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Paul White enjoys the creative potential of Alesis' distinctive and highly affordable new interactive effects processor.
Tube Mic Preamp
The application of both traditional principles and some innovative electronic design work affords this dual-channel preamp impressive performance. Hugh Robjohns likes what he hears.
Red Spot Monitors
Paul White tests AVI's updated 'Red Spot' version of their Bigga-Tron monitors and finds out if this offers a worthwhile improvement.
Ultra-harmonizer Effects Processor
The latest addition to Eventide's acclaimed Ultra-Harmonizer range, the DSP7000, looks set to keep them at the forefront of digital effects technology. Hugh Robjohns checks out the machine that redefines the state of the art.
24-track Hard Disk Recorder
Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser test Fostex's new hard disk 24-track. The D2424 may not have quite the feature set of its two main rivals, but the facilities it does have may be very well targeted towards the intended users.
Modelling Tonewheel Organ
The name may be the same as their old 1980 model, but the new Korg CX3 now employs physical modelling techniques in the eternal quest for the classic Hammond/Leslie sound. Gordon Reid finds out if it measures up to the real thing.
Programmable Digital Drum Machine (retro)
The Korg DDM110 was one of the first digital drum machines to reach the mass market. Paul Sellars rediscovers its distinctive, punchy sound and revels in the simplicity of its programming...
Paul White checks out two new pieces of essential gear for your home or project studio.
Soundcard & Omni I/O Front End
M Audio's Omni I/O interface allows 'Delta card' users to add mic amps, instrument inputs, insert points and monitoring capabilities to their existing systems. Martin Walker gets connected.
2-slot PCI Expansion Chassis
Magma's ingenious PCI Expansion Chasses attach to portable computers via PCMCIA and allow you to run PCI audio, video and SCSI cards. Paul Wiffen tries out the latest model, which works with current Apple Powerbooks as well as PC portables.
Stereo Preamp & A-D/D-A Converter
Martin Walker looks at a handy half-rack unit which could provide an ideal front end for your computer-based recording system.
Vintage Series Tube Microphone
Hugh Robjohns tests the latest addition to Marshall Electronics' cost-effective MXL range. The new V77S valve condenser mic offers large-diaphragm, valve preamp performance at a very appealing price.
MIDI Arrangement Software
Many of you were caught out by our 1995 April Fool preview of a fictitious piece of software that could modify the musical style of a MIDI file to create specific emotions in the listener. Now, however, it seems that fact may have caught up with fiction. Martin Walker tries out Ntonyx's innovative Style Morpher.
The new C16 offers 16 MIDI-assignable control faders for the thoroughly reasonable price of £150. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser love that feeling of control...
The XV88 is the first of Roland's new XV range of synths to sport a keyboard, and also adds all manner of real-time control facilities. Gordon Reid checks it out with two of the new SRX-format sound expansion boards.
Want the sound of real drumming in your Cubase mixes, but find sample CDs too inflexible? Steinberg believe they have the answer. Sam Inglis tries out the first releases in the VST Drum Session series.
People + Opinion
Interview | Composer/Arranger
One of Britain's leading experts in orchestral arrangement, David Sinclair Whitaker has worked on everything from the original version of 'My Way' to hits by S Club 7. Mike Senior finds him still going strong after more than 35 years in the music business...
Interview | Artist
Sam Inglis catches up with man behind one of the year 2000's biggest dance hits, and hears about a tangled web of remixes, bootlegs and licensing deals; not to mention the most bizarre synthesizer on the market today...
SOS pay a visit to more avid readers to investigate their home/project studio.
Kevin Perry proposes a radical redesign for modern digital audio software as we know it...
This month Dave Shapton questions Apple's corporate strategy and speculates on the possible implications behind Microsoft's desire to have their Media Player running on as many platforms as possible...
Interview | Manufacturer
Paul White meets the head of TC Works to preview the company's new PowerCore card, a DSP engine designed to relieve host-based MIDI + audio sequencers of some of the strain of running processor-intensive plug-ins.
Tips & Tricks
Paul White further explores the secrets of successful compression, and explains how to use advanced techniques for mastering your mixes.
Martin Walker explains how to clear out all the drivers, utilities and Registry entries associated with an old, discussed soundcard, leaving you with a clean machine in which to install your new, upgraded hardware.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Continuing his in-depth explaination of the Logical Edit functions of Cubase in Easy Mode, Paul Sellars looks this month at the role of the Processing stage settings, in conjunction with the Filter and Function operation, before moving on to the greater complexities of Expert mode...
Tips & Tricks
The idea of a virtually silent, compact and portable PC recording workstation has obvious attractions, and it is possible to build such a system around a laptop PC. Martin Walker explains the options available and how to avoid some of the many potential pitfalls.
Dave Shapton explores part of the MPTEG4 specification: Structured Audio, which allows music to be streamed with absolotely no loss of quality at extremely low data-rates. Is this the way that all media will be encoded in the future?
A Swedish soft synth is on the way, a New Zealand developer plans to introduce the Atari to the wonders of Ethernet, and US company Dr T's finest hour becomes shareware. Derek Johnson goes global.
Tips & Tricks
Having explained some of the audio and MIDI interfacing problems facing owners of new-style Macs, Paul Wiffen looks at practicalities, testing one USB MIDI and one USB MIDI + Audio interface to see what pitfalls await the unwary...
Readers' Music Reviewed
Machine Elves * Traces Of Red * Rob Cain and Paul Rayfield * Madman * Esoterica * Kris Parker * Carlton Richards * Floron Florenzo * DJ Hansi * Red Kestrel * Belmont * Phatriff
Tips & Tricks
Polyphony is hard to achieve on analogue synths without incurring hideous expense. This month, Gordon Reid explains how synth manufacturers employed digital technology to overcome this problem.
• Read all parts
Logic's Transform window is often under-used, due to its apparent complexity. John Walden explains all.
Modern digital effects units always include emulations of analogue effects such as tape delay and flanging — but none of them ever seem quite like the real thing. Paul White explains how these vintage effects worked, and offers insight into how our modern attempts could be made more accurate.
Tips & Tricks
Whenever we hear or read song lyrics, we are hearing the voice of a person, whether that voice be the songwriter's own, exploring his or her own emotions and feelings, or someone else's. The second part of Sam Inglis' series explains how you can write for different voices to put across different messages.
Vic Lennard signs-off as SOS Apple Notes columnist with a look at VM.
Feature | Tips & Tricks
Big George focuses on how to hit your intended target... right between the eyes.
The growth of the Internet and email-based communications should have made it easier to contact the people who could help you to further your musical career — but, of course, it's not that simple. Robin Morley offers advice on how to use message boards, email and newsgroups to develop useful contacts...
Frequently Asked Questions
Surround mixing is becoming increasingly important to all of us, rather than just those who work in audio-for-picture applications. Paul White and Hugh Robjohns explain the techniques and the technology.
Q & A
Q. What differences are there between Yamaha's CS2X and CS6X?
Q. At what distance from my mic should I record my voice?
Q. Where can I find a Lightpipe/ADAT connection?
Q. Can I record multiple tracks onto a PC sequencer simultaneously, via the soundcard I/O, as on a tape-based system?
Q. Where can I acquire some realistic string/orchestral sounds?
Q. Which audio/MIDI interfaces can I use with my laptop?
Q. Why am I having problems with my Atari ST and Cubase?