July 2005 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN V-Drum Kit from Roland

Deadline: 2005-08-31

Electronic drum kits have come a long way since the days of Simmons, and every home studio should have one! Here's your chance to win your own kit.
Prize kindly donated by Roland UK. Tel: +44 (0)1792 702701.

Reviews

Arturia Minimoog V

v1.5 Virtual Analogue Synth [Mac/PC]

Although we only reviewed this Minimoog-emulating software instrument four months ago, Arturia have now thoroughly redesigned it, taking into account many of the points made in the original SOS review. So let's take a second look...

Behringer RX1602

Line Mixer

This new mixer presents a compact and elegant solution to the problem of mixing multiple stereo line sources in the home studio.

Benchmark DAC1

Stereo Digital-to-Analogue Converter

If you place importance on the spec of your recording system‘s analogue-to-digital converters, then you shouldn‘t overlook the quality of your D-As either. We check out a surprisingly affordable high-quality example from the States...

Boss BR1200

Digital Multitracker

This latest multitracker from Boss boasts powerful effects processing and built-in USB facilities.

Cakewalk Project 5 v2

Virtual Studio [Windows]

Cakewalk have rethought their Project 5 loop-sequencing application, adding features such as audio recording and a Groove Matrix for triggering patterns live — not to mention a virtual Roland sound module and a powerful new synth.

East West - Quantum Leap Colossus

32GB Kompakt Instrument [PC/Mac]

Like Ronseal products, Quantum Leap‘s Colossus is pretty much as it‘s described on its container, offering the user a vast 32GB sample collection supplied on eight DVD-ROMs. Size, however, isn‘t everything — or is it?

Focusrite Octopre LE

8-channel Mic Preamp

Focusrite hot up the competition by offering eight channels of Platinum-series preamplification, with optional digital conversion, at a surprisingly affordable price point.

Frontier Design Tranzport

Wireless Controller [PC/Mac]

Frontier Design Group‘s Tranzport might not be the most comprehensive control surface around, but it has one huge advantage — wireless operation means it's not tied to your computer.

Hammond XK3/XLK3 & Leslie 2121/2101

Modelled Tonewheel Organ & Rotary Speaker System

Hammond‘s new B3 was the best-ever digital emulation of an electromechanical organ, but at over £15,000 it didn't come cheap. Fortunately, the XK3 puts the New B3's sound engine into a much more affordable package...

Hebden Sound HS3000

Modular Condenser Microphone

This British multi-capsule mic brings Calrec know-how to the home studio.

M Audio Key Rig/Drum & Bass Rig

Virtual Instruments [PC/Mac]

Midiman/M Audio have come a long way since their days as a MIDI interface company. Now they sell everything from mics to laptop bags — and Key Rig and Drum ∓ Bass Rig are their first foray into software instruments...

M Audio Key Rig/Drum & Bass Rig

Virtual Instruments [PC/Mac]

Midiman/M Audio have come a long way since their days as a MIDI interface company. Now they sell everything from mics to laptop bags — and Key Rig and Drum ∓ Bass Rig are their first foray into software instruments...

Native Instruments Kontakt 2

Software Sampler [Mac/PC]

Native Instruments‘ Kontakt has become one of the most popular software samplers since its release in 2002, and the new version, with its many excellent new features, should keep it near the top of the heap.

Plug-in Folder

Mini-reviews of 5 new Plug-ins

Bizune Bizune VST
Sonalkis SV517
Universal Audio Precision EQ
Nusofting Microrock Pro
Fabfilter Volcano

Presonus Firebox

Firewire Interface [Windows/Mac OSX]

Providing six audio inputs and eight outputs for £350, with the bonus of high-quality mic preamps, Presonus‘s Firebox sounds almost too good to be true. Is it?

Sample Libraries: On Test

Sample Shop

Five new Sample Library collections get the aural review treatment from the SOS samplists:

Stylus RMX SAGE Expanders*****
SAGE

Opus 2 *****
GIGASTUDIO + EXS24 MkII

Drum Werks Volume 5****
ACID

Samson Rubicon 5A & 6A

Active Monitors

The performance of Samson‘s new project-studio speakers shifts up a gear courtesy of brand-new ribbon-tweeter technology.

SE Electronics SE1A • SE2A • SE3

Condenser Microphones

A new set of small-diaphragm mics offers solid and versatile performance at a fiercely competitive price.

Sequis Motherload

Dummy Load & Speaker Simulator

Using a combination of dummy load and speaker simulator lets you record your favourite valve guitar amp at full tilt without disturbing your neighbours. The trouble is, none of the designs so far have managed to sound close enough to a real speaker. Could this be the one that finally nails it?

Steinberg Nuendo 3

Media Production System [Win/Mac OSX]

Although it includes all the features of Steinberg's Cubase SX3 MIDI + Audio sequencer, Nuendo is targeted at the post-production market. To this end, the new version 3 includes features such as AAF import/export and integration with video editing systems.

People + Opinion

Crosstalk: Your Feedback

Response to your letters, emails and calls

Replies from the editorial team to more of your valued feedback.

