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October 2004 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    ART DPS II

    Valve Microphone Preamp

    This dual-channel unit has hybrid solid-state/tube circuitry, variable input impedance, instrument-specific presets, and a flexible digital output.

    Reviews
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    Electro-Harmonix NY2A

    Valve Optical Compressor

    This high-end stereo compressor boasts three different flavours of optical compression.

    Reviews
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    Garritan Personal Orchestra

    Orchestral Sample Library (Mac & PC)

    Gary Garritan takes on the orchestral behemoths with a small but perfectly formed library packed with extra features.

    Reviews
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    Groove Tubes MD1b FET

    Condenser Microphone

    This is a reissue of Groove Tubes' first large-diaphragm condenser, but with solid-state electronics replacing the valve to offer a more affordable package.

    Reviews
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    K+H O 300D & Pro C28

    Active Monitors & Digital Controller

    Despite its small size, this new system leads the field when it comes to nearfield monitoring accuracy.

    Reviews
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    Latest Sample CDs

    Sample Shop

    Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs:Luscious Grooves 5* MULTI-FORMAT; Electro Magnetic Pulse 4* AUDIO+WAV+REX; SAM Solo Sessions 4* MULTI-FORMAT; Saophones 1 5* GIGASTUDIO/EXS24 MKII.

    Reviews
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    M-Audio Firewire 1814

    Firewire Audio Interface [PC/Mac]

    M Audio's half-rack interface provides a comprehensive selection of analogue and digital I/O at a competitive price.

    Reviews
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    M-Audio Keystation Pro 88

    USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

    The price of compact MIDI controller keyboards has come tumbling down in the past few years, but weighted-action full-length keyboards have remained relatively expensive —until now. We investigate the 88-note keyboard that runs off USB power...

    Reviews
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    Mackie Onyx 1620

    Mixer & Firewire Audio Interface

    Mackie combine a completely redesigned 16:2 mixer with a multi-channel Firewire audio interface. What more could you want?

    Reviews
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    MakeMusic! Finale 2004

    Music Notation Software [PC/Mac]

    The latest incarnation of a well-established scoring package holds few surprises, but plenty of power for the asking price.

    Reviews
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    PreSonus Central Station

    Monitor Controller

    This high-quality passive monitor controller can cater for five stereo input sources and three pairs of speakers, with built-in cue monitoring and talkback functions.

    Reviews
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    Prosoniq Rayverb

    Inverse Raytracing Convolution Reverb Plug-In [PC/Mac]

    There are now plenty of convolution reverbs around, but Prosoniq's Rayverb offers something a little different. So just what is 'inverse raytracing' anyway?

    Reviews
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    Studio Electronics Omega 8

    8-voice Digitally Controlled Analogue Synth

    In this ever-changing world of virtual analogues, modelled instruments, and software emulations, it's a pleasant surprise to find that some companies are making synths the old-fashioned way. But is nostalgia really what it used to be?

    Reviews
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    Virsyn Cantor

    Singing Synthesis Software [XP/ Mac OS X]

    If your computer could sing, what would it sound like? With the Cantor software synth from Virsyn, you can find out...

    Reviews
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    Wharfedale Pro Diamond 8.1 Pro Active

    Active Monitors

    These new active nearfields from Wharfedale offer a polished sound for studio owners on a budget.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Alesis Ion User Tips

    Programming Guide

    Although the Ion is already well-respected for its sound quality, its synthesis architecture is also surprisingly flexible. We show you how to get the best from this little beast in your studio.

    Techniques
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    Bilocation: Binaural Recording & 5.1 Surround

    New Surroundings

    Binaural recordings can sound amazing on headphones, but do not work very well on conventional stereo speakers. Can they be adapted more successfully for surround systems?

    Techniques
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    CLASSIC TRACKS: David Bowie 'Heroes'

    Producers: David Bowie, Tony Visconti • Engineer: Tony Visconti

    With 'Heroes', David Bowie pulled off the rare feat of having a major hit with a highly experimental piece of art-rock, which featured among other highlights live synth treatments from Brian Eno, pitched feedback from guitarist Robert Fripp, and a lead vocal with level-triggered ambience.

    Techniques
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    Cubase SX3 Preview; Range Selection

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    This month we provide an exclusive preview of the new version of Cubase — SX 3 — and offer advice on how to get the most out of Cubase's Range Selection tool.

    Techniques
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    Demo Doctor

    Analysis Of Reader 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...

    Techniques
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    How To Remote Control Sonar Effects

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We explain how to use the handy Scrub tool, how to customise your track view, and detail the procedure for setting up remote control of Sonar effects parameters.

    Techniques
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    Incurable PC Soundcard Stuttering?

