June 1997 In This Issue

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Reviews

Aardvark Aardverter

Professional A/D and D/A Converter

Mike Collins investigates the versatile AardVerter — a 16-bit converter packed with features.

Alesis QSR

64-voice Synth Module

With S+S instruments giving way to the new wave of physical modelling synths, does Alesis' new 'QS-in-a-box' still have what it takes to turn heads? Paul White tunes in, turns on and finds out...

CAD Equitek

Back-electret Condenser Microphones

Hugh Robjohns checks out a range of keenly-priced condenser mics from over there that look set to do rather well over here...

Double Platinum Drums

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Drawmer MX30

Dual Gated Compressor/Limiter

The first in Drawmer's new budget range of processors aims to give you high-quality gain reduction at a compressed price. Paul White comes to the conclusion that they've got the balance right.

Emu Planet Phatt

Sound Module

Emu's latest swingbeat sample player is home to a colony of wicked sounds for hip-hop, trip-hop and acid jazz fans. Dominic Hawken puts on his space suit to explore this strange new world.

Groove Tubes CL1s

Tube Compressor

All the warmth of valve circuitry, and it's shiny on every surface too. Paul White tries out a hot piece of kit with tubes that groove.

Interactive Light Dimension

Beam MIDI Controller

The Dimension Beam translates physical movement into MIDI data, offering theremin-style control over your keyboard rack. Dominic Hawken explores this new device.

Jomox Xbase 09

Drum Machine

Chris Carter looks at a new dedicated drum machine which could be the best 909 alternative yet.

Kenton Pro 2000

MIDI-to-CV Converter

Integrating old synths into a modern MIDI-based system can be a pain. Paul Ward finds out if Kenton's Pro 2000 interface can kiss it better...

Latronic Notron

Step Sequencer

Is it a hi-tech bathroom scale? Is it a 21st-century computer game? Is it Darth Vader's toilet seat? No, it's an innovative LED-laden MIDI step sequencer, with the power to wring new life from your old synths. Paul Nagle pulses and flashes with excitement.

Lexicon Dual Reverb

PCM Alogrithm Card

When it comes to cloning people, or even sheep, there's always an outcry, but where do you stand on the issue of plug-in card that effectively turns your Lexicon PCM90 into two Lexicon PCM90s? Paul White feels that first in the queue would be the appropriate location!

Liquid Grooves

Sample Library

* Score = 5

PC Dance Tools

Sample Library

* Score = 4.5

Retrospec Squeeze Box

Valve Compressor

Paul White revs up his valves and zooms off to see the big Squeeze.

Roland MBD1

Bass & Drums Sound Expansion Module

Paul White tries out Roland's MBD1 Bass and Drums Sound Expansion module and discovers a wealth of really useable off-the-peg sounds.

Sampling Sound System Vol. 4: House

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Sony DTCA9

DAT Recorder

This mid-priced DAT shares some rather higher-class innards with its more expensive siblings, and is also equipped with Sony's Super Bit Mapping technology for improved noise performance. Hugh Robjohns checks it out.

Sunrise Audio Workstation

Digital Recording System

Take an Atari Falcon, strip away the outer casing, add some major circuitry and a host of external connections and package in a sturdy rackmount box. Stir in a copy of Cubase Audio, connect up a CD recorder, and the result is the new Sunrise Audio Workstation. Dominic Hawken checks out this unique new recipe.

Waves Native Power Pack

DSP Processing Plug-ins

The Native Power Pack from DSP software specialists Waves gathers together several plug-ins previously only available for Mac-based TDM systems, and makes them available at a Knock-down price, instantly widening the appeal of software based processing. Janet Harniman-Cook plugs in.

XX Large: The Killer 2

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Yamaha 03D

Digital Mixing Console

Yamaha brought the price of an automated digital mixer crashing to below £2000 with the release of the ProMix 01. They then followed up with the fully-featured 02R, but at over £7000, it wasn't cheap. Now there's the 03D, which seeks to combine the features of the 02R with the amazing value of the 01. Hugh Robjohns checks out the 03D's zeros and ones...

People + Opinion

ARTHUR BAKER: From Planet Rock To Star Maker

Interview | Artist/Producer

Artist, producer and remixer Arthur Baker must surely be one of the seminal figures in electronic music history, with a career that initially took off with the production of Afrika Bambaata's hugely influential 'Planet Rock'. Now he's taking a new direction, as boss and A&R executive of his own record label. Richard Buskin goes all starry-eyed...

IAN STEWART: Stop Faking It & Get Real

Sounding Off

Synthetic strings, artificial oboes, machine-made drums... Ian Stewart wants to stop faking it and get real — or go all the way and fake it completely.

