December 1997 In This Issue

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Reviews

ARP Odyssey

Duophonic Analogue Synthesizer (Retro)

For the synth afictionado, the ARP Odyssey is up there with the Minimoog in terms of its power and sonic quality. Gordon Reid explains why he loves his Ody...

Bellari RP583

Dual Tube Compressor

Paul White finds out whether a blend of valves and photocells really can deliver the ultimate vintage compressor sound.

Bill Bruford's Packet of Three

Sample Library

4*

Buying A Voice Channel

Feature | Tips & Tricks

In the last year SOS has reviewed no less than 10 examples of the new breed of so-called 'Voice Channels', promising a one-box solution to high quality vocal recordings. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser present a brief guide to the models we've looked at, to help you decide which you should go for.

DACS Headlite

Headphone Amplifier

Paul White listens in on the new headphone amplifier from DACS.

Doepfer MS404

MIDI Analogue Synthesizer

Apart from a few MIDI-supported commands, the Doepfer MS404 is completely analogue — so there are no patch memories, no SysEx, and no storable front-panel settings. Chris Carter explains why you'd nevertheless be mad to overlook it...

Empirical Labs Distressor

Compressor

Can new technology really emulate vintage equipment, or do you have to use vintage parts? Paul White test a modern compressor that claims chameleon-like abilities to emulate classic compression sounds.

Event Electronics Gina

Multitrack PCI Soundcard

Layla, Darla and Gina are the eagerly awaited multi-channel PCI soundcards from Event Electronics, which promise a complete audio solution featuring eight independent outputs. Martin Walker interfaces with Gina — and falls in love.

Far CR10A

Powered Nearfield Monitors

Combining your monitoring and amplification requirements into one portable enclosure has obvious benefits. Christopher Holder has a double date with a couple of sophisticated little performers.

Fostex D160

Hard Disk Multitrack Recorder

Pioneered by Fostex, the concept of the 'personal' digital multitrack — a stand-alone digital recorder with a simple, cassette multitracker-like interface — has been around for two years now. But the new D160 is the first of the bunch to offer 16-track capabilities. Paul White finds that good things actually come in sixteens...

Fresh Killed Meat: Prime Funk

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Hof Hofex Spectral Exciter II

Psychoacoustic Enhancer

A good psychoacoustic enhancer can take your sound higher than you thought possible, and though there are plenty of enhancers on the market, this new Austrian model proves there's always room at the top. Paul White tries to control his excitement...

Lexicon PCM80

Vocal Fix Card

Paul White tries out a new hardware solution for dodgy vocalists — Lexicon Vocal Fix Card for the PCM80.

MIDIMAN Digipatch12X6

Digital Audio Patchbay

Midiman are a company devoted to producing cost-effective problem solvers, and with the Digipatch they're aiming to solve the problem of affordable digital patching. Paul White finds out how well they've succeeded.

Philips CDR870

CD Writer

Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall? Are you making your own re-recordable CD masters on a stand-alone CD writer for under £500? Paul White is...

Quasimidi Rave-O-Lution 309 Upgrades

Dance Box

Quasimidi are delivering on their promise to provide new goodies for owners of the 309 dance box. Derek Johnson raves a bit...

Roland V-Drums

Electronic Drums

Though the V-Drum system is ideally suited to the hi-tech drummer, its modular brain features, modelled timbres and powerful editing features may lend it appeal as a source of high-quality sounds for the non-drummer. Nicholas Rowland checks out the beat feat.

SPL Dynamaxx

Compressor/Decompressor/Limiter/Gate

SPL claim to have come up with a completely new type of compressor. Paul White puts their assertions to the test.

Symetrix 551E

5-band Parametric Equaliser

For serious sonic sculpting, you can't beat a parametric EQ, and this new contender from Seattle-based Symetrix is priced within reach of many project studio owners. Paul White gets a bit of band aid.

Tascam DA98

Digital Multitrack Recorder

It started in 88, dropped to 38, now rises to 98... no, it's not the chart performance of the new Spice Girls album, but Tascam's rather strange way of numbering the models in their respected DA series of digital multitrack recorders. Hugh Robjohns checks out the new flagship in the range.

TL Audio 02031

Indigo Valve Overdrive

Paul White goes into overdrive with TLA's latest valve processor — the 02031.

