December 2011 In This Issue

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Competition

Win HK Audio Soundcaddy One Worth £2,099 GBP

Deadline: 2012-01-11

The Soundcaddy One combines the line-array technology found in the HK Elements PA with a high degree of convenience and portability. Its mid-range/high-frequency unit features six custom speakers designed to deliver linear sound with wide horizontal dispersion and controlled vertical dispersion, helping everyone in the audience to hear the performance clearly.

Win JZ Vintage 12 Worth $1,800 USD

Deadline: 2012-01-11

Up for grabs in this month's SOS competition is JZ's AKG-inspired model, the Vintage 12. An homage to AKG's C12, the Vintage 12 is a large-diaphragm condenser that employs JZ's own GDC12 capsule: a design based on the AKG CK12, but enhanced with a proprietary gold-sputtering technique on the diaphragm which JZ call 'Gold Drop'. The Vintage 12 employs solid-state electronics (rather than valves, as the CK12 did), and in true JZ fashion it has distinctive styling that combines vintage looks with a hint of modernity.

Reviews

Alesis QX49

Controller Keyboard

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It’s cheap, but is it cheerful? We examine the latest controller keyboard from Alesis.

Alto Truesonic 115A

Active Loudspeaker

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Alto’s modestly priced all-rounder can serve as either a main PA speaker or a monitor. How does it fare on stage?

App Works

Making Music On The Move

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JG Harding checks out the Fostex AR4i portable audio interface for iPhone 4 & 4S, and the Blip Interactive Nanostudio sequencer for iOS.

Big Fish Audio | Modern Rock Guitar & Bass Loops

Sample Library

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Big Fish Audio use the words "storm”, "explosive”, "raw”, ”roaring”, "power” and "fire” to help describe the guitar sounds of...

Cloud Microphones JRS 34 & JRS 34P

Ribbon Microphones

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These retro-styled ribbon mics have a lineage going back to legendary models from RCA, and are completely hand-built in the USA.

Cloud Microphones JRS 34 & JRS 34P | Media

Ribbon Microphones

Audio files to accompany the article.

Demeter RVB1 Reverbulator

Spring Reverb Pedal

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Chris Korff reviews this pedal-format spring reverb derived from the Demeter rackmount units, which uses real springs rather than an emulation circuit.

Focal CMS40 & CMS Sub

Active Monitors

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Focal’s CMS range of active monitors has been expanded with the compact CMS40s and the sizeable CMS Sub. Do they work well as a team?

Freshtone Samples | Lost Tapes Vol. 1

Sample Library

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Lost Tapes Vol 1 is the first release from UK-based Freshtone Samples. The library's title derives from the efforts to catch...

Graph Tech Ghost

MIDI System For Acoustic Guitar

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Graph Tech show us that MIDI pickups and guitar synthesis needn’t be solely the preserve of the electric guitarist.

Inward Connections Vogad

VCA Compressor-Limiters

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The original VOGAD compressors may not have been developed with music in mind, but listening to this one you wouldn’t know that!

Neo Instruments Ventilator

Rotary Speaker Simulator

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There have been plenty of Leslie emulators over the years, but is the Ventilator the one that finally nails ‘that’ sound?

Neve 1073LB & 1073LB EQ

500-series Microphone Preamplifier & Equaliser

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Neve’s venerable 1073 preamp and equaliser are both now available in API’s popular ‘Lunchbox’ format. Were they worth waiting for?

NI Maschine Mikro

Groove Workstation

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Mouse-free, wallet-friendly groove production is the order of the day as Native Instruments miniaturise their Maschine.

NI Session Strings Pro

String Sample Library

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Huge, elaborate orchestral sample libraries are all the rage right now, but for more modest requirements and lower budgets, Session Strings Pro could be just the ticket.

Nine Volt Audio | Shimmer & Shake

Sample Library

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Here's the problem: you're working on a project and you decide you need some kind of shaker or tambourine part, but you'...

Palmer Drei

Triple Single-ended Guitar Amplifier

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When it comes to recording, this might just be the most versatile valve guitar amp we’ve seen...

Plug-in Folder

Plug-ins

Alan Tubbs reviews the Cakewalk Z3TA+ 2.1 plug-in for PC VST, Sam Inglis takes a look at the Dada Life Sausage Fattener plug-in for Mac AU & VST and Windows VST as well as the Waves The King's Microphones plug-in for Mac AU, Mac & PC VST & RTAS.

Presonus Studio One 2.0

Recording, Mixing & Mastering Software

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Version 2 of Studio One offers unprecedented levels of integration with third-party software — or, in other words, built-in Melodyne!

Soniccouture | The Conservatoire Collection

Sample Library

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When the call comes from the BBC asking if you can supply two hours of music for their upcoming 16th-century historical drama...

Sonokinetic Tutti

Orchestral Effects Library

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Sonokinetic's Tutti eschews the approach taken by most orchestral sample libraries, offering, instead, a selection of effects designed to bring your pieces to life...

SontronicsDM1B, DM1S & DM1T

Drum Microphones

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Sontronics’ DM-series mics are specially designed for close-miking of drum kits. How do they perform in a real-world session?

Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 11

Non-linear Video Editor For Windows

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Sony's latest entry-level NLE has plenty of editing power to help you cut your music videos quickly, and for very little cash.

Steinberg RND Portico

EQ & Compressor Plug-ins

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After much hard work, Yamaha and Steinberg persuaded Rupert Neve that they could faithfully model his latest hardware in plug-in form. We pit the virtual Porticos against the real things...

