March 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Audient ASP 8024

High-resolution Analogue Mixing Console

Digital mixers may have become fashionable in recent years, but analogue consoles still have a lot to offer. Hugh Robjohns takes a look at a high-spec, mid-budget in-line console from newcomers Audient.

Casady & Greene Soundjam MP1.6

MP3 Encoder & Player

Though the Mac platform is often ahead of the PC for musical applications, it used to lag behind in the race to provide professional MP3 software. Simon Trask tries out a new program which aims to restore the balance.

Doepfer MCV24

Multi-channel MIDI-to-CV Converter

Even the most die-hard analogue synth enthusiast must recognise the advantages to be gained by integrating their voltage-controlled gear into a MIDI environment. Paul Nagle tries out Doepfer's sophisticated solution to this problem.

Line 6 Delay & Modulation

Modeller Effects Pedals

Line 6 have released two DSP-based effects pedals that use physical modelling to recreate the echo, delay and modulation treatments of a bygone age. Paul White — who was there first time around — finds out how they measure up to the real thing.

Oram HI-DEF 35 Limited Edition

Equaliser

To mark 35 years in the business of audio design, Oram have launched a special limited edition 'Hi-Def' equaliser. Hugh Robjohns tries out this attractively priced derivative of the famed HDEQ2.

Red Sound Systems Dark Star

Desktop Synthesizer

British company Red Sound Systems are known for their innovative DJ products. Now, in the shape of the Dark Star, they've produced their first synthesizer. Wing Commander Paul Farrer warms up the engines and takes it out on its maiden flight.

Slam On The Breaks

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Software Technology VAZ Modular 2.1

Software Synth/Sampler

Software Technology's VAZ Modular promises the authentic sound of analogue synthesis form. Martin Walker tests out their claim.

Steinberg Wavelab 3

Audio Editor & Sound Processor

The latest upgrade to Wavelab, which takes the program to version 3.0, boasts only one major new feature — but it's a killer. Martin Walker is stunned by the possibilities.

Studio Electronics Omega 8 (Preview)

Analogue Synth

The long-awaited Omega 8 promises much, even if its feature-set is not yet complete. Gordon Reid takes a first look...

Swissonic USB Studio D

Stereo Mixer/Computer Interface

Fancy doing some hard disk recording on your computer without using a soundcard? Martin Walker looks at an intriguing combination of mixer and USB interface that could let you do just that.

TC Electronic Finalizer 96K

Mastering Processor

TC Electronic have upgraded their already impressive Finalizer mastering processor to include a number of new features, most notably 96kHz capability. Hugh Robjohns finds out if it's still at the top of the tree.

TC Works Spark 1.5

Audio Editor

Paul White checks out TC Works' Spark, a Swiss Army knife of a Mac editor that takes an entirely new approach to the use of VST plug-ins. It also offers sampler support and MP3 file creation, and its effects section can even run within other VST- and MAS-compatible software.

TL Audio Hybrid

Tube Preamp

Capable of handling both mic or instrument signals, TLA's new dual-channel, combined solid-state and valve preamp aims to offer super high-quality preformance at an average price. Paul White assesses their double vision.

Videologic Systems Sirocco Pro

Loudspeakers

Active monitor systems which use a subwoofer together with satellite speakers are not particularly unusual in this industry, but the Sirocco Pro from Videologic is sure to stir things up by providing a neat package, with impressive technology, at under £600. Hugh Robjohns tunes in...

Waldorf Microwave XTK

Wavetable Synthesizer

Until now, the only implementation of Waldorf's wavetable synthesis with a built in keyboard was their pricey Wave megasynth. Now, however, they've repackaged their more affordable Microwave XT in an attractive keyboard unit. Paul Nagle tries it out.

XSample CD-ROM Library

Sample Library

• Disc One: Mixed I * Score = 4
• Disc Two: Mixed II * Score = 5
• Disc Three: Brass * Score = 4
• Disc Four: Mallets * Score = 5
• Disc Five: Solo Strings * Score =2
• Disc Six: Woodwind * Score = 4
• Disc Seven: Mixed III * Score = 3
• Disc Eight: Mixed IV * Score = 5
• Disc Nine: Percussion = 4

Yamaha GX1 Synthesizer, Part 2 (retro)

Exploration

Last month, Gordon Reid told us how he found one of the world's rarest synthesizers in Australia, and of the trouble he went to to get it home. This month, he explains what it is about the Yamaha GX1 that made it all worthwhile...

