May 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Analogue Solutions SY02

Dual Multimode Filter

Gordon Reid checks out a compact filter module that won't break the bank.

Boss BR8

8-track Digital Multitracker

Boss have released a new guitarist-friendly digital eight-track, which includes not only recording, mixing and effects processing, but also guitar tuner, phrase trainer and basic drum machine. Paul White investigates...

Dbx Silver Series 386

Hybrid Dual Mic Preamp

Hugh Robjohns tries out a mic preamp from Dbx with a built-in A-D converter that is supposed to be impossible to clip...

Early Patches

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Emagic ES1

Virtual Analogue Synth

Emagic's inexpensive analogue synth emulation for Logic Audio and Micrologic AV comes under scrutiny from Paul White.

Emu Systems ESI2000

Sampler

With rival sampler manufacturers currently battling it out at the lower end of the market, Emu's latest bid for budget supremacy is the successor to their ESI32 and ESI4000 — the ESI2000. Paul Farrer takes it easy.

Helpful Music Analogue Synthesis Actual Reality & Audio Recording For Profit: The Sound Of Money

Studio Essentials

This month, the SOS team check out some insightful tips and tricks from a synthesis video and a book on how to make money from your music.

JBL LSR25P

Active Monitors

The latest addition to JBL's LSR series of monitor speakers is a small nearfield two-way active system. Hugh Robjohns lends them his ears.

Korg MS2000

Analogue Modelling Synthesizer

Korg have been at the forefront of analogue modelling technology, but the new MS2000 is their first instrument to mimic the style as well as the sound of their analogue classics, right down to its incorporation of a virtual patching system. Derek Johnson powers it up.

Kurzweil XM1 Expression Mate

MIDI Processor

MIDI can be a creative tool as well as a functional one, and Kurzweil's new stand-alone ribbon controller is designed to help you exploit its artistic possibilites. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser open up a new world of expression.

Lexicon Studio Core 2 & MP100

Soundcard & Reverb & Effects Card

Lexicon's reverbs are highly regarded by many musicians, and their new Core 2 combines them with multi-channel analogue and digital I/O to create an affordable computer recording system. Martin Walker tries it out.

Liquid Grooves Groove Control

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Lost In Loops

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Lovetone Ringstinger

Ring Modulator

The latest addition to Lovetone's range of bizarrely named stomp-boxes is a surprisingly well-specified ring modulator. Will it sting Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser into musical action?

Meyer Sound X10

Monitors

At around £20,000 a pair, Meyer's new X10 monitors lie well beyond the budget of most SOS readers — but the technology inside them represents a breakthrough in loudspeaker construction, and should filter down to more affordable products over the next few years. Hugh Robjohns demystifies the design...

Retrofunk

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Ridge Farm Boiler

Compressor

Ridge Farm Studios began making equipment in 1995, and have followed up their Gas Cooker DI box with the Boiler, a two-channel compressor. Paul White assesses its no-frills approach to the art of the big squeeze.

Roland MRS2 Promars

Analogue Synthesizer (Retro)

The Roland Promars helped to usher in a new era of microprocessor-controlled analogue synthesizer, but has subsequently been all but forgotten. Gordon Reid remembers the world's only 'Compuphonic' monosynth.

Sennheiser MKH800

Extended-bandwidth Studio Microphone

High sample-rate recording formats offer an extended audio bandwidth, but there are currently few microphones with a frequency response to match. Hugh Robjohns tries out the first commercial studio microphone designed specifically to address this new market.

Steinberg Cubasis VST

Digital Recording Software

The most affordable of Steinberg's MIDI + Audio sequencing packages has just received a thorough overhaul, to the point where it now incorporates some features not yet found in the full PC version of Cubase. Maritin Walker tries out the new Cubasis VST.

Steinberg GRM Tools

Plug-in Suite

Martin Walker checks out a suite of four plug-ins (Band Pass, Comb Filters, PitchAccum and Shuffling) from Steinberg: GRM Tools.

TC Electronic D-two

Digital Delay

A studio effects processor dedicated solely to providing digital delay is a rare thing in this age of all-singing, all-dancing multi-effects units. Paul White tries out TC Electronic's affordable D-Two.

Watkins Copicat

Echo Unit

Paul White is transported back in time by the sights, sounds and smells of the new digital Watkins Copicat echo unit.

