May 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

Access Virus

Virtual Analogue Synthesizer

Offering more multitimbrality than its virtual analogue rivals, plus a combination of knobs for instant gratification and an LCD for accessing more advanced features, will the Virus leave the competition feeling a little sick? Paul Nagle finds out.

Alesis ADAT XT20

Digital 8-track Recorder

Paul White checks over the new 20-bit Alesis ADAT XT20, to see whether it wil really help us make better recordings or just allow us to record our low-level hum and noise more accurately!

Audio Technica 30 Series

Microphones

Paul White gets an earful of a new range of quality mics that goes easy on the pocket but doesn't compromise on sound.

Audio Technica ATM23HE

High-energy Dynamic Mic

Beyer MCD100

Digital Condenser Microphone

Beyerdynamic have become the first mainstream manufacturer to offer the audio industry a practical digital microphone. Hugh Robjohns investigates the MCD100 to see if it represents the future of recording technology.

Blue Chip Axon AX100

MIDI Guitar Converter

MIDI guitar has a long and chequered history, litered with great expectations and expensive failures. Dave Lockwood investigates the latest contender to see if it really is able to bring something genuinely new to the field.

Clavia Nord Modular Virtual Analogue Modular Synthesizer, Part 2

Exploration

Paul Nagle concludes his look at Clavia's groundbreaking new Nord Modular.

Digitech Vocalist Performer

Vocal Harmony Processor

This new Vocalist has been designed to be easier to use than ever. Martin Walker sings up a storm in three-part harmony...

Double Platinum Rock Piano

Sample Library

* Score = 2.5

Dynaudio BM15A

Powered Monitors

Paul White listens to Dynaudio's latest powered nearfield monitors and counts the days until he has to give them back.

Fostex COP2

Optical/Balanced Digital Converter

Fostex DP8

Digital Switcher

Paul White tries a simple but useful digital switching system that can be used with s/PDIF or ADAT-format signals.

Guitar Odyssey

Sample Library

* Score = 4

JoeMeek VC5 Meequaliser

3-band EQ

While this outboard EQ provides little more than a decent desk EQ in the way of facilities, it does have that distinctive vintage Joemeek sound at a price that won't break the bank. Paul White meeks out.

Mediatrix Audiotrix 3DXG

Soundcard

In a market already awash with soundcards, it takes a clever company to find a niche that hasn't already been filled. Martin Walker finds out what tricks this new card has up its anti-static sleeve.

MOTU FreeStyle

Sequencer

If you feel that the average sequencer makes you take off your musician's head and put on your computer programmer's head, take a look at FreeStyle. Derek Johnson is not a number, he's a free man...

Novation Supernova

Polyphonic Synthesizer Module (Preview)

Simon Trask previews the Supernova, Novation's most ambitious synthesizer module to date.

Roland VS840

Digital 8-track Workstation

Digital multitrackers are now nothing new, but this one records to a built-in Zip drive using low-cost 100Mb cartridges. Duke Ashton carries on recording.

SoundTech PL602

Power Amplifier

SPL Dual-channel

Valve Signal Processor

Paul White finds that though the new Charisma has only two channels instead of eight, it's lost none of the original charm.

Symphony Of Voices

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Tascam TMD8000

Digital Console

Tascam have long been one of the big guns in the mid-range recording mixer market. Now they enter the digital mixer arena with a desk aimed at music and post-production work. Hugh Robjohns runs his digits all over it.

Yamaha EX5

Workstation Synthesizer

Yamaha's new flagship workstation mixes 'n' matches several of the company's existing synthesis technologies and throws in a new one for good measure. But have they over-extended themselves? Simon Trask spends some time with the EX5 to find out...

Zoom RhythmTrak 234

Drum Machine

New drum machines are few and far between these days, but as Nicholas Rowland discovers, this one has a lot to offer even in a world full of computer sequencers.

People + Opinion

BILL LASWELL: Re-shaping The Music Of Miles Davis

Interview | Producer

Tampering with recordings made by a musical legend like Miles Davis would be seen by many as tantamount to sacrilege. But what if you believed, like producer Bill Laswell, that the music in question had never been heared as it should be? Paul Tingen gets the inside story.

BOB MOOG: Pioneering Synths

Interview | Manufacturer

Paul White talks to one of the seminal figures of the electronic music era, pioneering synthesizer designer Bob Moog.

JOHN ORAM: Father Of British EQ

Interview | Designer/Producer/Musician

John Oram now puts hsi name to his own range of mixers and studio outboard, after a varied career including many years of design experience with some of the big names in British audio. Paul White enjoys a slice of sonic history.

PAUL JOHNSON: Computers Vs Hardware

Sounding Off

Paul Johnson has made up his mind; once in a while, he is resolved to spurn the seductive charms of his computer. And when it moans and refuses to work properly, he won't be putting up with any of its nonsence. Here's why...

The Truth About Demos, Part 1

Exploration

In the first of a two-part series, Big George looks at Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, getting signed to a record company on the strength of sending out a demo, and other fairy tales...
• Read Part 2 (June 1998)

VINCE HILL: Recording Ripples Of Change

Interview | Artist

Most of us are aware that sticking on a favourite CD can cheer you up after a terrible day, but many baulk at the concept that music can actually help to heal your mind and body, despite the growing evidence to support this theory. Debbie Poyser & Derek Johnson investigate, and meet a man whose music is composed with the intention of making you feel a whole lot better...

Technique

All About Digital Audio, Part 1

Exploration

Digital recording systems have been in everyday use now for nearly 20 years, and such systems have become affordable to the project studio owner within the last decade. But what actually is digital recording, how does it work, and are the claims made about its sonic perfection justified? In the first of this new series, Hugh Robjohns revisits the technology and techniques involved.
• Read Part 2 (June 1998)
• Read Part 3 (July 1998)
• Read Part 4 (August 1998)
• Read Part 5 (September 1998)
• Read Part 6 (October 1998)

Creating Multiple Booting PC Environments

Tips & Tricks

Music and games software doesn't normally tend to mix very well on the same PC. Martin Walker tries out a selection of ways to achieve harmony.

D-sound Pro 3.5 Beta

Apple Notes

Martin Russ checks out some worthwhile shareware, explains the benefits of registration, and nudges his mouse.

Effective Drum Programming, Part 4

Tips & Techniques

Even a killer rhythm pattern won't make the grade if it's played with lacklustre sounds. In the concluding part of this series, Nicholas Rowland puts on his sound designer's head and explains how you can re-tread your tired timbres...
• Read Part 1 (February 1998)
• Read Part 2 (March 1998)
• Read Part 3 (April 1998)

EIDE; CD-R

PC Notes

This month Martin Walker prepares to burn his own CD-R disks, discusses the merits of the rewritable variety, and reports back from the Frankfurt MusikMesse.

Electronic Cow EC909

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson homes in on dedicated Atari software developers Electronic Cow, who, fortunately, haven't been affected by the EU ban on British beef...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Headhunters * Robert Eyre * Carl's Connection * The Wrecking Co * Three Lovely Colours * Phil Lewis * Synthetic Reality * The Usual Suspects * Tripp * The Saints Of Eden * Chrome

Practical Guide To Making CDs

Tips & Tricks

Mike Collins offers a step-by-step practical guide to using several software packages designed to help you work more effectively with CD writers.

Practical Studio Soundproofing, Part 4

Tips & Techniques

If you have the space, the time and the money, the best sound isolation can be achieved by building a room within a room. Paul White explains what's involved.
• Read Part 1 (February 1998)
• Read Part 2 (March 1998)
• Read Part 3 (April 1998)

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