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July 2004 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Antares Filter

    Filter & Delay Plug-in [Mac/PC]

    Antares certainly don't believe in the 'less is more' maxim, if this new filtering effect is anything to go by.

    Reviews
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    ART Digital MPA

    Mic Preamp & A-D Converter

    This new dual preamp from ART combines imaginative valve circuitry with more digital output options than you can shake a stick at!

    Reviews
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    Clavia Nord Modular G2

    Software-controlled Modular Synth

    The Nord Modular offered a classic blend of flexible software and well-designed hardware in 1998. But can the improved G2 keep up with the soft synths of 2004?

    Reviews
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    Digidesign Command 8

    DAW Control Surface

    With fader controllers, you often have a choice of buying something dedicated to one software package, or selecting a generic unit that gives versatility at the cost of tight integration. Digidesign's Command 8 aims to offer the best of both worlds.

    Reviews
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    Disco DSP Vertigo 2.0

    Resynthesizing Additive Soft Synth [Windows]

    Disco DSP's additive synth plug-in offers both high-quality resynthesis, with up to 256 partials per note, and a novel 'spectral display' for editing your sounds.

    Reviews
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    Focusrite Liquid Channel

    Recording Channel

    Combining Focusrite's cutting-edge preamplification and A-D conversion with Sintefex's pioneering convolution technology, the Liquid Channel can mimic the most celebrated mic preamps and compressors ever designed. Could this be the only voice channel you'll ever need?

    Reviews
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    FXpansion VST To RTAS Adapter

    Plug-in Format Adapter [Mac OS X/Win XP]

    As the name suggests, FXpansion's utility allows VST effects and Instruments to be used in Pro Tools, but how well does it really work?

    Reviews
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    Korg Legacy Collection (Part 2)

    Virtual Instrument / Hardware Controller

    In the second part of our coverage of Korg's new collection of software instruments, we turn our attention to the virtual MS20, and the MS20-shaped hardware controller. Just how well do these renditions compare to the original?

    Reviews
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    Latest Sample CDs

    Sample Libraries

    Appraisals of the latest sample CDs: Alma Flamenco • A Funky Future • Vienna Overdrive • Cuckooland Completely Bonkers.

    Reviews
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    Mission Pro SM6A

    Active Nearfield Monitors

    Although perhaps better known as a leading UK manufacturer of hi-fi speakers, Mission have now launched their first active nearfield specifically designed for studio use.

    Reviews
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    MOTU 828 MkII

    Firewire Audio Interface [Mac/PC]

    Three years ago, Mark Of The Unicorn were the first manufacturer to bring out a working Firewire interface. Now, they've replaced the 828 with a MkII version offering high sample-rate recording, more flexible clocking, MIDI I/O and better metering — and, what's more, they've cut the price.

    Reviews
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    Rode K2

    Valve Microphone

    Rode have built on the technology from their respected NTK to develop this affordable new multi-pattern valve mic.

    Reviews
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    Sibelius 3

    Scorewriter [Mac/PC]

    Over the last 10 years, Sibelius Software have built a reputation for providing what most musicians consider to be the leading scorewriting software. Now, in version 3, they have teamed up with Native Instruments to provide enhanced playback facilities — but does this upgrade live up to the high standards set by previous releases?

    Reviews
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    Soundcraft Compact 10

    Desktop Mixer

    This slim mixer has been designed from the ground up to cater specifically for computer studio users. But have Soundcraft got the balance of facilities right?

    Reviews
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    Steinberg Cubase System 4

    USB Interface & Recording Software [Mac/PC]

    Buying your hardware and software from the same manufacturer is usually a good bet for hassle-free recording. Steinberg's latest package bundles their Cubase SL 2 sequencer with a four-in, four-out USB interface.

    Reviews
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    Studio Electronics Modmax Filter & Phaser

    Analogue Effect Pedals

    Two effect pedals from the celebrated synth manufacturer provide serious modulation flexibility within a stomp-box format.

    Reviews

Techniques

Sound Advice

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    Q. Do I need to compress my audio before A-D conversion?

    I've been told that I should use an analogue compressor or voice channel with compression as a front end when recording digitally, as this will reduce the dynamic range of the input signal and make better use of the A-D converter's available bit depth. Is this true?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. How can I resolve an IRQ conflict?

    My PC uses an Abit KR7A-133 motherboard running an Athlon Thoroughbred XP 2400 processor with 1GB of RAM. My motherboard manual says PCI 4 shares an IRQ with the two USB ports, and that PCI 1 shares with the AGP. My Audiophile currently has an IRQ to itself and so I'm not touching it. However, I need the TC Powercore to not share an IRQ. If anyone can explain what to do, I'd really appreciate it.

    Sound Advice
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    Q. How do I take care of my valve mic?

    I've just got hold of an Oktava valve mic. Having not used one before, I was wondering if there are any general rules or guidelines I should be aware of when using valve mics?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. How does virtual surround work?

    Can you tell me how virtual surround systems work? How is a '3D' effect achieved with two speakers?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What kind of reel-to-reel tape recorder do I need?

    A friend of mine has a couple of old stereo tape reels which he'd like to transfer to CD. I've seen stereo reel-to-reel tape machines for sale and I'm considering investing in one, probably a Studer or a Revox, not only to help out my friend, but also because I'm interested in experimenting with tape loops and tape saturation effects. Are old machines by these manufacturers reliable?

    Sound Advice

People

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    Arif Mardin: Producer

    From Aretha Franklin to Norah Jones

    Arif Mardin has engineered and produced an incredible array of classic records from artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Diana Ross, the Bee Gees and Barbra Streisand — yet the runaway success of his recent work with Norah Jones threatens to overshadow even these achievements.

    People
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    Business End

    Readers' Tracks Commercially Analysed

    Listen to the music while you read constructive comments from MPG (Music Producers Guild) members on SOS readers' submitted recordings.

    People
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    Crosstalk

    Your Correspondence

    Replies to a few more of your letters, emails, and faxes.

    People
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    Demo Doctor

    Readers' Own Recordings Diagnosed

    Think your music is good? Read the good Doctor's track analysis of their good and bad points...

    People
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    Learning Difficulties

    Leader

    So you think missing a lecture of your music tech course won't harm your career prospects? Read on...

    People
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    Readerzone: Chunc Productions

    Shaun Hayward & Joe Kenny

    Shaun Hayward & Joe Kenny of Chunc Productions reveal their gear setup and musical motivations.

    People
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    Sounding Off: Writing Manuals

    David Greeves

    Who'd want to be a writer of manuals? The endless showbiz parties, awards, book-signings and... hang on a minute...

    People
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    Wyclef Jean

    Producer

    In 1996, the Fugees came like a breath of fresh air into a world of hip-hop that was becoming stale around the edges. Now Wyclef Jean is a star in his own right, and has deployed his production talents for artists ranging from urban legends like Funkmaster Flex and Cypress Hill to Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and even Tom Jones.

    People

Music Business

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    Alternative Careers For Sound Engineers

    New Directions

    The music industry's down, but your passion for audio is still high. Fortunately, there are alternatives to working in the studio that can feed your fervency and still make you a living — perhaps even a better one.

    Music Business
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