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Professional Studio System
High-quality mic recordings and PC soundcards don't normaly go together all that well, but this could be about to change with Aardvark's new audiophile breakout box, as Martin Walker finds out.
CD Mastering Processor
more than just another stand-alone box that burns CD-Rs, the Alesis MasterLink also includes a large hard drive to store audio and built-in CD mastering tools — in theory, all you need to create CD-R masters without ever booting up a computer. Paul White puts this idea to the test.
Analogue Solution' diminutive Minimodular contains all the necessaries to make up a miniature patchable synth. Gordon Reid arches an eyebrow at this innovative and compact sound source.
Pro Tools TDM Plug-in
Antares' latest plug-in can, it is claimed, alter a recording made with one model of mic so that it sounds as if it was done with another. But can you really make any budget mic sound like a high-end classic? Paul White investigates.
Integrated Tube Guitar Processor
Digitech's RP21D, with its digital output, is aimed at both studio and live use. John Walden joins the digital age...
Synthesis, Effects & Audio Card
Korg's longstanding OASYS synthesis project has finally come to commercial fruition. The original plan, to produce a traditional stand-alone synthesizer, has given way to a computer-based synthesis and mixing environment running on a multi-DSP PCI card. Simon Trask takes refuge with the OASYS PCI...
Kurzweil have always enjoyed a reputation for manufacturing high-quality workstations — their latest, the K2600, is reviewed this month. But back in the late '80s, this reputation was founded only on their impossibly expensive K250. David Etheridge explains how the 1000-series put them on the map...
Kurzweil's latest workstation is very much the product of evolution, rather than revolution. Paul Ward finds out whether it's keeping pace with the rest of the synth world...
Clearly designed with live sound in mind, the CFX16 also makes an ideal mixer for a desktop studio where MIDI and audio signal need to be combined. Paul White investigates.
Portable Minidisc Recorder
Hugh Robjohns investigates a rugged new Minidisc recorder with a host of facilities for professional location recording.
4-bit/96KHz A-D Converter
The ADI96 Pro is a 96kHz converter featuring both mic and line inputs, as well as a whole host of onboard DSP functions. Hugh Robjohns tries it out.
Studio Ribbon Microphone
For many, the ribbon microphone starts and ends with the BBC-designed 4038, but technology has moved on since this classic first appeared, as Hugh Robjohns discovers when he encouters a new state-of-the-art model from Royer.
Steinberg's VST Instrument technology allows software synths to be fully integrated into any VST 2.0-compatible host software, such as Cubase VST. The first major releases to arrive are both recreations of established analogue classics. Martin Walker tries them out.
The Phoenix all-valve compressor is a high flyer when it comes to quality and price. Will it help Thermionic Culture feather their nest? Paul White finds out.
Parametric Valve Equaliser
Paul White tries out TLA's combination of front end and parametric equaliser.
Analogue Percussion Synth
If sparkling analogue drum sounds are what you need to turn your tracks to gold, Germany's Touched By Sound company may have the answer in the form of the DRM1 eight-piece analogue drum module. Paul Nagle tests its mettle.
Yamaha's former sampling flagship, the A3000, represented a novel but very powerful approach to sampler design. The new A4000 and A5000, as Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser report, maintain the distinctive design ethos, but should provide even stronger competition to the established names.
Active Monitors & Subwoofers
The market for good but affordable 'reference' monitor speakers seems almost boundless and Yamaha have recently joined the fray with their active MSP10s and associated subwoofer, the SW10. Hugh Robjohns digs out his test discs again...
People + Opinion
Dave Shapton gets to grips with the latest news about BeOS, and its possible implications for musicians.
Interview | Producer
Christina Aguilera's debut single was a worldwide smash hit last year, thanks in no small measure to the distinctive work of producer and co-writer David Frank. Mike Senior finds out how he did it.
Interview | Artist
From his early days as a pioneer of British synth-pop, Martyn Ware has forged a career on the cutting edge of electronic music. And, as Bill Bruce discovers, he is still innovating today — in 3D.
Another reader invites us into his home studio.
Here's a list of all the upcoming gear the SOS team saw launched at the recent Winter NAMM show in Los Angeles. If it was new to SOS staff at NAMM, we've included it here. As usual, apologies to anyone we may have inadvertently missed out!
The Internet could mean a bleak future for high-fidelity music, worries reader Philip Cadman.
Although he started his working life as a producer, Tom Lord-Alge chose to narrow his field of work, and now ranks alongside Bob Clearmountain and his brother Chris Lord-Alge as one of the best mix engineers in the world. Paul Tingen discovers what makes Lord-Alge mix tick...
Tips & Tricks
If something's letting down your pop tracks, it could be the arrangement rather than the song itself at fault. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser offer some advice on how to make sure your music gets the star treatment it deserves.
Tips & Tricks
Use of a full symphony orchestra remains a luxury afforded only to the world's top-selling artists or film composers. But with a little help from technology, the sound of convincing strings and blaring brass is achievable on a budget. John Rowcroft reports, and offers advice to anyone seeking to follow his example...
Vic Lennard sets out his stall on all matters Mac...
Q & A
Q. Why do I have to keep fast-winding my DATs?
Q. How can I get timecode onto my video recorder without obscuring the existing audio dialogue track?
How many radio stations can you pick up at home? Ten? Twenty? If you've got an Internet connerction, the answer is more like 3,000. Simon Trask explains.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Garden Band * Brain Dead Beats * Jera * Simon Ash * Stylus * Calmarama * Innocence * Reformation * Kingsland * Vinyl Morphic
Tips & Tricks
Audio equipment is expensive, so it pays to keep it in good condition and forestall potential problems. Paul White provides a few tips.
Derek Johnson reports on the arrival of Falcon digital recording program QUiNCY and a neat SC55 Sound Canvas editor.
Tips & Tricks
As Gordon Reid explained last month, audio-frequency modulation of the amplitude of a signal can be a powerful synthesis tool. The possibilities expand still further when we consider what happens when you use one audio-frequency signal to modulate the frequency of another...
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Feature | Tips & Tricks
The array of choices which confronts anyone trying to buy a new PC can be bewildering. Fortunately, as Martin Walker explains, there are retailers out there who can eliminate the hassle and uncertainty.
Martin Walker grumbles about long-winded install routines, and guides you through a few ways to check your system files and Registry for problems.
Feature | Tips & Tricks
If there is one thing Big George can do, it's front out a situation. This month he gives you a brief masterclass on doing the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
Paul White answers some oft-heard questions on the use of voice channels in recording. Additional information by Sam Inglis.