March 2011 In This Issue

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Competition

Win Toontrack Software Worth £1,319 GBP!

Deadline: 2011-04-11

This month, Toontrack's UK distributors, Time + Space, are kindly giving away a fantastic selection of software goodies, comprising Beatstation, EZ Mix and Superior Drummer 2.0, plus all of Toontrack's SDX and EZX sample packs, and all 6 Superior Drummer 2.0 MIDI Preset Packs!

Reviews

Akai MPK Mini

Controller Keyboard

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Looking for a compact controller keyboard costing not much more than a bag of chips? Look no further...

Alan Parsons: Art & Science Of Sound Recording

Instructional Videos

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If you want an education in all things audio, could you ask for a more qualified teacher than Alan Parsons?

Arturia Origin Keyboard

Synthesizer Workstation

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Arturia have taken their Origin concept further with the addition of a keyboard and new modules. So is it now the only synthesizer you'll ever need?

Audio Metering: Measurements, Standards & Practice (Second Edition)

Book Review

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Most of us probably don't give a lot of thought to our audio metering. After all, provided the signal occupies the appropriate...

Cinesamples Voxos Epic Virtual Choirs

Choral Sample Library

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Alleluia! Cinesamples Voxos surround-ready choir delivers a near-religious experience.

Grace Design M103

Recording Channel Strip

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Should you build outboard gear to do the job as well as possible, or to meet a price point? Grace Design prefer to do the former, and it seems to be a philosophy that pays off...

Inward Connections TSL3 VacRac

Tube Stereo Limiter

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Many limiters are designed to be as transparent as possible - but Inward Connections' TSL3 is built to sprinkle valve magic over your music.

Izotope Nectar

Vocal Processing Plug-in For Mac & PC

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Izotope's latest plug-in provides a one-stop shop for polished vocal sounds, with deeper editing available for those who need it.

KRK KNS 8400

Studio Headphones

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KRK are well established in the world of studio monitors. Now they're expaning into the headphone market.

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Keyboard Workstation

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Kurzweil's new workstation maintains the company's reputation for solid reliability, and does so at a lower cost than you might expect...

Moog Slim Phatty

Analogue Synthesizer

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Moog's Little Phatty has shed some pounds (in both senses of the word), but does this new, lightweight synth have what it takes to be a contender?

Nine Volt Audio | Organ Explosion

Sample Library

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I've reviewed a good number of Nine Volt Audio's BPM Flex Series loop libraries now and they've been...

Prodipe Pro 5 Ribbon & Pro 10S

2.1 Monitoring System

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These nearfield ribbon monitors deliver a less fatiguing sound than some - but does smoothness come at a cost?

Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Channel

Recording Channel

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The new recording channel from Rupert Neve is more than just the sum of his existing Portico processor modules...

SE Gemini 5 & G3500

Large-diaphragm Condenser Mics

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SE's new siblings employ the same capsule as previous Gemini designs - but they're very different mics...

Soniccouture | Array Mbira

Sample Library

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The kalimba (aka 'thumb piano') has long been a featured sound on keyboard workstations. Also known as the sanza...

Studio Devil Virtual Guitar Amp II

Guitar Amp Modelling Plug-in

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Re-amping has the potential to give us infinite choice, but is that always what we need? Studio Devil's amp modelling plug-in concentrates on getting the sound right.

Studio Devil Virtual Guitar Amp II | Media

Guitar Amp Modelling Plug-in

These audio files accompany the Studio Devil Virtual Guitar Amp II review that appeared in SOS March 2011.

Tonehammer | Epic Guitar Vol. 1

Sample Library

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It's a hard noise to verbalise, but it sounds like this: gu‑gu‑gu‑gu‑GRNZZZZ. Yes, folks, it's the unmistakable...

Universal Audio Studer A800

Tape Simulation Plug-in

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Can UA's Studer plug-in really reproduce the sound of saturated multitrack tape in all its glory? To find out, we tracked down a real Studer A800, a top-flight studio and a hitmaking band...

Universal Audio Studer A800 | Media

Tape Simulation Plug-in

These audio files accompany the Universal Audio Studer A800 review that featured in SOS March 2011.

Vir2 Instruments | World Impact: Global Percussion

Sample Library

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World Impact: Global Percussion (12.2GB) contains around 270 percussion instruments from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe...

Vox Valvetronix VT40+

Guitar Amplifier

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Paul White checks out this neat little upgraded guitar amplifier from Vox.

