October 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Alesis Masterlink 2

CD Mastering Processor

Paul White checks out the new features offered by the recent software update for Alesis' unique CD mastering processor.

Analogue Systems Sorceror

Modular Analogue Keyboard Synthesizer

West-country company Analogue Systems have been in the vanguard of modern modular synth construction for several years now, most notably with their RS Integrator system. Using Integrator modules, they've produces their first freely configurable keyboard modular. Paul Nagle sees if the spirit of patchable modular keyboards is alive, well, and living in Cornwall...

Drawmer 1969

Dual-channel Valve Preamp/Processor

Drawmer's 1969 model, developed with US pro audio dealer Mercenary Audio, seeks to offer the facilities of their acclaimed 1960 valve-based processor, but with a more American sound. Hugh Robjohns checks it out.

Drumskills

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Echo Mona 24/96

Digital Studio

There's a new addition to Echo's well-established family of PCI recording interfaces, and it caters for recording guitarists and those mixing in surround for DVD production. Martin Walker has a date with Mona.

Emagic Logic Audio v4.5

MIDI + Audio Recording Software

Paul White evaluates the latest Logic Audio update and discovers that as well as a host of new features, Windows users also get a brand-new audio engine.

Emagic MT4

USB MIDI Interface

Paul White tries out Emagic's compact two input, four output USB MIDI interface.

Fostex VF16

16-track Digital Multitracker

Fostex have broken a price-barrier in this section of the digital multitracker market, providing 16-track recording, editing and mixing within their new, compact VF16. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser discover whether it's too good to be true...

Gmedia Phat Boy v2

MIDI Controller

Paul Nagle tries out the update to this inexpensive controller for MIDI devices.

Line 6 Pod Pro

Physical Modelling Guitar Preamp

You might think the Pod Pro is just a Pod in a rack, but Paul White finds that there's a lot more to it than that.

Mackie HDR24/96

24-track Hard Disk Recorder

Paul White tests one of the most eagerly awaited products of the year! Does the Mackie HDR24/96 really offer the best of both the traditional hardware and computer recording worlds?

Megaton Bomb Vol. 4: Big Beat

Sample Library

Score = 5

MXL 2001

Cardioid Capacitor Microphone

The mic wars hot up, with a new low-price contender throwing in a shockmount at no extra cost. Paul White puts the MXL 2001 through its paces.

Roland GR33

MIDI Guitar Synthesizer

Roland's new guitar synth is their most affordable yet, but could it also be the best? Paul White finds out if it lives up to the promise of fastest-ever tracking and JV-style sound generation.

Roland HPD15 Handsonic

Hand Percussion Pad

Nicholas Rowland is star-struck by Roland's frankly fabulous new hand percussion controller.

Sequential Prophet 3000

16-bit Stereo Sampling System (retro)

Robert Alexander pays tribute to the short-lived yet truely revolutionary Prophet 3000 which, like Sequential themselves, vanished almost overnight...

Soundscape R.Ed

PC-based Computer Recording System

As PCs grow more powerful, native-processing systems appear to offer very impressive features. Nevertheless, as Martin Walker explains, there is still a strong case for using dedicated audio hardware, as evidenced by Soundscape's powerful R.Ed system.

The Drummers Of Motown

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Total Hip Hop

Sample Library

* Score = 4

People + Opinion

An Introduction To mLAN, Part 3

Exploration

After looking at the development of and theory behind mLAN, Paul Wiffen continues his series on the new FireWire-based music and audio protocol with a practical look at the effect it will have on the gear in our studios and how we connect it together.

KEN NELSON: Recording Coldplay's Parachutes

Interview | Producer

Ken Nelson favours the old school of recording, based around clean signal paths, live playing and analogue tape — but that hasn't stopped him working with some of the hottest new bands in Britain. Among them are Coldplay, whose debut Parachutes album crashed straight into the charts at number 1. Sam Inglis finds out how it was recorded.

MARK HILL: Artful Dodger & Producing Craig David

Interview | Producer/Artist

Since UK garage emerged from the underground last year, record companies have been scrambling to sign up the stars of the latest Big Thing. Foremost among these is Mark Hill, who, as well as being one half of Artful Dodger, has also produced Craig David's hit single and debut album Born To Do It. He talks to Sam Inglis.

