February 1997 In This Issue

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Reviews

A Poke In The Ear With A Sharp Stick

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Audio Toys Inc 8MX2

Preamp/Mixer

Hugh Robjohns takes a look at yet another studio unit designed to partner the new generation of digital 8-tracks, this time from a company new to the UK market.

Cool School Interactus Circle Of Digi Volume One CD-ROM; Neutrik 48-Way Jack Patchbay

Product Roundup

Paul White provides 2 concise reviews of essential accessories.

Emagic Zap

Lossless Audio Compression Utility

Paul White tries Emagic's new audio file compression utility while balancing the implications of time and space.

Focusrite Green

Dual Mic Preamp

Some mic preamps are used for the audible effect they produce on recordings, while others are chosen simply to amplify your mic signals as cleanly as possible. Paul White checks out at the third unit in Focusrite's affordable Green range, and finds a quality mic amplifier that falls into the latter category...

Genelec 1029A & 1091A

Active Nearfield Monitors & Sub-woofers

Finnish company Genelec have long been admired for their high-end professional monitors, but have only recently started to fix the project studio market in their sights. Hugh Robjohns checks out their smallest and most affordable active monitors yet to see if quality as given way to cost considerations...

Guillemot Maxi Sound 64

PC Soundcard

The Maxi Sound 64 is a new Plug and Play full-duplex soundcard with some pretty tasty features, cooked up by French company Guillemot International. Martin Walker tucks in.

Hohner Midia Red Roaster

24-bit CD Pre-mastering Software

There's never been a better time to burn your own CDs at home, as the price of CD writers and the necessary mastering software continues to fall. Now the Red Roaster bundle is bringing the homemade CD dream within the reach of Pentium PC owners. Janet Harniman Cook experiences burning desires...

Intelligent Devices Pro Audio Analyser 2.0

Audio Analysis Software

Paul D Lehrman discovers things he never knew about his recordings...

Iomega Jaz

Removable 1GB Hard Drive

Iomega's removable Zip drive has been a huge success for cost-effective data backup. Now the much larger capacity Jaz, which is fast enough for direct to disk audio use, looks set to continue the Iomega success story. Paul White enters the Jaz age...

Korg NS5R

Synth Module

Perhaps 'more sounds for less money' is becoming a tired selling point, but Christopher Holder finds some features that set Korg's latest GM sound module apart.

LA Audio GCX2

2-channel Compressor/Gate

This UK-designed and built processor offers two channels of easy-to-use compression and gating for under £200. Paul White's backing Britain.

MIDI + Audio On The PC: Steinberg Cubase, Emagic Logic Audio, Cakewalk Pro Audio

Product Comparison

Last year saw the proliferation of reliable, fully-featured MIDI + Audio sequencers for the IBM-compatible PC — packages which were previously the preserve of the Apple Macintosh platform. Janet Harniman-Cook takes a look at the three top PC programs in the field to see how their facilities compare.

Rock History Drum Loops Vol. 1

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Roland GR30

Guitar Synthesizer

Roland continue to champion the cause of the guitar synthesist, refining their respected line of guitar synths in search of the best combination of facilities, usability and price. Paul White finds out whether they've got the right balance right with the new GR30.

Roland JP8000

Analogue Modelling Synthesizer (Preview)

Though Korg have been making some inroads lately, notably with the Prophecy, Roland is still the name to drop in dance circles, so the announcement of a new, analogue-style Roland megasynth stirs the blood like little else. Brett Mitchell gets his exclusive hands on it...

Roland S330

Digital Sampler (Retro)

Darius Pocha suggests that one of Roland's 'ones that got away' is an excellent second-hand buy: the S330 sampler. Additional material by Derek Johnson.

Smoov Grooves

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Sony MDMX4

Digital Multitracker

Sony's new MDMX4 digital multitracker heralds the beginning of a conscious attempt to woo the home recording market, and uses the company's own MiniDisc technology to put a digital spin on that home studio mainstay, the compact 4-track recorder. Hugh Robjohns checks it out.

Steinberg Wavelab 1.5

Audio Editing Software & DSP Plug-ins

How do Steinberg's DSP software plug-ins for their WaveLab software, now at version 1.5, compare with the industry heavyweights? Paul White unearths his nastiest recordings to find out.

SyQuest EZFlyer 230

Removable External 230MB Drive

Paul White tries out the SCSI version of this popular drive, and discovers lots of potential applications in the studio.

TC Electronic 1210

Spatial Expander & Stereo Chorus/Flanger (Retro)

Although still available to buy new, TC Electronic's 1210 is actually older than much of the gear featured in Retrozone. However, it's not a synth, but an effects processor. Norman Fay explains his deep-seated love of this grizzled veteran among effects.

The Definitive Percussion Sampler Vol. 1: Steve Reid

Sample Library

* Score = 3

TL Audio Crimson 3011 & 3012

4-band & Parametric EQs

Do TL Audio's designs stand up without valves, or is it a case of tubeless tires? Paul White endeavours to find out.

