August 2009 In This Issue

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Competition

WIN 3000 GBP worth of Peluso microphones!

Deadline: 2009-08-31

Four great mics worth £3000 GBP are up for grabs this month. You have until 31 August 2009 to enter. Prize kindly donated by KMR Audio + 44 (0) 20 8445 2446 www.kmraudio.com

Reviews

65 Amps Lil Elvis

Recording Guitar Amplifier

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Theres no shortage of hand-wired boutique guitar amps on the market, but how about one that includes power scaling, to give you the right tone for recording, but without the volume?

ART Tubefire 8

Firewire Audio Interface

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ART aim to prove that its better by tube, packing eight valve preamps into a Firewire interface.

Audio Ease Cabinet

Guitar Technology News/Preview

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Audio Ease, who made their name with excellent convolution‑based software such as Altiverb and Speakerphone, have announced...

Behringer ‘Vintage’ Series

Guitar Effects Pedals

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Behringer keep coming up with affordable toys, and this time they sent us a selection of their 'Vintage' pedals. The folded-...

Best Service Dancehall Vibes Volume 1

Acidized WAV/REX2/NN-XT/SoundFont/Halion

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Dancehall Vibes Volume 1 provides 30 loop‑based construction kits, plus a small collection of vinyl scratches. I auditioned...

C-Thru Music Axis 49

Harmonic Table MIDI Controller

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The piano keyboard is so widespread and familiar that we take it for granted. But, as C-Thru Musics Axis 49 demonstrates, its not the only option out there.

Cockos Reaper 3

Digital Audio Workstation Software [Mac/PC]

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The latest major update to Reaper brings with it a complete overhaul of MIDI functionality, improved automation, and much, much more.

Dave Smith Instruments Mopho

Analogue Synthesizer

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The latest synth from Dave Smith owes more than a little to its illustrious ancestor, the Sequential Circuits Pro One, but costs only £299$399.

Event Opal

Studio Monitors

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Events new owners make some extravagant claims for these new high-end monitors, whose design is said to put quality first. Do they live up to the hype?

EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Play Edition

Sample Library

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A star Hollywood orchestral library gets an extreme make-over.

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24

Firewire Audio Interface

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A cut-down Saffire without compromise on quality or features? Read on...

Neve 2254/R

Mono Limiter/Compressor

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All the smoothness and class youd expect from a vintage Neve compressor — but with the benefit of software recall. Whats not to like?

PreSonus DigiMax D8

Eight-channel Mic Pre & A-D Converter

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Presonus combine their respected analogue and digital technology in this affordable ADAT-equipped preamp.

SE Electronics SE2200T

Valve Condenser Microphone

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SE tweak their successful design to create whats probably the most affordable serious tube mic around.

Soniccouture Gu Zheng

Multi-format

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The Chinese gu zheng has been kicking around since 200 BC, making it one of the few historical musical artifacts to predate...

SSL X-Desk

Analogue Mixing Console

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Technology from SSLs high-end mixing consoles has been filtering down to the project studio for some time, in the form of the X-Logic and X-Rack products, but the desks themselves have remained the preserve of commercial studios. Until now...

Synesthesia USB Mandala Drum 2

Percussion Controller

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The Mandala is a drum pad with a difference: it has a Virtual Brain and its manufacturers claim that its “the smartest thing youll ever hit with a stick.”

Telefunken ELA M260

Small-diaphragm Valve Condenser Microphone

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Despite sharing a name with a historic Telefunken mic, this is a new design. But it still delivers classy, vintage-sounding results.

Universal Audio UAD 4K Plug-ins

Software Channel Strip & Dynamics Processor

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Just in case the line-up of plug-ins available for the UAD cards wasnt tempting enough already, Universal Audio have now added emulations of classic SSL hardware.

VSL Solo Strings II, Bassoon II & Trumpet in Bb

Vienna Instruments

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Vienna Symphonic Library's Solo Strings II adopts the same template as their Appassionata Strings II and Chamber Strings II (...

XT Software EnergyXT 2.5 Plus

Portable DAW Software [Mac OS/Windows/ Linux]

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The idea of a truly portable DAW application has obvious appeal, especially when that application costs as little as EnergyXT. But can you really carry everything you need to make music on a USB Flash drive?

