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With its host of programmable backing patterns and an audio track for live recording, Boss's JamStation is designed to enliven the tedium of solo practice, or provide an instant sketchpad for ideas. Nicholas Rowland strikes out on his own...
Digital Audio Recording System
Ego Sys' WaMi Box is one of very few comprehensive recording interfaces for laptop PCs, providing analogue, digital and MIDI I/O along with a synth/sampler, DSP effects and mixing and no fewer than six separate software control utilities. Martin Walker gets to grips with it. Eventually...
Drum Sample Player
Reflecting the growth in the number of VST Instrument plug-ins, as opposed to those designed purely for processing of effects treatments, established plug-in developers FXpansion have now produced DR005, a 'soft drum machine'. Paul Ward snares a copy...
SCSI & FireWire Hard Drives
Derek Johnson looks at Glyph's new SCSI and FireWire drives, and investigates the advantages of dedicated audio storage.
Vintage Delay Modeller
Paul White checks out a new emulation of vintage tape echo, and tries not to mention Hank Marvin...
Polyphonic Synthesizer (Retro)
It may not be well known, but it is sought-after. Simon Lowther relates the history and mystery of an early 48-note polyphonic analogue synth and its well-connected family.
Modeller Effects Pedal
Paul White steps back in time with the Line 6 DM4, and revisits fuzz boxes through the ages.
Resonator; Vocoder & MIDI Analogue Filter
Paul White and Mike Senior walk down three roads to filtery wierdness for cash-strapped musicians.
Paul White tests the latest Marantz CD writer, which combines simplicity of operation with technical sophistication.
Vocal Condenser Microphone
Hugh Robjohns auditions the latest addition to Neumann's renowned range of KM-series condenser mics.
Music Laptop PC
Although there is a lot of interest in the idea of portable, silent PC-based recording, only one company has taken up the challenge of supplying and supporting laptop systems that are guaranteed to work well for music recording. Martin Walker tries one out.
Paul White & Hugh Robjohns review two new essential bits of kit for your home or project studio.
With Sony's flagship sampling reverb processor you can now sample the acoustic signature of any space you want. Hugh Robjohns nips down the village hall to check it out.
Paul White finds out how Tascam have transferred their affordable Portastudio concept into the high-end world of 24-bit digital recording.
Monophonic Software Synth
Hardly a week seems to go by without the announcement of another VST instrument, and virtual analogue software synths have been particularly common of late. But when a company like TC Works get involved, it's worth taking notice. Paul Ward plugs in...
Polyphonic Rack Synth
Stardate 02/2001: the most compact and affordable of Waldorf's bright yellow workstation synths is beaming into the SOS Editorial dome. Is it the work of a superior intelligence, or does it have all the appeal of a Vulcan nerve-pinch? Mind-meld with Paul Nagle and find out...
Paul White's fast and furious with the new Wave Mechanics Speed.
Do you write your song ideas on the back of a fag packet? Well, now that Zoom have made a studio the same size as a pack of 20, you can give up smoking! John Walden gets addicted to the PS02 Palm Studio.
People + Opinion
Interview | Band
Sam Inglis meets the production crew behind one of the year's biggest garage tracks.
Interview | Producer
Wedding Present frontman David Gedge and engineer/producer Steve Albini are both brutally loud guitar-based alternative music — so what would happen when they collaborated on an album influenced more by Serge Gainsbourg than the Stooges? Tom Flint investigates...
Interview | Composer
Elizabeth Parker is one of Britain's best-known composers of music for television, and is renowned in the business for her ability to complete projects to the tightest of deadlines. Sam Inglis visits her unique personal studio to find out how she does it...
SOS visits another reader's home/project studio.
There's new and compelling evidence that judges in Germany are bonkers. Dave Shapton explains.
Leading producer Steve Levine recently discovered that a fake Steve Levine has been masquerading as the real thing, to secure work under false pretences. Read on for the rest of this amazing story....
An ADSL telephone line can improve the speed and convenience of Internet access enormously; and it needn't cost the earth. Dave Shapton passes on his experiences of the new technology.
Q & A
Q. Who builds PCs especially for music?
Derek Johnson explores a way of creating exotic tunings with your Atari, and recommends a fresh source of shareware and freeware.
Tips & Tricks
Simon Price begins a three-part series designed to demystify that staple of modern music production, Pro Tools. This month, he looks at the various components that make up Digidesign's systems.
Martin Walker buys a new quiet hard drive for audio and looks into ways to eradicate any remaining noise, for a silent PC.
Tips & Tricks
With drum machines and samplers becoming increasingly prominent in music production, mixing real drums is becoming something of a lost art. Paul White explains the basics of this important mixing skill, and shares some secrets on how to get the best drum sound.
Tips & Tricks
Paul Wiffen concludes his investigation into reliable means of audio interfacing on new-style Macintoshes when the traditional PCI card route is not available to you. This month, he tests two more USB audio-only interfaces, and reaches some definitive conclusins about Tascam's US428 MIDI and audio interface.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Clone Theory * The Red Light Disco * Jon Carter * Voltage Controlled Man * Rick Guard * Jonathan Roberts * Mark Salveta * Man Mountain * Leon Clembo
This month Paul Wiffen takes up residence as SOS's Apple expert. After relating his own Mac history, he turns Agony Uncle and addresses a few readers' problems...
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
The Studio Module allows PC and Atari users to select configurations and patch names for their synths within Cubase. Paul Nagle guides you through the basics of creating a Studio Module setup.
Tips & Tricks
Onboard effects may seem like relatively recent synth innovation, but even old modular synths offered analogue effects. Although they were basic, the freely patchable nature of modular synths allowed them to be used to create convincing acoustic instrument sounds — thus effectively physical modelling. Gordon Reid explains how.
Tips & Tricks
In this month's installment, Sam Inglis looks at how you can use the sounds and rhythms of words to make your song lyrics more memorable.
This month, we look at using folders and screensets, as well as showing the Score window needn't be a no-go area for guitarists.
Microsoft's latest operating system, although primarily designed for business and network systems, seems to offer many features that are attractive to musicians, including greater stability and support for dual-processor machines. But is there enough software support to make upgrading worthwhile? Martin Walker investigates.
Feature | Tips & Tricks
Big George holds forth on the vexed question of management...
Frequently Asked Questions
Even if you have top-notch recording gear, and the expertise to use it effectively, there are still a number of more intangible problems that the recording musician can face. Amanda Lowe answers some of your questions on how to maintain creativity and a positive attitude in the studio.