March 2001 In This Issue

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Reviews

16-track Digital Multitrackers

Buyer's Guide

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.

Akai S700

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.

Brit Horns

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Digidesign/Focusrite Control 24

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.

Emu Mo'Phatt

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.

Ethno Techno

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Excel 101A

Compact Reference Monitor

Hugh Robjohns tests a new monitor that has already acquired some major users.

Helter Skelter

Sample Library

* Score = 4

HHB Burnit

CD Recorder

Paul White tests the baby of HHB's CD recorder range.

Korg Triton EXB

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...

Marian Marc 4

MIDI Soundcard

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.

PC MP3 Software For Musicians

Buyer's Guide

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.

Presonus VXP

Voice Channel

Paul White looks at a new voice channel which packs a lot of features into a small space.

Propellerhead Software Reason

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...

Pure R'n'B

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Shure KSM44

Multi-pattern Capacitor Microphone

Paul White tests a new capacitor mic from Shure which offers a choice of three polar patterns.

Tascam 424 MkIII & 414 MkII

Portastudio

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...

Yamaha DG Stomp

Modelling Guitar Preamp

Paul White tests Yamaha's new rival to the Pod and J Station modelling guitar preamps.

People + Opinion

GREGG JACKMAN: Mics For Live String Recording

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.

GUY SIGSWORTH: Music After MIDI

Interview | Producer/Musician

What's the connection between Madonna and Stockhousen? Sam Inglis meets a producer who puts the 'art' into chart music...

JANE BANBURY: From Horses To Sampling

Readerzone

SOS visits another reader's home/project studio.

PAUL K JOYCE & GRANT MITCHELL: Recording Bob The Builder's 'Can We Fix It?'

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.

Potential Of The Internet

Cutting Edge

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.

ROGER DERRY: MIDI's Impact On Quality Of Music

Sounding Off

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...

Technique

Atari Recording; Acoustic Guitar; Studio Interference; Kurzweil K2000 CD-RW; PC Hard Drive Performance; Studio Monitoring; B4 Organ Plug-ins

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?

Basic Overdubbing

Tips & Tricks

Hugh Robjohns and Mike Senior explains how to get great results when creating arrangements one track at a time.

Comp Performances

Logic Notes

This month, we see how best to comp performances within Logic, and we also show you a neat trick for finding new guitar fingerings.

Digidesign's Pro Tools Explained, Part 2

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.

Expertise On The Web

Net Notes

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.

Getting Started In Music

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...

Identifying & Solving PC MIDI & Audio Timing Problems

PC Musician

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.

Manipulating Note Lengths

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.

MyAtari Free Online Magazine

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson plugs a new, free online magazine for Atari users, and explores a composition tool with an interesting angle on film music production.

OS X Beta

Apple Notes

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.

Playback

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

Pros & Cons Of Software & Hardware Mixers

Exploration

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...

Software Samplers

PC Notes

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.

Synth Secrets, Part 23: Formant Synthesis

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.
• Read all parts

Understanding & Writing Lyrics, Part 4: Connotation & Metonymy

Tips & Tricks

This month, Sam Inglis shows you how to improve your lyric writing by using fewer words to say more.

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: All About Himself

Feature | Tips & Tricks

This month, Big George lays himself bare for your entertainment...

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