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Can condenser mics at this price really be worthy of a name like AKG? Actually, it seems they can...
Microphone Preamplifier & EQ
This new brand by revered high-end equipment manufacturers API is much more affordable than their established lines. So there must be a catch, right?
This affordable range of digital guitar and bass effects pedals offers good, dependable results — and there are a few hidden gems as well. Read on...
MIDI Audio Sequencer For Windows
As well as creating some excellent new plug-ins and making operational improvements, Cakewalk have been working hard to make Sonar 8 the most CPU-efficient version yet.
Digital Audio Workstation Software [Mac/PC]
As well as the new user interface, MIDI and score editors described in Part 1 of our review, Pro Tools 8 offers an impressive collection of instruments and plug-ins, new ways of working with Playlists, and even the option of surround mixing in LE.
Kontakt 2 & Reason Refill
Discovery Sound are a Japanese company specialising in ethnic sounds, and in particular the traditional music of Asia. This collection focuses on the koto — the national instrument of Japan.
Sample Library [Mac / PC]
The successor to G-Forces popular M-Tron instrument brings dual layers and subtractive synthesis to the Mellotron party — but also manages to keep authenticity firmly in mind...
MIDI Performance Sequencer
Genoqs take a unique approach to hardware sequencing, as weve seen previosuly from their Octopus sequencer. Now theyre back with a smaller and far more affordable model: the Nemo.
Active Midfield Monitors
Getting the balance right between the benefits and disadvantages of ported and non-ported speaker designs is a tricky job, and K+H do it better than most with this ported model.
The M3 workstation, already a powerful beast, has gained impressive new features and an Xpanded name tag. Is it now top of its class?
Line 6 BackTrack is a single-channel, Flash-memory audio recorder that’s tailored to the needs of guitar players and songwriters. Designed to sit in-line with your guitar (it has an instrument input impedance), it records everything you play as soon as audio is detected. Check out our test report...
Virtual Guitar Instrument
Prominy have put 64 Gigabytes of lovingly sampled Stratocaster into their SC instrument. Thats a lot of Stratocaster — so does the sonic end justify the means?
Kontakt Player 2
Peter Siedlaczek's Advanced Orchestra was the must-have orchestral library for several years and set new standards for the...
Need more PC power? Then meet the latest offering from Scan — and the fastest PC reviewed in SOS to date.
Multi-format Sample Library
We've reviewed a number of the Sonivox (and, under their previous label, Sonic Implants) libraries in recent times, including...
If you are a piano player who's keen to find the best sampled pianos available, the odds are that you will have at least tried...
These portable digital recorders are tiny, convenient, and they look great... but are Yamaha's latest gizmos any good for musicians?
People + Opinion
Paul White suggests some recession-friendly tips to improve your studio.
In the early 60s, pioneering British composer Daphne Oram set out to create a synthesizer unlike any other. The engineer who turned her ideas into reality was Graham Wrench.
John Cummings & Gareth Jones
Six albums into their career, Glaswegian instrumental band Mogwai decided to take the producers chair themselves.
Readers’ Music Reviewed
The editorial team play 'Jukebox Jury' with another batch of your submitted tracks.
Rolling Stones 'Shine A Light' DVD
Bob Clearmountain has been the worlds premier mix engineer for three decades — but Martin Scorsese still managed to challenge him with his ideas about how the Rolling Stones in concert should be presented.
Multi-gigabyte sample libraries are now very much a part of the modern studio — but does bigger always mean better?
Ableton Live Notes & Techniques
We return to the subject of Clip Envelopes, and discover how its possible to work around a Live limitation and record MIDI controller data into Clips in real time.
Logic Notes & Techniques
Your toolkit for producing polished, contemporary-sounding vocals should include appropriate EQ techniques and subtle ambience processing. Enter the workshop...
Are you running out of space despite having hard drives of seemingly vast capacity? Temporary junk and duplicated files could be the culprit — and PC Notes can help you search and destroy...
Mix Processing Techniques
With reverb, EQ, delay and more at your disposal, enhancing the sense of front-to-back space in your mix can be a challenging affair. We take you through some tips that will give your mix a depth charge!
Download DRM Files
Here are the files that accompany SOS February 2009's Cubase 4 workshop on Drum Maps.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Many Cubase users also own high-quality drum virtual instruments and sample libraries that aren't mapped to the GM standard. Fortunately, you can create your own dedicated drum maps.
Digital Performer Notes & Techniques
Achieving exactly the recorded guitar tone youre after is easier than its ever been, with the facilities on offer in a DAW package such as Digital Performer...
Hear For Yourself
Here are the links to the MP3 and WAV files that accompany the SOS February 2009 Mix Rescue article for our newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article and don't fancy typing in all the long URL links.
Adding character to vocals
Adding character to a vocal with transformer emulations, multing instrument parts to vary the effects throughout the song, and tweaking the arrangement... There are no limits to a Mix Rescuers job!
With new technology on the horizon, and the growing number of musician-friendly applications appearing on the iPhone, 2009 promises to be another interesting year for Apple audiophiles.
Classic Tracks: Producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman
Producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman developed a massively successful formula for making pop records — and the story of Rick Astleys 1987 smash hit, Never Gonna Give You Up, is a perfect guide to the SAW assembly line...
Taming a large, live room
Ever wondered how to tame a large, lively room without drills, nails or glue? Or how best to mount monitors without speaker stands? Then read on to find out how we helped Simon Mayor and Hilary James.
TV Music From The Inside
Beware of TV executives bearing publishing contracts...
Improve Your Setup Without Breaking The Bank
Even if youre tightening your belt, you can still upgrade and improve your studio and methods — you just need to be a bit more crafty about how you spend your cash...
In SOS December 2008, you explained how USB and Firewire cables could complete ground loops and result in audio problems. Is the same true of digital audio cables?
The DSD/SuperAudio CD format seems to slowly be coming back into focus, with recent releases from Korg and Sony, after many thought it was dead. Steinberg released software support for DSD some time ago in Cubase, but is it possible today to use DSD with Cubase or other desktop recording systems? If not, what are the alternatives to setting up a DSD workflow for recording, mixing and mastering to Super Audio CD?
I recently read Mike Senior's review of the Alesis Multimix 16, and he listed as one of the cons the lack of a high‑impedance instrument input. I agree with him, but have been searching for ages for a small mixer with this kind of input and can't find one anywhere. Is there one? The mixer isn't actually for me, but for a musician friend who still records to eight‑track cassette via an old PA and various pedals and outboard. He plays bass pedals and has an ancient drum machines, plus he sings and plays guitar and banjo. The outboard and the PA mixer are noisy, and as I transfer his tapes and mix them I spend far too much time on noise reduction and not enough on mixing and production. He is not technically savvy, and getting him to use several of the eight‑track inputs is not a option, so I am looking for a mixer he can plug his instruments into and get a clean relatively noise‑free signal from, to feed the eight‑track.