December 2006 In This Issue

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Reviews

Apple Mac Pro

Desktop Workstation Computer

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With 64-bit quad-core processing in every model and the ability to run both Mac OS X and Windows, is the Mac Pro the computer all musicians have been waiting for?

Book Review: Recording The Beatles

By Brian Kehew & Kevin Ryan

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Could this book be the definitive guide to the Beatles' recording sessions?

Cakewalk Sonar 6

MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows]

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Another major upgrade for Cakewalk's DAW software adds powerful new features, and provides hands-on control at a touch.

Carillon TI Plus PC

Music Computer

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Carillon's new TI series sees them incorporating affordable, no-nonsense music PCs into their familiar rackmount cases.

Charter Oak SA538 & 538B

Multi-pattern Tube Microphones

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Can mics at this price really compete with the classics? Sound On Sound puts them to the test...

Cwejman VM1

Analogue Voice Module

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Swedish designer Wowa Cwejman has built a reputation for exclusive analogue synths. Now he's going modular, starting with the VM1 Voice module...

Dave Smith Mono Evolver Keyboard

Analogue & Digital Synthesizer

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Pushing at the boundaries of synthesis, as ever, Dave Smith's Evolver range continues to, er, evolve...

Digidesign Strike

Pro Tools Virtual Drummer Plug-in

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A new drum-based instrument from Digidesign combines instant gratification with a huge sound library and plenty of potential for editing.

DPA 3521

Modular Stereo Microphone Set

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DPA's innovative modular design, combined with diminutive parts, means that the 3521 gets to the parts other mics can't reach...

Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 I/O

Firewire Interface [OS X/Windows]

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Focusrite take their Firewire interface range to a new level with the competitively priced Saffire Pro 26 I/O.

Guitar Technology

Graphtech Ghost • Intelli IMT 500

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• Graphtech Ghost piezo and MIDI pickup system • Intelli IMT 500 clip-on Chromatic Tuner • Guitar technology news

Korg Micro X

Synthesizer

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They say that good things come in small packages — but just how much synthesizer can Korg cram into the tiny Micro X?

M-Audio Black Box

Guitar Processor & USB Audio Interface

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The guitar modelling revolution continues apace with M-Audio's latest interface.

MOTU Ethno

World Music Software Instrument [Mac/PC]

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This new software instrument majors on lively and evocative loops and phrases that can be flexibly combined to create convincing world-music atmospheres.

Sample Libraries

Mini Reviews

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• Sample Magic Funky House Grooves

• Sample Logic Ambience Impacts Rhythms

• VSL Percussion & Harps

• Soundlabel Piano Attack

SM Pro M-Patch 2

Passive Monitor Controller

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Monitor controllers can offer a handy solution to monitor level control in the mixer-less studio. SM Pro Audio's M-Patch 2 offers a whole lot more...

Steinberg Cubase 4

MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows/Mac OS X]

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The new version of Cubase is all about big ideas, including a completely new way of working with tracks, plug-ins and virtual instruments.

Submersible Music Drumcore 2

Groove Library / Audition Engine

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Is it a loop librarian? Is it a sample library? Is it a drum-sample playback engine? No - it's all of these, and it brings along its own roster of hyper-famous drummers too...

True Systems P-Solo

Microphone Preamplifier

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Can this mic preamp really deliver 'expensive' sound quality at a mid-market price?

Zoom H4

Portable Stereo/4-track Recorder

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We've seen affordable field recorders from Edirol and M-Audio. How does Zoom's H4 compare?

People + Opinion

Crosstalk: Your Feedback to SOS

Readers' Writes

Another collection of useful feedback/critique and our responses...

Gnarls Barkley & The Atlanta Sound

Ben Allen

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Their combination of Southern soul and hip-hop gave Gnarls Barkley one of the biggest hits of the year, thanks in part to the mixing wizardry of Ben Allen.

Sounding Off: Stephen Bennett

Will Plug-ins Replace Hardware Instruments?

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In the last few years, the increase in computing power has led to an explosion in the availability of high-quality virtual instrument and effects plug-ins, many of which emulate classic hardware...

