July 1999 In This Issue

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Reviews

ARX Sixgate & DI4

6-channel Gate & DI Box

Nicholas Rowland plumbs in a couple of handy studio tools from the other side of the globe.

Boss DR770

Drum Machine

A few years ago, dedicated drum machines seemed in danger of extinction — but now they seem to be undergoing something of a renaissance. Derek Johnson gets hands-on with the latest addition to Boss's Dr. Rhythm range.

Discovery History Of Analogue

Sample Library

* Score = 2

Discovery TB303

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Doepfer Drehbank

MIDI Controller

There are now quite a few MIDI Control surfaces on the market, yet the knob-laden Drehbank, which offers interesting possibilities for interconnection between vintage CV synths and modern MIDI gear, is sure to excite much interest. Paul Nagle turns on and tunes in.

DSTEC OS1 Original Syn

Analogue Monosynth

dsTEC's eye-catching new analogue mono is bad — but in a good way. Chris Carter reaps the wages of Syn.

Earthworks SR71

Phantom Cardioid Microphone

Hugh Robjohns tries out a stylish new microphone from US manufacturers Earthworks.

Emagic Audiowerk2

Production Kit

Emagic's new baby is a bargain cross-platform hardware and software bundle which includes a useful new CD-mastering package for Mac users. Paul White finds out whether they've delivered the goods.

Friend Chip DT20 Pro Con & DT40 Copy Con

Digital Audio Processors

Paul White tests a couple of simple digital audio processors that also allow you to make unlimited copies from your own SCMS-protected DAT tapes.

Korg Electribe EA1 & ER1

Analogue Modelling Synthesizer & Rhythm Synthesizer

In all the fuss about last month's launch of the Triton keyboard, you'd be excused for having overlooked Korg's other new products — the diminutive Electribe EA1 synth and ER1 beatbox. As Chris Carter discovers, you won't be able to ignore them for long...

Lo-fi Transmission

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Megaton House Bomb

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Millennia Media NSEQ2

Dual-channel Parametric EQ

Specialist high-end equipment manufacturer Millennia Media have produced an innovative dual-channel parametric equaliser with a difference — user-selectable valve or solid-state circuit topologies. Hugh Robjohns investigates.

Opcode DATport

USB Digital Interface

Now that more computers are equipped with Universal Serial Buss connections, musicians have started to demand compatible peripherals. Martin Walker tries out one of the first to arrive, a simple interface dedicated to piping digital audio in and out of USB machines.

Plug-in Folder

Product Roundup

Arboretum Hyperprism 1.5.5; Cakewalk FX3 Soundstage; Spectral Design Quadrafuzz; TC Works Native Bundle 2.0; Waves Native Power Pack II.

Roland VM3100

Pro V-Mixing Stations

The first of Roland's eagerly awaited digital mixers, the VM3100 is an obvious spin-off from the mixer section of Roland's VS1680 digital multitracker. But it still packs a lot of functionality into a tiny space — and furthermore, the basic version is the cheapest digital mixer yet! Hugh Robjohns investigates.

Steinberg Avalon 2

Atari Sample Editor (Retro)

Features like software synthesis, frequency-domain editing and resynthesis seem impressive when modern sample editors incorporate them — but they were the stuff of myth when Steinberg released Avalon nearly 10 years ago. Paul Sellars chronicles an Atari legend.

Steinberg Clean!

PC Audio Restoration & CD Burning Software

Now that PC-based burners are so cheap, transfering old vinl records and cassettes to CD is easier than ever before — but do you really want the noise of your ageing vinyl preserved for posterity as well? Martin Walker checks his stylus, adjusts his tracking angle, and tries out a software solution to the problem.

Studio Essentials

Product Roundup

Roland Asia JV-Series Expansion Card; Studiospares Treble Cord Set Multiple IEC Mains Lead.

Tannoy Reveal

Active Studio Monitors

Paul White tries out Tannoy's contender in the low-cost active studio monitor stakes.

Terratec Audiosystem EWS64 XXL

PC Soundcard

Terratec's EWS64 XL caused a stir in the world of soundcards last your by offering a built-in 64-note polyphonic sampler. The new XXL now adds the internal organs of Waldorf's classic Microwave XT synth. Martin Walker decides whether these impressive parts make a convincing whole.

Yamaha MU15

GM/XG Mini Sound Module

Derek Johnson looks at a new baby hardware sequencer and GM/XG synth from Yamaha.

People + Opinion

BARRINGTON PHELOUNG: Composing The Inspector Morse Theme & Other TV/Film Music

Interview | Composer

British-based Australian Barrington Pheloung is well known for his prolific film and television work, including the theme music to Inspector Morse. One of his most challenging recent projects, as Richard Buskin finds out, was the soundtrack to the biopic of Jacqueline Du Pre, Hilary And Jackie...

