September 1999 In This Issue

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Reviews

Analogue Solutions Concussor

Modular Percussion Synth

Designing analogue circuitry to recreate drum sounds is nothing new, but Analogue Solutions have gone one stage further with their Concussor system — it's modular, making it probably the world's first commercially available dedicated modular percussion synth. Gordon Reid can scarcely control his voltages...

Black Butta 2

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Boss GT3

Guitar Effects Processor

John Walden examines Boss's latest entrant in the crowded guitar effects processor race and considers whether its COSM-based preamp might be just the thing to enhance his performance.

Dbx Quantum

Digital Mastering Processor

The Quantum from Dbx is the latest entrant into the growing market for all-in-one digital mastering boxes, offering competition to the likes of TC Electronic's Finalizer and Drawmer's Masterflow. Hugh Robjohns finds out how well it stands up in this illustrious company...

Genelec 2029A

Digital Monitoring Speakers

'Digital loudspeakers' have been available in the hi-fi world for many years, but Genelec have now brought the technology to the home studio market. Hugh Robjohns tries out their new small active monitors and subwoofer.

Hafler P1000 Trans.Ana

Power Amplifier

Power amps are rarely seen as glamorous, but remain a vital part of the audio chain. Martin Walker tries out a well-specified model from Hafler.

JoeMeek JM47 Meekrophone

Capacitor Mic

Paul White tries out a JoeMeek product that, for once, isn't entirely green — but finds there's still a lot for the competition to envy.

Korg NX5R

Sound Module

Some people rage against GM food: hi-tech musicians on the other hand, rage against GM synths. But how justified is their hostility? Nicholas Rowland takes on Korg's latest black box...

Mackie VLZ Pro

Series Mixers

The updated compact mixers in Mackie's VLZ range may look the same as ever on the outside — but inside lurk new, high-grade microphone preamps. Hugh Robjohns tries out the new design.

Mindprint Envoice

Voice Channel

As well as offering a high-quality mic preamp, equaliser, and valve compressor, the MindPrint voice channel can have digital interfacing added at a very reasonable extra cost. Hugh Robjohns does a spot of channel hopping.

Novation Nova

Polyphonic Synthesizer

Novation's latest synth is a more affordable 'laptop' version of their powerful Supernova, which capitalises on its user-friendly front panel while adding the ability to process external audio signals. Simon Trask discovers new life in the synth universe...

Oxford Synthesizer Company Oscar

Synthesizer (Retro)

Under hypnosis, Paul Wiffen regresses to an earlier life when he was involved in the development and marketing of what is now regarded as a British classic.

Phatter Phunkier

Sample Library

* Score = 4

RME Digi 9652 Project Hammerfall

PCI Soundcard

Project Hammerfall is an unusual name for a soundcard — but then RME's new card is somewhat out of the ordinary. Martin Walker enters a world of sample-accurate sync and minimal latency.

Roland MC80

Micro Composer Sequencer

There have been Grooveboxes and user -friendly MIDI file players, but it's been a while — nine years, in fact — since Roland last added a full-on hardware MIDI sequencer to their product line up. Now the MC80 seeks to bring the idea bang up to date. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser take the hard option...

Roots Of South America

Sample Library

* Score = 4

Steinberg Cubase VST 3.7

MIDI + Audio Sequencer

The latest PC version of Steinberg's popular sequencing package incorporates a number of significant new features, including the long-awaited VST 2 and ASIO 2. Martin Walker checks them out.

TC Electronic Unit.Y

Yamaha 02R Co-processor Card

Most modern digital mixers, like Yamaha's 02R, incorporate powerful built-in effects — but they frequently do this at the expense of their ability to interface with high-quality external processors. Mike Collins explores an alternative way of adding top-notch effects to the 02R...

Wall Of Vinyl 2

Sample Library

* Score = 3

Xing Technology Audio Catalyst 2

Software

An inexpensive program from MPEG software veterans Xing makes MP3 ripping and encoding quick and easy. But does it produce worthwhile results? Simon Trask has a ripping time with Audio Catalyst...

