August 2001 In This Issue

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Reviews

CARD CARRIER

Kenton Plugstation Modular Hosting System For Yamaha PLG Synthesis Cards

Yamaha's PLG-series synth expansion cards have proved hugely popular among owners of their synths and soundcards, but a new product from Kenton allows up to four of them to be used independently - and with improved sound quality. Martin Walker checks out the Plugstation.

CHECKS & BALANCES

NTI Minilyser & Minirator Test Instruments

If you thought you couldn't afford audio test equipment, then think again! Hugh Robjohns finds out if NTI's Minstruments measure up.

Chris Whitten's Monster Beats

Sample Library

* Score = 3

DOUBLE DECKER

Marantz CDR500 CD Recorder

Marantz's dual-deck CD writer uniquely allows the creation of a Red Book CD from a CD-R recorded in Track-at-once mode. Paul White finds out if you really can compile masters in the studio without a hard disk recorder.

FROM A DISTANCE

Aphex Model 1788 Remote-controlled Mic Preamp

Aphex have provided an elegant way to avoid the detrimental effects of long cable runs on delicate mic signals. Hugh Robjohns evaluates the Model 1788.

GET IN LINE

Behringer Eurorack MX3242X Mixer

Behringer's latest addition to their Eurorack compact analogue mixer range offers 16 hi-spec channels, plus the flexibility of an in-line monitor configuration. Paul White tests the MX3242X.

HALL OF FAME

Lexicon MPX200 Dual-channel Effects Processor

Paul White tests Lexicon's new multi-effects unit, which offers the classy sound quality of the MPX500 at an even more affordable price point.

iZ Technology RADAR 24

Multitrack Recorder

The new third-generation RADAR hard disk recorder is the most affordable version yet, and offers 24-bit recording over 24 tracks at sampling rates of up to 192kHz. Hugh Robjohns puts it through its paces.

Keith LeBlanc's Essential Trilogy

Sample Library

* Score = 5

NOVATION NOVA OS V4

Novation Nova OS v4

In these days of flash-upgradeable operating systems, it's easy to forget that a free OS tweak can give your synth completely new features. Paul Nagle investigates Novation's newly enhanced Nova module...

Nu Groove RnB

Sample Library

* Score = 3

PERFECT FIFTH?

Focusrite Platinum Penta Preset Stereo Compressor

The new compressor in Focusrite's Platinum Range offers pre-programmed settings for ease of use, whilst still incorporating extensive manual parameter control. Paul White gets to grips with the Penta.

Pure Guitars

Sample Library

* Score = 4

SAMPLE SURGEON

Boss Dr Sample SP303 Phrase Sampler

Boss were one of the first companies to make a compact, budget phrase sampler, in the form of the Dr Sample SP202. Similar products soon followed from other manufacturers, but now, three years on, Boss are making their bid to regain the lead. Chris Carter examines this newly qualified Doctor...

STUDIO ESSENTIALS

Digital Recording CD-Check

Digital Recording CD-Check.

STUDIO ESSENTIALS

Project Studios: A More Professional Approach

Project Studios: A More Professional Approach book.

TANKS FOR THE MEMORY

IK Multimedia Sampletank XL Virtual Sound Module VST Instrument For Mac & PC

All sorts of weird and wonderful instruments have been recreated in software, but IK Multimedia's Sampletank is the first serious attempt to make a high-quality workhorse sound module available in virtual form. Sam Inglis explores what it has to offer.

WEIRD SCIENCE

Native Instruments Spektral Delay Frequency-Based Delay Processor For Mac & PC.

Paul White explores the dark side of effects processing with this innovative software from Native Instruments.

XEN MASTER

Leema Acoustics Xen Ultra-compact Reference Monitors

It is a good general rule that miniature monitors are rarely of reference quality, but Leema Acoustics claim to have created an exception. Hugh Robjohns evaluates the Xen.

XIX Pure 1 & Pure Valve

Microphones

Paul White tests two new models which make large-diaphragm capacitor and valve microphone sounds more affordable than ever.

Yamaha GS1 & DX1

Part 1: The Birth, Rise and Further Rise of FM Synthesis (Retro)

Although FM synthesis has its roots in the sixties, the instruments that popularised it were to dominate the synth scene of the eighties. Gordon Reid uncovers the origins of FM and charts its rise to fame from its unlikely beginings in academic research in the USA.

People + Opinion

CUTTING EDGE

Using Technology for Live Gigs

It could be argued that technology hasn't encroached as much on the average gig as it has on the typical project studio. Dave Shapton would like to change all that...

MAGIC BUS

Producer, Engineer & Musician Michael Bradford

It's hard enough to reach the top in any field, be it engineering, production, programming or playing an instrument, but Michael Bradford has excelled in all of these departments - and often while travelling across America at 80 miles per hour! Richard Buskin meets a man who's helped to create massive hit albums for Kid Rock and the New Radicals.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

Producer David Axelrod

For a man who likes to work quickly in the studio, David Axelrod's new album has taken an awfully long time to make - 33 years, to be precise. Meanwhile, his groundbreaking '60s and '70s productions have become a crucial resource for the biggest names in hip-hop. He talks to Sam Inglis about productions old and new...