CLIFF JONES & MARK FRITH: Recording Gay Dad's 'Joy'

Interview | Producer

Blanket coverage in the music press and wall-to-wall radio play have made Gay Dad the hottest new band in the UK. Matt Bell talks to singer Cliff Jones and producer Mark Frith about the recording of their second hit single, 'Joy'.

Enhanced CD Format & How To Use It, Part 1

Exploration

Commercial singles and albums are incorporating ever-more-sophisticated interactive audio and visual content, often using the Enhanced CD format. Janet Harniman Cook starts this two-part feature with a look at how the format is being used by record companies, and the possibilities that are open to independent musicians.

LEE DAVIS: Infant Prodigy

Readerzone

Paul Nagle meets another reader and investigates their home studio.

MARCUS MILLER: Camel Island Jazz Legend

Interview | Producer/Composer

Few people can truly be said to be multi-talented, but jazz and soul legend Marcus Miller is undoubtedly one of them. Paul Tingen talks to him about his approach to making and recording music, and looks inside his Camel Island studio.

RICK WAKEMAN: Recording Return To The Centre Of The Earth

Interview | Musician

After many years of planning, Rick Wakeman has succeeded in putting on a show that is a worthy successor to follow his theatrical '70s son et lumière extravaganzas — Return To The Centre Of The Earth. Paul Ward was present as production of the album of the story neared completion at CTS Studios in London.

SIMON LOWTHER: Home Recordings Always Sound Like Home Recordings

Sounding Off

Simon Lowther wonders why, no matter what you do to them, home recordings always sound like home recordings.

Technique

20 Tips On Using Effects In The Mix

Tips & Tricks

The way you use effects and processors can make or break a mix. Paul White offers 20 useful tips to help you get it right first time.

Compiling An Album On CD-R

Tips & Tricks

Up to 30 percent of SOS readers are planning to buy a CD recorder this year, so clearly many of you have designs on making your own album. Paul White talks you through the process of compiling an audio album on CD-R using a stand-alone CD recorder fed from a DAT source.

Creating A Website, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

Computers have always been important in the hi-tech studio for sequencing and, latterly, recording audio. They can, however, be equally useful for publicising and distributing your music, if you're connected to the Internet. Mike Simmons explains the basics of setting up a web site from a musician's perspective.

Electronic Cow Charming Chaos; Core Design; Softjee Audiomid

Atari Notes

Algorithmic music generators can produce unique and unexpected results, and now Atari users can try out a well-programmed example, Charming Chaos from Electronic Cow, for just £15. Derek Johnson explains a little Chaos theory...

MP3 Developments

Net Notes

Downloadable music is on the move in more ways than one, with new developments in portable players and online delivery streaming onto the scene. But what do all these changes mean for musicians? Simon Trask assesses the situation.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Archetype * Wheelwright's Bane * The Ekki Street Men * Marcel Tiemensma * Suzanne Neumann * Noise * Exmolosse * Alive * Neil Thomas * Apothecary * Michael Behling * The Bluefoot Project * Skyline * Feeler * Bid For Blue

Recording Real Drums

Tips & Tricks

Sampled drums may be quicker and cheaper than the real thing, but there is something special about a real drummer hitting real drums. Hugh Robjohns passes on a few ideas and tips on capturing the best possible kit sound.

Stealth Gee3; QuickTime 4; Sound Synthesis & Sampling; Streaming

Apple Notes

What is the best Mac setup for music? Martin Russ tries to give a straight answer..

Synth Secrets, Part 3: Modifiers & Controllers

Tips & Tricks

Gordon Reid moves on from discussing the harmonic components of sound to explaining how they change over time, and some of the tools subtractive synths give you to emulate this process.
• Read all parts

Transferring Digital Audio Using PC Soundcards

Tips & Tricks

Most people expect that a digital input or output will simply provide a bit-for-bit copy of the original signal. After all, bits are bits, aren't they? Martin Walker sheds some light on the various things that can go wrong.

Using Onboard Synth Effects, Part 4

Tips & Tricks

In the conclusion of his series on DSP effects built into synthesizers, Paul Wiffen looks at those effects which rather than delicately colouring a sound, transform it beyond all recognition.

Using Remote Controls For MIDI & Audio Recording

Tips & Tricks

If you need to operate your sequencer from a distance, there are many ways to stay in control. Martin Walker explores a variety of low-cost and purpose-built options.

Windows 2000 Setup; Native Instruments Reaktor

PC Notes

Looking into the future is never easy, especially where Operating Systems are concerned. Martin Walker ponders the possibilities.

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