August 2000 In This Issue

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Reviews

Adaptec Toast 4

CD-writing Software

Adaptec's Toast is already the most widely used CD-burning software for the Mac, thanks to licensing deals that have seen it given away with most CD writers. The latest update sees it now being sold as part of a tasty bundle, incorporating other useful applications and a CD labelling device. Mike Simmons finds out if it's too good to be true...

Alesis AM11, AM30 & AM40

Cardioid Capacitor Microphones

Groove Tubes' latest trio of microphones offer a choice of diaphragm and circuit designs at competitive prices. Paul White examines the sibling rivalry...

Antares Auto-tune; Steinberg Mastering Edition

Plug-in Folder

Martin Walker checks out some essential new plug-ins for your favourite DAW.

Bill Laswell Sound Virus Dub Tactic Manual

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Bitheadz Unity DS1 2

Software Sampler

Bitheadz'Unity DS1 is one of the best-established software samplers, and the latest incarnation offers several major new features, including DirectConnect support for use with Pro Tools. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser sample its delights.

Cedar Series X+ & Azimuth

Debuzzer & Corrector

We looked at Cedar's three Series X audio-restoration processors last month. This issue sees Hugh Robjohns correcting his azimuth and removing his buzzes with the two latest additions to the company's catalogue...

Creamware Powersampler DSP

Sampling System

It would take a lot to convince your average engineer, producer or programmer to abandon their trusty hardware sampler, but Creamware may finaly tip the balance with their new PCI sampling card. Martin Walker never says 'never' again...

DAS Monitor 6 & Monitor 8

Nearfield Studio Monitors

Spanish loudspeaker manufacturer DAS have launched two nearfield monitors with more than a hint of luxury about them. Hugh Robjohns sits back and listens...

Digital Audio Denmark ADDA 2402

Converter

There is a vast array of digital converters on the market, but relatively few offer 96kHz capabilities, and fewer still provide built-in sample-rate conversion. Hugh Robjohns checks out the latest offering from Digital Audio Denmark.

Emu Systems Emulator II, Part 1 (Retro)

8-bit Sampling Keboard

Unil the EII came along, Paul Wiffen had no time for sampling as a musical tool. But when he found all the filtering and enveloping he was used to from analogue synthesis, plus a sound fidelity which he hadn't heard before, he was a convert...

Emu XL1 Xtreme Lead 1

Sound Module

Built in to the same box as Emu's flagship Proteus 2000 comes the Xtreme Lead 1, a dance-based 64-voice, 16-part multitambral sound module with 32Mb of onboard sampled ROM sounds. But is it as powerful as it is bright? Paul Farrer finds out.

Joemeek VC1Q

Studio Channel

The latest Joemeek processor to benefit from the company's Meequaliser technology is the new incarnation of the VC1. Paul White racks it up...

Johnson J Station

Guitar Recording Preamp

Physical modelling has always held out the best hope for producing realistic miked-up amp tones from a DI processor, and many recording guitarists found their prayers answered when Line 6 launched the Pod. But does this new contender in the field have anything more to offer? Dave Lockwood gets physical with the J Station.

Korg Electribe ES1

Rhythm Production Sampler

Korg's Electribe family of instruments aims to combine cutting-edge dance sounds with an easy-to-use interface. Nicholas Rowland meets the latest member, the ES1 desktop sampler.

Lo-Fi & Illbient

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Quantum Leap Brass

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Roland SP808EX

Sampling Workstation

Two years after its launch, Roland's innovative SP808 sampling workstation has undergone a dramatic change in appearance, and also now benefits from new effects and improved Zip drive storeage. Chris Carter embarks on an affair with an EX...

Roland VA7

Arranger Keyboard

Roland's impressive range of 'next generation' instruments have seen the company share a number of new technologies across a wide range of products. The latest of these is the VA7, an arranger keyboard which incorporates their revolutionary Variphrase technology. Paul Farrer makes arrangements...

SPL Transient Designer 2

2-channel Dynamics Processor

Paul White checks out the new two-channel version of SPL's innovative dynamics processor.

Steinberg Nuendo

Computer Recording System

Steinberg believe that now that PCs are so powerful, the days of dedicated DSP farm for professional computer-based recording systems are over. Martin Walker enters the native processing world of Nuendo.

Tascam MX2424

24-track Hard Disk Recorder

Tascam's MX2424 hard disk recorder aims to provide professional 24-track digital recording features at an affordable price, combining the simplicity of tape recorder-style operation with the flexibility of computer editing. Paul White finds out how well it achieves these aims.

Total Drum & Bass

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Zoom GM200

Guitar Amp Modeller

Paul White gives Zoom's new low-cost modelling guitar preamp the once over.

People + Opinion

An Introduction To mLAN, Part 1

Exploration

A new interfacing standard is just around the corner which can carry digital audio, MIDI, timecode and hard drive communications down a single cable, in addition to the digital video and multimedia signals which the likes of Sony, Apple and others are already sending down it. Paul Wiffen, long an advocate of high-speed digital interfaces, investigates and finds that he may just have a new religion to evangelise.

