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If you've ever considered taking out a subscription to Sound On Sound, now is definitely the time to do so, as anyone purchasing a new subscription over the next three months could win a complete computer recording system courtesy of Inta Audio and M Audio. Existing subscribers are also eligible ? simply fill out the entry form.
The DAW at the centre of this prize is an AMD Opteron-based system designed and assembled by Inta Audio. It features a 200GB, 7200rpm hard disk, 1GB of DDR RAM, a DVD writer and a 17-inch TFT monitor and, alone, is worth £1299.
The peripherals that make up the rest of the recording system have all been kindly provided by M Audio, and include a Firewire 1814 audio and MIDI interface, a Luna microphone, a pair of BX5 active nearfield monitors, a Keystation Pro 88 controller keyboard and a copy of Ableton's Live 4 sequencing software.
The Liquid Channel offers accurate emulations of vintage preamps and compressors, plus a digital EQ, in a 2U rack. The unit normally retails for £2344, but Focusrite are generously offering SOS readers the chance to win a Liquid Channel in this competition.
Prizes kindly donated by Focusrite +44 (0)1494 462246. < href=\"http://www.ffliquid.com\">www.ffliquid.com\n
Physical Modelling Synth (Mac/PC)
Tassman is not the oldest 'virtual modular' software synth, but it's always been one of the better ones around. We check out the latest version...
Passive Nearfield Monitors
ADAM's new passive nearfields combine proprietary ribbon tweeters with doped-paper woofers to provide high-precision monitoring on a budget.
One of the all-time classic microphones gets a 21st-century makeover.
Allen & Heath's Mix Wizard range of multi-purpose analogue mixers has just been redesigned and re-released. But is the old magic still there?
PREVIEW: MIDI + Audio Sequencer (Mac OS X)
When Apple bought Emagic two years ago, the question on everyone's lips was 'What will they do with Logic?' Now they have unveiled perhaps the most radical overhaul the sequencer has ever seen, with improvements ranging from new instruments and effects to a networking system that could eliminate CPU restrictions completely. We explain what's changed in this PREVIEW (full in-depth review will follow next month).
PC Software Studio
With pattern-based sequencing, plenty of \npresets and a powerful analogue-style synth, Cakewalk's affordable soft studio package could be a valuable compositional tool.
Acoustic Guitar Preamp
This digital processing unit promises a whole new level of realism from acoustic guitar pickups. Although primarily aimed at live performance, could it be a serious option for the studio too?
Korg, one of the main manufacturers of digital workstations, have just released another multitracker, but this time it's cassette-based!
Hot Releases Tested
Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs:
Tekniks Xtreme House 2 ***** MULTI-FORMAT
PMI The Emperor ***** MULTI-FORMAT
Tekniks Ghetto Grooves 2 **** AUDIO+WAV
PMI The Old Lady ***** MULTI-FORMAT.
Latest Plug-ins Tested
We test and report on another crop of highly insertable software Plug-ins:
Elemental Audio Eqium & Firium
Formats: Mac RTAS, VST & Audio Units; PC RTAS & VST
TC Electronic TC30
Formats: Mac & PC Powercore
This strikingly styled new valve mic offers a sound inspired by vintage classics.
MIDI + Audio Sequencer (PC & Mac OS X)
Cubase SX 3 is the latest incarnation of one of the best-known brands in sequencing software, offering many new features and tying up the loose ends from previous generations of Cubase. But with increased competition, most notably from Apple and Cakewalk, can Steinberg maintain their cross-platform advantage?
Pitch-correction Plug-in (TC Powercore)
A Powercore version of Antares' ubiquitous Auto-Tune pitch corrector was announced in 2001, but it never appeared. Is TC's new Intonator HS plug-in a viable alternative?
Version 2 OS Updates • Anniversary Edition • VX351 • CP251
Since the release of the Voyager analogue monosynth last year, Bob Moog's company have been busy producing OS updates, special-edition versions, and accessories. We bring you up to date with a look at the lot.
Multitrack Beat Slicer & Quantizer (PC)
If you are an avid slicer of beats, then Zero-X's latest offering might just appeal. With its support for multitrack slicing and quantizing, is Beat Quantizer the best thing since sliced bread?
