April 2007 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN: Remote SL Controllers from Novation

Deadline: 2007-05-01

Coinciding with the launch of Automap Universal, we have not one, not two, but six great prizes from Novation's Remote SL range to give away. First prize is the five-octave Remote 61SL, the largest in the SL range, while second and third prize winners will receive a Remote 37SL and a Remote 25SL respectively. Three lucky runners-up will each win a Remote Zero SL, which has no keys, X-Y touchpad or modulation joystick, but features the same brain as the rest of the SL range.

Reviews

AEA R92 & TRP

Studio Ribbon Microphone & Preamp

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This classy ribbon mic doesn't just look great — AEA's thoughtful design means that it also offers great sonic results.

Algorithmix PEQ Red & Blue

EQ Plug-ins For Windows

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Mastering engineers are notoriously fussy about EQ, and until now, plug-in manufacturers have struggled to compete with the best hardware designs. Can Algorithmix's Red and Blue change hearts and minds?

Avantone Mixcubes

Secondary Reference Monitors

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Do your mixes translate well to radio or consumer audio systems? If not, the Mixcubes might be just what you need...

Coleman SR5.1 MkII

Surround Sound Monitor Controller

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If you're in the market for a good-quality, no-frills surround monitor controller, this may be just what you're looking for.

Focal Twin 6

Studio Monitors

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If you like the bright sound of beryllium tweeters, these active monitors might make for a pleasant departure from the usual suspects.

Korg Legacy Analogue

Software Synth For Korg OASYS

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Korg bring the MS20 and the Polysix to the OASYS and introduce a major OS update.

Milab DC196

Capacitor Microphone

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There's no law to say that microphone diaphragms must be circular, and in fact a rectangular diaphragm, such as the one inside this Swedish mic, can offer some unique and useful characteristics.

MOTU 8Pre

Firewire Audio Interface [Mac/PC]

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We take an in-depth look at MOTU's most affordable Firewire audio interface yet.

Outsim Synth Maker

Modular Synth & DSP Programming Environment [PC]

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If you've ever fancied creating your own VST plug-in synths and effects, Outsim's slick development tool might just have made the process that bit easier for PC users.

Phil Jones Bass Buddy & Little Labs STD

Bass Guitar Recording DI Box & Instrument Cable Extender

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Two very handy 'accessories' come under scrutiny: PJB's Bass Buddy, a Bass Guitar Recording DI Box, and from Little Labs their STD Instrument Cable Extender.

Roland SH201

Analogue Modelling Synthesizer

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The SH201 — a versatile new modelling synth from Roland or a cash-in on past glories? Let's find out...

Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012 & 5033

Duo Mic Preamp & 5-band Equaliser

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We take our first look at the excellent new Portico range by Rupert Neve Designs - and they don't disappoint.

Sample CDs On Test

Sample Libraries/Virtual Instruments

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Three more recently released libraries and virtual instruments get installed and tested to oblivion! • Muse • Chris Hein Guitars • Sample Lab Luscious Grooves: The Dark Side

Speck X Sum

Analogue Summing Mixer

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Boasting 16 channels, a transparent sound and bags of headroom, there's more to this innocent-looking creature than meets the eye.

TF Pro M16

16-channel Mic Preamp

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With 16 mic preamps and a built-in mixer, the M16 certainly delivers on quantity. Can it deliver on quality too?

Ueberschall Liquid Instruments The Voice

Virtual Vocal Instrument [Mac/PC]

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The latest offerings in Ueberschall's Liquid Instruments series focus on vocals, aiming to provide you with a flexible band of personal backing vocalists via a front-end based on Celemony's Melodyne.

People + Opinion

Crosstalk

Reader Correspondence

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Another batch of our readers' views get aired...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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Another group of masochists offer their self-recordings up for scrutiny by the SOS editorial team. Read it and weep?

Sounding Off: Mike Newbon

Where Will You Learn?

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This month, studio engineer Mike Newbon gets on his soapbox...

The Walkmen: Recreating Pussy Cats

Marcata Studios

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You've got four weeks left until your studio closes. How to make best use of that time? The Walkmen's answer was to recreate their favourite album, note for note, in all its drunken and shambolic glory.

What I Really Really Want

Paul White's Leader

Editor In Chief Paul White ruminates over a few pet gripes...

Technique

All You Wanted To Know About Subwoofers

...But Couldn't Find On The Internet!

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If you want to get your low-frequency monitoring right, a subwoofer can be your best friend — or your worst enemy! Learn how to optimise your setup...

