January 2009 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN TL Audio Fat Track (worth 1174 GBP)

Deadline: 2009-01-31

Prize kindly donated by TL Audio: +44 (0)1462 492090 www.tlaudio.co.uk

Reviews

Alesis SR18

Drum Machine

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Virtual instruments haven't taken over the world quite yet: the hardware drum machine concept is still alive and kicking, as demonstrated by Alesis' follow-up to their incredibly popular and long-lived SR16. Is the '18 destined to match its older brother's 20-year reign?

APS IO

Studio Reference Monitors

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This is a first outing in SOS for Polish speaker manufacturers APS, but they're already impressing us.

Best Service Ethno World 4 Professional

Sample Library [Mac & PC]

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More and more musicians are experimenting with the sounds of 'world' instruments — so is Best Service's Ethno World 4 Professional a one-stop-shop for all your virtual ethnic-instrument needs?

BIAS Peak Pro 6 XT

Stereo Editing Software For Mac OS X

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The Mac's most comprehensive stereo editor has just gained a whole new set of features...

Cockos Reaper 2.4

MIDI Audio Sequencer For Windows

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Since we first reviewed Cockos' shareware Reaper multitrack recording package, it has undergone hundreds of improvements — but the bargain asking price has barely changed.

Digidesign Pro Tools 8

Digital Audio Workstation Software For Mac & PC: Part 1

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Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture. Will this eighth version of Pro Tools bring prosperity to Digidesign, as they try to establish their world-leading recording and mixing application as a serious contender in the music-creation market?

Earthworks PM40

Piano Microphone System

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If recording piano is your forté, this system could make your life a whole lot easier...

Euphonix MC Control

DAW Controller For Mac

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The MC Control's programmable touchscreen and 'Soft Keys' technology offer the exciting possibility of building your own custom DAW controller. Is it too good to be true? Let's find out...

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40

Firewire Audio Interface [Mac/PC]

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The new audio interface from Focusrite offers an awful lot, for an awful lot less than you'd think. Let's find out what it can do...

Grace Design M201

Microphone Preamplifier

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Regular readers will know that our Technical Editor isn't prone to excessive use of hyperbole — so when he calls a product "awesome", "stunning" and "sublime", it's probably time to sit up and take notice...

Guitar Technology

Line 6 Pod Farm

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Pod Farm, which replaces Line 6's earlier Gearbox software, is a VST, RTAS and AU plug‑in for Mac and PC that offers Line 6's...

Mackie U420 & U420d

Analogue Firewire Mixers

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These compact, lightweight mixers are designed with live DJ-style performance in mind, but with an audio interface on board, there's plenty of flexibility when it comes to recording too.

Perfect Conversion

3 Stand-alone D-A Converters Compared

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If your music relies on soft synths and samples, playback quality is more important to you than your recording chain, so adding a high-quality, stand-alone D-A converter may be the most targeted way to improve your system.

Roland Fantom G

Keyboard Workstation

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Roland's Fantom workstation reaches its fourth generation with the 'G' series. So just how great is the Fantom family's great-grandchild?

Sample Magic Funky House Grooves 2

Multi-format

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There are no prizes for guessing that Funky House Grooves 2 is Sample Magic's follow‑up to the original Funky House Grooves,...

Soniccouture Scriptorium

Kontakt 2 & 3 Scripts

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More and more sample libraries now ship as self‑contained instruments, courtesy of Native Instruments' Kontakt Player engine,...

SoundTrek Drummer

MIDI Drum Programming Plug-in For Windows

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Multi-gigabyte drum instruments are of limited use if you don't have the time or skills to program realistic MIDI performances. Can SoundTrek's Drummer plug-in fill the gap?

Steinberg CC121

USB Controller For Mac & PC

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Steinberg's CC121 controller is, as you might expect, designed to work seamlessly with their DAW software — so is this the perfect companion to Cubase and Nuendo?

Tonelux V8 Roadster

Modular Outboard Processors

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Modular processing systems are growing in popularity. This contender from American makers Tonelux puts the emphasis firmly on quality.

Zero G Elektrolytic

Multi-format Sample Library

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Ian Boddy has been involved in the experimental electronic music scene for 25 years, and SOS readers will doubtless be...

People + Opinion

Chinese Crisis: Recording Hanggai's Folk Music

Matteo Scumaci & Robin Haller

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The task of bringing Hanggai's Chinese folk music to Western ears was challenging enough in itself. But then things started to go wrong...

