December 2005 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Berklee College of Music Production Course

Deadline: 2005-12-31

his month we've teamed up with Berklee College of Music to offer SOS readers the chance to win the Production course of your choice, worth up to $1300 including registration fee and required books, through Berkleemusic.com.
www.berkleemusic.com

Reviews

Access Virus TI

Modelled Analogue Synth

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The Virus TI promises to bridge the divide between hardware and software instruments, and create a world of Total Integration, while still offering the classic Virus sound. Is it a hard reality, or have Access gone totally soft?

AEA R88

Stereo Ribbon Microphone

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This new monster mic incorporates two separate ribbon diaphragms, allowing you to use either Blumlein or M&S stereo recording configurations.

Buchla 200e: Part 1

Patchable Analogue & Digital Synthesizer

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Alongside Bob Moog, Don Buchla is one of the founding fathers of synthesis, and yet much less is known of him and his instruments. With this two-part review of Buchla's latest synth, and a history of some of his pioneering work, we hope to redress the balance...

Cakewalk Sonar 5

MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows]

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The new version 5 sees Cakewalk's Sonar becoming a more complete production package than ever, with the addition of new synths, a convolution reverb, 64-bit support and Roland's celebrated Variphrase vocal processing technology.

Digitech Artist Series

Digital Guitar Effects Pedals

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These new pedals model celebrated guitar tones, including those of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, in unprecedented detail.

ESI Pro Maxio XD

192kHz Audio + MIDI Interface For PC

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Firewire and USB 2 interfaces have their advantages, but if you need serious channel counts at high sample rates, the PCI card still rules, and ESI's heavyweight recording system caters for a huge range of input and output formats at up to 192kHz.

Genelec 8020A

Active Monitors

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Despite their diminutive size, these new nearfield monitors still share the Genelec family sound.

Korg OASYS: Part 2

Workstation Synth

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We finish our in-depth examination of Korg's new mega-workstation, taking in the remaining synth engines, the sampler, the KARMA algorithms and the onboard sequencer, and draw our conclusions about it...

Little Labs Multi Z PIP

Instrument Preamp / DI / Re-amp

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Aimed at professionals, the Multi Z PIP combines premium DI box, mixer, and re-amping device in a single small unit.

M-Audio iControl

Control Surface For Apple Garage Band 2

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There are dedicated (and expensive) control surfaces for Logic, Pro Tools and Cubase... so why not an affordable one for Apple's semi-free entry-level application Garage Band? M-Audio must have thought exactly the same thing...

Sample Libraries: On Test

Hot Releases Assessed

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We check out the latest sample libraries on the block: True Strike 1 • Flatpack 2 • Drumdrops In Dub Volume 1.

Sony Oxford Limiter

Mastering Limiter Plug-in For Pro Tools

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Like many of Sony Oxford's plug-ins, their new limiter takes a familiar concept and applies a novel twist.

TL Audio M4

Valve Mixer

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This new mixer caters for those who found TL Audio's M3 too small, and the flagship VTC too big. But is the M4 just right?

Tube-tech MEC1A & MMC1A

Valve Recording Channel & Multi-band Compressor

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These two new valve units offer unusually powerful processing for professional studio use.

Live Sound

AER Acousticube 3

Acoustic Instrument Amplifier

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AER's Acousticube has been at the pinnacle of acoustic instrument amps since 1992. Does the latest revision live up to the legacy?

AKG D22 & D11

Instrument Microphones

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The new Crystal Clear Sound range of mics includes two models intended for instrument miking. They've got the prestigious AKG name, but they won't break the bank.

Jonathan Lucas: Freelance Engineer

Meet The Sound Guy

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As well as doing regular stints at Camden's Barfly and other London venues, Jonathan Lucas engineers for a successful gigging band, whom he also records in the studio. We find out how it all came together.

M-Audio Aries

Hand-held Capacitor Microphone

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M-Audio are perhaps better known for their studio and computer-based peripherals, but they now have a microphone range, to which has been added a stage-specific model. We put the Aries through its paces.

Power & Electrical Safety On Stage

PA Basics

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Staying safe on stage is more than a matter of simply making sure that willing hands are available before taking a dive. Knowing how to properly handle the mains power we all need is also crucial to performance health...

RCF ART 322A

Active PA Speakers

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Italian company RCF have a good pedigree. They helped design and manufacture for Mackie when the latter first entered the live sound market. We check out RCF's own entry in the portable powered PA stakes.

Stage Monitoring & Monitor Mixing

Workshop

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Although monitor engineering is often thought of as subordinate to handling the FOH sound, in reality it's at least as important. We take a tour around this most crucial of live sound subjects.

Voice Systems Eclipse

Active PA Speakers

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The PA market isn't short of powered 'plastic' cabinets at the moment, but not many use the coaxial speaker design approach — which is what sets apart this Italian-made model.

Yamaha EMX512SC

Powered PA Mixer

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Clever lightweight amplifier technology and exceptional effects, plus several other useful features, distinguish this practical and powerful live mixer.

People + Opinion

Harry Gregson-Williams

Composing For Films

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Harry Gregson-Williams's drive to explore original ideas and sounds has made him one of Hollywood's leading composers, scoring everything from romantic comedies to spy thrillers and historical dramas.

Simplify The DAW

Paul White's Leader

Is the modern sequencer/DAW user interface now crying out to be streamlined?

