To open articles, click title links
Win this stunning pair of TB2SA Powered Monitors from PMC worth over £1600.
Prize kindly donated by PMC.
Tel: +44 (0) 870 444 1044.
Polyphonic Harmonic Generator & Expander
Having built their reputation on knob-heavy modular synths, British manufacturer Analogue Systems surprise everyone by bringing out a menu-driven additive synthesis module! But don't worry — the optional expander is covered with things to tweak and turn...
Virtual Semi-modular Synth [Mac/PC]
Completing the quartet of vintage synth emulations they began with Moog Modular V, Arturia's latest plug-in aims to reproduce the sound of the greatest semi-modular of them all, ARP's 2600. We see how it fares up against the original...
Real-time Tempo Tracking Software [Mac/PC]
For those who want to put a human performance at the centre of their sequenced masterpieces, Circular Logic have developed software that can understand and follow tempo changes in real time.
Condenser Mic & High-voltage Preamp
DPA demonstrate the state of the art with their latest high-voltage designs.
Dynaudio have concentrated on high-quality internal and external engineering to create a communicative new ported monitor which isn't afraid to go loud.
Virtual Drum Machine [Mac OSX]
Espousing the simple, easy-to-use Apple-type philosophy seen in tools like GarageBand, Glaresoft's virtual drum machine has you piecing together beats in minutes. And it costs just £39! We check it out...
Audio-visual Processor & X-Y Controller
The Kaoss Pad Entrancer builds on the success of the Kaoss Pad 2, offering the same versatile X-Y pad-driven audio processing capabilities, but adding video processing to give you real-time control over both sound and vision.
Modelling Bass Guitar
Expanding on the modelling technology used in their Variax and Variax Acoustic, Line 6 have dropped an octave and turned their attention to the bass guitar. The Variax Bass features 24 models of 'classic' instruments: is it all the bass you'll ever need?
Digital Audio Workstation [Win]
The tools available in Magix's highly regarded recording package cover every stage of the recording process, from MIDI sequencing to mastering and CD burning. Version 8 adds some neat extras including analogue-style processors, a virtual drum machine and an Acid-style beat-mapping tool.
Digital Audio Workstation [Win PC]
Pyramix might be the new kid on the block as far as audio recording and editing are concerned, but that hasn't stopped it quickly proving itself a very serious rival to Pro Tools and other established DAWs.
Firewire Audio Interface [Mac/PC]
With two market-leading Firewire audio interfaces already part of the MOTU stable, where does the new mobile recording-oriented Traveler find its natural home?
This cheery new unit brings clean eight-channel mixing to the cash-strapped home studio.
Dual Mic/Line Preamp
Valve warmth or solid-state transparency? You decide with this flexible new hybrid preamp.
Recording Software [Win/Mac OSX]
For the first time ever, Digidesign's Pro Tools recording software is available as a stand-alone product, which can be used in conjunction with any of five audio interfaces from M Audio.
Real Traps' biggest bass trap offers heavy-duty low-frequency absorption for the serious home studio.
Four new Sample Library collections get the aural review treatment from the SOS samplists:
AMG Evolved Analog 4*
Chemical Synths 5*
Power FX Cinematic Hip-Hop 4*
Sample Lab Discography 5*
Sound Level Indicator
PC Stereo Editing Software
Sony have opened their Sound Forge editing software up to new horizons with support for VST plug-ins and the ASIO driver protocol, and improved its usability with batch processing and a new scrubbing tool.
The B1 may seem like just another cheap Chinese mic, but it punches well above its league.
Flexgroove Software Percussion Instruments [Mac/PC]
The humble sample CD-ROM is dying out, being replaced by sample collections with a virtual-instrument front-end. Wizoo's first forays into the field combine Latin and Arabic percussion loops with their own Flexgroove virtual-instrument engine...
v2 OS Upgrades & Effects
Not content with offering some of the most fully-featured digital mixers in the world, Yamaha have now upgraded them, and are offering extra effects packs to further expand their capabilities.
People + Opinion
Reader Tracks Evaluated
Listen online to the tracks whilst reading what music industry professionals think of the latest collection of SOS reader recordings.
Sampling & Hip-hop Production
DJ Format has been making funky, sample-led hip-hop since the old school was new — and it seems the world has finally caught up.
Will Mowat made his name first as a sequencer expert and then as a writer with Soul II Soul. As a world music producer, his recent projects provide inspirational examples of how to combine performance with programming and overcome the limitations of a bare-bones budget.
Paul White's Leader
More thoughts on the state of the record industry and landing a job in a studio...
Is there a correlation between pottery and soft synths?
With some clever programming, an Italian software house have created a program that claims to add an audio input to Reason. We take a sneak peek, as well as bringing you essential Reason news and quick tips.
We explain how you can mock up a live acoustic guitar sound from a DI'd recording using Logic's built-in plug-ins.
The most exciting addition to the new version of Reason is arguably the Combinator device, which greatly expands the flexibility and programming potential of everything in the Reason rack. We guide you through the creation of a Combinator patch to get you started with this great new device.
Cakewalk go global, and release a new soft synth.
Producers: 10cc; Engineeer: Eric Stewart
Disagreement can be destructive, but it can also drive a band on to new heights. So it was when 10cc's Kevin Godley turned up his nose at a love song penned by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, insisting that it would have to be completely reinvented in the studio...
Reader Recordings Analysed
Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see whether you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...
3rd party developments
Now that the excitement surrounding the launch of DP 4.5 has subsided somewhat, developments by MOTU-friendly companies get this month's column under way.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
This month we look at the possibility of DSD higher-quality audio support in Cubase, a plug-in to help you write ringtones for Nokia phones, and a new patch for Windows users of Cubase SX/SL 3.02.
The TTS1 soft synth bundled with Sonar 4 has many hidden talents — but you have to know where to find them. Read on...
The magic number of 64 is gradually working its way into all aspects of our PC experience: processors from both AMD and Intel, the Windows XP OS, hardware drivers, and — coming soon — 64-bit music apps. But what should we be aware of as we consider the transition from 32-bit?
Does defragmenting your hard drives, including the ones you use for recording audio, really result in better PC performance? Opinion is divided, so we take a considered look at the subject, as well as testing some of the most suitable 'defragger' utilities.
We offer a brief preview of the features musicians can look forward to in Mac OS X Tiger, take a first look at a major new version of Soundtrack, and examine why the iPod Shuffle is hard to resist.
The owner of an unusually bijou studio setup provides the chocolate biscuits this month, as the SOS team get busy helping to improve the performance of his gear and the sound of his recordings.
We take a look at the concepts of audio files, clips, events, parts and regions in Cubase, and explain how you can manage these objects in the Pool window.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
This month sees a high-quality, free EQ plug-in gracing the Digirack suite, some intriguing options for collaboration via the Internet, and a host of updates.
Most people find that learning keyboard commands for their DAW enables them to get things done faster, and for the advanced user, Pro Tools has a special mode which turns the entire QWERTY keyboard into a bank of one-press shortcuts.
If you are a user of MOTU's Digital Performer sequencing software, you have access to an extensive and full-featured automated mixing environment. For hints and tips on how to use it, read on...
After months of speculation Apple have finally announced the release of the first major Logic 7 upgrade, but what can users expect from version 7.1?
Masterclass: Part 2
Another selection of creative and time-saving tricks for Yamaha's fully featured hard disk multitracker.