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This month, thanks to the folks at Alchemea, we are able to give one fortunate reader the chance to become a certified Pro Tools Operator, by taking the Pro Tools 101, 110, 201 and 210M modules at the college. The winner will attend the Islington site for a total of 10 days, but the timetable is flexible so the programme could last for up to a month. Travel and accommodation are not included in the prize.
Looping & Composition Software [Mac OS X/Windows]
Ableton's Live revolutionised user interface design in music software, and with every update, the company have striven to retain its ergonomic appeal whilst adding some very sophisticated new features.
Active Studio Monitors
ADAM have shaved the price but not the quality for these active nearfields. Do they offer enough to help them stand out from the crowd?
Scoring Software For Windows
Capella is a highly evolved and intuitive scoring package that helps you get the job done more quickly by cutting down on distractions.
Mic & Instrument Preamp
Chandler revive a vintage technology in their unique new preamp. We put it to the test...
Firewire Interface [Mac OS X/Windows]
The new M Box 2 Pro is the first portable Pro Tools interface that connects via Firewire rather than USB. As a result, users get more I/O, a phono preamp and word clock support among other bonuses.
Gear Reviews, Tips and Techniques
We test Exploraudio's Liveguitar H-clamp for fixing a conventional mic to an acoustic guitar, and explain ways to track down the source of guitar tuning problems, plus GT news...
Bass Amp Modelling Plug-in [Mac/PC]
Most guitar amp modellers can be pressed into service on bass guitar, but now IK Multimedia have teamed up with Ampeg to create a plug-in dedicated to recreating bass amp sounds.
Korg's Triton LE series has evolved into the TR range, but does it deliver any more than a new paint-job?
Lexicon's MX200 offered the innovative ability to integrate with a sequencer host just like an effects plug-in. The updated MX400 goes one better - it does all that, but with dual effects-processing engines too.
Programmable Monophonic Analogue Synthesizer
Bob Moog's final project carries his visionary synthesizer design into the future.
Wireless MIDI Controller Keyboard
M-Audio's new wireless controller keyboard aims to free you from the restraints of MIDI cables.
Multi-pattern Valve Microphone
M-Audio's latest foray into the mic market combines a striking retro look with the warmth of a valve and the versatility of switchable polar patterns.
MIDI & USB Controller
Novation have cut the keyboard and the cost with the latest addition to their Remote SL line of 'intelligent' hardware controllers.
More hot Plug-ins tested
• WWYAM NWEQ Pro
• Universal Audio Neve 1073 Equaliser
As Roland revisit the Juno name once again, we look at whether their latest offering is a serious contender, or merely a bantamweight Fantom.
• VSL Woodwinds II, Brass I & Brass II • Ilio Skippy's Big Bad Beats, Skippy's Noizbox, Stark Raving Beats & Ethno Techno • Ueberschall Urban Jointz
The democratisation of the ribbon mic continues with the release of an attractive model from SE. We find out whether it sounds as good as it looks.
Wavetable Soft Synth [Windows]
Old synths never die, they get reproduced as virtual instruments. So it is with Waldorf's Micro Q, which forms the heart of Terratec's impressive wavetable-based soft synth.
It lacked most of the features we'd expect from even a basic synth, but this rare Italian keyboard had a charm all of its own.
Vocal Processing Plug-ins [Mac/PC]
With their Vocal Bundle, Waves look to take voice processing and automatic pitch correction to a new level of sophistication.
People + Opinion
Some of the more interesting feedback we recently received, along with our official responses...
Paul White's Leader
Babydaddy • Dan Grech-Marguerat
The Scissor Sisters' first album, recorded in a Manhattan apartment, sold 3.5 million copies worldwide. The follow-up sees them expanding their horizons, while keeping their DIY ethos very much intact.
Need inspiration? It may be closer than you think...
After 17 years mixing almost everything that came out of Jam & Lewis's Flyte Tyme Studios, there's very little Steve Hodge doesn't know about making R&B records work.
The Altiverb convolving reverb plug-in arrived on the PC platform earlier this year. We find out how it stands up to the convolution competition, as well as bringing you the usual crop of PC news and tips.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
In this month's Pro Tools workshop, we concentrate on the top and bottom of the frequency spectrum, looking at plug-ins that claim to enhance treble and bass. How do they work, how should you use them, and most importantly, which ones are the best?
Producers: Garry Cobain, Brian Dougans • Engineers: Yage
In 1991 The Future Sound of London brought their unique brand of experimentalism to the dancefloor with the seminal track, 'Papua New Guinea' — and launched their career in the process.
Sonar Notes & Techniques
Sonar seems to get more customisable with every version, and the newly released Sonar 6 is no exception, allowing you to tweak various aspects of appearance and operation until the program looks and feels just the way you want it.
The new high-end and mid-range iMacs look interesting for musicians, offering Core 2 Duo processors and rather attractive prices. Apple Notes takes a look at the spec.
Remixing Simon Fitzpatrick
This month we help reader Simon Fitzpatrick to bind his synthesized, programmed, and acoustic sounds together into a cohesive mix.
MP3 Audio examples
The subject of studio acoustics can seem like black magic — but don't let it scare you off. You can make easy changes, that could vastly improve your recording and mixing environment, with the help of free or cheap PC software utilities, as we discover this month.
Logic Notes & Techniques
You can now update Logic's creaky old pitch and tempo manipulation routines with third-party algorithms from names such as Serato, Izotope, and Celemony. We compare the options to find out whether these upgrades are worth it.
With the powerful automation available in modern DAWs, it is easy to overlook their side-chaining features. But what value does this technique have in the modern project studio?
Updating Studio Acoustics
This month, the SOS team help out with the acoustics at Ultravox and Band Aid star Midge Ure's personal studio.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Cubase's Tempo Editor offers some powerful ways to manipulate tempo and time signatures in your Projects. This month we take a detailed look at these features.
Digital Performer Notes & Techniques
The subject of clicks might not seem terribly interesting — but it's surprising how much difference a well-chosen timing reference can make to the recording of your musical performances.
Part 1: Replacing A Live Keyboard Rig
In the first part of a series on using Reason live, we look at using the Combinator and MIDI remote control to replace a live keyboard rig.
A Guide To Producer Management
Want to spend more time in the studio and less on the phone to accountants and record company executives? A producer manager could take care of the business and develop your career into the bargain. Find out how...
This month Big George wonders: has music lost its identity?
Q. What mics should I use for a bigger drum sound?
Q. What recording/mixing tools do you recommend?
Q. When I mix in Cubase, my mixed-down songs do not sound as good in playback as they did before I saved them. Why?