June 2012 In This Issue

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Competition

Win Alchemea Course & Pro Tools 10 Worth £2,500

Deadline: 2012-07-09

This month, two fantastic prizes will be won by one lucky reader! First, the winner will attend a Pro Tools Certified Music Operator 2 course, consisting of Alchemea's Pro Tools 101, 110, 201 and 201M options for five days in London. The newly-trained winner will then return home fully equipped to start honing their skills with a boxed copy of Pro Tools 10.

Reviews

Adam A77X

Three‑way Active Monitors

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The award‑winning AX family of speakers have a new member, in the shape of Adam’s most affordable three-way monitor yet.

Analogue Summing Mixers

Spotlight

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Analogue summing is proving a popular route for ‘warming up’ digital mixes, and there are many models on the market that are dedicated to the task. Here’s a selection of current options, with links to the SOS reviews where available.

App Works

Making Music On The Move

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Paul Nagle checks out Propellerhead's Figure groovebox, Dave Lockwood reviews the Digitech iStomp iOS-programmable effects pedal, and JG Harding puts the Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 2 guitar interface through its paces.

Bereich 03 Density

500-series Processor

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Bereich03 are small manufacturers of audio outboard gear, based in Munich, Germany. When I say small, in fact they currently...

Cinematic Strings 2.0

Sample Library

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The Anglo-Australian strings library returns with a radical version 2 upgrade.

Ilitch Electronics PGNCS-T

Telecaster Noise-cancelling System

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Although hum-cancelling single-coil pickups can be effective, even the best of them will change the guitar’s sound — but this system gets rid of the hum whilst allowing you to keep your original pickups.

Ilitch Electronics PGNCS-T | Media

Telecaster Noise-cancelling System

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Audio files to accompany the article.

John Bowen Synth Design Solaris

Synthesizer

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Years in the making, John Bowen’s Solaris is finally with us. So is this hugely ambitious synthesizer everything we hoped it would be?

Lavry Engineering AD11

A-D Converter & Mic Preamp

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Dan Lavry has gained a reputation for creating some of the best A-D converters on the planet — and this time you get mic preamps as well!

Lavry Engineering AD11 | Media

A-D Converter & Mic Preamp

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Test plots to accompany the article.

Linplug Relectro

Drum Resynthesis & Effects Processing Software

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Linplug’s innovative plug-in has one aim in mind: to create fresh sounds from pedestrian drum loops.

Loopmasters | Danny Thompson Double Bass

Sample Library

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Although very few of us will ever have top session musicians playing our music, sample libraries at least make it possible to create music using elements of their artistry.

Mackie Pro FX16

Compact Mixer

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With its built-in effects, compressors and graphic EQ, this compact console might just be ideal for small-scale live work.

MicW N101

Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone

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This Chinese mic bears a close resemblance to some premium European models. Does its sound live up to its looks?

Moog MF108M Cluster Flux

Effects Pedal

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The latest Moogerfooger, offering chorus and flanging, is alluring but not cheap — so is the Cluster Flux worth the bucks?

Moog The Ladder

500‑series Filter Module

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Most processors in API’s 500‑series format are classic studio tools such as preamps, EQs and compressors — but now a heavyweight champion from the synth world has joined the party.

Moog The Ladder | Media

500‑series Filter Module

Audio files to accompany the article.

Morpheus Bomber

Polyphonic Pitch‑shift Pedal

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It's perfectly possible to use a tremolo arm to make the pitch of your guitar strings drop in real time, and guitarists have...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

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Fin * Bob McCarroll * Professor Karmadillo

R3FX Cabinet Simulator

Guitar Effect Pedal

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R3FX are a one‑man guitar‑effects outfit based in the US, and they offer a range of pedal mods by mail order, as well as a ...

Rhythmic Robot | Keyboard Vault

Sample Library

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Under review here is Keyboard Vault, which is made up of 24‑bit mono samples and requires a full version of Kontakt.

Royer Labs Sling-Shock

Microphone Shockmount

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Microphones detect the imperceptible movement of air caused by passing sound waves, but the mic is unable to distinguish...

Samson AuroD412 & D1800

Active PA System

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Samson hope to prove that affordable speakers needn’t compromise on sound, with their new Auro range of active PA speakers.

Sonokinetic | Vivace

Sample Library

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Tutti is a Kontakt-based library that Sonokinetic describe as an 'orchestral cinematic FX and textures' collection.

SPL De‑esser Collection

De‑esser Plug‑ins

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Controlling harsh 'ess' and 'tee' sounds in a vocal can be surprisingly challenging, but SPL's technology aims to make it easy.

SPL De‑esser Collection | Media

De‑esser Plug‑ins

Audio files to accompany the article.

Steinberg CMC Series

USB Control Surfaces

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Steinberg’s new CMC Series gives you the building blocks for creating your own custom Cubase control surface.

Steinberg Cubase 6.5

Digital Audio Workstation

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It may be ‘only a point five’ update, but there’s plenty on offer in the latest version of Cubase.

