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June 2004 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Behringer ADA8000

    8-channel Preamp & A-D/D-A Converter

    Eight channels of high-spec mic preamplification, A-D/D-A conversion, and ADAT lightpipe I/O, all at a remarkable price. Is it too good to be true?

    Reviews
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    Bellari RP583

    Valve Compressor

    This dual-channel compressor combines valve circuitry with an opto-compressor design. But does it deliver the best or the worst of both worlds?

    Reviews
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    East West/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra

    Orchestral Sample Library

    It's another multi-DVD orchestral library! Does it merit a thunderous introductory timp roll or a feeble tap on a vibraslap? Find out...

    Reviews
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    Emulator X Studio

    1820M • 1820 • 1212M PC Soundcard & Software Sampler

    Emu's range of soundcards offers an unprecedented level of flexibility, DSP power and sound quality for the price — with the added bonus of a very impressive software sampler.

    Reviews
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    Evolution MK461C

    Assignable USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

    Evolution's new class-compliant MIDI keyboards are a cinch to use with computer-based sequencers. But do they perform as well as their spec suggests?

    Reviews
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    Korg Legacy Collection (Part 1)

    Virtual Instrument / Hardware Controller

    Now that Korg's Legacy Collection is properly complete, we follow up last month's preview with the first instalment of our three-part in-depth review. This month, we focus on the Korg Wavestation plug-in...

    Reviews
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    Latest Sample CDs

    Sample Libraries

    We review: Cimbalom **** • Jazz/World *** • Neo Soul **** • Vienna Concert Guitar *****

    Reviews
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    Native Instruments Intakt

    Sample Looping Instrument [Mac/PC]

    NI have taken the technology behind Kontakt, and used it to build a sampler that's all about loops.

    Reviews
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    Plug-in Folder

    Latest Plug-ins Reviewed

    We test and report on another crop of highly insertable software Plug-ins: PSP Master Q • TLL Everyphase • Fabfilter Fabfilter One • Cranesong Phoenix • Audiorealism BassLine • Sonic Charge µTonic.

    Reviews
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    Red Submarine Dual Xeon PC

    Music Computer

    Most of the major Windows sequencers now support dual processing, and if you want the ultimate performance, machines like Red Submarine's dual Xeon PC could be the way to go.

    Reviews
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    Redmatica EXS Manager

    OS X Sample & Instrument Manager For EXS24

    Multi-gigabyte sample libraries offer unprecedented realism and lots of potential for confusion. Redmatica's neat OS X utility allows Emagic EXS24 users to tame their unruly sample collections.

    Reviews
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    Roland VS2000CD

    Digital Multitracker

    This recording workstation is the most affordable and portable of the VS series, but it still lets you record, mix, and master all in the one box.

    Reviews
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    SE Electronics Gemini

    Dual-valve Capacitor Microphone

    This impressive mic from SE Electronics uses two valves instead of the usual one. But does it actually make any sonic difference?

    Reviews
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    Tannoy Ellipse 10 IDP & TS212 IDP

    Digital Loudspeaker System

    Tannoy's latest-generation Ellipse technology has been combined with DSP processing from TC Electronic, creating a versatile and powerful high-resolution monitoring system.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Beat-slicing Masterclass

    What Software You Need & How Best To Do It!

    Beat-slicing can radically expand the creative potential in your loop library — you can match tempos and key signatures, rearrange loop events, and delve into inspirational sound design. SOS looks at the leading beat-slicing software and shows you how to get the best from this powerful technique within your sequencer.

    Techniques
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    CLASSIC TRACKS: Kate Bush 'Wuthering Heights'

    Producer: Andrew Powell • Engineer: Jon Kelly

    Kate Bush's 1978 smash hit debut single was also the first major project Jon Kelly had recorded. It proved to be a dream start for both artist and engineer, and a perfect illustration of the benefits of working with talented session musicians.

    Techniques
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    Creative Synthesis With Yamaha XG (Part 3)

    XG Masterclass

    In this final instalment of our series of XG programming tips, we take a look at how the advanced modulation parameters can bring your layered sounds to life.

    Techniques
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    Cubase: Synchronisation Options

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    If you get that sync'ing feeling when using Cubase in conjunction with external hardware devices, you may need to know more about its synchronisation options. We explain what's what.

    Techniques
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    Digital Performer: Using Your MIDI Synth To Control Plug-ins

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    Fancy turning your knob-laden MIDI synth into a control surface for tweaking plug-in synths? DP's Consoles make this kind of application possible.

    Techniques
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    Gigging Safely With A PC

    PC Musician

    Increasing numbers of musicians want to gig with their computers — but home PCs are fragile and laptops may not always be powerful or adaptable enough. So what are your alternatives, and what measures can you take to protect the centrepiece of your live set?

