March 2010 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN JoeCo BBR1 BlackBox Recorder worth 2000 GBP

Deadline: 2010-03-28

The BlackBox Recorder is aimed squarely at bands and at anyone who engineers and records live acts, providing a robust and flexible solution for capturing performances. It is designed to be hooked up to the front-of-house console and allows the user to record up to 24 tracks of audio in Broadcast WAV format.
Prize kindly donated by JoeCo's UK distributor: Sound Technology +44 (0)1462 480000

Reviews

Akai LPD8 & LPK25

MIDI Controllers

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Are Akais mini MIDI controllers the perfect partners for your laptop?

Boss FRV1

Reverb Pedal

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One of my favourite effects units is an mid‑to‑late '90s brown Fender '63 Valve Reverb reissue. Bought in the days when I ...

Dark Side Of The Tune Queen’s English

WAV

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Hand on heart, I can testify that no sample collection has ever made me laugh as heartily as this new WAV spoken‑phrase...

Dave Smith Instruments Tetra

Four-voice Analogue Synthesizer

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With four voices of genuine analogue polyphony, Dave Smiths Tetra is a big synth in a small box.

Direct Resolution DARC Ultimate LE

Audio PC

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Direct Resolutions Ultimate LE range is all about power — cold, hard (and very quiet) power.

Focusrite Octopre MkII & MkII Dynamic

Eight-channel Microphone Preamps

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With upgraded mic amps and A-D conversion in their MkII versions, do Focusrites latest eight-channel preamps still lead the way at this price point?

Image Line FL Studio 9

Digital Audio Workstation Software For Windows

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Image Lines popular sequencing package has evolved from a specialist tool into a DAW application with universal appeal.

Infrasonic Blow 4D

Nearfield Monitor Speakers

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With digital and analogue inputs, these small speakers from newcomers Infrasonic promise a lot for the money. Can they outperform their budget price tag?

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb

Reverb Plug-ins [Mac & PC]

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Until now, the biggest name in reverb came attached only to rackmount hardware. Finally, however, Lexicon have made their celebrated rooms, halls and plates available in plug-in format.

MOTU Digital Performer 7

Digital Audio Workstation Software For Mac OS

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The latest version of MOTUs Mac sequencer has guitarists firmly in its sights, but there are plenty of general improvements too.

NAMM News

Guitar technology news

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There's so much news from the recent Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, that it can be hard to see the wood for the trees — so we...

Newmann Retro NR47

Large-diaphragm Valve Microphone

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This mic is certainly styled to look like the classic Neumann U47, but does it sound like it?

Notion Music Notion 3

Notation Software & Virtual Instrument Player For Mac & PC

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The latest Notion scoring package offers upgraded orchestral samples, VST compatibility and a host of new features. Will it score highly with the musical community?

Rodec Sherman Restyler

Stereo Multi-mode Filter

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Sherman have teamed up with Rodec to bring us more of their own special brand of filter mayhem.

Royer Labs SF24V

Stereo Valve Ribbon Microphone

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Royer Labs have created the worlds only stereo ribbon microphone that has active, valve-powered electronics. So what does it have to offer that conventional ribbon mics dont?

Rycote InVision USM & TLM

Large-Diaphragm Microphone Shockmounts

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Decent shockmounts can actually improve the sound you get from your mics, but they can be expensive and not always durable. Rycote aim to solve both problems with their new designs.

Sonika

Vocaloid 2

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Sonika is Zero‑G's latest virtual vocalist for Yamaha's Vocaloid 2 singing synthesis engine. As SOS has covered the basic...

Sonnox Restore

Restoration Plug-ins [Mac/PC]

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If youre in the market for a high-quality restoration package, there is no shortage of contenders. Sonnoxs trio of plug-ins offers some new and unusual features and a friendly interface.

Sony PCM M10B

Portable Stereo Recorder

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The portable audio pioneers release their smallest and most affordable handheld 24-bit/96kHz recorder yet. We put it through its paces.

Steinberg CI2

Audio Interface & Cubase Controller

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The CI2 combines an audio interface with hands-on Cubase control — and at a very attractive price.

Tascam M164UF

Mixer &16-channel Audio Interface

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USB and Firewire mixerfaces abound these days, but not all allow you to record multiple channels simultaneously to separate tracks in your DAW. Enter the M164UF...

TC Electronic PolyTune

Polyphonic Guitar Tuner

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The answer to every guitarist's prayers?

Tonehammer Epic Percussion

Multi-format

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Hans Zimmer's bright idea of adding large ethnic drums to the orchestra in film scores has proved popular in recent years,...

Ueberschall Art Of Sounds

Elastik Instrument

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Ueberschall's libraries tend to target specific markets, with titles like ''80s Punk...

Vir2 Instruments Mojo Horn Section

Virtual Brass Instrument

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Has your music lost its mojo? Maybe Vir2s new horn library can add some magic...

