January 2002 In This Issue

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Reviews

Apogee Trak 2

Mic Preamp & A-D Converter

Apogee have an enviable reputation for their state-of-the-art digital converters, but their new Trak 2 also includes sophisticated mic preamplification.

BOSS ME33

Boss ME33 Guitar Multi-effects

Boss latest multi-effects processor for guitarists gets the SOS review treatment...

CHICKEN SYSTEMS TRANSLATOR

Sample Conversion Software

Ever found yourself really needing a particular sample CD-ROM, only to find that it's not available for your sampler? Or perhaps you want to back up your sample programs in proprietary CD formats? Chicken Systems' PC package Translator may be able to help.

Dan Dean Solo Brass

Sample Library

* Score = 5

ELEKTRON SPS1 Machinedrum

Synthetic Percussion Sequencer

Swedish manufacturer Elektron claim that their SPS1 rhythm synth is the most sophisticated drum machine ever built, with a stunning specification that includes no less than four different types of percussion synthesis.

EMAGIC ESB/TDM

Mixer Integration Utility

Emagic ESB/TDM Logic/TDM Mixer Integration Utility.

Geneticz

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Korg Triton LE

Keyboard Workstation

Korg have dominated the top-end workstation market for several years with their Triton range, but apart from the rack version, there have been no lower-priced spin-offs. The Triton Le keyboard changes that, offering many of the Triton's powerful features at a more affordable price.

MILLENNIUM MUSIC

Pentium 4 Music PC

Millennium Music Software are one of the UK's biggest names in custom-built PCs for music, and their latest systems are exploiting the power of the newest Pentium 4 processors.

Native Instruments Reaktor 3.0

Soft Synth Designer [Mac/PC]

Native's ambitious DIY software synth creator, Reaktor, has had a major update which improves its look and feel, adds some juicy new features, and - perhaps most importantly - claims to greatly reduce computer CPU load.

RED SOUND C-LOOPS

Loop Sampler

The unique new C-Loops from Red Sound Systems can automatically detect the tempo of incoming audio, sample it and chop it to length ready for re-triggering, as well as automatically timestretching all its on-board loops to match any new tempo it receives.

Return To The Planet Of The Breaks

Sample Library

* Score = 5

SAMSON S-COMS

Samson S•Com & S-Com Plus Dual-channel Dynamics Processors

Despite their highly affordable pricing these processors offer sophisticated additional functions, including de-essing and an enhancer.

SONIC FOUNDRY ACID PRO V3

PC Audio Loop Sequencer

Sonic Foundry were the pioneers of loop-based PC sequencing with the initial release of Acid. More than three years on, it's more popular than ever, and the latest version includes MIDI and video support among other new features.

SUPERLUX MICS

CMH8 Series Capacitor Microphones

The price war in the budget condenser mic market gets even more fierce with the launch of this new range of large-diaphragm models.

The Vinyl Frontier 2: Boiling Point

Sample Library

* Score = 4

TL AUDIO M3

Eight-channel Hybrid Valve Mixer

Although all-valve mixers can really warm up sounds prior to digital recording, they're usually too large and expensive for the project studio. However, TL Audio's new hybrid M3 now brings valve mixing within the reach of the home musician.

YAMAHA AG STOMP

Acoustic Guitar Modelling Preamp

The new AG Stomp physically models a miked-up acoustic guitar sound using the DI signal from an acoustic guitar piezo pickup, and also offers a variety of useful effects processors.

YAMAHA AW2816

Digital Audio Workstation

Yamaha's new AW2816 audio workstation appears to offer much of the functionality of the acclaimed AW4416, but at an even lower price point.

ZOOM MRS1044

Digital Multitracker

The MRS1044 is Zoom's first serious 'studio in a box', offering 10-track hard disk recording and editing with integrated drum machine and bass sounds. Does it have what it takes to succeed in this increasingly competitive area of the market?

People + Opinion

CUTTING EDGE

Compaq Pocket PC iPaq

Pocket PC PDAs have processor speeds that were the norm for top-line desktop computers only a couple of years ago, and can play back compressed video in real time. It's just one example of the increasing speed of technological advances that could also see wireless networking doing away with your studio cabling sooner than you might think.

