May 2007 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN: TF Pro P38 stereo optical compressor

Deadline: 2007-05-31

This month, thanks to our friends at UK distributors Unity Audio, the winner of the SOS competition will receive a TF Pro P38, a stereo optical compressor that builds on the design of Fletcher's P8 'Edward The Compressor' (reviewed in April 2004's SOS). As testament to the quality of the P38's predecessor, the only 'con' identified by the reviewer then was that it was red! Fans of more traditional-looking outboard gear will be pleased to hear that, as well as adding stereo VU meters and an extended ratio range (1.2:1 through to 100:1), the P38 comes in an attractive dark blue, with cream backgrounds for the VU meters, which gives it an unmistakably classy look. It's also got Balance and Stereo Width controls, the latter of which ranges from mono to 150 percent 'enhanced' stereo.

Reviews

Akai MPC500

Sampling Workstation

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Akai's famed Music Production Centre goes mini...

Analogue Systems Synthesis Modules

RS420 Octave Controller • RS100 MkII Low-pass Filter • RS370 Poly Harmonic Generator

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Analogue Systems' modules continue to develop and evolve. We take a look at a selection of the latest designs.

API 5500

Dual-channel Equaliser

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API remind us that the best analogue gear is still that bit more classy than some digital recreations...

Audix i5

Dynamic Microphone

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Looking for a workhorse dynamic mic? Audix offer a good alternative to the usual suspects...

Digidesign Digi 003

Control Surface & Audio/MIDI Interface [Mac/PC]

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Digidesign's LE range has received a comprehensive overhaul in the last year, and the new flagship 003 and 003 Rack incorporate many improvements over their predecessors.

Echo Audiofire 4

Firewire Audio Interface For Mac & PC

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If you have a compact setup, you might need a compact audio and MIDI interface. Is Echo's Audiofire 4 just the thing for the spatially challenged studio?

Eminent 310 String Synthesizer

Retrozone

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The world's first commercially available string synthesizer, the Eminent 310, came from an unlikely source, a Dutch home organ manufacturer. It was further advanced through an even more unlikely partnership, with the legendary American synth makers ARP...

Guitar Technology

Little Labs Redeye DI / Reamping Box

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Little Labs' Redeye gets the GT once-over, while we also offer some handy tips and look at the latest ppedals from Eventide.

Line 6 Toneport KB37

Keyboard Controller & USB Audio Interface

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Aimed primarily at guitarists who need audio interfacing and a keyboard, the KB37 seems to have a lot to offer for the price. We find out how it measures up.

Mackie 1642 VLZ3

16-channel Analogue Mixer

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Mackie's VLZ Pro mixers gained a reputation for punching above their weight. Could this next generation do even better?

Plug-in Folder

Xponaut • Waves • Noveltech

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• Xponaut Voice Tweaker 4; Waves Maxx Volume • Noveltech Vocal Enhancer

Roland MC808

Sampling Groovebox

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Roland take their MC concept further with new features, flying faders and computer integration. Let's explore...

Rollosonic

Mouse-controlled Soft Synth [Windows]

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When it comes to hands-on control, we're used to being told that the mouse is a poor substitute for knobs and faders. This unique soft synth might just change all that...

Sample Libraries On Test

Sample Shop

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• VSL Appassionata Strings/Bösendorfer Imperial • Loopmasters Urban Soul • Canira Music International The Essence Of Panflute

Sontronics Sigma

Active Ribbon Microphone

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It's not just about retro styling: the Sigma offers plenty of 'vintage' warmth too...

Studio Essentials

Towersonic Speaker Stands • Book Reviews

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• Towersonic Speaker Stands • Book: The Insider Audio Bathroom Reader by Paul D. Lehrman • Book: Understanding and Crafting the Mix: The Art of Recording by WM Moylan.

TC Electronic Konnekt 24D

Firewire Audio & MIDI Interface For Mac & PC

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TC Electronic are well respected for their range of effects processors, so what might the company's first audio/MIDI interface, the Konnekt 24D, offer to make it stand out amongst the Firewire crowd?

Yamaha MSP7

Active Studio Monitors

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If you want a modern take on the classic NS10, this Yamaha monitor might be just what you're looking for.

People + Opinion

Bryan-Michael Cox

Writing & Producing R&B

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Songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Bryan-Michael Cox is one of the world's leading hitmakers.

Lap Of The Gods?

Leader

SOS Editor In Chief Paul White reveals more of his inner thoughts...

