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Deadline: 31 December 2008. This month, thanks to our friends at Toontrack USA, who manage the Rob Papen range in America, we've got two cracking prizes to give away. The first comprises the latest versions of all four of Rob Papen's products - Blue, Albino, Predator and RG - plus a one-on-one web masterclass with Mr Papen himself! Second prize is the full bundle of software, without the private tuition.
Active Nearfield Monitors
Adam have gained a strong reputation for the quality and value for money of their larger reference monitors, but have they had to make any compromises in their smallest model?
Akai's MPC has been with us for 20 years now — an incredibly long time in music production. So is the latest addition to this venerable range, the MPC5000, a worthy bearer of its standard?
Transient Processing Plug-in [Mac / PC]
Eiosis' innovative plug-in processor allows you to completely isolate transients so that they can be processed independently of the rest of the audio.
Reviews, Tips and Techniques
• Schertler DYN-G Acoustic Instrument Pickup
Dual-drive CD Recorder
Newer technologies may be available, but the CD is still alive and kicking... and this unique stand-alone recorder is arguably the pinnacle of CD technology.
Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone
It's easy to see where the Black Hole gets its name, but this novel microphone isn't all about appearances...
The Voyager Old School sees Moog returning to their roots, but is there a place for an all-analogue, 1970s-style synth in the 21st century?
Another crop of sound libraries fall under the scrutiny of the SOS reviews team:
Spectrasonics' ambitious new sample-based power synth explores the realms of psychoacoustics and organic synthesis while running on a STEAM engine — what can this all mean? Let's find out...
Headphone Amplifier & Spatial Processor
Mixing on headphones is undoubtedly convenient, but you can never be sure if your mixes will translate well to speakers. This high-quality headphone amp and processor aims to address that problem.
Digital Village enjoy an established reputation for their custom music PCs, and are clearly looking to build upon that with their new Synergy range...
Valve Microphone Preamp & EQ
Is this latest addition to the Thermionic Culture flock something for the company to crow about?
Virtual Drum Instrument [Mac & PC]
Toontrack's DFH Superior received excellent reviews but perhaps didn't really make the impact that it deserved. Will the drums and cymbals of their new Superior Drummer 2.0 make a greater splash?
Automatic Harmony Generation Software [Mac/PC]
Will Zplane's musically intelligent software make the world a more harmonious place?
People + Opinion
Sampling The World
As they celebrate 20 years in the business, sample library pioneers EastWest are on the verge of relaunching LA's legendary United-Western studio complex. They've also developed an innovative sample-playback engine to power their next generation of virtual instruments.
Craig Potter: Recording The Seldom Seen Kid
When they began work on The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow had no record label and no producer. Two years later, it's brought them mainstream success at last.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Sponsored by breed-media.co.uk
Kings Of Leon: Sex On Fire
For the recording of their fourth album Only By The Night, Kings Of Leon and co-producer Jacquire King decided to aim high. The result: a worldwide smash and a long-awaited breakthrough in the band's native US.
Make me a record that sounds worse than My Bloody Valentine, and I'll make you a star.
If you're shopping for a new CPU, the number of processor cores it has may not be the most important factor in how well it runs your music software. Read on to find out why...
Performance & Maintenance Tips
Housekeeping tasks might not be as much fun as making music, but staying on top of them should ensure safely backed-up tracks and a hassle-free system performing at its best.
When you're trying to achieve a tight, commercial hip-hop sound, you might need to resort to some heavy processing — but not on every track...
Hear For Yourself
Here are the links to the MP3 and WAV files that accompany the December 2008 Mix Rescue article for our newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article and don't fancy typing in all the long URLs by hand.
Digital Performer Notes & Techniques
If you've lots of third-party plug-ins in different formats, it can be a pain to keep tabs on where they're stored and which version to use. We explain how DP's plug-in manager functionality can help, as well as offering guidance on DP6 features, including the essential new 'pre-generation'.
As iPhone-mania continues to grip the world, developers have been releasing music-related applications, some of which offer a surprising level of sophistication. Forget the idea of a laptop studio — it's time for the pocket studio!
Reason Notes & Techniques
Think computer music's got no soul? Think again! Join us as we explore Reason's ReGroove mixer...
Producer: Steve Lillywhite • Engineers: Chris Dickie, Steve Lillywhite
A Christmas song was an unexpected move from a group like the Pogues, but the story of heartbreak and pain that is 'Fairytale Of New York' eventually became the band's biggest commercial success.
Sonar Notes & Techniques
There's more to dynamics than compression and expansion, and now transient shaping is part of Sonar 8, courtesy of the TS64 Transient Shaper plug-in.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
You can save time and cut down on mouse-clicks by using Pro Tools' window management features.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Having done your best to capture a high-quality recording of your vocals, how best do you go about processing them so they work in your mix?
A Guide To Effective EQ
Manipulating the frequency spectrum is one of the most important skills in recording and mixing. We explain the different types of EQ you can use in your mix and share some tips on how to get the best from them.
TV Music From The Inside
Progress is a wonderful thing, if you're a composer of music for the media and you dream of a poolside studio in the Bahamas.
We visit the UK's Music Live show in Birmingham, talk to TV composer Paul Farrer, and bring you the latest news, as well as answer your studio-related questions.