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Another great prize is up for grabs in this latest SOS competition. Someone has to win — enter and it might be you!
This ribbon microphone design uses an exceptionally large transducer for high-quality performance in the modern studio.
Despite being small enough to fit in your pocket, this no-frills five-channel mixer provides all the most important features required for those building their first home studio around a computer.
Personal Live Amplification System
For years bands have needed unwieldy, expensive PA systems to play live, and separate monitoring systems to hear themselves play. Bose's new system aims to do away with much of this complexity and expense. We take a first look...
MIDI + Audio Sequencer For Windows
The Sonar adventure continues with a new audio engine, a fresh look, new plug-ins and a surprising sampler.
With the promise of improved battery life and more compact designs with no compromise in performance, Intel's Centrino technology should be the answer to the mobile musician's prayers. But does the promise hold true when running the most demanding music and audio software?
PC/Mac Sample-based Virtual Instrument
Sampletank was a hit: a sample-based virtual instrument with great sounds and, at the time, not much competition. Two years on, there are plenty of fully-featured software samplers and non-sampling virtual instruments too. Can Sampletank 2 keep up?
• Amps & Pickups 2 * Score = 4
• Post-Estonia Grand Piano * Score = 4
• Brush Artistry * Score = 4
• Distoteque * Score = 4
• Tower Of Funk * Score = 3
• Post Orchestral Instruments * Score = 3
Modelling Guitar Preamp
Line 6 give their PodXT the Pro treatment, adding comprehensive I/O and flexible output configurations to their successful modelling processor.
PC/Mac OS X Software Drum Machine
With their new VST Instrument, Linplug are aiming to combine the flexibility of a software synth and sampler with the simplicity of a hardware drum machine.
Few audio companies have the reputation of Solid State Logic, but their premium equipment has remained beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest project studio owners — until now! SSL's new all-in-one recording channel boasts preamplification, EQ and dynamics from the awesome XL9000K mixing console, but at a price to which mere mortals can realistically aspire.
PC/Mac Virtual Workstation Synth
If you could have one VST Instrument that emulated a hardware workstation, giving you enough polyphony to produce a complete arrangement with a fairly standard computer, would you be interested? Steinberg and Wizoo think you would...
Despite their compact size, these affordable active nearfields deliver a large-scale sound.
Powercore Vocal Processing Plug-in
TC's Voice Modeler plug-in is designed to change the character of a recorded vocal, adding breathiness, chest resonance and 'growl', and allowing you to modify inflection and vibrato.
PCI & USB Audio & MIDI Interfaces
It seems as though every audio card manufacturer is keen to promote high sample-rate audio formats. Terratec's Phase 28 and Phase 26 attempt to do this in PCI and USB formats respectively.
16 channels of mic/line preamplification in a 2U package.
PC/Mac VST & Audio Units Plug-ins
The biggest music technology manufacturer in the world has stuck to hardware — until now. Do Yamaha's first plug-in processors have what it takes to compete with the big names in Mac and Windows software?
Digital Multi-effects Processor
One of Yamaha's most well-known studio products receives a makeover for the 21st Century.
People + Opinion
The Odd Couple?
When label boss David Geffen teamed respected engineer 'Bones' Howe with an unknown and very strange songwriter called Tom Waits, he set in motion one of the great artist-producer partnerships.
A heady blend of world music, dance and Irish folk, Afro Celts' music has been heard on film soundtracks and festival stages across the globe. Their latest album Seed was the first to be produced in their own studio, built in the Britannia Row premises that were once the home of Pink Floyd.
MPG judge readers' recordings
Members of the UK's Music Producers Guild offer their constructive comments about SOS readers' recordings...
Replies to a few more of your emails.
What's In It For Musicians?
The success of Apple's iTunes Music Store has revitalised online music sales, and not just for the major record labels. Plenty of home-based musicians are now selling music digitally, and making real money. Find out how...
More speculation and industry-watching from SOS Editor-in-Chief Paul White...
Siwei Zou : SE Electronics
Chinese manufacturing has brought the price of microphones down to levels unthinkable a few years ago. But does the quality suffer accordingly? SOS visited one of the biggest mic companies in China to find out...
The Next Generation
Although many of the most famous music mixing engineers have been in the business for decades, we find out how a new generation of up-and-coming stars are combining traditional and cutting-edge recording techniques to make their mark on modern production.
Building a home studio is not just about choosing the right gear. The real challenge is making it fit in with the decor. And keeping hold of your wife/husband...
Mirror Image Studios
An established studio in the USA is planning to rely on software that can be freely downloaded from the Internet. Are they crazy, or do Linux-based recording applications offer a real alternative to the established Windows and Mac packages?
This month we're taking a break from examining Sonar 3 to look at some useful features, available in previous versions of Sonar, that we haven't yet covered in this regular column.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
Many users probably never venture into Pro Tools's Calibration Mode, but you could be compromising the sound quality of your Pro Tools rig and external gear if you don't think about lining up your analogue connections correctly.
Steinberg have made available the results from a set of uniform Cubase SX tests that pitted different computers against each other — but what does it all mean for your choice of processor?
The music world is going soft — but the economics of software production run up hard against the inadequacies of software protection. Cutting Edge speculates on a possible solution.
Readers recordings analysed
Another batch of lucky SOS readers' demos wait nervously for the Doctor's prognosis. What is the verdict? Listen while you read on...
Digital Performer Notes
An old favourite utility returns this month, and Digital Performer 4.1 learns something from Cubase SX — on the PC! Surely not?
As more and more musicians and audio professionals begin to embrace G5 Power Macs, we take a look at quantifying just how much host-based DSP power you can expect. Plus, news of the 20-inch iMac and an explanation of Journaling.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
They're moderately priced and very flexible, but audio sample CDs can be tedious to use, so this month Cubase Notes offers a quick guide to speedy importing and editing of audio CD loops in SX.
This month we help you work with Logic Control, as well as offering advice on importing REX files.
If you are relatively new to PC music, it can seem like a maze of acronyms and mystifying computer-related terms — so here's a useful glossary to clear up any confusion.
Reader Advice Clinic
SOS staff deliver more solutions to interesting recording/programming questions.
In the final part of our series on Roland's family of sound modules, we show you how the more advanced synthesis parameters can breathe life into your patches.
David Ashman felt that his mixes lacked energy and were sounding 'too digital', so the SOS team set off to his home in Bristol to sort out his monitoring system and mix processing.
As with so much surrounding the Hammond organ, there's much more to the Leslie rotary speaker than meets the eye, and synthesizing its effects involves considerably more than just adding vibrato, as we find out this month...