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Eastwest and Quantum Leap have combined resources to produce this professional sample collection which includes all the instruments of a Symphonic Orchestra. Enter our competition now and this fabulous prize could be yours!
Equipment Comparison Audio CDs
Are you paralysed with indecision as to what gear to buy? What if you could try out 49 mics, 33 preamps and 29 A-D converters, all within the comfort of your own home? Well, we can all dream, but here's the next best thing for those unrelated to King Croesus...
For Pro Tools TDM & HD Systems
Just as Access's hardware Virus synth was followed by the snazzy Virus Indigo, so the TDM plug-in version for Pro Tools has benefited from an upgrade to Indigo status, making it more infectious than ever...
Modelled Analogue Synthesizer
The Ion might be a latecomer to the world of analogue modelling, but this has afforded Alesis the opportunity of learning from all the virtual analogues already on the market. Free and radical, or negative particle? We find out...
Active Monitors & Subwoofer
German manufacturer EMES return with the Black TV Actives, a set of full-range nearfield speakers that can be used with or without the optional Amber subwoofer.
Plug-ins For Pro Tools TDM & HD Systems
Eventide's first foray into the world of plug-in effects sees them recreating five of their classic '70s processors. But is there still a place for them in today's studios?
Kenton's affordable MIDI controllers continue to come down in price — the new entry-level rotary-control Spin Doctor offers a lot of control (and controls) for a mere £125!
• Drumkit From Hell Add-ons * Score = 4
• Nu Metal * Score = 4
• PMI Historic Keyboards * Score = 4
• Pukka Masala * Score = 4
USB Audio & MIDI Interface For Mac & PC
M Audio's Audiophile PCI card is already a popular choice for musicians who require high-quality audio I/O. Now those without PCI slots can access similar features, thanks to this new USB version.
Portable Music Computer
The advantages of laptop PCs used to be undermined by lower performance and higher prices. Now, however, machines like Millennium Music's notebook are claimed to offer a reasonably priced, mobile replacement for a desktop PC.
Nearfield Passive Monitors
The Pro SM6Ps see a big name in hi-fi moving into the home studio market. So should we choose to accept these Missions? This review will self-destruct in five seconds...
Vocoder, Synth & Effects Plug-in For PC & Mac
Native Instruments' latest plug-in combines up to 1024 bands of vocoding with frequency-domain effects and a neat granular synth.
8-channel 24-bit/96kHz A-D/D-A Interface
German manufacturer RME maintain their high reputation for quality A-D/D-A interfacing with this eight-channel device, which may be run at 24-bit, 96kHz operation if desired.
Variable System Module
Is it an effects processor? Is it a Variphrase processor? Is it a virtual analogue synth module? The truth is, Roland's VariOS can be any of these. Is this the flexible future of hardware? We find out...
Monitor Controller, Headphone Amplifier & Stereo Compressor
These three compact units offer a great deal of functionality in a remarkably small footprint.
Cardioid Capacitor Mics
One of the most prolific manufacturers in China has launched three new affordable capacitor mics.
Digital Audio Workstation
Since its first release three years ago, Nuendo has raised a great deal of interest among those who need a professional audio production tool, and with Nuendo 2, Steinberg have developed one of most ambitious native-based audio systems yet seen. But in an industry dominated by Digidesign, will it be enough to lure potential users away from their Pro Tools rigs?
Additive Soft Synth For Mac & PC
Over the last 20 years, several hardware manufacturers have tried to harness the power of additive synthesis in an accessible format. Can soft-synth designers Virsyn succeed where they didn't?
Portable Digital Multitracker
Hot on the heels of Zoom's eight-track MRS802 comes the diminutive and affordable MRS4 four-track, recording to Smart Media cards. Is this the death knell for cassette multitrackers?
People + Opinion
Business End enables you to have your demo reviewed by a panel of producers, songwriters, musicians and managers. This month's industry panel is drawn from the MPG (Music Producer's Guild).
Editor In Chief Paul White explains why hardware is one way of reducing piracy in the music software industry.
More opinions voiced in this month's regular column...
Depending on your point of view, prog-rock survivors Marillion are the least cool band in the world — or the best-kept secret in the music industry. They've certainly found a different way of doing music for a living...
The Other Side Of Nashville
Norbert Putnam was part of the original Muscle Shoals rhythm section, and as a million-selling producer, helped to bring pop music to the country capital of the world.
Another look inside an SOS reader's home studio...
Music Technology Courses
A lecturer writes: 'If you need to be taught music technology, then you shouldn't be doing a music technology course.' What can he mean?
The process of clearing samples can be financially crippling, as well as causing havoc with release schedules. Rinse Productions specialise in helping producers and labels by recreating problematic samples to order.
There's a drum & bass revival going on, and London Elektricity are taking the genre in new directions — including live stages across Europe.
This month, using markers for navigation, getting the most from the piano roll view, and undertaking pseudo-mastering in Cakewalk's Sonar.
Apple had plenty of surprises at their Developer Conference this year, including new hardware (the G5 Power Macs), and new software (Panther). In this specially extended Apple Notes, we consider the likely effects on the Mac-based musician...
Audio Reference Materials For Your Studio
SOS reviewers often mention their test or reference CDs — compilations of what they feel to be well-mixed, well-recorded audio, which they use to evaluate converters, monitors, and so on. But how do you go about making one yourself? We reveal all...
Could your undesirably high MIDI latency in Cubase SX be the result of unwittingly using an 'emulated' driver? Read on to find out.
Silent Music PCs
In these days of multi-GHz CPUs, the silent music PC is but a memory, drowned out by cooling-fan noise. But we can have the speed without all that racket, according to a German PC manufacturer...
Reader Recordings Analysed
More of your submissions receive a healthcheck from 'Doctor' John Harris.
DP v4.1; VST plug-ins under OS X
DP v4.1 is available, and it looks like MOTU can provide a viable alternative to DP3 under OS 9 at last. Plus a look at VST plug-in support in DP under OS X...
Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques
Last month we looked at using Pro Tools' Beat Detective tool for chopping up and quantising drum recordings. Now it's time to look at the other side of the coin: extracting and using the tempo and timing of a recording.
This month we offer help for those getting to grips with Logic's much misunderstood Hyper Editor, and tell you how to reduce sibilance without using a de-esser plug-in.
Processor upgrades are a great idea for making older computers in general household use last longer. But how well does a processor speed boost translate into improved performance in musical applications on older Macintoshes? We find out...
Once your record is mixed, edited and mastered, you may want to get it pressed professionally with proper artwork. But what's the best way to go about it?
Your Questions Answered
More reader enquiries receive valuable feedback from the SOS crew.
Recording with a computer doesn't mean you are tied to sitting right in front of it. Choose the most suitable remote control possibility and you could regain the freedom of your studio.
Using Your Sequencer's Creative Modifiers
As well as the standard complement of equalisers, reverbs and delay-based effects, sequencers these days are bundled with an ever-increasing array of plug-ins designed to alter your sound in new and interesting ways. We explain how to use these effects in the forms in which they're bundled with the Big Five sequencers.
Alistair Vickery and Jon Midwinter
The SOS rescue team set off for Bristol to help out readers Alistair Vickery and Jon Midwinter, who wanted help with their mixes — not only getting the bass sounding right, but also stopping it getting out of the house and annoying the neighbours!
The Monty Python team once famously claimed that being able to play the flute was a simple matter of 'blowing here, and moving your hands up and down here'. But there's a lot more to it than that...
Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
Your computer screen really doesn't need to be cluttered when you're working with Cubase's many windows, because Steinberg have provided handy window-management features.