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4-track Hard Disk Recorder
The latest in Akai's line of standalone hard disk recorders, which also includes 8- and 16-track models, sticks with the 4-track format of its predecessor, the DR4d, but adds 250 'virtual' tracks to increase the flexibility it can offer. David Mellor checks out this low-cost entry into the world of disk recording.
Studio Effects Processor
Although much loved by musicians, Boss's SE50 and SE70 effects processors have now been discontinued, and the new SX700 is designed to replace them. Rob Brady decides whether the SX can follow in the footsteps of its forefathers, or whether it is destined forever to walk in their shadow.
Though it costs no more than last year's TSR24S, Digitech's latest top-line studio processor offers twice the power, an improved user interface, and a digital connections option. Derek Johnson leaps into action.
DOD's 512 combines value for money, simplicity, and flexibility. But does it deliver the necessary sound quality too? Paul White reports.
Emu's Launch Pad provides a hardware control surface for the Orbit sound module, but can also be used with other MIDI gear. Paul Nagle finds out whether it's destined to become a springboard for many a successful mission.
The Joe Meek Pro Channel is priced within reach of almost every studio owner, yet it delivers the same kind of sounds as its bigger brothers. Paul White is introduced to the baby of the Joe Meek range.
Though Korg's new N-series keyboards aren't completely new on the inside, having much in common with the recent X-series synths, they still have plenty to offer as powerful workstations, with some neat and contemporary embellishments for '96. Gordon Reid sketches out the Korg family tree...
Last Unicorn Wavecraft
Modular Synth Emulator
If you've always wanted to create sounds using the patch-cord approach of a vintage modular synth, but can't quite stretch to the real thing, this £100 PC modular synth emulator program could be just up your street. Brian Heywood dives into the waves.
Professional DAT Recorder
Panasonic's latest pro studio DAT is priced to compete with Tascam's established DA30 MkII. Paul White gives his professional opinion on how it measures up.
This imposing valve mic from Australian newcomers Rode looks and sounds expensive, but costs a lot less than comparable models from more familiar manufacturers. Jolly swagman Paul 'Bruce' White looks down under, on top, and inside.
Analogue Polysynth (Retro)
The radical keyboard design of the prophet T8, thought by some to provide the best feel and response of any synth yet made, had a heavy cost for manufacturers Sequential, delaying the T8's launch by two years and stunting potential sales. Robert Alexander reflects on a synth which was ahead of its time.
8-buss Automated Mixing Console
After months of curiosity-arousing, X-Files-style advertising, Soundcraft's Ghost is here, offering the project studio owner automated 8-buss mixing at a highly competitive price. David Mellor deliberately avoids all jokes about EQ and haunting sound quality.
3D Sound Processor
Paul White experiments with mind expansion '90s style, and discovers no harmful side effects!
10-input Micro Mixer
After finally discovering this little mixer almost lost amongst its own packaging, Paul White puts it to work.
SPL's Vitalizers work in mysterious ways to give added life even to good recordings. Now a new model incorporates valves, compressors, filters, and extra controllability, for yet more audio magic. Paul White opens a box of tricks.
Nearfield Studio Monitors
Tannoy's latest nearfields offer an updated version of their famous dual-concentric technology, while still retaining that distinctive Tannoy sound. Paul White test drives them.
12-channel Mini Mixer
Tascam are known for the quality and reliability of their larger consoles: now they've turned their hands to a super-mini mixer, which will have to slug it out with similar models already on the market. Paul White assesses its chances.
Virtual Acoustic Synth Module
At under £500 — less than an eighth of the original price of its VL1 predecessor — Yamaha's VL70m constitutes a brave attempt to bring physical modelling synthesis within the reach of all musicians. Martin Russ joyfully welcomes this monophonic modelling module...
The budget effects market's looking increasingly crowded, with £199 as the new entry-level price norm. Does Zoom's 1204, which features unusual effects not normally found at this cost, stand out from the crowd? Derek Johnson finds out.
People + Opinion
Interview | Band
One-time lords of synth-pop, OMD have had a chequered 18-year history, but frontman Andy McCluskey genuinely believes their 10th and latest album ranks among the band's best work. Nigel Humberstone talks to McCluskey and producer Matthew Vaughan about the making of Universal.
Interview | Producer
Hugh Padgham is one of a select band of producers whose work is always in demand by top musicians, and whose style always seem current and relevant. Richard Buskin catches up with him on a rare break in his busy schedule, to talk about his latest project with Sting and Phil Collins.
Equipment manufacturers frequently boast that with their gear, your creativity will be limited only by your imagination. Electronic musician Ian Boddy explains how his increasing his limitations actually enhanced his work.
The Internet contains far more information than you could hope to assimilate in one lifetime — the problem is finding things you actually want to know about! In the first of a two-part series, Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser don their Tour Guide badges and present a musician's guide to interesting World Wide Web sites...
• Read Part 2 (November 1996)
Interview | Artist
In addition to his respected solo work, Roger Eno has been involved in collaboration with brother Brian and other musicians, and is now part of Channel Light Vessel, also featuring the talents of Bill Nelson, wind player Kate St John, and Zither player Laraaji. Paul Tingen talks to him about his many musical facets.
These days, you can pick up an Atari ST computer for under £100, and its once-guaranteed studio ascendancy is seriously threatened by the Mac and PC. Paul Ward checked out all the alternatives when upgrading his computer, and decided to stick with the faithful ST. Here he explains why.
The flexibility of digital multitrack and hard disk recording is undeniable. But what if you yearn for the sound of your old analogue machine? Craig Anderton explains a trick which uses the playback head of a three-head analogue deck to give you the best of both worlds.
Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed
Skintone * Mintobag * Colin Jones * Secret Archives Of The Vatican * Spangly People From The Land Of Dub * D'Orange * Paul Cook * Yo Yo * Ray Palfreyman
Tips & Tricks
When Martin Walker decided it was time to buy a removable SCSI hard drive for his sampler, he fondly imagined that it would be a centralised storage solution for both samples and MIDI data from his PC, streamlining song organisation and making sample management easier. Enter reality...
Tips & Tricks
Does looping drive you loopy? If you have a hard disk recording system, and currently spend hours hunched over your sampler trying to find perfect loop points, this article could be for you. Simon James supplies the foolproof method...
Martin Russ investigates OMS and FreeMIDI compatibility, explains how you can protect yourself from copy protection, and rounds up more Mac news and useful 'net addresses...
Cubase Audio for the Falcon gets an upgrade, there's a new shareware editor for Sound Canvas users just out, and controversy rages on the net about the place of the Atari ST. Ofir Gal presides.
This month, Brian Heywood explores the delights of 'generative' music with Koan Pro, and checks out a new, easy-to-use soundcard.
Tips & Tricks
Getting the best performance from a digital tape recorder such as the DA88 depends largely on conscientious maintenance and cleaning. Tascam's chief service manager, Joe Fialho, tells Paul White what can safely be done by the user — and when it's necessary to call in the professionals.
Martin Russ's Studio 5LX has changed the way he runs his studio. In the first of this two-part series, he explains how to set up a multi-port MIDI interface, and reveals some of the ways in which these useful devices can simplify your life.
• Read Part 2 (November 1996)