February 2005 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Arturia Storm & Steinberg Cubase SL software

Deadline: 2005-03-31

Prizes kindly donated by Arbiter Music Technology +44 (0) 20 8970 1909.
www.arbitergroup.com

Reviews

Intakt & Kompakt Instruments

East West/Zero G Sample Libraries With NI Plug-in Front-end (Mac/PC)

Sample and loop libraries have come a long way from being delivered on a humble audio CD — the most recent trend is to include a specific playback front-end for easy integration with your sequencer.

ADK A48

Multi-pattern Valve Mic

This mic combines a colourful valve sound with the flexibility of nine different polar patterns.

ART Tube MP Studio V3

Valve Preamp

A pint-sized preamp with anything but a pint-sized sound, plus the bonus of Presets!

Behringer BCA2000

USB 2.0 Audio & MIDI Interface

Completing Behringer's B-Control family, the BCA2000 combines audio and MIDI interfacing with routing/mixing features, and preamps — and all for under £200.

Bellari RP503

Valve Recording Channel

This new front end offers a clean, warm sound and is surprisingly easy to use.

BIAS Sound Soap Pro

Noise-reduction Software (Mac/PC)

This cross-platform package from BIAS offers high-quality denoising at an affordable price.

DAV Electronics BG4

Compressor/Limiter

A premium compression sound lurks behind the no-frills cosmetics of this new Broadhurst Gardens processor.

Digitech GNX4

Guitar Workstation

Is it an amp modeller? Is it a multitracker? Is it an audio/MIDI interface? We stomp the facts out of Digitech's new box?

FAR OBS

Active Nearfield Monitors

These compact ported monitors from Belgium boast a communicative mid-range and a flattering overall sound.

FXpansion BFD

Virtual Drum Instrument (Mac/PC)

When it comes to drum sounds, BFD and its XFL expansion pack offer unprecedented levels of detail and flexibility, totalling over 30GB of sample data. Is it overkill, or the rhythm programmer's ultimate weapon?

Hercules 1612FW

Firewire Audio Interface (Mac/PC)

The much-anticipated Hercules 1612FW Firewire interface supplies an impressive quotient of analogue I/O at a very attractive price.

Hot New Sample CDs

Sample Library

Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs:
Sample Lab Drum Fundamentals 4* MULTI-FORMAT
Tekniks Blue Shock 3* WAV/EXS24
Smart Loops Pro Drum Works (Volume One) 4* ACID
Cycles Volume Two: Unnatural Rhythm 4* AUDIO?WAV?REX2

Joemeek Three Q

Recording Channel

The Joemeek product range has recently been completely overhauled, and one of the updated units is this new half-rack recording channel. Have the designers retained what made the original products successful?

M Audio O2

USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

Thin is clearly In amongst manufacturers of keyboard controllers. Mere months after the arrival of Edirol's slender PCR1, M Audio weigh in with the equally waif-like O2. But is it slim and trim, or just a lightweight?

Mackie Big Knob

Monitor Controller

Mackie's new desktop controller offers source selection, monitor switching, and talkback facilities, all in a single robust box.

Mackie Onyx 800R

Preamp & A-D Converter

Mackie 'up the ante' once again by squeezing eight channels of their class-leading preamplification and A-D conversion into a 1U rack.

MOTU Digital Performer 4.5

MIDI + Audio Sequencer (Mac OS X)

The migration to OS X has caused major upheavals for both software manufacturers and musicians, but Mark Of The Unicorn's long-established Digital Performer sequencer is better than ever.

Phonic PAA2

Audio Analyser

Phonic's new audio analyser is certainly portable, but how well does it work?

Presonus Firepod

Firewire Recording Interface (Mac & PC)

Unlike most eight-channel interfaces, the Presonus Firepod includes eight mic preamps — at a very appealing price.

Redmatica Autosampler

Automatic Sample Generator For EXS24

If you are keen to move to an all-software setup, but still depend on sounds from your hardware synths, Redmatica's utility might smooth the path...

Sonic Implants SBC

3-DVD Gigastudio-format Orchestral Brass Library

Sonic Implants extend their New World Symphony with an orchestral brass sample library.

Steinberg Wavelab 5

Windows Audio Editor & DVD-Audio Authoring Package

The latest version of Steinberg's popular editing program now includes support for multi-channel audio, including the ability to create your own DVD-Audio discs.