Sounding Off: Bags & Cases

Roger Thomas

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Can manufacturers consider providing even the most basic of bags or cases for all those vulnerable small items of equipment?

Toby Wright: Recording Hard Rock

Producer/Engineer

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He took an unusual and unhurried career path, but Toby Wright has helped to create some of the most influential hard rock records of the last 20 years, including Metallica's definitive ...And Justice For All, and is now one of America's most sought-after engineers and producers.

Technique

Advanced Timing Correction

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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We all know that Beat Detective can be used to fix up dodgy drumming. But how about creating a tempo map from a freely played keyboard part? Or replacing a piano track with note-for-note accuracy? You can achieve amazing results when you know how...

Audio Interface Manufacturers' Round Table

PC Musician

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With interface standards and user requirements changing all the time, the audio interface marketplace is a volatile one. We catch up with representatives of eight leading manufacturers for the inside track on the future of audio I/O hardware.

CLASSIC TRACKS: The Pixies 'Monkey Gone To Heaven'

Producer/Engineer: Gil Norton

Thumbnail for article: CLASSIC TRACKS: The Pixies 'Monkey Gone To Heaven'

With their oblique, short and often brutally noisy songs, The Pixies reinvented rock music at the turn of the '90s, and influenced almost everyone who picked up a guitar in the following decade. Producer and engineer Gil Norton helped them to shape their breakthrough single.

Dual-core/Dual-processor G5s

Apple Notes

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Christmas came slightly early this year for Mac enthusiasts, with significant product announcements, including new dual-core, dual-processor Power Mac G5s. But just what do the new high-spec computers mean for musicians?

Granular Synthesis

How It Works & Ways To Use It

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Granular synthesis is the core technology behind the latest time-stretching and pitch-shifting algorithms, but it can also be used to generate extraordinary evolving soundscapes. We explain how the process works and show you how to get the best from the software that uses it.

Improved MIDI Functions In Sonar 5

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Cakewalk have strengthened the MIDI side of Sonar 5 considerably, in recognition of the rise of software synths that benefit from enhanced MIDI controllability. We run through some of the new features and suggest how you might want to use them...

Making A Living From Music For Picture: Part 1

Getting A Break

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Writing music for picture seems like the ideal career. You get to work in your studio for a living, you can earn good money, and there's so much potential work: action films, travel and nature documentaries, romantic comedies, cartoons, low-budget sci-fi, even breakfast cereal ads. But how do you break into this lucrative world?

Mixing Live Recordings In Logic

Logic Tips & Techniques

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Mixing live band recordings within Logic presents a unique set of challenges, so we show you how to get great results with the minimum hassle.

Streamlining Your Ableton Live Workflow

Live Tips & Techniques

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We begin this regular column on using Ableton Live by examining how you can increase your productivity whilst using the program as a writing tool.

Studio SOS: Monitoring

Dave Rogers

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This SOS reader was having trouble with his monitoring, so the SOS team sped over to his home studio in Bristol, England to sort things out.

The Lost Art Of Sampling: Part 5

Sampler Synth Engines

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Nearly all modern samplers have powerful synth engines concealed inside them — and sometimes they're so well hidden that their users are unaware of their existence. But then why would you want a synth in your sampler? Let's find out...

Tuning Drum Loops In Reason

Reason Tips & Techniques

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Can't quite get your Reason rhythm section kicking with the rest of the track? If you've never considered tuning your drum samples and loops to help create a tight and harmonious mix, now may be the time to try it...

Using Digital Performer With External Hardware

Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

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Few of us use our software sequencers in isolation — we all need associated hardware, such as monitors, external effects, and favourite MIDI synths. This month we take a look at using DP with such hardware.

Windows XP x64

PC Notes

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The 64-bit Windows XP x64 edition is on the shelves, but musicians should stick with their trusty 32-bit OS for the moment. PC Notes explains why, as well as offering some constructive soundcard feature suggestions to manufacturers.

Working With Video

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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We take a look at building tempo maps for writing to picture in Cubase, using Markers, Time Warping and the Process Tempo command.

Music Business

Music Publishing

Everything You Wanted To Know (But Were Afraid To Ask)

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If you want to make money as a songwriter, composer or lyricist, the obvious answer is to find yourself a publisher. But what do music publishers actually do for their clients? Why do you need one, and how can you find the right one?

Sound Advice

Q. Is it possible to record in surround on only two tracks?

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Would it be possible to use two figure-of-eight mics to create a surround sound recording on a two-track recorder, which could be decoded and mixed later on?

Q. Is there something wrong with my vintage spring reverb?

I have just bought an old spring reverb unit called the Great British Spring off eBay. It sounds great but if I feed any drums through it, it makes a weird 'ping' sound...

Q. What factors affect the quality of a microphone capsule?

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What is it about the capacitor mic's capsule or the way it is mounted that dictates the polar pattern of the mic? 

Q. What makes some interfaces more expensive than others?

Thumbnail for article: Q. What makes some interfaces more expensive than others?

When it comes to computer audio interfaces, what is it that we are really paying for and how does the price relate to the quality of the A-D/D-A converters?

Q. Why do my mixes clip when I apply a high-pass filter?

Thumbnail for article: Q. Why do my mixes clip when I apply a high-pass filter?

After maximising my mix, so that the level of the audio is just below the point of clipping, if I insert a high-pass filter at, say, 40Hz, suddenly the audio starts to clip. What is happening? 

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