March 1999 In This Issue

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Reviews

Advanced Mega Effects 3: Jingle Effects, Outer Space, Synth Twirls

Sample Library

• Jingle Effects * Score = 4
• Outer Space * Score = 1
• Synth Twirls * Score = 3

Audio Architect 4

Software Synth

As computers continue to increase in power, so the numbers of roles they can play in the studio increases — and the makers of Audio Architect would have us do our synthesis in software. Kevin Perry finds out if it can really replace those old Moogs and Prophets.

AVI Biggatron

Monitors

Paul White is all ears as he puts AVI's latest two-way monitor loudspeaker to the test.

Beyer MCE90

Studio Condenser Microphone

Beyerdynamic's range of microphones has grown at a very healthy rate over the last year or so. Hugh Robjohns provides a first opinion on their new general-purpose studio condenser, the MCE90.

Cakewalk Guitar Studio

MIDI + Audio Sequencing Software

Paul White braves the slings and arrows of his outrageous PC in the good cause of testing a MIDI + Audio sequencer designed with the guitarist in mind.

Creamware Pulsar

Music Production Environment

These days, high-end PC soundcards offer much more than mere audio interfacing, incorporating mixing, synthesis, sampling and often powerful onboard processing facilities. Martin Walker finds the features of Creamware's new DSP-powered Music Production Environment' impressive even by modern standards.

Creative Essentials Vol. 32: Cuckooland Ambience

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Emu Proteus 2000

Synthesizer

Paul White meets the reviewer's dream — a poweful synth that's versatile, easy to use, easy to edit and even demonstrates its own patches for you!

Ensoniq Fizmo

Real-time Transwave Synth

Ensoniq were as the forefront of workstation and sampling technology in the '80s, but their recent synth offerings have not kept up with the fashion for controller-festooned techno boxes. The Fizmo, however, updates their take on wavetable synthesis with extensive real-time control. Derek Johnson explores further.

Guitar Wah Wah

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Lexicon MPX G2

Guitar Effects Processor

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a new guitar-oriented effects unit from Lexicon. But will it inspire our mild-mannered reported John Walden to turn his Clark Kent chords into guitar (super)heroics?

Marantz CDR640

CD Recorder

Having tested the waters with the low-cost CDR630, Marantz are now set to challenge professional compact disc recorders higher up the ladder. Paul White takes the new CDR640 for a spin.

Peavey PC1600X

MIDI Command Station

As srtudios became more and more virtual, musicians begin to miss having real knobs and faders to play with — hence the success of Peavey's original PC1600 MIDI hardware fader box. Six years on, Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser find out whether it has that vital X factor.

Sequential Circuits

Prophet Synthesizers 5 & 10 (Retro)

In which Gordon Reid meets a long-time hero and takes a step through the time tunnel to an era when polyphonic synths were still a wish, not a promise.

Studio Essentials

Product Roundup

Beyerdynamic DT770 Headphones; Roland Vocal Collection JV-Series Synthesizer Expansion Board; Music Engineering By Richard Brice.

TC Electronic Gold Channel

Stereo Signal Conditioner

TC Electronic's latest innovation is a dual-channel mic amp with comprehensive digital processing. Hugh Robjohns finds out whether the Gold Channel is worth its weight.

TL Audio C1

Valve Compressor

TL Audio have gained an enviable reputation for high-quality processors. Hugh Robjohns takes a look at the latest addition to their Classic range.

X-Files Of Jungle

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Yamaha CS2X

Performance Synth

Yamha scored a big success with their famously blue, Knob-endowed CS1x Performance synth, and now they seek to build on this with the silver-grey CS2x — but does the 1-digit increment and change of colour scheme constitute revolution or evolution? CS1x owner Nick Rowland finds out.

Yamaha FS1R

Editor Software

Yamaha's fine tradition of free product-support software continues with a Mac editor for their unique FS1R synth. Derek Johnson boots it up.

People + Opinion

HOWARD TURNER: The Studio Wizard

Interview | Musician

Seven years ago, teacher, musician and engineer Howard Turner transformed himself into The Studio Wizard and placed an ad offering his services as studio trouble shooter and consultant. It worked like a charm, as Debbie Poyser & Derek Johnson find out...

PAUL ROBB: Scoring South Park, The Information Society & Working For Film & TV

Interview | Composer

A co-founder of US electro-pioneers Information Society, Paul Robb recently scored the new movie form the creators of South Park. He has a new band signed to Virgin and a dance side-project, yet still manages to write award-winning music for TV. Sam Molineaux joins him and his various alter egos in his new Los Angeles studio, Digitalis.

SAM INGLIS: Bad PR In The Music Business

Sounding Off

The music biz is a notoriously difficult one, but you might think that at least the people who get paid to work for you are on your side. Sam Inglis says it's even worse than you thought.

The Future Of Music Copyright In A Digital World

Exploration

Music on the Internet has brought into sharp focus the changes that will need to be made to a global law to ensure the safety of music copyright. Debbie Poyser and Derek Johnson assess the possible impact of new technology.

TORE JOHANSSON: Recording The Cardigans 'My Favourite Game'

Interview | Producer

The Cardigans are the biggest thing to come out of Sweden since, er, Ace Of Base, and their recent hit 'My Favourite Game' represented a successful change of musical direction. Sue Sillitoe tracks down their regular producer Tore Johansson in his Country Hell studio to talk about how the song was put together. Reasearch by Matt Bell.

Technique

Basics Of Quantising

Tips & Tricks

Subtle timing nuances play a large part in the feel of much of today's rhythm-based music. Martin Walker bangs the drum about creative use of groovy time-tweaking functions.

Bondi Blue G3 PowerMac

Apple Notes

The times are colourful for Apple Macs. Martin Russ looks at the new Bondi Blue G3 PowerMac, and then does some serious Thonking.

Creating Orchestral Music With Sampled Instruments

Tips & Tricks

When it comes to emulating acoustic instruments, the modern orchestra probably represents the ultimate challenge. Philip Meehan shows you how to take it on and win.

ETF4; MIDILyser

PC Notes

This month, Martin Walker reviews PC software packages that help you check out your own studio acoustics and examine your MIDI data.

Hands On On Stage Soft; Centek CenTurbo II Card

Atari Notes

Ataris can now be picked up at very reasonable prices and, with the addition of some cost-effective software, make useful live sequencing devices. Derek Johnson highlights this and other uses for your ST, and discusses some fast new TOS-compatible machines from Europe.

Harmony Central

Net Notes

John Walden exchanges his plectrum for a mouse and suggests some guitar-related Internet sites that might encourage even the more technophobic pluckers and strummers to venture into cyberspace.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Freakshow * Ally Pedan * Agincourt * Darren Furry * Jon Black * Paul Appleyard * Stick * David Poremba * Sontiche * Mickey Down Under * Exit

Recording 20-bit & 24-bit PC Audio

Tips & Tricks

Audio software and PC soundcards are offering 20- or 24-bit recording capabilitiy at even more affordable prices — but whether the extra data on your hard disk will actually correspond to better sound quality depends on a host of other factors. Martin Walker tells you what you need to know when deciding if you should make the change.

Recording Bass Guitar

Tips & Tricks

Although most modern synths come with good bass guitar patches, there's still nothing quite like the real thingplayed well — provided you know how to record it. Paul White examines a few alternative approaches.

Sound Advice

20 Tips On Reducing Noise

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Hums, clicks, rustles, chirps, shuffles and creaks. Just a few of the sounds that your recordings could well do without. Paul White has a quiet word about the art of noise reduction.

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