KARL JENKINS: Unclassifiable Ethnic, Classical & Rock Fusion Becomes World Class

Interview | Artist

Karl Jenkins' music mixes ethnic and classical influences with rock's production techniques; his unclassifiable first album sold a million copies. The latest master crossover tells Paul Tingen why he doesn't care about categories.

Legal/Copyright Issues When Using Samples

Exploration

Samples taken from other people's records are now big business, but if you're contemplating commercial release of a track featuring a copyright sample, you ignore the legal implications at your peril. Big George Webley investigates.

MARCUS RYLE (ALESIS): The Next Generation — ADAT Meridian Pro Digital Tape Recorder

Interview | Manufacturer

Alesis' ADAT digital recorder format takes another step forward with the launch of a truly professional high-end machine, the Meridian. Fast Forward's Marcus Ryle is responsible for much of Alesis' software design, making him the ideal person to give Paul White a guided tour.

MARK CUNNINGHAM: Recreating Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Interview | Artist

In the spring of 1987, Mark Cunningham took on the most bizarre project of his musical career: re-recording The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Ten years later, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original album, Mark revisits his curious sessions.

Reconstructing A Live Recording In The Studio

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Imagine you've spent a lot of time and money setting up a one-off gig in a historic castle, for a select audience, with the aim of recording and videoing the performance for future release. Then disaster strikes: catastrophic equipment failure leaves you with half a gig on multitrack tape, and major rebuilding work is needed later in the studio. Phil Bates mixes some cement, rolls up his shirt sleeves and tucks his pencil behind his ear...

STEPHEN LIRONI: Altered Image

Interview | Artist/Producer

If you remember seeing fresh-faced popsters Altered Images bouncing around the TOTP stage back in the '80s, you may already have seen Stephen Lironi. Nowdays, though, he's all grown up and carving himself a production career with the likes of Space, Jon Bon Jovi and Brian Wilson's singing daughters, The Wilsons. Richard Buskin finds out about the new image.

Technique

Creating Personalised AWE32/64 Soundfonts

Tips & Tricks

Using SoundFonts with your AWE32 or AWE64 soundcard makes them totally open-ended — if you want a new sound for MIDI use you just sample one. Martin Walker guides you through the wonders of personalised SoundFont creation.

D-SoundPRO 2.5 & Ambrosia ColorSwitch

Apple Notes

This month Martin Russ looks at technical support, operating system updates and shareware.

Electric Cow MIDI Arpeggiator & Sound Chip Synth

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson gathers together more Atari-related news, products and tips.

Integrating Mixing & Signal Processing

Tips & Tricks

Do you fully appreciate your mixer's capabilities when it comes to using effects and signal processors? Craig Anderton reminds you of a few tricks your desk might have up its sleeve.

MMX OverDrive & AMD K6 Processors

PC Notes

This month's hot topic is processors — lots of them! Martin Walker goes into OverDrive.

MOTU Digital Performer, Composer MOSAIC, Freestyle

Tips & Tricks

MOTU software specialist and UK distributor Simon Stock passes on some useful info for users of Performer, Digital Performer, Composer's MOSAIC and Freestyle.

Physical Modelling Synthesis Explained

Exploration

Modelling is the current big thing in digital synthesis, and it's being used to recreate the sounds not only of traditional acoustic instruments, but also the analogue synth timbres electronic musicians know and love. So just how are the manufacturers making numbers behave like nose-flutes and maths sound like Moogs? Super modeller Martin Russ provides the beginners' guide.

Synth School, Part 1: Analogue Oscillators, Filters & LFOs

Tips & Techniques

After all the political talk in recent years about a return to traditional values, Paul Wiffen kicks off a major new series on synth programming by arguing the Analogue Fundamentalist Party case — that an understanding of the basic elements of traditional analogue synths is essential to fully exploit the various types of synthesis available today.
• Read Part 2 (August 1997)
• Read Part 3 (September 1997)
• Read Part 4 (October 1997)
• Read Part 5 (December 1997)
• Read Part 6 (February 1998)
• Read Part 7 (April 1998)
• Read Part 8 (June 1998)
• Read Part 9 (July 1998)
• Read Part 10 (August 1998)
• Read Part 11 (September 1998)
• Read Part 12 (October 1998)

The Way Out

Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed

John Blinn * PD Sheppard * Stan Ivory * Avenue * The Lone Roger * Wine Dark Sea * The Learning Curve * Cameleon Dream * Julian Rowe

Using External MIDI Controllers

Tips & Tricks

When you've got both hands on the keyboard and you want to add real-time expression, you need an extra limb, an abnormally long tongue, or some practical advice from Martin Walker.

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