May 1997 In This Issue

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Reviews

ART Dual Levelar

Dual-channel Vactrol Compressor

Richard Waghorn takes ART's new electro-optical compressor into the studio and is genuinely surprised at the result.

Buying A Cassette Multitracker

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Despite the increasing popularity of digital recording and MIDI + Audio sequencing, the cassette multitrack is far from being dead, and many a newcomer to recording still starts his or her recording career with some form of 4-track, cassette-based studio system. Paul White and Debbie Poyser discuss the features a potential buyer should be looking for, and round up the models currently available.

Digitech VCS1

Dual-channel Dynamics Processor

The VCS1 goes for the best of both worlds, featuring a valve for warmth and character, and solid-state technology for level control. Hugh Robjohns finds out what the combination has to offer.

Elation KM201

Capacitor Microphone

In recent years, Russia has become known as a source of quality inexpensive microphones. Paul White investigates the latest creme de la Kremlin.

Emu E4X

Turbo 128-voice Stereo Sampler

A new expandability has come to Emu's professional range of samplers. Paul Wiffen lifts the bonnet of the top-of-the-range model and finds an e6400 lurking inside.

Hammond XM1 & XMC1

Organ Module & Drawbar Controller

Offering classic Hammond sounds in a rackmount format, the XM1 module, together with the optional XMc1 drawbar controller, seems the ideal space-saving solution for those unwilling to rely on sample CDs for their organ sounds. Hammond XB2 owner Nick Magnus considers the pros and cons of a transplant.

Harbeth Xpression! DPM1 & MS1

Monitor System

Janet Harniman-Cook checks out the new kid on the monitoring block and discovers a history of serious loud speaker design.

Lucid Technology NB24 & ADA1000

NuBus Digital I/0 Card & 20-bit A/D D/A converters

With new PCI audio I/O card becoming avaliable for PCI Macintoshes and newer PCs almost every month, it's good to know that those with NuBus Macintoshes aren't being totally forgotten. Mike Collins checks out the first products from Symetrix's new division, Lucid Technology.

New York City Percussion Works

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Opcode Studio 64X

Cross-platform MIDI Interface

The fist release in Opcode's new studio 'X' series is designed to help you sort out your MIDI studio, whether it's based around a Mac or PC. Martin Russ finds out whether it has the right connections.

Peter Siedlaczek's Advanced Orchestra Vol. 1-5

Sample Library

• String Ensembles * Score = 5
• Solo Strings * Score = 4
• Woodwind * Score = 5
• Brass and Effects * Score = 5
• Percussion and Harp * Score = 4

Quasimidi Rave-O-Lution 309

Synthesis System & Sequencer

Quasimidi have distilled the experience gained from their successful dance-orientated keyboards into a one-box solution of concentrated rave power. Derek Johnson gets on the ravy train.

RBF Software Octamed Soundstudio

Tracker/Sequencer Software

The release of this tracker is welcome news for Amiga users, but it's also a glimpse of things to come on the PC platform. Amiga expert Paul Overaa puts the package through its paces.

Roland TR808

Rhythm Composer (Retro)

Few electronic instruments are still as desirable, 16 years after their launch, as the 808, and even fewer become famous enough to have a band named after them. Chris Carter hits the perfect beat.

Roland VS880

V-Xpanded Digital Multitrack

The price remains the same, but Roland's VS880 is now different in many ways. Original 880 owner Paul Nagle's movin' on up...

SoundTech PL200

Power Amplifier

Power amps certainly can't be classed as particularly exciting, but they're a necessary part of the project studio, and if you've got to have one, you might as well make sure it's powerful and quiet. Martin Walker checks out one of the strong silent types...

Spirit Absolute 4P

Active Monitors

Active monitoring used to be the preserve of those with quite a lot of money to spend on their studio speakers. Recently, though, it's become a lot more affordable. Hugh Robjohns powers up the 4Ps and undergoes a spiritual experience.

