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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 Guitar Multi-effects
Boss latest multi-effects processor for guitarists gets the SOS review treatment...
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.
* Score = 5
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.
Mixer Integration Utility
Emagic ESB/TDM Logic/TDM Mixer Integration Utility.
* Score = 4
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.
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.
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.
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.
* Score = 5
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.
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.
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.
* Score = 4
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Simon Greatbatch
Readerzone Simon Greatbatch report by: Tom Flint.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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?
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.
Hands-on advice to help you improve the fundamentals of your mixing technique.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.