December 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

All About EMS, Part 2

Exploration

In the final part of our two-part Retrozone, Gordon Reid charts EMS's further achievements, the reasons for their decline in the '70s and the company's phoenix-like rebirth in the '90s.

Boss VF1

Multi-effects Processor

Is it an amp simulator? Is it a multi-effects unit? Is it a mastering tool? John Walden tries out the Boss VF1 and is surprised at how much jumps out of the box.

Drone Archeology

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Drums Hits & Ambience Vol. 1: The Surrey Surround Room

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Emu Systems Virtuoso 2000

128-voice Virtual Orchestra

Continuing their tradition of themed rackmount modules, Emu have unleashed a 128-voice virtual orchestra in a box. A virtuoso endeavour, or virtual insanity? Dave Stewart auditions the Virtuoso 2000 and tries to decide.

G-force M-tron

VST Plug-in Instrument

Paul White cruises down memory lane in style, with the bargain-priced M-Tron Mellotron soundalike VST Instrument plug-in.

Mackie 1642VLZ

Pro Mixer

Paul White looks at the latest addition to Mackie's compact mixer range.

Making Waves

Digital Audio Seqencer/Sampler

Bucking the trend for elaborate 'virtual studio' graphic interfaces and bloated feature sets, Making Waves is designed to allow you to get into making music quickly and straightforwardly, on even a modestly specified PC. John Walden puts it through its paces.

MOTU Digital Performer v2.7

MIDI + Audio Recording Software

Nicholas Rowland tries out the new features in MOTU's ever-evolving flagship Macintosh sequencing package.

Neumann M147

Tube Studio Condenser Microphone

Neumann have rejuvenated one of their most celebrated capsule designs, allowing Hugh Robjohns to bask in that unmistakable glow...

Novation Supernova II

Modelling Workstation

The Supernova modelling workstation earned a pile of accolades for its excellent 'analogue' sounds, superb multitimbral effects, and its user-friendly, knobular interface. But Novation have now withdrawn the original and replaced it with the Supernova II. Can something so good get better still? Paul Ward finds out...

Oram S80

Producer Box

The characteristic sound of vintage valve equipment is well known, but interest is now growing in early op-amp designs too. One example is the Trident Series 80 console from the 1970s, which has recently been reincarnated in the form of the Oram S80 Producer Box. Hugh Robjohns relives those heady days...

Philips CDR775

CD-Writer

Gordon Reid tries out Philips' updated dual-deck CD recorder, and finds that a number of improvements have now made the machine more useable in the studio.

Prosoniq Orange Vocoder

Plug-in Zone

Martin Walker's looking through tinted glasses at this latest offering from Prosoniq...

Roland VG88

V-guitar System

Ever imagined what a guitar with a resinator body would sound like with a humbucker-style pickup, played at the 12th fret through a Marshall stack? John Walden creates just such a virtual instrument, with the help of Roland's VG88 V-Guitar System.

Seasound Solo EX

Computer Recording System

Many musicians recording with teir computer find that they need to buy — and wire up — separate mic preamps, guitar preamps and monitor mixers as well as their soundcard. Martin Walker tries out a products that aims to combine all of these elements in one system.

Symphonic Fields Forever

Sample Library

* Score = 4

TC Electronic Triple C

Dynamics Processor

Paul White tests TC's new multi-mode approach to dynamics, and finds that it's as easy as CCC.

Uncivilised G'Rooves

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Waves L2 Ultramaximizer

Digital Mastering Limiter

Paul White lives life to the max with the new Waves L2, a mastering limiter with all the trimmings.

Yamaha DJX II

Dance Music Workstation

Looking like a 23rd-century Minimoog pumped full of anabolic steroids, Yamaha's sequel to the hugely successful DJX offers more of the same sampling, sequencing and performance features. Paul Farrer doesn't want to rock, DJX — but it's making him feel so nice...

People + Opinion

DAVE WRIGHT: The Case For Noise

Sounding Off

Dave Wright puts forward the case for noise, genuine old hiss, interference, wind and grind — the full mechanics of the recording process captured in all their glory...

International Broadcasting Conference

Cutting Edge

This month Dave Shapton reports on the latest in broadcast video, from the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam, and predicts how these innovations will be used by musicians as promotional tools. He also takes a look at the future of software-only video editing.

JAY KAY: Jamiroquai's Chillington Studio

Interview | Artist

Can an Englishman's home be both his castle and his studio — or is it better to keep business and pleasure apart? Jay Kay of Jamiroquai clearly feels that building his own facility has paid off. Sue Sillitoe heads for his Chillington studio in Buckinghamshire to find out more...

