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Over the past nine years, analogue mixing stalwarts Audient have built a reputation for producing high-quality studio equipment, specialising in no-nonsense analogue products with top-notch sonic quality. Two of their most recent launches, the ASP008 eight-channel microphone preamp and the Sumo summing amplifier, have caused a stir in the recording industry by offering sensibly-priced, top-quality analogue circuitry in products designed as front-ends (and rear-ends) to digital audio workstations. Thanks to Audient, both units, with a total value of around £2400, are up for grabs for one lucky winner in our competition this month.
Modelled Analogue Synth [Mac/PC]
Like the analogue modelling of AAS's Tassman but don't need its complexity or fancy its price much? The much more affordable Ultra Analog could be right up your street...
Stereo A-D Converter
Benchmark are set to further strengthen their excellent reputation with this eagerly anticipated new A-D converter.
Audio Editing, Processing & Mastering Software [Mac OS X]
This major update to Peak includes a new Playlist editor, full AU plug-in and virtual instrument support and a heavy-duty suite of mastering plug-ins.
USB Condenser Microphone
A multi-pattern mic that plugs straight into a computer.
Plug-in Bundle For Pro Tools TDM Systems
Eventide's range of high-quality Pro Tools plug-ins continues to grow, and the new Anthology II bundle collects together no fewer than 15 separate effects and processors.
Firewire-based Dynamic Convolution Processor
PREVIEW: Focusrite's Liquid Mix could be the hottest product of the year, using convolution technology to integrate a stellar range of vintage analogue EQ and compressor replicas into your DAW. We got our hands on a prototype to see whether it lives up to the hype... (A full test will follow in the next few months.)
Firewire Audio Interface [Mac OS X/Win XP]
Focusrite's Saffire already offered an awful lot of Firewire interface for your money, but the new LE version could just be even more of a bargain.
Gear Reviews, Tips and Techniques
• Marshall Regenerator, Echohead and Reflector effects pedals
•Project SAM Organ Mystique
Amp Simulation Plug-in [Mac OS X/Win XP]
IK have given their popular guitar amp emulator a radical makeover, with a huge range of new models and a sound that's more accurate than ever. Is it an improvement? Read on...
USB MIDI Drum Pad Controller
Pad controllers are aimed at releasing the frustrated drummer in all of us, allowing desktop composers access to rhythm sounds without having to use sticks — and Korg's Pad Kontrol adds a couple of nice twists to the concept...
Hardware Controller & Software Host For Instruments & Effects
NI's Kore system promises to unify your library of software instruments and effects, creating the mother of all workstation synths or multi-effects units.
Monitors & Digital Amplifier System
This new pair of high-resolution active monitors features sophisticated Class-D amplification and DSP processing options.
This innovative Swedish mic's long rectangular capsule balances the practical advantages of small- and large-diaphragm condenser designs... but sounds more like a ribbon mic!
Preamp & Firewire Interface [Mac OS X/Win XP]
With their latest Firewire interface, Presonus promise high audio quality at an affordable price, thanks to the use of software controls instead of physical knobs.
Audio & MIDI Loop Sequencer [Windows]
The original loop-sequencing package has grown into a fully fledged audio and MIDI recording program.
Portable Digital Stereo Recorder
Quality mic preamps, 24-bit/192kHz operation, timecode sync... Tascam's upwardly-mobile new recorder is going places.
Preamp & EQ For Expression System Guitars
This Rupert Neve-designed three-band EQ and preamp is intended for Taylor acoustic guitars equipped with the Expression System magnetic pickup array.
Virtual Drum Instrument [Mac/PC]
Toontrack's simplified version of their flagship DFH Superior offers fewer kits, but with the same sound quality and a more user-friendly interface.
TDM Soft Synth for Pro Tools
The first product from developers Unitonic is an unusual TDM soft synth with plenty of hidden depths.
Virtual Orchestral Instruments [Mac/PC]
The Vienna Symphonic Library are well known for their amazingly detailed collections of orchestral sounds, and now they're providing them as virtual instruments. Will this take the VSL concept to a new audience, or is it a step too far?
Analogue Mixer & USB Interface
A compact analogue mixer that also acts as a stereo USB audio interface.
People + Opinion
Mike Elizondo has gone from being Dr Dre's right-hand man, co-writing some of the biggest hip-hop hits of recent years, to being an innovative producer in his own right.
Paul White's Leader
It's too easy to blame your prized equipment for a poor recording, when in fact the problem lies with your music and the way it is played...
David Gilmour's chart-topping solo album was recorded on his own Astoria houseboat, a floating slice of studio heaven. Engineer Andy Jackson describes the making of the album.
The Current State Of Affairs
What can we, as engineers or musicians, do to prevent our recorded legacy being lost?
Simplicity: for a brighter tomorrow.
A promising new PC system benchmark test has emerged that shows up a previously elusive audio interface problem. PC Notes investigates...
Producers: Bryan Adams • Bob Clearmountain
The Reckless album was a huge success for Bryan Adams, giving rise to six hit singles - but the first one, 'Run To You', was almost never even recorded.
Logic Notes & Workshop
The Global Tracks can not only display chords, key/time signatures, and transpose values — they also let you edit them easily.
In just a few weeks, Apple have completed the transition to Intel processors for their entire Mac portable line, starting with a 17-inch Mac Book Pro and ending with the introduction of the Mac Book family of laptops to replace the iBook. Apple Notes assesses the new machines.
Being Creative Under Pressure
In music-for-picture work, there's never enough time to do what you'd ideally like to. We look at what it's like producing music under pressure.
+ Audio Files
Ian McMillan's band recording presents some challenging drum parts this month, and there are also tips for better mixing of bass, guitars, and backing vocals.
There are many factors that can cause your PC to struggle when playing back your songs — including RAM, your hard drive, your CPU and your system settings. But how do you know which is to blame, and do you have to upgrade or can you work around the problem?
Reason Notes & Technique
Last month we took a look at some basic applications of the Redrum module in Reason drum programming. Now it's time to move on to more sophisticated techniques for your rhythm parts.
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
When your project includes repeated MIDI or audio parts, the new Region Looping tools in Pro Tools 7 enable you to work faster and with greater flexibility.
The team create portable acoustic treatment for a TV/film music composer who has plans to move house.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
This month we continue to explore Cubase's automation features with a look at the different modes available to SX users, and the issues you'll face when using automation and MIDI Controller data on MIDI Tracks.
Ableton Live Notes & Technique
When Ableton added MIDI support to Live, they also added virtual instrument support — in this article we look at how to take full advantage of software synths within Live.
Digital Performer Notes
After being extensively trailed at this year's NAMM show and at Sounds Expo in London, DP5 is finally here. But besides its shiny new additions, such as the six bundled MAS instruments, there are some unexpected and intriguing new features that might just prove to be more useful to some...