Yamaha D24 MO

Disk-based High-resolution Digital Multitracker

The eight-track digital recorder has become a standard building block at virtually every level of the recording industry, and a wide range of tape and hard disk-based devices is available. Now Yamaha have extended the choice with a machine built around a 640Mb magneto-optical drive. Hugh Robjohns takes it for a spin...

People + Opinion

ALAN MOULDER: Recording Nine Inch Nails & Smashing Pumpkins

Interview | Producer/Engineer

As a producer and engineer, Alan Moulder has been responsible for some of the most sonically innovative rock music of recent years. In a rare interview he talks to Richard Buskin about his approach to recording and working with Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins.

AUDIA PRODUCTION SERVICES: Music Technology Education

Sounding Off

Audia Production Services work within the music industry and lecture on many different Music Technology courses. In this article they raise concerns about the current developments in Music Technology education.

Mac OS X Front-end For Linux

Cutting Edge

Dave Shapton muses on the possibility of Apple's OS X becoming a desktop front-end for Linux, and explores the consequences of a new wireless communications protocol for musicians.

MELVIN & ADRIAN DUFFY: Brothernature

Readerzone

SOS meet the owners of another home/project studio.

NATHAN McCREE & MATT KEMP: Music For Computer Games

Interview | Composer

Fifteen years ago, the idea that writing music for computer games could put you in the freame for a major Hollywood film-scoring job would have seemed laughable. But it's exactly what has happened to Nathan McCree and Matt Kemp. Paul White travelled to their Oxfordshire studio to unearth more...

NICK BRACEGIRDLE: Recording Chicane's 'Don't Give Up'

Interview | Artist/Producer

Matt Bell talks to the man behind Chicane, and unravels the story of a Bryan Adams vocal mangled into anonymity by an unreliable vocoder, and a number one hit produced in a home studio without so much as a patchbay to its name.

Technique

Arranger & Orchestra or Sequencer & Sound Modules?

Q & A

Q. Should I hire an arranger and an orchestra, or invest in a sequencer and some sound modules?
Q. How good are laptop PCs for music?
Q. What is phase, and how can it be used to line up analogue recorders?

Free Internet Access

Apple Notes

To upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question — Vic Lennard provides some of the answers...

Free Internet Access

Net Notes

As Internet and telecom companies flood the market with attractive-looking offers of 'free unlimited Internet access', many people have been left wondering whether there's any catch, and if not, then which one to choose. Dave Shapton sheds some light on these new services and puts the economics of free Internet access under the microscope.

Interfacing Analogue & Digital Equipment

Tips & Tricks

When is the professional signal level no longer standard? When you want to connect to digital equipment! Hugh Robjohns explains the mysteries of exchanging signals between analogue and digital domains.

M

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson explores the mysteries of M, a renowned algorithmic composition tool that's now free to Atari users.

PC Solutions For MIDI Musicians

Tips & Tricks

Martin Walker looks at hardware and software solutions available for those who just want to use their PC for MIDI sequencing.

Perceptual Coding: How Mp3 Compression Works

Exploration

Most of us are aware that MP3 encoding offers a way of drastically reducing the size of digital audio files while preserving reasonable sound quality. But how many of us know how it works? Paul Sellars explains the theory behind MP3, and offers some tips on making your own coded files sound better.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Traces * Bagboy * Steve Thornley * Mark Malone * Horizontal Paul * Smoking Dog * The Nexus Effect * Sub:Station * D Bug * Bill Chalmers

Synth Secrets, Part 13: More On Frequency Modulation

Tips & Tricks

Last month, we examined the frankly scary maths allowing you to predict the audible effects of Frequency Modulation. This month, although the maths gets even tougher, Gordon Reid relates the theory to the practical implementation of FM synthesis on Yamaha's digital synths, as well as modular and non-modular analogues.
• Read all parts

Windows 2000

PC Notes

Martin Walker discusses Windows 2000 and speeds up his Internet downloads.

Music Business

STYLOROUGE: Designing CD Covers

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Success in the music business is, as everyone knows, as much about packaging as it is about content — but it can be hard to find the right look for your CD, especially if you're working on a tight budget. Debbie Poyser gets some advice from one of Britain's top professional sleeve designers.

Sound Advice

Reverb

Frequently Asked Questions

Even though reverberators are the most widely used studio effect, reverberation is still the subject of many of the reader queries which arrive at the SOS offices. Mike Senior answers some of the most common questions.

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