February 1986 In This Issue

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Reviews

3 OF A DIFFERENT KIND

Akai MIDI Effects: ME10D; ME15F; ME20A

Having arrived on the synthesizer scene after the introduction of MIDI, Akai have now come up with some offbeat ideas in the shape of three MIDI 'effects' units. Paul Gilby ponders their existence.

BLACK MAGIC

Fostex Model 80 Tape Recorder

When Fostex launched the world's first eight-track on 1/4-inch tape format they produced an excellent budget multitrack tape machine that's had a profound effect on the growth of recording facilities and the musician's approach to songwriting. Paul Gilby looks at what's on offer from their new model 80.

Could It Be The Perfect Match?

ACES B1816 Mixer

Ever since Fostex first accomplished the impossible and squeezed 16 usable tracks onto a half-inch tape, and did it (most importantly) at an affordable price, mixing desk manufacturers have been offering up their desks as the perfect match for the B16. Studio owner Dave Simpson poses the question of the latest ACES mixer and delivers his answer.

HOT VALVES!

Dynacord Reference 500 Digital Tube Amplifier

Offering 16 user-programmable memories with remote selection of programs under the command of MIDI, the Dynacord Reference 500 amplifier breaks new ground and could easily become a standard piece of studio equipment. Ian Gilby checks it out.

MIDI SOFT

MIDI software currently available in the UK

Ian Waugh pursues music and the MIDI concept where no concept has been pursued before, with a general round-up of MIDI software currently available in the UK in 1986.

NEED A HELPING HAND?

QuPlay QP1 Remote Control

Dave Simpson discovers a remote control, autolocate and spare hand all in one compact unit - the QuPlay QP1.

THE DYNAMIC DUO

Yanaha's DX100 & DX27

Yamaha have smashed new price barriers with their latest FM synthesizers. Mark Jenkins assesses their performance as stand-alone keyboards and as compact MIDI expanders...

THE MISSING LINK

Quark MIDI-link

Why waste time changing MIDI cables to reconfigure your set-up when you can solve all your MIDI routing headaches with a Quark MIDI-link? Paul Wiffen tells how.

People + Opinion

BRONSKI BEAT: Perfect Beat

Bronski Beat: Perfect Beat

when Jimi Somerville left Bronski Beat to form the Communards, many pop pundits saw the end in sight for the electric trio. But with a new vocalist, a hit single with a successful film tie-in, and a new album on the way, it looks as if the band will be with us for some time to come. Bronski's Larry Steinbachek took time off from rehearsing in the band's new 16-track studio to speak to Mark Jenkins.

DX CONVENTION REPORT

The X Series: Yamaha/DX Owners' Club

For those of you who missed it, here's our brief round-up of the excellent day's events at the Yamaha/DX Owners' Club convention in London.

ON THE AIR

The Barge Studio: John Rowland

Janet Angus climbs aboard The Barge studio moored in London's Little Venice to discover the intricacies of recording radio drama from one of its chief exponents - John Rowland.

PORTRAIT OF A FREELANCE ENGINEER

Paul Libson

Ted Fletcher documents the rise of a talented young engineer whose recorded credits include work with such notable artists as China Crisis, Gary Moore, Rick Wakeman and Rod Argent.

ROD ARGENT: SOLDIERING ON

Rod Argent

Success has taken Rod Argent from the Zombies hit 'She's Not There', on to international acclaim for 'Hold Your Head Up' with his band Argent, through to equally successful liaisons with Andrew Lloyd Webber on his 'electronic Paganini' Variations album. As a self-taught musician and skilled exponent of both classical and synthesized music, a move into film score writing presented Rod with a logical outlet for his talents. Here he discusses with Ian Gilby how he and his partner Bob Howes approached writing and producing the music for the recently screeened BBCTV documentary series 'Soldiers'.

VINTAGE CLASSICS

Alexander Skeaping

Look through the classified ads in any of the weekly music papers, and you will find bargains galore, all in keyboard instruments that were state of the art only a few years ago. Are they still relevant today? To find out, David Etheridge spoke with Alexander Skeaping, head of Keyboard Hire.

Technique

MUSIC & PICTURES

Music & Pictures: Part 3: How To Actually Set About It

Part 3: Musician, producer and film music composer Robin lumley continues his six part series designed to take the mystery out of writing and recording music for films and television.

SHAPING SOUND

Art Of Sampling: Part 3: Shaping, Filtering, Enveloping & Keyboard Sensing

Part 3: In the penultimate part of his series, designed to help you get the best from your samping machines, keyboard programmer Paul wiffen returns to his analogue roots to modify some samples.

TALKING MIDI

Talking MIDI: Part 3: MIDI protocol

Last month Jay Chapman looked at the numerical representation of musical information and the MIDI hardware which moves such information around for us. We can now start to look at the MIDI protocol which defines the actual messages that can be sent round our MIDI network.

USING TIMECODES: Part 1

Using Timecodes: Part 1: All You Need To Know

Part 1: The release of the new Fostex synchronisers reinforces the importance of timecode in today's recording process. So, to help you familiarise yourself with their applications, Francis Rumsey begins a new series that should tell you all you need to know about timecodes.

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