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January 2005 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Alesis Micron

    Modelled Analogue Synthesizer

    Less really is more — the 'smaller' name suggests a cut-down follow-up to 2003's Ion synth, but in fact the Micron includes most of the spec of its predecessor, and has added effects and a built-in sequencer too.

    Reviews
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    Behringer BCF2000 & BCR2000

    USB Rotary & Moving-fader MIDI Controllers

    It sounds like an amazing deal — endless-rotary and (even more incredibly) moving-fader controllers for well under 200 GBP each. But have Behringer gone a price-cut too far this time?

    Reviews
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    Blue Sky Media Desk

    Active Monitoring System

    The new baby of the Blue Sky range brings their design philosophy to the small computer studio. But will the 'satellite plus subwoofer' configuration and closed-box speaker loading work as well on a small scale as it does in the company's larger systems?

    Reviews
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    CAD TSM411, ICM417 & KBM412

    Drum Microphones

    Three new mics from CAD offer impressive mounting hardware and audio specifications specially tailored to recording drums.

    Reviews
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    Cakewalk Sonar 4

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows]

    The latest version of Cakewalk's flagship sequencer brings it into the world of surround sound, makes it easy to work with folder tracks and multiple takes, and adds one of the most comprehensive Freeze functions available on any DAW.

    Reviews
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    Chandler TG Channel

    Recording Channel

    This new mic preamp and equaliser unit uses 1960s EMI designs to recreate some of the classic sounds.

    Reviews
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    Concrete FX Kubik

    PC VST Plug-in

    Concrete FX's plug-ins incline towards the less well-trodden areas of sound generation, and their latest is a wavetable synthesizer that recalls the Waldorf Microwave.

    Reviews
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    Echo Layla 3G

    Multi-channel PCI Audio & MIDI Interface [PC/Mac]

    Echo's range of computer hardware has always been popular with musicians, and the company have now launched the third generation of their Layla and Gina multi-channel audio and MIDI interfaces.

    Reviews
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    ESI Pro Julia

    PC/Mac Soundcard

    With its clever reversible analogue I/O section plus comprehensive, multi-client driver support, ESI's Julia is not your average stereo soundcard.

    Reviews
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    Hot New Sample CDs

    Sample Library

    Reviews/appraisals of the latest sample CDs: VSL Chamber Strings 6* • VSL French Oboe 6* • Zero-G Akoustik Bass Hitz 6* • PMI Consolidated! 3*

    Reviews
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    Laptop Music

    Book Review

    This book is not just an academic exercise detailing the Mac and PC software/hardware you'll need to make music, its text is liberally sprinkled with mini-interviews and quotes from other practising laptop musicians, including details of gear and techniques, which really bring it to life...

    Reviews
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    Noren Acoustilock gCab

    Soundproof Computer Cabinet

    Computer noise can be a major problem in the computer-based studio, especially where instruments or vocals have to be recorded in the same room. This soundproof cabinet with in-built cooling system is designed to tackle such noise.

    Reviews
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    Open Labs Open Synth Neko 64

    Computer-based Keyboard Workstation

    It's a great concept — a keyboard synth that can run computer plug-ins. Open Labs have created one by putting an entire PC inside a keyboard. But is it a recording revolution, or an overpriced processor in a fancy case?

    Reviews
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    Philip Rees Pentium 4 PC

    Music Production Computer

    Intel's Prescott Pentium 4 chips have proved too hot for many music PC builders to handle, but Philip Rees have used them to build machines that are both powerful and impressively quiet.

    Reviews
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    Roland GR20

    Guitar Synthesizer

    Roland's affordable new guitar synth incorporates improved pitch-tracking, and comes bundled with the latest GK-series pickup as standard.

    Reviews
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    Spectrasonics Stylus RMX

    Software Instrument [Mac/PC]

    It may share the same name, but Spectrasonics' new Stylus RMX is a very different software instrument from the original Stylus, with a completely reconstructed underlying sound engine and a ton of new features.

    Reviews
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    SPL Surrounded By Drums

    DVD Review

    This DVD disc is intended to demonstrate 5.1 surround-sound techniques, with four world-class drummers providing the source material.

    Reviews
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    Tabor Audio The Box 2

    Stereo Sound-stage Meter

    This unusual unit provides an exceptionally revealing means of metering stereo signals.

    Reviews
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    Tascam Gigastudio 3

    Software Sampler [PC]

    Version 3 of Gigastudio has taken a long time to arrive, and plenty of other software samplers have come along during the wait. Does it still have what it takes to see off the competition?

    Reviews
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    Ultimate Sound Bank Ultra Focus

    Vintage Synth Library & Virtual Instrument

    Rather than using modelling technology to emulate classic synths, Ultimate Sound Bank have created an eight-Gigabyte sample library and packaged it with an accessible virtual instrument front end.