CHRIS BACHMAN & BARNABY SMITH: The Sound Joint

Readerzone

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

JON THOMPSON: Online Distribution

Sounding Off

Jon Thompson explains how online distribution can work for new music — but only if you get in at the ground floor...

MARTIN NEWCOMB & KEVIN VAN GREEN: Museum Studio

Interview | Collector

Martin Newcomb opened his vast collection of rare electronic instruments to the public, but the public stayed at home. Now, therefore, he's changed his plans and built a studio — but some amazing vintage synths still feature prominently. Gordon Reid finds out more from Martin and studio designer Kevin Van Green.

MOUSSE T: Recording Tom Jones' 'Sex Bomb'

Interview | Producer

Mousse T's radio remix of the song 'Sex Bomb' has sold a million copies across Europe and has once again revived sales of Tom Jones' Reload. Mike Senior talks mixing and remixing with the influential German producer.

MP3

Cutting Edge

The music business is in the midst of legal battles instigated by MP3. Dave Shapton argues that these problems are partly due to misconceptions about the technology and its consequences for the distribution of music.

NIGEL BATES: Mixing Vintage & Cutting-edge Technology

Interview | Producer/Engineer

Vintage producer/engineer Nigel Bates was one of the original devotees of the PPG Wave digital synthesizer, an instrument that is still a mainstay of his music. These days, he's also enthsiastic in his use of the latest software-based mixing tools. Paul Wiffen finds out more about his fusion of the classic and the cutting-edge. Extra material by Sam Inglis and Matt Bell.

Recreating The Ballet Mechanique In The Digital Age, Part 1

Feature | Tips & Tricks

In 1924 George Antheil wrote a piece of music which required 16 synchronised player pianos playing four different parts, along with a bizarre human ensemble. But it took 75 years before Antheil's dream of a gigantic machine-controlled performance was fully realised, using MIDI, by US-based musician and SOS contributor Paul D Lehrman. In this two-part feature, he explains how this two-year project reached fruition.

Technique

A Practical Guide To Working With Pictures, Part 3

Tips & Tricks

Hugh Robjohns looks at how a music track for film or video is handled at the dubbing stage, and explains much of the jargon associated with this element of a programme's construction.

Buying The Equipment You Really Need, Part 1

Feature | Tips & Tricks

We've all lusted after the shiny new gear that appears month after month in the pages of Sound On Sound — but how do you know what will make a real difference to your recordings and what will be an expensive luxury? Paul White picks out the areas where money will be well spent, and the products that will take your sound up a gear.

Digital Audio

Frequently Asked Questions

Confused by word clock? When is it best to normalise a signal? Are optical cables a con? Paul White answers these and other questions we're most often asked about digital audio.

Hybrid Arts

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson rediscovers an entire family of software from lost developer Hybrid Arts.

Igor Engraver 1.0 Light; Groovemaker 2

Apple Notes

Vic Lennard gives soume sound advice on hard disk partitioning and also points the way to some useful free music notation software.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Einstein's Daughter * Passionhouse * Anechoic * The Missing * Robert Brown * M. Collison * Suzanne Neumann * Mark Hutchinson * DJ Gord * Ms Muffin

Setting Up A Desktop Studio, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

In the first part of a new series, Paul White looks at the business of setting up a desktop computer-based studio. The first stage of planning is to determine exactly what you want your system to be capable of.

Splitting Your PC Data Across Multiple Drives & Partitions

Tips & Tricks

Cheaper and larger-capacity hard drives are becoming available all the time. Martin Walker takes a look at ways for PC musicians to manage this ever-expanding audio storage space.

Synth Secrets, Part 16: From Sample & Hold To Sample-rate Converters (1)

Tips & Tricks

Gordon Reid introduces the synthesis modules that allow you to create a number of commonly used 'random' effects, and their close relatives — analogue sequencers.
• Read all parts

Taskinfo 2000; PSP Mixbass

PC Notes

Utilities for monitoring CPU usage and file accesses are less than entertaining, but Martin Walker finds them invaluable for finding out what's going on inside his PC...

Training Courses & Their Web Sites

Net Notes

Demand is continuing to grow for training courses in sound engineering and in the business of modern music. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser explore some web-based information sources to help you decide which course is for you.

Virtual Mixers Explained

Exploration

Many home-studio users are moving from systems based around a simple analogue mixer to MIDI + Audio sequencers. These packages include 'virtual' mixer surfaces that can be somewhat daunting when compared with basic hardware mixers. Paul White explains some of the differences and smooths the upgrade path...

Music Business

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Fun

Feature | Tips & Tricks

This month Big George adds an extra layer of fulfilment to your music... fun.

Sound Advice

Vocal Recordings; Freeverb; Legal Issues; SW1000XG Soundcard

Q & A

Q. How can I avoid over-sibilant vocal recordings?
Q. Why can't I use Freeverb with Cool Edit 2000?
Q. Is my sample legal?
Q. How can I get two different audio programs to both use my SW1000XG soundcard?

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