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December 2004 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Access Virus TI

    PREVIEW: Virtual Analogue Synthesizer

    It's back! And it's deadlier than ever! We get a first look preview of the next-generation Virus...

    Reviews
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    Aphex Punch Factory

    Compressor Pedal

    This new optical compressor not only has a smooth sound, but also offers gain-reduction metering to help you set it up.

    Reviews
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    Apple iMac G5

    Desktop Computer

    Apple's original iMac marked the beginning of a turnaround for the company, and despite the consumer-oriented nature of the product, iMacs have found a place in many a home studio over the years. With the iMac range finally inheriting a G5 processor, have Apple created the perfect entry-level machine for demanding Mac musicians on a budget?

    Reviews
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    Apple Logic Pro 7

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Mac OS X]

    The new version 7 of Logic is a huge upgrade which sees the program assimilated even further into Apple's product range, and adds some intriguing new instruments and networking features. Following last month's preview, here's the full lowdown...

    Reviews
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    Arturia Storm v3

    Software Music Studio [Mac OS X/PC]

    Storm, the French software studio from virtual-instrument creators Arturia, keeps on improving. We check out version 3.

    Reviews
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    Dave Smith Poly Evolver

    Four-voice Analogue/Digital Synth & Sequencer

    2002 saw the release of the Evolver, a quirky hybrid analogue/digital synth and sequencer from Sequential synth pioneer Dave Smith. Now he continues his renaissance with a four-voice polyphonic version that integrates neatly with the original.

    Reviews
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    Dbx 162SL

    Dual Compressor/Limiter

    Despite being both smaller and lighter, this new compressor yields little in performance to Dbx's flagship 160SL.

    Reviews
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    Drawmer 1968 Mercenary Edition

    Valve Compressor

    This new 1U rack from Drawmer offers their best-sounding compression yet.

    Reviews
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    Genelec 8040A & 7060A

    Active Monitors & Subwoofer

    Genelec update their popular 1000-series monitors, improving the technical specifications without losing the family sound.

    Reviews
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    Hot New Sample CDs

    Sample Library

    Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs: VSL Woodwind Ensembles 6* • VSL Epic Horns 6* • Loopmasters Percussionism 6* • PMI Baroque Organ 5*

    Reviews
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    Inta Audio Opteron PC

    Music Production Computer

    AMD's Opteron range of CPUs are popular with musicians and ready for 64-bit computing — so how does Inta Audio's Opteron PC compare with typical Intel machines?

    Reviews
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    MOTU Mach Five

    Universal Software Sampler [Mac/PC]

    MOTU's software sampler seeks to be accessible to everyone, irrespective of preferred platform, sequencer or sample format. Can Mach Five really be all things to all people?

    Reviews
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    Native Instruments Elektrik Piano

    Sample-based VST Instrument [Mac/PC]

    For years it was instantly associated with smooth late-70s productions, and now the sound of the electric piano is enjoying a comeback. But just how good is Native Instruments' sample-based virtual version?

    Reviews
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    RME Fireface 800

    Firewire 800 Recording Interface (Mac/PC)

    RME's Fireface 800 brings together all of the company's expertise in developing audio hardware for computers, mic preamps and converters into one highly desirable unit. But can you really fit so much functionality into one interface without cutting corners?

    Reviews
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    Samson CL7

    Capacitor Microphone

    This low-cost mic combines smart styling with a solid, neutral sound.

    Reviews
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    TC Electronic Powercore Compact

    Integrated Effects Unit [Mac/PC]

    The latest addition to TC's Powercore range offers the convenience of Firewire connection at a bargain price, with some serious new plug-ins included.

    Reviews
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    Vocaloid Miriam

    Singing Synthesis Software [Windows]

    Miriam Stockley is the first well-known singer to undergo the Vocaloid sampling technique, allowing anyone with a PC to install her as a virtual instrument. But how well does it work in practice?

    Reviews
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    Waves Transform Bundle

    Sound Shaping Plug-ins [Mac/PC]

    If you are the kind of person who likes to accentuate the transients in their pitch-shifted recordings, before vocoding them and auto-doubling the results, Waves have the perfect plug-in bundle for you...

