June 2004 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Rode K2 Tube Mic or NT2000 Multi-pattern Capacitor Mic

Deadline: 2004-07-30

This month HHB Communications, Rode's UK distributor, have kindly agreed to give away two Rode microphones to Sound On Sound readers. First prize is a Rode K2 multi-pattern tube microphone with an RRP of £570. Second prize is Rode's NT2000 multi-pattern capacitor mic (RRP £450).
Prizes kindly donated by HHB Communications. Tel +44 (0)20 8962 5000. www.hhb.co.uk

Reviews

Behringer ADA8000

8-channel Preamp & A-D/D-A Converter

Eight channels of high-spec mic preamplification, A-D/D-A conversion, and ADAT lightpipe I/O, all at a remarkable price. Is it too good to be true?

Bellari RP583

Valve Compressor

This new dual-channel compressor combines valve circuitry with an opto-compressor design. But does it deliver the best or the worst of both worlds?

East West/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra

Orchestral Sample Library

It's another multi-DVD orchestral library! Does it merit a thunderous introductory timp roll or a feeble tap on a vibraslap? Find out...

Emulator X Studio

1820M • 1820 • 1212M PC Soundcard & Software Sampler

Emu's new range of soundcards offers an unprecedented level of flexibility, DSP power and sound quality for the price — with the added bonus of a very impressive software sampler.

Evolution MK461C

Assignable USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

Evolution's new class-compliant MIDI keyboards are a cinch to use with computer-based sequencers. But do they perform as well as their spec suggests?

Korg Legacy Collection (Part 1)

Virtual Instrument/Hardware Controller

Now that Korg's Legacy Collection is properly complete, we follow up last month's preview with the first instalment of our three-part review. This month, we focus on the Korg Wavestation plug-in...

Latest Sample CDs

Sample Library

Native Instruments Intakt

Sample Looping Instrument: Mac & PC

NI have taken the technology behind Kontakt, and used it to build a sampler that's all about loops.

Plug-in Folder

Latest Plug-ins reviewed

We test and report on another crop of highly insertable software Plug-ins:
PSP Master Q Formats: PC Direct X & VST; Mac OS X VST
TLL Everyphase Formats: Mac & PC RTAS & TDM
Fabfilter Fabfilter One Formats: PC VST & stand-alone
Cranesong Phoenix Formats: Mac & PC TDM
Audiorealism BassLine Formats: PC VST
Sonic Charge µTonic Formats: PC VST

Red Submarine Dual Xeon PC

Most of the major Windows sequencers now support dual processing, and if you want the ultimate performance, machines like Red Submarine's dual Xeon PC could be the way to go.

Redmatica EXS Manager

OS X Sample & Instrument Manager For EXS24

Multi-gigabyte sample libraries offer unprecedented realism and lots of potential for confusion. Redmatica's neat OS X utility allows Emagic EXS24 users to tame their unruly sample collections.

Roland VS2000CD

Digital Multitracker

This new recording workstation is the most affordable and portable of the VS series, but it still lets you record, mix, and master all in the one box.

SE Electronics Gemini

Dual-valve Capacitor Microphone

This impressive new mic from SE Electronics uses two valves instead of the usual one. But does it actually make any sonic difference?

Tannoy Ellipse 10 IDP & TS212 IDP

Digital Loudspeaker System

Tannoy's latest-generation Ellipse technology has been combined with DSP processing from TC Electronic, creating a versatile and powerful high-resolution monitoring system.

People + Opinion

Business End

Music Producers Guild recording assessments

More constructive comments from MPG (Music Producers Guild) members on SOS readers' submitted recordings.

Kid 606, Cex & The Tigerbeat6 Label

Tiger Tales

There's some amazing music being made in bedrooms these days. And bringing it to the wider public is the job of the Tigerbeat6 label, whose stars include label founder Kid 606 and Rjyan Kidwell, aka Cex.

Leader

Paul White gets a few things off his chest...

Loneliness and the Long-distance Programmer

Sounding Off

Paul Wiffen reflects on the evolving role of the programmer and the lonely life of the modern studio musician.

Recording Franz Ferdinand

Tore Johansson

Cardigans producer Tore Johansson was thrown into unfamiliar musical territory when asked to produce the debut album by Scottish guitar band Franz Ferdinand, but the result was a commercial and artistic triumph.

Thermionic Culture Valve Designs

Vic Keary

SOS talks to a British designer who thinks audio in the 21st century is still best served by tube.

Your Correspondence

Crosstalk

We respond to another batch of reader emails and letters.

Technique

Beat-slicing Masterclass

What software you need and how best to do it!

Beat-slicing can radically expand the creative potential in your loop library — you can match tempos and key signatures, rearrange loop events, and delve into inspirational sound design. SOS looks at all the leading beat-slicing software and shows you how to get the best from this powerful technique within your sequencer.

CLASSIC TRACKS: 'Wuthering Heights'

Artist: Kate Bush; Producer: Andrew Powell; Engineer: Jon Kelly

Kate Bush's 1978 smash hit debut single was also the first major project Jon Kelly had recorded. It proved to be a dream start for both artist and engineer, and a perfect illustration of the benefits of working with talented session musicians.