Zero-G Indian Dance Classics

Acidized WAV/REX2/Apple Loops/ AIFF/Stylus RMX

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Is it just me, or are 'Bollywood' sample libraries taking over the world? Hot on the heels of Philtre Labs' Bollywood Elements...

People + Opinion

Armin Van Buuren

Producing Trance

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Not content with being one of the most celebrated DJs in the world, Armin Van Buuren has also had a string of club and chart hits. We asked him to talk us through the production of a top-notch trance anthem.

Playback

Readers’ Music Reviewed

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Sponsored by breed-media.co.uk

Recording On Trial

Leader

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Does the public actually listen to music any more, or do they simply hear it?

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Peter Mokran

Track: Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)

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Take one Bollywood soundtrack, add a Pussycat Doll and a heap of new instruments, and you have a recipe for a big mix. Peter Mokran was the engineer who cooked up an international hit with Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny).

Sounding Off: Is DAB a disaster?

Hugh Robjohns

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With the FM radio frequencies under threat from the UK government's planned sell-off, is DAB coverage and quality really good enough to replace it?

Technique

Classic Tracks | Aerosmith ‘Walk This Way’

Producer: Jack Douglas • Engineer: Jay Messina

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In 1975, Aerosmith stormed into the mainstream with their Toys In The Attic album, and in doing so set the tone for a decade of West Coast heavy metal.

Customising Digital Performer

Digital Performer Notes & Techniques

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Save time and make Digital Performer work just how you like it, with easy custom templates and preferences tweaks.

Developer Conference; Mac Musicians

Apple Notes

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We round up the latest from the Apple Developers Conference and the implications for Mac musicians.

Drive Backup Solutions

PC Notes

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We address a few common PC music questions and introduce the best software solutions for drive backup.

Logic's Master Blasters: Part 2

Logic Notes & Techniques

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Part 2: We turn to Logics dynamics processing in our quest for a polished master.

Mix Rescue Audio: Al James

Audio Examples From Mix Rescue August 2009

Here is a selection of audio files to accompany this month's Mix Rescue of Al James' song 'Schoolboy Fascination'. You can...

Mix Rescue: Al James

Ways to improve your mix

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Why is Al James poppy and well-arranged track not reaching its potential in the mix, despite extensive EQ treatment and other processing? We dissect his original Cubase project to find out.

Pitch Perfect With VariAudio

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

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In VariAudio, Cubase 5 users have a sophisticated pitch-correction tool.

Sonar: Bigger Beats

Sonar Notes & Techniques

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Get a big, produced sound from Sonars classic analogue drumbox samples.

Studio SOS: Bedroom Control

Twin-roomed bedroom studio

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Ever wanted to set up both a control room and live room in two tiny bedrooms? On a budget? With remote-control facilities? Actually, it can be done!

Troubleshooting

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

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Newcomers and power users alike need to know how to make things right when their Pro Tools Sessions run into trouble.

Music Business

Notes From The Deadline

TV Music From The Inside

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Almost everything about being a composer of music for television is a gamble, except getting paid. Thats two gambles.

The Remix Business: Part 3

Getting Technical

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As well as having all-round audio engineering ability, a remixer needs to be proficient in remix-specific processes. We explore the essential software and skills.

Sound Advice

Q. Can I use vintage hi-fi for monitoring?

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There's a lot said on discussion fora about the need to use studio monitors instead of hi‑fi speakers, although there are some...

Q. How can I achieve clarity in my mixes?

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I have noticed that, when matching up my tracks with more professional productions, my songs are lacking a certain clarity....

Q. How can I improve a school's live room?

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We don't have the best‑sounding live room, so I try to achieve as clean a sound as possible. To this end, drums are normally...

Q. What’s the best way to connect gear digitally?

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I currently have an Emu 1820M audio interface and a Line 6 Pod XT Pro modelling guitar preamp, and am about to get a PreSonus...

SOS Podcast 016

21:41 mins

The SOS editorial team talk about some of the latest recording gear on the market, including the Event Opal and SSL X-Desk, which are both reviewed in the August 2009 issue of Sound On Sound magazine. Also, we answer your studio questions and announce the winner of the Dream Studio competition we launched at the recent LIMS show in London. Plus news of the Red Bull Music Academy event in 2010.

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