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Avoiding PCI Problems

    PC Notes

    The PCI standard has more ins and outs than you might be aware of. We attempt to sort them out, as well as highlight a problem that can cause software authorisations to expire before their time.

    Techniques
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    Cheaper G5 • iBook Revisions

    Apple Notes

    There's no shortage of Apple news this month, including the release of new versions of Logic, a revision to the iBook line and a new, cheaper G5 model.

    Techniques
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    Choosing A Studio Room

    Typical Home Studio Locations

    Buying a house is a big investment, so it's important to pick the right property, and if you are a recording musician you will probably want it to include a suitable space for a studio. We weigh up the pros and cons of different studio locations within a typical small home, and also look at the kind of work that each space might require to make it usable.

    Techniques
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    CLASSIC TRACKS: The Cure 'A Forest'

    Producers: Robert Smith, Mike Hedges • Engineers: Mike Hedges, Mike Dutton

    Mike Hedges made his 1980 debut as a producer with one of The Cure's most enduring singles. 'A Forest' and the accompanying Seventeen Seconds album used his and the band's creativity in the studio to the full.

    Techniques
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    Cubase Mixer Controls

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We take a look behind the behaviour of Cubase's most common mixing controls, to show the many options beneath the seemingly simple surface.

    Techniques
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    Logic: Live-style Tricks With Touch Tracks

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Have you ever coveted the real-time functions of Ableton's Live? In which case, you will be interested to know how you can simulate some aspects of Live in Logic using the Touch Tracks object?

    Techniques
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    Pro Tools Help Books

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    There's an outbreak of literary criticism in this month's column, as we take a look at some of the Pro Tools books currently doing the rounds.

    Techniques
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    Reason: Substituting Sounds In REX Loops

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    Ever loved the feel of a REX loop but disliked the drum sounds? Using Reason, you can steal the feel and substitute sounds of your choice... We show you how.

    Techniques
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    Sonar v4: Workflow Improvements

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Not every new feature of Sonar 4 is a headline-grabber — there are many new facilities and tweaks to existing features that you might not initially notice, but which could make a big difference to your workflow.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Rob O'Neil

    Practical Solutions

    A dodgy snare recording was just one of the problems facing Rob O'Neil at the mixdown stage, so the SOS dynamic duo (Paul and Hugh) visited his home studio to help him sort things out.

    Techniques
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    The Isle Of Wight Festival Sound

    Behind The Scenes

    The Isle of Wight Festivals of 1968-1970 attracted hundreds of thousands of music lovers, and after a long break the event is back. We talk to some of those who helped create the festival's sound, past and present.

    Techniques
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    Using Digital Performer With Ableton Live

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    We explain how to use DP effectively with Ableton's Live and offer a brief preview of MOTU's latest big update to Digital Performer, version 4.5.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Bootleg Mixing: Richard X & Mark Vidler

    Mash-ups: From Underground To Mainstream

    The craze for mashing up wildly different records to create illicit bootleg mixes has moved into the mainstream, and underground producers such as Richard X and Mark Vidler now find their services in hot demand from artists and record labels.

    People
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    Crosstalk: Your Communications

    Readers' Writes

    Responses to recent articles from SOS readers...

    People
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    Demo Doctor

    Reader Recordings Analysed

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

    People
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    Ian Broudie

    The Art Of Production

    Since emerging from the Liverpool music scene at the turn of the '80s, Ian Broudie has juggled parallel careers as an artist and a producer. He has a new solo disc in the shops, and with albums by the Coral and the Zutons riding high in the charts, his production services are in greater demand than ever.

    People
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    Servant Or Master?

    Leader

    Is the increasing use of digital music downloads starting to take effect on the art of mastering?

    People
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    Sounding Off: iCatch-22

    Paul Ireson

    The UK's iTunes Music Store customer service did not impress one SOS reader...

    People

Music Business

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    The History Of Roland: Part 2

    1979-1985

    This month, we see how Roland survived some tricky times at the start of the 1980s, and how founder Ikutaro Kakehashi ensured that they were well-placed to take advantage of technological developments over the following few years.

    Music Business
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