Waldorf Pulse Plus

Monophonic Synthesizer

One of the hit synths of 1996, Waldorf's Pulse is now available in a slightly upgraded version, incorporating an external audio input and CV/gate interface. Paul Nagle sets it, squizzing and phzweeing to find out exactly what has put the Plus in the Pulse.

Westlake LC 6.75

Nearfield Monitors

Paul White lends an ear to Westlake's new nearfield monitors and discovers that they have a distinctively Californian sound.

Zeta Jazz & Synthony

MIDI Violin & MIDI Controller

For over a decade, Californian company Zeta have kept the flag flying for strings players who'd like to bring their skills into the synth age. Alan McClure takes a bow..

People + Opinion

ALAN FISH-BARNES: What's In A Name?

Sounding Off

Alan Fish-Barnes asks "What's in a name?" and concludes: "Quite a lot, actually..."

All About Library Music

Exploration

A surprising amount of the music you hear on TV and radio is not specially commissioned but is taken instead from libraries of ready-written themes. Nigel Beaham-Powell explains how the library music system works and gives some pointers on getting into it.

DANNY SABER: Saber Dance

Interview | Artist

He's an accomplished producer, remixer, writer, programmer, guitarist, bassist and keyboard player — is there no end to Danny Saber's abilities? Richard Buskin talks to him about his blending of pop, rock, hip-hop and trip-hop sensibilities, as well as the commercially unorthodox results that have placed him in international demand.

DAVID WEST: The Sound Of The X Files

Interview | Music Production

West Productions' innovative work on the audio post-production of cult TV series 'The X-Files' netted the company two Emmy awards in 1996. Paul White talks to company founder David West about the sound element of major TV programmes, including X-Files creator Chris Carter's new series, 'Millennium'.

Freelance Engineers & Their Personal Racks

Exploration

It was once taken for granted that freelance engineers would use the standard outboard provided by the studio they were working in. But the explosion in the amount of gear available means that now they often have to assemble personal rack to be sure of getting access to their tools of choice. Dan Daley explores the phenomenon...

John Adams

Crossing Borders

This American classical composer writes rock songs as well as concertos and has a home studio complete with contemporary synths and a computer-based sequencer. Paul Tingen talks to him about the best of both worlds.

MARK SNOW: Scoring The X-Files

Interview | Composer

Mark Snow's quirky yet haunting X-File theme tune was last year's surprise worldwide chart hit, and his atmospheric scoring plays an important part in setting the mood for this darkly compelling television phenomenon. Derek Johnson discovers that the music is out there...

ROB URRY (DBX): Embracing The Digital Age

Interview | Manufacturer

Now in their 26th year, American company dbx rose to fame on the back of their compressors and noise reduction systems. Paul White talks to President Rob Urry about dbx's ongoing plans to serve both the high-end and project studio analogue processor market, while also embracing the digital age.

Technique

CD-R Recorders; Marantz CDR620; Cyberspace

PC Notes

It is worth investing in a stand-alone CD-R recorder? Brian Heywood explains how it can make life easier when you're burning gold...

Choosing PC Drives & Controllers, Part 2

Tips & Techniques

If your PC's hard drive is full to overflowing, then perhaps you may be tempted to expand sideways. In the last of this short series, Martin Walker examines the implications of SCSI, and its application to the world of music.
• Read Part 1 (January 1997)

Direct Injection

Exploration

Most people have heard of direct injection, or DI, but what is it, how does it work, and what can it do for your recordings? Hugh Robjohns gets directly to the point...

EQ

Exploration

Paul White looks at the various types of equaliser, and gives some tips on how EQ should best be applied to your recordings.

French Atari Show; Alibi; Panther

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson reports on a successful French Atari show, whets your appetite for the current issues of the Atari mags, and rounds up more software news and tips.

Making MIDI Sequencing More Realistic, Part 1: General Tips

Tips & Techniques

Is it real or is it synthesized? Paul Farrer passed on some tips to help you inject some real feel into your MIDI programming.
• Read Part 2 (March 1997)

Making The Most Of Soundcard Daughterboards

Tips & Tricks

When you buy a daughterboard for your soundcard, you may be impressed by the sounds themselves, but disappointed by the sound quality. Martin Walker shows how to add hi-fi quality outputs to a daughterboard, and passes on some editing tips to help you get the best from your purchase.

Optimising Serial Ports; New Mac Buyer Checklist

Apple Notes

The profusion of new Macs may have you wondering which one to go for. Martin Russ helps out, pausing only to dispense a spot of advice on optimising your serial port use...

Stereo Microphone Techniques Explained, Part 1

Exploration

Hugh Robjohns takes a historical look at stereo miking techniques and explains the whys and wherefores of the various methods available.
• Read Part 2 (March 1997)

Steven Collazo

Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed

Aurora * Eldritch Croon * Blakey's Special Six * Darren White * Dukur * Convulsant * Jupiter * The Scam * Wheelwright's Bane * Hardware * Blue Galaxy

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