Audio Networking With Digital Performer

Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

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Last month, we looked at OS X's Network MIDI capabilities and how they get along with DP. This time, we go further into the brave new world that is network audio and remote access. Prepare to give your network connection a workout...

Better Bass

A Guide To Recording, Mixing & Monitoring The Low End

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Bass is the linchpin for so much of today's music, anchoring the other sounds and providing a foundation for the mix as a whole. But at the same time, it can seem maddeningly difficult to pin down and control. Help is at hand...

Classic Tracks: The Ronettes 'Be My Baby'

Producer: Phil Spector • Engineer: Larry Levine

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Phil Spector was one of the first producers to realise that a recording studio could be an instrument in itself - and the sound he created over 40 years ago has influenced popular music ever since.

Exploring PC Spectral Multi-band Plug-ins

PC Musician

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There are now quite a few plug-ins on the market that have the ability to split audio into hundreds or thousands of bands and treat them separately, paving the way for a variety of weird and wonderful effects. Are you brave enough to enter the frequency zone?

Mix Rescue: Generals & Majors

Remixing A Hard Rock Track

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Drum-recording problems and an inappropriate choice of vocal mic threatened to hamper this month's hard rock track by New York rock band Generals & Majors.

Mix Rescue: Generals & Majors | Audio Files

Hear The Differences For Yourself

The accompanying audio files demonstrate some of the mix processing used to create this month's remix.

Multi-band Compression

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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Dynamics processing plays an important part in almost all modern music production. We look at some practical examples using Cubase 4's built-in dynamics plug-ins.

Pro Tools: What's New In 7.3

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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In this month's column, we give you the low-down on the wealth of new features coming your way in the version 7.3 updates to Pro Tools TDM and LE.

Quartz Composer: OS X's Hidden Gem

Apple Notes

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While Mac users continue to wait in anticipation for new Mac hardware and software, we explore a really neat application you might not realise you even own, which lets you create your own MIDI- and audio-based visual performances.

Re-installing PC Music Software

PC Notes

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If you ever have to re-install all your software after a PC upgrade, there are tricks that can save you a lot of time, and also help you to be more organised in the future. PC Notes rounds them up, as well as keeping you up to date on Vista compatibility for musicians.

Rewiring Live Into Pro Tools

Live Tips & Techniques

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Rewiring Live through Pro Tools can open up a world of new possibilities for both applications.

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Jason Goldstein

Inside Track: Beyoncé 'Déjà Vu' and 'Irreplaceable'

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Beyoncé's second solo album, B'Day, has yielded two of the biggest singles of the year. Jason Goldstein tells us how he put together hit mixes for 'Déjà Vu' and 'Irreplaceable'.

Step Sequencing In Apple Logic

Logic Tips & Techniques

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Step sequencing is often regarded as a pastime of '80s revivalists, but it can be used effectively in Logic to produce creative results in all kinds of music.

Studio SOS: Duncan Drury

Optimising Your Studio Space

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This month, the SOS team visit a student's home studio to help him overcome a few teething troubles with layout and acoustics...

Using Session Drummer 2 In Sonar 6

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar's Session Drummer has evolved from a MIDI plug-in to a sophisticated tone module that also includes pattern playback capabilities. We take a look beneath the surface.

Music Business

Recording Contracts Explained

A Guide To Contract Terms (Written By An Entertainment Lawyer)

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A recording contract might seem like the Holy Grail, but record labels are not charity concerns and their contracts are not set up with your interests in mind. Our guide to contract terms, written by an entertainment lawyer, explains what it all means and what the implications are for the artist.

Sound Advice

Q. Do I need a bright vocal sound, and how do I achieve it?

Thumbnail for article: Q. Do I need a bright vocal sound, and how do I achieve it?

I notice that in a lot of commercial music the vocal is quite thin, with not a lot of bass to it. When I'm recording, I...

Q. Do RAM voltages make a difference?

In your recent article 'Specifying and Building A Dual-core Desktop PC' (printed in SOS February 2007), the RAM chosen was specified for 1.9V. The selected Intel motherboard specifies 1.8V only. Why did this not result in failure to boot up?

Q. What accessories do I need with my Vocal Microphone?

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I am interested in a relatively cheap (sub-£300) condenser mic. Which other accessories, like preamps, might I need and which would you recommend?

Q. Which order for mix processors?

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I seem to get different information on the order in which mix processors should be used. What should I have on the master output of Cubase when I export my mix?

Q. Why do people stand Monitors upside down?

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Why were all the monitors pictured in your Tori Amos article, upside down? Am I missing something?

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