April 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96

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.

Alesis Masterlink

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 Solutions Minimodular

Dual-oscillator Synth

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.

Antares Microphone Modeller

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.

Digitech RP21D

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...

Easy Listening

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Korg OASYS PCI

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 1000/1200-series

Workstations (Retro)

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 K2600X

Keyboard Workstation

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...

Love & Pop String Thing

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Mackie CFX16

Mixer

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.

Marantz PMD650

Portable Minidisc Recorder

Hugh Robjohns investigates a rugged new Minidisc recorder with a host of facilities for professional location recording.

RME ADI96 Pro

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.

Royer R121

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.

Shawn Lee's Beneath The Planet Of The Breaks

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Steinberg Model E & Pro Five

VST Instruments

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.

Strictly Hip-Hop

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Thermionic Culture Phoenix

Valve Compressor

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.

TLA EQ2

Parametric Valve Equaliser

Paul White tries out TLA's combination of front end and parametric equaliser.

Touched By Sound DRM1 Syncussion

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 A5000

Sampler

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.

Yamaha MSP10 & SW10

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

BeOS: Possible Implications For Musicians

Cutting Edge

Dave Shapton gets to grips with the latest news about BeOS, and its possible implications for musicians.

DAVID FRANK: Recording Christina Aguilera's 'Genie In A Bottle'

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.

MARTYN WARE: The Clarke & Ware Experiment

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.

MICHAEL NEILSON: TV & Film Soundtracks

Michael Neilson

Another reader invites us into his home studio.

Millennium NAMM Roundup

News

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!

PHILIP CADMAN: Bleak Future

Sounding Off

The Internet could mean a bleak future for high-fidelity music, worries reader Philip Cadman.

TOM LORD-ALGE: From Manson To Hanson

Mix Engineer

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...

Technique

Arranging Pop

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.

Creating Orchestral Arrangements On A Budget

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...

Cycling 74; MacOS X; Studio Systems 2.1

Apple Notes

Vic Lennard sets out his stall on all matters Mac...

Fast Winding DATs; Getting Timecode Onto Video

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?

Internet Radio

Net Notes

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.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Garden Band * Brain Dead Beats * Jera * Simon Ash * Stylus * Calmarama * Innocence * Reformation * Kingsland * Vinyl Morphic

Preventative Maintenance In The Studio

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.

QUiNCY; SC55 Pilot

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson reports on the arrival of Falcon digital recording program QUiNCY and a neat SC55 Sound Canvas editor.

Synth Secrets, Part 12: An Introduction To Frequency Modulation

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...
• Read all parts

The Advantages Of Buying From Specialist Music Retailers

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.

Waldorf PPG Wave 2.V; Reg Clean

PC Notes

Martin Walker grumbles about long-winded install routines, and guides you through a few ways to check your system files and Registry for problems.

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Fronting Out A Situation

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.

Sound Advice

Voice Channels

Frequently Asked Questions

Paul White answers some oft-heard questions on the use of voice channels in recording. Additional information by Sam Inglis.

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