March 2003 In This Issue

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Reviews

Alesis Air Synth

Motion-controlled Synth

Alesis brought us Air FX, a motion-controlled effects unit, just before they ran into financial trouble in 2001, so the planned synth version never really appeared at the time. Now that they're back, the Air Synth is with us at last...

Alesis Picoverb

Digital Effects Processor

Alesis continue to show us how to cram big spaces into ever smaller boxes!

BBE Sonic Maximiser

Plug-in

Formats: Mac OS 9, OS X & PC VST, PC DirectX

Behringer MDX2600 Composer Pro XL

Dynamics Processor

Behringer have redesigned their popular Composer Pro, adding tube simulation, de-essing and dynamic enhancement.

Cutting Edge

Microsoft Smart Display

When you launch a new product, it's always best to have a clear message. You buy a dishwasher because you hate washing up, you buy a car because you can't walk 20 miles to work, or wait for the bus that comes once a week; and you buy a Microsoft Smart Display because, um&

Drawmer M-Clock

Master Word-clock Generator & Sample Rate Converter

Drawmer's affordable new combination of master clock and sample rate converters provides an ingenious solution for high-quality digital interfacing in the home studio.

Emagic EMI 6|2m

USB Audio & MIDI Interface For Mac & PC

Emagic's latest hardware device is a six-input USB audio interface that can also handle MIDI. Is it too good to be true or sheer magic?

ESI Pro Waveterminal 192M

10-channel 96/192kHz Digital Audio Interface For Mac & PC

Price barriers continue to tumble in the soundcard market, as Esi Pro introduce an interface offering four analogue inputs and eight outputs, plus digital I/O, two mic preamps and 192kHz playback, for under £200.

Fostex MR8

Digital Multitracker

Fostex enter the card-based multitracker market with a bang, offering eight tracks of uncompressed CD-quality audio from a single Compact Flash card.

Grandioso Bosendorfer

Sample Library

5*

Halion String Edition Volume One

Steinberg/Wizoo String Library/ Virtual Instrument For Mac & PC

Steinberg and Wizoo's latest collaboration aims to provide high-quality string sounds at an affordable price, with a software interface to make string arranging so easy that even drummers can manage it. Have they succeeded?

Minnetonka Discwelder Steel

DVD-Audio Authoring Software For Windows

DVD-Audio offers high-resolution digital audio and surround sound, but authoring packages have been too costly for the home studio - until now.

Plug-in Folder

Voxengo Curve EQ

Format: PC VST

Roland MC909

Sampling Groovebox

The latest in Roland's line of MC-series workstations is their best (and most expensive) yet, incorporating synthesis, sequencing, real-time control, and sampling. But in an increasingly software-driven world, can a Groovebox still cut it?

RSP 73

Sample Library

5*

Serato Scratch SE

Turntable Controller For Pro Tools TDM, HD & LE

We are used to the idea of using fader boxes and other MIDI controllers to manipulate our music software, but now Serato want to get us using our turntables to scratch digital audio. Can it possibly work?

Shure KSM137 & KSM141

Capacitor Microphones

Two new small-diaphragm mics from Shure provide solid all-round performance with an extended low-end response.

Studio Essentials

Ebtech Line Level Shifter & Hum Eliminator

Studio Essentials

Book Review: Making Music With Sonic Foundry Acid

Summit Audio TD100 & TLA50

Tube Direct Instrument Preamp & Leveler

Two surprisingly affordable units from a premium name in high-end valve processing.

Swissonic AD8

Eight-channel Preamp & A-D Converter

Swissonic's new high-quality preamp and A-D converter caters for 24-bit/96kHz digital audio in AES-EBU and ADAT formats.

Tannoy Ellipse

Active Nearfield Monitor

A striking monitor from Tannoy couples a revitalised dual-concentric driver design with a new Supertweeter, providing increased resolution for 24-bit/96kHz playback.

Vermona Perfourmer

Four-voice Analogue Rack Synth

Formerly the East German state synth company (a great concept in itself), Vermona re-emerged last year with the MARS monophonic analogue synth. Clearly determined to win back their reputation, they've already returned with the four-voice Perfourmer...

People + Opinion

Bob Moog

Voyage Of Discovery

Unquestionably the best-known name in synth design, in 2003 Bob Moog was still creating innovative electronic instruments. With the new Voyager synth about to hit the shops and the rights to use his own name restored, his star seems to be on the rise once again. SOS chats to this founding father...

Business End

More readers' demos assessed by the MPG

The Doonicans; Sondance: The Jungle Bungalo

Culture Club

Producer: Steve Levine

Twenty years after Steve Levine first produced Culture Club, he reveals how he has been using a new generation of digital tools to restore those original recordings.

