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With so many good capacitor microphones already on the market, can Alesis offer anything new? Paul White puts their new large-diaphragm FET and valve mics to the test.
Portable Room Acoustic Baffles
Studio Traps allow you to alter the acoustics of any room in minutes so you can quickly deal with troublesome rooms or acoustically separate live mics from one another. Martin Walker sets the traps....
MIDI + Audio Sequencer
For years Metro was a fully-featured Mac MIDI-only sequencer without a permanent home, available from various manufacturers. Now, the package has been adopted by PC sequencer company Cakewalk to help them attract Mac-based custom — and they have added various new features including audio support. Mike Collins goes underground...
Digitech's Quad 4, like its predecessor, can treat up to four signals independently, parcelling out its processing power according to your requirements. Could this be the only multi-effects unit you need? Hugh Robjohns finds out...
MIDI Fader Box & Step Sequencer
Fancy having 24 assignable faders and 72 buttons to control your MIDI gear? How about an eight-track MIDI step sequencer with CV and gate outputs too? Paul Nagle explores a product that gives you both.
Audio Recording System
With an excellent audio specification and lots of inputs and outputs, Event's Layla looks an ideal candidate for many small computer-based recording studios. Martin Walker gets plugged in.
CD-ROM & AV Hard Drives
Musicians can have a tricky time choosing suitable hard drives for audio recording, but Glyph claim their range is ready-optimised for music applications. Martin Walker puts their assertion to the test...
Workstation Keyboard (Retro)
Philip Meehan fondly remembers his first love Ñ a keyboard with the voice of an angel, the mind of a genius and the body of a heavyweight boxer in a big black coat.
Physical Modelling Guitar Preamp
Can this intriguing little box really emulate the recorded sound of many of the world's greatest guitar amplifiers? Paul White puts it to the test.
24-channel Digital Recording System
Interested in combining hard disk recording with other analogue and digital recording formats? Paul White connects with a versatile recording interface that offers a host of interconnection options and also claims one of the lowest latency figures in the business.
Hugh Robjohns has a close encounter with Panasonic's newly launched budget digital console, and finds it is up there with the best of them.
With the advent of 'groove'-based instruments like Yamaha's DJX, the humble home keyboard is acquiring a new hipness. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser explore Roland's attempt to make the cutting edge user-friendly.
Patchable Analogue Synthesizer
Two Dutch designers who were influential in the design of the cult '80s Synton Syrinx synth have recently returned to the field, coming up with the exclusive and highly idiosyncratic Fenix synthesizer. Gordon Reid sees history repeating.
24-bit DAT Recorder
A 24-bit, high-resolution version of the DAT format allows users of 24-bit workstations to transfer their mixes using readily available, cheap media. Hugh Robjohns tries out Tascam's new machine.
Taking the essence of the highly regarded Finalizer Plus, TC Electronic have repackaged their multi-band compressor in a new easy-to-use format. Hugh Robjohns puts it through its paces.
* Score = 4
Paul White tests Yamaha's latest super-compact powered monitor.
Yamaha's latest XG MIDI module achieves more onboard sounds and greater polyphony and multitimbrality than previous tone generators Ñ and allows users to install additional synthesizer and effects boards. Simon Trask explores the power of MU...
Yamaha have taken their time in entering the market for all-in-one dance workstation sequencers, but their new RM1x looks set to be a heavyweight contender. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser tweak their sequences.
People + Opinion
Interview | Artist
Paul Tingen catches up with the musical innovator and legendary force behind BeBop Deluxe at his minimalist home studio, and finds him producing more music than ever before.
After years of crafting your music to the peak of perfection, do you think you've now got what it takes to make it big? Big George Webley looks at some of the harsh commercial realities of today's record business, and explains why the path to fame and fortune doesn't end at getting a record deal.
Interview | Composer
Electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze talks to Paul White about the way he'd like to see synthesizer design developing over the next few years.
Nicholas Rowland argues that there's still something we can learn from the Beatles apart from the fact that drummers shouldn't have solo careers.
It was the best-selling single of last year, and signalled a radical change of musical direction for Cher — complete with bizarre vocal processing. Yet, surprisingly, it was produced in a small studio in West London. Sue Sillitoe relates the astonishing tale of 'Believe' and demystifies the vocal trick. Extra material by Matt Bell.
Tips & Tricks
No-one enjoys making backups, but they are a necessary part of digital audio recording. Martin Walker explores the options, and explains their strengths and weaknesses.
This month, Simon Trask looks at the current state of online music delivery. Can musicians really bypass the record companies and go DIY on the Internet?
Readers' Music Reviewed
Trash * Karda Estra * Craig Alexander * John James * John Dark * Spear * Wolfgang Dienst * Brian Parker * Starbass * Roy Rajan * D-Bug * Silvertime * SHT * Tim Rafferty * Glow
Martin Russ finds that pitfalls await innocent readers wanting to print out their scores, and also extols the virtues of an alternative to the ubiquitous mouse.
Derek Johnson laments the imminent demise of a major Atari software resource, but sees new products on the way from other quarters.
Tips & Tricks
Running two or three soundcards simultaneously can greatly increase the power and flexibility of your PC but it can also lead to serious conflicts. Martin Walker leads you through the pitfalls.
Tips & Techniques
Paul White and Paul Joyner explain how to import samples directly to your Mac from an audio CD with Logic Audio — a technique which can be adapted for use with most popular MIDI + Audio sequencers.
Tips & Tricks
Now that so many musicians are completing the entire album-making process in their own studios, mastering is becoming an increasingly important skill. Paul White offers a few pointers to becoming a Master of mastering.