October 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

Antares ATR1

Auto Tune Intonation Processor

Paul White tries out something that he wishes had been available back in his intensive gigging days — a box that automatically puts your vocals in tune in real time!

Chemical Beats

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Digidesign ADAT Bridge I/O

ADAT Interface For Pro Tools

Digidesign's new interface allows Pro Tools users to transfer data to and from ADAT-compatible devices. Mike Collins finds out if it's a Bridge too far...

Digitech Studio S200

Dual-engine Multi-effects Processor

Sitting in Digitech's Studio range between the S100 and the Quad 4, the new S200 combines the functions of the former withthe ergonomics of the flatter. Hugh Robjohns checks it out.

Emagic Logic Audio Platinum

MIDI + Audio Sequencing Software

Emagic have slicked up the popular Logic sequencer line with a few coats of metalic paint and some sparkly new features to match. Paul White goes Platinum with the top of the range.

Full Phat — AMG Catalyst Series Vol. 1

Sample Library

* Score = 3.5

Hammond XB1

Organ

The last few years have seen a rise in the number of sample-based keyboards and modules dedicated to reproducing the distinctive tones of the Hammond organ in a portable, low-cost, MIDI-friendly package. Nick Magnus checks out the latest keyboard offering from Hammond themselves.

Hooter Sound B1

Mic Amp/Compressor/Limiter/Gate

Paul White encounters a budget recording preamp with a colourful pedigree.

JBL LSR32

Midfield Monitors

JBL's new studio monitor system, the LS32, represents a radical departure in their approach to the design and technology of loudspeakers. Hugh Robjohns lends them his ears...

Moog Minimoog 204E

Synth

The Minimoog rides again thanks to Welsh company Moog Music Limited. But how close does it sound to the original? We at SOS knew opinion would be split, so we got five of our regular synth reviewers, all previous or current Mini owners, to give us their views. Step forward Nick Magnus (main text), Paul Nagle, Paul Ward, Paul Wiffen and Steve Howell...

Opcode Studio Vision Pro 4

MIDI + Audio Sequencer

Studio Vision has been offering digital audio recording for an amazing eight years, making Opcode a pioneer in this field. Martin Russ sets out to discover whether successor Studio Vision Pro is still keeping up with the times, and finds it visibly improved...

Pascal's Bongo Massive

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Peavey PVM T9000

Valve Microphone

The battle for low-cost valve mic supremacy warms up as Paul White encounters Peavey's new PVM T9000.

Quasimidi Sirius

Dance Workstation

There's a new star in the current galaxy of groovy dance-oriented synths, but does it outshine the rest? Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser investigate Quasimidi's most comprehensive dance music creation tool yet.

Roland Alpha Juno 1 & 2 (Retro)

Synthesizer

Prepare to shed a tear in another near-miss tale of a desirable analogue synth swept aside by the rise of digital technology. Gordon Reid reveals himself as a closet Alpha Romeo.

Roland JX305

Groovesynth

Roland have repackaged their techno-centric Groovebox, the MC505, adding a keyboard and removing some of the performance features. The result is the JX305. But have they thrown out the baby with the bathwater? Derek Johnson finds out...

Skinned

Sample Library

* Score = 4.5

Sony MDS JE520

Minidisc Recorder

Yes, it's a Minidisc machine and it's not even a multitrack, just a stereo recorder. Why on earth could you possibly want one in the studio? Dave Shapton explains...

SPL Transient Designer

Dynamics Processor

SPL are remowned for producing highly specialised audio processing tools, and their latest product is no exception. Paul White attempts to unravel the mysteries of the Transient Designer dynamics processor.

Steinberg Cubase VST 4

Audio Sequencing Software

The upgrade of Cubase to version 4.0 sees the software comprehensively overhauled — and it's available in an optional 24-bit version for the first time. Martin Walker temporarily changes platform for the next stage of the Cubase journey.

Waldorf Microwave XT

Wavetable Synth

The latest addition to Waldorf's Microwave family certainly advertises its presence. Paul Nagle finds out if the future's bright as well as orange.

Yamaha DSP Factory Hard Disk Recording System

Exploration

Superficially, it may look no different from other soundcards, but Yamaha's new DSP Factory is a real TARDIS when it comes to facilities. Martin Walker explores a soundcard that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Zoom 503

Guitar & Bass Amp Simulator

Can you get a wall of sound from something the size of a brick? John Walden plugs in his guitar, inserts his earplugs and finds out.

