February 2004 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Access Virus C

Deadline: 2004-03-31

Another great prize is up for grabs in this latest SOS competition. Someone has to win — enter and it might be you!

Reviews

AEA R84

Ribbon Microphone

This ribbon microphone design uses an exceptionally large transducer for high-quality performance in the modern studio.

Behringer UB502

Mixer

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.

Bose Cylindrical Radiators

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...

Cakewalk Sonar 3

MIDI + Audio Sequencer For Windows

The Sonar adventure continues with a new audio engine, a fresh look, new plug-ins and a surprising sampler.

How Good Are Centrino Laptops For Music?

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?

IK Multimedia Sampletank 2

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?

Latest Sample CDs

Sample Library

• 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

Line 6 PodXT Pro

Modelling Guitar Preamp

Line 6 give their PodXT the Pro treatment, adding comprehensive I/O and flexible output configurations to their successful modelling processor.

Linplug RMIV

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.

SSL XLogic Superanalogue Channel

Recording Channel

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.

Steinberg Hypersonic

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...

Tapco S5

Nearfield Monitors

Despite their compact size, these affordable active nearfields deliver a large-scale sound.

TC-Helicon Voice Modeler

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.

Terratec Producer Phase 28 & Phase 26 USB

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.

TFPro 16X

Mic Preamp

16 channels of mic/line preamplification in a 2U package.

Yamaha Pitch Fix, Vocal Rack & Final Master

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?

Yamaha SPX2000

Digital Multi-effects Processor

One of Yamaha's most well-known studio products receives a makeover for the 21st Century.

People + Opinion

'Bones' Howe & Tom Waits

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.

Afro Celts

Recording Seed

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.

Business End

MPG judge readers' recordings

Members of the UK's Music Producers Guild offer their constructive comments about SOS readers' recordings...

Crosstalk

Readers' correspondence

Replies to a few more of your emails.

Digital Music Distribution

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...

Leader

Paul White

More speculation and industry-watching from SOS Editor-in-Chief Paul White...

Mic Manufacturing In The Far East

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...

Mixing Engineers

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.

Sounding Off

Studio Decor

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...

Using Linux For Recording & Mastering

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?

Technique

Sonar's Hidden Useful Features

Sonar Notes

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.

Calibrating Pro Tools

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.

Cubase SX Processor Choices

PC Notes

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?

Cutting Edge

Software Protection

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.

Demo Doctor

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 Hints & Tips

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?

How Powerful Is The G5?

Apple Notes

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.

Importing & Editing Of Sample CD Loops

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.

Logic Control Tips & REX Imports

Logic Notes

This month we help you work with Logic Control, as well as offering advice on importing REX files.

PC Musician Jargon Buster

PC Musician

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.

Q & A: solutions to your problems

Reader Advice Clinic

SOS staff deliver more solutions to interesting recording/programming questions.

Roland XV & JV Power User Tips

Masterclass 4

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.

Studio SOS

David Ashman

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.

Synthesizing The Rest Of The Hammond Organ: Part 2

Synth Secrets

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...

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