Submersible Music Drumcore

Groove Library/Audition Engine (Mac OS X)

Featuring the performances of some of the world's best drummers, Drumcore is a software-based cross between a drum library and a custom loop-auditioning interface, allowing you to assemble rhythm tracks fast.

Trident Audio 4T Celebration

Recording Channel

Despite its vintage design credentials, this new recording channel has some interesting new tricks up its sleeve.

People + Opinion

Allan Walker & Craig Connor: Grand Theft Audio

Sound & Music For Rockstar Games

Imagine selling a million copies of your music in just over a week, with no video, no radio play and no touring. Impossible? Not if it's the soundtrack to one of the most successful computer games of all time...

Business End

MPG producers evaluate reader tracks

Listen online to the tracks whilst reading what some Music Producers Guild members think of the latest collection of SOS reader recordings.

Composing & Recording With Vanessa-Mae

Walter Taieb

Walter Taieb enjoyed worldwide success as a dance producer, before reinventing himself as a classical composer. Working with violin prodigy Vanessa-Mae tested both his orchestration skills and his music technology expertise.

Crosstalk: Your Communications

Readers Writes

Responses to recent articles from SOS readers.

Modelling Classic Hardware In Software

Joe Bryan of Universal Audio

Since Bill Putnam's sons founded Universal Audio anew, the company have become well known for software emulations of old gear, as well as for their hardware recreations of vintage classics. We find out how they go about it...

Music Software Updates

Leader

If Apple and Norton can offer automatic updates, then why can't music software companies? asks Editor-in-Chief Paul White.

Sounding Off: Vintage Synths

Andy Foster

Why are we still in love with vintage synths when all they do is break our hearts?

The History Of Roland

Part 4: 1992-1997

The recession of the early '90s was difficult for many companies — but not Roland. Diversifying still further from their roots as a maker of synthesizers and organs, they emerged stronger, encompassing almost every area of hi-tech musical instrument manufacture.

Technique

30-inch Cinema Display

Apple Notes

In an extended Apple Notes column we take an exclusive look at the 30-inch Cinema display from a musician and audio engineer's perspective, and evaluate the performance of the new dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with our usual series of performance tests.

Reasons to be cheerful: v3

Reason Notes

Version 3 of Reason is officially on the way, adding some high-spec new devices and improved operational features.

Sonar: Hands-free Recording & Other Tips

Sonar Notes

This month, find your way around projects, undertake hands-free recording, configure an external MP3 encoder and create pseudo-Track Folders for MIDI.

Beat Detection in DP 4.5

Digital Performer Notes

The new Beat Detection Engine in DP 4.5 gives you much greater control over audio quantising and tempo manipulation. We explain how.

CD-burning; Gigastudio 3 Tips; Cubase SX3 Dongle

PC Notes

This month PC Notes comes across CD-burning problems, offers some Gigastudio 3 tips, and warns against a possible pitfall when updating a Cubase SX3 dongle.

CLASSIC TRACKS: The Stone Roses 'Fools Gold'

Producer: John Leckie. Engineers: John Leckie, John Cornfield, Paul Schroeder

As the '80s drew to a close, The Stone Roses made rock music cool again, melding '60s psychedelia and acid house under the production guidance of John Leckie.

Demo Doctor

Reader Recordings Analysed

Think your own music is good? Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see whether you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...

Locking Logic Sequences to a Live take

Logic Notes

Although rather time-consuming, this technique for locking your sequencer to a live take is often the best.

Roland VS2480 Masterclass

More Hands-on Power User Tips

A collection of imperative tips for harnessing the power of Roland's monster multitracker.

Shuffle Mode

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Pro Tools was originally designed as an audio editor, and it still has some very powerful tools for quick and accurate editing. This month's Pro Tools Notes explains the mysteries of Shuffle mode, and looks at the ways in which key commands and memory locations can speed up your editing.

Studio SOS

Aniff Akinola

Acoustic problems and mains hum were making Aniff's studio difficult to use, so the SOS team stepped in to help.

Updating PC Hard Drives: The SOS Guide

PC Musician

You're planning to change your PC hard drives, so you just unplug the old ones, plug in the new ones, and off you go, right? Wrong!! There's many a slip, and this month we aim to help you avoid all of them.

Working With Multi-Channel Projects

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

Returning to Cubase's Mixer window again this month, we explore ways to make it more manageable when working with Projects that contain a large number of channels.

Sound Advice

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