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Akai's MPC sampling workstations have been a studio fixture for nearly 15 years, and the MPC4000 is the most powerful one yet. But the world of sampling has changed dramatically since the MPC2000XL was released. Can an MPC still cut it in the 21st century?
Although it features a familiar analogue-style control interface, the CLX440 has a digital interior that allows it to offer advantages such as a 'Look Ahead' facility more commonly found in plug-in processors.
Cardioid Condenser Microphone
At a price point of around £300, there are already very good contenders for your money on the quality condenser mic market. Does the 4040 SM have what it takes to become a front-runner?
VST Sample Loop Manipulation Plug-in For Mac & PC
Users of Propellerhead's Recycle could be forgiven for thinking that sample slicing couldn't get much easier, but Bitshift Audio's pHATmatik Pro aims to prove them wrong by offering an unprecedented level of integration with MIDI + Audio sequencers.
Multi-pattern Capacitor Microphone
The Phantom is the first valveless mic from a company known for their top-quality valve designs. Will their solid-state debut make as good a name for itself?
Streaming Digital Audio
While streaming digital audio via network cables isn't as easy as you'd think, there are some interesting developments in this area that could change the way we connect our studios in the future.
Integrated Digital Loudspeaker System
Dynaudio Acoustics use cutting-edge digital signal processing, developed with TC Electronic, to increase the fidelity of their existing driver technology.
Eight-channel Mic Preamp
Focusrite's Platinum series expands further with an unusually affordable eight-channel mic preamp boasting dynamics on every channel.
Garritan Orchestral Strings Update
What does a sample developer do after creating an acclaimed orchestral strings library? Take a holiday? Not if you're Gary Garritan...
Steinberg Recording Interface For Laptop & Desktop Macs & PCs
Steinberg are continuing to expand their Nuendo range with high-quality hardware licensed from German developers RME. The Audiolink 96 range offers both laptop and desktop users a powerful multi-channel audio and MIDI interface.
Plugsound World Of Synthesizers & Hip-hop And R&B Toolkit
Plugsound World Of Synthesizers & Hip-hop And R&B Toolkit. Formats: Mac & PC VST
LinPlug FreeAlpha; Formats: Mac & PC VST
Electronic Music Studio Software
Propellerhead's Reason software studio has undergone a big upgrade, adding two powerful new instruments.
Filter, Effects, Amp Modeller & Drum Box
It's a sequenceable filter, it's an amp modeller, and it's a drum machine... it's the AdrenaLinn, the new guitar processor from famed designer Roger Linn, best known for his classic drum machines and sequencing workstations.
Virtual Tonewheel Organ
The VK8 is Roland's latest addition to their long-established VK series of tonewheel organ emulations. But due to the current popularity of the tonewheel sound, there are now plenty of other Hammond imitators around. Can the new VK stand its ground?
Stereo EQ/Compressor & Compressor/Gate
What if you could access the sound and controllability of a range of the best-known classic analogue compressors and EQs, from a single rackmount box, in the digital domain? Two advanced processors from Sintefex aim to offer just this ability.
Digital Audio Editor For PC
Sonic Foundry's popular stereo editor takes another step forward with the introduction of non-destructive editing and a multitasking audio engine.
Virtual Studio Software For PC
Orion Pro promises to turn your PC into a complete studio setup ideal for dance music for less than £100. Is it a Reason to be cheerful?
Modelling Guitar Amplifier
This hybrid physical modelling, valve and solid-state design, presented in a classic AC30-style format, aims to offer the best of all possible worlds. How far does it succeed?
People + Opinion
The History Of Emu Systems
A number of hi-tech music manufacturers are celebrating important anniversaries this year and next year. In the first of several articles on these companies, we look at the milestone products made by Emu, who drove the sampling revolution in the '80s.
The Inside Story Of The Deal That Changed The Music World
The music technology world changed overnight on June 30th, as Apple announced their acquisition of German sequencer heavyweight Emagic, becoming the first computer manufacturer to own a music software company. Our team brings you the latest news on how and why the deal went through, and what the changes may mean for Emagic and their PC and Mac users.
Airiah; Perfect Vibe; Ringo Levio
Some engineers earn a reputation for classic recording techniques and live bands, while others help to create the cutting-edge sounds of modern rap and R&B. From Foreigner and the Rolling Stones to Timbaland and Missy Elliot, Jimmy Douglass has done both.
Playback | Readers' Music Reviewed
Curfew * Curtis Whyte * Maurice Kilday * UFO Dance * Ripchord * Kidsinister
Simon Burwell & Damon Albarn: Recording Mali Music
Mali Music is one of the most ambitious collaborations yet between European and African musicians. The brainchild of Blur frontman Damon Albarn, it also represented the first big break for producer Simon Burwell.
Web sites are one of the greatest revolutions of the information age; but is their purpose being undermined by bad design?
Performance Score Symbols
Essential info on performance score symbols, details on making efficient backups of your work, and our usual haul of Logic hints and tips.
Uniting Music & Film: The Ballet Mecanique
Not content with reviving and staging a 1920s avant-garde work for the first time, Paul Lehrman also worked out a way to reunite the piece with its contemporary film, which was never used due to technical problems. This is how...
DP3 MS Decoder
We conclude our look at selecting and editing data, delve into the mysteries of DP3's MS Decoder plug-in, and bring you all the latest MOTU news.
How can I use my external effects with my Akai DPS16 hard disk recorder? How can I convert my mono recordings into stereo? Are there any cheap multi-band compression plug-ins? How can I reverse the effects of performing Windows XP tweaks?
How can I use my external effects units with my Akai DPS16 hard disk recorder? How can I convert my mono recordings into stereo? Are there any cheap multi-band compression plug-ins? How can I reverse the effects of performing Windows XP tweaks?
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
It's a mixed bag this month, with a bit of news, some follow-ups from recent issues, and the new Reason/ReWire-to-Pro Tools router.
FXpansion VST-DXi Adaptor
This month, more on automating your DX and VST plug-ins, plus tips on using Sonar with Propellerhead's Reason via Rewire.
While Steve Jobs' recent Macworld keynote received a mixed reaction, there were significant demos for musicians.
Basic Tools & Techniques
Most SOS readers seem either to be setting up a studio or refining their existing setup, and could save money and hassle by doing much of the wiring and installation themselves. We explain how.
Another reader's studio gets the benefit of expert SOS staff attention. This month, it's the turn of Tim Way, whose mixes sound fine in his own studio, but don't travel well.
Synthesizing Cowbells & Claves
Having learned last month how to synthesize tuned bells, we turn this month, in the last of this series on the subject of percussion, to untuned bells - in the form of the humble cowbell - and claves.
Power-user tricks and tips for getting the best from the Gigastudio range.
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Cubase has always had good facilities for creating tempo-independent loops, and this month we take a look at how Cubase SX makes this procedure even more accessible.
Soft Synth Latency And Latency Jitter: Real-world Tests
Theoretical figures and manufacturers' measurements may suggest that the latency of your soft synths is negligible - but that's no use if their timing is all over the place when you actually play them. Our real-world results give you the true picture.
As Intel and AMD continue to push the clock speeds and architectures of PC processors, music software developers are taking advantage of the optimisations possible, as demonstrated by Waves with the latest update to their native plug-ins.
Running Your Own Record Label: Part 1
With record-industry cutbacks all round, the prospect of success with a major record label seems more remote than ever for most musicians. So why not start your own? Many of us think about it, but what would you actually need to do? Our new series tells you...