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12 sets of superb cans up for grabs!
Active Studio Monitor
Two-way nearfield monitors with cutting-edge ribbon tweeter technology.
Expandable 64-voice Sample-based Synths
Alesis' QS6.2 and QS8.2 may induce a feeling of déjà vu — they look remarkably similar to 1995's QS6 and QS8. But eight years on, surely the spec has been significantly upgraded to reflect the passage of time...?
Two-channel Preamp & A-D Converter
This compact unit from Apogee offers high-end preamplification and conversion, along with a clutch of useful processing, monitoring and output facilities.
Modular Software Synth (Mac/PC)
The latest version of this powerful modular software synth adds Mac support at last, includes many new modules, uses less CPU power than previous versions and has a much simplified user interface. What's not to like?
Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone
BLUE's flagship solid-state microphone combines their trademark distinctive styling with exceptional sonics.
Pattern-based Music Production Software for Windows
At first sight, Cakewalk's new virtual studio suite might seem like a Reason clone — but it's actually a highly individual product, which offers a new and unique approach to creating music from patterns, sequences and loops.
Open-ended DSP Platform
Creamware's SCOPE Fusion Platform is a powerful and flexible PC and Mac-based music-production system that's often overlooked by computer-based musicians. We take a detailed look at the system and investigate what you might be missing.
Portable Control Surface For DAWs
JL Cooper's miniature controller packs 155 controls into a box the size of a book.
Not content with modelling guitar amps, Line 6 have now turned their attention to the guitars themselves.
Digital Audio Workstation For Windows
The latest version of Magix's popular recording software adds support for native audio standards including ASIO and VST, as well as some tasty new features such as full plug-in delay compensation.
Digital Line Mixer
A unique problem-solver from Roland combines line mixing, sample rate conversion and a USB audio interface in a single rack space.
Electronic V-Drum Kit
Electronic drum kits have a bad reputation; straight away you think of nasty, pinging syndrums and unrealistic samples. But they've come a long way since the days when hexagonal red-rimmed drum pads ruled the roost, as we find out...
Guitar Recording Cabinet
Now you can have gain without the pain, courtesy of a sealed speaker box designed for recording electric guitars.
Mic Preamp & Effects Processor
TC-Helicon's new rack unit aims to provide you with every conceivable vocal recording tool, including EQ, compression, pitch-correction, double-tracking, intelligent harmony generation and effects.
Analogue Performance Monosynth
Ever since production of the original Minimoog ended in 1981, there have been regular attempts to create a product that would capture the hearts of keyboard players and synth fanatics everywhere in the same way. At last, the man behind the Mini has brought us the Voyager — an updated version of the original Minimoog for the 21st century. How does it compare to the original, how does it sound, and how does it play? Read this specially extended 10-page review and find out.
128-voice Rackmount Synth
It seems simple enough — take the successful Motif workstation, remove the keyboard, and release it as a more affordable rack unit. But there's lots more to the Motif Rack than meets the eye...
Formats: Creamware SFP
People + Opinion
Composing For The Life Of Mammals
BBC Bristol's natural history series 'The Life Of Mammals' was a high-profile production, with stunning visuals that demanded an equally impressive soundtrack.
The Music Producers Guild scrutinise more readers demos
Under scrutiny this month by the Music Producers Guild panellists are: Jazz Dentist; Pig; Alex Moody; Qhixldekx
As one of the senior engineers at New York's famous Sterling Sound, Chris Gehringer has mastered some of the biggest hip-hop and R&B hits of recent years.
Russell Emanuel & Dolph Taylor
Production music's shoddy image means that many composers and producers ignore it, despite its commercial potential. Extreme Music are a London-based company who are trying to change the perception of library music.
Joe Zawinul is perhaps the best-known and most influential keyboardist in jazz. He pioneered the use of electric keyboards and synths with Weather Report, and at 70 he's still at the peak of his powers.
The Soft Bulletin
More thoughts from SOS Editor-in-chief Paul White.
Music technology is being taught more widely than ever before. But who's teaching the teachers, and who's building their studios?
Can't get rid of clicks when comping takes? You need to learn how to crossfade, and here's how... plus plenty of other Sonar-related tips.
More readers' demo recordings assessed
Blue Dog Yawning = Top Demo.
Quickies: Richard Amos; Andy Ruff; Martin Noakes; Dirtyboy
This month saw the first signs of Emagic's technology being used in Final Cut Pro. We also take a look at a utility that allows OS X-compatible VST plug-ins to be converted into Audio Units.
This month we look at the idea of understanding technology in terms of layers and abstractions, and how this makes it possible for a protocol like MIDI to be communicated via USB, Firewire and even Bluetooth.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Navigating complex arrangements can often be frustrating, but by taking advantage of Cubase's Marker Track, you can easily define a structure to simplify the process.
Meta Messages are some of the most powerful and arcane features in Logic. But what are they, and why are they so useful?
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
More automation tips this month, including how to create and use mixer 'snapshots', a few special editing hints, and an in-depth look at how Pro Tools handles automation data.
OS X Version
At last, Digital Performer for OS X is a reality. But does it offer any real advantages over the previous version, and more importantly, what compromises are 'cutting-edge' users going to have to make?
After putting all our bowed-string synthesis theory into practice on a Korg 700 last month, we found that the result was only acceptable as a string sound with a lot of wishful thinking. Can we improve on it?
Your questions answered by the SOS crew
What advantages are there to variable input impedance? How can I extract loops from audio sample CDs? Can I use the True Tape option in Cubase to prevent clipping? Should I use S/PDIF or AES for long cable runs? Can you have too much low-frequency absorption? What's the best way to use the multiple filters on my soft synth?
Using Your Sequencer's Reverb Processors
Reverb is vital for most types of modern music production, so it's no surprise to find that many sequencers provide a variety of reverb plug-ins. But what do all those different parameters do?
When Björk sang "it's oh so quiet", she probably wasn't referring to her PC — however, this month we survey the current options in the world of computer silencing, report on the release of a generic ASIO driver for WDM-compatible audio devices, and enjoy Rightmark's Audio Analyser 5.
Power User Tips For Soundscape Workstations
The SOS team battles through snowdrifts to help Nick Redman and Mike Sinnott with two different vocal sounds.
Specifying A PC For Your Needs
You know what you want your computer to be capable of. So how do you decide what combination of CPU, memory and hard drives will make this possible?