People + Opinion

BIRD & BUSH: Producing Stereophonics

Interview | Producer

Two successful new producers from New Zealand have used a unique blend of old and new technology to create two hit albums for the Stereophonics. Mike Senior talks to Bird & Bush about their role in a British rock & roll success story.

CRAIG ALEXANDER: Less Is More

Readerzone

SOS drop in on another reader at home...

DAVID GRIESINGER (LEXICON): Creating Reverb Algorithms For Surround Sound

Interview | Manufacturer

The current challenge to reverb designers such as Dave Griesinger of Lexicon is to create realistic algorithms for surround sound. Paul White finds out how he's approached the problem.

DEBBIE POYSER: Apple Problems

Sounding Off

Debbie Poyser has just about had it with Apple. Here she explains why before going off to buy a new G4.

NICKY GRAHAM: Recording 'Once In A Lifetime'

Interview | Producer

Sound On Sound's September 1999 SAE/Quantegy competition offered the fantastic prize of an all-expenses-paid recording session in a New York studio with a top producer. Tom Flint talked to the lucky winners to find out how they put their winning demo together — and found out how producer Nicky Graham transformed it into a potential chart smash.

PIERRE MARCHAND: Producing Sarah McLachlan

Interview | Producer

Working from a small studio in Quebec, Canada, Pierre Marchand has been responsible for some stunning production work, most notably with songsmith Sarah McLachlan. Paul Tingen finds out how he successfully mixes a technological approach with live performances to create his organic intimate sound.

REED GHAZALA: Designing 'Circuit-Bent' Instruments

Interview | Artist

In these days of sampling, DSP and physical modelling, you might think that building your own electronic instruments would be a daunting prospect. According to Reed Ghazala, however, it's a piece of cake — you don't even need to know how they work. Sam Inglis finds out more.

Terratec M3PO

Cutting Edge

Dave Shapton explores the consequences of new, media-independent formats for music distribution and reproduction.

Technique

Analogue Warmth; Studio In A Shed; PC Recording Setup; Live Backing

Q & A

Q. How can I add nalogue warmth?
Q. How can I turn my shed into a studio?
Q. What do I need to get started in recording on my PC?
Q. What's the best choice for 'live' backing vocals?

DirectSound

PC Notes

Confused by DirectSound driver options? Martin Walker explains them all, recaps on the Millennium bug and makes a packet with his CD-RW drive.

Installing & Setting Up New PC Music Hardware

Tips & Tricks

Fitting hardware upgrades to your PC should be comparatively easy, but sometimes not everything goes according to plan. Martin Walker guides you through the pitfalls.

MacOS X

Apple Notes

The recent Mac Expo has given Apple owners plenty of food for thought. Martin Russ, Vic Lennard and Paul Wiffen digest some information...

Mainstream Music Final Score v2.0; Hearcoach

Atari Notes

Not all Atari programs are completely serious. This month Derek Johnson discovers one that could give your band a name and a lot of laughs.

Manufacturer Resources Online

Net Notes

Hi-tech gear companies have set up shop on the web and offer all manner of downloadable goodies, plus FAQs, tips and techniques, to support their users. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser take their pick.

Minimising MIDI & Audio Timing Problems In Computer Sequencers

Tips & Tricks

Although MIDI + Audio sequencing packages on both Mac and PC are becoming ever more powerful, 'the timing was tighter on my Atari' is still a common complaint. Paul White looks at ways of tightening it up, with additional PC information by Martin Walker.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Polly Gabriel * Dreamfusion * Bring Me The Head Of Tonto * The Moo School * Diffusion * Neelam * Harry Singh * Ohm * Genetic * Michael Green * Dr Strange * Sultrix

Stereo Editing, Part 3

Tips & Tricks

In the final part of his series on digital editing, Paul White examines some methods of removing clicks from a recording, before looking at how to burn a production master CD.

Synth Secrets, Part 11: Amplitude Modulation

Tips & Tricks

Last month, Gordon Reid examined the concept of modulation at low frequencies. This month, he speeds things up a bit. The result is not just faster versions of the same modulation effects, but a new type of synthesis...
• Read all parts

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Get Your Songs Played On Local Radio

Feature | Tips & Tricks

This month, Big George goes Radio Ga Ga and invites you to join in the fun.

Sound Advice

Processing Power

Frequently Asked Questions

Running out of processing power is a frequent source of frustration for those working with computer-based digital audio. Martin Walker tackles some common queries about how to avoid it.

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