September 1998 In This Issue

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Reviews

Alesis M20

20-bit Professional Digital Recorder

The ADAT format is more often the choise of personal studios than professional facilities — but the new M20 is set to change all that. Hugh Robjohns takes the 20-bit ADAT for a spin.

Beyer MCE7

Miniature Microphone

Though they're usually not specifically designed for recording, miniature mics can be real problem solvers in certain situations. Paul White checks out a small wonder from Beyer.

Cakewalk Pro Audio 7

MIDI + Audio Recording Software

Janet Harniman Cook goes great guns with the latest version of Twelve Tone's popular MIDI + Audio recording software for PC owners.

DACS FwS ColOSCIL2

Ring Modulator

If you're after sonic strangeness, ring modulation is a good place to start. Paul White finds out whether the ColOSCIL sounds as big as its name.

DBX 266XL

Compressor/Gate

Does the new 266 compressor from dbx really excel? Paul White finds out...

Deepest India

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Digidesign Pro Tools 3.4

DAW Software

If the best things in life are free, then perhaps Pro Tools 3.4 is one of them — Digidesign are now giving away this version of their Mac audio recording and editing software. Mike Collins looks a gift horse in the mouth.

Fingerstyles

Sample Library

* Score = 4.5

Korg Trinity v3 DRS

Music Workstation

Korg have upgraded their well-established Trinity range of sample-based workstation synths with a new board offering the sonic capabilities of a Z1 polysynth. Simon Trask discovers if polyphony and additional physical models add new Z1ng to the Trinity concept.

KRK V8

Active Monitors

Paul White cranks up his laser gramophone and takes the new KRK V8s for a spin.

Kurzweil K2000VP

Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology Workstation

It's certainly borrowed (for the purposes of this review), and it's unquestionably blue, but is it old or new? Paul Ward checks out Kurzweil's makeover of the legendary K2000 workstation to see whether it's a blushing bride or mutton dressed as lamb...

LA Audio SPX2

Source Switcher

Paul White switches on to a box which provides a dash of extra source for the smaller mixing desk.

Lexicon PCM81 & PCM91

Digital Effects Processors

As Lexicon introduce new processors to replace the acclaimed PCM80 and PCM90, Paul White takes a look at how these classic units have been further improved to create the PCM81 and 91.

Marantz CDR630

Compact Disc Recorder

These days there are several ways of going about recording your own CDs. Paul White gives this new Marantz professional stand-alone model a spin and discovers a few advantages over using a computer and CD-ROM drive.

Native Instruments Generator 1.5

Software Synth

PC owners who fancy a full modular synth for less than £200 need look no further. Martin Walker connects more virtual modules than you can shake a patchchord at.

Oberheim OB Series

Analogue Synthesizers (Retro)

Simon Lowther introduces the clan of classic American anaalogue synths, the Oberheim OBs.

Opcode Studio128X

Cross-platform MIDI Interface

128 MIDI channels would have seemed like complete overkill ten years ago, but today's multitimbral voice modules can use them up at an alarming rate. Martin Russ checks out an eight-port patchbay/interface from Opcode.

Philip Rees Little 2M, 5M & 9M

MIDI Mergers

Paul White plugs and plays with the latest products from MIDI widgeteers Philip Rees, a range of non-nonsense MIDI mergers.

Product Roundup

Product Roundup

Canford Quick Check Test Disc; 32MIDIworks MIDI Interface; MIT Ripcord Guitar Lead; Keyfax Software Twiddly Bits Programmer's Toolkit; Focal Press Digital Audio CD; BBE DI-10 DI Box With Speaker Simulator.

Roland DJ2000

Professional DJ Mixer

This DJ mixer boasts powerful effects and BPM-driven MIDI control software. Wearing the Trousers, Paul Farrer finds out more...

Roland SC880

Sound Canvas GM/GS Module

One of two General MIDI modules are simply a cut above the rest, and Roland's high-end Sound Canvases fit right into this category. Paul White retires to the studio with the latest in the line and dips into a seemingly limitless palette of sound...

SEKD Prodif 96

PCI Soundcard

If you want more of everything digital, why not try 24-bit recording at a 96kHz sample rate? Martin Walker is floored as his dynamics increase in leaps and bounds.

Shawn Lee's Planet Of The Breaks

Sample Library

* Score = 5

Sonorus StudI/O

Soundcard

As the popularity of the ADAT optical 8-channel digital interface has grown, so PCI soundcards have appeared to transfer audio into this format and out of computers. Previous cards have included one optical connector, but Sonorus's STUDI/O has two, permitting 16-channel operation. Martin Walker makes light work of his optical cables.

TL Audio Ivory C5021

2-channel Valve Compressor

Paul White finds the best of both valve and solid state worlds in TL Audio's latest compressor.