MP3 Players

Cutting Edge

This month, Dave Shapton suggests that emerging compression techniques may actually improve our audio and multimedia experiences.

PAUL SELLARS: MIDI + Audio Sequencing

Sounding Off

Paul Sellars challenges the idea that MIDI + Audio sequencing has had a negative effect upon musical proficiency.

PETE NORRIS: Recording Morcheeba's 'Rome Wasn't Built In A Day'

Interview | Producer

Morcheeba's last album Big Calm was a commercial and artistic breakthrough, and expectations were running high for their new album, Fragments Of Freedom. The first single from the album, 'Rome Wasn't Built In A Day', was an intriguing taster. Producer Pete Norris told Tom Flint how it was written and recorded.

Technique

Adding Analogue Warmth To PC Recordings

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Soundcard and computer technology has advanced to the stage where even modestly specified PC systems can make recordings of incredible clarity — and DSP algorithms now allow us to add in the warmth that is characteristic of analogue recordings. Martin Walker explores the options.

Buying The Equipment You Really Need, Part 3

Feature | Tips & Tricks

In the final instalment of this series, Paul White looks at computers, as well as offering some advice on planning a system that allows for future expansion.

Electron SidStation

Atari Notes

The Atari goes back to the future with the help of the Electron SidStation, and Derek Johnson finds out why it's hip to be square...

Gain Structure For Soundcard Recording

Tips & Tricks

Paul White offers a few levels for soundcard-based music systems.

Improving Your Stereo Mixing

Tips & Tricks

Paul White explores how you can give your mixes more stereo depth and width — not only using the more commonly recognised methods, but also with a few lesser-known tricks of the trade...

MIDI Files

Net Notes

When it comes to MIDI files on the 'net you have two options: either trawl through the myriad of illegal pirate sites or deal with a professional. Paul Farrer separates the pros from the cons.

Monitors Demystified, Part 1: Compromise & Approximation

Exploration

Monitor speakers affect nearly all the descisions we make when recording and mixing — yet most of us know very little about how they are designed, and why they sound the way they do. In the first of a new series, Phil Ward explains what goes into the design of typical passive nearfields, and the effects they can have on what we record.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Mailorder Bitch * BassShaker * Y2K * DD * Sullivan * The Laver Babies * Lunarsea * Jonny Boy Productions * The Havox * Jaysons Winters * Duncan J White

Proofing Music With MP3 & SoundJam MP

Apple Notes

Proofing music with MP3 and SoundJam MP Plus is on the agenda for Vic Lennard this month...

Reducing Noise From Your PC — Level Check

PC Notes

This month Martin Walker seeks out the suppliers of products aimed at reducing noise from your PC.

Setting Up A Desktop Studio, Part 3

Tips & Tricks

Paul White concludes this short series by considering a more sophisticated desktop studio incorprating an external digital mixer.

Synth Secrets, Part 18: Priorities & Triggers

Tips & Tricks

In these days of 64-note polyphony and 32-part multitimbrality, it's easy to forget the importance of note-priority systems in analogue monosynths — yet they can have a drastic effect on what you hear when you play or trigger an old synth. Gordon Reid provides a refresher course.
• Read all parts

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Plan Of Action, Part 2

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Continuing from last month's rant, Big George wants to know how you've done so far.

Sound Advice

Atari Video Work; Mixing Digital Signals; Adjusting Gain; Vocal Booths; Reslo Mics; NuBas Mac Sampler

Q & A

Q. Is the Atari still a viable option for video work?
Q. Can I mix several digital signals into one without buying and expensive digital mixer?
Q. How do I adjust the gain structure of my digital-to-digital recording using my Tascam CDRW700?
Q. How should I build my vocal booth?
Q. What can you tell me about Reslo mics?
Q. How can I turn my old NuBus Mac into a sampler?

Using Plug-ins

Frequently Asked Questions

Caught between TDM, MAS, DirectX and VST? Tangled up in virtual inserts and aux sends? Never fear! Resident Plug-in guru Paul White is here to answer all your most common question, and to help you get the most from software audio processing.

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