April 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

Clavia Nord Modular Virtual Analogue Modular Synthesizer, Part 1

Exploration

Clavia's latest product is something else; an affordable modular hardware synth whose selection of modules and signal routing is user-definable in software, offering the synthesist staggering scope for sound design. In the first of this two-part review, Paul Nagle cross-modulates his joy input with Rapture envelope and goes into self-oscillating ecstasy...

Datadusta Digital Tape; Emu Morpheus

Bit-buster Tape; Patch Cards

The SOS team review two new bits of gear perfect for your studio.

DBX MC6

Mini-comp Compressor

Paul White tries out a compressor that looks like a cross between a portable CD player and a Stealth soap dish, but discovers the sound is much bigger than the package.

Denny Jaeger Private Collection Vol. 1

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Digitech S100

Dual-engine Multi-effects Processor

The S100 offers half the innards of Digitech's Studio Quad, but sells for half the Quad's price. Hugh Robjohns finds out whether it does everything by halves...

Digitech Talker

Advanced Vocal Synthesizer

Paul White discovers that it's good to talk, especially when you have some help from Digitech.

Emagic Logic Audio 3

MIDI + Audio Sequencer

Martin Walker peers through the Widows version of Emagic's Logic Audio 3.

Emagic Unitor 8

Cross-platform MIDI Interface

As well as providing eight independent sets of MIDI connections, the Unitor 8 features comprehensive synchronisation facilities and even supports video timecode. Paul White explores the Ins and Outs of it.

Kinetix Wobbly Bits

Variable-rate Digital Recording System (Preview)

Paul White previews a new digital conversion technique designed to provide high-resolution sounds without the need for extravagant sampling frequencies.

Korg D8

8-track Digital Recording Studio

Paul White tests an integrated 8-track digital studio package, no larger than a drum machine, that comes with just about everything you'll need to make high-quality recordings.

Korg Minikorg Family (Retro)

Synthesizer

It was 1973 and everyone was playing Minimoogs, and ARP Odysseys. So why did the Keio ORGan company produce a little synthesizer with the most unorthodox controls imaginable, call it the MiniKORG 700, and try to convince the keyboard cognoscenti that it was worth buying? Gordon Reid explains...

Malice In Wonderland

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Opcode Studio 64XTC

MIDI Interface/Patchbay/Digital Synchroniser

Although it's less than a year old, Opcode's highly useful Studio 64X multi-port MIDI interface and patchbay has been redesigned to incorporate even more features (including a wide range of synchronisation facilities), and has re-emerged from its refit as the Studio 64XTC. Mike Collins gets connected.

Oram Octasonic Precision

Octal Mic Preamp

Oram are not a company to do things by halves; their Octasonic, as the name suggests, features a whopping eight channels of professional-quality mic amplification. David Mellor finds it's eight times a preamp....

Roland MC505

Groovebox

If you like your music production tools hip, knob-laden and all in one box, you're probably drooling over the MC505. Derek Johnson gets into the groove.

SADiE 3

DAW

Any Digital Audio Workstation that was first introduced in 1992, and which is still not only going strong today, but benefiting from major software updates, must be doing something right. Martin Walker takes a long hard look at SADiE.

Sony PCMR300

DAT Recorder

Paul White tests a new Sony DAT recorder offering professional features at an affordable price.

Soundtracs RX8

8-buss Mixing Console

Is the RX8 the latest sporty model from Mazda? No — actually, it's a keenly priced 8-buss mixing desk from Soundtracs. Christopher Holder secures the first test drive.

Srictly R&B

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Tannoy System 600A

Active Monitor

Throughout the years, Tannoy have determindly supported their dual-concentric driver concept in the fierce cut and thrust of the monitor marketplace, and the 600A is their latest mid-priced champion. Hugh Robjohns enters the fray...

Technics KN5000

Auto-accompaniment Keyboard

Technics' new flagship keyboard is the company's most sophisticated offering yet — and the first keyboard to provide a full-blown colour LCD screen. But is it really an instrument for today's musician, or has the 'home' keyboard concept had its day? Simon Trask colours in the dots with the KN5000.

TL Audio Ivory 5050 & 5001

Valve Preamp & Mic/Line Amp

TL Audio's Ivory range of affordable valve-based processors continues to expand. Big game hunter Paul White strikes (c)amp and bags the lates two in the herd... (SOS wishes to point out that no elephants were harmed during the writing of this review.)

Vinylistics Vol. 3

Sample Library

* Score = 2

Wildcat Canyon Autoscore Pro

Audio-To-MIDI Software

If all the ivories do when you tickle them is laugh, you might be interested in an alternative method of getting MIDI information into a sequencer. Martin Walker wails, blows and plucks in the interests of non-keyboard players everywhere.

