January 2008 In This Issue

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Competition

Win M-Audio Studio Gear worth $6000

Deadline: 2008-01-31

Prize kindly donated by M-Audio USA
M Audio +1 626 633 9050

WIN Sibelius Scoring bundle worth £1300

Deadline: 2008-01-31

Prize kindly donated by Sibelius and M-Audio UK
Sibelius Software +44 (0)20 7561 7999
M-Audio +44 (0)1923 204 010

WIN Wharfedale Titan 12 Active PA worth £700

Deadline: 2008-02-28

Proze kindly donated by IAG.

Reviews

Audio & Design DMA2

Digital Mic Preamp

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This unassuming device has a price that makes it look like a bargain alongside competitors of similar quality.

Behringer SX3040 & SU9920

Enhancement Processors

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Behringer offer highly affordable excitement in the shape of two new sub-£100 rack processors.

Digidesign M Box 2 Micro

USB Interface [Mac/PC]

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Until now, there has been no ultra-portable hardware option for Pro Tools users who want to edit and mix on the go. The M Box 2 Micro seeks to fill that gap.

Digidesign Pro Tools 7.4

Digital Audio Workstation Software [Mac/PC]

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Nowadays, we expect software to be able to change the tempo of recorded audio, but the latest version of Pro Tools integrates this functionality in a new and impressive fashion.

Earthworks TC20

Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone

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This high-definition omni mic has been designed specifically to work in high-SPL environments, but it is surprisingly good on quieter sound sources too.

ESI Near08

Nearfield Active Monitors

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Can you expect decent project-studio performance from monitors costing under £300? Let's find out...

Guitar Technology

Vox AmPlug • Soundtech Lightsnake

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• Vox AmPlug modelling headphone amp • Soundtech LightSnake audio interface cable

Mixosaurus DAW Drums Kit A

Virtual Drum Instrument [Mac/PC]

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If you dream of the ultimate sampled drum kit, and you have a cutting-edge computer to run it, Mixosauruss Kit A might be your Holy Grail.

Music Lab Real Strat

Virtual Guitar Instrument

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Music Lab impressed us with the playability and sound quality of their virtual acoustic guitar instrument, Real Guitar — and now they've gone electric...

Native Instruments Kontakt 3

Software Sampler [Mac/PC]

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It's over five years since Native Instruments released the original version of their flagship soft sampler, and its third incarnation takes the Kontakt concept even further, with a streamlined user interface, a new waveform editor and a massive sample library.

Neyrinck Mix 51

Surround Panning System For Pro Tools LE

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You cant mix in surround on Pro Tools without shelling out for an HD rig. Or can you?

NuGen Audio PC Plug-ins

Visualizer Analysis Tools & SEQ Linear Phase Equalisers [Windows]

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We test a selection of impressive and affordable Windows mastering tools from NuGen Audio.

Playback

Readers’ Music Reviewed

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More readers tracks undergo the editorial staff treatment!

PowerFX Vocaloid 2 Sweet Ann

Singing Synthesis Software [PC]

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Yamahas Vocaloid technology has now been upgraded to version 2 and Sweet Ann, from PowerFX, is the first virtual singer based on the new release. So just how much further forward have Yamaha moved their intriguing vocal synthesis technology?

Sample CDs On Test

Sample Library

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• Zero-G Carnival Drums: The Spirit of Brazil • Best Service Drums Overkill

Software Pianos

Buyer's Guide

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If recording a real piano isn't for you, there's no shortage of very convincing software alternatives.

Steinberg Groove Agent 3

Virtual Drummer Instrument [Mac/PC]

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It's been a long time coming, but has the latest version of Steinberg's Groove Agent been worth waiting for?

Summit Audio DCL200

Dual Compressor Limiter

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Summit Audio's high-end designs are known for their quality and longevity — so is their new compressor a classic in the making?

Waves API Collection

Compressor & EQ Plug-ins [Mac/PC]

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APIs renowned hardware processors have gone virtual...

People + Opinion

Glen Ballard

The Art Of Record Production

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One of the most successful writer/producers of his generation shares his advice on getting the best from artists and forging a career in an uncertain music industry.

Listen Up!

Paul White's Leader

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Our Editor In Chief ponders why monitors sound different from each other and what you can do to compensate...

