December 1999 In This Issue

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Reviews

Akai MPC2000XL

Percussion Sampler/Sequencer

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.

Arboretum Ray Gun; Arboretum Restoration-NR

Plug-ins Folder

Martin Walker checks out two new plug-ins from Arboretum.

Cakewalk Pro Audio 9

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...

Dbx 566

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.

Digidesign Digi 001

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.

Elka Synthex

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.

Fostex DE1 Dual Effects Unit; Ticket Audio Powerline 2 Multi-outut Power Supply

Studio Essentials

Paul White & Hugh Robjohns check out two essential new bits of kit for your home or project studio.

HHB Circle 3

Active Monitors

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.

Indigo Three

Nearfield Monitors

Paul White tries out a compact monitor from a new British company to see if it can rival the established names.

Oliver Lieb Samples

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Parker MIDIFly

Guitar

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.

Pod

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Rode Classic II

Valve Microphone

Paul White evaluates Rode's reincarnated Tube Classic microphone to see whether technical progress has compromised the sound or improved it.

Sony DRE S777

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.

Tascam TMD4000

Digital Mixer

Does Tascam's new digital recording console have what it takes to lure buyers away from the more established names? Paul White finds out.

The Vinyl Frontier

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Vintage Time Traveler

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Waldorf Q

Synthesizer

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

AL STONE: Recording Jamiroquai's 'Supersonic'

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: Introducing GMICS — New Digital Audio Connection Standard

Exploration

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...

JIM SCOTT: Recording Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californications

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.

KIPPER: Producing Sting's Brand New Day

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.

MACKIE DESIGNS: On The HDR24/96 & The Future

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.

MARTIN BUSHELL: Mixing In A Basement

Readerzone

Another reader invites us into their home/project studio.

MILES GLEN: Finding The Time To Learn

Sounding Off

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?

Technique

Creating A Website, Part 6

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.

Creating Realistic Sample-based Orchestral Arrangements, Part 1

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.

Exploring The History Of Electronic Music Online

Net Notes

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...

iMac; MOTU Digital Performer

Apple Notes

Martin Russ puts the new iMacs in context, and delves further into his new G3.

Key Change Music Multi-port MIDI Interface; Gaston Klares' Composer Algorithmic Music Generator

Atari Notes

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.

Overclocking; Cubase VST by Ian Waugh

PC Notes

This month Martin Walker discusses processor overclocking, as well as bringing you up to date will the latest PC news.

PC Musicians & The Millenium Bug

Exploration

Martin Walker considers the possible impact of the Millennium bug on PC musicians.

Playback

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

Synth Secrets, Part 8: More About Envelopes

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.
• Read all parts

Using Mixermaps In Steinberg's Cubase Sequencer

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.

Music Business

Dealing With Inland Revenue

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...

Sound Advice

Patchbays

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...

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