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August 2001 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Aphex Model 1788

    Remote-controlled Mic Preamp

    Aphex have provided an elegant way to avoid the detrimental effects of long cable runs on delicate mic signals. Hugh Robjohns evaluates the Model 1788.

    Reviews
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    Behringer Eurorack MX3242X

    Analogue Mixer

    Behringer's latest addition to their Eurorack compact analogue mixer range offers 16 hi-spec channels, plus the flexibility of an in-line monitor configuration.

    Reviews
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    Boss Dr Sample SP303

    Phrase Sampler

    Boss were one of the first companies to make a compact, budget phrase sampler, in the form of the Dr Sample SP202. Similar products soon followed from other manufacturers, but now, three years on, Boss are making their bid to regain the lead. Chris Carter examines this newly qualified Doctor...

    Reviews
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    CARD CARRIER

    Kenton Plugstation Modular Hosting System For Yamaha PLG Synthesis Cards

    Yamaha's PLG-series synth expansion cards have proved hugely popular among owners of their synths and soundcards, but a new product from Kenton allows up to four of them to be used independently - and with improved sound quality. Martin Walker checks out the Plugstation.

    Reviews
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    Chris Whitten's Monster Beats

    Sample Library

    * Score = 3

    Reviews
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    Digital Recordings CD-Check

    CD Player Evaluation & Maintenance

    It can be useful to measure how resistant a given CD player is to errors in the playback data stream, which is where the CD‑Check comes in...

    Reviews
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    Focusrite Platinum Penta

    Preset Stereo Compressor

    The new compressor in Focusrite's Platinum Range offers pre-programmed settings for ease of use, whilst still incorporating extensive manual parameter control. Paul White gets to grips with the Penta.

    Reviews
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    HALL OF FAME

    Lexicon MPX200 Dual-channel Effects Processor

    Paul White tests Lexicon's new multi-effects unit, which offers the classy sound quality of the MPX500 at an even more affordable price point.

    Reviews .
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    IK Multimedia Sampletank XL

    Virtual Sound Module VST Instrument [Mac & PC]

    All sorts of weird and wonderful instruments have been recreated in software, but IK Multimedia's Sampletank is the first serious attempt to make a high-quality workhorse sound module available in virtual form.

    Reviews
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    iZ Technology RADAR 24

    Multitrack Recorder

    The new third-generation RADAR hard disk recorder is the most affordable version yet, and offers 24-bit recording over 24 tracks at sampling rates of up to 192kHz. Hugh Robjohns puts it through its paces.

    Reviews
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    Keith LeBlanc's Essential Trilogy

    Sample Library

    * Score = 5

    Reviews
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    Leema Acoustics Xen

    Ultra-compact Reference Monitors

    It is a good general rule that miniature monitors are rarely of reference quality, but Leema Acoustics claim to have created an exception.

    Reviews
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    Marantz CDR500

    CD Recorder

    Marantz's dual-deck CD writer uniquely allows the creation of a Red Book CD from a CD-R recorded in Track-at-once mode. Paul White finds out if you really can compile masters in the studio without a hard disk recorder.

    Reviews
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    Native Instruments Spektral Delay

    Frequency-Based Delay Processor [Mac & PC]

    Paul White explores the dark side of effects processing with this innovative software from Native Instruments.

    Reviews
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    Novation Nova OS v4

    New Sounds & New Features

    In these days of flash-upgradeable operating systems, it's easy to forget that a free OS tweak can give your synth completely new features.

    Reviews
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    NTI Minilyser & Minirator

    Test Instruments

    If you thought you couldn't afford audio test equipment, then think again!

    Reviews
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    Nu Groove RnB

    Sample Library

    * Score = 3

    Reviews
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    Project Studios: A More Professional Approach

    The growth of the project studio has been one of the major changes in the recording industry over the last 15 or so years....

    Reviews
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    Pure Guitars

    Sample Library

    * Score = 4

    Reviews
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    XIX Pure 1 & Pure Valve

    Microphones

    Paul White tests two new models which make large-diaphragm capacitor and valve microphone sounds more affordable than ever.

    Reviews
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    Yamaha GS1 & DX1: The Birth, Rise & Further Rise Of FM Synthesis [Retrozone]

    Sounds Of The '80s: Part 1

    Although FM synthesis has its roots in the sixties, the instruments that popularised it were to dominate the synth scene of the eighties. Gordon Reid uncovers the origins of FM and charts its rise to fame from its unlikely beginings in academic research in the USA.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Cubase Score Editor

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    More wise words on using Cubase's Score editor this month, as we explain how to create a musical score in which several voices share a single stave. There's also the usual assortment of handy editing tips...

    Techniques
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    Giving Your MIDI Tracks A Live Feel: Part 2

    The Feel-Good Factor

    Simon Millward demonstrates how to use the tools for extracting groove templates from audio recordings within most MIDI + Audio sequencers and offers his tips and techniques for using them to achieve more feel in your tracks.

