September 2004 In This Issue

To open articles, click title links

Competition

WIN Tannoy Reveal 5.1 Surround Monitoring system

Deadline: 2004-10-30

The 5.1 monitoring system on offer in this month's competition comprises four Tannoy Reveal monitors, one Reveal X centre channel monitor and one 5.1 Sub15 active subwoofer, and is worth £1160.
Prize kindly donated by Tannoy +44 (0)1236 420199. www.tannoy.com

Reviews

 BONUS REVIEW: Line 6 Vetta II & Variax Electric 700

Modelling Guitar Amp & Guitar

 This is a BONUS online article not available in the printed magazine
The Vetta II amp range embodies the most sophisticated implementation of Line 6's guitar amp modelling technology to date. It delivers more amp models than the original Vetta, offers more user control of the sounds, and it also features an optional digital interface for use with the Variax Digital Modelling Guitar.
Second opinion by former Be Bop Deluxe guitarist Bill Nelson.

Ableton Live 4

Loop-based Sequencer (Mac/PC)

As a creative, stable and above all fun way of combining audio loops in real time, Ableton's Live has proved an ideal counterpart to Rewire-compatible applications such as Cubase. With version 4 offering a wealth of new features, including MIDI sequencing, could Live now replace traditional sequencers altogether?

Analogue Systems RS300

CV-to-MIDI Converter

No, we haven't got that the wrong way around... it really is a CV-to-MIDI converter. But why would you want such a thing? Read on...

Behringer B2030A Truth

Active Monitors

The new baby in Behringer's Truth monitor range offers great value for money and sleek good looks, but how good do they sound?

Carillon Core 4

Music PC

Computer specifications have changed radically in the three years since Carillon launched their first music PCs, but the company's signature metal rackmount case and attention to detail still sets them apart. Their powerful Core 4 machine offers support for three monitors, plus a huge 400GB RAID 0 hard drive array for audio data.

Cycling '74 Mode

Plug-in Suite (Mac OS X)

If you are looking for effects and instruments to give your mixes a sideways slant, Cycling '74 might have just the thing...

Edirol FA101

Firewire Audio & MIDI Interface (PC/Mac)

Edirol's first foray into Firewire audio is a compact 10-in, 10-out device with microphone preamps, S/PDIF and MIDI.

Edirol PCR1

USB MIDI Controller Keyboard & Audio Interface

There has been fierce competition over the past couple of years to create the ultimate portable MIDI controller for use with laptops. Edirol's PCR1 is one of the lightest and thinnest yet seen. Is it what we have all been waiting for?

Emu 0404

PC Soundcard

Emu have already taken the market by storm with their range of affordable, high-performance soundcards, and their new stereo PCI card offers impressive features and audio specifications at a budget price.

Hot new Sample CDs on test

Sample Library

Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs:
PCP-80 Electric Grand 5* MULTI-FORMAT;
Solo Strings 5* GIGASTUDIO+EXS24 MKII;
Tool Shed Percussion 5* AUDIO+ACID/REX;
Woodwind Collection Expanded Edition 4* GIGASTUDIO

Line 6 Variax Acoustic 700

Modelling Guitar

Extending the modelling approach they pioneered with the original Variax electric, Line 6 have now taken a shot at reproducing the sounds of different miked acoustic guitars. Almost completely immune to feedback, the Variax Acoustic will clearly be a hit in some live applications, but does it sound good enough to record?

M Audio Octane

Mic Preamp & A-D Converter

This stylish new eight-channel preamp and converter offers front-panel instrument inputs and M&S stereo decoding.

Native Instruments Guitar Rig

(Mac/PC) Guitar Amp Modelling Software & Foot Controller

The market for software that emulates guitar amplifiers is pretty crowded these days, but Native Instruments have found a new angle with a modular program that comes with a dedicated hardware controller and interface.

Novation X-Station 25

Controller Keyboard, Audio Interface & Synth

After releasing their Remote 25 MIDI controller keyboard, Novation released the Remote Audio 25, rapidly following it with the Remote Audio 25 Xtreme. Now, the X-Station has replaced both of these. Can we disentangle it from its convoluted beginnings?

Pearl CC22

Condenser Microphone

This innovative rectangular-capsule design aims to combine the desirable attributes of small- and large-diaphragm sounds.

Real Traps Mini Trap & Micro Trap

Acoustic Panels

These acoustic panels not only offer sonic improvements over simple acoustic-foam treatments, but are also very easy to install.

Roland Fantom X

Synth Workstation

Roland's original Fantom workstation wasn't really much competition for Korg's Triton, so it was no shock to see it revamped last year as the hugely improved Fantom S. But surprisingly, Roland have done it again. What's new this time around?

Soundfield SPS422B & SP451

Surround Recording System

This system can record in mono, stereo, or any current or future surround format — using just one mic.

TL Audio Ivory 2 5060

Valve Compressor

This new Ivory-series preamp and compressor combines the ease of presets with the flexibility of manual operation.

