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Valve Capacitor Microphone
Paul White tests AKG's new budget studio valve mic to see whether it's really possible to build a quality tube capacitor mic for under £1000.
You might think you can't afford 32 inputs and eight busses — but a look at this cost-effective console might just change your mind. Derek Johnson goes on the busses...
DJ Looping Sampler
Boss's popular 'Doctor' range of inexpensive and useful studio gear is now over 15 years old, but remains very much alive, and the Dr Sample SP202 is the latest newcomer, offering quick and easy sampling for DJs or beginners in the field. Chris Carter gives it a full physical...
Is the dbx 160s pure technology, a work of art, or a little of both? Paul White puts it to the test.
Tube Mic Preamp
Can an expensive valve microphone preamp like this one really make that much diference to the quality of your recordings? David Mellor finds out.
Digital Recording & Editing Environment (Preview)
Pro Tools moves up a bit (or eight) and Mackie's dedicated hardware controller for the system finally arrives. Mike Collins gets an advanced viewing.
Digital devices need synchronisation just as much as analogue ones, and this new offering from Digidesign aims to be a one-box solution for most audio and visual sync requirements. Mike Collins says it's about time...
Paul White tries out a new range of European software plug-ins with stylish interfaces and innovative features.
MIDI + Audio Sequencer
The latest version of this popular audio sequencer sees Emagic's answer to competitor Steinberg's VST built-in effects. But there's rather more to this significant upgrade than that, as Paul White reports.
64-note Polyphonic Sampler
Emu's latest sampler release is a new budget module to replace the ESI32. But with recent price drops from Akai, and Yamaha's return to the sampling fold, have the company done enough to fend off the competition? Simon Trask spends some quality time with the ESI4000 and finds out...
PCI Hard Disk Recording System
when it comes to computer audio editing, the user interface is extremely important. Having physical controls to grab hold of has already give Ensoniq a lot of advance publicity for their Paris hard disk recording system. Martin Walker plugs in, turns on and, for once, slides up and down as well.
Why are CD recorders like buses? Paul White investigates.
Digital Multitap Delay
The world of multi-effects might be generally interdisciplinary, but Derek Johnson finds that there'll always be room for a specialist.
Analogue Synth Module (Retro)
Not all analogue classics have keys. Simon Lowther goes all gooey over an early module that packed in more features than its moderate size would lead you to expect, and left a legacy still discernible in modern synth design.
If you own a VS880, you can already record, edit and produce a stereo mix of your masterworks, all with out leaving the 880's tape-like hard disk recording environment, but now Roland have added the ability to make a CD master in the same way. Paul Nagle goes for the burn.
If you want to recreate the sound of a particular hall or studio live room, why not capture its essence and then use this to treat your music? Sonic Foundry's new software makes it all possible. Martin Walker samples the results.
Wavestation Sound Cards; Speaker Stands; Footpedals
Three more products reviewed by the SOS team.
Quantum Mix Compact MIxer
We all know there are lots of compact mixers on the market — but then lots of people need a compact mixer, and SoundTech's 16-channel Quantum Mix is priced for mass appeal. Mike Crofts looks before he leaps.
Viscount were there from the very beginning of the budget effects revolution, and with the EFX100 they hope to give the cash-starved masses a further option. Christopher Holder finds out whether the EFX100 holds its own in the bustling budget marketplace.
MIDI Data Filer
There are still plenty of people who just won't have a computer in the studio, but nevertheless need some way of saving MIDI data. Nicholas Rowland checks out the successor to the venerable MDF2.
People + Opinion
Interview | Artist
Sometimes it's easy to forget that home studios packed with synth and samplers aren't solely the preserve of the dance fraternity. British soul artist Ola Onabule does all his recording and the managing of his own label from his Brixton home. Christopher Holder finds himself at the end of the (Victoria) line.
Did you spot the rather unlikely recording setup in a recent sci-fi blockbuster? Paul Farrer did...
Feature | Tips & Tricks
Your recording's complete, packaged and ready to shake the world. So what do you do about it? Big George looks at step one in the promotion merry-go-round.
Recoil: Alan Wilder
Anyone in any doubt as to the popularity of Depeche Mode should see this man's studio. Alan Wilder, formerly the programming powerhouse of the group, and now striking out on his own, has poured the profits of his years with the Mode into this astonishing home setup. Here he talks to Bill Bruce about the studio, his new album, and his days with Depeche.
Martin Russ indulges in some post-Expo analysis after a visit to the Apple event of the year, and takes a look at a new Mac-compatible operating system, BeOS.
PC Musician Hardware Update
If you thought the MMX processor was still the last word in new technology, prepare to boldly go where your PC has never gone before. Martin Walker looks at the many new families of PC chips, and explains their relevance to the musician.
Many of us can now afford the once-unthinkable luxury of making our own CDs, for one-off music demos, mass CD duplication or general data storage. But a few of us know the full story behind the numerous 'Book' standards governing the kind of data that can be stored on a CD. Mike Collins colours by numbers...
Customise Your PC; Yamaha Software
Martin Walker customises his display, makes more noises with soundcards, and gets a bit physical with Yamaha.
Homebrew software comes to the fore this month, as a Manchester studio decide to make the most of their vintage Atari — by producing their own programs. Derek Johnson gives them a big hand...
Readers' Music Reviewed
Jon Turner & Cathy Crowe * Shunt * Sub Rosa * Mike Hopkins * De Souza * Calum Hammond * Liquid Air * Empire Monkey * Bubblewrap * James Wyness * A Deluxe Breed * Sih Daryl * Cheryl Partington * Greg Palmer
Tips & Techniques
Last month, Benedick Grant explained how to properly mic an acoustic drum kit. In the concluding part of this short series, he turns his attention to committing kit sounds to multitrack.
• Read Part 1 (December 1997)
Feature | Tips & Tricks
A job helping to provide the sounds and recording the music for an animated Christmas special has SOS contributor Paul Ward hastily upgrading his studio and exploring the deepest recesses of his synth collection, in search of sleigh bells and singing reindeer patches...
Tips & Tricks
Have you ever been faced with recreating a mix that you haven't worked on for weeks? Martin Walker explaines how he manages to do just that, without the benefit of expensive automated mixers or a tape-op with a notebook!
Tips & Techniques
Breath-controller Sequencing Workshop
Paul White finds a few ways around the restricted breath-control facilities of the Yamaha VL70m.