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Prize kindly donated by Vicoustic, whose products are distributed in the UK & Eire by Systems Workshop. Tel: +44 (0)1691 658550 www.vicoustic.com
Pitch Correction Plug-In [Mac/PC]
Auto-Tune has been the industry-standard pitch-correction tool ever since its 1997 release. Does the latest Evo version keep the competition at bay?
USB MIDI Controller & Audio Interface
Whats black and white and red all over? Behringers fantastically cheap new audio interface and MIDI controller, of course!
Summing & Monitoring System
This neat new hybrid product appears to be defining its own market niche, but can it really be all things to all people?
This highly affordable device is based on the circuitry used in Neves legendary 1073. So can you really get a classic vintage preamp sound on a budget?
USB Controllers For Mac & PC
Can controllers this tiny and toy-like in appearance really do a serious job in the studio?
Room Correction System
This hardware-based room correction system includes an audio interface and monitor controller. Is it the answer to your acoustics nightmares, or just too good to be true?
Electric guitar-filtering-infinite sustain
As instruments go, the electric guitar is a pretty established format, but if anyone can change that, Moog can...
Interesting old keyboards are becoming ever-more expensive and difficult to find. MOTUs solution to this is Electric Keys — samples of all of the desirable retro instruments you could want, for less money than a second-hand Vox Jaguar!
Ohmicide Distortion & Symptohm Synth [Mac OS/Windows]
Fed up with bland, me-too plug-ins and tasteful processing? Ohm Forces unique effects and synths could have exactly the spice your studio needs.
Software Guitar Amp Simulator [Mac-PC]
Can Overlouds guitar amp simulator tempt us to plug into our Macs/PCs instead of our Marshall stacks?
Kontakt 2 Player
Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The SE3 was a popular mic, but it only came in cardioid flavour. The new SE4 gives you more options...
MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows/Mac OS]
The first paid-for update to Cubase for two years introduces some major innovations for sequencing and composition, including integrated Melodyne-style pitch correction and editing.
VST Effects & Instruments For Windows & Mac OS
Working with a mouse and keyboard neednt compromise real-time control, as Sugar Bytes clever interface design demonstrates.
This desktop DSP box runs and offers hands-on control of Creamwares ASB range of synth plug-ins — and it costs under $500. Is it too good to be true?
People + Opinion
Paul White shares his personal views.
TV Music From The Inside
You thought your music was just right to start with, so why are people telling you to change it? Because theyre paying you — and because they might actually have a point...
Readers Music Reviewed
In their quest for that elusive 'X' factor, the editorial jury don their sequined jackets and audition another batch of your submitted tracks.
Lady Gaga 'Just Dance'
Transatlantic number one Just Dance was not only a breakthrough for Lady Gaga, but also for her producer RedOne and mix engineer Robert Orton.
Does the music download business have a future?
A fearless maverick who swears by the need to generate tension in the studio, Youth has made a name as one of the most creative producers to emerge from Britain in the last two decades.
The past year saw some significant developments in the world of PC music. PC Notes looks back over 2008 to assess the changes it brought and turns an eye to what we can expect to be doing in 2009.
Producers: George Goldner, Terry Johnson • Engineer: Allen Weintraub
This is the story of how an inspired rearrangement of an old song created a track that, 50 years on, remains a genuine and enduring classic.
Logic Notes & Techniques
Apple Logic 8s mixer is endlessly configurable, and knowing how to make its flexibility work for you will result in faster and easier mixing.
Digital Performer Notes & Techniques
We present a DP-users guide to troubleshooting audio files and formats, and pass on tips for when the unthinkable happens...
Alternative Guitar Tunings For The Studio
Apple unveiled new versions of iLife and iWork this month during their final MacWorld keynote, along with a new 17-inch MacBook Pro. And, despite the fact that they didnt appear at this years NAMM show for the second year running, support for Apples products has probably never been stronger.
Mix Processing Techniques
Last month we explained how to get a sense of front-to-back depth in your mix. Now we examine the left-right axis, as we suggest ways to get the best from stereo mixing.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
At the heart of Digidesign's drive to turn Pro Tools into a serious tool for music creation are the MIDI and Score editors in Pro Tools 8. We explain how to get the best from these new heavyweights.
Hear For Yourself
Links to the MP3 preview and high-resolution WAV files that accompany the SOS March 2009 Mix Rescue article for our newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article.
Macrodynamics & Rhythm
Getting the macrodynamics of a song right while also nailing down the important rhythm can be a real challenge. We explore some techniques for tackling this and more on Moosmusics Big Dummy Shake.
Reason Notes & Techniques
If you want the impact of heavily compressed drums but dont want to sacrifice your dynamics, parallel compression is the way to go. This month we explore the best ways to achieve this effect in Reason.
Garage Studio Tips
We turn a family homes garage into a usable recording studio, and take reader Danny Williams through a number of gear maintenance, recording and mixing tips.
Sonar Notes & Techniques
Sonar has more facilities than the average DAW for exploiting REX files to their best advantage. We guide you through where to find those facilities and how to put them to use.
Someone suggested that I could use a USB pen drive to record audio on my laptop. Is this a good idea? How fast are they, and is it really a cheap way to separate my system and audio drives, or are there any problems inherent in this approach?
Over the last couple of years Ive mixed quite a lot of songs, but only single tracks here and there. Now Im about to mix an album, and Im wondering what would be the best way to do it. The recording has been done in a very decent studio, and they have been adding some programmed elements afterwards. I want to avoid a situation where I mix all the tracks so that they sound great on their own, only to realise later that they wont fit together as a whole. How would you approach this? Would you mix one track, and use it as a reference for the other mixes? Would you re-use some of the settings (for example, use the same plug-ins for the same tracks, with some tweaks)? Sadly, the budget doesnt allow for a separate mastering job, so I would have to do some limiting and final tweaks myself.
Parallel compression is something Im just beginning to explore. Its not something Ive used much in the past, but Im seeing its potential for beefing up groups and whole mixes. However, if I set up a compressor on a send channel, rather than processing the whole signal via an insert effect, wont I get phasing? Also, if I set up compressors on several send channels and filter out certain frequencies on each channel (for example, roll off everything but the low-mid range on one, roll off everything but the high-mid range on another), then wouldnt this just be the same thing as multi-band compression?
SOS reader Gordon Staines of Cheshire emailed us because he was having difficulty using NIs Guitar Rig 3 with his Pro Tools M-Powered setup. Using NIs Rig Kontrol USB interface and controller, with Guitar Rig 3 running in stand-alone mode, he was able to get exactly what he wanted from it, “no latency, and it sounds great live just plugged into the phono inputs on my Marshall AS100D acoustic amp, of all things, or even when I just have the headphones in the controller for practicing. My problem is getting the same sounds out when laying down tracks.”