People + Opinion

A Personal View Of Session Programmers, Part 1: Musicians

Exploration

While the fame and fortune of pop stars is frequently short-lived, session musicians can carve out a career lasting many years, making a living through sheer ability and professionalism. Big George Webley goes behind the scenes....
• Read Part 2 (November 1998)

DARIO G: Recording SunMachine

Interview | Band

It's the dream of many an SOS reader to have a multimillion-selling worldwide hit with a track recorded in your bedroom — but as Crewe-based Dario G found out, it can create more problems than it solves. Matt Bell finds out how the group came through the turbulent waters of success to produce a fine debut album.

DAVID FERGUSON: Writing Music For TV

Interview | Composer

David Ferguson has worked his way up from sampling hoovers on tape to an enviable position as a highly sought-after TV composer. Debbie Poyser & Derek Johnson discovers how he managed it, and find out his views on the way the music-for-TV industry is developing.

PAUL HODGSON: Music Is All In The Mind

Sounding Off

It's all in the mind... music, that is. A computer can't begin to make music without a human being... or can it? Paul Hodgson explains the current way of thinking at the cutting edge of research into music cognition.

Technique

All About Digital Audio, Part 6

Exploration

In the final instalment of our series on the techniques and technology of digital audio, Hugh Robjohns contemplates plugging it all together.
• Read Part 1 (May 1998)
• Read Part 2 (June 1998)
• Read Part 3 (July 1998)
• Read Part 4 (August 1998)
• Read Part 5 (September 1998)

Atari Computing Magazine; YSEditor v2.64; Trackman v2.5

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson checks out two ST freebies that could help you to tame your synths..

Buying A Ready-made PC Music System

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Although you can go 'under the bonnet' and put together your own PC suitable for MIDI + Audio recording, buying a complete system could prevent many potential problems. Martin Walker gets bundled up.

Choosing A Recording Setup, Part 4

Tips & Techniques

Just when you thought it was safe to dip your hand in your pocket and buy that ideal studio, Paul White throws digital mixers into the frame.
• Read Part 1 (July 1998)
• Read Part 2 (August 1998)
• Read Part 3 (September 1998)
• Read Part 5 (November 1998)

Creative Sequencer Tips, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

Nicholas Rowland fades away with a few tips for creating and manipulating MIDI echoes, along with some other sequencing esoterica.
• Read Part 1 (August 1998)
• Read Part 2 (September 1998)

Disk2File; Sound Forge v4.5

PC Notes

This month, Martin Walker finds that it's good to talk, and uses a PC utility to burn his Akai-formatted hard drive sample collection onto Akai-format CD-R disks.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Oliver Sheen * Nook * Michael Maroussas * Hal * Nemesis * The Prayer * Julian Dale * Mark Taylor * David Cooper Orton * Sound Foundation * Pawel Ulanowicz * Phil Reynolds

Practical Acoustic Treatment, Part 4

Tips & Techniques

Continuing his quest for the perfect listening environment, Paul White looks at ways to treat a control room without having to bring in the builders.
• Read Part 1 (July 1998)
• Read Part 2 (August 1998)
• Read Part 3 (September 1998)
• Read Part 5 (November 1998)

QuickTime 3

Apple Notes

Martin Russ looks at some of QuickTime 3's new features, and considers why the 'computer-as-complete-recording-studio' approach isn't always the best one...

Synth School, Part 12: The Way Ahead

Tips & Techniques

Will physical modelling continue to be at the leading edge of synthesis, or are there other methods moving up on the inside tracks? Paul Wiffen winds up the Synth School series with a little crystal ball-gazing.
• Read Part 1 (June 1997)
• Read Part 2 (August 1997)
• Read Part 3 (September 1997)
• Read Part 4 (October 1997)
• Read Part 5 (December 1997)
• Read Part 6 (February 1998)
• Read Part 7 (April 1998)
• Read Part 8 (June 1998)
• Read Part 9 (July 1998)
• Read Part 10 (August 1998)
• Read Part 11 (September 1998)

Sound Advice

20 Tips On Recording Vocals

Tips & Tricks

If you've got a storming vocal on tape you're halfway towards a great production. Paul White offers some tips on perfecting this most important of recording skills.

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