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* Score = 4
Built as an authentic replica of one of the all-time classic mics, this premium ribbon model from Audio Engineering Associates brings a unique character to the modern studio.
Modular Analogue Synth & Integrator Synth Modules
The Apprentice - a keyboard-less wooden casing designed to house synth modules - is the latest addition to Analogue Systems' fully modular Integrator series of analogue synths. We test one fitted with some of the company's new modules...
Modelling Guitar Preamp
Behringer V-Amp 2 Modelling Guitar Preamp
* Score = 3
Groove Sampling Workstation
The latest addition to Boss & Roland's SP phrase sampler range, the SP505, is crammed full of sample-editing options and dance/hip-hop-oriented ROM sounds, and continues the current trend towards ever-expanding feature sets.
MIDI + Audio Sequencer For PC
In the year since its introduction, Cakewalk's Sonar has tempted a lot of musicians away from other sequencers. Now a major upgrade adds a lot of new features, many as a direct result of user feedback.
* Score = 4
USB Recording Interface For Apple Mac
The most affordable Pro Tools system ever promises trouble-free USB recording, high-quality audio hardware and the freedom to record wherever you want. Is it too good to be true?
PCMCIA Recording Interfaces For PC & Mac
Despite the obvious attractions of portable recording systems based around laptop computers, high-quality compatible audio hardware is scarce. That looks set to change, however, now that Echo Audio have adapted their popular Mona and Layla 24 interfaces for laptop use.
TD512 & A502 Nearfield Monitor & Stereo Amplifier
Cutting-edge technology, incredible dynamics, but is it really a studio monitor?
* Score = 4
Modelling Effects Processors
Two more visually distinctive rack units from Line 6, designed to model the hallowed sounds of antiquity.
USB MIDI Controller Keyboard
For applications where space or portability are at a premium, it is hard to beat this compact, two-octave MIDI master keyboard, which also incorporates eight assignable real-time MIDI controllers.
Dual Tube Channel
The new flagship of the Mindprint range provides a powerful combination of preamp, EQ and valve dynamics. Can it possibly sound as good as it looks?
Tube Mic Preamp
A powerful little half-rack valve preamp including three-band EQ and a digital output with word clock as standard.
Audio Ease Nautilus
Audio Ease Nautilus - Mac MAS (VST & HTDM forthcoming)
DelayDots Spektral Plug-ins
DelayDots Spektral Plug-ins - PC DirectX
Onyxmoon iONYXo - Mac VST
Large-diaphragm Capacitor Microphones
Just when we thought large-diaphragm capacitor mics couldn't get any more affordable, along come these fiercely competitive models, with a shockmount and aluminium case thrown in just for good measure!
Sample-based Synth Module
Roland's latest module provides the most affordable way yet to access the company's fine XV soundset, albeit with reduced polyphony and a less intuitive user interface compared to the more expensive XV5080. We weigh up the pros and cons.
Sennheiser HD600 Headphones
An open-backed model, compensated to make them sound more like speakers.
Dual Multi-effects Processor
Heavyweight TC effects processing but with a menu-free, easy-to-use, hands-on interface.
Akai AX80 (Retro)
Prior to taking over the sampling world, Akai launched a hybrid analogue/digital synth with a unique interface.
Yamaha' s cutting-edge reverberation processor uses convolution techniques to sample the ambience of real acoustic environments, allowing extremely accurate simulations.
People + Opinion
As corporations struggle to prevent people from file swapping, ripping, and generally violating copyright laws, will the proposed measures be at the expense of the honest recording musician?
The Return Of Roger Linn
Roger Linn's name may be forever associated with the birth of the first serious, sample-based drum machine in 1979, but now, after years away from instrument design, he's back with a new guitar-oriented product offering rhythmic filter effects.
Electronic Music For Live Performance
For his latest solo project, innovative DJ and producer Howie B set himself a difficult challenge: to create live, improvisational dance music with a minimal setup.
The Surround Mix
Queen's seminal 1975 album and the worldwide hit from it, 'Bohemian Rhapsody', might almost have been tailor-made for surround sound. Now guitarist Brian May and engineer/surround specialist Elliot Scheiner have remixed this masterpiece for what promises to be a genre-defining DVD-Audio release.
Another 'through the keyhole' glimpse into a reader's studio reveals how it's possible to turn your hobby into a job, with a TV commission to help you on your way.
Butch Vig - Duke Erikson - Billy Bush
What can you do when you've reached the limits of technical innovation? According to Garbage, the answer is to go back to the basics of songwriting.
Royalties for Producers
The Chairman of the UK Music Producers' Guild argues that producers should be paid performance royalties for their studio contributions, even if they don't actually play.
Wheelwright's Bane * Levente Toth * Mantis
Detecting & Resolving PC Hardware Faults
Not all PC problems are down to software, and a huge range of difficulties - from occasional glitches to complete system failure - can actually be caused by hardware faults. Here's how to diagnose and cure some of the most common.
This month PC Notes looks at more reasons for IBM's 75GXP drives being dubbed 'Deathstars', and investigates whether onboard converters in PCI soundcards lead to inferior quality.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
As Convenience goes, it's hard to beat selecting synth patch names using Cubase's Inspector. Patch Name Scripting allows you to do just that.
Multi Instrument Objects
A crash course for new users on creating your own basic Environment setup, plus another bundle of tips to fine-tune your working methods.
For Project Studio Monitoring
Loudspeakers are traditionally designed for either monitor or hi-fi applications, but is there actually any difference? And just how suitable are hi-fi speakers for nearfield monitoring in the project studio? In part one this month, we examine measured responses.
Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed
Identity #1 * Hash Nine * Alan Tindley * Actuality * Burning Rubber Icons * @odds * Tubba 3 Ply
On-line Sample Libraries: Part 1
The Internet is providing new ways for musicians to work, and this month we begin a two-part exploration of how the sample industry is shifting towards on-line distribution.
After months of switching between OS 9 and OS X, our Apple Notes columnist has finally taken the plunge and is now using only OS X on his PowerBook. Can he survive?
MasterWorks Gate and other software synths
This month, we recap on using Digital Performer with software synths of all kinds, and take a good look at DP3's built-in MasterWorks Gate plug-in. *
Is there any benefit in optional digital converters? * How can I get my MOTU FastLane to work with OMS and Cubase? Will I have problems running dual monitors on the latest Macs? * Why do my final mixes always end up in mono? Is there a way to bounce mix
Is there any benefit in optional digital converters? How can I get my MOTU FastLane to work with OMS and Cubase? Will I have problems running dual monitors on the latest Macs? Why do my final mixes always end up in mono? Is there a way to bounce mixes in live? Can you recommend a cheap and simple software sampler for the PC?
Power-user Tips: Part 2
More handy tricks for working with Ensembles in Native Instruments' modular soft synth.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
Understanding file and project management in Pro Tools can save time and avoid data disasters, so this month we offer an explanation, plus tips on rescuing Mac files copied from PCs.
Our monthly column for Sonar users extols the virtues of WDM drivers, passes on some handy Marker and Track name tips, and takes you through the process of adding pitch-transposition commands to your compositions.
Synthesizing Realistic Cymbals
Having analysed the complex process by which a cymbal makes its sound, it's time to synthesize our own...
Using A Hardware Mixer With Your Computer
You can achieve a lot with just a computer and a soundcard, but when you want to accommodate external sound sources or record with high-quality microphones then you really need to add a hardware mixer to your setup. Here's how to hook it all together for maximum flexibility.
Using DI Boxes
Direct Injection (DI) boxes can be real problem-solvers in the studio, but you have to choose the right one for the job.