June 2009 In This Issue

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Competition

Reviews

Ableton Live Suite 8

Digital Audio Workstation [Mac/PC]

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The challenge was to add yet more features to Live without compromising its legendary ease of use. Have Ableton succeeded?

AEA A440

Active Ribbon Microphone

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Some microphones ooze quality to the extent that price almost becomes unimportant. Is AEAs new active version of the venerable RCA 44 design one of them?

Arturia Origin

Rackmount Synthesizer Workstation

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Arturias first true hardware synth aims to let you conveniently create your own modular system from modelled components of some of the best-loved analogues of all time. How well does it realise this ambitious goal?

Dan Dean Solo Strings Advanced

Kontakt 2 Player

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Dan Dean's original Solo Strings library comprised violin, viola, and cello, beautifully recorded in 24‑bit stereo and...

Fractal Audio Axe-FX Ultra

Guitar Amp & Effect Simulator

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Fractal Audios Axe-FX is the guitar processor with 80s looks and 21st-century power!

Heil Sound PR40

Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

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Listening to the sound from this extraordinary dynamic mic, you might be forgiven for thinking it was a ribbon or a condenser.

Lexicon Ionix FW810S

Firewire Audio Interface

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The Ionix FW810S comes with built-in Lexicon monitor reverb and onboard Dbx dynamics and EQ. So does all this DSP add up to a genuine USP?

Line 6 Pod X3 Pro

Guitar Modelling Processor

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In true Line 6 tradition, they’ve followed their Pod X3 and X3 Live processors with a rackmount professional version, the X3 Pro, which has enhanced I/O and a few capabilities not provided on the standard ‘kidney’ or X3 Live floor-unit versions.

Native Instruments Maschine

Groove Workstation

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NIs hybrid hardware and software beat machine promises the best of both worlds. Does it deliver?

Novation 61SL MkII

Controller Keyboard

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The updated SL range rejoices in touch-sensitive knobs and sliders, and in Novations ingenious Automap technology.

Philtre Labs Bollywood Elements

WAV/Apple Loops

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With Bollywood now a massive force in the world movie market, India‑based Philtre Labs have followed up last year's release of...

Plug-in Folder

Reviews

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• D16 Silver Line • Sonic Charge Synplant

Pro Audio DSP DSM

Multi-band Dynamics Plug-in For Mac OS

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Pro Audio DSPs first product is a novel dynamics plug-in, with applications ranging from de-essing to loudness maximising.

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

Active Monitors

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Ribbon tweeters can yield a smooth sound, while still capably reproducing transient detail — and the Pro Ribbon range promises to do so for an attractive price.

Sample Magic Minimal Techno

Multi-format Sample Library

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No‑one can accuse Sample Magic of scrimping on the sub-bass in their Minimal Techno loop and one-shot library: it lumbers...

Sequis Motherload Elemental

Dummy Load & Speaker Emulator

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The idea of a combined dummy load, speaker emulator and speaker attenuator to enable powerful guitar amps — especially those...

SPL Rackpack

Modular Preamp & Processor System

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Sound Performance Lab have developed an enviable reputation for their hardware products, and now you can buy more for less with their modular rack system.

Toontrack Drumtracker

Drum-replacement Software [Mac/PC]

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Need to use samples to rescue a dodgy drum recording? Toontracks neat utility will generate MIDI hits and map them to the virtual instrument of your choice.

Waves GTR3 & GTR Ground

Amp Modelling Software & Foot Controller

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Waves have made a rare foray into the world of hardware with the GTR Ground, designed to give hands-free control over their Guitar Tool Rack software amp simulator.

Zero-G Vocal Foundry

Multi-format Sample Library

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Vocal Foundry is Zero‑G's follow up to Vocal Forge, and it offers similar content: a series of vocal construction kits, each...

Zoom H4N

Portable 24-bit Recorder

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The H4 remains one of the most flexible of the current crop of portable 24-bit recorders, but Zoom have found plenty of room for improvement — and, more importantly, theyve used it.

People + Opinion

Origin Of The Species

Leader

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Paul White proffers more thought-engaging words.