READERZONE

Jez Wilkinson - Aerosolik Records

Jez Wilkinson - Aerosolik Records

SOUNDING OFF

John Walden Explains The Problems He Encountered Using Windows

As a means of personal therapy, John Walden explains what he learned from spending the New Year with Windows pains.

THE LINK MAN

Paul Farrer - Composing For Film & TV

Paul Farrer's name has been a fixture in SOS for several years, but these days he's best-known as the theme tune composer for top quiz show The Weakest Link. Paul White asks the questions...

Technique

Cubase Score Editor

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

More wise words on using Cubase's Score editor this month, as we explain how to create a musical score in which several voices share a single stave. There's also the usual assortment of handy editing tips...

FEEL-GOOD FACTOR

Giving Your MIDI Tracks A Live Feel: Part 2

Simon Millward demonstrates how to use the tools for extracting groove templates from audio recordings within most MIDI + Audio sequencers and offers his tips and techniques for using them to achieve more feel in your tracks.

LOGIC NOTES

Hyper Draw Function; Diagnose and Solve MIDI Routing Problems

Environment tricks and techniques to help diagnose and solve MIDI routing problems, plus tips on splitting stereo audio files and getting started with Logic's powerful Hyper Draw function that allows you to graphically enter and manipulate control data.

MIDI ON THE ROAD

Live MIDI Part 1: Designing The Rig

Being a MIDI-based musician doesn't mean that you can't get out and play live gigs; you just need to plan more carefully than the average pub band. Grizzled live MIDI veteran David Harman explains the pitfalls and outlines some of the preparation you need to take your show on the road.

NET NOTES

Beatnik

Mark Wherry investigates Beatnik, a powerful way of adding interactive music content to your web site.

PERFORMER NOTES

Clipping Window; VST Freeware plug-ins; Setting Up Side-chain

This month, Digital Performer's useful but little-known Clipping window falls under the Performer Notes spotlight. Plus tips on where to find top VST freeware plug-ins for use with DP, and advice on setting up side-chain access to MOTU plug-ins.

Purple Jaguar

Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed

Touched * Lemon Kids * White Lie * Byonik * Skullshifter * Alan Burge * Cheapo Card Company * Joe Gayon

Q&A

What kind of CD recorder is best? * Is my wordclock good enough? * How do I give my Mac MIDI? * Which recording system has the widest compatibility? Which soundcard should I choose?

What kind of CD recorder is best? Is my wordclock good enough? How do I give my Mac MIDI? Which recording system has the widest compatibility? Which soundcard should I choose?

QuickTime VR; ASIO USB

Apple Notes

USB latency is reduced by new Mac ASIO drivers, mLAN development activity steps up, and there's more news of MIDI and audio support in OS X. Meanwhile, Paul Wiffen is making a movie...

RECORDING ACOUSTIC GUITAR

Recording Acoustic Guitar

While physical modelling preamps may take the hassle out of recording electric guitars, you're still going to need to reach for a mic when recording acoustic guitar. Paul White shows you how to get the best recorded sound, and offers a few of his favourite tricks of the trade.

Stopping Hackers

PC Notes

Most of us assume that only big businesses and financial institutions will fall victim to hackers, but the reality is that someone could be attempting to invade your personal computer right now. Martin Walker tries to make the world safer for PC users.

SYNTH SECRETS

Part 28: Synthesizing Plucked Strings

Having dealt exhaustively with the mechanics of brass instruments and how to go about synthesizing them, Gordon Reid turns to instruments that use plucked strings to generate their sound, taking the complexities of the acoustic guitar as an example...
• Read all parts

Tightening Drum Recordings With Beat Detective; Online Answerbase

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Pro Tools users now have their own monthly column, focusing on tips, techniques, news and technical development coverage for the full range of PT systems, from the popular Digi 001 to top-flight professional studio hardware. *

TROUBLE ON THE CARDS?

Choosing & Installing Today's PC Soundcards

Martin Walker offers some practical advice on choosing soundcards that will work in modern PCs without falling foul of chipset or driver compatibility problems.

USING EQUALISATION

Using Equalisation

Paul White and Mike Senior explain how to get the best practical results from equalisation by understanding the true frequency ranges of most instruments and voices.

YOU ARE SURROUNDED

Surround Sound Explained - Part 1

Surround sound in one form or another has been a part of the film industry for many years, but the emergence of affordable digital technology has now pushed it into the domestic mainstream. Hugh Robjohns begins SOS's definitive guide to surround and its implications for the hi-tech musician.

Zeus; Midigen

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson rounds up the latest Atari news and software availability.

Music Business

DOING THE BUSINESS

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Who's Who

Big George uses this month's column to present his very own media Who's Who.

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