    Techniques
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    Hyperthreading & Spring-cleaning

    PC Notes

    This month, we find out whether Hyperthreading is hyper-helpful to the musician and discover some new freeware. First, though, it's time to spring-clean that Windows Registry...

    Techniques
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    More Creative Synthesis With Delays

    Synth Secrets

    In the penultimate instalment of this long-running series, we delve deeper into what can be achieved with just a few delays and some creative routing...

    Techniques
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    Moving Pro Tools Projects

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    A common occasion for grief in Pro Tools is when moving projects from one system to another. Here are some tips to help you keep your hair.

    Techniques
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    NAB Apple News

    Apple Notes

    Apple had some interesting announcements to make at this year's US National Association of Broadcasters show, including improvements to the eMac and portable line-up.

    Techniques
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    Real-time Jam Sessions In Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Learn how to set up Logic's Environment so that you can jam with other musicians in real time on a single system.

    Techniques
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    Recording A Live Choral Performance

    From Miking To Mixdown

    The story of a multi-miked location recording session, from pre-concert setup to the post-recording software-controlled mixdown.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: The Arcades

    Getting A Classic Rock Sound

    This month, the SOS team help The Arcades to rock even harder than before!

    Techniques
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    Vocal Manipulation In Sonar

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We investigate a new DXi option that makes vocal manipulation as easy as editing MIDI data. Plus the usual haul of Sonar power tips...

    Techniques

Sound Advice

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    FP Numbers Explained

    How Do They Affect Our Music?

    Many SOS articles, and manufacturers' specifications for audio hardware/software, use the terms fixed point numbers, floating point numbers and decibels. But what do terms like this actually mean?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Can I 're-amp' a line-level signal?

    If I record the DI'd signal from a guitar so I can put it through a guitar amp later, what are the concerns, if any? Will the line-level signal coming out of my mixer be too high or otherwise inappropriate for the amp?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Can I use three different soundcards at the same time?

    I want to output my audio from my PC into my Soundtracs desk for processing. Using all three of my soundcards simultaneously will give me 24 balanced outs. However, these soundcards are different models from different manufacturers. Is there a workaround or do I need three identical cards?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Do I really need some 'grot box' speakers?

    I understand the benefit of having 'limited-range' monitors alongside full-range monitors so that you can hear what your mixes will sound like on small domestic hi-fi systems. But what advantage is there in buying these monitors for £250, when a cheap pair of hi-fi speakers can cost as little as £30?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Is analogue mixing superior to digital summing?

    I understand that mixes from DAWs can be improved significantly if, instead of using the digital mix buss within the computer, individual tracks are converted to analogue and then summed/mixed externally. Could you explain whether this approach really does offer significant benefits?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What are the clicks spoiling my digital recordings?

    I record guitar using a Line 6 Pod Pro going into a Roland VMC7200 mixing desk via S/PDIF. While the guitar is plugged in, every so often a little audio spike comes through the monitors. Can you tell me what this noise could be and how to stop it?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What should I use to play my backing tracks live?

    I need some way to play a stereo backing track when playing live with my band. I don't want to use a CD player, as they skip, but I'm wondering what other options are there?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What's the difference between ported and un-ported monitors?

    I'd like to know more about the difference between monitor designs that feature ports and those that do not. How do they differ in terms of sound and performance?

    Sound Advice

People

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    Business End

    Reader Recordings Assessed By Music Producers Guild

    More constructive comments from MPG (Music Producers Guild) members on SOS readers' submitted recordings.

    People
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    Crosstalk

    Your Correspondence

    We respond to another batch of reader emails and letters.

    People
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    Demo Doctor

    Readers' Recordings Assessed

    Listen to the tracks while you read what the Doctor thought of another batch of lucky SOS readers' demos.

    People
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    Kid 606, Cex & The Tigerbeat6 Label

    Tiger Tales

    There's some amazing music being made in bedrooms these days. And bringing it to the wider public is the job of the Tigerbeat6 label, whose stars include label founder Kid 606 and Rjyan Kidwell, aka Cex.

    People
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    Loneliness & The Long-distance Programmer

    Sounding Off

    Paul Wiffen reflects on the evolving role of the programmer and the lonely life of the modern studio musician.

    People
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    Recording Franz Ferdinand

    Tore Johansson

    Cardigans producer Tore Johansson was thrown into unfamiliar musical territory when asked to produce the debut album by Scottish guitar band Franz Ferdinand, but the result was a commercial and artistic triumph.

    People
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    Paul White.

    Sort Out Your Room

    Leader

    Now that studio equipment is getting cheaper and smaller, Paul White argues it makes sense to spend some of the money saved on making our studios nicer...

    People
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    Vic Keary

    Thermionic Culture Valve Designs

    SOS talks to a British designer who thinks audio in the 21st century is still best served by tube.

    People
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