People + Opinion

BILL PADLEY (WISE BUDDAH MUSIC LTD.): Music Production, Recording & Editing For Radio & TV

Interview | Producer

Many recent singles have had their path onto radio playlists smoothed by an edit from Wise Buddah Music Ltd. Sam Inglis talks to founder Bill Padley about the business of producing and editing music that getss on the air.

BRIAN ENO: Recording James' 'I Know What I'm Here For'

Interview | Producer

Following the success of their recent 'Best Of' album, James first single for over a year was much anticipated — especially as it saw them renew their relationship with production legend Brian Eno. Tom Flint reports

GARETH COUSINS: Recording The Music For Notting Hill

Interview | Composer

Gareth Cousins talks to Hugh Robjohns about the craft of recording music for film, and his work on the recent British blockbuster Notting Hill.

How To Become A Recording Engineer, Part 4

Tips & Techniques

So, you've made it from dogsbody to tea boy, through tape op and Assistant Engineer... In the last part of this series, David Mellor explains the roles and responsibilities of the recording engineer, and what you ought to do if you like to make engineering a life-long career.
• Read Part 1 (April 1999)
• Read Part 2 (May 1999)
• Read Part 3 (June 1999)

IAN HABGOOD: Theme Park Music

Readerzone

Another SOS reader reveals their personal studio set-up.

MATT BELL: MP3s

Sounding Off

Assistant Editor Matt Bell explains why the MP3 revolution will not be televised — at least, not at his house.

Technique

Axialis AX Icons 4.5; Dream Station

PC Notes

This month Martin Walker explores a number of interesting new releases, improves the ergonomics of his desktop, and prepares downloadable demos for the SOS web site.

Creating A Website, Part 3

Tips & Tricks

Having dealt with the basics of organising your site and displaying text and graphics, Mike Simmons introduces som e techniques for making it all look good...

Electronic Cow MIDI Arpeggiator; Phonic MIDI Arpeggiator; Petri Sinisalo Real Arp

Atari Notes

Explore life's ups and downs with MIDI arpeggiators and step sequencers for your Atari, expanded your horizons with a multi-port MIDI cable, and find out about TOS's French connection. Derek Johnson presents a readers' digest. Electronic Cow MIDI Arpeggiator; Phonic MIDI Arpeggiator; Petri Sinisalo Real Arp

Making Use Of Discussion Lists

Net Notes

John Walden introduces the email discussion list — one of the most valuable resources for information, advice and opinion.

Playback

Readers' Music Reviewed

Elfin * Empire Monkey * The Sun Devils * Flanger * The Infiltrator * Corpus Hermeticum * One Blue Top * Mark Taylor * John Francis * George Lee * Waen Origen Shepherd

Recording A Choir On Location, Part 1

Tips & Tricks

Recording a choir on location presents a number of unique technical and artistic challenges. Hugh Robjohns describes how he approached a recent project.

Steinberg Rewire; MOTU Digtital Performer v2.6

Apple Notes

Martin Russ joins the Blue & Whites and examines the goal of all-software music creation. Steinberg Rewire; MOTU Digtital Performer v2.6.

Synth Secrets, Part 5: Further With Filters

Tips & Tricks

Gordon Reid continues his series on the theory of subtractive synthesis by delving deeper into the amazingly complex world of the analogue audio filter.
• Read all parts

Windows '98 Revisited

Exploration

Many musicians are still debating whether to upgrade to Windows '98. Martin Walker reports back on a year of using Microsoft's latest operating system for consumers.

Music Business

How Much To Charge

Big George's Guide To Commercial Success

In the second of his regular columns on the business of making money from music, Big George considers how much money you should charge — and spend — on a commercial project.

Sound Advice

20 Tips On Buying Second-hand Gear

Feature | Tips & Tricks

There are some fine bargains to be had in the second-hand equipment market — but there are plenty of pitfalls too. Debbie Poyser & Derek Johnson offer a guide through the maze.

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