May 2003 In This Issue

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Reviews

Alto Alto Q

Five-band Parametric EQ

Five bands of parametric EQ plus useful high-pass and low-pass filters, all for a bargain price.

AMG Simeon Dirt Bag

Sample Library

4*

BSP Europe Logic Keyboard

Dedicated QWERTY keyboard

Make the most of Emagic Logic's keyboard shortcuts with this dedicated QWERTY keyboard.

Cobwebb Griff Pocket PC Sequencer

As musicians rely on computers more and more, we look at an innovative system that isn't so much a studio in a box as a studio in your pocket.

Digidesign Pro Tools 6

Audio & MIDI Recording Software

The major audio and MIDI recording applications are slowly migrating to Mac OS X, and the latest to arrive is Digidesign's Pro Tools. The upgrade also introduces powerful new project management features, Groove Template functionality and a more powerful LE version.

Focusrite ISA428

Four-channel Mic Preamp

Focusrite's new preamp offers variable input impedance and an optional multi-channel A-D converter board.

GEM Promega 3

Performance Keyboard

GEM have made all kinds of keyboards, from organs to home keyboards to synth workstations. Their latest incorporates physical-modelling technology, samples of famous instruments, effects, and plenty of real-time control options to form a 320-note polyphonic monster.

Homegrown Sounds

Sample Library

4*

Kurzweil KSP8

Multi-channel Signal Processor

Kurzweil bring flexible multi-channel effects hardware within the reach of many more home studio owners.

Lassence µVentury II

Patchable Analogue Modular Synth System

Belgian company Lassence are seeking to gain recognition as a small modular synth manufacturer with their new patchable µVentury II system. But there's plenty of competition in the homegrown analogue market these days. Does the µVentury II have what it takes?

Peterson VS1 Virtual Strobe Tuner

When 'close enough' is just not good enough, you need a strobe tuner. Too expensive? Too bulky? Not when it's this palm-sized 'virtual' strobe.

Radikal Technologies SAC 2.2

Multi-platform Moving-fader Controller

Moving-fader controllers for computer-based studios are big news at present, and Radikal's SAC 2.2 can be used with a wide range of software sequencers and instruments. Jack of all trades, or master of none? We find out...

Reliability Of Hard Drives; Innovative Video-related Products

Cutting Edge

While hard drives have become the de facto data storage medium in the studio, tape is often still used for outside work, occasionally alongside a hard disk system as backup. This month, we look at the reliability of hard drives and investigate some innovative video-related products from Sony, which could soon be commonplace in the audio world.

Roland V-Synth

Variphrase Synthesizer

The V-Synth is a classic case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. None of its impressive features are new — they've all been seen on previous Roland products — but nevertheless, it's the best new synth in years. We explain why...

Roland VS2400

Digital Studio Workstation

Roland offer a downsized version of their flagship VS2480, providing all of the most important facilities at a much lower price point.

SE Electronics Z5600

Valve Microphone

A nine-pattern valve mic at a surprisingly low price.

Sonic Foundry CD Architect v5

Red Book CD-burning Application For Windows

It's been some time since Sonic Foundry's powerful and easy-to-use CD-burning application was updated, but the new version 5 promises wider compatibility and many new features.

Tascam DSM7.1

Digital Surround Monitor Controller

A professional surround monitoring controller for a variety of speaker configurations up to 7.1

Tekniks Rizing Drum & Bass

Sample Library

4*

Terratec Producer EWS Mic 2 & Mic 8

Eight-channel Preamps & Audio Interfaces For PC

Terratec's new professional division are looking to make a splash with their rackmounting multi-channel A-D/D-A converters, which feature SPL-designed mic amps and close integration with their EWS 88MT soundcard.

Vienna Symphonic Library

Vienna Symphonic Library Orchestral Cube & Performance Set First Editions

The Vienna Symphonic Library is more than just a sample library — it's a tool that aims to help you create true-sounding orchestral performances of your own music. But are we talking Berlin Philharmonic or Portsmouth Symphonia?

Yamaha MSP10 Studio

Powered Monitors

Yamaha's newest powered monitors deliver a solid and detailed performance, even at high playback levels.

People + Opinion

Business End

More SOS readers tracks get the MPG treatment

Mana Erg; Jazzman; Coy

Chad Kroeger & Nickelback

Pieces Of Silver

Heavy rockers Nickelback have enjoyed amazing success with their multi-platinum album Silver Side Up. Frontman Chad Kroeger is not only their main songwriter, but also plays an active role in production and looks after an expanding business empire.