Ultimate Sound Bank Charlie

Sampled Tonewheel Organ Plug-in (Mac/PC)

Sampled tonewheel organ sounds have been around for many years, but more recently we have seen the arrival of modelled virtual tonewheel organs. Can a sample-based Hammond emulation still cut it?

URS N, A & S Series

Classic Console EQ Plug-ins (Pro Tools)

For all those Pro Tools users who pine for the sound of analogue EQ, URS have recreated the equalisers from three classic mixing desks.

Voxengo Pristine Space

Multi-channel Convolution VST Reverb Plug-in (PC)

Surround-capable reverbs don't usually come with a price tag of £100. However, nobody seems to have told Voxengo. So just how good is their Pristine Space PC VST plug-in?

Live Sound

One Drummer's Search For Perfect On-stage Sample Triggering

Live Drum Triggering

When the epic, studio-created drum sounds of the 1980s had to be translated to a stage setting, sample triggering from drum kits came to the fore &mdash and our man Gavin Harrison began his personal quest for the ultimate setup...

People + Opinion

Business End

Readers' Tracks evaluated

Hear the tracks while you read constructive comments from MPG (Music Producers Guild) members who assess the latest batch of SOS readers' submitted recordings.

Crosstalk

Readers Writes

Replies to more of your emails, letters and faxes.

Dweezil Zappa: 64-bit Computing & The Frank Zappa Archive

DAWs Of Future Past

Frank Zappa produced a vast amount of recorded material during his career, often pushing both his musicians and the technology of the day to extremes. The task of editing, mixing and archiving these recordings is being undertaken by his son Dweezil, with the help of some cutting-edge computing hardware.

Jan Hammer

The Synthesizer Performer

As a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, a composer for film and TV and a performer in his own right, Jan Hammer helped to define the role of the synthesizer player in rock and jazz.

Jim Sutherland: Producing Aberfeldy

Mono Forever

Recent years have seen a revival in back-to-basics recording techniques, but few engineers or producers have taken things as far as Jim Sutherland did with Edinburgh folk-pop band Aberfeldy...

Let The Public Decide...

Leader

Editor In Chief Paul White evaluates how best to define your music, and whether it is of commercial merit or not.

Sounding Off: Online Music

Daniel James

Online music: are we missing an opportunity to make audio distribution a better deal for musicians?

Technique

CLASSIC TRACKS: 'Anarchy In The UK'

Artist: The Sex Pistols; Producer: Chris Thomas; Engineer: Bill Price

When punk rock broke in 1976, the Sex Pistols caused panic in establishment Britain — and more than a few raised eyebrows in Wessex Studios, where Chris Thomas and Bill Price recorded the band's milestone EMI debut album.

Demo Doctor

Analysis of Readers Recordings

Think your own music is good? Listen to these tracks from SOS readers and see if you agree with the good Doctor's prognosis...

Instant Track Creation

Reason Notes

We explore an advanced technique for creating "instant" tracks using Propellerhead's Reason software.

Layering Sounds In Logic's Virtual Instruments

Logic Notes

Layering hardware sound modules to create new sounds is a simple matter, but things are not nearly as easy when you are working with virtual instruments in Logic. Here are a few useful workarounds.

MIDI Device Manager

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

Cubase SX's MIDI Device Manager provides a way of choosing patches and banks on your external MIDI hardware by name rather than by number. We look at how to create your own MIDI Patch Name Scripts to make this possible.

Music PCs: Manufacturers' Round Table

PC Musician

Buying a music computer from a specialist builder is an increasingly popular option for the PC musician. We rounded up some of the leading names in music PCs to find out exactly what they offer.

New Intel Chipsets: Good For Musicians?

PC Notes

Intel's latest chipsets are finding their way into new PCs — but do they offer any advantages to the computer musician?

OS X Tiger; Cinema Displays; New iPods

Apple Notes

New Cinema displays, a new operating system upgrade, and a new iPod revision — all in this month's Apple Notes column.

Recording Violin & Piano

Pro gear vs. Project Studio gear

Recording chamber music in Birmingham's Symphony Hall is not something you get to do every day, so SOS decided to make the most of the occasion by using two completely different setups, one based on professional equipment (manned by Hugh Robjohns) and one on project studio gear (operated by Paul White). The results were interesting...

Stereo Mixdown of Projects

Digital Performer Notes

This month we're feeling bouncy, as we explain how to use DP's facilities to mix down Projects into stereo files for CD burning, MP3 conversion or mastering processes.

Studio SOS

TV Composer David Lowe

This month, we help television composer Dave Lowe transform a cavernous-sounding spare bedroom into a usable home studio.

Using SampleCell Libraries

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Digidesign's SampleCell products once had a huge army of users, many of whom still have well-loved sample libraries stranded in this format. We look at the options available to continue using these sample patches in Pro Tools.

Using Storm with Sonar

Sonar Notes

We bring you yet more Sonar stratagems, including further adventures in envelope copying, some handy track tricks, and advice on using Arturia's Storm with Sonar.