Vocal XTC

Sample Library

* Score = 4.5

Voice of Native America

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Yamaha CDR400TX

CD-R Writer

Yamaha's new CD-ROM burner comes with the option of a cut-price copy of Toast 3.5, allowing you to create backups, burn CDs, and even make your own CD-ROMs. Paul White tries out the combination.

People + Opinion

CRAIG ANDERTON: Software Hell

Sounding Off

Craig Anderton explains why the dove of software-reviewer happiness has flown out of his life, to be replaced with the turkey of user beta-testing hell...

MORCHEEBA: From Clapham To The Orb

Interview | Band

Morcheeba make their weird and wonderful music in a studio in Clapham that used to belong to The Orb. To find out more about the band and their gear, Sue Silitoe ventured south of the river to meet Paul Godfrey and the band's programmer and producer Pete Norris.

N-TRANCE: Do You Think I'm Sexy?

Interview | Band

The perpetrators of recent smash hit 'Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?' might look like a leopardskin-clad disco covers band composed of several people, but in fact they're the pet electronic project of two Mancunians with their heads firmly screwed on an eye to the future of dance music. Matt Bell explores the slightly schizophrenic world of N-Trance...

Pitching & Writing A Channel 5 Theme Tune

Interview | Composer

When Channel 5 decided to re-do the music for their daily magazine show, Exclusive, Big George was asked to pitch for the job, and went about it in his usual idiosyncratic way...

SOS Christmas Wishlist 1997

Opinion

What does the SOS team want for Christmas this year?

TCHAD BLAKE: Binaural Excitement

Interview | Artist

This inventive American has graduated from aiding and abetting producer Mitchell Froom in his sonic escapades to full production duties on a variety of live and studio albums. Paul Tingen talks to a devotee of binaural recording who's more than just a dummy head.

Technique

Cakewalk Home Studio; Cubase VST

PC Notes

This month, Martin Walker has some chips and a little sauce, as well as investigating some mysteriously disappearing features in Cubase — Cakewalk Home Studio; Cubase VST.

Electronic Cow's Sound Chip Synth

Atari Notes

This month, Derek Johnson checks out a couple of new software versions, and finds that Electronic Cow's Sound Chip Synth is moovin' on up...

Equipping A Home Studio, Part 1

Tips & Techniques

In the first part of this new series, David Mellor gives his personal slant on creating a studio that will stay with you as your recording skills and budget improve.
• Read Part 2 (February 1998)
• Read Part 3 (April 1998)
• Read Part 4 (June 1998)

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Fish Out Of Water * Joe Elias * Sense Amelia * Chiller * Dan Wiener * Hazardous Funk * Planet Of Destiny * Wild Monkey * Darren Deans * Richard Askew * Auto Erotica * The Pepper Trees

Portable DAT Recording On A Budget

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Taking a compact DAT machine out and about can gain you some unique recordings, but can also present you with some unique problems. Martin Walker packs his shoulder bag and heads for the hills.

Practical Drum Kit Miking, Part 1

Tips & Techniques

The ancient art of drum-kit miking is a black art as far as many project studio owners are concerned. Yet as Benedict Grant explains in the first of this two-part series, there's no need to let the kit beat you...
• Read Part 2 (January 1998)

Recording & Storing Large Projects On PC Hard Disks

Tips & Tricks

Storing large PC-based hard disk recording projects can become tricky, especially when you need to make regular backups too. Martin Walker looks at the options available.

Setting Up A New Computer

Apple Notes

There's no gain without pain. Martin Russ experiences the joys and agonies of a new computer — the Apple Power Mac 7300.

Synth School, Part 5: The Origins Of S&S

Tips & Techniques

At the January NAMM show in 1987, Roland launched their D50, which mixed synthesis and sampled sounds in one package, a compbination which has remained popular to the current day. Paul Wiffen examines how S&S evolved into the most widespread form of sound generation on the market.
• Read Part 1 (June 1997)
• Read Part 2 (August 1997)
• Read Part 3 (September 1997)
• Read Part 4 (October 1997)
• Read Part 6 (February 1998)
• Read Part 7 (April 1998)
• Read Part 8 (June 1998)
• Read Part 9 (July 1998)
• Read Part 10 (August 1998)
• Read Part 11 (September 1998)
• Read Part 12 (October 1998)

Where To Use Processors & Why, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

Paul White explains why a great reverb doesn't always make a mix sound better.
• Read Part 1 (October 1997)
• Read Part 2 (November 1997)
• Read Part 4 (January 1998)
• Read Part 5 (February 1998)
• Read Part 6 (March 1998)

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