Demo Doctor

Readers demos reviewed

Ariel Lerner = Top Demo.
Delta 400
Subtronix; Amnesia Valley; Lazarus Clamp; DD.

Leader

It's Not Over Until The Fat Computer Sings

Paul White pontificates...

Richard Chappell: Recording Peter Gabriel's Up

Catching Up

Engineer Richard Chappell has been at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios for over 15 years — and he's spent seven of them working on Gabriel's latest solo album.

Tim Geraghty Of BMG Production Music

The Big Production

Production music will never be glamorous, but it can be very lucrative. As head of music production at one of the UK's largest libraries, Tim Geraghty is in the perfect position to offer advice to SOS readers with an eye on this market.

What Makes Great Records?

Sounding Off

In the calculating world of the hitmakers, the science of pop conquers all. So why doesn't it all add up to great records?

Technique

12-inch Powerbook & iBook

Apple Notes

Apple's new 12-inch Powerbook seems perfect for musicians who are unable to afford a Titanium, but need something more powerful than an iBook. However, with the 800MHz G3 iBook now available at a new low price, is the extra cost of a Powerbook justified in terms of its performance?

Automation Facilities

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

This month we begin a two-part tutorial explaining Pro Tools' powerful facilities for automating your mix.

Avoiding Delay; Sample Edit Window; floating Fader Window

Logic Notes

There are various places in a Logic-based studio where processing delays occur, and these can really mess with the groove of your tracks, so this month we show you how to keep everything properly lined up. Also, there's the usual sackful of user tips and a clever way for v5 users to mimic one of the most useful features in v6.

DP4 & Machfive; WaveArts MasterVerb; The Oddity

Performer Notes

A closer look at Digital Performer for OS X (which shall henceforth be known as DP4), and MachFive, plus the latest MAS plug-in releases.

Installing Memory

PC Notes

Installing more memory in your computer is a seemingly easy task, yet there can be so many issues to bear in mind that are often overlooked.

Is It Possible To Build A Silent PC?

PC Musician

As studio computers get faster, they grow noisier. Is it possible to build a machine that\'s not just quieter than a standard PC, but completely inaudible?

Logical Editor Window

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

The Logical Editor window is a powerful way to process MIDI data in Cubase, although it can often appear daunting to new users. What's more, it provides excuses for writers to dust off their Mr Spock quotes.

Monitoring & Acoustic Treatment

Studio Installation Workshop

It's little use spending money on fancy mics, processors and plug-ins if your speakers are badly placed and your room's frequency response has more peaks than the Himalayas! So this month we'll be looking at practical ways to improve your recording and listening environments.

Q & A

What are formants? Can I mount my speakers in the corner behind panels? Are digital filters simply delay effects? Can you suggest a good second-hand digital multitrack recorder? Can you advise on a small run of CDs for a commercial release? What is meant by partials, harmonics, overtones, inharmonics and enharmonic in synthesis? How can I get a good level and match my preamp's outputs to my soundcard's inputs? How can I remove clicks when joining two audio clips on my computer? How do I compensate for latency on my digital desk? Is 'dynamic range' the same as signal-to-noise ratio? What settings should I use for compressing rap vocals?

Sequencer EQ Masterclass

Using Your Sequencer's Equalisers

There are many choices to make when equalising within your sequencer. Which type of EQ is best? How should you set up the different bands? Which controls do you need? This month, we provide the answers.

Sonar Notes: ASIO Support; Dithering

Sonar Notes

This month we explore Sonar's new ASIO support, explain the advantages of recording dry while monitoring with effects, and shed some light on the knotty topic of dithering.

Studio SOS

Dave Stevens' home studio

This month the SOS team visit reader Dave Stevens' home studio to sort out a chesty vocal sound, investigate a mystery digital buzz, and hand out some mastering tips.

Synth Secrets: Practical Bowed-string Synthesis

Synth Secrets

Having looked at the mechanics of how a bowed string instrument generates its sound last month, it's time to put these principles into practice, using nothing more complex than a miniKorg 700 monophonic synth...

The Future Of MIDI & Audio?

mLAN & Yamaha's 01X Music Production Studio

With the recent announcement of Yamaha's keenly priced 01X Music Production Studio, it looks as though mLAN, the Firewire-based protocol for multi-channel digital audio and MIDI, might be about to come of age. We take an early look at the new system.

The Musician's Guide To PCI Slots & Interrupts

Hitting The Slot

Which PCI slots you use for your expansion cards can make the difference between a music computer that runs flawlessly and one plagued by clicks, pops, crackles and interference.

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