January 2005 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Korg ESX1 & MS20 Controller + Legacy Collection

Deadline: 2005-02-28

Your chance to win a Korg Electribe ESX1 Sampler plus the MS20 Controller and full Legacy Collection software bundle — worth over £1000 GBP!
Prizes kindly donated by Korg UK. www.korg.co.uk Tel: 01908 857130.

Reviews

Alesis Micron

Modelled Analogue Synthesizer

Less really is more — the 'smaller' name suggests a cut-down follow-up to 2003's Ion synth, but in fact the Micron includes most of the spec of its predecessor, and has added effects and a built-in sequencer too.

Behringer BCF2000 & BCR2000

USB-based Rotary & Moving-fader MIDI Controllers

It sounds like an amazing deal — endless-rotary and (even more incredibly) moving-fader controllers for well under 200 GBP each. But have Behringer gone a price-cut too far this time?

Blue Sky Media Desk

Active Monitoring System

The new baby of the Blue Sky range brings their design philosophy to the small computer studio. But will the 'satellite plus subwoofer' configuration and closed-box speaker loading work as well on a small scale as it does in the company's larger systems?

Book Review: Laptop Music

Studio Essenetials

CAD TSM411, ICM417 & KBM412

Drum Microphones

Three new mics from CAD offer impressive mounting hardware and audio specifications specially tailored to recording drums.

Cakewalk Sonar 4

MIDI + Audio Sequencer For Windows

The latest version of Cakewalk's flagship sequencer brings it into the world of surround sound, makes it easy to work with folder tracks and multiple takes, and adds one of the most comprehensive Freeze functions available on any DAW.

Chandler TG Channel

Recording Channel

This new mic preamp and equaliser unit uses 1960s EMI designs to recreate some of the classic sounds.

Concrete FX Kubik

PC VST Plug-in

Echo Layla 3G

Multi-channel PCI Audio & MIDI Interface (PC/Mac)

Echo's range of computer hardware has always been popular with musicians, and the company have now launched the third generation of their Layla and Gina multi-channel audio and MIDI interfaces.

ESI Pro Julia

PC/Mac Soundcard

With its clever reversible analogue I/O section plus comprehensive, multi-client driver support, ESI's Julia is not your average stereo soundcard.

Hottest New Sample CDs

Sample Library

Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs:
VSL Chamber Strings 6* GIGASTUDIO, EXS24 MkII
VSL French Oboe 6* GIGASTUDIO, EXS24 MkII
Zero-G Akoustik Bass Hitz 6* KONTAKT+WAV+REX2
PMI Consolidated! 3* MULTI-FORMAT

Noren Acoustilock gCab Computer Cabinet

Studio Essentials

Useful device for silencing your computer.

Open Labs Open Synth Neko 64

Computer-based Keyboard Workstation

It's a great concept — a keyboard synth that can run computer plug-ins. Open Labs have created one by putting an entire PC inside a keyboard. But is it a recording revolution, or an overpriced processor in a fancy case?

Philip Rees Pentium 4 PC

Music Production Computer

Intel's Prescott Pentium 4 chips have proved too hot for many music PC builders to handle, but Philip Rees have used them to build machines that are both powerful and impressively quiet.

Roland GR20

Guitar Synthesizer

Roland's affordable new guitar synth incorporates improved pitch-tracking, and comes bundled with the latest GK-series pickup as standard.

Spectrasonics Stylus RMX

Software Instrument [Mac/PC]

It may share the same name, but Spectrasonics' new Stylus RMX is a very different software instrument from the original Stylus, with a completely reconstructed underlying sound engine and a ton of new features.

Tabor Audio The Box 2

Stereo Sound-stage Meter

This unusual unit provides an exceptionally revealing means of metering stereo signals.

Tascam Gigastudio 3

Software Sampler For PC

Version 3 of Gigastudio has taken a long time to arrive, and plenty of other software samplers have come along during the wait. Does it still have what it takes to see off the competition?

USB Ultra Focus

Vintage Synth Library & Software Instrument

Rather than using modelling technology to emulate classic synths, Ultimate Sound Bank have created an eight-Gigabyte sample library and packaged it with an accessible virtual-instrument front end.