Who Pays For Progress?

Paul White's Leader

Editor In Chief Paul White wonders why we value software so little...

Technique

Audio Editing Essentials In DP5

Digital Performer Tips & Technique

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We take a look at a variety of audio-related techniques, from the staples of soundbite editing to DP5's new Soundbite Volume feature.

Can You Still Make Music With An Elderly PC?

PC Musician

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Many of us feel compelled to regularly change our PCs in line with the demands of the latest software. But, depending on our requirements, an older PC may still be more than capable of doing a great job, as PC Musician discovers this month.

CLASSIC TRACKS: Orbital 'Chime'

Producers: Paul & Phil Hartnoll • Engineers: Tim Hunt, Orbital

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Orbital were renowned for their amazing live shows, and the story of 'Chime', the track that launched their career, shows how they brought their 'live' approach to electronic music to the studio and into the charts.

Firewire Chips To Win XP Media Center

PC Notes

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From rogue Firewire controller chips to Windows XP Media Center Edition, the strangest things can cause problems with PC audio...

Mix Rescue: Russell Simon

Tape Restoration

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No, it's not the Naked Chef, just Sound On Sound getting busy in the kitchen to salvage some old tape recordings... Note: there are no audio files accompanying this article

OS X RAID: Any Good For Audio?

Apple Notes

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With the new Mac Pro offering increased internal data storage, we investigate whether using the software RAID functionality built into OS X has any benefits for audio applications.

Quick Punch & Track Punch

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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Pro Tools offers punch-in features designed to make it work like a tape machine - except that you can change your mind later about where, when and what to drop in...

Recording Latin Percussion

Miking & Mixing Techniques

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Latin music is popular all over the world, but it has its own unique assortment of quirks and exotic instruments. Four of the genre's leading engineers explain what it takes to make a conga sing and timbales talk.

Refurbishing Your Old Equipment

Workshop

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Musicians, producers and engineers continue to discover the delights of all things vintage and retro, but why settle for classic gear that works but looks tatty when you can restore its appearance, too?

Simultaneous Multitrack Audio Exports & Flexible Routing

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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Limitations to Cubase's audio routing and audio export facilities have always been frustrating, and are still present even in Cubase v4. Thankfully, there are some free or inexpensive third-party solutions...

Studio SOS: Ross Prior

Your Studio Problems Solved

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Sweetening the mixing environment and sorting out the bass end is this month's task — but there's much more to do than adding a bit of rockwool!

Using Reason Live: Part 2

Live Electronic Performance

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In the second part in our series, we're exploring ways to use Reason in a live electronica performance, laptop DJ set or jam session.

Using Waveburner: Part 1

The Basics

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Waveburner is bundled free with Logic Pro and offers some significant power in the mastering department. We take a look at the hidden jewel in Apple's crown.

Vocal FX

Creative Vocal Processing

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Tired of the same old vocal sound? Time to get creative with your plug-ins, FX pedals and anything else you have!

Warping 101 In Ableton Live

Ableton Live Tips & Technique

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It's back to basics for this month's Live workshop, with an overview of Live's time-warping technology.

Music Business

Big George's Big Mouth

Solitaire?

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Big George takes a critical look at what seems to be the only game in town: solitaire.

Sound Advice

Q. Are there any MP3 players we can use as portable recorders?

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My band members and I wish to find an easy and affordable way to record and disseminate arrangement ideas. Currently, we...

Q. Can I get my mixer to communicate with Logic?

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I'm in charge of setting up my church's recording room. We have an Apple G4 dual-1.25GHz computer and a Behringer MX 2004a...

Q. How should I partition my pair of hard drives?

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I'm getting a Core 2 Duo PC with a pair of 250GB Seagate 7200 SATA II hard drives, and I want to know the best way to set...

Q. I want to be a Sound Engineer, where do I start?

I'm a 25 year old lawyer working in Bombay, India. I'm interested in sound engineering and feel like I want to make a career out of music but there aren't many opportunities here...

Q. What should I 'normalise'?

Is there a preferred method of using normalisation?

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