February 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Access Virus B

Modelled Analogue Synth Module, KB Keyboard & v3.0 Software

It is said that the next 100 years will see the rise of Superbugs, but Access's mutant virus is already here. The killer Virus modelled analogue synth has had a hardware upgrade to complement its ever-evolving software feature set, and is now available in a keyboard version. Paul Nagle allows the improved version to infect his studio and become delirious with delight...

Adaptec Jam v2.5

Audio CD Compilation Software

Finding it difficult to compile your audio files and regions for CD-burning in exactly the way you want them? Paul White tries Adaptec's Jam, and discovers there's nothing sticky about it at all.

Alien Artifakts

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Allen & Heath Mixwizard WZ20S

Stereo Source Mixer

If you are short of space, the prospect of fitting a 40-input dual-channel mixer into a 10U rackmounting case will certainly be attractive. Martin Walker follows some leads.

Bitheadz Voodoo

Software Drum Machine

As computer power grows, so an ever-increasing range of studio equipment is becoming available in emulated form, and the latest software instrument to appear is a percussion sampler/sequencer from US company Bitheadz. Nicholas Rowland tests it out.

Chiswick Reach

Stereo Valve Compressor

Hugh Robjohns tries out a new stereo valve compressor hand-built in Britain, which shines both in the studio and the mastering room.

Digigram VXPocket

Laptop Digital Audio Card

Laptop computers have tended to be difficult to use for music, one of the main problems being their limited or non-existant audio I/O. Vo Fletcher tries out a product which eliminates this shortcoming.

Freak Beats

Sample Library

* Score = 4

IK Multimedia T-racks

Mastering Software

Paul White tries desktop masterifng using the new all-in-one PC or Mac package from IK Multimedia.

Korg D16

Digital Recording Studio

With new 16-track portable digital multitracker, Korg have packed a lot of features into a surprisingly small case. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser unpack them all again...

Lexicon MPX500

Dual-channel Effects Processor

Lexicon's new mid-priced unit strikes a balance between the ease of use of their budget gear and the flexibility and sonic class of their high-end products. Paul White gets an exclusive first look at the MPX500.

PMC FB1

Floor-standing Monitor Loudspeakers

Developing their TB1 nearfield into a floor-standing loudspeaker, PMC have come up with a full-range monitor which nicely balances studio performance with the cosmetics of quality domestic hi-fi. Hugh Robjohns wakes up the neighbours...

Roland UA100

Audio Canvas

If you want to get started with audio recording on your computer, but don't fancy opening up your PC to install an internal soundcard, the new USB Audio Canvas from Roland subsidiary Edirol may provide a welcome alternative. John Walden takes the UA100 for a test Drive.

Roots Of India

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Skippy's Big Bad Beats

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Smartlight SL600S

Studio Power Amplifier

Martin Walker tries out a good-value, British-built studio power amp.

TC Electronic M One

Dual-Channel Effects processor

TC Electronic have an enviable reputation for their high-quality digital effects processors, and have now launched the first of a new line of budget-conscious units. Hugh Robjohns checks out the M One.

Terrasonde Audio Toolbox

Test & Measurement Set

The technical standards of any professional, semi-pro, or hobbyist recording studio rely on accurate calibration. Hugh Robjohns tries out Terrasonde's funky DSP-based handheld audio test and measurement set.

TL Audio VTC

Valve Technology Console

A unique hybrid eight-buss mixing desk brings a welcome alternative to the established options. Hugh Robjohns injects a little valve warmth into his recordings with TLA's Valve Technology Console.

Waves DeEsser; Steinberg SPL De-Esser; Drawmer Dynamics;

Plug-in Folder

The SOS team check out some more DAW essentials.

Yamaha GX1 Synthesizer, Part 1

Exploration

In the first part of a special two-part feature, Gordon Reid tells the amazing story of Yamaha's ultra-rare GX1 analogue megasynth — and how it ended up in his living room...

Yamaha S80

Workstation Synthesizer

With their latest workstation, Yamaha have clearly taken the view that the difference between a 'dance' instrument and a general-purpose one is more to do with control facilities than sounds. Nick Magnus tries out the S80.

People + Opinion

ADSL

Cutting Edge

Dave Shapton explores the ways in which new technologies such as ADSL will shape the Internet of the future. If there is one...

