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September 2005 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Audio Ease Altiverb 5

    Convolution Reverb [Mac OS X]

    Altiverb was one of the first convolution reverbs to appear. Is it still the best?

    Reviews
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    AVI Pro Nine Plus

    Passive Monitors

    These high-spec passive monitors use well-established engineering principles to achieve a smooth and revealing sound.

    Reviews
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    Boss RC20XL

    Loop Recorder Stomp Box

    Record loops and overdub in real time for lightning-quick track creation live or in the studio.

    Reviews
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    Cycling 74 Pluggo

    Plug-in Collection [Mac/Windows]

    Cycling 74's Pluggo plug-in bundle continues to grow, and now encompasses over 100 effects, synths and modulation sources.

    Reviews
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    Drawmer D-Clock

    Word-Clock Distribution Amplifier

    As we all acquire more and more digital audio equipment, clock distribution becomes more of a key issue. This new distribution amplifier not only delivers multiple word-clock outputs, but also offers real-time monitoring of the accuracy of the source clock signal.

    Reviews
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    Enhanced Audio M600

    Universal Microphone Mount

    A range of impressive sonic claims are made for this unusual clamp design, but the physics behind it remains unclear (to me, at least).

    Reviews
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    Focusrite Saffire

    Firewire Audio Interface [PC/Mac]

    Focusrite's first computer recording interface looks to cover all the bases with plentiful I/O, DSP effects and flexible monitoring arrangements (including surround).

    Reviews
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    FXpansion Guru

    Virtual Drum Sampler [Windows/Mac OS X]

    FXpansion's software drum machine takes the 'pad sampler' concept pioneered by Akai's MPC range to new levels.

    Reviews
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    Korg D4

    Digital Multitracker

    Korg's latest multitracker is as small as it is affordable.

    Reviews
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    M-Audio Trigger Finger

    MIDI Controller

    The Trigger Finger is clearly intended for those of us who prefer hitting to clicking when it comes to percussion, but, as we discover, there's much more to it than that...

    Reviews
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    MOTU MX4 v2

    Software Synth [Mac OS X]

    Every major sequencer manufacturer now sells software synths for use with their recording applications, but MOTU's MX4 had not been out long before an updated version was announced. We find out whether v2 was worth the wait...

    Reviews
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    NI Reaktor 5

    Virtual Modular Synth [Mac/PC]

    Native's sound design software is back, and with v5, you have more control over your instruments than ever — offering fully user-definable looks, the ability to construct your own modules from scratch, and an improved library. We get patching...

    Reviews
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    Roland V-Synth XT: Part 1

    Variphrase Synthesizer & V-Synth OS v2

    Part 1: The V-Synth repackaged Roland's groundbreaking Variphrase technology, creating a powerful new kind of sample-based synthesis. Now there's a rackmount V-Synth, and (as you'll discover in Part 1 of our two-part review) it's more powerful than the first...

    Reviews
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    Sample Libraries: On Test

    Analog Archive • Cycles • EZ Rollers • Notre Dame de Budapest

    We check out more sample libraries on the block: Analog Archive ***, Cycles ****, EZ Rollers **** and Notre Dame de Budapest *****

    Reviews
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    Sontronics Orpheus & Helios

    Multi-pattern Condenser Microphones

    With a characterful sound to match their striking retro styling, these new mics set themselves apart from the crowd.

    Reviews
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    Steinberg Virtual Bassist

    Bass Player VST Instrument [PC/Mac]

    Looking for a new bass player? If you'd consider a software candidate, Steinberg's Virtual Bassist is now ready for audition...

    Reviews
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    Ta Horng iSmart

    Rubber Fold-away USB MIDI Keyboard

    Note: this is a genuine product, not an April Fool hoax!

    Reviews
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    Universal Audio Boss CE1 • TC Electronic NonLin2

    Plug-in Folder

    This month: Universal Audio Boss CE1 • TC Electronic NonLin2 Stereo Effects Reverb

    Reviews
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    Universal Audio LA610

    Recording Channel

    Two classic designs — the 610 preamp and LA2A compressor — are combined for the first time in this attractive new reissue.

    Reviews
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    Waves APA 32

    DSP Plug-in Host [Mac/PC]

    Waves are the latest software company to launch their own hardware DSP accelerators. The APA 32 and 44-M can be linked over Ethernet to form massively powerful plug-in farms.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Cubase Preferences

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Preferences could be the key to more predictable behaviour and smoother operation — for Cubase, at least!

    Techniques
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    DP: Powered Processing Options

    Performer Tips & Techniques

    We investigate a newcomer to the orchestral sample-player scene and provide a quick round-up of the 'powered processing' options available to DP users.

    Techniques
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    Fine-tuning Automation In Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Comprehensive automation is one of Logic's most powerful facets, allowing micro-management of all the settings in your mix.

    Techniques
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    Hidden Keyboard Shortcuts In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    You'd be surprised at the things you can do without opening a menu in Pro Tools. And if there's no shortcut for the command you need, why not create your own?