Tony Mason... Steamin'

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Yamaha A3000 v2

Pro Sampler & Upgrade Kit

When Yamaha Launched the A3000 a year ago their approach won quite a few fans, and now they're demonstrating their renewed commitment to sampling with a comprehensive upgrade. Chris Carter's movin' on up...

Yamaha DJX Super DJ

Sampling Keyboard

If you thought home keyboards were all about cheesy organ presets and bossanova backbeats the chances are you are just like Paul Farrer, but as he takes the wraps of Yamaha's new baby and rotates his baseball cap by 180 degrees he is astonished to find that he was completely and utterly wrong...

People + Opinion

BOB REARDON (LEXICON): Spatial Awareness

Interview | Manufacturer

The head of the design team behind the Lexicon Studio talks to Paul White about the Lexicon sound and the benefits of the Studio approach — and offers some practical tips on optimising PCs for audio recording.

MARIUS DE VRIES: Launching A Massive Attack On Madonna

Interview | Programmer/Musician

Are programmers musicians? Marius de Vries certainly thinks so, and he's better qualified than most to air an opinion. Paul Tingen meets the man who's lent his talents to everyone from Madonna to Massive Attack.

RUPERT COOK: Setting Your Computer Up For Glitch-free Music

Sounding Off

Rupert Cook tells the Luddites among us to stop complaining and defragment our hard drives.

Technique

All About Digital Audio, Part 5

Exploration

Following on from last month's look at digital tape recording formats, Hugh Robjohns turns the spotlight on the techniques and technology of disk-based recording.
• Read Part 1 (May 1998)
• Read Part 2 (June 1998)
• Read Part 3 (July 1998)
• Read Part 4 (August 1998)
• Read Part 6 (October 1998)

Choosing A Recording Setup, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

What do you need to put together to create your own studio? Paul White investigates practical options for a core system based on preferred methods of creating music.
• Read Part 1 (July 1998)
• Read Part 2 (August 1998)
• Read Part 4 (October 1998)
• Read Part 5 (November 1998)

Creative Sequencer Tips, Part 2

Tips & Techniques

Controller freak Nicholas Rowland wiggles his magic mod wheel and transforms your sequenced sounds into something just a little more spellbinding...
• Read Part 1 (August 1998)
• Read Part 3 (October 1998)

Demystifying Yamaha's XG Soundcards

Exploration

Nick Howes of Yamaha's European Music Software Division shows you how to get the best out of XG soundcards.

Identifying & Solving MIDI Problems

Tips & Tricks

If your MIDI data refuses to emerge properly from the end of the cable, why not try these handy tips. Martin Walker helps you thru your Ins and Outs.

iMac; UBS Audio Interface

Apple Notes

Good news, good news and more good news. Martin Russ just can't believe his luck.

Norton Utilities

PC Notes

This month, after a bit of clock-watching, Martin Walker looks at a utility which should keep your PC running for longer; Norton Utilities.

Optimising PC Digital Audio Quality In Software

Tips & Tricks

There is now a bewildering array of audio options inside most PC audio recording packages, and if you understand the reasoning behind them you can get a bit (or even a few bits) more quality out of your hard drive audio. Martin Walker explains.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

The Nexus Effect * SCRT * Royce * Universe * Fabrice Retkowsky * Squarewave * Tim Wilson * RM2 * Dahya Mistry * Perfect Circle * Paul Klein

Practical Acoustic Treatment, Part 3

Tips & Techniques

Paul White looks at how you can calculate how much studio acoustic treatment you really need.
• Read Part 1 (July 1998)
• Read Part 2 (August 1998)
• Read Part 4 (October 1998)
• Read Part 5 (November 1998)

Synth School, Part 11: Modelling Strings & Wind Instruments

Tips & Techniques

In the penultimate part of his series on synthesizer technology, Paul Wiffen turns his attention to the problem of emulating acoustic instruments in which the sound is produced by a string or reed, and amplified and modified by the body of the instrument.
• Read Part 1 (June 1997)
• Read Part 2 (August 1997)
• Read Part 3 (September 1997)
• Read Part 4 (October 1997)
• Read Part 5 (December 1997)
• Read Part 6 (February 1998)
• Read Part 7 (April 1998)
• Read Part 8 (June 1998)
• Read Part 9 (July 1998)
• Read Part 10 (August 1998)
• Read Part 12 (October 1998)

Tracker

Atari Notes

Derek Johnson unearths a simple but fun Atari tracker and sound chip synth, and explains how your ST can help you train your ears...

Sound Advice

20 Tips On Monitoring

Tips & Tricks

Not even the best monitor speakers guarantee good monitoring &mdash so how do you ensure that you're mixing on the best possible system? Mixmeister Martin Walker leaks some top speaker tweaks...

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