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Neal Avron

Inside Track: 'This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race'

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The unsung production hero behind Fall Out Boy, described as “emos first superstars”, tells us how he shaped the lead single from 2007s smash hit album, Infinity On High.

Sounding Off: Phil Goodall

Reader Comments

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Make trade fair... and bag a bargain!

Younger Brother

Simon Posford & Benji Vaughan

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Younger Brother brings together two of the Twisted labels biggest names. We visited Simon Posfords studio in a bid to uncover the secrets of psytrance...

Technique

Effective Monitor Mixing With Digital Performer

Digital Performer Notes & Techniques

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With so many exciting features on offer in modern DAWs, it's easy to overlook less glamorous things that you need every day. A prime example is proper monitoring — not sexy, but a crucial factor in successful multitrack recording.

Introducing Sonar 7's Step Sequencer

Sonar Notes & Techniques

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One of the new features added in the Sonar 7 update is a very flexible step sequencer. We investigate its features and suggest some ways to make the most of it.

Leopard: What Does It Offer Musicians?

Apple Notes

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Leopard is finally with us — but while it promises improvements for general Mac users, will it offer anything to musicians and audio engineers other than incompatibility?

Logic Pro 8's New & Improved Effects

Logic Notes & Techniques

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The newest version of Logic features powerful new effects, alongside improvements to existing ones. We explore what they have to offer.

Lynyrd Skynyrd 'Sweet Home Alabama' | Classic Tracks

Producer: Al Kooper • Engineers: Al Kooper, Rodney Mills

Thumbnail for article: Lynyrd Skynyrd 'Sweet Home Alabama' | Classic Tracks

In 1973, a band from Florida and California went to a studio in Georgia to record a song, provoked by a Canadian, about Alabama - and managed to define the sound of Southern rock while they were at it.

Mix Rescue: Imprint

Track: Let Me Go

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This month we tame a vocal that varies in dynamic range, and look at ways to create 'bigness' in the mix without overcooking levels.

Mix Rescue| Media

Audio Files

Here are links to the audio files from January 2008's MIX RESCUE article

More Thor In Reason 4

Reason Notes & Techniques

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Following last month's introduction to the Thor synthesizer, we embark on a patch-building project and explore several of the key features of Reason 4's new synth...

MP3 Surround

Distributing Surround Mixes On The Net

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Until now, huge file sizes and the need for dedicated equipment have prevented the distribution of surround mixes over the Internet. That could be about to change...

Multi-core Processors For Musicians

PC Musician

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Some music applications will completely fail to take advantage of the multiple cores of a modern CPU — but which ones, and why? We find out, and advise on how you can make best use of however many cores your PC has.

PC Notes

More PC News, Tools & Guidance

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You might think you can hear that one sequencer sounds better than another, but are you fooling yourself? Your PC can help you find out. But first, if you're thinking of building a new computer, read on...

Piano Recording

All You Need To Know To Capture A Great Acoustic Piano Sound

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With the number of high-quality sample libraries around these days, recording a real piano can feel like a lost art. For those times when only the real thing will suffice, here's how to do it justice.

Piano Recording | Media

Audio Files

Here are links to the audio files from January 2008's PIANO RECORDING article.

Studio SOS: Ray Stroud

Workshop

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This month, we perform some audio alchemy on a home studio room that also has to double for other purposes.

Using Arpache

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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It's so easy to reach for the same audio plug-ins time after time - but MIDI plug-ins such as Arpache can bring something different and shouldn't be overlooked.

Sound Advice

Q. Do I need a professional setup to record on my laptop?

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I want to mic up my bodhran so that I can record what I am doing in Audacity, then play it back in order to hear where I'm going...

Q. How can I reduce hi-hat spill on my snare mic?

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I've always had trouble with hi-hat bleed through my snare drum mic. I use a Shure SM57 on the snare, and if I try to boost the...

Q. How do I record small percussion instruments?

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The crack team of Paul White and Hugh Robjohns have travelled the world solving readers' problems. Here, they down the Hob Nobs...

Q. How should I compress a classical recording?

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I recorded a performance of Handel's Messiah recently, and I was wondering what the common practice is when compressing...

Q. What's the dynamic range of the channels in my DAW?

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As far as I am aware, Logic's processing engine, with which it does all of its internal effect calculations and summing, runs at...

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