    Techniques
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    Cakewalk Sonar 4.

    Increasing Your Screen Space

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    More screen space without having to buy a second monitor — just one of the Sonar nuggets we've got for you this month...

    Techniques
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    Sonar 4 loop envelopes.

    Loop Construction In Sonar 4

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Sonar 4 offers excellent loop editing facilities, and here we're going to show you how to use them.

    Techniques
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    Making Your Own Reason Refill

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    If you've never made a Refill from your Reason creations, now may be the time to give it a go. It's an easy process that can offer various benefits.

    Techniques
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    Multiple Firewire Interfaces in Logic

    Logic Notes

    If you need to run multiple Firewire audio interfaces, you'll want to upgrade to the latest Tiger version of Logic. Read on...

    Techniques
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    Optimising Performance Efficiency In Digital Performer

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    Knowing how to squeeze the very best performance and efficiency out of your DP setup can let you work more quickly and increase your creative options, whether you own a G3 iMac or the latest G5. For all you need, read on...

    Techniques
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    OS X Tiger • Pro Tools 6.9 Bug-fixing

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    It's update frenzy this month, as Digidesign deal with the move to OS X Tiger and iron out more of the bugs in Pro Tools 6.9.

    Techniques
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    PCI Express Peripheral Problems

    PC Notes

    The PCI Express peripheral standard is generally good news for musicians, but some audio problems related to this faster interface and certain motherboard chip sets are emerging. We examine the issues.

    Techniques
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    Powerbook Alternatives

    Apple Notes

    As the Mac community looks to Pentium M-based Powerbooks to deliver high-performance, low-power mobile solutions, what if you can't wait until next year and need to purchase a Powerbook right now?

    Techniques
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    Preparing Your Music For Mastering: Part 1

    Case Study

    If you're looking to release a record that you have produced at home, it's a good idea to have the product professionally mastered, but it is not always obvious if a mix is adequately finished. We find out how to prepare your songs for the mastering house, and what the engineer can do for you.

    Techniques
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    Reason Notes

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    We report on a new release of Reason that fixes some bugs but also ups the system requirements for running the software, and examine the problem of achieving 'exclusive' drum assignments in the NNXT super sample-player.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Banishing Hums & Buzzes

    Jim Fish

    The SOS team purge the unwanted buzzes and hums from reader Jim Fish's new studio.

    Techniques
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    The Lost Art Of Sampling: Part 2

    Multisampling, Looping & Velocity Switching

    As we saw last month, sampling is really just a form of digital recording, but to use short recordings to emulate real instruments, you soon need to understand new concepts like multisampling, looping, and velocity switching. We explain all...

    Techniques
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    Useful Utilities For The PC Musician

    PC Musician

    Whether you're running a single PC in your bedroom or a bank of them in a professional studio, sometimes a tiny freeware or shareware utility can make the difference between frustration and elation. We round up some of the best and point you to places where you can find more.

    Techniques
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    Using The Built-In EQ In Cubase SX/SL

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Although there are many third-party equaliser plug-ins available, the EQ built into Cubase SX and SL is both functional and convenient, and has the unique advantage of being closely integrated with the Mixer, Inspector and Channel Settings windows.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Business End

    Reader Tracks commercially evaluated

    Read what music industry professionals think of the latest collection of SOS readers' recordings.

    People
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    CLASSIC TRACKS: The Pretenders 'Back On The Chain Gang'

    Producer: Chris Thomas • Engineer: Steve Churchyard

    In 1982, the Pretenders responded to desperate circumstances with some of the strongest material they would ever produce. Engineer Steve Churchyard was there to record it.

    People
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    Crosstalk: Your Feedback

    Response to your letters, emails and calls

    Replies from the editorial team to more of your valued feedback.

    People
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    Paul White - Editor In Chief

    Has It Got Any Easier?

    Leader

    Striking the right balance between simplicity of operation and powerful features is as elusive as it ever was...

    People
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    Nainita Desai

    Building A Career In Music For Picture

    For over a decade, Nainita Desai has earned her living designing sounds and composing for film and television. She speaks about her experiences in the industry, and explains what opportunities there are for newcomers who want to get their foot in the door.

    People
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    Sounding Off: Sample Library Makers

    Hilgrove Kenrick

    When it comes to installation and licensing restrictions, have sample-library makers completely lost the plot?

    People
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    Steve Albini

    Sound Engineer Extraordinaire

    Steve Albini has become a legend in the world of alternative music by championing traditional engineering skills, respecting the opinions of the artists he records, and doing business ethically.

    People

Music Business

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    FX Copyroom: Tape Salvage & Transfer

    Kevin Vanbergen

    We've seen some curious studios in SOS over the years, but not many have included a warehouse full of vintage hardware, Pro Tools HD rigs, and thermostatic ovens. But it's all part of the daily routine at FX Copyroom...

    Music Business
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