    Reviews
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    Yamaha i88X

    mLAN Firewire Audio & MIDI Interface [PC/Mac]

    Yamaha's list of mLAN products continues to grow, and their rackmounting i88X offers high-quality mic preamps, analogue, digital and MIDI I/O in a 1U rack unit.

    Reviews
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    Zoom MRS1608

    Digital Multitracker

    The latest multitracker from Zoom is their most sophisticated yet, but can it see off its rivals in what is an extremely competitive marketplace?

    Reviews

Techniques

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    CLASSIC TRACKS: The Smiths 'The Queen Is Dead'

    Producers: Morrissey, Johnny Marr • Engineer: Stephen Street

    Stephen Street made his name as an engineer working with one of the most influential indie bands ever. He describes the sessions that created the title track of The Smiths' most celebrated album.

    Techniques
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    Cubase: Real-Time MIDI Effects vs Audio FX

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Cubase SX has a wide selection of real-time MIDI effects that can often substitute for the more processor-hungry audio effects, as well as opening up other creative possibilities.

    Techniques
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    Digital Performer: New Ways To Work

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    DP 4.5 delivers new features that promise to fundamentally change the way users work, as well as offering smaller but crucial enhancements to existing features.

    Techniques
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    Logic 7 Audio Unit Compatibility • iPod Photo

    Apple Notes

    Another crop of news, advice and tips is presented in the latest instalment of our essential Apple users' column.

    Techniques
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    Logic: Synchronising Sequences To Live Audio

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Synchronising sequences in Logic to live audio tracks can really help give your music the edge, but what's the best way of doing this? We look at the options, and weigh up their pros and cons.

    Techniques
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    Optimising The Latency Of Your PC Audio Interface

    PC Musician

    If you are tempted to go and make a cup of tea in the gap between pressing a note on your keyboard and hearing it play on your soft synth, you need help! Read on...

    Techniques
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    Pro Tools 6.7: New MIDI Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Our new columnist provides the detailed lowdown on a new version of Pro Tools...

    Techniques
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    Processor Wars

    PC Notes

    Intel abandon their 4GHz Pentium processor speed target and shift their attention to the dual-core technology first espoused by AMD. Whatever is going on?

    Techniques
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    Reason: Arpeggiators & Cool Techniques

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    There are more clever tips and techniques than you can shake a stick at in this month's Reason Notes, kicking off with yet another fun way to fake an arpeggiator effect...

    Techniques
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    Roland VS2480 Masterclass: Part 1

    Hands-on Power User Tips

    Get the most from Roland's flagship recording workstation with this indispensible collection of power user tips.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Live Drums

    The Loose Cannons

    The SOS crew head to the 14th floor of a London tower block to help a pair of readers improve their drum sound.

    Techniques
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    SysEx & Sonar's Big Freeze

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We present everything you ever wanted to know about SysEx (System Exclusive) but were afraid to ask, plus the whys and wherefores of Sonar 4's cool new Freeze functions...

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Al Kooper

    Producer & Musician

    As a musician, Al Kooper became Bob Dylan's sideman and went on to fuse soul and jazz. As a producer, he invented the supergroup, and as an A&R man he brought Southern rock to the world.

    People
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    Business End: January 2005

    Readers' Tracks Assessed

    Read what the MPG (Music Producers Guild) jury thought of the latest collection of SOS readers' submitted recordings.

    People
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    Crosstalk: Your Communications

    Readers' Writes

    Responses to recent articles from SOS readers.

    People
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    Demo Doctor: January 2005

    Reader Recordings Analysed

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

    People
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    Max Richter

    Recording The Blue Notebooks

    Max Richter combines chamber music with ambient recordings, spoken-word pieces and experimental electronica, creating a distinctive and beautiful blend of the traditional and the futuristic.

    People
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    Paul White.

    Remake Remodel

    Leader

    Editor-in-Chief Paul White reveals the thinking behind his recent personal studio clearout/refit.

    People
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    Sounding Off: Dumbing Down

    Ben Duncan

    Is 'dumbing down' creating a crisis in the pro-audio manufacturing industry?

    People

Music Business

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    Creative Commons, Copyright & The Independent Musician

    New Approach To Copyright Licensing

    As the music industry struggles to adjust to the growing effects of the Internet on sales, even traditional concepts such as copyright are being reconsidered. We examine the Creative Commons movement and explain how it could be useful to musicians everywhere.

    Music Business
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    The History Of Roland: Part 3

    1986-1991

    Roland made their name with analogue synths and effects, but by the mid-1980s, they needed to go digital to remain competitive. It was a leap into the unknown for the company, but it ushered in a golden era...

    Music Business
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