    Techniques
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    LOGIC NOTES

    Hyper Draw Function; Diagnose and Solve MIDI Routing Problems

    Environment tricks and techniques to help diagnose and solve MIDI routing problems, plus tips on splitting stereo audio files and getting started with Logic's powerful Hyper Draw function that allows you to graphically enter and manipulate control data.

    Techniques
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    MIDI On The Road: Part 1

    Designing The Rig

    Being a MIDI-based musician doesn't mean that you can't get out and play live gigs; you just need to plan more carefully than the average pub band. Grizzled live MIDI veteran David Harman explains the pitfalls and outlines some of the preparation you need to take your show on the road.

    Techniques
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    NET NOTES

    Beatnik

    Mark Wherry investigates Beatnik, a powerful way of adding interactive music content to your web site.

    Techniques
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    PERFORMER NOTES

    Clipping Window; VST Freeware plug-ins; Setting Up Side-chain

    This month, Digital Performer's useful but little-known Clipping window falls under the Performer Notes spotlight. Plus tips on where to find top VST freeware plug-ins for use with DP, and advice on setting up side-chain access to MOTU plug-ins.

    Techniques
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    QuickTime VR; ASIO USB

    Apple Notes

    USB latency is reduced by new Mac ASIO drivers, mLAN development activity steps up, and there's more news of MIDI and audio support in OS X. Meanwhile, Paul Wiffen is making a movie...

    Techniques
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    Recording Acoustic Guitar

    Mic Choices & Miking Tips

    While physical modelling preamps may take the hassle out of recording electric guitars, you're still going to need to reach for a mic when recording acoustic guitar. Paul White shows you how to get the best recorded sound, and offers a few of his favourite tricks of the trade.

    Techniques
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    Stopping Hackers

    PC Notes

    Most of us assume that only big businesses and financial institutions will fall victim to hackers, but the reality is that someone could be attempting to invade your personal computer right now. Martin Walker tries to make the world safer for PC users.

    Techniques
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    surround header artwork

    Surround Sound Explained: Part 1

    Foundations

    Surround sound in one form or another has been a part of the film industry for many years, but the emergence of affordable digital technology has now pushed it into the domestic mainstream. Hugh Robjohns begins SOS's definitive guide to surround and its implications for the hi-tech musician.

    Techniques
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    Synth Secrets Aug 2001 header image of acoustic guitar being played.

    Synthesizing Plucked Strings

    Synth Secrets

    Having dealt exhaustively with the mechanics of brass instruments and how to go about synthesizing them, we turn to instruments that use plucked strings to generate their sound, taking the complexities of the acoustic guitar as an example.

    Techniques
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    Tightening Drum Recordings With Beat Detective; Online Answerbase

    Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Pro Tools users now have their own monthly column, focusing on tips, techniques, news and technical development coverage for the full range of PT systems, from the popular Digi 001 to top-flight professional studio hardware. *

    Techniques
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    Using EQ header artwork showing fingers on Focusrite EQ.

    Using Equalisation

    Understanding Instrument & Voice Frequency Ranges

    We explain how to get the best practical results from equalisation by understanding the true frequency ranges of most instruments and voices.

    Techniques
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    Zeus; Midigen

    Atari Notes

    Derek Johnson rounds up the latest Atari news and software availability.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    CUTTING EDGE

    Using Technology for Live Gigs

    It could be argued that technology hasn't encroached as much on the average gig as it has on the typical project studio. Dave Shapton would like to change all that...

    People
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    David Axelrod, producer.

    David Axelrod: Producer

    Hip-hop Inspiration

    For a man who likes to work quickly in the studio, David Axelrod's new album has taken an awfully long time to make — 33 years, to be precise. Meanwhile, his groundbreaking '60s and '70s productions have become a crucial resource for the biggest names in hip-hop.

    People
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    MAGIC BUS

    Producer, Engineer & Musician Michael Bradford

    It's hard enough to reach the top in any field, be it engineering, production, programming or playing an instrument, but Michael Bradford has excelled in all of these departments - and often while travelling across America at 80 miles per hour! Richard Buskin meets a man who's helped to create massive hit albums for Kid Rock and the New Radicals.

    People
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    Paul Farrer

    Composing For Film & TV

    Paul Farrer's name has been a fixture in SOS for several years, but these days he's best-known as the theme tune composer for top BBC TV quiz show The Weakest Link. Paul White asks the questions...

    People
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    READERZONE

    Jez Wilkinson - Aerosolik Records

    Jez Wilkinson - Aerosolik Records

    People
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    SOUNDING OFF

    John Walden Explains The Problems He Encountered Using Windows

    As a means of personal therapy, John Walden explains what he learned from spending the New Year with Windows pains.

    People

Music Business

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    DOING THE BUSINESS

    Big George's Guide To Commercial Success: Who's Who

    Big George uses this month's column to present his very own media Who's Who.

    Music Business
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