Demo Doctor

Future Music Corp = Top Demo. Rococo
Absence Of Meaning Zothique ADB Solo Liv Lyons

Elliot Goldenthal

One of Hollywood's most intelligent composers, Elliot Goldenthal is equally adept at writing for the big screen as the concert hall or theatre. We talk to him about his background and approach to composition, technology and orchestration.

Glen Ballard

Songwriter & Producer: Alanis Morisette

Glen Ballard was already a first-call songwriter and producer in LA - and that was before a young, unknown singer called Alanis Morissette walked into his studio...

Leader

Live And Dangerous

Paul White provides more food for thought.

Readerzone

Declan Flynn (aka Alpha-X)

Declan Flynn (aka Alpha-X)

Sounding Off

Results of Software Piracy

Music software companies have warned us about the effects of piracy since the dawn of history; but are we now starting to see the results as smaller companies become absorbed into larger corporations?

Steinberg & Pinnacle: The Buyout

What It Means For You

The shape of the music-technology market changed dramatically in 2002, with the two largest German music software companies gaining new ownership from American corporations. Have Steinberg reached the summit with Pinnacle?

Technique

Airport Extreme; Biggest & Smallest Powerbooks

Apple Notes

Apple christened 2003 'the year of the laptop' by introducing their biggest and smallest Powerbooks ever — are these the Mac portables musicians have been waiting for?

Digital Performer Notes

Audio File-handling

Digital Performer's audio file-handling has been streamlined in v3.1, making it easier to manage and archive large audio-based projects. We take a closer look...

Grooves Features

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

Cubase provides powerful features for working with grooves, but they aren't totally intuitive. We shed some light on the subject for users of VST and SX/SL.

Logic Notes

Driving Logic From Control Surfaces

This month we show you how to drive Logic from control surfaces with endless rotary encoders, and also investigate the powerful MIDI processing available from the Transform window. Plus, there's advice on copying plug-in setups between Songs, as well as another collection of useful tricks and workarounds.

More Of Everything!

Maximising The Loudness Of Your Masters

We provide some tips for making your masters sound as loud as commercial tracks, without sacrificing too much sonic quality along the way.

PC Musician

Partitioning PC Hard Drives For Multi-boot Systems

As hard drive sizes rise into the hundreds of Gigabytes, it's crucial to consider the benefits that partitioning can bring.

Q & A

How can I create the fat bass sound I hear on commercial productions? • What are the differences between S/PDIF and AES-EBU? • Are there any problems powering UK electrical equipment with Vancouver voltages? • Can you recommend some omni mics for chamber recording? • How can I build a suitable enclosure to reduce the noise of my computer? • Is it possible to create a fake stereo track from a mono source?

Recording Bands On Location

Recording a band is tough enough in the studio, but working on location adds another whole level of complexity. So here's how to overcome the inevitable setup gremlins and fix some of the most common problems at the mixdown stage.

Run Multiple VST Instruments

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Pro Tools' plug-in power continues to grow. A port of Cycling 74's Pluggo provides Mac users with over 100 RTAS plug-ins, while you can now run multiple VST Instruments with the new Multi VST Shell.

Software Dynamics Masterclass

Using Your Sequencer's Compressors & Limiters

All of the main MIDI + Audio sequencers now have a bewildering array of compression and limiting plug-ins built in, but many home musicians are unclear about what all those controls and options do. And with so many varieties of each plug-in available, which one should you choose for the job in hand?

Sonar Notes

Sonar As A Waveform Editor

Can Sonar also serve as a waveform editor? Craig Anderton thinks that with a little bit of work, it can...

Stereo Recording

Comparing Stereo Mic Techniques

We take a practical look at the pros and cons of coincident and spaced stereo miking techniques.

Studio SOS

Tom Fox

Recording in a converted attic, Tom Fox was having serious problems with his acoustics while recording drums, so the SOS team drove over to Yorkshire to sort things out.

Synth Secrets

Synthesizing Strings • PWM & String Sounds

Pulse-width modulation is a vital tool in achieving lush-sounding synthesized string pads - so what if your synth doesn't have it? Fear not - for PWM can itself be synthesized. Here's how...

Windows' Multi-user Accounts

PC Notes

To accompany this month's PC Musician, we look at how Windows' multi-user accounts can be used as a potential alternative to setting up different versions of Windows on multiple partitions.

Music Business

On The Record

Running Your Own Record Label: Part 7

In this, the final part of our series, we recap on the key things you need to consider before you start your own label, and take you through the process to the first release.

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