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If you're looking to invest in a 16-track digital multitracker, their extensive feature set can make it very difficult to decide which to buy. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser round up the five current contenders and help you find the best models for your needs.
12-bit Sampler (Retro)
Most of us know of the legendary S900, which set a pattern that would be followed by succeeding generations of Akai samplers, but who remembers its contemporary, the less well-endowed S700? Paul Sellars renews the acquaintance.
Pro Tools Hardware Control Surface
More Pro tools users than ever will now have the option of ditching the mouse and mixing from a full-featured hardware control surface, thanks to this collaboration between Digidesign and Focusrite. Hugh Robjohns and Paul White get their hands on the Control 24.
Urban Dance Synth
The latest in Emu's range of style-specific sound modules is bright purple, stuffed with 32Mb of 'street' sounds, and bristling with urban attitude. Paul Farrer takes a closer look.
Compact Reference Monitor
Hugh Robjohns tests a new monitor that has already acquired some major users.
Paul White tests the baby of HHB's CD recorder range.
Synth Expansion Boards
Korg have realised some of the sonic expansion potential of their Triton keyboards and module by releasing a number of PCM sample expansion boards. Simon Trask, who reviewed the Triton Rack for SOS a few months ago, listens to what they have to offer...
A new selection of soundcards from Germany promises excellent audio quality at extremely competitive prices, with a selection of I/O options to suit most buyers. Martin Walker tries out the first model in the Marian range.
Paul Sellars offers some advice on what musicians should look for when choosing Internet audio software, and introduces the best of the current slew of Windows applications.
Paul White looks at a new voice channel which packs a lot of features into a small space.
Virtual Music Studio
Industrious Swedish company Propellerhead are well known for their virtual instruments, but now they've made an entire software studio. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser bolt a few virtual devices into the virtual rack...
Multi-pattern Capacitor Microphone
Paul White tests a new capacitor mic from Shure which offers a choice of three polar patterns.
In these digital days, is there still a place for the good old analogue cassette Portastudio? Tascam clearly think so, having just released upgraded versions of two of their most recent models. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser go back to the future...
Modelling Guitar Preamp
Paul White tests Yamaha's new rival to the Pod and J Station modelling guitar preamps.
People + Opinion
Interview | Engineer
Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and that was certainly the case when Gregg Jackman decided to find a better way of recording string sections playing loud rock concerts. Hugh Robjohns talks to this inventive recording engineer.
Interview | Producer/Musician
What's the connection between Madonna and Stockhousen? Sam Inglis meets a producer who puts the 'art' into chart music...
SOS visits another reader's home/project studio.
Interview | Producer
Last year's best-selling UK single came not from Westlife or All Saints, but a pre-school kids'TV series. Sam Inglis asks its composer and producer how they turned the theme into a hit.
As the 'dot com' business world's first flush of enthusiasm for the Internet fades, is a deeper understanding of the web's greater potential about to emerge? Dave Shapton speculates.
There are still those who lament the fact that MIDI and music technology have made it possible for anyone to produce music, with a potential impact on overall quality — but Roger Derry isn't one of them...
Q & A
Q. Can I use my Atari for audio recording?
Q. How can I record acoustic guitar better?
Q. What is the source of my studio interference?
Q. Why won't my Kurzweil K2000 work properly with a CD-RW?
Q. How can I get the fastest performance from my PC hard drive?
Q. Can I use hi-fi speakers for studio monitoring?
Q. Why won't my B4 organ plug-in work?
Tips & Tricks
Hugh Robjohns and Mike Senior explains how to get great results when creating arrangements one track at a time.
This month, we see how best to comp performances within Logic, and we also show you a neat trick for finding new guitar fingerings.
Tips & Tricks
Simon Price continues his look at Pro Tools, focusing this month on the software and how it can be used in the studio alongside other MIDI + Audio recording and editing applications.
When your studio just won't co-operate and there's no-one to turn to, the pool of knowledge and expertise offered by fellow web users can be a life saver. Chris Carter investigates troubleshooting on the open-all-hours Internet.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to some of the more basic questions we receive at SOS might seem obvious, but they are, in fact, more complex that they appear. Mike Senior sets about answering the unanswerable...
Many problems encountered when using PCs to record music are caused by MIDI or audio data not being delivered on time, or by its flow being interrupted. Martin Walker outlines some of the most common causes and symptoms, and tells you how to go about eliminating them.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
The facilities that Cubase offers for manipulating note legnths may not be amongst its most exciting features, but as this month's Cubase Notes demonstrates, they can prove to be invaluable.
Derek Johnson plugs a new, free online magazine for Atari users, and explores a composition tool with an interesting angle on film music production.
Paul Wiffen makes the world a safer place for Mac users, by recounting a cautionary tale from his first brush with the OS X Beta, and joins the faithful on their annual pilgrimage to San Francisco MacWorld show.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Bob Staunch & Pete Phillips * Ellen Turner * The Lemming Rain * MR Gary * Mick Langan * Ant * Heresy * Glitch * The Keith Burton * Quartet * Frank Fripp * Sear * Optimystical
More than ever before, it's possible to reproduce the functions of a hardware mixer with software in a computer. But can you completely replace a mixer with software — and, more to the point, should you be trying to? Paul White plays devil's advocate...
This month Martin Walker takes software samplers as his theme, offering advice about avoiding glitches when using them with other applications, and bringing news of a forthcoming sampling VST Instrument.
Tips & Tricks
Ever heard a synth talk? If you have, it's due to formant synthesis. Gordon Reid concludes the purely theoretical part of this series with a look at the theory of analogue formant synthesis, how it relates to the human voice, and modern digital synths like Yamaha's FS1R.
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Tips & Tricks
This month, Sam Inglis shows you how to improve your lyric writing by using fewer words to say more.
Feature | Tips & Tricks
This month, Big George lays himself bare for your entertainment...