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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.
Paul White provides 2 concise reviews of essential accessories.
Lossless Audio Compression Utility
Paul White tries Emagic's new audio file compression utility while balancing the implications of time and space.
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...
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...
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.
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...
Audio Analysis Software
Paul D Lehrman discovers things he never knew about his recordings...
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...
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.
This UK-designed and built processor offers two channels of easy-to-use compression and gating for under £200. Paul White's backing Britain.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Removable External 230MB Drive
Paul White tries out the SCSI version of this popular drive, and discovers lots of potential applications in the studio.
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.
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.
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.
Paul White lends an ear to Westlake's new nearfield monitors and discovers that they have a distinctively Californian sound.
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 asks "What's in a name?" and concludes: "Quite a lot, actually..."
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.
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.
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'.
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...
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...
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.
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...
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)
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...
Paul White looks at the various types of equaliser, and gives some tips on how EQ should best be applied to your recordings.
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.
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)
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.
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...
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)