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Physical Modelling Synth
Physical modelling may be fashionable, but it isn't always very controllable. AAS aim to change all that for PC owners, by equipping their Tassman software synth with an easy-to-use front end. Martin Walker enters a new world of generators and resonators.
Declicker, Decrackler & Dehisser
CEDAR Audio's Series X units offer a trio of phenomenally powerful audio restoration tools in neat, stand-alone boxes with simple user interfaces. Hugh Robjohns cleans up..
Analogue Modelling Synths
One of the advantages of a software-based instrument is that it can evolve over time, as its makers add new algorithms and refinements. Clavia's Nord Modular has undergone exactly this process, and its editing software has also migrated to the Mac. Gordon Reid tries out the latest version, along with its baby brother, the MicroModular...
MIDI Control Surface
One drawback of soundcards and soft synths is their lack of physical controllers, but Doepfer aim to bridge the gap with their diminutive PocketC. Paul Ward tries his hand...
A new multi-band, multi-coloured, multi-effects unit from Electrix extends their range of bright and unusual hands-on processors. Could it all be too much of a good thing? Chris Carter investigates...
Emu Systems have been synonymous for so long with samplers and sampling that it may surprise some to learn that they started out making analogue synthesizers — and that through the '70s and early '80s, they produced some of the biggest, most sophisticated modular synths ever made. Simon Lowther gets out his patch cords...
MIDI Keyboard Controller
With full-sized velocity-sensitive keys and versatile control capabilities, Evolution's diminutive MK125 could find many uses as a MIDI remote keyboard. Martin Walker tries one out for size.
Paul White tests the latest incarnation of the Joemeek VC3, which now sports a three band equaliser in addition to its mic/line preamp and opto-compressor.
Paul White gets his hands on a CD player that can play more than just your latest album acquisitions, whilst Derek Johnson feels the power of the Octopuss.
Style-generation software Band-in-a-box is one of the many still-thriving music programs that started life on the Atari. These days, it's very much a home in the latest Mac- and PC-based studios, as Vic Lennard and Martin Walker discovers.
Though high-quality, real-time pitch-shifting is now becoming a reality, this technology comes with a high price tag. Many musicians will therefore continue to rely on offline processes to carry out pitch and timing manipulations. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser do just that, with Prosoniq's Time Factory...
Active Nearfield Monitors
Paul White auditions Quested's new active nearfield monitors and discovers there's no baby booming going on here.
24-bit Studio Workstation
Roland's new flagship VS workstation again raises the stakes in the all-in-one hardware market, but has it raised them enough to rival the success of the 1680? Mike Senior finds out.
Roland's JV1080 and 2080 have become the bread-and-butter sound sources for innumerable MIDI studios worldwide. Now the company have introduced their successors in the shape of the XV-series. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser test the new XV3080.
SEKD pioneered the development of 24-bit/96kHz soundcards for PCs, and their lead has been followed up enthusiastically by other manufacturers. Does the new Sienna have the features to take them back to the top of the pile? Martin Walker finds out.
8-buss Digital Console
Sony's surprise entry into the project-studio digital console market looks set to establish a new benchmark for ease of use and operational flexibility. Hugh Robjohns checks out the new DMX100.
Live Digital Mixing Console
Combining their vast live sound experience with the success of their 328 digital mixer, Spirit have launched a specialised version of the desk, intended for live sound work. The new 324 model, however, is also well adapted to recording, so Hugh Robjohns checks it out in both applications.
24-bit VST Drum Module
Effectively a drum machine in plug-in form, Steinberg's new LM4 offers the seamless integration with Cubase that is the boon of all VST instruments, as well as claiming far better timing than any MIDI device. Martin Walker pounds the PC beat, while Paul Ward delivers the Mac perspective.
We already have software to sort out tuning problems and now Synchro Arts are providing AudioSuite tools to cure timing problems. Paul White's musical skills prove ideal to test this software to the full!
Enhancer; Compressor; Multi-effects Unit
What do you get when you take three from Nineteen? A compressor, an enhancer and an effects unit... Paul White explains.
People + Opinion
Dan Heard wonders why music-shop staff's desire to take your cash isn't matched by a similar willingness to deal with your needs as a musician...
Interview | Manufacturer
As Chief Sound Designer for Roland and founder of Specrasonics, Eric Persing has created some of the most widely used sounds in modern electronic music. He tells Kevin McDaniels how he turned sample CDs into big business, and reveals how some of the exotic sounds on his Spectrasonics discs were created.
Interview | Producer
British soulstress Gabrielle returned to the limelight earlier this year with a number one single based around a distinctive sample from Bob Dylan's 'Knocking On Heaven's Door'. Mike Senior meeds producers Johnny Dollar and Simon Palmskin to find out how the hit was constructed.
Interview | Producer
Best known as the producer of some of the most important punk albums of the '70s and biggest dance hits of the '80s, Mike Thorne now runs his own label, multimedia company and studio in New York. Tom Flint talked to Mike about technology, his studio and the future...
The SOS team drops in on another reader's studio.
Interview | Company
The idea of selling music over the Internet has become hugely popular — but many musicians remain worried about issues such as copywright and publicity for their work. Paul White puts these concerns to the founders of Peoplesound.com, one of the best publicised on-line record companies working with unsigned artists.
Physical modelling is continuing to develop with increases in DSP power. Dave Shapton ponders the possibilities for future music technology applications, and also sees trouble on the Firewire horizon...
Interview | Band
There aren't many bands who produce their best work over 20 years into their career, but XTC's 1999 album Apple Venus Vol. 1 has been widely acknowledged as a masterpiece, and their latest, Wasp Star, is a joyous collection of noisy, catchy pop songs. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding recorded it in their own Idea Studio, where they talked to Sam Inglis.
Tips & Tricks
One of the easiest ways of achieving synchronisation between music and pictures is to run both on the samecomputer. Hugh Robjohns talks to a writer of music for broadcast who does just that.
The Internet continues to offer new opportunities for artists wanting to promote their music to a worldwide audience. Simon Trask looks at who is distributing music over the Internet and the attitudes towards this new distribution medium.
Derek Johnson finds that a picture plays a thousand notes with Fractal Music Composer.
Tips & Tricks
Even PC experts can find the business of setting their machines up for music pretty complicated, so it's hardly surprising that many new users are bewildered by the vast array of settings and options available. Martin Walker offers a guide through the maze...
This month Vic Lennard explains how to defragment your hard disk and discovers an impressive MP3 encoder.
Martin Walker suffers the consequences of a major hard disk failure, and attempts to recover his valuable data...
Readers' Music Reviewed
Pulse 120 * The Bleached Parrot * Kaunz and Killcross * Julian Garner * Eclectic Generation * Mark Salveta * Ndot * Non Thespian * Guy Johnson * Pretty Ugly
Tips & Tricks
Gordon Reid turns his attention to the effects that can be achieved when subtractive synthesis components are applied not to the output from oscillators, but to real-world sounds — such as human speech.
Tips & Techniques
Last month Robin Morley told of how, armed with a new understanding of the music business, he set out to secure himself another record deal 10 years after signing his first one. In the second half of his feature, he explains how a willingness to think about marketing and promotion bore fruit for him — and how it can work for you.
Feature | Tips & Tricks
Big George tells a cautionary tale about a not-so-typical day at the office...
Q & A
Q. Should EQ be used before or after compression?
Frequently Asked Questions
Paul White answers some of the most common questions we receive about soundproofing and acoustic treatment for the home studio.