December 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

AKG C1000S

Back-electret Microphone

Paul White tries the latest incarnation of an old friend and discovers that beneath the new paint job, little has really changed.

Alesis Q20

Stereo Multi-effects Unit

Paul White meets the latest version of Alesis' Quadraverb concept, and finds it respendent with 20-bit I/O, improved digital and analogue interfacing, and a proper internal PSU.

ATC A7

Passive Monitors

Paul White tests ATC's smallest and least expensive monitors to date, and finds that they still have the pedigree family sound.

Boss DR202

DR Groove Rhythm Machine

Dedicated rhythm machine are very much back in fashion, and the new Boss DR202 offers an impressive specification at a budget price. Chris Carter investigates its qualifications.

Digitech 2120

Artist Guitar Preamp/Effects Processor

It's small, beautifully formed, shows a fondness for purple and claims to be an 'Artist'. John Walden finds out whether Digitech's new guitar preamp/effects processor sounds fit for a Prince.

Ensoniq ASRX Pro

Resampling Production Studio

The ASRX, Ensoniq's entry into the world of all-in-one sampling and sequencing workstations, has just received a major upgrade and a fresh lick of paint. Chris Carter finds out whether the improvements justify its new 'Pro' label.

Funk Stew 2

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Koblo Vibra 9000

Software Synth

Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser explore a well -specified virtual monosynth from newcomers Koblo.

Korg DW8000

Synthesizer (Retro)

Paul Ward reintroduces an instrument now widely neglected on account of its 'digital' tag, and argues that it still has much to recommend it.

Korg N1R

Synth Module

The latest product of Korg's long-established A1 synthesis technology, the N1R module may not break any ground, but it bristles with great sounds and is a cinch to edit. Paul White feels thoroughly Nlightened...

Mackie HUI

Control Surface For DAWs

Users of computer-based recording systems often feel restricted by the limited degree of physical control available when it comes to mixing, especially when compared to a traditional setup centred around a hardware mixer. Mike Collins tries out a new system from Mackie which aims to improve matters.

Musitek Midiscan v2.51

Score To MIDI File Conversion Software

A new utility from Musitek claims to turn printed dots and lines into something non-score reading musicians can get to grips with. Janet Harniman Cook gives it the once-over.

Nemesys Gigasampler v1.5

PC Software Sampler

Imagine a sampler with almost unlimited memory that doesn't cost a fortune, and runs on a PC using a standard soundcard. Martin Walker installs Gigasampler, and prepares to be amazed.

Pilchner-Schoustal Acoustic X

Room Acoustic Optimisation Software

Acoustic design is usually a combination of guesswork, intuition and very hard maths. Paul White tries delegating it to his PC instead.

Roland G1000

Arranger Workstation

Roland's latest high-end arranger is the company's first for three years, yet it looks strikingly similar to its predecessor. Does it have anything new to offer in an increasingly sophisticated market? Simon Trask arranges some time with the G1000...

Spirit 328

8-buss Digital Mixer

Spirit's 328 is a digital mixer designed to retain the intuitive feel of an analogue desk. Paul White takes the controls, while Hugh Robjohns explores the 328's comprehensive digital interfacing.

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Twisted City

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Yamaha FS1R

FM Synthesis/Formant-shaping Tone Generator

FM synthesis was the success story of the mid-'80s, and synth based on its principles, like Yamaha's DX7, sold by the bucketload — until affordable sample-based synths arrived at the end of the decade. Now, with their new FS1R, Yamaha have updated the technology for the late '90s. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser gaze on the new face of FM...

Yamaha SW1000XG

Audio/MIDI PCI Card

Yamaha's soundcard is a synth, a mixer and an effects unit in one. Martin Walker finds plenty to talk about.

People + Opinion

BRIAN WILLIS: Dull Programming

Sounding Off

Brian Willis bemoans the lack of creativity in synthsizer programming and electronic music.

CRAIG LEON: Recording The New Blondie Album

Interview | Producer

More than 15 years after the release of their last album The Hunter, the four original members of Blondie are about to make a comeback with a brand-new album due out early in the new year. Long-time friend and producer Craig Leon tells Sue Sillitoe how this latest offering was recorded.

DANIEL MILLER: Mute Records, Depeche Mode & Home Studio

Interview | Producer

Boss of the highly successful and determindly independent Mute Records, Daniel Miller is one of the UK music industry's unsung stars. Bill Bruce celebrates 20 years of Mute with the man himself, looking back on such highlights as his work with Depeche Mode — and takes a rare tour of Miller's superb home studio.

JOHN O'CONNOR: From 'Star Trekkin' To King Of The Hill

Interview | Composer

John O'Connor said farewell to the UK music business with the million-selling single 'Star Trekkin'. Paul Tingen tracks him down at his new home in America, where he is one of the principal composers for the cartoon King Of The Hill, as well as a successful recording artist in his own right.

STEVE LEVINE: Recording The Honeyz 'Finally Found'

Interview | Producer

The Honeyz are a new R&B act, but behind the smash success of their debut single 'Finally Found' sits a familiar figure — Culture Club producer Steve Levine. Matt Bell dissects the track, and finds out how it was put together in Steve's compact digital home studio.

Technique

50 Christmas Ideas For Musicians

Exploration

There are loads of handy gadgets out there to make a musicians life more fun, and every one of them is more desirable than socks or aftershave. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser presents you with a few ideas...

Creating Reverse Reverb

Tips & Tricks

Paul White conjures up a nostalgic tape effect using an MIDI + Audio sequencer.

Creative Sampling, Part 1

Tips & Techniques

These days, samplers are the electronic musician's bread and butter — but they need not be used in commonplace ways. In the first part of a short series, Nicholas Rowland looks at ways to spice up your tracks with samples from unusual sources.
• Read Part 2 (January 1999)

DirectX; Music On The Internet

PC Notes

Martin Walker explores the pros and cons of different soundcard drivers, fixes a problem with his IRQs, and still finds time to read a couple of books as well.

Electronic Cow; Softjee; Devil Studio; Easy Beat

Atari Notes

Electronic Cow programs are moovin' on up, and French company Softjee have got UK distribution for their range of software. Derek Johnson checks out the Atari action.

Making The Transition To Computer-based Digital Recording, Part 1

Tips & Techniques

Paul Wiffen has been introducing people to digital audio on computers in one form or another for 10 years now, but sees people falling into the same old traps time and time again. In the first part of a short series he explains the importance of making the right decisions before you buy a new system.
• Read Part 2 (January 1999)

Measuring PC Hard Drive Audio Recording Performance

Tips & Tricks

What's the best way to set up you PC's hard drive for digital audio recording? Useful statistics can be hard to come by, so Martin Walker runs his own tests.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Stevie G * Brazil * Sattva * Real X * A Deluxe Breed * Brian Stephen Adams * Mike Ticehurst * Tabatha * Roger Foxcroft * Simon Taylor * Flip The Lid * Jason Boyd * Jem

Sound Manager

Apple Notes

As it was, as it is, and as it may be. Martin Russ looks ahead to where musical Macs may be going.

Synthesizer Sites

Net Notes

Paul Nagle takes the helm this month in our new regular feature on music and recording resources on the internet, highlighting sites devoted to synthesizers old and new, and finding an essential download for owners of the Roland VS880.

Sound Advice

20 Tips On Using Microphones

Tips & Tricks

It doesn't matter how good the microphone, put it in the wrong place and you might as well be using cocoa tins and string. Hugh Robjohns shares some of his top tips...

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