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Akai samplers, in their familiar off-white rackmount cases, have become fixtures in studios all over the world. Their latest models may use the same colour scheme, but they offer an entirely new user interface and a host of powerful new features. Paul White gets a taster.
Analogue Sequencer & Modular Synthesizer
Analogue Systems have expanded their RS Integrator modular range to include an analogue step sequencer and several new modules as well as a new, complete high-end system. Chris Carter patches them in.
One Input Channel
Paul White bypasses his mixer and goes directly to tape with Drawmer's new mic/line/instrument input channel.
PCI Soundcard System
Emu's APS system takes the company into soundcard territory, but with a comprehensive spec that even includes studio-quality mic amps. Martin Walker tries out this all-in-one experience.
8-track Hard Disk Recorder
Fostex's new portable digital recorder uses virtual tracks to expand its potential and proves that 24 into eight really does go. Bob Dormon does the maths...
HHB and Harbeth have collaborated to produce a high quality active studio monitor at an attractive price. Paul White listens in.
K2500 Series Expansion Board
Sophisticated effects and audio processing have become pretty standard on professional synths and keyboard workstations. The Kurzweil K2500's capacities in these respects, however, were looking a little dated until now. Paul Lehrman plugs in the new KDFX expansion board.
Valve Condenser Microphone
The East German company Microtech Gefell only became known in the West after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but it was founded by no less a man than Georg Neumann in 1943. Hugh Robjohns tests a new mic with an impressive pedigree...
US software and hardware innovators Opcode have come far since their first MIDI-only sequencer in the late '80s; the latest descendent of that program, Vision DSP, incorporates 24-bit audio recording and compatibility with VST plug-ins. Bob Dormon focuses on the new features in this latest Vision...
Tapeless Multitrack Digital Recording System
Designed as a replacement for high-end tape-based multitracks, Otari's original RADAR 24-track random access recorder/editor captured a sizeable chunk of the pro market. Hugh Robjohns takes a look at its successor, RADAR II, which offers a host of enhancements including 24-bit audio.
Sample-based/DSP Modelling Synthesizer
With several successful dance-oriented synth successes to their name, Quasimidi attempt to buck the trend with their latest offering. The Polymorph does offer plenty to interest the dance fraternity real-time modulation knobs, and an analogue-style sequencer and user interface but behind the facade lurks a powerful synth. Gordon Reid checks it out from a non-dance perspective...
Sam Inglis roots around in the dustbin of history and fishes out one of the few Roland analogue instruments you can still afford without a second mortgage. Does it deserve to be rehabilitated?
4-channel Multi-effects Processor
Sony's new mid-priced multi-effects unit boasts four-channel operation, 200 preset effects algorithms, comprehensive user programming capability, and great sound quality to boot. Hugh Robjohns spins that dial...
Paul White gets down to some serious equalising with SPL's most Qurious product to date.
Beyerdynamic TGX10 Microphone; Music Interface Technologies ZCord II Mains Lead; ADSG Jaz Drive & Media; Yorkville YSM1 Monitors.
Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser check out a product which offers up to four minutes of sample time, 22 different effects, audio processing and resampling facilities — for £199. If you'd been reading this only a few years ago , you'd have assumed that some digits had been missed off the price...
People + Opinion
Interview | Producer
It's ever SOS reader's dream to make a record at home and have it go straight into the top five. David Lowe tells Paul White how it's done.
Interview | Band
Legendary rockers Deep Purple are back with a new, self-produced album. Sharon Stancavage talks to bassist Roger Glover and engineer Darren Schneider about how it was recorded.
SOS Editor Paul White explains the thinking behind his own studio layout, and offers a few practical tips on cable runs and studio furniture.
Samples, re-sampling, looping, cutting and pasting — is it all getting too easy? Paul Ward explains why the phrase 'dance music' is becoming an oxymoron.
Interview | Mixer
Since coming to prominence through his work with KLF, Spike Stent has become one of the most sought-after mixers in the world. Paul Tingen visits him in his new purpose-built London studio to talk about the role of the specialist mixer.
Tips & Techniques
Even the more basic sound-manipulation tools offered by most samplers can lead a safe sample into a world of weirdness. Nicholas Rowland reverses, stretches, bends and loops, all in the interests of sampling science...
The SOS web forum is already producing its fair share of Mac-related queries. Martin Russ responds to a couple...
Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser take you through some of the vast quantities of useful music-related software available for next to nothing on the Internet. Harmony Central; Red Shift.
Tips & Techniques
After the general guidelines on the approach and attitude you should adopt to a computer based audio system last month, Paul Wiffen gets down to the nitty-gritty of spec'ing your system and setting it up for minimum hassle and maximum results.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Quint Starkie * Rick Westthorpe * Co-ordination * The 4/4 Project * The Sentiment * Luella * Zgen United * Gary Kelly * Rude and Deadly * Kaluta * Selected * The Amazing Assaf * Oracle
This month sees a positive flurry of new software, ranging from full-price releases to freeware. Martin Walker sifts through the latest offerings.
Tips & Tricks
Brass and reed instruments present some challenging problems to the recording engineer, whether played by soloists or sections. Hugh Robjohns offers some hints and tips.
Tips & Tricks
There's nothing more irritating than having a perfect take ruined by unexpected audio glitches. Martin Walker investigates the possible causes and suggests ways to improve matters through system software settings.
Derek Johnson visits the Atari Computing Convention, and finds that there's life in the old dog yet... Sound Pool Native DSP Mastering Suite; Atari Computing Convention.
Tips & Tricks
Every songwriter sometimes goes through times when the inspiration just seems to dry up, and the perspiration doesn't seem to be working. Debbie Poyser offers some tips to help you out of them.