August 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

Aardvark Aark 20/20

20-bit PC Digital Audio Recording System

Multichannel PCI-card based digital audio recording systems are increasingly common these days, but not all of them focus on the quality of the onboard converters to the extent they should. Dave Shapton checks out a new card from far-sighted digital problem-solvers Aardvark that promises not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Alesis ADAT Type II

ADAT Recorder

Paul White meets the new junior member of Alesis' family of Type II 20-bit ADAT recorders.

Allen & Heath GS3000

8-buss Console

An eight-buss console with pro looks, serious spec, and even a couple of valve stages too, all at a project studio price; surely it sounds too good to be true? Not when it comes from Allen & Heath, as David Mellor finds out.

Amtech AGE One

Tape Echo Emulator

Paul White takes a trip back in time to a place where old technology is being used to emulate even older technology.

Apogee AD8000

24-bit Digital Audio Converter

The AD8000 is a high performance 8-channel, 24-bit A-D converter which can cope with an array of different digital audio formats, either in its basic form or with the addition of one of several optional cards. Mike Collins gets converted...

Arboretum Hyperprism

Effects Plug-in Pack

Arboretum's latest Hyperprism suite of effects and processors offer no less than 29 modules, at an average price of less than £10 each. Janet Harniman Cook gets plugged in.

ART Tube PAC & Tube EQ

Preamp/Compressor & EQ

Paul White tests ART's two new compact tube processors to see if they sound bigger than they look.

Bit One/Bit 01/Bit 99

Synths (Retro)

Gordon Reid is bitten by the memory of a brilliant, but deeply flawed trio of Italian synthesizer designs that could have been the flast word in affordable analogue.

Caig Laboratories Deoxit & Progold; Audio Technica ATM87R; Neato; Keyfax Software Twiddly Bits Vol. 9 Jazz

Contact Enhancement Treatments; Condenser Boundary Microphone; CD Labelling Kit; Samples

Paul White, John Verity and Paul Farrer test out a range of key new home studio products.

DBX DDP

Digital Dynamics Processor

The DDP takes the five dynamics processes you're most likely to want, turns them digital, and squashes them into a 1U studio workhorse box for under £600. Hugh Robjohns wonders if it's all too good to be true...

Emu Audity 2000

Digital Synth Module

The streamlined '90s extereior of Emu's Audity 2000 claims to hide a virtual modular hybrid, harking back to the company's own lost '70s analogue megasynth. Derek Johnson wonders how they plan to cram it all in...

Housemaster

Sample Library

* Score = 4.5

Johnson Millennium

Guitar Amplifier

Dave Lockwood tests this hi-tech guitar system which seeks to replicate the sound of many of the most coveted vintage and modern amplifiers on the market, with full digital multi-effects thrown in, and all in a convenient, portable, combo format.

Komputer Inside

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Lexicon MPX100

Dual-channel Effects Processor

If you've £250 to spare and a reverb-shaped hole in your studio, Lexicon would like you to fill it with their latest budget processor, which offers 20-bit converters, a digital output as standard, and the famous Lexicon Ambience effect. Paul White weighs in with his balanced opinion...

Line 6 AX2 212

Modelling Guitar Amp Upgrade

Line 6 announce a software upgrade for their physical modelling guitar amplifier. Paul White plugs in, turns on and checks out the reborn AX2.

No Kick

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Novation Supernova ASM

Polysynth

Long awaited and much anticipated, Novation's new digitally-modelled analogue synth module is the company's most ambitionus offering yet. Simon Trask has a blast with the Supernova...

Roland SP808

Groovesampler Sampling Workstation

The new SP808 has little in common with its namesake, the TR808; one was an analogue rhythm unit, the other is a feature-packed sampler, multitrack digital audio recorder, synth and remix tool. Clearly, Roland are hoping that some of the 'hi-tech classic' status of the TR will pass to the new SP. Chris Carter certainly thinks it has what it takes...

Sennheiser Evolution Series

Vocal Microphones

Paul White studio-tests Sennheiser's new range of affordable vocal microphones to see if they really can give the established models a run for their money.

Smokin' Beats With Attitude

Sample Library

* Score = 3.5

Sony SMS1P

Sony SMS1P Powered Monitors

Paul White tests Sony's diminutive powered monitor designed for desktop music and multimedia work. Can such a small box deliver the goods, and is the performance worth the price?

Tannoy Reveal

Nearfield Monitors

Paul White finds out whether Tannoy's new Reveals have anything to hide...

TC Works Native Essentials

EQ & Plug-In Software

TC Works transfer more of their expertise to DirectX PC software with a set of interfaces that let you squash, tone up, and space out your audio with a mouse. Martin Walker gets clicking.

People + Opinion

BON HARRIS: Programming For The Smashing Pumpkins

Interview | Engineer

Sam Molineaux discovers an early techno pioneer thriving in the heart of Hollywood; living proof of the maxim 'what goes around comes around'.