Steinberg RND Portico | Media

EQ & Compressor Plug-ins

Audio files to accompany the article.

TC Helicon VoiceLive Rack

Rackmount Live Vocal Processor

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TC Helicon’s latest live vocal processor squeezes plenty of powerful processing into a 2U rackmount space, and comes with a free microphone too.

Waves H-EQ

EQ Plug-in

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Waves’ latest equaliser can be five different virtual analogue designs at once — and it has some other neat tricks up its sleeve too.

Live Sound

Earthworks SR40V

Live Vocal Capacitor Microphone

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The SR40V has an impressive pedigree and high-end sound — but do they justify the price tag?

People + Opinion

Alex Da Kid: From Football To Music Recording

Interview | Songwriter & Producer

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Ambition and talent can take you a long way, as Alex Da Kid has discovered on his journey from the football pitch to the recording studio.

Alex Marten: Too Many Sonic Possibilities

Sounding Off

The modern producer has a vast array of sounds at his command, but does that make for musical misery?

Fabian Marasciullo: Recording Lil Wayne's 'How To Love'

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

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Fabian Marasciullo’s mixes for the latest Lil Wayne album were so valuable he had to guard them at gunpoint.

Matt Cox: MIDI Tech For The Chemical Brothers

Interview | Engineer

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The Chemical Brothers bring more gear on stage than most of us have in our studios. Matt Cox is the man who has to make sure it all works come showtime!

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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The Unknown Stuntman * Steve Nicholls * Permanent Déjà Vu * Stus Rollins

Set The Controls

Leader

A little over three years ago, I wrote a leader column pointing out the pitfalls of relying on plug-in presets,...

Technique

Device Racks

Ableton Live Tips & Techniques

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Explore some creative uses for Live’s Device Racks.

FX Chains

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Create virtual multi-effects with Sonar X1e's FX Chains 2.0

How To Build Tracks Around Sampled Tunes

Tips & Techniques

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Sampling a record may be child’s play, but using such samples effectively in your own compositions requires plenty of skill and finesse.

How To Build Tracks Around Sampled Tunes | Media

Tips & Techniques

These audio files accompany the How To Build Tracks Around Sampled Tunes feature that featured in SOS December 2011.

Improving PC Performance

PC Notes

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Keeping your music PC hooked up to the Internet, with security software active, has a surprisingly small impact on performance...

Mix Rescue: Igor Zinken

Mixing & Recording Advice

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This month, we figure out how to pack some much-needed punch into an interesting instrumental track.

Mix Rescue: Igor Zinken | Media

Mixing & Recording Advice

Audio files to accompany the article.

Mix Tricks For Reason 6

Reason Tips & Techniques

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Reason’s new mixer has useful features you may not have noticed...

Pitch-correction Plug-ins

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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Pitch-correction plug-ins are the key to the current trend for weird vocal effects. Here’s how to achieve them in Pro Tools.

ReaVerb, Part 1

Reaper Tips & Techniques

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In the first of a two-part series on using impulse responses in Reaper’s ReaVerb, we look at the basics: selecting, loading and editing. • Read Part 1

ReaVerb, Part 1 | Media

Reaper Tips & Techniques

Audio files to accompany the article.

Steve Jobs Tribute

Apple Notes

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Following the death of Steve Jobs, we reflect on the life of one of the most influential technology pioneers of our generation.

Studio SOS

Your Studio Problems Solved

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The SOS team head out to singer/songwriter and media composer Olivia Broadfield’s studio, to solve her monitoring issues.

The Buggles 'Video Killed The Radio Star'

Classic Tracks

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The Buggles' JG Ballard-inspired 'Video Killed The Radio Star' hit the number one spot in no fewer than 16 different countries, and confirmed Trevor Horn in his career as a producer in the process.

The Mix Review | December 2011

Analysing Commercial Productions

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• Calvin Harris 'Bounce' • Arctic Monkeys 'Spangled Shalalala' • DJ Fresh 'Louder' • Bon Iver 'Calgary' • Pitbull 'Give Me Everything'

Ultrabeat Syncing

Logic Tips & Techniques

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Ultrabeat isn't just a drum machine: it's great for tempo-synced effects.

Using Outboard Gear

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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Recording and mixing with outboard gear in Cubase 6.

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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Unless you’ve worked in today’s television business, you can’t hope to understand the true meaning of job satisfaction.

Off The Record

Music & Recording Industry News

Franchises like the X Factor, and Dr Dre's new range of headphones, show that consumer tactics may have a role to play in the world of pro audio.

Sound Advice

Q. Can you help me with my viola recording setup?

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This month I'm planning a week's worth of recording for a commercial release of my own viola-led instrumental music, and I'd...

Q. How can I automate the level of vocals against a backing track?

Thumbnail for article: Q. How can I automate the level of vocals against a backing track?

I'm currently involved in composing music tracks for a self-help medical audio program and I would like to be able to create...

Q. How do I understand a VU meter correctly?

Thumbnail for article: Q. How do I understand a VU meter correctly?

I have recently invested in the range of UAD2 plug-ins, but am afraid I am not sure how to read the VU meters correctly. I am...

Q. Is there a monitor controller that won’t colour the sound?

Thumbnail for article: Q. Is there a monitor controller that won’t colour the sound?

I recently spent €4000 on professionally designed and installed acoustic design and treatment. I then spent a further €4000 on...

Q. Should I buy a stand-alone master clock?

Thumbnail for article: Q. Should I buy a stand-alone master clock?

I'd like to know what the advantages and disadvantages are of using stand-alone word clock units, like Apogee, Lynx, Antelope...

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