August 1999 In This Issue

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Reviews

Alesis ADAT Edit

ADAT/Computer Editing System

A new system from Alesis offers ADAT users the best aspects of both tape and hard disk, allowing them to copy material from an ADAT to a computer for editing, then fly it back to tape with single-sample accuracy. Paul White puts it to the test.

Behringer Modulizer 1200

Pro Modulation-based Effects Unit

Paul White tries out a rather unusual effects collection from Behringer's new budget box of tricks.

BSS Opal DPR944

Parametric Compressor/Gate

BSS are well known in the live sound market, but some of their well-specified gates, EQs and compressors are equally at home in a recording environment. The DPR944, for example, has two gates and two parametric compressors, with independent ins and outs. Hugh Robjohns is impressed.

CAD VSM1

Large-diaphragm Valve Condenser MIc

Extending their popular range of condenser microphones, Conneaut Audio Devices have introduced the impressive retro-styled VSM1 tube microphone near the top of their range. Hugh Robjohns plugs it in.

DH v2.0

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Emagic Logic 4

Audio Sequencing Software

Paul White highlights the major features in the new version of Emagic's Logic sequencing software.

Emu E4XT Ultra

Synthesizer/Sequencer/Sampler

Is it a synth, a sequencer or a sampler? The answer to all three questions is an emphatic 'yes', as Paul White finds out when he takes the E4XT Ultra into his studio.

Fostex D108

8-track Hard Disk Recorder

Fostex pioneered the project-studio multitrack with reel-to-reels like the R8 and, more recently have also been quick of the mark in introducing digital recorders. Derek Johnson reviews the latest addition to the latter range.

Gadget Labs Wave/8:24

PCI Soundcard

The increased headroom and dynamic range afforded by 24-bit recording can be a boon, but until now its cost has put it out of reach of many. However, this looks set to change with the latest cross-platform release from Gadget Labs. Martin Walker looks and listens to the Wave/8:24 on his PC.

Hafler TRM

Active Monitors & Subwoofers

The Hafler brand name has been around since the '70s but isn't yet well known in the UK project studio market. All that could be about to change, courtesy of the TRM range of nearfield active monitors and subwoofers. Hugh Robjohns mixes and matches.

Heaven 17

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Horny Clubsounds

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Jomox Airbase99

Expander/Synthesizer

Jomox's Xbase 09 was a clever and eye-catching modern alternative to an expensive vintage Roland TR909 drum machine. Now the Xbase sounds, plus more, are back, in a rackmount module designed for those who prefer to program drum patterns using their own sequencer. Chris Carter airs a few opinions.

Korg KP1 Kaoss Pad

Dynamic Effects Unit/Phrase Sampler

Korg have followed up their diminutive Electribe analogue modelling synth and beatbox with another desktop product aimed at the dance fraternity — a sampling effects box with an innovative real-time control surface. Chris Carter descends into Kaoss...

Peavey VMP2

Dual-channe Tube Preamp

The fashionably vintage exterior of this US-made dual-channel preamp is matched by an all-valve interior. Hugh Robjohns gets a retro perspective.

Purple Audio Inc MC76

Peak Limiting Amplifier

Classic studio signal processors such as the vintage Urei 1176 limiting amplifier impart a unique sound while keeping levels under control, but are rare and expensive. Purple Audio have an answer in the form of the MC76 — an old idea revisited. Hugh Robjohns does the time warp again...

RME ADI-1

2-channel A-D/D-A Converter Box

High-performance digital converters are becoming more affordable every day, and this new offering from RME certainly proves that good and cheap are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Hugh Robjohns undergoes complete conversion...

Roland GR-Series

Guitar Synthesizers (Retro)

Recognising that there are millions of synth-hungry guitarists out there, manufacturers have been trying for years to develop products which would appeal to them. Norm Leete traces the history of Roland's innovative GR range of guitar synths and controllers.

Roland XP30

64-voice Expandable Synthesizer

Take the sound engine of the acclaimed JV1080/2080, add the data from three expansion boards (plus space for two more), a 5-octave keyboard arpeggiator, 40 multi-effect algorithms and four real-time control sliders and what do you get? Paul Farrer turns (XP)30...

Spectral Audio Neptune

Analogue Synthesizer

Swiss synth manufacturers Spectral Audio continue their journey into retro space with a new analogue monosynth, the Neptune. Sam Inglis finds out if it's out of this world.

Studio Essentials

Product Roundup

Roland Orchestral II and Special FX Collection JV-Series Expansion Cards; Sonido Media SoundFont Toolbox CD-ROM; The Art Of Mixing By David Gibson.

TC Electronic Intonator

Vocal Pitch-correction Processor

One of the most important innovations in recent studio technology is the ability to automatically correct out-of-tune vocals in real time. Antares have had this field to themselves with their Auto-Tune plug-in and ATR1 hardware unit — but now there's competition. Paul White tries out TC Electronic's version of perfect pitch in a box.

