April 2010 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Lexicon PCM Native Reverb worth 1174 GBP

Deadline: 2010-04-28

Praised by Paul White in last month's test review, here's your chance to own this tasty native plug-in. Prize kindly donated by Lexicon's UK distributor Sound Technology +44 (0)1462 480000. www.soundtech.co.uk

Reviews

Apogee One

USB Audio Interface For Mac

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Its tiny, shiny and everything youd expect from a quality Apogee interface.

Audiobro LA Scoring Strings

Sample Library

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LA Scoring Strings hopes to set itself apart from the competition with clever devices that make it both more realistic and more user-friendly.

Avantone BV1

Multi-pattern Valve Microphone

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Avantone are best-known for their modern take on the classic Auratone speaker, but they make mics too. Find out how their latest model performs.

BAE 1073 MPF

Dual Solid-state Preamp

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There are now several Neve 1073-inspired preamps available — but theyre not always 100 percent faithful to the original design. How close does this new contender from BAE come?

Echo Audiofire Pre 8

Firewire Interface For Mac & PC

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There are plenty of eight-channel Firewire interfaces on the market these days, so what does the Audiofire Pre 8 have that the others dont?

Electron Smasher

Sample Library

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Although the title suggests a collection of sounds taken from the Large Hadron Collider, Electron Smasher is, in fact, a set of heavily processed loops from Big Fish Audio. 

FabFilter Creative Bundle

Effects & Synth Plug-ins [Mac & PC]

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FabFilters powerful plug-in suite brings us advanced modulation possibilities, filters with multiple personalities, and plenty of overdrive.

Izotope Alloy

Processing Plug-in [ Mac & PC]

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If you like Izotopes Ozone mastering processor so much you want to use it at the mix, their new Alloy is the plug-in for you.

Korg Wavedrum

Drum Synthesizer

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The new Wavedrum costs a fraction of the price of its predecessor and remains a sonic force to be reckoned with.

Liquidsonics Reverberate

Convolution Reverb [Mac & PC]

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Liquidsonics convolution reverb is not only highly affordable, but incorporates some innovative features too.

Livid Instruments Ohm64

MIDI Control Surface

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The Ohm64 is the latest in a recent rash of grid-based control surfaces. Does it stand out from the crowd?

NI Abbey Road 60s Drums

Sample Library

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Native Instruments bring you the classic drum sounds of Abbey Road, lovingly sampled at the studio itself.

Nine Volt Audio Pop Rock Guitars

Sample Library

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Where so many sample developers struggle to combine musicality, usability, and value for money in a single product...

Presonus Studio One Pro

Digital Audio Workstation Software[Mac & PC]

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Most of us are already committed to a DAW package. But if we were offered an alternative that was affordable, simple to use and ultra-reliable, would we switch? Presonus certainly hope so...

Realsamples English Harpsichord

Sample Library

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In association with instrument collector Andreas Beurmann, Realsamples have created the Beurmann Edition, a set of eight sampled historic keyboards...

Samplecraze Galactic Textures

Sample Library

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So, there you are, slowly trying to make your way to the escape pod along the dimly lit corridors of your interplanetary cargo ship...

Sontronics Delta

Ribbon Microphone

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Building on their Sigma design, Sontronics Delta is more rugged, and voiced with guitar cabs in mind.

Sontronics Delta Ribbon Mic | Audio

Hear For Yourself

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Audio Examples From Sontronics Delta Ribbon Mic April 2010

SPL Frontliner 2800

Recording Channel

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This mic preamp and processor is about as flexible a device as you could hope for without taking the modular route — and all in the space of a 2U rack.

Unity Audio The Rock

Monitor Speakers

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The time-domain response of monitors is often sacrificed for level, but this sealed-cabinet design tackles that issue head-on...

Yamaha DTX Multi 12

Electronic Percussion Pad

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Yamahas DTX Multi 12 squeezes an entire electronic drum kit into a single box.

People + Opinion

Midlake: Recording The Courage Of Others

Tim Smith & Paul Alexander

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What do you get when five American jazz musicians lock themselves in the studio with a collection of Steeleye Span albums? Through a series of reinventions, Midlake have won critical applause for their music and plaudits for their self-production skills.

Music: A Human Right?

Leader

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I tend to avoid politics where possible, as I generally consider that the only qualification a politician needs is the ability...

Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion

Orchestrion Manoeuvres

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Some of the latest advances in electronic music technology have been geared towards acoustic music — played by robots. For his latest album, guitarist Pat Metheny assembled an entire automated orchestra to back him.

Playback

Readers’ Music Reviewed

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Is yours one of this month's tracks to be scrutinised by the editorial team? Click and find out...

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Humberto Gatica

Inside Track: Michael Bublé ‘You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You’

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In a rare interview, legendary engineer and producer Humberto Gatica explains how he and singer Michael Bublé breathed new life into big-band swing music — with stunning results.