People + Opinion

David & Peter Brewis: Recording Field Music (Measure)

Studio experimentation

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Thanks to years of experimentation with budget equipment, brothers Peter and David Brewis have developed into one of the UKs best and most interesting studio bands, with a sound that is very much their own.

Flaming Lips

Dave Fridmann: Producing Embryonic

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Following their unlikely breakthrough into the mainstream, Flaming Lips made a conscious return to the outer limits with their recent album Embryonic. Dave Fridmann manned the controls.

Outside The Box

Leader

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I'm writing this shortly after returning to work after the Christmas holidays and I'm currently cut off from the outside world...

Playback

Readers’ Music Reviewed

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In A Forest Without Trees

Goonies Never Say Die

If the defining characteristics of 'post‑...

Sounding Off

Rob Toulson

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Mixing can be simple, you just have to think one step ahead...

Technique

Ableton: Sound Design

Ableton Live Notes & Techniques

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We look at a different use for Lives celebrated time-stretching engine.

AIR Plug-ins

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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Avid-Digidesign's Pro Tools 8 comes bundled with a new suite of AIR plug-ins, some of which are more powerful than they appear. We expose their hidden depths...

Bruce Springsteen ‘Born In The USA’ | Classic Tracks

Producers: Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt • Engineers: Toby Scott, Bob Clearmountain

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Seven top 10 singles isnt bad going for a career, let alone one album, yet thats precisely what Bruce Springsteen achieved with his smash hit 1984 LP, Born In The USA. This is the story of how it was made...

Buying A Used Tape Machine

Advice on acquiring and maintaining reel-to-reel recorders

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The sound of analogue tape is still revered, but acquiring and maintaining your own machine presents a unique set of challenges.

Creating Unusual Effects In Reason

Reason Notes & Techniques

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Reasons flexible sound-design environment opens up the possibility of unusual and exotic effects treatments.

Cubeat Detective

Cubase Notes & Techniques

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Unlike other DAWs, Cubase has no dedicated support for phase-locked timing correction of multitrack drums. But with a little imagination, it is possible...

Logic Update; iPad Launch

Apple Notes

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As Logic updates to 9.1 and an Apple launch hits the headlines, the new year could be the time to acquire some new skills.

Logic: Breaking Beats

Logic Notes & Techniques

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Quickly and easily slice, rearrange and process breakbeats using some of the new facilities in Logic 9.

Mix Rescue: Zeno

Mixing & Recording Advice

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Just where do you look for that final 20 percent that puts your mix on a par with commercial tracks? Find out, as we apply a little polish to Zeno's track 'Signs'.

Mix Rescue: Zeno | Media

Mixing & Recording Advice

These audio files accompany the Mix Rescue article that featured in SOS March 2010.

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Cenzo Townshend

Inside Track | Florence and the Machine: ‘You’ve Got The Love’

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Flying the flag for a distinctively British sound, and scoring some huge hits in the process, Cenzo Townshend is one of the UKs hottest mixers. He gives us the inside track on Florence and the Machines hit Youve Got The Love.

Sonar: Recording Solo Performers

Sonar Notes & Techniques

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Last issue, we covered methods for recording a solo artist. This time Craig Anderton covers editing and comping.

Studio SOS: Seth Folen

Overcoming the challenges of a small-room studio

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Small rooms are always challenging, but there are some fundamental principles that can help you keep problems to a minimum.

SuperSpeed USB, Carbon Nanotube Computing

PC Notes

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This month, we're talking new technologies, including futuristic carbon-nanotube computing and — more immediately — the availability of SuperSpeed USB...

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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So you want to be a media composer? Paul Farrer reminds us that its not about the music you love, its about whats right for the show.

Sound Advice

Q. Can my monitors go on their sides?

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As the positioning of my workstation is a bit awkward, it would be great if I could place my KRK VXT8 monitors horizontally....

Q. Do I really need to use dithering?

I have been working on an album and am in the final stage of exporting the tracks to WAV, which will then be burned to CD. All...

Q. How do I tune my kick-drum samples to fit with my song?

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It was recommended to me that I tune kick‑drum samples to the key of my song, so I used a tuner and an analyser on my stereo...

Q. How do I know a mic is worth the money?

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What differences can you hear when comparing inexpensive and expensive equipment? As I do a lot of vocal recording, I'd like...

Q. What do I need to start recording my own music?

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As an acoustic musician, I'd like to start learning more about recording and mixing my own material. So far I have no...

Q. Will my gear be affected by freezing-cold conditions?

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My studio gear is currently set up inside my garage, and lately it has been freezing cold inside. Though there is no surface...

SOS Podcast 022

24:13 mins

We've expanded the podcast crew this month, with Craig Anderton offering tips on composite recording in Sonar DAW, plus news from Tyler Massey. Paul and Hugh round-up what's grabbing their attention, while Paul demos the Korg Wavedrum he's reviewing in the coming SOS April 2010 edition. As always, your questions are answered in our popular Sound Advice section.

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