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Three years ago Paul Wiffen concluded that Akai had brought the concept of the sampling drum machine up to date with the MPC2000. Now he takes a look at its successor to see how much more you get when you XL.
Martin Walker checks out two new plug-ins from Arboretum.
MIDI + Audio Sequencer
If Cakewalk was a cat, it'd be on its last life by now — but, as Kevin Perry discovers, the long-established PC sequencing package shows no sign of turning up its paws just yet...
Dual Vacuum Tube Compressor
Although the Dbx product portfolio is growing rapidly with new digital products, they haven't forgotten about the sonic advantages of more traditional technology — hence their new Silver series of affordable 'classic' processors. Hugh Robjohns gets to grips with the 566 valve compressor.
Computer Recording System
Digidesign have forged a formidable reputation in the pro arena for their Pro Tools digital audio workstations. With the new Digi 001 system, they're hoping to capture a substantial slice of the project-studio market too. Debbie Poyser and Derek Johnson provide an exclusive hands on review.
8-voice Polyphonic Synthesizer (Retro)
Paul Wiffen made no secret of his fondness for the OSCar in September's issue, and now reminisces about the other great keyboard love of his life — the Elka Synthex, a synth whose reputation and influence far outweighs the number that were ever sold.
Paul White & Hugh Robjohns check out two essential new bits of kit for your home or project studio.
Achieving the right balance between quality, size, practicality and price is no easy task, but HHB have hit the nail squarely on the head with their Circle 3 Active monitors. Hugh Robjohns takes them for a spin.
Paul White tries out a compact monitor from a new British company to see if it can rival the established names.
Guitarists who use sequencers have been waiting many years for the perfect MIDI guitar. John Walden tries the Parker MIDIFly to see if the wait is over.
Paul White evaluates Rode's reincarnated Tube Classic microphone to see whether technical progress has compromised the sound or improved it.
Sampling Digital Reverb
One of the most exciting developments in sound processing technology this year was the announcement from Sony of a dedicated reverb unit which applied ambience 'sampled' from real acoustic spaces. Now the theory is reality. Hugh Robjohns gets his hands on the DRE S777.
Does Tascam's new digital recording console have what it takes to lure buyers away from the more established names? Paul White finds out.
Waldorf's flagship keyboard synth has been available for months — but until very recently, it was so unfinished that it was scarecely reviewable. Since April, Gordon Reid has stuck with it, painstakingly noting the improvements that have come with each system software upgrade, until finally, with the synth standing at OS version 1.13, enough features are working to justify a full SOS review.
People + Opinion
Interview | Producer
Jamiroquai's recent album Synkronized was the first to be recorded in front man Jay Kay's impressive private studio. One of his album's high points, and a hit single, was 'Supersonic'. Bill Bruce talks to its producer Al Stone about how the track was recorded.
Gibson are best known for their good old-fashioned guitar technology, but they're also behind an immovative new standard for connecting digital audio devices — which, if it takes off, will revolutionise the way we connect gear together. Dave Shapton finds out more...
Interview | Producer
A hugely successful new album marks The Red Hot Chili Peppers' returns to form — and incredibly, it's nearly all in mono. Engineer Jim Scott talks to Paul Tingen about the recording process and the group's refreshingly direct approach to production and mixing.
Interview | Producer
Most jobbing producers would regard jetting off to exotic locations to spend a year with one of the most famous artists in the world as a fantasy. For programmer and producer Kipper, however, the dream became reality — thanks to Sting. Tom Flint caught up with Kipper in his Surrey home studio.
Interview | Manufacturer
Paul White talks to designers Greg Mackie, Peter Watts and Bob Tudor about the new Mackie HDR24/96 hard disk recorder, and the company's plans for the future.
Another reader invites us into their home/project studio.
It's all very well having the virtual equivalent of Abbey Road in your computer, says Miles Glen, but when are you going to learn to use it all?
Feature | Tips & Tricks
Mike Simmons concludes his serious on designing and cosntructing a web site by answering some of the mant reader queries received in response to earlier instalments.
Tips & Tricks
These days, any decent synth or sampler offers plausable orchestral sounds — but there's much more to creating believable arrangements for orchestra than realistic samples. Keyboardist/composer Dave Stewart offers some guidance, passes on some advice from pros, and explains how orchestral samples were used to create an arrangement for the latest Geri Halliwell single.
The Internet can be a time-machine for travelling back into electronic music history. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser set the dial for 1896 and take a trip...
Martin Russ puts the new iMacs in context, and delves further into his new G3.
Fancy multi-port MIDI operation for your Atari? Derek Johnson looks at a three-way interface that can expand the musical horizons of Atari users and rounds up some more ST news.
This month Martin Walker discusses processor overclocking, as well as bringing you up to date will the latest PC news.
Martin Walker considers the possible impact of the Millennium bug on PC musicians.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Mark Smith * Dr Jones * Alex Hunt * Hoodlum * Shelakabooky * Pointy Pointy * Darren Michael Fury * Icon * Chiswicked * Nature Boy * Steve Spillage * Robin Hodson * Serotonin
Tips & Tricks
Gordon Reid reveals some of the limitations of the 'classic' ADSR envelope with reference to a practical synthesis example, and explains some of the different types of envelopes found on classic analogue synths, from AR envelopes right up to highly flexible digitally controlled EGs.
Tips & Tricks
The facility to construct sophiticated arrangements of virtual faders, knobs and buttons, and use them to control studio equipment via MIDI, is one of Cubase's most powerful features — but also one of its most under-used. Paul Sellars explains how to make Mixermaps work for you.
Big George's Guide To Commercial Success
It's easy to bury your head in the sand when it comes to tax matters but, as Big George explains, there are better ways to deal with the Inland Revenue...
Frequently Asked Questions
Of the technical queries received at Sound On Sound, many fall into the 'hardy perenial' category. One common source of these patchbays and their role in the project studio. Hugh Robjohns provides some answers...