Paul Epworth

Producing Almost Everyone

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With credits ranging from Kate Nash to Bloc Party, Primal Scream and the Rapture, Paul Epworth might just be Britain's busiest producer.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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The editorial team play 'Jukebox Jury' with another batch of your submitted tracks.

Science 101

Paul White's Leader

Knowledge is power, so our esteemed Editor In Chief puts the case for a little scientific understanding...

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Mike Fraser

AC/DC Black Ice

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How do you capture the essence of pure rock & roll? For Mike Fraser and AC/DC, the answer was simple: get the sound right at source, track to analogue tape, and don't mess about with the results!

Short Cuts

People Making Waves With Music Technology

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The first of a new column spotlighting innovators and leading edge appliance of musical technology.

Sounding Off

Mark Wherry

Sounding Off becomes Sounding On, with a positive stance on the use of technology in musical creativity. No, really!

Technique

Bigger, Badder Electric Guitar

A Multi-mic Technique For Loud Electric Guitars

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It's easy enough to make a guitar and amp sound loud and gutsy in the live room, but how do you capture the same sense of volume and distortion on your recording? Phase alignment, that's how...

Bigger, Badder Electric Guitar: Audio Files

Hear For Yourself

These audio files complement the article 'Bigger, Badder Electric Guitars' by Jack Ruston in SOS January 2009. The audio file titles should be self-explanatory.

Cartoon Composing

Scoring An Animated Series

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Composing for an animated series presents a different set of challenges to scoring for film or conventional TV. We look at what it takes to be a cartoon composer...

Digital Performer 6: More New Features

Digital Performer Notes & Techniques

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Version 6 of DP comes with improved hosting of Audio Unit plug-ins — but what does that mean for the MAS format? We consider the issues, and bring you a guide to DP's new bundled convolution reverb, ProVerb.

Exploring Sonar 8's Beatscape Instrument

Sonar Notes & Techniques

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Sonar 8 introduced Beatscape, a new Cakewalk instrument designed specifically for the groovily inclined. We dig behind the interface for some tips and tricks you won't find in the documentation.

Firewire & New MacBooks

Apple Notes

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Despite offering powerful new features and an innovative design, Apple's new MacBook and MacBook Pro could pose problems for musicians dependent on Firewire audio interfaces. We consider the good, the bad, and the incompatible.

Mix Rescue: Barry Martin

Editing Vocals and more

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We look at editing vocals for tighter timing, strategies for faking double-tracked electric guitar, and much, much more...

Mix Rescue: Barry Martin | Audio Files

Hear For Yourself

Here are the links to the MP3 and WAV files that accompany the January 2009 Mix Rescue article for our newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article and don't fancy typing in all the long URLs by hand.

PC Notes

Plug-in Librarianship

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Many of us put lots of effort into programming or seeking out great sounds and presets for our plug-ins, and amass large libraries. So why do some manufacturers make it so difficult to back up these hard-won assets?

Status Quo: 'Rockin' All Over The World'

Classic Tracks

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In 1977 Status Quo brought in producer Pip Williams to help them clean up their act. The result was a hit album and a best-selling single — 'Rockin' All Over The World'.

Studio SOS: John Cowburn

Help & advice in the Hardware Studio

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We go old-school in this month's Studio SOS, as we visit a hardware-only studio and help John Cowburn to inject a Motown vibe into his mixes.

Timing Correction

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

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With Cubase 4.1, Steinberg overhauled the Sample Editor, creating a very powerful new tool for real-time pitch and time manipulation.

Vocal Production In Logic Pro: Part 1

Logic Notes & Techniques

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Dynamics control without compression, tuning for dummies, and vocoding for fun and profit... There's all this and more in part one of our complete vocal production masterclass.

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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When it comes to pitching music to TV executives, there are only two golden rules. The first is to meet the brief, however sketchy it might be. The second? Never, ever try to be cool.

Sound Advice

Q. How can I simulate a 12-string guitar sound in the studio?

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I have someone coming into my studio to do some recording and I'm looking for a way to achieve a 12‑string guitar sound for...

Q. How do I interpret software system requirements?

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My PC is a few years old now, but I'm keen to try out some recent soft synths and other audio applications. However, I'm not...

Q. Why won't my Logic EVOC vocoder plug-in work?

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I'm at a loss. I cannot get the EVOC PS vocoder to work in Logic Pro 7 on a Power Mac G5 with Mac OSX 10.4.11 — or with...

SOS Christmas Podcast

Podcast 011 [19:21 mins]

The SOS Christmas Podcast! What to ask for from Santa and what to do with your Christmas money, as well as more of your Q&A and essential news. Plus, Sam Inglis introduces Short Cuts, a new SOS feature.

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