People + Opinion
Alison Wenham • Steve Johnston
We would all like to make a living from selling our own music — but how would you actually go about it? The UK-based Association Of Independent Music offer some thoughts on how to cope with the opportunities and pitfalls of the modern music industry.
From unlikely beginnings as a naval SONAR operator with no musical training, Bill Szymczyk became a legendary producer and engineer whose work with The Eagles would define the hi-fi sound of '70s rock.
Listen & Learn from Reader Tracks
Listen online to the tracks while you read what the MPG (Music Producers Guild) members thought of the latest batch of SOS readers' submitted recordings.
Replies to more of your emails, faxes and letters.
SOS Editor In Chief, Paul White, believes that if the manufacturers of studio hardware outboard equipment still want to be building it in significant numbers in five years' time, then a system similar to the one he proposes in this article is the only thing he can see that will keep them in the game. Read on...
Fed up with being treated badly by spoilt divas, engineer Mark Nevers abandoned the country music establishment to start his own studio, and has made a name for himself on the 'other side' of Nashville.
Darren Tate's Production Tips
Darren Tate is one of Britain's leading house and trance producers with nine Top-40 hits under aliases including Jurgen Vries, Angelic and Citizen Caned, his latest success being the DT8 Project's summer anthem 'The Sun Is Shining (Down On Me)'. He reveals the personal production tricks which make his records stand out.
Is entry-level software killing musical creativity?
Part 1: 1930-1978
The Roland name is almost synonymous with music technology — there can't be an SOS reader who has not made use of their instruments at some time. As founder Ikutaro Kakehashi approaches his 75th birthday, we begin a journey through the company's extraordinary history...
Digital Performer Notes
A guide to DP's options for audio pitch and tempo manipulation is on the agenda for this month's instalment of Performer Notes.
There are now so many sizes, types and formats of audio interface available that it can seem well-nigh impossible to find the one that best suits your needs. We sort out the spec features that are really important.
Producers: Robin Millar, Sade Adu, Mike Pela, Ben Rogan
Sade's ice-cool vocals and sophisticated, jazz-tinged instrumentation defined a new kind of soul music for the '80s. Engineer and producer Mike Pela describes the organic recording process that produced one of the singer's most memorable hits from 1985.
Reader Recordings Diagnosed
Think your own music is good? Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see if you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...
Alexander Hacke: Recording Phase 1 & Perpetuum Mobile
After more than 20 years making uncompromising industrial records, pioneering German band Einstürzende Neubauten escaped a creative and financial crisis through an Internet project which allowed their fans to influence the recording of their latest album.
The Ins & Outs Of X
In recent months, SOS's online Mac Music forum has highlighted the difficulty with achieving the same number of channels of audio I/O under Mac OS X and Logic that were possible under OS 9. We investigate the problems and provide some solutions.
Once you find out all the things you can do with the Marquee tool, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it, so this month's column offers some advice on how to put it to work in your projects.
Organise your tracks with Sonar 4's Track Folder feature, nudge them into place with sample accuracy, and reclaim older plug-ins for use in newer versions of Sonar.
We discuss Apple's brand-new iMac, investigate how much power a musician can really expect from the latest Powerbooks, and explain how to save some hard disk space when installing Mac OS X.
Reason seems firmly fixed in a 4/4 time signature — but clever use of the Redrum and Matrix pattern-based devices allows you to explore more unusual signatures. This month we explain how, as well as bringing you the essential news and tips.
The Windows XP Service Pack 2 is out, and it offers valuable bug fixes as well as enhanced Internet security measures. But as reports of a few audio-related problems surface, should musicians go ahead and install it?
Banish Them For Good
Many of the unwanted hums, clicks, and whirrs that compromise the performance of your computer studio are nothing to do with software. We take a look at what causes them, and how to banish them for good!
Tony Global's background is in the dance-music/DJ scene. The SOS team help him to polish his vocal sounds and improve his mixes.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
We take a closer look at the Embracer, Tonic and Monologue plug-ins that come supplied with Cubase SX.