November 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

All About EMS, Part 1

Exploration

In the first part of a two-part series, Gordon Reid charts the rise of EMS and their creation of the world's first self-contained portable synthesizer, the VCS3, and its velocity-sensitive keyboard, the DK1.

Berklee Press Music Books; Hughes & Kettner Red Box Pro

Studio Essentials

John Walden & Paul White check out two more essential bits of gear for your home or project studio.

Best Of XX-Large

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Beyer MSB48 Phantom Power Supply; Tech 21 Bass Compactor Processor

Studio Essentials

Paul White checks out two new pieces of essential studio equipment.

Electrix Filter Queen & EQ Killer

Processors

Electrix's new babies may look like Day-Glo '50s Bakelite radios, but they are in fact an innovative pair of pint-sized studio processors. Paul Farrer gets out his magnifying glass...

Fostex NF1A

Nearfield Studio Monitors

Paul White auditions some new active monitors from Fostex that offer a number of technical innovations.

Korg Triton Rack

Expandable Sound Module/Sampler

Korg follow up their top-flight Triton workstation with a sophisticated rackmount expander. The new model sacrifices some features but enhances many others and adds support for the mLAN music network standard. Simon Trask racks it up.

Line 6 Bass Pod

Physical Modelling Bass Preamp

At last, an easy way of consistently getting a polished, 'produced' bass guitar sound in your recordings! Dave Lockwood tests a physical modelling processor that bass players and engineers alike will welcome.

Lynx Studio Technology Lynx One

PC Soundcard

Despite the ever-increasing number of PC recording cards on the market, there's one particular niche that has remained unaddressed, for years. Martin Walker tries out a product that, at last, fills the gap.

Mark Walker Latin Drums: Rhythm Of The Americas Vol. 1

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Native Instruments B4 Tonewheel

Organ Plug-in

Paul White boldy goes where no man has been B4!

Nemesys Music Technology Gigasampler 160

Software Sampler

Nemesys' Gigasampler proved that a fast PC could compete with the latest hardware samplers, and provided some features they simply couldn't match — such as sampled instruments many gigabytes in size. Now the company has updated the range to include two new products. Martin Walker asks if rackmount samplers have finally met their Nemesys...

Rode NT3

Studio Condenser Microphone

A true condenser studio mic from Down Under, provides quality on a budget. Hugh Robjohns checks out the Rode NT3.

Roland XV5080

Rack Synthesizer/sample Playback Module

In their eagerly-awaited new flagship synth, Roland have harked back to the sampling technology of their respected S-series samplers, as well as adding some contemporary touches to equip it for the 21st century. Gordon Reid assesses past, present and future.

Spiritual Voices

Sample Library

* Score = 4

SPL Channel One

Valve Voice Channel

Paul White might have more voice channels than he can find voices, but after using the new SPL Channel One, he gets the overwhelming urge to add another one to his armoury.

Yamaha AW4416

Digital Audio Workstation

Hugh Robjohns tries out the very first production unit of the AW4416 — Yamaha's eagerly awaited combination of O-series digital mixer, hard disk recorder and sampler — and finds even more than he bargained for...

Yamaha SU200

Loop Sampler

Yamaha's new budget phrase sampler is designed to allow rapid creation of phrase- and loop-based music. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser put it to the test.

Yamaha UX256

USB MIDI Interface

Derek Johnson tries out a new multi-port USB MIDI interface that's also designed to allow connection of serial-port gear.

People + Opinion

15 Years Of Sound On Sound

Special Feature

This special November 2000 edition includes a 32-page supplement looking back over those early days, making this this the biggest SOS of all time. Selected leaders, highlights, and advertisements reveal how the hi-tech music recording field has evolved and how expectations (and prices) have radically changed through the years...

An Introduction To mLAN, Part 4

Exploration

There was quite a buzz about mLAN at the recent American AES audio trade show. Paul Wiffen reports on the latest developments.

DAVE MAUGHAN: Recording Cathryn Williams

Interview | Engineer

Newcastle-based engineer Dave Maughan, like many SOS readers, runs a small commercial studio based in his own house — where he recorded one of the year's most acclaimed albums. Sam Inglis hears his story.

Disk Storage

Cutting Edge

Disk storage may well be the future of recording but, as Dave Shapton explains, it pays to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls before entrusting your precious original master recordings to such media.

