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Fancy this fabulous 16-channel analogue mixer plus the Firewire digital card (total prize worth around £1150)? Enter our competition and you never know your luck!
PREVIEW: Virtual Analogue Synthesizer
It's back! And it's deadlier than ever! We get a first look preview of the next-generation Virus...
This new optical compressor not only has a smooth sound, but also offers gain-reduction metering to help you set it up.
Apple's original iMac marked the beginning of a turnaround for the company, and despite the consumer-oriented nature of the product, iMacs have found a place in many a home studio over the years. With the iMac range finally inheriting a G5 processor, have Apple created the perfect entry-level machine for demanding Mac musicians on a budget?
MIDI + Audio Sequencer (Mac OS X)
The new version 7 of Logic is a huge upgrade which sees the program assimilated even further into Apple's product range, and adds some intriguing new instruments and networking features. Following last month's preview, here's the full lowdown...
Software Music Studio (Mac/PC)
Storm, the French software studio from virtual-instrument creators Arturia, keeps on improving. We check out version 3...
Four-voice Analogue/Digital Synth & Sequencer
2002 saw the release of the Evolver, a quirky hybrid analogue/digital synth and sequencer from Sequential synth pioneer Dave Smith. Now he continues his renaissance with a four-voice polyphonic version that integrates neatly with the original.
Despite being both smaller and lighter, this new compressor yields little in performance to Dbx's flagship 160SL.
This new 1U rack from Drawmer offers their best-sounding compression yet.
Active Monitors & Subwoofer
Genelec update their popular 1000-series monitors, improving the technical specifications without losing the family sound.
Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs:
VSL Woodwind Ensembles 6* GIGASTUDIO, EXS24 MkII
VSL Epic Horns 6* GIGASTUDIO, EXS24 MkII
Loopmasters Percussionism 6* WAV+REX2
PMI Baroque Organ 5* MULTI-FORMAT
Computer For Music Production
AMD's Opteron range of CPUs are popular with musicians and ready for 64-bit computing — so how does Inta Audio's Opteron PC compare with typical Intel machines?
Universal Software Sampler (Mac/PC)
MOTU's software sampler seeks to be accessible to everyone, irrespective of preferred platform, sequencer or sample format. Can Mach Five really be all things to all people?
Sample-based VST Instrument (Mac/PC)
For years it was instantly associated with smooth late-70s productions, and now the sound of the electric piano is enjoying a comeback. But just how good is Native Instruments' sample-based virtual version?
Firewire 800 Recording Interface (Mac/PC)
RME's Fireface 800 brings together all of the company's expertise in developing audio hardware for computers, mic preamps and converters into one highly desirable unit. But can you really fit so much functionality into one interface without cutting corners?
This new low-cost mic combines smart styling with a solid, neutral sound.
Integrated Effects Unit (Mac/PC)
The latest addition to TC's Powercore range offers the convenience of Firewire connection at a bargain price, with some serious new plug-ins included.
Singing Synthesis Software (Windows)
Miriam Stockley is the first well-known singer to undergo the Vocaloid sampling technique, allowing anyone with a PC to install her as a virtual instrument. But how well does it work in practice?
Sound Shaping Plug-ins (Mac/PC)
If you are the kind of person who likes to accentuate the transients in their pitch-shifted recordings, before vocoding them and auto-doubling the results, Waves have the perfect plug-in bundle for you...
Behind The Scenes
The Isle of Wight Festivals of 1968-1970 attracted hundreds of thousands of music lovers, and after a long break the event is back. We talk to some of those who helped create the festival's sound, past and present.
People + Opinion
Responses to recent articles from SOS readers.
The Art Of Production
Since emerging from the Liverpool music scene at the turn of the '80s, Ian Broudie has juggled parallel careers as an artist and a producer. He has a new solo disc in the shops, and with albums by the Coral and the Zutons riding high in the charts, his production services are in greater demand than ever.
Is the increasing use of digital music downloads starting to take effect on the art of mastering?
The UK's iTunes Music Store customer service did not impress one SOS reader...
Part 2: 1979-1985
This month, we see how Roland survived some tricky times at the start of the 1980s, and how founder Ikutaro Kakehashi ensured that they were well-placed to take advantage of technological developments over the following few years.
Digital Performer Notes
MOTU recently announced the latest big update to Digital Performer, version 4.5. We offer a brief preview of some of the new features to come, as well as explaining how to use DP effectively with Ableton's Live.
Have you ever coveted the real-time functions of Ableton's Live? In which case, you will be interested to know how you can simulate some aspects of Live in Logic using the Touch Tracks object?
Not every new feature of Sonar 4 is a headline-grabber — there are many new facilities and tweaks to existing features that you might not initially notice, but which could make a big difference to your workflow.
The PCI standard has more ins and outs than you might be aware of. We attempt to sort them out, as well as highlighting a problem that can cause software authorisations to expire before their time.
Richard X & Mark Vidler
The craze for mashing up wildly different records to create illicit bootleg mixes has moved into the mainstream, and underground producers such as Richard X and Mark Vidler now find their services in hot demand from artists and record labels.
There's no shortage of Apple news this month, including the release of new versions of Logic, a revision to the iBook line and a new, cheaper G5 model.
Typical Home Studio Locations
Buying a house is a big investment, so it's important to pick the right property, and if you are a recording musician you will probably want it to include a suitable space for a studio. We weigh up the pros and cons of different studio locations within a typical small home, and also look at the kind of work that each space might require to make it usable.
Producers: Robert Smith, Mike Hedges
Mike Hedges made his 1980 debut as a producer with one of The Cure's most enduring singles. 'A Forest' and the accompanying Seventeen Seconds album used his and the band's creativity in the studio to the full.
Reader Recordings Analysed
Think your own music is good? Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see if you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
We take a look behind the behaviour of Cubase's most common mixing controls, to show the many options beneath the seemingly simple surface.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
There's an outbreak of literary criticism in this month's column, as we take a look at some of the Pro Tools books currently doing the rounds.
Ever loved the feel of a REX loop but disliked the drum sounds? Using Reason, you can steal the feel and substitute sounds of your choice... We show you how.
A dodgy snare recording was just one of the problems facing Rob O'Neil at the mixdown stage, so the SOS dynamic duo (Paul and Hugh) visited his home studio to help him sort things out.
Even a few degrees of extra heat inside your computer could damage your CPU and shorten the life of other components. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to bring down your PC's temperature while still ensuring the quiet operation you need in the studio.