XXLarge Extreme 5

Sample Library

* Score = 3

People + Opinion

Enhanced CD Format And How To Use It, Part 2

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Janet Harniman Cook concludes her two-part feature with a guide to creating your own Enhanced CD.

JOHN WALDEN: Using MP3

Sounding Off

John Walden suggests why unsigned artists don't have to remain unheard, thanks to MP3 and the Internet.

NEIL WATKINSON: Recording In The Garden Shed

Readerzone

Neil Watkinson at his home studio.

STEPHEN STREET: Producing Blur, Cranberries & Catatonia

Interview | Producer

Sue Sillitoe talks to one of the most influential British record producers of the '90s, Stephen Street — the man behind a string of hit albums for the Smiths, Blur, The Cranberries, Catatonia, Sleeper, Shed Seven and many more.

STEVE HACKETT: Recording Darktown

Interview | Artist

The release of a new album by ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett is usually a cause for celebration amongst his substantial body of fans. Paul Ward talks to him about the making of his latest, Darktown, and wonders whether it might find him an even wider audience....

STEVE OSBORNE: Recording Suede's 'She's In Fashion'

Interview | Producer

'90s glamsters Suede wanted a more electronic, produced feel for their latest album, Head Music, so they linked up with production supremo Steve Osborne. Tom Flint talks to Steve about the complex production of the group's latest Top 20 single.

TOM GIRLING & JASON COX: Damon Albarn's 13 Studio

Interview | Artists

Having decided to construct a studio for their own use, Damon Albarn of Blur and his collaborators Tom Girling and Jason Cox chose to create an environment as unlike a typical commercial studio as possible. And then, as Sam Inglis discovers, they fitted it with perhaps the most bizarre assortment of equipment ever collected together...

Technique

34th Atari Note Retrospective

Atari Notes

Almost three years after he took over this column, Derek Johnson takes an opportunity to look back at some of the excellent music and audio software covered in over 30 instalments of Atari Notes.

Ahead Software Nero; Adaptec Easy CD Creator; Sonic Foundry Vegus Pro

PC Notes

Many pepople seem frustrated with the 'free' software that is bundled with CD-R drives, so this month Martin Walker looks at a new low-cost CD-burning package, as well as reading a few meters.

All About Studio Power & Wiring

Tips & Tricks

Poor studio wiring can lead to hums and buzzes, but you can avoid the worst of these problems by following a few simple rules. Paul White and Hugh Robjohns explain all.

Alternative Uses For Auto-Tune

Tips & Tricks

Antares Auto-Tune is a powerful pitch-correction tool which is already an industry standard for tightening up vocal performances. As Paul White explains, however, it has the potential to do much more...

Avoiding Latency Problems When Recording In A Computer Studio

Tips & Tricks

Paul White examines how a simple computer-based studio can be hooked up with a mixer to provide zero-latency monitoring during recording.

Consumer Portable Macs; Audio Ease thOnk_0+2

Apple Notes

Martin Russ looks at the musical suitability of Apple's latest portable computers, and the possibilities that may be opened up by their rumoured 'Consumer Portable'.

Creating A Website, Part 2

Tips & Tricks

Mike Simmons continues his introduction to web design for musicians with a more detailed look at the most important HTML tags, and explains how, when and in what form to use graphics on your site.

Getting The Best From PCs Old & New

Tips & Tricks

You don't necessarily need the most powerful and up-to-date PC to create sophisticated MIDI and audio compositions. Martin Walker looks a little more deeply into what can be squeezed out of a complete range of machines, from modest to monster.

Netsound, SAOL & MPEG Homepages

Net Notes

Is MP3 the ultimate audio file format? No! Martin Russ looks at net resources dealing with what lies beyond...

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Louis Champion * Greg Fordham * The Apes Of God * Tim Warren * Sandra Shields * Jack Hollow * Beats Working * Sine Surfer * Tasty * Y2K * Jamie West * Adam Linus Day * Caprice * Juan Mico * Mona Lisa Overdrive

Synth Secrets, Part 4: Of Filters & Phase Relationships

Tips & Tricks

Having dealt last month with the conceprts of envelopes, oscillators and LFOs, Gordon Reid moves on to the subject of filters, and the havoc they wreak on the signals that pass through them.
• Read all parts

Music Business

Making Money From Music

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success

Big George's features on getting ahead in the music business have been some of the most popular we've ever printed — so from now on, he'll be contributing a regular page of advice on the workings of this cutthroat industry.

Sound Advice

20 Tips On Music For The Media

Feature | Tips & Tricks

Big George Webley has survived as a media composer for over a dozen years. He learned the following lessions the hard way; you get them free!

Using Microphones — Frequently Asked Questions

Advice

There are some questions of recording technique which seem to come up again and again. Paul White sets out to answer some of the most common queries on how to choose and use microphones...

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