May 2014 In This Issue

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Competition

Win! Universal Audio Apollo Quad & all UAD plug-ins

Deadline: 2014-06-03

Thumbnail for article: Win! Universal Audio Apollo Quad & all UAD plug-insFantastic chance to Win Universal Audio Apollo Quad & all UAD plug-ins in May's Issue Competition.

Reviews

Spotlight: Secondary Monitors

The Square Route

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Full-range monitoring is all well and good, but many engineers swear by the use of a secondary 'grot box' monitor system. Here's a roundup of some of the contenders.

Appworks

Making Music On The Move

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This month's Apps include: Sonoma Wire works GuitarTone 2.2, IK Multimedia GrooveMaker 2 and the Peterson iStrobosoft.   

ART Auto‑Tune Pre

Mic Preamp With Pitch Correction

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This combination of preamp and Auto‑Tune processor could be just the thing for adding a radio‑friendly sheen to your live performances.

Audio-Technica ATH M50x

Closed-back Headphones

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The ATH M50 has long been a studio favourite. Is this new x-series version a worthwhile improvement?

Big Fish Audio Guitar Sessions: Indie & Alternative Kontakt Instrument

Sample Library

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Although Guitar Sessions is available as a 5.8GB collection of WAV, REX and Apple Loops files, in this review we are looking...

Clavia Nord Drum 2

Modelling Percussion Synthesizer

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If the original Nord Drum was good, the sequel might just be perfect...

Electro Harmonix Soul Food Overdrive Pedal

Overdrive Pedal

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Just what the world needs, right? Another overdrive pedal... Well, in the case of the Electro-Harmonix Soul Food the answer...

Elektron Analog Keys

Analogue Synthesizer

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Elektron have followed up their Analog Four with a fully fledged analogue keyboard.

FBT StageMaxx 12MA

Active Monitor

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Don't be fooled by its diminutive dimensions: this powered monitor from Italian company FBT punches way above its weight.

Genelec M040

Active Monitors

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Genelec's eco-friendly approach to monitor design continues, with the launch of the new flagship M Series speakers.

Humanoid Sound Systems Enzyme

Software Synthesizer For Mac OS & Windows

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Innovation in synthesis is alive and well — and can whip up extraordinary sounds at the touch of a button.

Jam Origin MIDI Guitar

Guitar‑to‑MIDI Software For Mac OS, Windows & iOS

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Hardware systems for generating MIDI output from guitars are often expensive, impractical and unreliable. Jam Origin's revolutionary software alternative is none of these things.

JZ Microphones J1

Cardioid Capacitor Microphone

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Latvian mic specialists JZ aim to bring their distinctive design and quality sound within reach of the masses. Have they succeeded?

Kurzweil Artis

Stage Piano

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Kurzweil instruments are often more complex than they initially appear, and that's certainly the case with the Artis...

Mackie DLM12S

Active Subwoofer

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Mackie's DLM range of compact PA speakers has gained a subwoofer. We see how it fares as part of a full-range system.

Moog Minifoogers

Analogue Processors & Effects Pedals

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Although they're intended mainly for guitarists, modular knob twiddlers could also find plenty to like about Moog's new pedals.

Mutec MC3+ Smart Clock

Master Clock

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Mutec manufacture high‑performance master clocks, and digital-format and sample‑rate converters. Everything is well designed,...

Overstayer Saturator NT 02A

Analogue Saturation Processor

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This unassuming processor reminds us how much fun can be had playing with distortion and filters!

Playback

Readers' music reviewed

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This month we review to music from Gertrude,Tycho, Richard Pinhas, Daniel Trigger, Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble, Andrew Maxwell Morris, Michael Lee and Rebecca Shearing. 

Rhythmic RobotSH Poly Kontakt Instrument

Sample Library

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Rhythmic Robot are so committed to preserving the ancient and the crotchety, I'm relying on them opening a nursing home one...

Roland VT3 Voice Transformer

Vocal Processor

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If you need authentic‑sounding robo vocals or a passable imitation of Stephen Hawking, look no further than Roland's VT3.

Sample Logic Havoc Kontakt Instrument

Sample Library

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Sample Logic's Havoc comes with the subtitle 'Tools Of Destruction' and, given that the product description suggests that it...

Sample Shop | Media

Audio files to accompany the article.

SE Electronics Magneto

Cardioid Capacitor Microphone

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SE's first back-electret microphone offers impressive performance at a surprisingly low price.

Solid State Logic Sigma

DAW-controlled Analogue Summing Mixer

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An SSL analogue mixer with automation and both DAW and iOS integration — all packed in a 2U rack space. What's not to like?

SPL Crimson

USB Interface & Monitor Controller

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SPL's Crimson combines a high‑quality interface and monitor controller into one conveniently sized box.

Toontrack EZdrummer 2

Virtual Drum Instrument

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Have Toontrack improved their popular EZdrummer software without compromising its fundamental 'easy' approach?