READERZONE

Readerzone Simon Greatbatch

Readerzone Simon Greatbatch report by: Tom Flint.

Super Furry Animals

Cian Ciaran: Recording & Mixing In 5.1

Super Furry Animals' recent album Rings Around The World is one of the first to be released in a custom-mixed 5.1 surround version for DVD as well as on stereo CD. Keyboard player Cian Ciaran explains how and why they embarked on this groundbreaking project.

THE MASTER'S VOICE

Jon Astley

Among his many credits as an engineer, producer, programmer and artist, Jon Astley is perhaps best known for his award-winning work remastering classic albums from the likes of The Who, Abba and George Harrison.

TRIAL BY JURY

Industry Pros Pass Judgement On Your Demos

What would a panel of successful producers, songwriters, musicians and management think of your demos? Some SOS readers are about to find out...

Technique

Arrange Window

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

Just like the VST Mixer, Cubase's Arrange window implements lots of little features that are there to make life easier, and this month's Cubase Technique explains how to make best use of them. There's also news of the latest Cubase 5.1 upgrade.

iPod

Apple Notes

On October 25th Apple released their first non-Mac device for many years, the iPod. Apple Notes spots a vital clue which makes the iPod rather useful to the recording musician, whatever the general consumer makes of it...

LOGIC NOTES

Screensets

A customised setup can make sequencing in Logic much easier, so here's some help with tailoring the default Song to your needs. Plus, there's advice on mixing and suggestions for arranging your Screensets, as well as another bunch of handy tips and tricks from the pros.

Overdubbing, Dropping In & Out

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

We explore Pro Tools' many features specifically designed to help you undertake overdubbing, dropping in and out, and compiling tracks from different takes.

PC SOUNDCARDS

A Practical Guide

Newcomers to PC recording face a steep learning curve. How do you get sound in and out of a computer, what makes a soundcard suitable for music, and what pitfalls do you face if you buy the wrong one?

PERFORMER NOTES

Drum Editor; MAS for DP3

Performer Notes gets funky with Digital Performer's Drum Editor this month, and rounds up some of the latest MAS plug-ins to emerge for DP3, plus MOTU-related hints and tips.

PRACTICAL MIXING

Practical Mixing

Hands-on advice to help you improve the fundamentals of your mixing technique.

Q&A

Your questions answered

Which synth should I buy? How do you create a reverb algorithm? Am I better off with a soundcard designed specifically for musicians? * Is hit dance track's tempo variation deliberate? Is all RAM the same?

SONAR NOTES

Thickening vocal, harmony generation

We've had a lot of requests for a Notes column on Cakewalk's new MIDI + Audio sequencer, Sonar. Well, here it is, with news of the latest upgrades and tips on vocal thickening, harmony generation and working with different track heights.

STUDIO ERGONOMICS

Studio Ergonomics

Most SOS readers spend a lot of time considering what equipment to buy, and learning how it works. But it's also important to consider the ergonomics of your studio if you're to avoid the possibility of painful, and surprisingly common, strain injuries.

SYNTH SECRETS

Synthesizing Drums: The Bass Drum

Ever wanted to synthesize unpitched membranophones? No? Well, you might if you knew that bass and snare drums are of this percussion type. We show you how...

Windows XP, HALion update

PC Notes

Our usual cache of PC nuggets this month features news of the arrival of Windows XP, a review of a cost-effective and versatile FM synth plug-in, and info on the HALion software sampler's updated file export and import facilities.

YOU ARE SURROUNDED

Surround Sound Explained - Part 6

Our series turns to the practicalities of setting up your own surround-capable recording system, and we talk to two radically different surround studios to see how they've coped - one at project and one at pro-studio level.

Music Business

Dept. for Culture reply to Big George

Read the full unedited text from the reply Big George received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Creative Industries Division.

DOING THE BUSINESS

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Last Ever Rant

In his last-ever Doing The Business, Big George burns all his boats with some radical ideas about what should be done with the British music industry...

Sound Advice

Audio Cables & Wiring

Frequently Asked Questions

All tangled up when it comes to audio leads? Here are the answers to the most common queries on the subject from SOS readers.

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