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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.

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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

Sound Advice

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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