Tracktion 5

Music Production Software for Mac OS, Windows & Linux

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If you find conventional DAWs intimidatingly complex or unaffordable, Tracktion could be the perfect alternative.

Ueberschall Acoustic Guitar

Sample Library

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Acoustic Guitar is another addition to Ueberschall's impressive collection of sample libraries for their Elastik loop player....

U‑he Satin

Tape Emulation Plug‑in For Mac OS & Windows

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U‑he's Satin is one of the most comprehensive tape simulations yet devised.

Warm Audio WA76

Mono FET Compressor

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This is far from being the first clone of a UREI 1176 FET compressor, but it's probably the cheapest to have hit the production lines. Is any of the classic sound sacrificed in Warm's cost-cutting quest?

Yamaha MGP32X

Mixing Console

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There's much more to this mixer than meets the eye, thanks to some cleverly incorporated digital technology.

Zaor Miza 88 XL Studio Furniture

Studio Desk

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I decided recently that I needed to reorganise my 'office' — a modestly sized spare room where I do all my magazine writing,...

People + Opinion

A Helping Hand

Leader

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I'm writing this column in February, and here in the UK, half the country seems to be flooded — so terms like 'SOS' and 'Rescue' have taken on a far more serious connotation.

Inside Track: Happy

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Leslie Brathwaite

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The biggest hit of 2014 is a triumph of minimalism — and a triumph for mix engineer Leslie Brathwaite.

Node

Flood, Ed Buller, Mel Wesson & Dave Bessell: Recording Node 2

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Consisting of two big-name producers, a Hollywood composer and an academic — plus masses of modular gear — Node are the ultimate synth supergroup.

Polar Bear

Seb Rochford & Leafcutter John: Recording In Each And Every One

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Jazz quintet Polar Bear have always been musical adventurers, and their latest album extends their experimental philosophy to studio techniques.

Sounding Off

In many ways, there has never been a bigger or better time for dance music.

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Want to be a superstar DJ? Join the queue.

Technique

Dynamic Racks

Reason Tips and Technique

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We round up the pick of Reason's Rack Extension dynamics processors.

Good Vibrations

Ableton Live Tips and Techniques

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We look at Live's unusual Collision instrument and associated Corpus effect.

Kick It Up

Cubase Tips and Technique

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Got a drum loop with a great groove but a less-than-great kick sound? Let's beef it up...

Making Sends

Sonar Tips and Technique

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Get creative with sends and buses in Sonar X3.

Mix Rescue

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Mixing strings in rock music: our engineer follows up last month's string‑recording session by describing how he integrated those strings into a full‑on rock mix.

Mix Rescue | Media

Audio files to accompany the article.

Monitor Wizard

Establishing Project Studio Reference Monitoring Levels

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If you're serious about recording and mixing you need to set a consistent reference level to which you can always return. Our seven‑step guide explains how to do it.

Passing Chords

Part 3

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In the final part of this series, we develop a basic chord sequence into something more elaborate.

Project & Survive

Digital Performer Tips and Techniques

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Understanding DP's projects and sequences can help you develop, archive and protect your hard work!

Sets On Fire

Studio One Tips and Technique

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Studio One's Sound Sets are the perfect vehicle for sharing samples and sounds.

Starting Points

Pro Tools Tips and Technique

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Familiarise yourself with some basic concepts, and you'll be up and running with Pro Tools in no time.

The Blues Brothers 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'

Classic Tracks

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His role as producer of The Blues Brothers soundtrack left Bob Tischler in charge of recording some of the best musicians of the 20th century, while managing conflicting shooting schedules and coping with the day-to-day effects of John Belushi's prodigious cocaine habit.

The Mix Review

Commercial Productions Analysed

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This month we discuss tracks from Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Tom Odell and our Classic Mix is Bonnie Raitt's 'I Can't Make You Love Me' from 1991.    

Totally Retro

Logic Pro Tips and Technique

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Create killer sounds with Logic Pro X's Retro Synth.

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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You can't please all of the people all of the time. Even when they are on the same production team.

Off The Record

Music & Recording Industry News

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Neil Young's new company Pono Music promises a lot — but can it deliver?

Studio File

Hit Factory Criteria, Miami

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If recording studios were viewed the same way as wine, 1958 would be seen as an exceptional vintage.

Sound Advice

Q Are hybrid solid-state drives any good for audio?

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Solid-state drives (SSDs) seem expensive, and I've seen some so-called 'hybrid' drives which combine a small solid-...

Q Do I need to think about matching mic and preamp impedances?

Thumbnail for article: Q Do I need to think about matching mic and preamp impedances?

I have some vintage Tweed mic preamps which have an input impedance of 1kΩ, and I know most mics have an output impedance of...

Q Why do Universal Audio restrict the processing bandwith of their UAD plug-ins?

Thumbnail for article: Q Why do Universal Audio restrict the processing bandwith of their UAD plug-ins?

I'm a long time reader of Sound On Sound, and a studio owner. A colleague of mine recently discovered that the suite of...

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