Mark Ronson

Writer & Producer (Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse)

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His family might be rock royalty, but Mark Ronson has had to carve out his own path in the music business. His work has paid off thanks to huge hits with Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, and he's about to unleash one of the most surprising covers albums ever made.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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Another round-up of your compositions...

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Chris Lord-Alge

My Chemical Romance 'Welcome To The Black Parade'

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With its 150-plus tracks encompassing everything from a marching band to a children's choir, it took a special talent to craft a hard-hitting, radio-friendly mix from My Chemical Romance's 'Welcome To The Black Parade'. Enter Chris Lord-Alge...

Sounding Off: Paul Thomson

You've got to humanise!

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You've got to humanise!

Technique

Classic Tracks: Charlie Rich 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World'

Producer: Billy Sherrill • Engineer: Lou Bradley

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1973's 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World' was one of the defining moments of the Nashville sound, and was the product of a finely-honed studio recording process.

Drum Triggering

Cubase Tips & Techniques

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If you've ever wanted a cheap and easy way to do drum replacement with Cubase, there are some good solutions out there...

Effects: All You Need To Know... And A Little Bit More

Sound Workshop

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Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's always something to learn about adding colour to your mix.

Exploring Reason's BV512 Vocoder

Reason Tips & Techniques

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Reason's BV512 is pretty sophisticated as vocoders go, and is capable of much more than Sparky's Magic Piano-style voice effects. Find out more...

Logic Performance Tweaks & Maintenance

Logic Tips & Techniques

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We all want our software to be fast and responsive, and there are simple things that can be done to enhance Logic's performance in this respect. Our guide shows you how.

Mix Rescue: Wild Hope

'One Step Backwards'

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How much treble is too much? As this month's Mix Rescue discovers, it's easy to overdo things at the recording stage, but not quite so easy to correct them at the mix.

Mix Rescue: Wild Hope | Audio Files

Hear For Yourself

These audio files demonstrate some of the mix processing used to create the Wild Hope remix.

PC Spring Cleaning

PC Musician

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Your PC may well be the nerve-centre of your studio, so keeping it in top condition is worth a bit of effort. Read on for the SOS guide to inner and outer PC cleanliness.

PCI Soundcard Compatibility Issues

PC Notes

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Your much-loved elderly PCI soundcard may be working perfectly, but might still have to go on the scrapheap if you upgrade your PC. Why? It's all down to the PCI specification and the location of your notches...

Samplitude: Object-based Processing

Samplitude Tips & Techniques

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All digital audio workstations offer a 'virtual mixer' for balancing, EQ'ing and processing the elements of your mix, but Samplitude augments it with a powerful alternative.

Studio SOS: John Farrell

Optimising A Student's Bedroom Studio

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The team take a trip up north to a multi-student household in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

The Low-down On Analogue Interfacing

Cabling, Connectors, Patchbays & Levels

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With so much focus on computer workstations these days, wiring up analogue gear is becoming a bit of a lost art, but don't fear: all you need to know is here.

Understanding Dither In Digital Performer

Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

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If you're serious about digital audio you need to know about dither — both what it is and when to use it. So here it is: the SOS Digital Performer dither primer.

Using Sonar's ACT With Hardware Controllers

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Ever wished you could use your favourite control surface to change not just mixer controls, but effects plug-in parameters and virtual instrument settings? Apparently someone at Cakewalk has too...

What's New In Pro Tools 7.3 - Part 2

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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In last month's overview of the new features in Pro Tools 7.3, we saw that some of them deserve a more in-depth look. Here's what you can do with Key Signatures, the new Dynamic Transport Mode, and enhanced editing and video functions.

Xserve For Music?

Apple Notes

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This month we take a look at Apple's Xserve as a platform for music and audio production, and continue creating a custom music-controlled 'visualisation' with Quartz Composer.

Sound Advice

Q. Do I need to use a DI box?

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I have just started playing mandolin in a live band, and we're currently touring the UK. However, although my mandolin is...

Q. How do I author Surround Audio to disc?

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I understand how to record and mix music for surround, but how do I burn an audio-only disc to share my surround mixes with others on their domestic systems?

Q. How do I maximise loudness on tracks?

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I have been recording music for quite a few years now, but I always get the same problem when I listen back to my mixes:...

Q. Is ADAT format better than USB or Firewire?

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I've noticed that many audio interfaces have an ADAT option for getting more tracks into a DAW. I was wondering how would I go about setting this up and whether ADAT is better quality than Firewire or USB?

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