January 2010 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Focusrite Red 7 Channel Strip

Deadline: 2010-01-31

Worth over £2600, this is your chance to win one of the last-ever production run examples of this superb channel strip. The unit will be signed by Focusrite Chairman Phil Dudderidge, making it a real collector's item not to be missed. Closing date: 31 January 2010

Reviews

Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27

Active Three-way Monitors

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As well as a distinctive design, these huge nearfield monitors offer a frequency and time-domain performance that compares with the best.

Big Fish Audio Acid Jazz City 2

WAV⁄REX⁄Apple Loops⁄Stylus RMX

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No prizes for guessing that Acid Jazz City 2 is a follow‑up to Big Fish Audio's original 'part 1' of the same name, and for...

Big Fish Audio BollyHood Beats

WAV/REX/Apple Loops/Stylus RMX

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Be careful you don't misread the title: BollyHood Beats has an 'H' in the middle, which is actually key to the content. And...

Cakewalk Sonar 8.5

DAW Software For Windows

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Its not touted as version 9, but the list of improvements certainly makes this years upgrade to Cakewalks Sonar DAW a big deal.

Doepfer Dark Energy

Synthesizer

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The latest product of Doepfers modular know-how is the Dark Energy: a compact, powerful and hands-on desktop analogue synthesizer.

FXpansion DCAM Synth Squad

Software Synth Suite

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FXpansions first foray into the soft-synth world yields some unexpected but welcome results...

Hollow Sun Nebulae

Sample Library

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Anyone who bought a hardware synth in the '80s already knows that even a few megabytes of sample memory can nevertheless result in incredible sounds in the hands of skilled sound designers. 

JoeCo BBR1 BlackBox Recorder

24-track Recorder

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Recording in a live environment demands simplicity and stability, and this intriguing new product from SADiE co-founder Joe Bull is designed to offer both.

Native Instruments Absynth 5

Software Synthesizer

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The fifth version of Absynth introduces even more sound-mangling features and aims to be far more user-friendly than its predecessors. Has it succeeded? Read on...

Neumann TLM102

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

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The new TLM102 embodies everything weve come to expect from a large-diaphragm Neumann studio mic — except the price!

Novation Nocturn 25

Controller Keyboard

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After an extensive programme of selective breeding, Novation have created the Nocturn 25 — an affordable, touch-sensitive controller keyboard.

Soniccouture The Skiddaw Stones

Multi-format

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Despite the title, this isn't the debut CD of a Cumbrian '60s tribute band. It is, in fact, another of Soniccouture's...

Spectrasonics Trilian

Software Bass Instrument

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Spectrasonics new STEAM-driven bass module bundles 34GB of electric, acoustic and synth basses into one package. We delve deep and give you the lowdown.

Studio Headphones

Leading Models Compared

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Whether recording or mixing, which set of headphones will work for you? We compare a selection of the best models.

TC Electronic Impact Twin

Firewire Audio Interface

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Compact and bijou it may be, but the Impact Twin offers 14 channels of simultaneous analogue and digital I/O and is chock-full of TCs clever DSP technology.

Thermionic Culture Fat Bustard

Summing Mixer

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Summing might not sound very rock & roll, but Thermionic Culture have added a little attitude of their own to this impressive and unique design.

U-he Uhbik

Plug-in Effects Suite [ Mac OS/Windows]

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There are countless reverbs, EQs and delay-based effects out there, but U-hes new Uhbik collection brings some fresh thinking to familiar sounds.

Vox Amplug Acoustic

Acoustic-modelling Guitar Headphone Amp

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Each of Vox's Amplug range of guitar headphone amps is designed to emulate a single amplifier type, and to provide basic...

Waves Vocal Rider

Vocal Levelling Plug-in [Mac OS/Windows]

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No matter how many compressors we own, when it comes to getting vocal levels right, theres no substitute for faders and hard work. Until now...

People + Opinion

Playback

Readers’ Music Reviewed

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More of your submitted recordings undergo the SOS 'Juke Box Jury' treatment.

Sounding Off

Alex Marten

With musical instruments, its the interface that counts...

Upgrade Yourself

Leader

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If the postal system hasn't completely melted down by the time you read this, you should still be looking forward to Christmas...