Yamaha i88X

mLAN Firewire Audio & MIDI Interface (PC & Mac)

Yamaha's list of mLAN products continues to grow, and their new rackmounting i88X offers high-quality mic preamps, analogue, digital and MIDI I/O in a 1U rack unit.

Zoom MRS1608

Digital Multitracker

The latest multitracker from Zoom is their most sophisticated yet, but can it see off its rivals in what is an extremely competitive marketplace?

People + Opinion

Al Kooper

Producer & Musician

As a musician, Al Kooper became Bob Dylan's sideman and went on to fuse soul and jazz. As a producer, he invented the supergroup, and as an A&R man he brought Southern rock to the world.

Business End

Listen & Learn from Reader Tracks

Listen online to the tracks while you read what the MPG (Music Producers Guild) jury thought of the latest collection of SOS readers' submitted recordings.

Crosstalk: Your Communications

Readers Writes

Responses to recent articles from SOS readers.

Max Richter

Recording The Blue Notebooks

Max Richter combines chamber music with ambient recordings, spoken-word pieces and experimental electronica, creating a distinctive and beautiful blend of the traditional and the futuristic.

Re-make Re-model

Leader

Editor-in-Chief Paul White reveals the thinking behind his recent personal studio clearout/refit.

Sounding Off

Ben Duncan

Is 'dumbing down' creating a crisis in the pro-audio manufacturing industry?

The History Of Roland

Part 3: 1986-1991

Roland made their name with analogue synths and effects, but by the mid-1980s, they needed to go digital to remain competitive. It was a leap into the unknown for the company, but it ushered in a golden era...

Technique

Digital Performer: New Ways To Work

Digital Performer Notes

DP 4.5 delivers new features that promise to fundamentally change the way users work, as well as offering smaller but crucial enhancements to existing features.

Logic Pro 7 Audio Unit Compatibility; iPod Photo

Apple Notes

Another crop of news, advice and tips is presented in the latest instalment of our essential Apple users' column.

Logic: Synchronising Sequences To Live Audio

Logic Notes

Synchronising sequences in Logic to live audio tracks can really help give your music the edge, but what's the best way of doing this? We look at the options, and weigh up their pros and cons.

Arpeggiators & Cool Techniques

Reason Notes

There are more clever tips and techniques than you can shake a stick at in this month's Reason Notes, kicking off with yet another fun way to fake an arpeggiator effect...

CLASSIC TRACKS: The Smiths 'The Queen Is Dead'

Producers: Morrissey, Johnny Marr • Engineer: Stephen Street

Stephen Street made his name as an engineer working with one of the most influential indie bands ever. He describes the sessions that created the title track of The Smiths' most celebrated album.

Demo Doctor

Reader Recordings Analysed

Think your own music is good? Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see whether you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...

Optimising The Latency Of Your PC Audio Interface

PC Musician

If you are tempted to go and make a cup of tea in the gap between pressing a note on your keyboard and hearing it play on your soft synth, you need help! Read on...

Pro Tools 6.7: New MIDI Tools

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Our new columnist provides the detailed lowdown on a new version of Pro Tools...

Processor Wars

PC Notes

Intel abandon their 4GHz Pentium processor speed target and shift their attention to the dual-core technology first espoused by AMD. Whatever is going on?

Roland VS2480 Masterclass

Hands-on Power User Tips

Get the most from Roland's flagship recording workstation with this indispensible collection of power user tips.

Studio SOS

The Loose Cannons

The SOS crew head to the 14th floor of a London tower block to help a pair of readers improve their drum sound.

SysEx & Sonar's Big Freeze

Sonar Notes

We present everything you ever wanted to know about SysEx (System Exclusive) but were afraid to ask, plus the whys and wherefores of Sonar 4's cool new Freeze functions...

Using Real-Time MIDI Effects Instead Of Audio FX

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

Cubase SX has a wide selection of real-time MIDI effects that can often substitute for the more processor-hungry audio effects, as well as opening up other creative possibilities.

Music Business

Creative Commons, Copyright & The Independent Musician

New Approach To Copyright Licensing

As the music industry struggles to adjust to the growing effects of the Internet on sales, even traditional concepts such as copyright are being reconsidered. We examine the Creative Commons movement and explain how it could be useful to musicians everywhere.

Sound Advice

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