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Tape Saturation Emulator
If digital perfection leaves you cold, the Aardscape can lend an analogue quality to your recordings. Hugh Robjohns warms to the idea...
Digital Percussion Sampler/Sequencer
The latest MIDI and percussion combination from Akai is the first not to feature Roger Linn's signature, although it clearly takes its inspiration from those that do. But Paul Wiffen discovers that, although this unit adds a feature he's been waiting 10 years for, it's missing the high price tag of its predecessors.
If you're suffering from muddy sounds, BBE's smallest Sonic Maximiser yet could be just the thing to clean them up. Hugh Robjohns puts on his gumboots and wades in.
An amp is an amp is an amp... but Paul White finds himself vexed by such eternal verities.
Back-electret Capacitor Mic
A back-electret mic that doesn't need phantom power; Hugh Robjohns won't be calling the ghostbusters...
Drum Machine (Retro)
The best drum machine ever? Staunch admirer Nicholas Rowland leaps to the defence of the long-neglected Cheetah MD16.
Professional Effects Processor
Ensoniq seem determined to break into the big-league effects market with their highly specified 24-bit DP Pro. Paul White investigates.
Paul White studio tests the new JoeMeek VC1 and finds that nostalgia is everything it used to be.
Interactive Music Workstation
Gordon Reid checks out the street cred of Korg's latest synth and is surprised by what he finds.
Voice Crystal Sound Sets
Paul Ward looks at two third-party sound collections designed to give your K2000 or 2500 a different voice..
Non-coding Audio Recorder (Preview)
In this exclusive preview, Paul White is introduced to a brand-new way of making high-resolution digital recordings.
If you don't need separate mixes for each musician, the Mojo MH4 may be everything you need in a headphone amp, says Paul White.
24-bit Recording Converter
If you can live with loosing four tracks on your multitrack tape recorder, the Rane Paqrat will allow you to record with up to 24-bit resolution. Hugh Robjohns rates the 'rat.
Is it a bird, is it a... toaster? Paul White tightens his seatbelt and road-tests the sporty new Rogers db 101s.
Roland's JV1080 was a great success with serious synthesists, and recognising that if it ain't broke there's no need to fix it, Roland have provided more of the same with the new 2080. Derek Johnson's spoilt for choice.
Analogue Filter Bank
Analogue filter banks are not exactly a new concept, but this one combines an unusually flexible specification with MIDI control and an affordable price. Chris Carter passes some filter tips...
Paul White tests the latest incarnation of the mysterious Vitalizer, and is non the wiser about how it actually works.
Series Mixing Console
Another 8-bus console hits the streets, as Tascam release an ideal partner for their digital 8-track recorders. Dominic Hawken takes a listen.
Richard Waghorn tests the TL Audio PA3001 alongside some of the best mic preamps available and discovers a good combination of price and performance.
Analogue Physical Control Synth (Preview)
This year's Frankfurt MusiKmesse was virtually stuffed with digital synths in analogue clothing. Martin Russ takes an exclusive first look at Yamaha's eagerly awaited entry in the 'analogue for the '90s' stakes, the AN1X.
MIDI Foot Controller
Yamaha's MFC10 MIDI Foot Controller aims to put control right under its user's feet. Paul Ward boots it up...
People + Opinion
Interview | Producer
Musician and producer Bruce Fairbairn is best known for his US rock smash success with Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, but blended live band recording and a willingness to use studio technology to record the latest INXS album, Elegantly Wasted. Richard Buskin finds out how he did it.
Interview | Artist
A deeply private man, ex-Gillian keyboard player turned film music composer Colin Towns recently made a rare appearance to promote his latest project, Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra. Sam Molineaux discovers the true story behind his varied musical career.
Is the current craze for all things retro preventing music technology from moving forward? David Mellor assesses the value of retro equipment and sees a vision of a thoroughly modern future.
Following Jean-Philippe Rykiel's comments in last month's SOS, it's interesting to hear from another visually-impaired musician. Ian Popperwell invites you to take sides in the hi-tech exclusion game...
Interview | Artist
You've probably heard the amazing story of how Britain's recent number one single 'Your Woman' was recorded by one man, Jyoti Mishra, working alone on an 8-track cassette recorder. Paul Tingen talks to the man behind White Town's extraordinary success, and finds out how he put together his new album using a bare minimum of equipment.
Interview | Band
'70s band Magic Carpet waited 25 years to release a follow-up to their 1972 debut album — and '90s technology enabled them to do it all at home this time around. Alisha Sufit, who played, sang and engineered the sessions, explains how it all happened...
Interview | Composer
Paul Farrer describes the trials and tribulations of writing the soundtrack to the big-screen movie version of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Hugh Robjohns shrinks to microscopic size in order to show you around the conglomeration of knobs, wires and circuits that make up a mixer.
These days a compressor is pretty much an essential purchase if you're recording vocals or non-keyboard instruments. Paul White looks at how they operate, and how they can be used both to control levels and to fatten sounds.
After another panicky start to the year for the MacOS, Martin Russ asks what happens next.
In the first part of this occasional series for users of popular software packages, we take a look at what you need to do to get up and running using Logic's Environment page, and provide an introduction to the Multi-instrument Object.
Tips & Tricks
PC utility programs are either invaluable workmates, or end up languishing in a corner of your disk drive, rarely used. In a quest to sort out the most useful items for musicians, Martin Walker subjects his PC to the ultimate test.
Tips & Tricks
These days, many businesses plan to replace their computers every two years. Although bi-annual upgrades don't come easy on your wallet, in the fast-changing world of the PC-based musician, upgrades are eventually inevitable. Martin Walker advises you on how to negotiate the troubled path to DSP processing paradise..
Tips & Tricks
Akai's S1100 hard-disk recording option caused quite a buzz on its release, and even now makes this well-specified sampler even more versatile. Chris Carter passes on some hard-won tips for making the best of S1100 HD recording.
Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed
The Fantasy Option * Epic Voice * Frei Zinger * Limbo Phonic * Neil Baker * Autonomous Apparition * Hiro * Love X And Y
Designing sounds on a computer can give you virtually all the knobs and sliders you'd want, but there's the potential to go far beyond hardware synthesis too. Dennis Miller begins a two-part tour of what's available.
• Read Part 2 (May 1997)
Brian Haywood looks at two new enhanced versions of previously available PC software...
Tips & Tricks
Need to transfer songs between an old sequencer and your new computer? Or between a sequencer at home and a MIDI File player for live work? Vic Lennard explains the procedure.
The Atari ST is more than 10 years old, but its high suitability for music and the enthusiastic support of users means that it's still going strong. Derek Johnson takes a look at some current software, reflects on some older software available at bargain second-hand prices, and reveals those all-important Atari Show dates.