HUGO NICOLSON: You Only Live Twice

Interview | Producer / Engineer

The studio business has seen huge changes in the last 10 years, and the equipment, techniques and fashions that were cutting-edge in the early '90s are often redundant now. Mike Senior meets a producer and engineer who, having made it to the top then decided to take a five-year break and is now back with a vengeance.

LESTYN POLSON: Recording David Gray's 'Babylon'

Interview | Producer

David Gray's album White Ladder has become one of the most successful UK chart albums of 2000, a breakthrough spearheaded by top five chart single 'Babylon'. Engineer/programmer and co-producer Lestyn Polson tells Tom Flint the story behind the song.

SEAN CLOUGH: Click Track Constraints On Musical Expression

Sounding Off

Sean Clough laments the constraints which the click track has imposed upon musical expression.

SIMON RINALDO: Bedroom Studio

Readerzone

Simon Rinaldo and his bedroom studio full of vintage keyboards and synths.

Technique

Arpeggiator Tips

Logic Notes

In the first of our new regular software columns based on the leading sequencer packages, Paul White gets Logic Notes off to a flying start with some invaluable hints and tips.

Broadcasting Your Audio, Part 1

Net Notes

Part 1 of a 2-part Net Notes in which Dave Shapton explores the theory and the practice of broadcasting your audio and video on the Internet.

Cubase 5.0; JXsynth

PC Notes

This month Martin Walker improves his aural skills and reports on progress with Cubase 5.0.

DirectConnect; Finale

Apple Notes

This month Vic Lennard looks at the practical implications of DirectConnect and possible problems when using the wrong system updaters...

Expanding Your Effects Horizons, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

Most people are familiar with basic reverb, delay and modulation effects, but what lies beyond? In the first part of a new series, Paul White explores the twilight zone of effects processing.

MIDI Master Drummer

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson gets into the groove with an 'emailware' rhythm-creation program and goes analogue with an updated step-sequencer...

Monitors Demystified, Part 2: Frequency Response Secrets

Exploration

What do the manufacturer's frequency response figures tell you about your studio monitors? Less than you might think, as Phil Ward discovers...

Optimising G-series Macs & iMacs, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

The recent G3, G4 and iMac computers are fast and attractive to musicians, but they present various dilemmas when it comes to connecting your MIDI and audio interfaces. In part 1 of this short series, Paul Wiffen looks at the various ways to get MIDI data flowing reliably in the absence of ADB and serial ports.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

UDA * Microchasm * Verbatim * J.P. McCarthy * Lounger * Keith Berry * Spicy Lemons * Ted's Head * Chris Nash * Alan White * Madlab

Scale Correction

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

The music production software we now use has become so sophisticated that valuable features and techniques can often go unused simply through unfamiliarity. With this in mind, SOS has added new regular monthly columns dedicated to making the most of the leading programs. In this inaugural Cubase Notes, Martin Walker explains the use of the Scale Correction feature.

Software Studios — Practical Solution Or Second-best?

Exploration

Software and hardware developments have made the 'studio in your PC' concept increasingly attractive, but many prospective users are put off by concerns about sound quality, timing, and the difficulty of adapting existing sample libraries. Many of these issues need no longer cause difficulty, however, as Martin Walker explains...

Submitting Demo Recordings

Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Senior answers some of the most common questions we receive about sending out demos, and helps you to make the kind of impression that will get your music heard.

Synth Secrets, Part 19: Duophony

Tips & Tricks

Gordon Reid discovers that two's company, as he investigates how manufacturers stretched the capabilities of analogue monosynths to offer the magnificent total of two notes at a time.
• Read all parts

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Presentation

Feature | Tips & Tricks

This month, shape up with Big George's presentation workout.

Sound Advice

CD Quality; Reduce Dust; Monitors; ADAT Audio & MIDI; CD Burning; Overcoming Distortion

Q & A

Q. Which factors affect the audio quality of recorded CDs?
Q. How do I reduce dust in my studio?
Q. Is a mix only as good as the monitors used?
Q. Which mixer will send a stereo signal to my effects processor?
Q. How do I record audio and MIDI onto my ADAT digital audio recorder?
Q. Are home produced CDs burnt differently to professional CDs?
Q. How do I overcome distortion when using my SW1000XG audio/MIDI PCI card?

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