August 2006 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN Focusrite Liquid Mix, OctoPre, Novation Remote Zero SL + KRK Rokit 5 monitors

Deadline: 2006-09-30

Prize kindly donated by Focusrite: +44 (0)1494 462246 www.focusrite.com

Reviews

AKG Perception 200

Condenser Microphone

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Designed in Europe and built in China, AKG's latest studio mic aims to deliver value for money.

Alesis M1 Active 620 & 520

Active Monitors

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These stylish new powered monitors sit alongside the M1 Active MkII, rather than replacing it, and won't break the bank.

AMG One

Software Loop Player [Mac/PC]

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Working with musical loops is now a well-established part of the musical mainstream. Could you do with One more tool to get the job done?

AMS Neve 8816

Summing Mixer

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With a versatile range of features and exceptional sound quality, AMS Neve's latest piece of outboard technology manages to be more than the sum of its parts.

Boss RT20

Rotary Speaker Effects Pedal

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The latest box of tricks from Boss is a pedal-based Leslie speaker simulator with some cool flashing lights.

Cakewalk Rapture

Software Synth [Mac OS X /Win XP]

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Cakewalk's latest virtual instrument takes traditional subtractive synthesis as its starting point, but offers a degree of flexibility that is unimaginable in any hardware instrument.

Creamware B4000 ASB

Modelled Tonewheel Organ

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Having served up convincing hardware emulations of the legendary Minimoog and Prophet V analogue synths, Creamware turn their attention to the mighty Hammond B3 organ.

Digidesign Icon

Hardware Control Surfaces For Pro Tools

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Digidesign's D-Command and D-Control represent perhaps the most ambitious attempt yet to integrate recording and mixing systems. Do these Icons symbolise the future of digital audio workstations, or are they merely expensive control surfaces for Pro Tools?

DPA 4090 & 4091

Instrument Microphones

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DPA have used their hi-tech miniature microphone capsules to produce a pair of mics that you can use on just about any sound source.

Emu Emulator X2

Software Sampler [Windows]

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Not content with adding a huge raft of improvements to their already comprehensive Emulator X soft sampler, Emu have also removed the need to use it with their own soundcards, so now everyone can get in on the fun.

Garritan Stradivari Solo Violin

Virtual Instrument [Mac/PC]

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Gary Garritan's powerfully expressive solo violin instrument features some impressive technical innovations. Will it create a new generation of virtual Paganinis?

IK Multimedia Classik Studio Reverb

Modelling Reverb Plug-in [Mac OS X/Windows]

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The convolution revolution has left a gap in the market for a high-quality reverb based on more traditional room-modelling techniques. IK's suite of plug-ins looks to fill the void.

Minimising Noise In Electric Guitar Rigs

Guitar Technology

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Electrical noise — hiss, buzz and hum — is something that plagues every electric guitarist to some degree, but noise comes in a variety of forms and it is important to establish exactly which kind(s) you are experiencing in order to devise an appropriate solution.

New Sample CD/DVDs

Sample Libraries

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Four hot Sample Collections get the SOS Sample Shop review treatment: • Big Fish Audio Chill • Best Service Chris Hein Horns Volume 1 • M-Audio Premium Electric Pianos • Loopmasters Soulful House Sessions

SSL Duende

DSP Plug-in Processor

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This sleek silver box promises to bring all the mixing power of a 32-channel SSL console into your computer recording setup.

Tapco Mix 220FX

Compact Mixer+Effects

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We check out this suprisingly versatile member of Mackie's affordable Tapco family.

Wave Arts Power Suite 5

Plug-in Bundle [Windows/Mac OS X]

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The latest incarnation of Wave Arts' plug-in suite is a treat for the eyes and the ears.

Way Out Ware TimewARP 2600

Software Synthesizer [Mac/PC]

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Can this in-depth software emulation of the ARP 2600 improve on Arturia's existing 2600V?

People + Opinion

Crosstalk: Your Feedback

Readers' Writes

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Some of the more interesting correspondence we receive at SOS towers.

Donald Fagen

Recording Morph The Cat

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Morph The Cat, Donald Fagen's third solo album in 24 years, sees Fagen and engineer Elliott Scheiner continue their quest for the best possible sound quality — which, it seems, comes only from analogue recording.

Jim Moray

Folk Music For The 21st Century

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The idea of bringing folk music up to date is not a new one, but few people have taken it quite as far as Jim Moray. His material may be traditional, but his approach to music technology is as modern as it gets.

Money Isn't Everything

Paul White's Leader

Editor In Chief Paul White ponders ways to make recordings on a tight budget...

Sounding Off: Are DJs Musicians?

Harry Webley

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They certainly need talent... Harry Webley ponders their place in the universe.

Uwe Schmidt: Recording Yellow Fever!

