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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Have you ever wondered how best to use the different automation modes in Cubase? Then read on...

Creative Editing

Tips & Techniques

Whether it's getting rid of the audio you don't want or improving the audio you do want, skilled editing can be the key to making your multitrack project sound polished.

Drum Instruments

Reason Tips & Techniques

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Discover how to tackle Reason's over-sized gorilla of a drum instrument.

Elastic Audio = Springy Sound

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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Elastic Audio in Pro Tools can do more than time-stretching: it can also be your route to some killer pitch-based mixing techniques.

Green Day: 'Basket Case'

Classic Tracks

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'Do you have the time to listen to me whine?' asked Green Day in the opening lines of their song 'Basket Case'. For 16 million people, the answer was apparently 'yes'...

Join The Dots

Logic Tips & Techniques

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Ever thought of asking 'real' musicians to play your arrangements? Then get to grips with Logic's Score editor.

Mix Rescue Studio Rescue!

Studio SOS

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Our Mix Rescue expert dips his toe in the Studio SOS waters this month, as he visit's a reader's studio, sorts out his monitoring, and takes him through strategies to improve his mixing.

Mix Rescue: The Hiram Key

Mixing & Recording Advice

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Taking on a new genre is a great way to test your mixing skills, as we found out when we took on this goth track by The Hiram Key...

Mix Rescue: The Hiram Key | Media

Mixing & Recording Advice

These audio files accompany the Mix Rescue article that featured in SOS February 2011.

Route Master

Reaper Tips & Techniques

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Get your audio applications talking to each other with Reaper's ReaRoute.

Track Freeze

Ableton Live Tips & Techniques

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It's thermal underwear time as we look at the vagaries of track freezing in Live.

USB Data Transfer

PC Notes

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You may be surprised at the data-transfer capabilities of your USB ports. Here's how to find out what you're dealing with...

Using Aux Sends & Returns

Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

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Don't save your sends and returns just for global effects — DP's aux track system has other tricks up its sleeve...

X1's GUI

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar X1 offers a very different user interface experience to previous versions — so here's a guide to the new GUI.

Music Business

Off The Record

Music & Recording Industry News

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Two grassroots organisations show how their focus on the local music scene is helping studios survive in the new economic climate.

TV Music From The Inside

Notes From The Deadline

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What would happen if composers were paid to pitch their ideas? It might just be the end of Western civilisation...

Video Media

5 Best Buys

The Gear To Get You Filming Fast

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New to the world of video production and unsure what gear to buy? Our guide to the five best options in three categories will get you started.

Adam Powell: How I Became A Music Video Director

Interview | Director

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Adam Powell now directs videos for some of the UK's top talent — but it all started when he made a skate video with a borrowed VHS camera.

DSLR Bot

iOS Camera Control App

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With an infra-red transmitter and DSLR Bot, your iOS device can become a remote control for video recording with Canon EOS cameras.

Panasonic Lumix GH1

Hybrid Still & Video Camera

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Now available at a greatly reduced price, Panasonic's video-capable still camera is well worth a look for low-cost HD video production.

Sound Advice

Q. Can I get rid of string buzz?

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I've got a recording of an acoustic guitar that I'm loath to re‑record, but there are several sections in which string buzz is...

Q. Can you explain audio interface input sensitivity?

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My interface allows me to switch line‑input sensitivity between +4dBu and ‑10dBV. My calculations suggest that should be a ...

Q. If speakers have to be 'anchored', why don't mics?

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As I understand it, loudspeakers create sound and momentum, which needs to be absorbed in order for the sound quality to be...

Q. Should I be mixing in mono?

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I've read a lot of articles about the benefits of mixing in mono. So is pressing the mono button on your DAW's stereo output...

Q. What does the 'virtualization' PC BIOS setting do?

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I was recently adjusting the BIOS settings on my PC, hoping to improve performance, and noticed the following option: '...

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