April 2001 In This Issue

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Reviews

Alesis A6 Andromeda

16-voice Analogue Synth

Looking like a star cruiser, or something from the film 2001 (rather than just the year), Alesis' Andromeda is the first analogue polysynth that approaches the complexity of a digital workstation. But does analogue necessarily equate to quality? Gordon Reid cuts through the hype and investigates for SOS.

Antares AMM1

Microphone Modeller Processor

Hugh Robjohns checks out the new hardware incarnation of Antares' award-winning microphone-modelling software.

ATC T16

Active Monitors

Paul White tests ATC's T16 monitors, which combine space-age looks, solid engineering and a detailed, accurate sound at a surprisingly attractive price.

Bitheadz Phrazer

Loop Composition Tool

With its on-the-fly tempo-matching for sample loops, Acid put a new spin on an old way of making music on the PC. Now, at last, there's a similar Mac program. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser try out Bitheadz' Phrazer.

Cheetah MS6

Analogue Synth Module (Retro)

British computer peripherals manufacturer Cheetah ventured into the hi-tech music jungle in the 1980s and went down in budget gear history. David Harman goes on a synth safari with their MS6 analogue rack synth.

Fostex VF08

Hard Disk Multitracker

Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser test Fostex's new eight-tracker, which once again lowers the entry-level price for the musician aspiring to digital.

M Audio Audiophile 24/96 & Terratec BWX 24/96

Soundcards

Many musicians with computer-based studios don't need lots of inputs and outputs, but that doesn't mean they're happy to put up with poor audio quality and design compromises of consumer soundcards. However a new type of affordable, high-quality soundcard is now emerging to meet this need. Martin Walker puts two or the leading candidates to the test.

Metamorphosis

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Millennia STT1 Origin

Recording Channel

Hugh Robjohns twsts Millennia's flagship STT1 recording channel which offers elements of their entire product line all in one ultra-flexible box.

Nashville High-strung Guitars

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Native Instruments Dynamo

Virtual Instrument

Paul White explores Dynamo, a remarkable suite of virtual synths and drum machines from Native Instruments, offering all the tonality of their acclaimed Reaktor software, but without the complexity.

Peter Siedlaczek's Smart Violins

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Quested F11P Passive Monitor; Samson Q1 Back-electret Micropone

Studio Essentials

The SOS team check out two new bits of gear for your home studio.

Roland VGA7

Modelling Guitar Amplifier

Paul White studio tests Roland's versatile modelling guitar amplifier, which has applications both on stage and in recording.

Voice Fusions

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Yamaha Motif

Workstation Synthesizer

Rumours of a new Yamaha synth were circulating at January's NAMM show, but nothing was confirmed until a few weeks later, when SOS were invited to Yamaha's London R&D Centre. Matt Bell meets the Motif...

People + Opinion

DVD

Cutting Edge

The audio industry is gearing up to fully embrace DVD but, as Dave Shapton argues, there could be a better way...

FRED SPECKEEN (TC-HELICON): The Science Of Voice Modelling

Interview | Manufacturer

TC-Helicon's revolutionary VoiceCraft card for their VoicePrism processor allows the user to radically reshape the whole character of a vocal sound, adding tonal and inflectional changes that go way beyond the capabilities of current voice processors. Paul White talks technology with designer Fred Speckeen.

IAIN GRANT: Basement Studio

Readerzone

SOS visits another reader's home/project studio.

PASCAL GABRIEL & JAMES SANGER: Recording Dido's 'Here With Me'

Interview | Producer

The standout track from Dido's debut album No Angel is known to millions as a TV theme, and is now a smash hit single in the UK. Sam Inglis talks to Pascal Gabriel, who co-wrote 'Here With Me' with Dido and his colleague Paul Statham, and programmer James Sanger, who helped to shape the final version.

ROBIN MORLEY: Copyright Implications On The Net

Sounding Off

Many musicians bemoan the Net's implications for copyright but, as Robin Morley says, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

TONY PLATT: Rock Island Life

Interview | Producer

Over the last 30 years Tony Platt has engineered and produced albums by some of the biggest names in music, from rock to reggae. Tom Flint talked to him about his days at the pioneering Island Studios, his work with the legendary producer Mutt Lange and his vision of the future.

Technique

Advanced Gating Techniques, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

Paul White explains that there's much more to gating than you might think.

Cost-effective MIDI

Atari Notes

If you're looking for a cost-effective way into MIDI music making, the Atari is still a good option, as Derek Johnson explains.

Digidesign's Pro Tools Explained, Part 3

Exploration

Simon Price concludes his three-part series on Digidesign's flagship recording system with some power-user hints and tips.

Digital Repatching; Music Production; CD Writer; Digital Mastering; Insuring Equipment; Powered Monitors; FM Synth Editor

Q & A

Q. How can I avoid digital repatching?
Q. What do I need to move from DJ'ing to music production?
Q. What kind of CD writer is best for me?
Q. Should I upgrade to digital mastering?
Q. How do I insure my equipment?
Q. Can you recommend some powered monitors?
Q. Where can I find an editor for my FM synth?

Getting Started, Part 2

Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Senior answers more of those beginners' questions which prove to be not quite as basic as they seem.

Intel Pentium 4

PC Notes

Martin Walker looks at Intel's new Pentium 4 processor, and catalogues the Cubase 5.02 update debacle.

Interactive Phrase Synthesizer

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

The Interactive Phrase Synthesizer is one of those parts of Cubase that most of us know exist, but which few have actually used. We take a look at what it can do, as well as offering some handy tips on setting up loops and introducing the idea of controlling your computer remotely...

MOTU 8x8 Firewire System

Apple Notes

Paul Wiffen reports on some historic developments for Mac musicians, as Apple announce their official support for the mLAN interface standard, and also comes to the rescue of more readers seeking advice.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Choyek * Amorius * Gary Rudd * Valve * P Turner * Gumbo * Toy * Alistair Bishop * Bex * Green Cat * Project 1

Polar

Digital Performer Notes

Logic and Cubase owners have had their own dedicated SOS columns for several months — so we're now devoting space to another of the world's favourite sequencers, MOTU's Digital Performer. Long-standing DP user Robin Bigwood presents the first of this regular column.

Practical Phrase Sampling For Modern Music Production, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

The sampler has made its presence felt throughout modern music production, and phrase sampling in particular is the backbone of many musical styles. Oli Bell arms his loop points and explores some tricks of the trade.

Synth Secrets, Part 24: Synthesizing Wind Instruments

Tips & Tricks

Gordon Reid embarks on a journey to synthesize convincing woodwind and brass. This month, he considers how these instruments make their sound in real life.
• Read all parts

Touch Tracks

Logic Notes

We look at the creative potential of Logic's Touch Tracks feature and the corrective potential of the audio fade-in, as well as showing you what 'solo safe' is and why you need it.

Understanding And Writing Lyrics, Part 5: Simile & Metaphor

Tips & Tricks

Sam Inglis demostrates how you might furhter enrich your lyric writing with the use of comparisons.

Using A Second PC As A Standalone MIDI Soft Synth

Tips & Tricks

Modern software allows you to turn a spare PC into a synth of sampler that's perfectly tailored to the needs of your studio. Martin Walker tells you how.

Working On Music For Picture

Net Notes

The advent of digital television has opened the eyes of many more musicians to the possibility of working on music for picture. John Walden trawls the Net to see what advice is available for those who want to score.

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Copyright

Feature | Tips & Tricks

This month, Big George starts another revolution, whether you like it or not...

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