July 1996 In This Issue

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Reviews

Digidesign Session; Digidesign Audiomedia III

Digital Recording Software; PCI Card

Digidesign's Session digital recording software has now made the transition from Apple Macintosh to Windows-compatible PCs, a feat made possible by the simultaneous release of the company's first PCI-format digital I/O card, the Audiomedia III. Paul White checks out both.

Digitech MV5

Vocal Harmony Processor

Offering 5-part harmony at a budget price, the MV5 is Digitech's easiest to use pitch-shifter yet. The David Mellor Singers provide the tune...

Digtal Kitchen Mind Control

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Ensoniq SQ80

Workstation Synth (Retro)

On its release in the late '80s, the SQ80 had to slug it out with Roland's D50 and Korg's M1, and didn't come out on top, at least as for sales were concerned. Steve Howell takes a look at an early and underrated workstation that still has a lot to offer.

Event 20/20

Studio Monitors

Paul White tests a pair of US-built studio monitors designed to combine tonal accuracy with affordability.

Fatar Studio 1176

MIDI Master Keyboard

This Italian master keyboard may be completely dumb soundwise, but it's pretty clever in other departments. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser just love being in control.

Flamenco Sounds

Sample Library

* Score = 4

LA Audio 4x4

4-channel Dual Filter Noise Gate Compressor

Always ready for some off-road action, Paul White scrambles for his XLR adaptors and test drives LA Audio's latest incarnation of the 4x4.

Lexicon PCM80

Plug-in Expansion Cards

It's not often that plug-in cards merit the same attention as the equipment they plug into, but these add-ons are capable of transforming Lexicon's PCM80 effects processor into a completely different beast, as Paul White discovers.

Mackie CR1604 VLZ

16-channel Mixer

As Mackie's new 1402 VLZ goes a long way to bridging the gap between their original 1202 and 1604, it comes as no surprise that the new 1604 VLZ has evolved a whole new range of features. Paul White checks out the update of this steel-clad classic...

Mutronics Mutator

Stereo Analogue Filter

The predictability of modern digital sound sources, while convenient, may have you longing for some of the chaotic complexity of analogue. Paul Nagle looks at an analogue filter which could put the surprise back into your music.

Novation DrumStation

Drum Synth Module

British company Novation made their name with the BassStation synth, which offered dance music producers instantly tweakable, analogue-style synth sounds in a MIDI-controllable package. The new DrumStation applies the same formula to the de rigueur dance sounds of Roland TR 808 and TR809 drum machines. Paul Nagle moves from station to station...

Shure Beta Series

Dynamic & Back-electret Microphones

Shure have recently updated and augmented their 7-year old Beta microphone range. Paul White assesses the newcomers alongside the rest of the range.

Spirit Folio SX

20-Input Mic-line Mixer

First observed by the SOS team at the bottom of an aquarium at this year's Frankfurt Musikmesse, Spirit by Soundcraft's new Folio SX mixer has now arrived. Paul White dries it off and removes the goldfish droppings from the insert points.

Steinberg Cubase VST

Audio Sequencer

This year's show-stealer at Frankfurt's Musik Messe, Steinberg's Cubase VST isn't just another 'MIDI plus Audio' sequencer — it adds the effects and processing options hitherto only available in expensive TDM systems, for the same price as the previous, non-audio version of Cubase. Is this the perfect desktop recording environment? Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser find out.

Synclavier Sampler Library

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Syntecno TeeBee

Analogue Synth Module

With prices for an original Roland TB303 as high as £1000 on the open market, it is unsurprising that the last two years have seen a number of manufacturers attempting to emulate the 303 in a cheaper, MIDI'd form. Martin Russ checks out the latest pretender to the throne...

SyQuest EZ135

Removable External SCSI drive

Where can you store all those long samples and audio files? Paul White checks out one possible answer.

Tascam 302

Dual Cassette Deck

Paul White takes Tascam's new dual cassette deck into the studio for practical trials.

X-Static Goldmine 3

Sample Library

* Score = 3

People + Opinion

Digital DIY

Digital Technology & The Modern Musician, Part 1

Computers helped former BBC engineer Clive Williamson and his band Symbiosis through all the stages of CD production, right through to finished discs and artwork. In the first of a two-part series, he explains how he brought digital technology and traditional musicians together to create atmospheric ambient music.

GARY NUMAN: A New Flame

Interview | Artist

Gary Numan's music epitomises the electro-pop era and undoubtedly helped boost synth sales in the early '80s. with the chart re-entry of his classic hit single 'Cars' Numan is approaching his third decade in pop. Jonathan Miller receives a lesson in the art of survival...

GRAHAM MASSEY (808 STATE): Recording Don Solaris

Interview | Band

It's taken a couple of years, but 808 State have at last emerged from a variety of studios with a sleek new album, the superbly-crafted Don Solaris. Mat Bell talks to head of State Graham Massey.

NIGEL SHAW: Independent Music

Interview | Producer

Nigel Shaw isn't signed to a record company, yet sales from the multiple albums he's produced in his home studio enable him to make a good living from his talents. Paul Tingen talks to him about the business of independent music

PAUL GOMERSALL: Recording George Michael's "Older"

Interview | Engineer

With years of record label legal wrangles finally behind him, George Michael set about making an album to put him back at the top of the charts and consolidate his status as serious artist/producer. Working the desks on the Older sessions at SARM West was engineer Paul Gomersall, who tells Mark Cunningham about the making of the album.

RICHARD SYMONS (PRO TAPE): Media Revolution

Interview | Manufacturer

There are now more recording media and data storage formats than ever before. Paul White catches up with Pro Tape's Richard Symons, to discuss the role of tape in a multi-platform future.

STEVEN ROBINSON: The State Of Pop Music Today

Sounding Off

SOS reader, songwriter and freelance producer Steven Robinson has some strong opinions on the state of pop music today. In this month's stream of invective, he gets some of it off his chest.

The Mix

How To Become A Record Producer, Part 7

As the final mix looms, the end of the producer's job draws near. But which approach to mixing is best? David Mellor fires up the Moulinex.

Technique

ADAT; JL Cooper DataSync2; Voyetra Sequencer Plus Gold

PC Notes

Faced with the unfinished album sessions on analogue tape and a studio full of PCs and digital gear, Brian Heywood gets a chance to find out how flexible modern equipment really is.

C-Lab Falcon MkX

Atari Notes

The C-Lab Falcon MkX has flown through its CE tests and finally landed in the UK. Ofir Gal checks the spec and assesses the new machine's chances of taking off.

Darren Cleare

Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed

Nation To Nation * Contribution * More Unfriendly People In My Backyard * 4 Sight * Andrew Lloyd * Wild Bunch * Obscure State Of Mind * Jonathan Ovin * The Bartoks

Fixing The Mix, Part 1: Salvage Techniques

Tips & Techniques

Conventional wisdom states that you can't 'fix it in the mix', but that doesn't mean you cant' try! Paul White discusses a few practical salvage techniques in the first part of this short series.
• Read Part 2 (August 1996)

Mac IIsi; Bargain vs Power

Apple Notes

Martin Russ surveys his dying Mac IIsi and ponders the purchase of a new model. Will he go for leading-edge Power or a last-generation bargain?

Minimising Mixer & Effects Noise

Tips & Tricks

When using effects, it's all too easy to add noise to your mix — and it's not always the fault of your effects unit. Paul White offers a few practical tips for achieving quieter mixes.

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