Yellow Magic Orchestra Goes Latino

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Japan's YMO helped pioneer the use of electronic instruments and sampling. Now Uwe Schmidt, aka Señor Coconut, has used the same techniques to render their greatest hits as Latin dances, with contributions from all three original YMO members.

Technique

Ableton Live: Complete Production

Live Tips & Techniques

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Ableton Live isn't just a DJ tool, but a very capable DAW. This month we begin a look at how to approach Live if you want to use it as a fully fledged audio sequencer.

All About Quantise

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

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When sequencers first allowed you to record musical notes in real time, one of the features that became ubiquitous in all systems was quantisation. Here we take a look at how quantise has evolved and is currently used in Cubase SX.

Apple & Emagic

Apple Notes

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It's been an interesting four years for Mac-based audio engineers and musicians since Apple acquired Emagic, so this month we take the opportunity to acknowledge the anniversary and consider what's changed over this time and what's still to come.

Bundled Synths In Digital Performer 5

Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

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Last month, we passed briefly over the flashier additions to the latest version of DP, in favour of some less obvious but rather useful new features. Now it's time to return for a closer look at those shiny new bundled instruments...

Buss-powering USB & Firewire Peripherals

PC Notes

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Buss-powering USB and Firewire peripherals from a laptop seems like a good idea, cutting down on annoying power supplies and keeping everything portable — but it's not quite as straightforward as you might imagine.

CLASSIC TRACKS: The Knack 'My Sharona'

Producer: Mike Chapman • Engineers: David Tickle, Pete Coleman

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In 1979, at the end of a 13-way bidding war, The Knack went into the studio to record their debut single — a debut single that would go gold in seven days and sell six million copies worldwide. This is the story of how it came to be...

Logic: Getting Started With Surround Sound

Logic Tips & Techniques

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The facilities for surround sound in Logic Pro v7 are often overlooked, so here we take a peek at how to get going.

Making A Living From Music For Picture: Part 9 of 9

Roll Credits...

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Rather appropriately, we round off this series by looking at what you need to consider when composing music designed to play while the end credits roll...

Mix Mode Options In Sonar

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar offers several ways to mix, but is that a benefit or a source of confusion? Learn what the various mix modes do and you can choose the one that's right for your project.

Mix Rescue: Dance Track

Dave Rogers

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This month, Dave Rogers' dance track gets a dose of production 'fairy dust'. Use the SOS Music Player to audition the changes.

Mixing Advice From Roger Nichols

Across The Board

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Mixing music might seem like a black art, but here's a simple approach to help the newcomer get their tracks together.

Pro Tools Mastering Limiter Shootout: Part 2

Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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We follow up our comprehensive round-up of mastering limiter plug-ins for Pro Tools with a look at hot new products from three further manufacturers.

Pure Data: An Introduction

Open Source Graphical Programming Environment

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Pure Data lets you process audio and MIDI within a powerful modular environment, and lets you combine it easily with video, custom hardware controllers, light shows, and even robotics. But, best of all, it's free!

Software Studios: The Next Generation

PC Musician

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The totally software studio, with sound quality at least as good as that offered by studio hardware, is now more feasible than ever before. But what are the factors to consider if you're going to go completely 'soft'?

Studio SOS: Ergonomics

Simon McEvoy

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This month's task for the SOS crew involves stripping down Simon McEvoy's entire studio to improve the acoustics and ergonomics.

Using Reason's Spider Audio & CV Devices

Reason Tips & Techniques

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The grey Spider devices look mild-mannered and unassuming — but they have super-powers that can unlock the hidden reserves of Reason's sound-making devices, as well as solving a host of more mundane problems.

Music Business

Distributing Your Music Online

Today The Bedroom, Tomorrow The World!

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Thanks to iTunes, online music distribution is a reality — but can you really use it to make money from your own music?

Sound Advice

Q. Do I need a new soundcard to work with my 64-bit PC?

Thumbnail for article: Q. Do I need a new soundcard to work with my 64-bit PC?

I need a new soundcard, as I'm upgrading to a 64-bit system, and I've been looking at M-Audio's Delta 1010 and Delta 1010LT. What's the difference between them and will they work with my new machine?

Q. How best to soundproof my shed studio?

I'm planning to build a shed studio with concrete walls, no windows and a drop-down ceiling. Will it be necessary to build a 'room within a room' to achieve decent soundproofing?

Q. How do I backup my Akai 3200XL library?

Thumbnail for article: Q. How do I backup my Akai 3200XL library?

I've been thinking about using the DAT backup/restore function to back up my Akai 3200XL sample library...

Q. Surround speakers: how do I set them up?

Is there an easy way to measure speaker angles and distances for surround sound?

Q. What is a Ground (Earth) Loop?

Thumbnail for article: Q. What is a Ground (Earth) Loop?

Years ago I touched a guitar that was plugged into an amp against a radiator, and it blew the amp and melted the guitar string. Afterwards someone told me that this was caused by a ground loop. Can you explain?

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