Creative Synthesis with Yamaha XG

XG Masterclass: Part 3

In this final instalment of our series of XG programming tips, we take a look at how the advanced modulation parameters can bring your layered sounds to life.

Demo Doctor

Readers' Recordings Assessed

Listen to the tracks while you read what the Doctor thought of another batch of lucky SOS readers' demos.

FP Numbers

How do they affect your music?

Many of the articles in SOS, not to mention the specifications for audio hardware and software, use the terms fixed point numbers, floating point numbers and decibels. But what do terms like this actually mean? And what are the consequences for our music?

Gigging Safely With A PC

PC Musician

Increasing numbers of musicians want to gig with their computers — but home PCs are fragile and laptops may not always be powerful or adaptable enough. So what are your alternatives, and what measures can you take to protect the centrepiece of your live set?

Hyperthreading & Spring-cleaning

PC Notes

This month, we find out whether Hyperthreading is hyper-helpful to the musician and discover some new freeware. First, though, it's time to spring-clean that Windows Registry...

More Creative Synthesis with Delays

Synth Secrets

In the penultimate instalment of this long-running series, we delve deeper into what can be achieved with just a few delays and some creative routing...

Moving PT Projects

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

A common occasion for grief in Pro Tools is when moving projects from one system to another. Here are some tips to help you keep your hair.

NAB Apple News

Apple Notes

Apple had some interesting announcements to make at this year's US National Association of Broadcasters show, including improvements to the eMac and portable line-up.

Real-time Jam Sessions in Logic

Logic Notes

Learn how to set up Logic's Environment so that you can jam with other musicians in real time on a single system.

Recording A Live Choral Performance

From miking to mixdown

The story of a multi-miked location recording session, from pre-concert setup to post-recording, software-controlled mixdown.

Studio SOS

The Arcades

This month, the SOS team help The Arcades to rock even harder than before!

Synchronisation

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

If you get that sync'ing feeling when using Cubase in conjunction with external hardware devices, you may need to know more about its synchronisation options. This month's column explains what's what.

Using your MIDI Synth to control Plug-ins

Digital Performer Notes

Fancy turning your knob-laden MIDI synth into a control surface for tweaking plug-in synths? DP's Consoles make this kind of application possible.

Vocal Manipulation

Sonar Notes

This month we investigate a new DXi option that makes vocal manipulation as easy as editing MIDI data. Plus the usual haul of Sonar power tips...

Sound Advice

Q. Can I 're-amp' a line-level signal?

If I record the DI'd signal from a guitar so I can put it through a guitar amp later, what are the concerns, if any? I'm wondering whether the line-level signal coming out of my mixer will be too high or otherwise inappropriate for the amp.

Q. Can I use three different soundcards at the same time?

I use a large analogue Soundtracs desk with wonderful EQ, coupled to various bits of outboard gear. I want to output my audio from my PC into the desk for processing. Using all three of my soundcards simultaneously will give me 24 balanced outs. However, these soundcards are different models from different manufacturers. Is there a workaround or do I need three identical cards?

Q. Do I really need some 'grot box' speakers?

Having read your review of the Triple P Pyramid monitors [SOS March 2004], I can understand the benefit of having lower-quality, or, at least, 'limited-range' monitors alongside studio-quality, full-range monitors so that you can hear what your mixes will sound like on small domestic 'hi-fi' systems. What I don't understand is what advantage there is in buying these monitors for £250, when a cheap pair of hi-fi speakers can cost as little as £30. Surely that would give a similar sound for a cheaper price?

Q. Is analogue mixing superior to digital summing?

I understand that mixes from DAWs can be improved significantly if, instead of using the digital mix buss within the computer, individual tracks are converted to analogue and then summed/mixed externally. Could you explain the difference between digital and analogue mixing, and whether this analogue approach really does offer significant benefits?

Q. What are the clicks spoiling my digital recordings?

I record guitar using a Line 6 Pod Pro going into a Roland VMC7200 mixing desk via S/PDIF. While the guitar is plugged in, every so often a little audio spike comes through the monitors from the Pod. It's not particularly loud but it is loud enough to ruin a perfectly good take. I have tried several different guitars so that is not the problem. Can you tell me what this noise could be and how to stop it?

Q. What should I use to play my backing tracks live?

I need some way to play a stereo backing track when playing live with my band. There's a keyboard part on the left channel, which would go to the PA, and a click track on the right channel, fed to our drummer's headphones. I don't want to use a CD player, as they skip, but I'm wondering what other options there are. Something with a start/stop footswitch or remote control would be good.

Q. What's the difference between ported and un-ported monitors?

I'd like to know more about the difference between monitor designs that feature ports and those that do not. How do they differ in terms of sound and performance? Also, why is the term 'infinite baffle' used to refer to un-ported designs? Surely 'sealed cabinet' or 'enclosed speaker' is a more accurate description.

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