Playback

Readers’ Music Reviewed

Raphael Saadiq

Producing The Way I See It

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Artist and producer Raphael Saadiq has channelled his love of classic soul records to create something convincingly vintage, yet fresh-sounding and alive.

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Declan Gaffney

U2 : 'No Line On The Horizon'

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The sessions for U2s No Line On The Horizon took the idea of spontanaeity in the studio to new levels. Engineer Declan Gaffney was the man charged with creating order from apparent chaos...

Sounding Off

Mike Senior

The end of the iPod era?

Within Temptation: Producing Black Symphony

Ronald Prent, Darcy Proper & Wouter Strobbe: Blu-Ray Audio

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Few artists so far have taken advantage of the Blu-Ray formats potential to deliver stunning audio quality. A concert film by Dutch metal act Within Temptation shows whats possible.

Technique

Classic Tracks: John Lennon ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night’

Producer: John Lennon • Engineers: Roy Cicala, Shelly Yakus

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Engineer Roy Cicala worked on all of John Lennons albums from Imagine onwards, and in Whatever Gets You Thru The Night, recorded the only solo number one hit single of Lennons lifetime.

Creating Custom Touchscreen Interfaces In Logic

Logic Notes & Techniques

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You'll be surprised at how cheap and easy it can be to enhance the usability of your Apple Logic setup with a touchscreen.

Cubase: Get The Funk Out | Audio Files

Funky Guitar Processing In Cubase

Links to audio files that accompany the SOS MAY 2009 Cubase article, for newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article.

Educational Training in GarageBand

Apple Notes

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With the latest version of GarageBand, Apple have become the first company to integrate educational training into music-creation software. But is this merely a simple gimmick, or a powerful new way of learning to play an instrument?

Effective Selecting & Locating In Digital Performer

Digital Performer Notes & Techniques

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The ability to move around your project quickly and easily, making fast and accurate selections for editing, can take much of the pain out of music production. We round up some of the best power-user shortcuts.

Exploring Sonar 8’s Dimension Pro Synthesizer

Sonar Notes & Techniques

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Now that Dimension Pro is included with Sonar 8, its time to investigate how to exploit it beyond the usual sample-playback functions.

Getting Into Pro Tools

Part 2: Installation & Session Basics

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Our short series on getting started with Pro Tools continues with some advice on configuring the software and your first Sessions.

Mix Rescue: Adam Bevan

Sound Workshop

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Beefing up bass parts played on guitar and importing GarageBand songs into Logic are among the challenges for Mix Rescue, as we add some spice to Adam Bevans mix.

Mix Rescue: Adam Bevan | Audio Files

Hear For Yourself

These audio files are presented in both MP3 (for auditioning) and AIF, for more serious critical listening and comparison in your DAW software.

PC Upgrade

PC Notes

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If youve built your own music PC in the last couple of years, you might now be finding that aspects of it need upgrading. PC Notes offers some advice.

Studio SOS: John Clark

Home recordings

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We lend some practical studio advice to a seasoned pro guitarist who is rather newer to the world of songwriting and home recording.

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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Theres learning, and theres education. And when it comes to music technology, the two arent always connected, believes Paul Farrer.

The Remix Business: Part 1

The World Of The Remixer

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Remixing is a modern phenomenon that has turned into a viable way for hi-tech musicians to make money from their skills. But how do you get heard, how do you land a job, and how much should you charge to do it? We get you started with the insiders guide.

Sound Advice

Q. Does mono compatibility still matter?

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I've recently started working at a classical radio station in my area, and I was fully expecting to have to deal with mono...

Q. How can I improve my vocal recordings?

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I'm quite new to vocal recording, and am using either a Neumann TLM103 or AKG C414, depending on the material being recorded....

Q. What’s the best order for mixing?

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I've been wondering what order people use when mixing. Mixing the instruments in order of priority? Mixing the rhythm section ...

Q. Which room should I record in?

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I am about to do a recording at a farm in the North York Moors. It will be done 'live', using two acoustic guitars and two...

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