People + Opinion

A Touching Display

Leader

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Winter NAMM's abundance of semi/pro-level music Apps, add-on controllers and interfaces for Apple iPad/iPhone took our Editor In Chief slightly by surprise...

John McEntire: Recording Tortoise & Broken Social Scene

Interview | Producer

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Tortoise have spent the last 20 years defying the conventions of rock music — and forging a unique approach to studio recording.

Mumford & Sons 'Little Lion Man'

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

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Mumford & Sons have dragged acoustic music out of the folk clubs and straight to the top of the charts, with a sound sculpted by producer Markus Dravs and mix engineer Ruadhri Cushnan.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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Ol' Hoopty * Andy Le Fevre * Outer Space Alliance * Lounge Fly * The No-ones * Trace

Sounding Off: Elliot Mazer

Classic Gear

Does copying classic gear devalue its designers?

Steve Brown & Rumer: Recording Seasons Of My Soul

Interview | Artist & Producer

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Steve Brown had never produced a record or recorded live drums before he met singer-songwriter Rumer. Half a million album sales later, her faith in the partnership has paid off.

Technique

A-ha 'Take On Me'

Classic Tracks

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'Take On Me' was a huge hit, but its birth was a difficult one, taking three years, three versions and a pioneering video to finally give A-ha their first chart success.

Creative Automation

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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Drawing automation data in Steinberg Cubase has creative applications that transcend simple level and pan tweaking.

Creative Mid/Side Processing

Ableton Live Tips & Techniques

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Mid/Side processing is a clever technique which once learned will probably find its way into your mixes.

How The Ear Works

Exploration

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The most important pieces of hardware in any studio are the ones on the sides of your head. We look at the amazing journey your music makes on its way to the brain...

iPad

Apple Notes

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With rumours of an iPad 2 on the horizon, we take a look at the effect the successful tablet has had on the market.

Is Loud Music Better?

Exploration

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Is music really more likely to sell if it's louder? We come up with some hard evidence and some surprising answers.

Mix Rescue: Flags

Mixing & Recording Advice

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With enough time and effort, you can get a reasonable mix from even poor recordings... but proper attention when recording will save you hours of frustration and get you a much better result much more quickly!

Mix Rescue: Flags | Media

Mixing & Recording Advice

These audio files accompany the Mix Rescue article that featured in SOS March 2011.

Organise Your Start Menu

PC Notes

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Keep the creativity flowing and discover long-lost plug-ins with a properly organised Start menu.

ProChannel

Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar's EQ capabilities take a huge step forward with X1's ProChannel.

Replacing & Reinforcing Recorded Drums

Tips & Techniques

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Drum replacement is now a routine production job in genres ranging from pop and indie to high-tempo metal, and even live sound.

Sampling Instrument Korg

Reason Tips & Techniques

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Reason's sampling instrument Kong.

Sampling With Structure

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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To get the most from Avid's Structure sampler, you need to work with your own sounds. Here's how.

Studio SOS

Your Studio Problems Solved

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This month, the SOS team tame a couple of square rooms and help a guitarist to master his Logic DAW setup.

Tempo Mapping

Reaper Tips & Techniques

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Tempo mapping in Reaper can be quick and easy — so switch off that click and get playing!

Visual Mixing Aids

Logic Tips & Techniques

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When mixing, it doesn't hurt to double-check what you're hearing with judicious use of Logic's visual metering toolbox.

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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Online delivery means fewer ways for things to go wrong, but it also makes media composers more faceless than ever and robs us of some vital excuses.

Off The Record

Music & Recording Industry News

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Energy drinks makers Red Bull and sportswear company Converse have both recently opened their own recording studios. But what does this mean for artists and smaller recording facilities?

Video Media

5 Best Buys

The Gear To Get You Filming Fast

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New to the world of video production and unsure what gear to buy? Our guide to the five best options in three categories will get you started.

Fostex FR2LE

Digital Field Recorder

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The FR2LE promises high-quality stereo audio capture in a small and inexpensive package. Is it perfect for location sound recording?

Light Fantastic

An Introduction To Lighting Techniques And Technology

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Are your videos looking a little flat? Make light work for you and you'll soon be creating depth and mood in even budget productions.

Sound Advice

Q. What settings should I use when backing up vinyl?

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I've just started putting my vinyl collection onto my hard drive for the purposes of backing up and preserving it. I'm...

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