February 2001 In This Issue

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Reviews

Boss JS5 JamStation

Backing Sequencer

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...

Chronic Horns Vol. 2

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Ego Sys Wami Box PCMCIA

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...

FXpansion DR005

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...

Glyph X-project

SCSI & FireWire Hard Drives

Derek Johnson looks at Glyph's new SCSI and FireWire drives, and investigates the advantages of dedicated audio storage.

Hughes & Kettner Replex

Vintage Delay Modeller

Paul White checks out a new emulation of vintage tape echo, and tries not to mention Hank Marvin...

Korg PS3100

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.

Larry Seyer's Upright Acoustic Bass

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Line 6 DM4 Distortion

Modeller Effects Pedal

Paul White steps back in time with the Line 6 DM4, and revisits fuzz boxes through the ages.

MAM RS3; VF11 11-band & Warp 9

Resonator; Vocoder & MIDI Analogue Filter

Paul White and Mike Senior walk down three roads to filtery wierdness for cash-strapped musicians.

Marantz CDR631

CD Recorder

Paul White tests the latest Marantz CD writer, which combines simplicity of operation with technical sophistication.

Neumann KMS105

Vocal Condenser Microphone

Hugh Robjohns auditions the latest addition to Neumann's renowned range of KM-series condenser mics.

Red Submarine

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.

Samson PH60, RH100, RH300 & RH600 Headphones; Adaptec USBXchange USB-to-SCSI Converter

Studio Essentials

Paul White & Hugh Robjohns review two new essential bits of kit for your home or project studio.

Sony DRE S777 Sampling Digital Reverb 2

Reverb Processor

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.

Tascam 788

Digital Portastudio

Paul White finds out how Tascam have transferred their affordable Portastudio concept into the high-end world of 24-bit digital recording.

TC Works Mercury 1

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...

Vocal Planet

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Waldorf Micro Q

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...

Wave Mechanics Speed

AudioSuite Plug-in

Paul White's fast and furious with the new Wave Mechanics Speed.

Zoom PS02

Palm Studio

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

ARCHITECHS: Recording 'Body Groove'

Interview | Band

Sam Inglis meets the production crew behind one of the year's biggest garage tracks.

DAVID GEDGE, DARE MASON & STEVE ALBINI: Recording Cinerama's Disco Volante

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...

ELIZABETH PARKER: Flexible Working

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...

GLENN BROOKS: The Pearl Works

Readerzone

SOS visits another reader's home/project studio.

PRS On Napster

Cutting Edge

There's new and compelling evidence that judges in Germany are bonkers. Dave Shapton explains.

STEVE LEVINE: My Imposter

Sounding Off

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....

Technique

ADSL

Net Notes

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.

Building PCs; Re-patch Phantom Power; Production Equipment; Remixing; M&S Technique; Sound Effects On Stage; Finding A Manager; Reduce Studio Hum; Budget Compressor/Mic; USB MIDI Interface

Q & A

Q. Who builds PCs especially for music?
Q. Should I re-patch every time I need to use phantom power?
Q. What equipment will help me become a producer?
Q. How are remixes done?
Q. Where can I find a good software piano?
Q. How can I use an M&S mic technique without phase reverse on my mixer?
Q. Will a synth or sampler help my band use sound effects on stage?
Q. What could a manager do for my band, and how can I find one?
Q. Can you help me reduce studio hum?
Q. Which budget compressor and mic should I buy?
Q. What's the best USB MIDI interface for my needs?

Crawly Crypt

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson explores a way of creating exotic tunings with your Atari, and recommends a fresh source of shareware and freeware.

Digidesign's Pro Tools Explained, Part 1

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.

Eradicate PC Noise

PC Notes

Martin Walker buys a new quiet hard drive for audio and looks into ways to eradicate any remaining noise, for a silent PC.

Mixing Multitracked Drums

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.

Optimising G-series Macs Powerbooks, iMacs & iBooks, Part 4

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.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Clone Theory * The Red Light Disco * Jon Carter * Voltage Controlled Man * Rick Guard * Jonathan Roberts * Mark Salveta * Man Mountain * Leon Clembo

Readers' Problems

Apple Notes

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...

Studio Module

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.

Synth Secrets, Part 22: From Springs, Plates & Buckets To Physical Modelling

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.
• Read all parts

Understanding & Writing Lyrics, Part 3: Metre & Rhyme

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.

Using Folders & Screensets

Logic Notes

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.

Windows 2000 — Designed With Musicians In Mind?

PC Musician

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.

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Management

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Big George holds forth on the vexed question of management...

Sound Advice

Overcoming Creative Blocks

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.

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