May 1996 In This Issue

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Reviews

Akai DR16

Hard Disk Multitrack Recorder

Though hard disk recording offers possibilities far beyond those achievable with magnetic tape, it often sports a vastly more complex user interface, which can alienate the tape-based faithful. But Akai's new 16-track hard disk recorder seeks to meet the tape heads halfway, David Mellor plays ambassador...

ARP Axxe & Little Brother (Retro)

Synth

The mighty ARP were in existence for little more than 10 years, but introduced a sound which is as much a part of synth history as the Minimoog. Derek Johnson rehabilitates two of the ARP clan's poor relations...

AVI Neutron

Nearfield Monitor Speakers

Paul White tries out these tiny, British-built monitor speakers — and discovers that small really is beautiful.

Behringer Dualflex EX2100

Enhancer/Harmonizer

Paul White finds Behringer's new 'more of everything' box a plentiful source of cheap thrills.

Creative Essentials Vols. 1-10

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Lexicon PCM90

Digital Reverberator

Descending Mosses-like from the mount, Lexicon's new dedicated reverb processor brings intelligence from the company's top-end reverbs. Paul White gets a debriefing...

Loopism 6

Sample Library

*

Mackie Ultramix

Automation System

Although aimed primarily at Mackie owners, Ultramix is an automation system that will run on other desks too with the aid of a modestly-equipped Mac — promising the home studio everything but the motorised faders. Bernhard Speyer investigates...

Midiman MultiMixer 6 & MicroMixer 18

Mixer

The tiny and cost-effective line mixer could improve invaluable in all sorts studio, live and multimedia situation. Derek Johnson thinks small...

Quasimidi Cyber 6

Master Keyboard

With its advanced arpeggiator and innovative real-time control, the Cyber 6 is the master keyboard that reconciles computer sequencing with live extemporisation. Could it be that Quasimidi have found the keyboardist's Holy Grail? Paul Ward hangs up his air guitar...

Robots & Computers

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Roland XP80

Music Workstation

The latest and largest addition to Roland's XP family is a strapping workstation with a monster sequencer and masses of programming muscle. Paul Nagle puts it through a complete workout...

Rolls RP220 & ADB3

Mic Preamp & DI Box

Paul White checks out a couple of all-valve front ends to see whether eliminating solid-state circuitry really makes a difference.

Sonic Foundry Sound Forge 3

Digital Audio Editing Software

A major upgrade of this PC program makes it appeal to amateurs and professionals alike — but also provides some exciting pointers to the future of desktop audio. Dennis Miller takes a quantum leap in the dark...

Soundtracs Topaz Project 8

Mixer & Automation Software

What can you do if you've been tempted by the automation facilities offered by digital desks like Yamaha's 02R, but your finances just won't stretch that far? In the first of two reviews of affordable automation systems in this issue, Paul White considers the Soundtracs option for those who already own an IBM-compatible PC...

Yamaha CBX-K1XG

MIDI Sound Keyboard

The CBX-K1XG looks suspiciously toy-like, but conceals a versatile GM sound source and a host of MIDI controller functions behind its simple exterior. Derek Johnson nearly loses it down the back of the sofa...

Yamaha DB50XG

PC Soundcard Daughter Board

When a musical giant like Yamaha start putting their name to daughter boards, you know something's up. Yet the DB50XG harnesses your PC soundcard's processing power as never before. Panicos Georghiades and Gabriel Jacobs dig the new breed...

People + Opinion

ALESIS: ADAT & The Future Of Technology

Interview | Manufacturer

Alesis made their name with their reverbs, but really came of age with the revolutionary ADAT digital multitrack. Paul White talks to the company's founder and President Keith Barr about the impact of ADAT, and the future of technology in music.

Choosing A Studio

How To Become A Record Producer, Part 5

An 'Unplugged' session is going to require a very different studio from a techno track bursting with MIDI bells and whistles. Beyond that, choosing a recording studio is down to that elusive spiritual ingredient, 'the vibe'. David Mellor investigates pop psychology...

GUY SIGSWORTH: Bjork Live

Interview | Engineer

You might expect Bjork's eclectic repertoire and capricious temperament to make the task of arranging and sequencing her live shows a nightmare. As Paul Tingen discovers, however, for Guy Sigsworth, that's half the fun...

IAN CATT: Kitchen Sink Music

Interview | Artist

In spite of his success producing Saint Etienne, Ian Catt hasn't left his roots behind. Richard Clewes talks to him about his work with the band, his production techniques, and how to place an SM58 in a U-bend for that ultimate 'Armitage Shanks' sound...

RIKKY ROOKSBY: Perfect Digital Recording = Monotony

Sounding Off

Music journalist Rikky Rooksby considers the effect technology is having on music, and tries to extract some of the digit from digital.

Technique

Ben Littlewood

Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed

Above & Beyond * Lonsboro * The Mobeus * Gerwyn Jones * Blurp * Forbidden Fruit * JJ Richards * OS * Slide Pheromone * Keith Thompson

Crescendo Web & Internet

Apple Notes

Internet audio is going places — and nowhere faster than for the net-surfing Mac user. Martin Russ looks at the latest developments.

Faderless Mixing

Tips & Tricks

Craig Anderton offers a few tips to help you balance your mix without relying solely on changes to relative volume levels — and gets in touch with his Neanderthal past. Additional material by Paul White.

Falcon Drives

Atari Notes

Hell hath no fury like a platform scorned, and Atari's neglect of the Falcon drives the mild-mannered Ofir Gal to rancorous recrimination....

Loom & Rexecute

Amiga Notes

It might be an unorthodox style of musicianship, but anything that adds strings to the Amiga's bow is to be welcomed. Paul Overaa gets tangled up in Loom...

Match Before You Mix, Part 1

Tips & Techniques

It can all go without a hitch; recording, overdubbing, even the mixing — but the finest ingredients do not always guarantee a feast. Paul White explains how a little forethought and planning can make all the difference to your final mixes...
• Read Part 2 (June 1996)

Mysteries Of Metering

Exploration

All mechanical meters are VU meters, all bargraph meters read peak levels — and both types will give the same reading if you feed in a test tone. Reasonable enough assumptions, but wrong on all counts, as Paul White explains.

Salvaging Archive Tape Recording

Tips & Tricks

What do you do if a valuable master tape that you've had on the shelf for the past 15 years tries to weld itself to the playback head as soon as you try to play it? Swear loudly, then pop in in a low oven, advises master chef Jean-Paul White...

Soundcards & Multimedia

PC Notes

If you thought you had hassles finding a CD-ROM drive to work with your PC, you haven't entered the soundcard zone. Brian Heywood offers a cautionary tale...

Yamaha CDE100/102 CD Writer & Digidesign Masterlist CD

Mastering On The Mac

CD-R may be the fastest growing mastering format, but its complicated zip codes and impenetrable protocols have made it anything but user friendly. As prices tumble and software evolves, however, it's an increasingly accessible medium. Mike Collins explains how he's mastered mastering on his Mac...

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