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Prizes kindly donated by Olympus. Tel: +44 (0) 1923 831100. www.olympus.co.uk
Like the venerable Yamaha NS10, this nearfield design puts accurate time-domain response at centre stage - but what does that mean for your mixes? ?????
MIDI + Audio Sequencer For Windows
Acoustica's inexpensive and easy-to-use sequencer continues to impress with the addition of MIDI tracks and VST Instrument support.
Modular Rackmount Processors
If you want quality outboard in a compact frame, modular systems are the way to go. Find out how Audient's offering compares with the rest.
Analysis, EQ & Dynamics Processors
Ever wanted to analyse every track in a project at once, or record their dynamic variations as MIDI Controller information? Blue Cat Audio's unusual plug-ins implement some original and very clever features.
Multi-pattern FET Microphone
Building in China, then disassembling in the US and replacing parts seems a long-winded way to go about building a mic... but there might just be some sense in the approach.
Clavia are as well known for their instruments' red livery as they are for the quality of their virtual analogue synths. The new Nord Wave has definitely got the colour scheme, but can it live up to the sonic reputation of its forebears?
MIDI Controller Keyboard
The CME UF80 offers a weighted, hammer-action 88-note keyboard at a knockdown price. Is it too good to be true?
Amp Modelling Plug-in For Pro Tools
Digidesign get into the 'virtual guitar amp' game with a plug-in that emulates a selection of classic amplifiers and cabinets in impressive detail.
Sample Library [Mac/PC]
Long considered to be terminally un-hip, string machines are on the brink of a revival. Will Gforce's VSM advance their rehabilitation?
• Peterson Strobotomp strobe guitar tuner
• Perfect Tune Bridge guitar bridge
Sample Library [Mac/PC]
With the real thing becoming ever more scarce and expensive, samples are an affordable way to the Moog synth sound. SampleMoog offers exactly this, providing extensive samples of 16 of Dr. Bob's finest.
Audio + MIDI Interface
The world is simply teeming with audio interfaces these days, so what does M-Audio's latest offering, the Fast Track Ultra, have that the others don't?
Valve Mic Preamp
Australian company Sebatron aim to start building their brand in the UK with this 'character' preamp.
DSP Plug-in Processor
The sound of an SSL console is now available in an even smaller package - and at a smaller price.
Back-electret Condenser Microphone
Can you really use a £25 mic for serious recording?
Vocoder Plug-in [Mac/PC]
Virsyn's Matrix Vocoder is one of the first plug-ins to use Steinberg's new VST3 specification. So if you want that classic vocoder sound, should you take the blue pill or the red one?
People + Opinion
Jean Michel Jarre goes back to basics in more ways than one on his most recent tour of the seminal album Oxygene. But as he attempts to do it with all of the original instruments that recorded the work — some 40 pieces of classic gear — reliability issues will surely see the French synth pioneer hoist by his own petard, right? Mais non!
On March 3rd, the world of music lost one of its pivotal figures. Norman 'Hurricane' Smith recorded the Beatles' first six albums, produced the first four Pink Floyd LPs and even enjoyed chart success in his own right.
Readers' Music Reviewed
Sponsored by breed-media.co.uk
A producer from the US who's doing very nicely in the UK, Tony Hoffer has been responsible for some of the most successful indie-rock albums of recent years.
Drum & Bass
Roni Size's New Forms revolutionised electronic music. Ten years on, he's returned to his classic album with a fresh perspective.
Jack Johnson is living proof that you don't need Auto-Tune, Beat Detective or a million overdubs to record a hit album. In fact, as engineer Robert Carranza explains, he didn't even need mains electricity...
Does playing the Internet end the A&R game?
If your gear says "professional" on the front panel, our Editor In Chief Paul White contends that it very likely is not!
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
The tools for audio slicing were overhauled in Cubase 4.1. Find out how to get the best from them.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
Pro Tools doesn't officially support macros or assignable keyboard shortcuts, but with a little know-how and a copy of QuicKeys, you can use custom key commands to bring up anything from simple menu items to complex chains of commands.
Sonar Notes & Techniques
Did you know that you can make Sonar fit your working methods like a glove, via its many customisation options? Here's our guide to just a few of the most useful.
Producers: Ray Minshull, Michael Woolcock • Engineers: James Lock, Kenneth Wilkinson
Recording opera requires a completely different approach, environment and technique to pop or rock music — a fact that has seldom been better demonstrated than in Pavarotti's 1972 recording of 'Nessun Dorma'.
We find out how much you can do in the mix when the recordings aren't up to scratch — and how much you can't!
Hear For Yourself
Links to Audio files mentioned within MAY 2008's Mix Rescue article.
Logic Notes & Techniques
Logic Pro 8 may not have new software instruments, but scratch beneath the surface and you'll discover significant improvements to what was already an impressive collection.
How To Keep Sound In & Out Of Your Studio
If sound is leaking from your studio or external noise is ruining your recordings, there are practical steps you can take to improve matters.
There's no lack of new Apple products to discuss this month, with a revamp of the company's portable line of MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and the iPhone SDK that will enable developers to create applications for what Apple hope will become the next significant platform.
The focus this month is on checking and improving the performance of your PC, with a new benchmark test just released and news of a useful tool that could help you pin down the source of latency-related problems.
SOS's crack studio squad tame unwanted reflections, track down strange noises coming from a Mac, and make some good-sounding drums sound even better!
Compressing the stereo bus can give your music coherence, smoothness and, above all, punch — but there are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary. We lead you through the minefield that is mix compression.
Ableton Live Notes & Techniques
Live 7 saw the the introduction of some powerful new features for integration with hardware instruments, effects units, and Rewire applications.
Digital Performer Notes & Techniques
We offer a clutch of hints and tips for DP users considering adding a Focusrite Liquid Mix DSP plug-in platform to their setup.
Frankfurt Musikmesse gear
News from Frankfurt Musikmesse exhibition, as well as the usual Q&A and chat from the Sound On Sound editorial team. Also, contributor Will Haas talks about mix compression, which he writes about in the May issue of SOS.