BEN BARTLETT: Music For Walking With Dinosaurs

Interview | Composer

In all the hullabaloo over the wizardry that brought long-dead reptiles back to life for last year's smash TV success Walking With Dinosaurs, the story of the production of the musical score from a small home studio — a tale no less impressive than behind the programme's visuals — was overlooked. Matt Bell sets the record straight with composer Ben Bartlett.

DAVE MITSON: Rolling Stones, South Park, Michael Jackson & Bob Dylan

Interview | Mastering Engineer

Big George talks to the man responsible for the final creative stage in the production of many of the most successful records of the last decade.

JAY McCARTHY: When Music Is More Than Just A Hobby

Readerzone

Sam Inglis meets a man who has realised that he has to make sacrifices for his music.

KEN McBETH: Building Analogue Synths

Interview | Manufacturer

Regular SOS readers may have noticed Ken McBeth, a DIY analogue synth builder for over 10 years, guesting as the columnist in last month's Net Notes. We sent Paul Nagle to Bonnie Scotland (where else?) to find out exactly what makes this constructor of kitchen-table instruments tick...

MIKE SENIOR: Who's In Charge, The Studio Gear Or The Musician?

Sounding Off

Mike Senior wonders to what extent our creative decisions are really free and how much they're dictated by the studio gear we know and trust.

MOBY: Recording Moby's 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?'

Interview | Artist

In Play, American dance producer Moby made one of the albums of 1999, which owed its critical recognition in no small part to the hit single 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?'. Tom Flint talks to Moby to find out how the track was made.

The BeOS Operating System: An Overview

Exploration

Those of you who have been keeping abreast of developments in computer-based music are likely to be only too aware of the problems posed by the Windows and MacOS operating systems. You may also know that an alternative exists — but it is worth making the change? Dave Shapton introduces BeOS.

Technique

Cost-effective CD-playing & Video-editing Software

Atari Notes

As we enter the 21st century, the amazingly long-lived Atari ST has been around for 15 years. Derek Johnson goes international to find the best sources of Atari info and highlights some cost-effective CD-playing and video-editing software.

Cubase VST v3.71; Musical Freeware

PC Notes

This month Martin Walker examines the changes in the latest Cubase VST v3.71 update, and finds you yet more musical freeware!

Downloadable Samples & Online Sampling Resources

Net Notes

Downloading samples and other resources from the Internet can be a valuable alternative to buying expensive sample CDs and CD-ROMs. Paul Sellars unearths some of the best sites.

Improving PC Performance For Music

Tips & Tricks

It's all very well grumbling about some musical aspect of your PC's performance, but unless you know the cause of the problem you may have little idea what needs to be done to improve matters. Martin Walker points you in the right direction.

Introduction To Mixer Automation, Part 2

Exploration

Paul White concludes his short series on mixer automation with a step-by-step guide to setting up and running an automated mix.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Andy Scott * James Johnson * Peter Wilson * Luxsonic * Steven Dunn * Roger Norman * Carlton Richards and Friends * Mark Blow * Dr U * Gordon Hovie * The Internationals * Modesty * Ultrachrist * Acoustic Dreams

Second-hand Macs

Apple Notes

Martin Russ brings post-Christmas good cheer and looks at some second-hand sale bargains. Finally, there's news of free Mac shareware form SOS...

Stereo Editing, Part 2

Tips & Tricks

After last month's overview of the equipment and processes involved in compiling an album master from mixes, Paul White gets down to the business of sorting out wanted audio from unwanted...

Synth Secrets, Part 10: Modulation

Tips & Tricks

In this month's instalment of his series on the basics of subtractive synthesis, Gordon Reid considers the magic ingredient that makes all the other elements sound interesting...
• Read all parts

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Working In Advertising

Feature | Tips & Tricks

This month, Big George looks at learning to roll with the difficulties of working in advertising, and the art of when (and where not) to hold your tongue.

Sound Advice

Defragmenting Hard Drives; MIDI Timepiece AV; Samplers

Q & A

Q. Is it safe to defragment hard drives containing audio?
Q. Why won't my computer recognise my MIDI Timepiece AV?
Q. Can I do what I need to with samplers, and what equipment is right for me?

Live Recording

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some recording jobs that simply can't be handles in the average bedroom studio. Paul White answers questions about recording a rock or pop band on location.

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