Sounding Off

J G Harding

Its nigh-on impossible to make a profit from music these days, so why do we still do it?

Technique

AIR Plug-ins

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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We conclude our tour of the new PT8 AIR plug-ins with neat tricks for filtered rhythmic gating, creating kick and snare tracks from a stereo drum mix, and widening electric guitars.

Comping Tips in Reason and Record

Reason Notes & Techniques

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The ability to quickly create and compare alternative takes is very useful. We look at how its done in Reason and Record.

Distortion In The Studio

Dirty Sounds

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From subtle warmth to screaming walls of noise, distortion is one of the most versatile effects in the studio engineers armoury.

iPad For Musicians?

Apple Notes

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The Internet has been all a-Twitter with the launch of the iPad recently. But what can this oversized iPhone offer the recording musician?

Logic Pro: Getting The Most Out Of Sculpture

Logic Notes & Techniques

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Put your own stamp on synthesized sounds with Logic Pros powerful sound-modelling system, Sculpture.

Max For Live

New dimensions for Ableton Live

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The introduction of MaxMSP adds an entirely new dimension to Live. We take a look at whats already been created in the three months since its release.

Miles Davis ‘Round Midnight’ | Classic Tracks

Producer: George Avakian • Engineer: Frank Laico

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In 1956, Miles Davis was at Columbia Studios to record an album with the musicians who subsequently became known as his First Great Quintet. Engineer Frank Laico was at the controls...

Mix Rescue: Phase Relationships

Mixing & Recording Advice

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This month, we show how manipulating the phase relationships of some tracks in your mix, plus a little disciplined pruning, can revitalise a flat-sounding track.

Mix Rescue: Phase Relationships | Media

Mixing & Recording Advice

These audio files accompany the Mix Rescue article that featured in SOS April 2010.

New Tools In Digital Performer 7.1

Digital Performer Notes

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DP 7.1 is a small update that adds a couple of big new features, including an easy system for saving effect chains.

Recording Acoustic Guitar

Techniques From The World’s Top Engineers & Producers

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Recording a passable acoustic guitar sound is fairly easy, but how do you get a great sound? We tried and tested tips and techniques from the worlds most celebrated producers and engineers to show you how...

Recording Acoustic Guitar | Audio

Hear For Yourself

Audio examples from Acoustic Guitar Recording: April 2010

Solid-state Drives

PC Notes

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The silent studio is a real possibility now that solid-state drives are offering unrivalled transfer rates, free from mechanical noise. So why arent we all switching over?

Sonar: Up & Drumming

Sonar Notes & Techniques

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Put together quick and easy drum tracks with Sonar 8.5s Session Drummer 3.

Studio SOS: Andy Kingslow

Acoustic solutions

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Even with access to the best gear, and commercial experience under your belt, paying attention to your studios acoustics can still pay massive dividends...

Upgrading Pickups

Guitar Technology

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A look at fitting IronGear Texas Loco stratocaster pickups, plus general tips.

Using Cubase's Chorder Plug-in

Cubase Notes & Techniques

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We show you how to coax a more convincing performance from your VST instruments using Cubases Chorder plug-in.

Using Cubase's Chorder | Audio

Hear For Yourself

Audio Examples From Cubase Techniques April 2010

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline: Using Sample Libraries

TV Music From The Inside

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Sample libraries are the modern media composers most important asset — so its a shame that using them in real-world projects can land you in legal hot water.

Sound Advice

Q. Do my gain settings have to be matched?

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The way I mic up drum-kit overheads normally means that there is a slight level difference between the left and right gain...

Q. How can I salvage my ‘spiky’ guitar track?

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I recently recorded a steel‑strung, finger‑picked acoustic guitar track. The problem is that it sounds very 'spiky' and I'm...

Q. Is it safe to over-clock my PC?

I always understood that over‑clocking your computer's CPU could make it unstable and meant you needed noisy fans to cool it...

Q. Should I be using dedicated word-clock connectors?

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When clocking an audio interface using an external device, such as a stand‑alone mic preamp with A‑D conversion, is it better...

Q. What factors should I consider when buying a PC laptop?

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I'd like to buy a fairly inexpensive PC laptop for production when I'm on the move. Having never used a laptop for audio...

Q. What’s the best way to A/B my recordings with tracks off CD?

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I'd like to use my monitors with both my audio interface and a CD player, because I want to A/B my recordings against my CD...

SOS Podcast 023

20:33 mins

Paul, Hugh and Tyler Massey round up the news, while Sam Inglis reveals what appeals to him about the innovative, though low-cost, Liquidsonics Reverberate convolution reverb plug-in he reviews in SOS April issue. Craig Anderton trails Audio Snap, the feature he'll be discussing in his May edition Sonar Notes column, while Paul and Hugh answer your questions and offer tips on how to improve drum kit recordings in a small room.

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