    PC Notes

    We investigate an obscure PC parameter that may be responsible for some otherwise 'incurable' soundcard stuttering problems.

    Techniques
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    Linux Jack Sound Server Ported To OS X

    Apple Notes

    The Jack low-latency sound server has been ported to OS X from Linux. We discuss its background and implications.

    Techniques
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    Logic: Dynamics Processing With Reverb/Delay

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Learn how to combine dynamics processing with delay and reverb to breathe life into your mixes.

    Techniques
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    MIDI Sequencing In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    While Pro Tools is widely known for its dominance in the field of computer-based audio recording, little is made of the fact that it also features fully fledged MIDI sequencing facilities.

    Techniques
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    PC Music Shareware Roundup

    PC Musician

    Shareware might be cheap, but it can also make you very cheerful. We round up some of the best of the current PC music shareware scene.

    Techniques
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    Reason: Using Mackie Tracktion Sequencer As A Rewire Host

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    Mackie's Tracktion sequencer makes an ideal budget Rewire host for adding audio recording and plug-in capabilities to your Reason setup, as we explain...

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Incorrect Monitor Placement

    Dorian Kelly

    The SOS team ride to the rescue of a budding media composer who is having trouble with his mixes.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

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    Q. Can dust affect microphone performance?

    If I left my Neumann TLM103 mic out on its stand when not in use for long periods of time, would its performance be affected, by dust in particular?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. How do I compress a stereo source?

    I am recording using a spaced-pair miking setup and I want to apply light compression to the signal. Where in the signal chain should I insert the compressor (pre- or post-fade), and will I have to buy a dedicated stereo compressor to do the job properly?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Is USB too slow for MIDI interfacing?

    I've just bought Tascam Gigastudio, and in the manual it says 'Note: Nemesys recommends ISA or PCI-based MIDI interfaces, as they are faster than USB or Parallel Port interfaces'. If software manufacturers think USB is so unsuitable, then why do hardware manufacturers make them? Are there any multiple I/O PCI interfaces around any more?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What are the correct input impedances for Guitars and Mics?

    I bought a Boss guitar effects processor the other day and noticed that the guitar sounds a lot better through it than it does just straight into my mixer. Also, could the sound from my mic be similarly improved by getting a stand-alone voice channel for it, rather than just putting it through the mixer?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What do the different 'colours' of noise do?

    I am familiar with white noise, but I\'ve also seen mention of pink, red and even blue noise in your pages. What are these other kinds of noise, how are they produced and what are they used for?Derek Amesbury

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What kind of stands are best for mounting monitors?

    Is it best to use table-top stands, floor stands or wall brackets to mount my speakers? I have Mackie HR624s, which are not ported, so does it matter if they're positioned close to the wall? SOS Forum Post

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What mics should I use on a snare drum?

    I am looking at buying a matched pair of SE Electronics SE1 mics for drum miking. Would the SE1s be suitable for 'over and under' miking of the snare? If not, could you offer any alternatives for this kind of configuration?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Why does it take so long to freeze a VST Instrument track?

    I use Cubase SX 2 and find the Freeze function for VST Instrument tracks very useful. I was disappointed to note that it can take six or seven minutes to freeze a VST track. Why is this, when it only takes one to two minutes to export an entire composition as a WAV file?

    Sound Advice

People

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    Paul White.

    All Things Must Pass

    Leader

    Editor In Chief Paul White bemoans the ephemeral nature of modern software instruments and wonders what will be the Stradivarius of our time in 300 years...

    People
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    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.

    People
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    Crosstalk

    Reader Feedback

    Replies to more of your emails, letters and faxes.

    People
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    Readerzone: Synthfest!

    Philip Taysom

    Walk inside Philip Taysom's studio and you will find classic synths in abundance, all connected and all ready to play...

    People
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    Sounding Off: Your CV

    Paul Bower

    Paul Bower explains why the CV may be more important than you think — even in the music business...

    People
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    The Engineers Who Changed Recording

    Fathers Of Invention

    Some of the legendary names in engineering and production didn't just make great records — they also invented equipment and techniques we take for granted today.

    People
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    The Prodigy

    Liam Howlett: Recording Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

    Nowadays, plenty of hit albums are recorded in bedroom studios — but Liam Howlett of the Prodigy has gone one better, by recording his latest in bed.

    People
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    The Resurrection Of Brian Wilson's SMiLE

    Mark Linett & Darian Sahanaja

    The Beach Boys' SMiLE album was to have been the pinnacle of Brian Wilson's groundbreaking recording and production achievements — but it was never completed. This year, in an extraordinary tale of emotional drama, tape-vault archaeology and recording technology, Brian finished it, debuted it live, and then re-recorded it in the studio. SOS brings you the full story...

    People
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