March 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

Akai DPS12

Digital Personal Studio

Akai build on their years of expertise in stand-alone digital recorders with a truly portable personal multitracker offering a digital mixer and 12 tracks of audio on a removable-media drive. David Mellor takes it away.

Clubsphere DJ Intermix Series: 80-90BPM

Sample Library

* Score = 4.5

Digital Audio Labs V8

Multitrack Hard Disk Recording System

Hard disk recording always strtches any computer to the limit, and if you want eight simultaneous tracks or more you'll definitely need help. Martin Walker finds out whether the V8 system can come to the rescue.

DPA 4060

Miniature Microphone

Paul White dons his reading glasses and sets out to test a miniature mic with a big sound.

Drawmer MX40

Quad Gate

Paul White examines one of Drawmer's MX budget range of units to see whether corners have been cut, and discovers that some corners have actually been added!

Electrovoice RE500

Capacitor Microphone

Paul White Studio tests EV's new capacitor model, designed for use both on stage and in the studio.

FAT Resinator Filter

Processor

Paul White takes two migraine tablets and has a nice sit down before tackling the 'eye-catching' Resinator filter unit...

Inward Connections Vac Rac

Modular Processing System

The Vac Rac modular valve processor is built like a tank and has the colour-scheme of a battleship — but what can it do for your sound? Hugh Robjohns investigates the marriage of over-the-top engineering and traditional tube technology.

JBL 6208

Bi-amplified Reference Monitor

Active monitors are all the rage in the project studio market at the moment. Hugh Robjohns checks out a weighty contender from American loudspeaker giant JBL.

Korg N5

Music Synthesizer

Martin Russ looks at Korg's affordable new synth and finds it takes him back a few years...

Korg S3

Rhythm Workstation (Retro)

The S3 was Korg's 1991 attempt to apply the M1 workstation approach to rhythm and sequencing, but it never attained anything like the success of its more famous keyboard sibling. Paul Nagle explains why.

Korg Universe Vol. 1 & 2

Sample Library

* Score = 4

KRK Rokit

Nearfield Monitors

Have KRK managed to preserve their family sound at this new low price point? Paul White gets ready to Rok...

Midiman Flying Cow

D/A and A/D Converter

Many musicians now have digital audio in their studios, so Midiman have decided to help them interface cleanly to the outside world, with the bizarrely named Flying Cow. Martin Walker thinks it cud be a winner...

MOTU Digital Performer v2.11

DAW

Nearly two years after everybody else jumped on the Power Mac bandwagon, Mark Of The Unicorn have finally come on board with their flagship sequencer, which will now record and play back audio without the need for external hardware. Has it been worth the wait? Derek Johnson finds out.

Old School Flavours Vol. 1, 2 & 3

Sample Library

• Rare Groovin' * Score = 1
• Superfunk * Score = 1
• House Party * Score = 3

Prosoniq Sonicworx Artist

Audio Editing Software

Prosiniq, the German software company behind many of the DSP processing alogrithms used in MIDI + Audio sequencers, have now made the powerful fruits of their expertise available in stand-alone form. But can the software actually be put to good use? Paul D Lehrman investigates.

Roland A70

Expandable Controller Keyboard

While Roland's A70 in its basic form is a well-equipped but dumb controller, it can metamorphose into a Roland JV-style synth, a General MIDI synth, or a piano at the drop of an expansion board. Paul Ward has a controlling interest....

Smart Research C2

Compressor

Paul White finds he has a crush on the Smart Research C2 compressor — but at what cost?

Spectral Audio Syntrack

Analogue Filter/Synthesizer

Spectral Audio's internet homepage includes a large graphic, stating, rather menacingly, 'Rave or Die'. Christopher Holder meets the new Syntrack monosynth and decides death can wait.

Terratec Audiosystem EWS64

XL PC Soundcard

With a feature list longer than most people's arms, the EWS64 XL has whetted plenty of appetites. Martin Walker dismantles his PC once again in the search for the ultmate soundcard.

The Hammond Organ: Beauty In The B & Lovetone Wobulator

Book & Stereo Vibrato/Tremolo Pedal

The SOS team checks out a book from Mark Vail, and an effects pedal for electronic instruments.

