June 2003 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Vienna Symphonic Library

Deadline: 2003-07-25

WIN: AKG Headphones

Deadline: 2003-07-25

12 sets of superb cans up for grabs!

Reviews

ADAM S2.5A

Active Studio Monitor

Two-way nearfield monitors with cutting-edge ribbon tweeter technology.

Alesis QS6.2 & QS8.2

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...?

Apogee Mini-Me

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.

Applied Acoustics Tassman v3

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?

BLUE Kiwi

Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone

BLUE's flagship solid-state microphone combines their trademark distinctive styling with exceptional sonics.

Cakewalk Project5

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.

Creamware SCOPE

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.

JL Cooper CS32 Minidesk

Portable Control Surface For DAWs

JL Cooper's miniature controller packs 155 controls into a box the size of a book.

Line 6 Variax

Modelling Guitar

Not content with modelling guitar amps, Line 6 have now turned their attention to the guitars themselves.

Magix Samplitude 7

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.

Roland M1000

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.

Roland TD8KV

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...

SAM Trombones

Sample Library

5*

Smart Sound Direct Hermit Cab

Guitar Recording Cabinet

Now you can have gain without the pain, courtesy of a sealed speaker box designed for recording electric guitars.

TC-Helicon Voice Works

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.

Ultra Magnetic Beats

Sample Library

4*

Upright Piano Collection

Sample Library

4*

Voyager By Bob Moog

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.

Yamaha Motif Rack

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...

Zarg Music Prophet & Prophet Plus 3.1

Plug-in

Formats: Creamware SFP

People + Opinion

Ben Salisbury:

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.

Business End

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

Chris Gehringer of Sterling Sound

Mastering Engineer

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.

Extreme Music

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

Jazz Keyboardist

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.

Leader

The Soft Bulletin

More thoughts from SOS Editor-in-chief Paul White.

Studio Building For Education: Steve Gurevitz

Sounding Off

Music technology is being taught more widely than ever before. But who's teaching the teachers, and who's building their studios?

Technique

Crossfades; Removing Clicks

Sonar Notes

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.

Demo Doctor

More readers' demo recordings assessed

Blue Dog Yawning = Top Demo.
Guy Katsav
Quickies: Richard Amos; Andy Ruff; Martin Noakes; Dirtyboy

Final Cut Pro; VST To Audio Units

Apple Notes

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.

Layers and Abstractions

Cutting Edge

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.

Marker Track; Marker Window

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

Logic Notes

Meta Messages are some of the most powerful and arcane features in Logic. But what are they, and why are they so useful?

Mixer Snapshots & Automation Data

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.

Performer Notes

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?

Practical Bowed-string Synthesis (continued)

Synth Secrets

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?

Q & A

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?

Sequencer Reverb Masterclass

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?

Silent PCs; Generic ASIO Driver

PC Notes

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.

Soundscape Masterclass:

Power User Tips For Soundscape Workstations

Part 1.

Studio SOS: Nick Redman

The SOS team battles through snowdrifts to help Nick Redman and Mike Sinnott with two different vocal sounds.

The Right PC For The Job

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?

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