December 1996 In This Issue

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Reviews

ART FX1

Stereo Digital Effects

This Bijou processor is deceptively spacious. Derek Johnson shows you around.

Audio Technica ATH-M40

Studio Headphones

These high-quality headphones have been redesigned to make them more suitable for studio use. Paul White listens in.

Behringer MDX 4000 Mastercom

Multi-Band Compressor

Multi-band compressors tend to cost a little more but can often produce more natural-sounding level control than standard broad-band compressors. Hugh Robjohns looks at a sophisticated new model from Behringer and tries to restrain himself.

Burning Grooves

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Clavia Nord Lead 2.0

Virtual Analogue Synth

Clavia have taken advantage of the software-based nature of their virtual analogue Nord Lead to release a comprehensive upgrade, installed as standard in new instruments and available to existing users for a small fee. Gordon Reid checks it out.

Creamware Tripledat

Digital Audio Editing/Recording System

Creamware's recently-updated, PC-based TripleDAT system attempts to offer a halfway house solution to those who've outgrown their MPC audio system, but can't afford a professional digital recording setup. Brian Heywood is the cat who gets the Cream(ware)...

Crown CM700

Back-electret Cardioid Microphone

Paul White reviews an Uncharacteristically compact mic and discovers that size isn't everything.

DBX 1066

Compressor/Limiter/Gate

Does the DBX 1066 represents one in the eye for its competition? Is it a device for Norman-lizing signal levels or does it Harold a new era in signal processing? Paul White tries to keep off the puns long enough to find out.

Digidesign Pro Tools 4.0

Digital Audio Software Upgrade

There are now more options on the market than ever before for anyone wishing to indulge in hard disk recording and editing. Paul D Lehrman previews the latest update for the popular Pro Tools system, designed to keep Digidesign on top amidst increasing competition.

Far CR20

Nearfield Monitors

Belgium is better known for its chocolates than its studio monitors — but Belgian company FAR aim to change all that. David Mellor opens up the black magic boxes...

Fostex DMT8VL

Digital Multitracker

The Fostex DMT8 was the first affordable 8-track digital recorder with a simple cassette multitracker-style user interface. Now, there's the new DMT8VL, which costs less and has fewer features than its forerunner, but also boasts a couple of improvements to the original design. Paul White is determined to remain unconfused.

Funk Bass

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Korg Soundlink DRS 168RC

Automated Digital Recording Console

Though digital technology has transformed the nature of synths, effects, and even multitracks, project studio mixers have largely remained steadfastly analogue, breaking the chain which, if complete, would allow your music to remain in the digital domain from sequencer to master.Korg's 168RC forms the heart of a system designed to all but eliminate the analogue signal path, and Paul Wiffen wonders where it's been all his life...

Lexicon MPX1

Multi-effects Processor (Preview)

If you aspire to pro Lexicon effects such as the PCM80, but don't have deep enough pockets, the MPX1 could be just up your street. Paul White gets a sneak preview.

MOTU PC-MIDI Flyer & Pocket Express

Parallel Port MIDI Interfaces

MIDI interfaces come in many different shapes and sizes, with most slotting inside the PC. External interfaces, however, such as those made by MOTU, can offer certain advantages, as Martin Walker discovers.

Percussion Slam

Sample Library

* Score = 4

PPG Wave 2.3 & Waveterm B

Synthesizer/Sampler (Retro)

Once the play thing of the rich and famous, this hybrid synthesizer/sampling system introduced the world to wavetable synthesis. John Molloy reflects on Germany's finest hour.

PreSonus DCP8 & ACP8

8-channel Dynamics Processors

Ever fancied having a separate compressor, noise gate and fader and automation on every channel of your mixing desk? The latest modules from PreSonus offer all of this and more, bringing that elusive 'SSL sound' within the reach of even the most basic consoles. Dominic Hawken puts the new units through their paces.

Spendor SA200

Active Monitors

A pair of active small studio monitors with the Spendor pedigree have to be worth investigation. Gumshoe Paul White pulls his hat low, dons his mac and checks them out.

Spirit Folio F1

14/16-input Mixer

Employing the same surface mount technology and 100 millimetre faders featured on the larger Folio SX, the stylish new F1 Continues the progressive Folio tradition of offering more features for the same price or less. Man of taste Paul Hedges decides whether he likes the cut of the F1's jib...

Tascam 564

4-track MiniDisc Portastudio

Tascam, the originators of the Portastudio concept, which is now almost 25 years old, have taken a fresh look at the format for the 90's, substituting the digital MiniDisc medium for the analogue tape which has served home recordists so well, and adding a clutch of brand-new features. Hugh Robjohns indulges in a little 4-play.