Viscount Gammaverb Reverb

Processor

With their latest super-mini effects processor, Italian manufacturer Viscount goes head to head with the Alesis Nanoverb on looks and the Zoom 1201 on price. Tom Flint grabs a pizza the action...

Yamaha Range: EX7, EX5R, P200, MD8, WX5, DSP Factory (Preview)

Product Roundup

Paul White returns from the land of the rising Sterling with tidings of a whole new range of Yamaha hi-tech and pro audio products.

People + Opinion

DAVE GALE: Understanding What's Best

Sounding Off

The latest digital recording systems offer smart facilities in spades, but if you're a newcomer to recording technology it can be hard to find out what's really best for your often simple requirements. Dave Gale wonders who you gonna call...

DEBBIE WISEMAN: TV & Film Composer Extraordinaire

Interview | Composer

Debbie Wiseman has been described as Britain's most prolific and emotionally charged film composer, with a long list of TV and cinema credits, including the recent Oscar Wilde biopic, that belies her age. Big George pays a visit to a woman of some importance...

GIORGIO MORODER: Electric Dreams With Donna Summer

Interview | Artist

With 200 gold and platinum discs to his name, techno-pop pioneer Giorgio Moroder can afford to sit back and take stock of his amazingly successful career. Richard Buskin talks to him about it, from early days working with disco diva Donna Summer, to the present.

KARL BARTOS: Electric Music & Kraftwerk

Interview | Artist

This month sees the release of the new album from Karl Bartos, former member of electronic trailblazers Kraftwerk. But the synth sound is no more — Bartos' new record is closer to Beatle-esque Britpop. Jonathan Miller investigates, and looks back to the days when the Klang was King...

Technique

All About Patchbays

Exploration

Paul White follows up a few leads and discovers they all end at the patchbay.

CPU Clock Speed

Apple Notes

When is an upgrade not an update? Martin Russ looks beyond clock speeds, caches and other computer confusion.

Effective Drum Programming, Part 2

Tips & Techniques

The debate's been going on for as long as drum machines have been around: can they really sound human? Nicholas Rowland takes jazz drumming as his test case and tries to find out.
• Read Part 1 (February 1998)
• Read Part 3 (April 1998)
• Read Part 4 (May 1998)

FaST Club; Floppyshop

Atari Notes

Atari users can find a huge resource of software and information on the Internet. Derek Johnson goes fishing — FaST Club; Floppyshop.

Making Arrangements: A Rough Guide To Song Construction & Arrangement, Part 4

Tips & Techniques

This month, Big George persuades more famous musicians and arrangers to give you the benefit of their hard-won wisdom.
• Read Part 1 (October 1997)
• Read Part 2 (November 1997)
• Read Part 3 (February 1998)

MIDI, Audio & PC Plug-ins

Exploration

There are now several PC MIDI + Audio sequencers available that provide real-time EQ and effects via plug-in software — but it can be difficult to assess just what works with what, and whether your PC is powerful enough to run the plug-ins you'd like to use. Martin Walker investigates.

PC Soundcard Buyer's Guide, Part 2: Multi-channel Cards

Feature | Tips & Tricks

If you want to move the heady heights of true multitrack recording on your PC, there are plenty of rival systems on the market. Martin Walker looks at what you need to consider in making your purchase decision, and rounds up the alternatives.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Kieran James Farrow * Makif * Wild Morland * The Two Funketeers * Sense Amelia * Murkle Bay Sound * Ocean City * Stef Goodchild * Shine * Colin Houghton * Ellis Breen * Floating Point

Practical Studio Soundproofing, Part 2

Tips & Techniques

No matter how thick and heavy the walls of a studio, it will still leak sound if the doors and windows are not up to scratch. Paul White explains how you can uprate them without breaking the bank.
• Read Part 1 (February 1998)
• Read Part 3 (April 1998)
• Read Part 4 (May 1998)

Where To Use Processors & Why, Part 6

Tips & Techniques

With so much high-end analogue processing gear using valves these days, it's easy to assume that they invariably equate to a better sound — but that's not always the case. Paul White explains.
• Read Part 1 (October 1997)
• Read Part 2 (November 1997)
• Read Part 3 (December 1997)
• Read Part 4 (January 1998)
• Read Part 5 (February 1998)

Windows Laptops

PC Notes

Martin Walker investigates processor overhead and finds out whether musicians can get mobile with a PC.

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