TEAC CD-R50S

CD-writer

Mac CD-writing has a head start over the PC, but recent arrivals like the TEAC CD-R50S come with both Mac and PC CD software as standard. Martin Walker plugs one in to see if writing your own CD is as easy as people make out.

Techno Mage Life

Interactive Sound Generator

It's small, it's semi-circular, and it flashes, bleeps and wurbles. Derek Johnson wonders where it's been all his life..

Waves Audio Track

TDM Plug-in

Paul White Checks over Waves' multi-process plug-in for Digidesign TDM systems, Macromedia Deck II and Adobe Premiere.

Yamaha MU90R

GM/XG Tone Generator

Yamaha have scooped the insides out of their well-specified MU80 half-rack GM/XG sound module and transplanted them into a full rack case, with a few extra features aimed at making the resulting MU90R stand out from the GM crowd. Christopher Holder is generally impressed.

People + Opinion

BANCO DE GAIA: Last Train To Learning

Interview | Artist

Leading ambient housemeister Banco de Gaia has just completed his eagerly awaited new studio album. Jonathan Miller finds him changing tracks as he steams towards greater success.

GODRIC WILKIE: Finding Information

Sounding Off

"Please read the manual!" runs the time-honoured advice — but what do you do when the information you need just isn't anywhere to be found? Godric Wilkie has a pertinent tale to tell and a plea to make...

JOHN LECKIE: True Brit

Interivew | Producer

In his first interview since winning the coveted 'Best Producer' award at this year's Brits, John Leckie joins Mark Cunningham in Abbey Road Studio 2 to discuss his 27-year career and the making of Cast's new album, Mother Nature Calls.

Releasing Your Own Album

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Big George Webley looks at how you can add to the worldwide success of the British music industry.

Technique

Analogue Multitrack

Exploration

Just as analogue synths fell temporarily from grace in the face of digital synthesis technology, so analogue tape seems to be succumbing to the digital recording revolution. But David Mellor argues that a wise musician is one who learns the lessons of fickle fashion...

Analogue Tape Machine Maintenance

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Regular maintenance can not only ensure that your analogue recorder gives years of reliable service, but can also immeasurably improve the quality of the recordings you make with it. Hugh Robjohns retires to the test department and meets the challenge head-on...

Analogue Tape Machines

Exploration

Hugh Robjohns dons his technical head and invites you on a guided tour of what makes an analogue tape recorder tick...

Apple Desktop Buss Mouse II; Rhapsody; MacOS

Apple Notes

Martin Russ takes stock of price drops, take-over rumours, and in some cases, the end of the line.

Hardware Add-ons For Falcon & ST

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson keeps the Atari flag flying with tidings of some hardware add-ons for both Falcon and ST, plus a neat freeware package that turns your Atari into a guitar tuner...

PC Crash Recovery

Tips & Tricks

Even the best-regulated computer can suddenly turn nasty. Martin Walker guides you through the ways to recover when you're faced with a blank screen and a frozen mouse.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Unreality * Heed * Palma Violets * Love Swing * Mar Wood * Ally Robinson * Graham Wright * Dili Dali Doyles * Paul M Mangru * Bloom * De Facto

Psychoacoustic Enhancers

Exploration

Paul White looks at the different ways in which the leading enhancers produce their results, and offer some practical advice on where the various types work best.

Sound Synthesis On A Computer, Part 2

Exploration

Dennis Miller concludes his short series on computer-based synthesizers by looking at some hybrid software/hardware synthesis systems, and introducing the powerful software synth language CSound.
• Read Part 1 (April 1997)

Steinberg Cubase

Tips & Tricks

Niels Larsen, Steinberg's Sales and Marketing manager, lets you in on some crafty ways of using Cubase.

Windows '95 Resource Kit; MIDIman; PC Future

PC Notes

Taking over the PC Notes hot seat, Martin Walker looks at the future of the PC audio, and exposes a few problem areas for soundcards.

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