MARTIN WALKER: Why Is Some Music Software So Difficult To Use?

Sounding Off

'That Martin Walker', you probably think as you leaf through your new SOS, 'he must be very happy man. He's always getting to look at the very latest music software — and for free!' But no, he's complaining about it. Here's why...

PASCAL GABRIEL (PEACH): Sliding Doors

Interview | Producer

Renowned producer and remixer Pascal Gabriel is back with a stylish new recording project, Peach. With a hit in the states behind them and the inclusion of a Peach track in the film Sliding Doors, widespread recognition can't be far away. Bill Bruce meets Pascal and production partner Paul Stretham at their Strongroom studio to talk technology, and finds them going back to their fruits...

STEVE McNALLY: Making Waves

Interview | Sound Programmer

Do you ever wonder who's responsible for the waveforms and sound patches in your favourite synth? If it's a Korg keyboard, then the answer might be Steve McNally, one of the team of sound developers. Paul White talks to him about his work.

Technique

20 Tips On Recording Guitars

Tips & Tricks

Paul White and Dave Lockwood strum up a few tried-and trusted methods of improving your studio guitar sound.

All About Digital Audio, Part 4

Exploration

In the fourth instalment of our series on the techniques and technology behind digital audio Hugh Robjohns looks at digital tape recording formats.
• Read Part 1 (May 1998)
• Read Part 2 (June 1998)
• Read Part 3 (July 1998)
• Read Part 5 (September 1998)
• Read Part 6 (October 1998)

Choosing A Recording Setup, Part 2

Tips & Techniques

Following on from last month's look at the advantages and pitfalls of analogue and digital tape, and hardware tapeless recorders, Paul White turns his attention to the ways in which computers can be used in audio recording.
• Read Part 1 (July 1998)
• Read Part 3 (September 1998)
• Read Part 4 (October 1998)
• Read Part 5 (November 1998)

Creative Sequencer Tips, Part 1

Tips & Techniques

Your computer sequencer can do bewitching things with simple ingredients, creating the impression that you're a musical wizard even if you're just a one-finger pianist. Nicholas Rowland works some MIDI magic...
• Read Part 2 (September 1998)
• Read Part 3 (October 1998)

Digitally Transfering Sounds From Audio CD To Your PC

Tips & Tricks

To get the maximum quality from audio sample CDs, you need to transfer the sound data to your PC in the digital domain. Martin Walker explains why the process isn't always as easy as you might expect.

Intel Celeron; Cleansweep Deluxe v3.0

PC Notes

Just when you thought you'd got your cholesterol down, it's nothing but chips again. Martin Walker wades through the new CPU options, and uninstalls some more software.

Joe Connor's InterActive

Atari Notes

Hardware development is still going for Atari computers: now STe users can buy a new processor accelerator that brings faster operation and internal hard drive to STe computers, for relatively modest cost. Derek Johnson feels the need for speed...

Mac OS 10

Apple Notes

Martin Russ looks forwards and backwards this month, with visits to the limits of Mac-Time, the year 2000, MacOS 10, and a modern version of yesterday's analogues.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Cybermonkey * Abrahams Merkin * Inception * Otherness * Paul Hobday * Jaguar Moses * Da Capo * Guy Lancaster * Mantis * Sonica * Leon

Practical Acoustic Treatment, Part 2

Tips & Techniques

In his second article on acoustic treatment, Paul White tackles the absorbing subject of acoustic traps.
• Read Part 1 (July 1998)
• Read Part 3 (September 1998)
• Read Part 4 (October 1998)
• Read Part 5 (November 1998)

Reorganising Your Studio On A Budget

Tips & Tricks

Getting your studio organised doesn't necessarily mean investing in expensive studio furniture or being a DIY whizz. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser explain how they made the most of their space, and pass on some hints and tips for a tidier life.

Science Of Digital Audio Data Reduction

Exploration

Though you might not realise it, the audio industry has employed data reduction strategies since the earliest days of digital systems. Hugh Robjohns explains the concepts and explodes some myths.

Synth School, Part 10: Modelling Electric Instruments

Tips & Techniques

Last month, Paul Wiffen looked at how virtual synthesis can emulate analogue synths whilst going beyond their hardware-based limitation. Now he looks at its applications for imitating and exceeding older instruments such as electric piano and organ.
• Read Part 1 (June 1997)
• Read Part 2 (August 1997)
• Read Part 3 (September 1997)
• Read Part 4 (October 1997)
• Read Part 5 (December 1997)
• Read Part 6 (February 1998)
• Read Part 7 (April 1998)
• Read Part 8 (June 1998)
• Read Part 9 (July 1998)
• Read Part 11 (September 1998)
• Read Part 12 (October 1998)

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