Wayne Bennett & Speech Debelle

Recording Speech Therapy

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It took rapper Speech Debelle years to find a producer who could bring to life the sounds in her head. The answer, as Wayne Bennett discovered, was to record her music as if it were a folk album.

Technique

An Introduction To Forensic Audio

Detective Phil Manchester

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Noisy, muffled, incoherent recordings are an audio engineers worst nightmare, but all too often they contain vital evidence in criminal trials. Its the job of the forensic audio specialist to extract that evidence.

Choosing Guitar-amp Speakers

Guitar Technology

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A brief guide to what factors should be considered when choosing replacement speakers for your guitar amps.

Cubase: VST Expression | Audio

Audio Examples From Cubase Techniques January 2010

This contains the three separate files to accompany the SOS January 2010 Cubase Technique workshop (...

Elastic Audio — Better Than Beat Detective?

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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Many long-term Pro Tools users still rely on Beat Detective, but the newer Elastic Audio often produces better results in half the time.

Live Looping

Ableton Live Notes & Techniques

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Live 8s Looper is ideal for quick, fun composition.

Logic: Audio Output Formats

Logic Notes & Techniques

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For every destination you might have for your mix, theres a correct audio output format. We explain the options.

Mix Rescue Audio

Audio Examples From Mix Rescue January 2010

Here is a selection of audio files to accompany this month's Mix Rescue of Jay Menon's ballad 'Through My Eyes'. You can...

Mix Rescue: Jay Menon

Mixing & Recording Advice

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This month we look at ways to manipulate transients and make use of those all-important send effects, as we take on Jay Menon's ballad, 'Through My Eyes'.

PC Notes

32-bit / 64-bit in Windows 7

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If youre upgrading to Windows 7, you might be considering buying a 64-bit version to access more RAM. But will you still be able to use all your 32-bit plug-ins?

Public Enemy ‘Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos’ | Classic Tracks

Producers: The Bomb Squad • Engineer: Nick Sansano

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Hank Shocklees 1988 collaboration with Public Enemy brought a new aggression to hip-hop — both sonically and politically...

Reason: Productivity Boosts

Reason Notes & Techniques

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Boost your Reason productivity with indispensable keyboard shortcuts that make everyday jobs quicker and easier.

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Veronica Ferraro

Inside Track: ‘When Love Takes Over’

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When French DJ David Guetta and American singer Kelly Rowland combined to produce one of the biggest crossover hits of 2009, the hands on the faders belonged to Veronica Ferraro.

Shedding Features

Apple Notes

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Apple provide great entry-level music software in the shape of Garageband, so why is Mac hardware shedding features that help entry-level musicians?

Studio SOS: Jason Firth

Setting Up A Dual-Purpose Studio

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What do you get when you cross a recording musician with a photographer? A nice-looking studio that serves a dual purpose, thats what...

VST Expression

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

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VST Expression, introduced in Cubase 5, enables you to extract the best from multi-articulation sample libraries.

Warmer Sounds From Digital Synths

Processing Techniques

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If your plug-in synths sound a bit cold and clinical, there are plenty of ways to inject some life...

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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No-one likes having their work criticised, especially when the criticism is baffling, surreal and second-hand. But thats the lot of todays composer for the media.

Sound Advice

Q. Do balanced connections prevent ground loops?

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I've carefully wired up my gear using all balanced inputs and outputs, and proper balanced cables, but I'm still getting...

Q. How can I achieve a ‘dry’ sound?

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I record and mix in my 'studio', which isn't too great acoustically. I can manage somehow when mixing, by working on...

Q. Should I use parallel compression in mastering?

I'm looking for some in‑depth education on the subject of parallel compression, with respect to its application in the...

Q. What’s the best way to add a subtle vinyl effect?

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I'm trying to figure out how I would create a really old‑style, warm‑sounding distortion/crackle on a string motif for an...

SOS Podcast 020

19:00 mins

In this pre-Christmas holiday podcast, Editor in Chief Paul White and Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns comment on gear they are currently testing for coming editions, and in the Sound Advice section pass on Recording Vocals tips about mic choice, positions, processing and acoustics. News Editor Jules Harding highlights recent new product announcements like VOG and Hollow Sun's sampling of the 70-year-old Hammond Novachord, plus Features Editor Sam Inglis introduces what's in the forthcoming magazine.

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