STEVE LEVINE: Recording 'So Far Away'

Interview | Producer

Sound On Sound's May 2000 SAE/MPG competition offered readers the chance to win a recording session in a London studio with a top producer. Tom Flint talked to the lucky winners about the recording of their demo — and to producer Steve Levine, who took on the job of transforming it into a potential chart-topper.

UKGARAGEFM: Home Broadcasting

Readerzone

The SOS team drop in on another reader studio, this time in the form of a radio station!

UNDERWORLD: The Making Of Everything, Everything

Interview | Band

How can an electronic band produce exciting, spontaneous, unpredictable and visually engaging perfomances? And if they do, is it really possible to capture the experience of being there in a recording? Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld believe they have the answers, as Paul Tingen discovered.

Technique

Advanced Compression Techniques, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

Paul White looks at different gain-control elements and their effect on audio.

Broadcasting Your Audio, Part 2

Net Notes

In the final part of this two-part Net Notes about broadcasting your audio and video on the Internet, Dave Shapton discusses error correction and quality control, helps you to prepare for your webcast and suggests some solutions for broadcasting live events.

Customising Multi Instruments

Logic Notes

Paul White looks at how to customise Multi Instruments for a faster and more creative sequencing experience.

Expanding Your Effects Horizons, Part 2

Tips & Tricks

In the final part of his short series on pushing back the boundaries of effects processing, Paul White explores many different applications of audio filters, as well as exploring the possibilities of granular synthesis.

Exploring The Exotic Instruments In GM/XG/GS Sound Sets

Exploration

The GM, XG and GS sound specs are frequently derided for imposing boring uniformity on the synth universe — but in fact they contain many unusual sounds. Dave Stewart, a man who knows a gopi-yantra from gankogwe, sheds light on some of the lesser-known instruments in the General MIDID set, and provides some useful playing tips.

Logic Edit Function, Part 1

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

This month's Cubase tips column focuses on one of the sequencer's most powerful but under-used features, the Logic Edit function. Paul Sellars begins a two-part explanation of its operation.

MacOS X; QuickTime 5

Apple Notes

This month Vic Lennard has a first look at Mac OS X and the public preview of QuickTime 5...

MbooM

Atari Notes

The MbooM commercial VST-compatible Mac sequencer is creating a bit of a buzz at the moment, but did you know that it originated on the Atari and is now a free download for the platform. Derek Johnson finds out more...

Optimising G-series Macs Powerbooks, iMacs & iBooks,, Part 2

Tips & Tricks

Last month, Paul Wiffen explained how to get MIDI into and out of your new-style Macintosh. This month, he turns his attention to the tougher problem of audio...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Danny Cope * Empire Monkey * The Conspiracy * Wisdumb Of 3 * Capra * Gerry Dickson * Smartbomb * Matthew Jones * Ashley J Tidball * Untamac * Mark Flanagan

Soundcard Compatibility; Digital Performer Vocoder Plug-ins; Budget Mics; PC Digital Mixing; Recording; Yamaha QY700

Q & A

Q. Why aren't my SB Live! and Emu APS soundcards compatible?
Q. Which vocoder plug-ins can I use in Digital Performer?
Q. Which budget mic should I choose?
Q. Can I use my computer as a digital mixer?
Q. Will any of the major software manufacturers offer dual-processor support and 1394 compatibility for Windows 2000?
Q. How do I choose between computer-based recording and dedicated units?
Q. Is the Yamaha QY700 still a good buy?

Streamlining Your PC Studio

Tips & Tricks

Your PC can be a hugely powerful tool — but if it's not set up properly, the number of hoops you have to jump through before you actually get to do any recording can be intimidating. Martin Walker explains how to smooth the path.

Synth Secrets, Part 20: Introducing Polyphony

Tips & Tricks

Having explored the way monophonic and duophonic analogue keyboards work, Gordon Reid puts away his Minimoog and Odyssey and descends into the complex world of polyphonic synths to a florish of complex jazz chords.
• Read all parts

Understanding & Writing Lyrics, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

Writing the words to songs is often thought of as a process of pure intuition, but there's a lot more to it than that. In the first part of a new series, Sam Inglis suggests an alternative way of going about it.

Windows ME (Millennium Edition)

PC Notes

Martin Walker finds out what's new in Windows Millennium edition and explores the latest version of Native Instruments' Pro-five VST Instrument, renamed the Pro52.

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Christmas Wish List

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Ho ho ho. This month, Big George gives Santa Claus a piece of his mind.

Sound Advice

Using VST Instruments

Frequently Asked Questions

VST Instruments can create a huge variety of sounds from the comfort of your MIDI + Audio sequencer, but can also be asource of confusion for many computer users. Martin Walker answers the most common questions, and provides advice about automation, timing, and sound quality.

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