Recording Queens Of The Stone Age

Joe Barresi

Queens Of The Stone Age‘s fourth album Lullabies To Paralyze has cemented their position as the biggest and most exciting rock band in the world. Engineer and co-producer Joe Barresi describes the combination of old-school technique and far-out experiment that went into its making.

Recording The Neptunes

Andrew Coleman ∓ Hovercraft Studios

It‘s not a bad gig, being chief engineer to the world‘s hottest production duo. But it takes a lot of hard work to keep up with The Neptunes...

RME Designs

Matthias Carstens & Stephan Flock

From simple beginnings as an offshoot of an electronics project, RME have established themselves as well-respected soundcard and recording interface manufacturers whose products usually offer that bit more than those of their competitors. We talk to their head of development about their recent innovations.

Sounding Off

Alan Tubbs

One man is on a quest for the perfect all-in-one computer controller.

The Soft Sell

Paul White's Leader

Would you rather have gear that can be upgraded at a sensible cost, or something that gradually becomes obsolete at no extra charge?

Technique

Sonar LE, utilities and more...

Sonar Notes

Sonar LE appears, we find a utility that lets you zoom with a mouse wheel, and Project 5 slightly changes direction...

Automating Tasks

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

This month we investigate an interesting script for exporting audio and look at the various options for automating tedious tasks in Cubase.

Better Vocals In Logic

Workshop

Getting great recorded vocals can seem like rocket science, especially with all the complicated editing and processing tools that Logic now provides. So this month we‘ll be giving you the advice you need to produce that big commercial sound.

Building Combinator Effects In Reason 3

Workshop

Reason‘s Combinator device isn‘t all about creating new sound sources and storing live setups — it also provides the way to build new and imaginative effects units.

Choosing Monitors

How to make the correct selection

There are many decisions to be made when choosing a monitoring system. Infinite baffle, reflex, or transmission line? Active, powered, or passive? Bi-wired or bi-amped? We help you find the answers you need.

CLASSIC TRACKS: Supertramp‘s 'Logical Song'

Producers: Supertramp, Peter Henderson

Producer and engineer Peter Henderson spent nine months recording an album that neither he nor the A&M label could afford to fail. Yet when he handed in the masters, Henderson was convinced that Supertramp‘s Breakfast In America would finish his career...\n

Creating Easier Drum Parts In Sonar&4

Workshop

Producing great drum parts can be quicker, easier and more fun with the dedicated facilities Sonar&4 provides. We explain.

Creative Shortcuts In Digital Performer

Workshop

An accomplished sequencer such as Digital Performer certainly allows its users to push the envelope when it comes to sophisticated music and sound production, but it should also act as a ‘sketchpad‘, facilitating composition and musical experimentation. We take a look at what DP can offer in this area.

Customising The Workspace In Cubase SX

Workshop

When you come over all creative or are facing a tight deadline, a lean, mean music-recording machine is a definite advantage. The tools for customising the Cubase SX work environment may not sound very sexy, but they can certainly help the workflow.

Demo Doctor

Readers Tracks Analysed

Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see whether you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...

Demo Doctor

Readers Recordings Analysed

Resident specialist John Harris offers his demo diagnosis and prescribes an appropriate remedy.

DIY Fault-finding

PC Notes

If you‘re having problems with your setup, a methodical approach can save frustration. PC Notes offers some advice.

Faster G5s

Apple Notes

As Apple‘s Tiger finds its way around the jungle of Mac users, there‘s also some new hardware to consider this month, with faster G5 machines hitting the shelves.

How OS X Tiger Affects Digital Performer

Digital Performer Notes

Tiger, Apple‘s latest version of OS X, has some implications for Digital Performer users. Happily, they‘re nearly all good...

Keeping Your Pro Tools Sessions On Track

Workshop

In a busy recording studio, no-one wants to be hanging around while you duplicate individual tracks or try to locate take six. This month‘s Pro Tools workshop lifts the lid on some essential session-smoothing tips and techniques.

Mac OS X Tiger: A Musician's Guide

Apple Notes

The latest version of Apple's Mac OS contains some excellent new features aimed at musicians and audio engineers. Is this one OS upgrade you won't mind performing on your studio computer?

Solving Reason problems With Combinator

Reason Notes

The new Combinator device can solve Reason problems you didn‘t even realise you had. We elaborate, as well as offering news and tips...

Studio SOS

Jazz and Alessia

The SOS team return to Cambridge, turning another home studio upside down in search of improved vocal and guitar sounds.

Test-driving Logic Pro v7.1

Logic Notes

Following on from our preview last month, we test-drive the new Logic Pro v7.1. Does it finally deliver what v7 promised?

What Can You Achieve With A Single Music PC?

PC Musician

If your PC is beginning to feel a bit tired, even though it‘s a comparatively recent model, do you really have to abandon it in favour of a new machine, or can clever upgrading restore cutting-edge performance?

What's New In Pro Tools 6.9

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Version 6.9 of Pro Tools is here, bringing with it the usual slew of improvements and changes — and the odd pitfall for the unwary. Here's what you need to know if you are thinking of taking the plunge.

Sound Advice

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