May 1986 In This Issue

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Reviews

C-LAB SUPERTRACK

C-Lab Supertrack for Commodore 64

Mark Jenkins supercharges the studio with hi-tech recording software for a low-price computer...

SAMPLING PERC!

Casio RZ1 Digital Sampling Rhythm Composer

The facilities offered by the new FZ1 Sampling Rhythm Composer from Casio suggests that it will be a firm studio favourite in the months to come, and not only amongst the home recording fraternity, because the RZ1, for all its budget price of less than £400, offers one attractive facility unavailable on any machine cheaper than £4000 Emu SP12: user-sampling. Mark Jenkins reports.

TIME TO GET IN-SYNC

Fostex 4050 Synchroniser & Sync Controller

The appearance of this low-cost synchroniser package from Fostex makes the linking of recorded music/soundtracks with video a viable possibility at last for those of us working on a budget. Through his 'Using Timecodes' series, Tonmeister lecturer Francis Rumsey has attempted to prepare the way for a better understanding of audio/video synchronisation in readiness for this review. So here it is...

US AUDIO GATEX

US Audio Gatex Expander/gate

The Gatex is an expander/gate of some sophistication, with four independent processing channels housed in a single rack-unit. Hardly something to get excited about? Well, the simplicity of its controls to some extent conceals the versatility of this unit, which Dave Lockwood discovered to have many more potential uses than were first apparent.

People + Opinion

DAVE STEWART: Busy doing nothing?

Dave Stewart: Busy Doing Nothing?

Dave Stewart? Not another article on the Eurythmics? Well, no - this Dave Stewart is the one who, in a long and interesting career, has covered many facets of music well outside the usual idioms. Starting in the late sixties as keyboard player with Egg, a trio who used elements of Stravinsky in their own individual brand of rock, the seventies saw Dave working with Hatfield and the North, National Health, and in esteemed jazz-rock circles with ace drummer Bill Bruford. Then came a series of chart singles under his own name, which were synthesized arrangements of classic rock tunes such as 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted' (featuring the vocals of Colin Blunstone) and later, with Barbara Gaskin, his version of 'It's My Party'. In 1983, he released one of his best ever singles: the magnificent recording of 'Busy Doing Nothing' (from the Bing Crosby film 'A Connecticut Yankee In The Court Of King Arthur'). Apart from producing 'Hole In My Shoe' and the follow-up, 'Neil's Heavy Concept Album' in '84/85, things have been quiet on the recording front for Dave. So we sent David Etheridge along to learn more about the 'Dave Stewart approach to recording' and to discover what this master craftsman was up to these days.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY & THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

Music Technology & The Alan Parsons Project

The Alan Parsons Project is over ten years old this year. In that time, the unique combination of engineering skills, production technique and songwriting talent represented by Alan Parsons and Partner Eric Woolfson has built a strong reputation - particularly in the USA and Europe. A good deal of the Project's image is that of high technology band - and on recent albums in particular, Parsons has made great use of both recording and musical technology. to find out more about the latter area, Richard Elen talked to Alan Parsons at home and in the studio, and interviewed top session player Richard Cottle, who has contributed much of the electronic keyboard work to the last two Project successes.

SIMON HEYWORTH: Promoting The Soundtrack

Simon Heyworth: Promoting The Soundtrack

Simon Heyworth is a man with more strings to his bow than Menuhin, more hats than Mike Yarwood. In his time he has built studios, recorded such milestones as Tubular Bells and produced film soundtracks as well as artists. Simon's current 'thing' is film, and to this end he has set up a small mixing suite in London's trendy Camden Town called Filmtrax. Janet Angus spoke to him about career developments and this current passion.

THE SYNCLAVIER

New England Digital: A Company Philosophy; Brad Naples

The Synclavier is perhaps one of the most misunderstood products in the world of music technology, for it is usually looked apon as one of the elite sampling keyboards (which it is- but as we shall see, it's not just that!), sharing this honour with the more popular Fairlight CM1. It could be said that cost alone has been the reason why many people have chosen the Fairlight since the Synclavier certainly doesn't lack the features or quality. However, such a decision neglects the long-term use and development of the system because, possibly more so than any other musical product, the Synclavier is truly conceptual. At a recent seminar held at Battery Studios in London, Brad Naples, Vice-President of the new England Digital Corporation took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Paul Gilby about the company's philosophy, the concept of the Synclavier and the future growth of the recording industry.

Technique

MUSIC & PICTURES

Music & Pictures: Part 6 (Conclusion)

Part 6: Musician, producer and film music composer Robin Lumley continues his six part series designed to take the mystery out of writing and recording music for films and television.

SAMPLING

Sampling: The 30dB Rule

Music technology consultant Martin Russ highlights one of the lesser-known problems of using sample waveform displays. Are those glossy brochures telling you everything? Read on and find out...

TALKING MIDI

Talking MIDI: Part 5: Channel Voice Messages

Part 5: Jay Chapman returns from his short break, batteries recharged, to deliver the fifth instalment of his series on the bits and bytes of MIDI.

USING TIMECODES

Using Timecodes: Part 4: Tying It All Together

Part 4: Francis Rumsey ties up the loose ends of his series on the synchronisation of audio tracks to video, with a rundown of what to look for when buying a synchroniser system.

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