Yamaha MD8

Multitrack Minidisc Recorder

If you liked the look of last year's Minidisc-based digital 4-track machines, but need more tracks, look no further. The Yamaha MD8 manages 8-track recording and palyback, but is still priced at just under a thousand pounds. Martin Walker suddenly finds less need to bounce.

People + Opinion

ALAN DOUGLAS: Recording With Eric Clapton

Interview | Engineer

With his fame and status as a world-class musician and recording artist, Eric Clapton can afford to spend as much time as he thinks necessary honing his next release. Richard Buskin talks to engineer Alan Douglas about the lengthy sessions and changes of heart surrounding the recording of the new Clapton album, Pilgrim.

M PEOPLE: Songwriting & Musicianship

Interview | Band

Sound On Sound caught up with M People's Paul Heard, before the band headed off on their European tour. Christopher Holder puts aside his preconceptions to learn about songwriting, production, musicianship and family sedans.

ROGER JACKSON: Computers... Love Them Or Hate Them

Sounding Off

After nearly 30 years working with computers in the fields of recording and broadcasting, Roger Jackson has realised he is suffering from a problem a lot of SOS readers will sympathise with; his love affair with computers is coming to an end. But breaking up, as someone once remarked, is hard to do...

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: Classical & Pop Fusion

Interview | Artist

The classical and pop music worlds collide in the person of Ryuichi Sakamoto, with even his latest ambitious orchestral work due for remixing by a team of DJs. Paul Tingen explores the attraction of opposites...

TONY TAVERNER: Sensible Studios

Interview | Producer

Tony Taverner's career spans decades and encompasses a huge list of top-drawer credits. Christopher Holder heads to Sensible Studios, where Tony acts as manager, to extract a few pearls of wisdom.

Technique

Atari Computing; Pulsar; Softjee

Atari Notes

When is an Atari not an Atari? When it's playing at being an analogue sequencer! Derek Johnson takes a look at a neat piece of shareware, and brings news of virtual MIDI synth module for the Falcon, and the latest issue of a dedicated Atari mag.

DI Boxes & Why We Need Them

Exploration

Paul White explores the role of both passive and active DI boxes in recording applications.

Effective Drum Programming, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

Nicholas Rowland explains how you can take advantage of your computerised drummer to generate effects that sound anything but human...
• Read Part 1 (February 1998)
• Read Part 2 (March 1998)
• Read Part 4 (May 1998)

Equipping A Home Studio, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

It's quite possible to equip a home studio without going anywhere near a computer and software. David Mellor takes the hard line.
• Read Part 1 (December 1997)
• Read Part 2 (February 1998)
• Read Part 4 (June 1998)

Ins & Outs Of Gain Structure

Exploration

Settin up your gear for low noise and minimum distortion needn't be a nightmare. Martin Walker gudes you through the process, and shows you how to stand tall, even without headroom.

Mic Types & Characteristics

Exploration

The type of microphone you choose for a given task can have a profound effect on the quality of the resulting recording. Paul White sorts out the dynamics from the capacitors.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Bombassa * U-Gene * Dave Robinson * Vitazdance * Shake The Bottle * Martin Sharpe * Yo Yo * Power Of Persuasion * Julian Rawlinson * Jon Black * Sensory Pulse * Vukan

Practical Studio Soundproofing, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

If you're serious about cutting noise from your studio, you'll have to explore the mysteries of studding and neoprene rubber. Paul White explains that it's not quite as exciting as it sounds...
• Read Part 1 (February 1998)
• Read Part 2 (March 1998)
• Read Part 4 (May 1998)

QuickTime 3

Apple Notes

Merging audio, video and computer formats are changing the way Apple users work. Martin Russ looks at how the tools are changing.

Synth School, Part 7: Transitional Synthesis

Tips & Techniques

Between the extremes of the broad brushstrokes of subtractive synthesis and the painstaking detail of additive, there have existed many hybrid styles of synthesis combining the speed of the former with the precision of the latter. Paul Wiffen traces the development of this middle ground through its successes and heroic failures.
• Read Part 1 (June 1997)
• Read Part 2 (August 1997)
• Read Part 3 (September 1997)
• Read Part 4 (October 1997)
• Read Part 5 (December 1997)
• Read Part 6 (February 1998)
• Read Part 8 (June 1998)
• Read Part 9 (July 1998)
• Read Part 10 (August 1998)
• Read Part 11 (September 1998)
• Read Part 12 (October 1998)

Using A PC As A Self-Contained Music Making System

Tips & Tricks

If you're the proud owner of a new PC, and want to make music, there are plenty of ways to get started, and you may be surprised at just how good the results can be. Martin Walker makes sure your shopping list is short but sweet.

XGedit; Cubase VST 3.55

PC Notes

It seems that the future is in the cards. Martin Walker reports on a significant announcement that may herald a new trend in PC soundcard design.

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