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Prizes kindly donated by CEDAR Audio
+44 (0)1223 881 778.
Apogee's new converter builds on the reputation of the original PSX100 and Rosetta units, upgrading the sonics and adding a pile of new facilities, including sophisticated jitter-reduction processing and sample-rate conversion.
Modelled Electric Piano Instrument [Mac/PC]
Most recent electric piano virtual instruments have been sample-based, but in Lounge Lizard, AAS continue to fly the flag for their physical modelling technology; version 3 offers an improved fork model, plus modelled electromagnetic and electrostatic pickups...
Stereo Condenser Microphone
If you're looking to record high-quality audio to your portable Minidisc or MP3 recorder, then this small battery-powered stereo mic could be just what you are looking for.
This new unit from Coleman Audio makes a mark with its sonic integrity, despite its apparent lack of operational frills.
Four-voice Analogue & Digital Synth
The Evolver began as a mono desktop unit, then became polyphonic, and now there's a polyphonic keyboard version. It's almost as if Dave Smith's latest synth is steadily evolving back into his earlier Prophet 5... We check it out.
Active Nearfield Monitors
Several unusual new technologies have been combined in this new product from Fostex to create an accurate mixing tool.
Gear Reviews, Tips and Techniques
• Line 6 Echo Park and Liqua-Flange
Stomp box effects
Virtual Orchestra [PC/Mac]
Miroslav Vitous's orchestral library was the first of its kind, and more than 10 years after its launch, has been reinvented as a self-contained virtual instrument. Is the original still the best?
FM Soft Synth [Windows]
Combining frequency and ring modulation with analogue-style resonant filtering, Image Line's Sytrus takes FM synthesis in new directions.
Touchscreen Add-on [Mac/PC]
Hate mixing by mouse? Intatouch's neat monitor add-on allows you to draw control data directly onto the screen.
Portable Digital Stereo Recorder
The new Microtrack packs a high-quality 24-bit/96kHz two-track recorder, complete with USB connectivity, into a box not much larger than a mobile phone. Is it the ideal field recorder? We check it out...
Dual-core processors hold the key to unprecedented performance with music applications. But how do systems based around Intel's Pentium D, like this one from Millennium Music, compare with their AMD-based rivals?
Pitch & Time Manipulation Software [Windows]
If you need a new way of adapting the feel of a loop, or you want decent pitch-shifting and time-stretching on a budget, Psoft's inexpensive utility might be for you.
Wall-mounted Rack Hardware
Hot New Releases
• Big Fish Audio First Call Horns
Auto-sampling Software [Windows]
Like the idea of having all your hardware synth sounds in a software sampler, but can't be bothered to do the necessary programming? Fear not, Sample Robot will do it for you...
Virtual Workstation Synth [PC/Mac]
The new version of Steinberg's virtual sound module brings more and better instruments, without sacrificing convenience or ease of use.
Combining pitch-correction, multi-part harmony generation, the ability to change vocal character, and multi-effects processing, TC-Helicon's Voice Pro is a complete vocal production suite inside a single box. But does it sound any good?
Portable Powered PA System
We test this affordable complete vocal PA you can carry from the car to the stage in one trip!
Acoustic Bass Microphone System
Amplifying an acoustic bass on stage is far from straightforward — indeed, the difficulties involved have been known to make players swap to an electric. Could this new AMT mic/preamp system be what upright bassists have been waiting for?
The award-winning Chris Trimby not only tours with top artists and spends summers working the major festivals but also mixes live sound for TV music shows, including BBC TV's Top Of The Pops, proving how varied and interesting a career as a monitor engineer can be. We find out how it all happened and what's involved...
Professional Noise-isolating Earphones
Etymotic Research, leading makers of high-quality earphones, recommend their ER4S model for in-ear stage-monitoring use. We find out whether hearing is believing.
Stage gear takes a lot more punishment than studio equipment, so investing a few quid in suitable protection for it has to be worth considering. But what do you need to know before buying?
Powered PA System
This premium German-made PA aims to offer a genuine hi-fi approach to live sound reproduction. But is it worth the investment?
12-channel Powered Mixer
This traditionally-designed mixer/amp packs quite a punch, with 1400W of power under the hood, and also boasts very sturdy construction and built-in digital effects.