Music Business

Getting Indie Music Online

Paul Sanders of Consolidated Independent

In the age of iTunes, if you want to sell your music, you have to be able to get it on-line. But to do this, you need to understand a ton of Internet technology. Does this man have the answer?

Presenting Your Demos

Getting Your Music Heard

Find out what you need to do — and avoid doing — if you want your demo to stand out from the crowd.

Sound Advice

Q. In what order should I compress and EQ?

When using a compressor and an EQ as insert effects on something like a snare drum, is it better to use compression followed by EQ or EQ first then compression?
SOS Forum Post

Q. Can I remove the vocals from a track using phase?

I am told that it is possible to remove the vocals from a CD track by reversing the phase of one of the stereo channels. Is this correct and, if so, how does it work? Also, is the reverse possible — can you remove the rest of the track to just leave the vocals?
SOS Forum Post

Q. Do I really need to buy a channel strip?

I often see reviews for mic preamps and channel strips in SOS and I'm wondering if I need one. I currently plug a condenser mic into a small mixer, which provides phantom power, which then feeds into my M Audio Delta soundcard. It seems to work reasonably well, though I normally have to crank the level up a bit to get a decent input. But am I missing something? Is there a good reason to pay money for a box that seems to do something I am already able to do?
SOS Forum Post

Q. How can I stop my guitar buzzing?

I am having serious earthing problems which are making it difficult for me to record a clean guitar sound with my Boss GT6 effects and Roland GR20 guitar synth. There is a bad earth buzz that only stops when I am touching the guitar with both hands. As you can imagine, this is frustrating because every time I change a chord or lift my finger for a split second there is an audible click. All my leads are good, and I dont have this problem with any of my other equipment — just the guitar stuff. The Line 6 Pod Pro has the same problem, which increases and decreases when I move around the room. Even if I do find a spot where the buzzing stops for a bit, the slightest thing will set it off again. The problem is there regardless of whether the units are connected to the mixer or not, and the power supplies are completely separated from any of the other equipment — they have their own dedicated, regulated plugboard going into its own dedicated mains outlet. Could it be a problem with my domestic mains supply? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, especially if there would be a cheap way of fixing it.
Mike Keane

Q. How do I transfer SysEx files to my Korg Wavestation synth?

I bought some CDs of new sound banks for my Korg Wavestation off eBay recently, only to find that most of them are in System Exclusive (SysEx) format rather than MIDI files. I have loaded sounds into my synths from MIDI files before using Cubase, but I don't know how to do it with a SysEx file. Can you help?
SOS Forum Post

Q. What can I use to trigger drums?

I love banging away on my thighs and knees, and I feel that I make some of my most interesting drum patterns in this way. However, I have never felt I could get the same level from using MIDI drum pads, or bashing away at my MIDI keyboard. How could I build a controller with a pair of panels that are velocity-sensitive to sit atop my thighs? Preferably these would be as thin as possible to maintain the feeling of my playing style. Any ideas?
Ascher Nathan

Q. What is the whining noise coming from my soundcard?

I noticed a quiet high-pitched whine coming from my Tannoy Reveal Active monitors, which are plugged into my Spirit Folio F14 mixer. Eventually I found that the whine stops when I press the button on my Edirol DA2496 soundcard to select an external word clock. I get the whine even if the Edirol card is not plugged into the mixer, but not if the monitors are not plugged into the mixer. I currently have unbalanced cables from the mixer to my monitors. I have to use the internal word clock. When any music is playing, it easily drowns out the whine, but I would rather get to the source of the problem and sort it out.
SOS Forum Post

Q. Where can I get a hearing test?

I am concerned about my hearing getting damaged — more at live gigs than in the studio — and I'm wondering how I'd go about getting my hearing checked. Also, is there anything I can do to reduce the risk of damaging my hearing if I'm attending or playing at loud gigs regularly?
SOS Forum Post

Q. Why don't my mixes sound big in mono?

I am part of dance music production team. We do get club and radio play, and, in the case of the latter, as far as I am aware this will often mean mono playback. So I am always careful when mixing down a track that the track sounds similar in mono to the stereo mix. I have compared our mixes with others in our genre and, as you'd expect, our mixes sound better than some and not as good as others, but even in the ones which I regard as better than ours, there seems to be something which separates the great mixes from the good ones: the really good ones sound big in stereo and in mono. I have been comparing two such records, and both sound massive in the studio compared with our mixes but when you press the mono button, on one it disappears, and when you press it on the other it does not change one bit! How do they do it?
SOS Forum Post

All Issues

2014

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

2013

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2012

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2011

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2010

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2009

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2008

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2007

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2006

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2005

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2004

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2003

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2002

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2001

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2000

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1999

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1998

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1997

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1996

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1995

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1994

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1993

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1992

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1991

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1990

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1989

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1988

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1987

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1986

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1985

November

December

 Issue Selector
WIN Great Prizes in SOS Competitions!
WIN Great Prizes in SOS Competitions!

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media