July 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Applied Acoustic Systems Tassman v1.2

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.

CEDAR Series X

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..

Clavia Nord Modular v3.03 & MicroModular

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...

Doepfer Pocket Control

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...

Electrix MoFX

Time-synchronised Effects

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 Modular Synthesizers (Retro)

Synthesizer

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...

Evolution MK125 Dance Station

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.

Hip Hop Raw Flava

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Joemeek VC3Q

Recording Channel

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.

Loopzilla Underground

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Marantz CD5000 CD Player & HZ Octopuss Power Distribution Utility

Studio Essentials

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.

PG Music Band-in-a-box

Auto-accompaniment Software

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.

Presoniq Time Factory

Time-shifting Software

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...

Quested VS2205

Active Nearfield Monitors

Paul White auditions Quested's new active nearfield monitors and discovers there's no baby booming going on here.

Roland VS1880

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 XV3080

Sound Module

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 Siena

PC Soundcard

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.

Sony DMX R100

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.

Spirit 324

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.

Steinberg LM4

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.

Synchro Arts Vocalign AS

Time-shifting Software

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!

Synth Collector

Sample Library

* Score = 2

Wall Of Vinyl 3

Sample Library

* Score = 5

XIX EH1901; CP1902; ME1903

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: Music-shop Staff

Sounding Off

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...

ERIC PERSING: Creating Spectrasonics

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.

JOHNNY DOLLAR & SIMON PALMSKIN: Recording Gabrielle's 'Rise'

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.

MIKE THORNE: The Stereo Society

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...

OLI BELL: Groove Criminals

Readerzone

The SOS team drops in on another reader's studio.

PEOPLESOUND.COM: Behind The Scenes

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, Firewire & DSP

Cutting Edge

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...

XTC: Ideal Studio & Recording Apple Venus Vol. 1 & Wasp Star

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.

Technique

A Practical Guide To Working With Pictures, Part 2

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.

Distributing Music Over The Internet

Net Notes

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.

Fractal Music Composer

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson finds that a picture plays a thousand notes with Fractal Music Composer.

Getting Started With Windows '95/'98 Music Applications

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...

Norton Disk Editor; Speed Disk

Apple Notes

This month Vic Lennard explains how to defragment your hard disk and discovers an impressive MP3 encoder.

Norton DiskEdit; SB Live; Jezar Freeverb VST

PC Notes

Martin Walker suffers the consequences of a major hard disk failure, and attempts to recover his valuable data...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Pulse 120 * The Bleached Parrot * Kaunz and Killcross * Julian Garner * Eclectic Generation * Mark Salveta * Ndot * Non Thespian * Guy Johnson * Pretty Ugly

Synth Secrets, Part 15: An Introduction To ESPS & Vocoders

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.
• Read all parts

Music Business

Alternative Ways Of Marketing Your Music, Part 2

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.
Read Part 1

Big Georges Guide To Commercial Success: BBC Television Centre

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Big George tells a cautionary tale about a not-so-typical day at the office...

Sound Advice

EQ & Compression; Mastering & Reverb

Q & A

Q. Should EQ be used before or after compression?
Q. Will multi-band mastering mess with my reverb sound?

Soundproofing & Acoustic Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

Paul White answers some of the most common questions we receive about soundproofing and acoustic treatment for the home studio.

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