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Paul White tests a new valve mic that captures the essence of a good vintage design at a realistic price.
Virtual Analogue Synth
Paul White revisits his old analogue synthesis days via Bitheadz's Retro AS1 — but can a computer screen ever be as friendly as all those knobs and faders?
Sound File Protection Software
If you have ever been faced with an error message that prevented you loading in an entire track of WAV audio, you will be extremely interested in Wave Safe. Martin Walker explores a world of corruption.
Eventide, the undisputed masters of digital pitch-shifting, have launched a limited-edition version of their industry standard DSP4000. Is it just window dressing, or does it have anything genuinely new to offer? Hugh Robjohns finds out.
MIDI Control Centre
Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser take a look at a new programmable control surface which allows you to set up a physical controller for almost any aspect of a MIDI device.
Computers may have revolutionised home recording, but for the recording guitarist who prefers the sound of single coil pickups, they have taken the age-old problem of radiated-field noise to a new level. Dave Lockwood checks out a new generation fo pickups promising a real solution without compromising the classic sound.
Digital Recording Console
You know how it is — you wait ages for a buss, and then eight of them come along at once. Hugh Robjohns flags down Mackie's entry into the digital mixing fray.
Active Nearfield Monitors
Although not very common in semi-pro environments, Quested is a well respected name in professional music studios. The conpany's new F11 active nearfield monitors are likely to bridge that gap and introduce the Quested name to a much wider audience. Hugh Robjohns lends them his ears...
Analogue Modelling Synthesizer
Roland have finally released the rackmounting version of their much-vaunted JP8000. And what is this? A mic input? Paul Ward adopts his best Kraftwerk pose for a spot of modern nostalgia.
Synthesizer Sound Expansion Cards
Paul White risks serious wear and tear to his patch-seletion finger by trying out the whole set of Roland JV-series Expansion Cards.
Rhythm Composer (Retro)
'80s technology is still out there in abundance and going cheap. Derek Johnson spotlights a budget beatbox that has everything it takes to slot into the '90 studio.
Loop-based Music Production Tool
Loop-based sequencing can involve heavy-duty time-stretching and pitch-shifting, but Sonic Foundry aim to change this with Acid, which allows you to mix multiple sample loops while changing their pitch and tempo in real time. Martin Walker applies the Acid test.
Techno Microcomposer Software
Unlike the vintage equipment it emulates, Rebirth is getting more sophisticated all the time. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser catch up with the latest version.
Paul White studio tests least expensive digital desk currently on the market and asks, "Is the writing on the wall for small analogue mixers?"
Wavestation Soundcard & Headphone Amp/BPM Counter
Paul White and Martin Walker check out two essential pieces of kit for your home or project studio.
Xtream PC Soundcard
If you like playing the odd game, but still want quality audio when writing music, Martin Walker believes the Turtle Beach Montego could provide the best of both worlds.
In a market already awash with software plug-ins, it takes something special to stand out. Martin Walker investigates a filter that is poles apart.
PC Directx Plug-in Bundle
Waves are rightly renowned for their full price plug-in suites for both Mac and PC, but can they achieve the same reputation at the entry level end of the market? Martin Walker wonders just how easy it is.
MIDI Bass Interface
MIDI guitars have been around for years, but systems catering to bassists are far less common. Derek Johnson sets his sequencer's controls for the heart of the bass...
When such an established name in the world of electronic pianos comes out with something new, you'd be wise to sit up and take notice. Yamaha's latest offering, the P200 promises up to 64-note polyphony, state-of-the-art on-board sounds, and a brand new fully weighted 88-note keyboard. Interested? Paul Farrer finds out if it has all been worth the weight.
People + Opinion
In the sequel to his article last month about being a session musician, Big George takes a look at what it takes to be a successful programmer.
Interview | Artist
Most people knew that Gary Barlow was the songwriting force behind boy-band stars Take That, but his long-term interest in production and recording is less well documented. Now recording and co-producing his second solo album, he looks set to put the memory of his former band far behind him. Matt Bell pays him a visit at his impressive home studio.
Interview | Engineers
Sue Sillitoe meets the producers of Robbie Williams' 1998 number one hit to find out how it was put together. Additional material by Matt Bell.
Interview | Composer
His music for the futuristic shoot-'em-up Mech Warrior 2 earned him cult status and a heap of 'Best Music' accolades from computer magazines. Now Bruce Willis stars in his latest project. Sam Molineaux loads her tape machine and hunts out Jeehun Hwang in the City of Angels.
Neil Watkinson doesn't care whether your studio is analogue or digital, big or small, so long as new can hear the words...
Tips & Tricks
All fingers and thumbs in front of a keyboard? John Walden provides a few pointers to make sequencing using a MIDI guitar controller a less fretful experience.
Since Microsoft released Windows 98 at the beginning of June, some PC musicians have held back to see how stable it is, while others have taken their chances. Martin Walker crosses his fingers and jumps the latest hurdles form Bill Gates.
Tips & Techniques
In this final part of our series looking at the alternative systems available for recording and mixing, Paul White outlines his own system and the reasons for building it that way.
Tips & Tricks
All recording setups incorporate effects devices of one sort or another, but it's easy to end up using them only in the same predictable ways. Roger Jackson introduces some more imaginative ways to freshen up your productions.
Atari users with CD-ROM drives can take advantage of a new disc crammed with MIDI and audio bits and pieces, for just £25. Derek Johnson gives it a spin.
The iMac has been shrouded in mystery since its announcement by Apple — and some of the puzzles just won't go away, even now the first machines have shipped. Martin Russ investigates.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Casual Observers * Paul Simmons * Lucid Monkey * Adrenalin Junkies * Rowena Cairns * Richard Hall * Petras Suduikis * Session * Efrem Thomas * Sumo Arseman * David T Dewdney * Yark *
Tips & Techniques
In the fifth and final part of our series on acoustic design, Paul White sums up the key stages of designing a project studio and touches on the subject of air-conditioning.
Martin Walker is the first to take the chair in our new regular column on Internet based resources for the hi-tech musician. This month, he looks at sites that aim to help you improve the sound of your studio.
This month sees a major upgrade of the PC variety, as Martin Walker invests in a faster, more powerful machine, as well as installing Windows '98. Things will never be the same again!