TC Electronic Finalizer

Studio Mastering Processor

This Professional processor provides all the tools you need to produce a high-quality master. Hugh Robjohns has the final say.

Technics SX-WSA1R

Acoustic Modelling Synth Module

Derek Johnson takes a second look at this powerful instrument, now available at a fraction of its original retail price.

X-Static Goldmine 4

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Yamaha G50

MIDI Guitar Interface

The so-called guitarist's dream has failed to deliver on so many occasions that many guitar players now seem sceptical about the whole concept of MIDI guitars. Does the Yamaha G50 give us cause to rethink our prejudices, or does it simply reinforce them? Paul White finds out.

Yamaha MU10XG

GM/XG Sound Module

The MU10XG's unassuming casing conceals a sound source with hidden depths which you can explore using MIDI SysEx.

People + Opinion

IRCAM: Institute For Research & Co-ordination in Acoustics & Music

Exploration

If you've heard of Paris's IRCAM, you probably imagine it's government-funded research bunker devoted to a kind of avant-garde sonic and musical experimentation that has little relevance to the average hi-tech musician. Over the last few years, though, as Paul Tingen discovers, IRCAM has been coming down to earth, and a new spirit of openness and commercial awareness now shapes its work.

MIKE CHANDLER & FRANCO DE BONIS: Creative Labs

Interview | Manufacturer

Designers of the SoundBlaster range, Creative Labs recently unveiled their next generation soundcard, the AWE64 Gold. Paul White discusses the future of PC soundcards with Creative lads Franco De Bonis and Mike Chandler.

PATCEE FRANCIS: Music Should Transcend Tech

Sounding Off

Singer/Songwriter Patcee Francis argues that music should transcend technology, not be circumscribed by it.

PETE GLEADALL: Programming & Recording Pet Shop Boys' Bilingual

Interview | Engineer

High-profile synth programmer, remixer and recording artist Pete Gleadall is a man of many talents. Matt Bell talks to him about his part in the new Pet Shop Boys album, his work for George Michael, and the role of the modern programmer.

STEVE LEVINE: Digital Domain

Interview | Producer

Producer Steve Levine has taken advantage of the tumbling price of quality recording equipment to assemble a complete digital studio in a tiny room at his home. Paul Tingen enters the digital domain...

Technique

All About Soundcards, Part 2

Exploration

Brian Heywood concludes his look at PC soundcards by considering some of the issues involved in using them to record and play back digital audio.
• Read Part 1 (November 1996)

Analogue Sequencer Simulator

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson brings you more news from the platform that wouldn't die... the ST.

Black Not Green

Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed

Will Hogan * All Living Fear * Plan Bee * Sub Rosa * The Smell Of Suburbia * The Deep Puddle Dwellers * Claud Hamilton * Autogeddon * Red Devil Crew * Speedclock Pilgrims * Laver Babies

Coping With Crashes In Windows '95

Tips & Tricks

AARRGGH! Just as you were about to save your computer crashes, destroying the only record of your latest musical opus. What should be your next step? Before you douse your PC in aviation fuel and set it ablaze, calm down, and hearken unto the soothing advice of Crashmeister Janet Harniman-Cook...

Digital Interconnection Standards Explained

Exploration

Every studio musician knows at least enough about analogue connections to get a standard recording system up and running. When it comes to digital, though, we're often in the dark about what will work with what. Hugh Robjohns raises the digital standards.

How To Record Singing Guitarists

Tips & Tricks

Most budding engineers will, at some time, have to tackle a performer who wants to sing and play the guitar at the same time. Mic type and placement can make a big difference to the quality of the result obtained, as Hugh Robjohns explains..

Installing PC Soundcards On Windows '95

Tips & Tricks

Many people have trouble adding new software cards to a PC. If your slots are full to overflowing, and every card is fighting for its own resources, you will almost certainly encounter problems. Fortunately, Martin Walker is here to lead you through the minefield.

MOTU Digital Performer

Apple Notes

Astonished by the speed of software development, Martin Russ wonders where it's all leading... MOTU Digital Performer.

Terratec EWS64; Making Waves; Musicians' Union

PC Notes

Brian Heywood discusses the powerful new soundcard from Terratec, plugs a couple of musical web sites, and entreats software developers to stop trying to reinvent the wheel...

Things You Should Know About Hard Disk Recording

Exploration

Hard disk recording is what everyone seems to be talking about, with new systems being released, at all levels of the market, almost every month. For anyone confused about how hard disk recording works, Martin Russ points out a few things you might not have considered...

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