The Science and the Magic
If you've been to a large gig or a festival in recent years, you've no doubt had the pleasure of hearing line arrays of loudspeakers in action. But why are line arrays the current 'best practice' in large-scale PA, how did they evolve, and will they ever filter down to more modest gig venues?
Radio Microphone System
It's not difficult to find a cheap wireless mic system these days, but not all have a prestigious name tag — unlike this Sennheiser true-diversity setup, their most cost-effective to date.
People + Opinion
Miami is now a hip-hop centre to rival New York and LA, and Cool & Dre are two of its most active beatmakers, songwriters and producers.
Synth pioneer Don Buchla took issue with some points raised by our review of his 200e modular synth and felt them somewhat unfair — read on and you decide.
Paul White's Leader
Our esteemed Editor In Chief got bored over Christmas so he decided to conduct a Studio SOS makeover on his own studio. Read all about it...
Marcus Ryle • Michel Doidic • Jeff Slingluff
We go behind the scenes at the home of the Pod and Variax to get the latest on developments in the world of guitar modelling technology.
The unique musical world of Yann Tiersen was opened up to millions of people by the soundtrack to Amelie. His idiosyncratic working method involves toy instruments, songs built from fragmented ideas, and entire string sections created by recording himself over and over again.
This reader ditched all his old synths and hardware in favour of a shiny new all-singing, all-dancing Music PC and sof synths. Does he now regret the decision? Read on...
How best to use different reverbs
Recording engineers have been adding artificial reverberation to recordings for many years, and have developed a variety of different ways of doing this. Home recordists now have access to modern versions of all these tools, so let's look at how they compare to each other, and how best to use each.
Producers: Chris Blackwell, The Wailers; Engineers: Phill Brown, Tony Platt
Bob Marley & The Wailers were the first Jamaican musicians to achieve world stardom. Tracked in Kingston and finished in London by Island engineers Phill Brown and Tony Platt, their breakthrough album was a truly international recording and a true reggae classic. Find out how it was recorded...
Logic Notes & Techniques
Some users of Steinberg's Cubase complain that Logic has no specialised drum editor. Little do they know that Logic lets you build your own.
If 2003 was Apple's 'year of the notebook', 2006 is set to be the 'year of Intel', with the prospect that every Mac computer in the company's range will use an Intel processor by the end of it.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
We delve into the Boolean operations in the Logical Editor, offer some tips for entering numeric values in the Transport Panel, and take a first look at Cubase running on dual-processor, dual-core systems.
How To Make A Pitch
Success! You've been invited to pitch for a job. Surely that Hollywood career now beckons? Well, no... This is just a pitch — there are others competing for the job. We look at how to maximise your chances of winning the commission...
If you've been waiting and wondering whether to 'go dual-core' in your next PC upgrade, which processor to choose is only one of the factors to consider. We discuss the options and implications.
+ Audio Files
Kick drum and lead vocal present tough processing challenges in this installment's remix.
A new business model based around the Internet promises to make professional mastering more convenient — and much more affordable. But is on-line mastering a real alternative or a false economy? We put the UK's leading services to the test.
This time, the team convert a small empty room into a professional vocal booth within the space of a single afternoon!
Reason Notes & Techniques
Reason makes an ideal 'synth rack' for use with a variety of host software. We take you through the steps needed to Rewire it to 8 popular programs.
Digital Performer Notes & Techniques
Quantising is all about turning your sloppy playing into rigid, computerised perfection, right? Well, no — at least, it doesn't have to be. We check out the finer points of quantising in DP and look at what it can do for your music.
Sonar Notes & Technique
Now that the RXP REX-file player is bundled with the Producer Edition of Sonar 5, the creative possibilities of REX files have really opened up for Sonar users. We take a tour around RXP and discuss its features and uses.
Can Harbal's new automatic track EQ solve your equalisation problems with one click? We find out, as well as exploring the mysteries of the Windows Driver Model...
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
Once you have got your video and sync audio files into a Pro Tools Session, what do you do with them? Our short series on sound for picture concludes by explaining the ins and outs of dubbing, sound effects and Foley.