Surprise Sound Rock Block

Valve Guitar Amp

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While modelling preamps and plug‑ins have come a long way, there are still many guitar players who are only ever happy when...

Universal Audio Apollo

Firewire Audio Interface

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Universal Audio have combined their considerable audio expertise and renowned DSP platform to create their first audio interface: the Apollo.

Yamaha 01v96i

Digital Mixer With USB Interface

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Yamaha have added USB interfacing to their established digital mixer. Is this enough to ensure it keeps pace with more recent competition?

People + Opinion

Benny Blanco

Songwriter & Producer

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Benny Blanco has created a string of number one hits without expensive instruments or virtuoso keyboard skills. What exactly is his secret?

Is The Digital Studio A Lonely Place?

Sounding Off

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Dr Nik Farrell-Fox asks: Is the digital studio a lonely place?

Jan 'Stan' Kybert: Producing Paul Weller's Sonik Kicks

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

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Paul Weller's latest album was brimming over with musical creativity. The challenge for mixer Jan Kybert was to forge a coherent album from a mass of ideas.

Music & Sound Effects For Videogame Mass Effect 3

Interview | Rob Blake (BioWare)

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Creating music and sound effects for sophisticated video games such as Mass Effect 3 requires skills not found in film or television — and a lot of hard work.

Technology On The Move

Leader

While technology continues to march ahead, the cold reality is that the musical hardware and software available five years ago almost certainly already did everything...

Technique

AAX Action

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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If you’re not careful, you could find that your Pro Tools HDX upgrade leaves you without your favourite plug-ins...

Arranging For Strings, Part 1

Primer

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No matter how good the latest, greatest orchestral sample libraries may now be, you still need to develop your arranging skills if you’re to create convincing string parts in any genre. In this first article in a new series, we explain how to get started. • Read Part 2 (July 2012) • Read Part 3 (August 2012)

Intel Ivy Bridge

PC Notes

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Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor may be closer than we thought — but does it make sense for musicians?

Library

Ableton Live Tips & Techniques

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This month, swot up on Live’s library and discover what it can do to make your life easier.

MIDI

Logic Tips & Techniques

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The spotlight turns to Logic’s MIDI features, as we solve a data-merging problem and offer step-by-step advice on automation recording with hardware control.

Mix Rescue: Rio Callahan

Mixing & Recording Advice

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This month, as well as sorting out a few sonic gremlins, with edits, EQ and other tricks, we aim to draw out more of the ‘moments’ in a track.

Mix Rescue: Rio Callahan | Media

Mixing & Recording Advice

Audio files to accompany the article.

Object FX

Magix Samplitude Tips & Techniques

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We explain how to get the best from Samplitude’s unique object-based effects.

Object FX | Media

Samplitude Tips & Techniques

Audio files to accompany the article.

Open Borders

Reason Tips & Techniques

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New vistas appear for Reason users, with the arrival of Rack Extensions...

Pitch Invasion

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Love it or hate it, ‘hard’ pitch correction is still a much used technique — and it’s simple with Sonar’s V-Vocal.

Protecting Against Viruses On Macs

Apple Notes

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After years of relative immunity, the Mac platform may now be more vulnerable to virus attacks. What precautions should you be taking?

Studio SOS

Your Studio Problems Solved

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The SOS team visit a well‑appointed home studio to try to cure a strange noise problem and help out with some acoustic guitar recording.

The Beatles 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'

Classic Tracks

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Recording the White Album was a major project by any standards, not least for Ken Scott, who, at the age of just 21, found himself engineering the biggest band in the world...

The Mix Review

Analysing Commercial Productions

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• Sak Noel 'Loca People' • Labrinth 'Earthquake' • Drake 'Make Me Proud' • Florence & The Machine 'Shake It Out'

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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If you really want a direct connection with your audience, don’t write for TV — get down to your local high street.

Off The Record

Music & Recording Industry News

The rise of electronic dance music in the States has provided a breath of fresh air to the charts — and a much-needed boost to the music industry.

Studio File: Hansa Tonstudio, Berlin

Inside The World's Pro Studios

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We open the doors on some of the world's most interesting professional studios with photographer Hannes Bieger.

Sound Advice

Finding The Right PA System For You

Primer

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Thinking of taking your act to the stage? Then you’ll need a suitable way of amplifying it, and that all depends on what and where you’re playing...

Q. How can I even out the bass response in my room?

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The bass response in my room is quite variable, with some notes appearing boomy and others being quite weak, but the overall...

Q. How should I treat my sample-library orchestral parts?

I use a lot of orchestral parts (EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra) in my contemporary songs, and I was wondering...

Q. Is it possible to customise icons in Logic?

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I've always liked Logic's track-icon facility, as having a graphical representation of what sound or instrument is on any...

Q. What’s wrong with wall-warts?

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I often read in your gear reviews that you don't like 'wall-warts' and that good power supplies should feature a toroidal...

Q. Why has my mixer socket gone intermittent?

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My Mackie VLZ mixer's got a bad socket: when the mixer is switched on, the socket goes on and off intermittently. If it's just...

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