December 1986 In This Issue

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Reviews

ALESIS MPX

Alesis MPX MIDI Patch Transmitter

The latest add-on for the popular Midiverb and Midifex lets you control the effects patch selection remotely by hand. Tony Hastings wishes he had thought of the idea first.

CLOSER TO THE EDIT

Steinberg Mirage Visual Editor

Our resident Mirage expert Tony Hastings checks out this useful means of improving the sample manipulation facilities of the Mirage - in the form of a software package from Steinberg Research.

DYNAMIC DIGITAL DRUMS

Korg DDD1 Digital Drums

Korg's latest (and greatest?) drum machine takes a heavy pounding from Mark Jenkins. But does it survive the assault? Read on...

HOW TO BRING YOUR SOUNDS ALIVE

Roland DEP5 Digital Effects Processor

Julian Colbeck - fresh from a rousing chorus of 'Altogether Now' - reflects on the combined effects of the Roland DEP5 Digital Effects Processor.

Kawai K3

Digital Wave Memory Synthesizer

The inclusion of a DIY waveform creation function should make the K3 polysynth a more than interesting prospect. Mark Jenkins checks out its other redeeming features.

Korg DRV1000 Digital Reverb

Hot Stuff!

The DRV1000 is currently the cheapest stereo digital reverb on the market; and it's also 16-bit. But how does it fare in the light of the competition? Ian Gilby checks it out.

RAM-A-ROM-IN!

Sound On Sound's Definitive Guide to DX7 RAM & ROM Cartridges

We gave Ian Waugh the enviable(?) task of collecting and assessing every single ROM and RAM cartridge available for Yamaha's DX7. What follows is necessarily a 'subjective' appraisal of the many thousands of voices and is based solely on products available in the UK up to 1st November 1986.

ROLAND S50

Roland S50 Sampling Keyboard

Roland's top of the range sampler is the last of those announced at Frankfurt to reach the marketplace, but its 16-note polyphony, 512K memory, and built-in visual editing software could well give it an edge over existing £2000 samplers. Paul Wiffen takes up the case.

THE PORTA TWO HAS LANDED

Tascam Porta 2

Tascam's Porta Two Ministudio is a 6-channel /4 track "complete audio facility in a single box". It looks and feels chunky, is straightforward to operate, and with the dbx noise reduction switched in gives good, almost hiss-free recording quality. Gareth Suart checks it out.

YAMAHA QX5 Sequencer

Yamaha QX5 Sequencer

Less a sequencer more an astonishingly flexible 8-track digital multitrack for keyboards. David Mellor pinpoints the essential difference and judges where the QX5 fits into the Yamaha product line.

People + Opinion

DAVID VS GOLIATH?

IRCAM Computer Music Centre

Tim Souster, composer of everything from electronic string quartets to TV commercials, lays aside his Parisienne restaurant guide for long enough to report on a recent symposium on personal computers in music held at France's premier music technology centre, IRCAM.

IAN BODDY: Phoenix

Ian Boddy: Phoenix

Most readers of this magazine should have no problem relating to Ian Boddy. As a musician he has built up both a technical understanding of synthesizers and his own musical skill over a number of years, yet despite his efforts, that elusive record contract just hasn't materialised! Now, after some minor success on independent record labels, he's decided to take the matter into his own hands and form his own label for the release of his own work. This is no small task when you consider that releasing your own record, being responsible for writing and recording music, getting the record pressed, designing the sleeve and then going out and marketing the end result, is unusually the job of a whole team of professionals. But this is exactly what Ian Boddy has just done for his latest album, Phoenix. Paul Gilby spoke to him about this bold move, the equipment he employed on the album and about synthesizer playing techniques in general.

STUDIO TOKYO

Studio Tokyo

Our studios are full of Japanese instruments and effects units, but do studios in the Far East match up to Britain's standards? David Mellor visits a budget demo studio and a top-flight studio in Tokyo to find out.

THE SOUND-PAINTED WORLD OF HAROLD BUDD

The Sound-Painted World Of Harold Budd

The Eno collaborator and leading exponent of American minimalist music, Harold Budd, discloses the fascinating background to his new solo album 'Lovely Thunder', his love of the piano and his strange union with the Cocteau Twins. Mark Prendergast attends the masterclass and takes notes.

Technique

GATEWAY'S SOUND ADVICE COLUMN

GATEWAY'S SOUND ADVICE COLUMN: In-line; Song Pointer; Auxiliary Fuss?

The first of a regular column where the expert teaching staff of the Gateway School Of Music Technology answer readers' problems. In-line; Song Pointer; Auxiliary Fuss?

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MIRAGE

Making The Most Of Your Mirage: Part 3

Part 3: Tony Hastings brings you his third instalment of Mirage hints and tips which begins to unravel the confusion that surrounds the use of the MASOS functions - including 'ramp scaling'.

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