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March 2006 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    AMT SP25B

    Acoustic Bass Microphone System

    Amplifying an acoustic bass on stage is far from straightforward — indeed, the difficulties involved have been known to make players swap to an electric. Could this AMT mic/preamp system be what upright bassists have been waiting for?

    Reviews
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    Apogee Rosetta 200

    A-D/D-A Converter

    Apogee's new converter builds on the reputation of the original PSX100 and Rosetta units, upgrading the sonics and adding a pile of new facilities, including sophisticated jitter-reduction processing and sample-rate conversion.

    Reviews
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    Applied Acoustics Lounge Lizard EP3

    Modelled Electric Piano Instrument [Mac/PC]

    Most recent electric piano virtual instruments have been sample-based, but in Lounge Lizard, AAS continue to fly the flag for their physical modelling technology; version 3 offers an improved fork model, plus modelled electromagnetic and electrostatic pickups...

    Reviews
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    ART T8

    Transformer Isolator

    The ART T8 is a simple 1U rackmount box containing eight transformers which you can use to break ground loops.

    Reviews
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    Beyer MCE72

    Stereo Condenser Microphone

    If you're looking to record high-quality audio to your portable Minidisc or MP3 recorder, then this small battery-powered stereo mic could be just what you are looking for.

    Reviews
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    Coleman Audio M3PH MkII

    Monitor Controller

    This unit from Coleman Audio makes a mark with its sonic integrity, despite its apparent lack of operational frills.

    Reviews
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    Dave Smith Poly Evolver Keyboard

    Four-voice Analogue & Digital Synth

    The Evolver began as a mono desktop unit, then became polyphonic, and now there's a polyphonic keyboard version. It's almost as if Dave Smith's latest synth is steadily evolving back into his earlier Prophet 5... We check it out.

    Reviews
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    Etymotic Research ER4S

    Pro Noise-isolating In-ear Monitors

    Etymotic Research, leading makers of high-quality earphones, recommend their ER4S model for in-ear stage-monitoring use. We find out whether hearing is believing.

    Reviews
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    Fohhn Xperience II

    Powered PA System

    This premium German-made PA aims to offer a genuine hi-fi approach to live sound reproduction. But is it worth the investment?

    Reviews
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    Fostex NX6A

    Active Nearfield Monitors

    Several unusual new technologies have been combined in this new product from Fostex to create an accurate mixing tool.

    Reviews
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    Guitar Technology

    Gear Reviews, Tips & Techniques

    Line 6 Echo Park & Liqua-Flange Stomp box effects • Digitech EX7 Expression Factory • Terratec Producer Hi Jack Guitar preamp •Re-recording with Fishman Aura and D-Tar's Mama Bear

    Reviews
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    IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik

    Virtual Orchestra [PC/Mac]

    Miroslav Vitous's orchestral library was the first of its kind, and more than 10 years after its launch, has been reinvented as a self-contained virtual instrument. Is the original still the best?

    Reviews
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    Image Line Sytrus

    FM Soft Synth [Windows]

    Combining frequency and ring modulation with analogue-style resonant filtering, Image Line's Sytrus takes FM synthesis in new directions.

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    Intatouch Touchscreen

    Touchscreen Add-on [Mac/PC]

    Hate mixing by mouse? Intatouch's neat monitor add-on allows you to draw control data directly onto the screen.

    Reviews
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    LD Systems PM 12-2

    12-channel Powered Mixer

    This traditionally-designed mixer/amp packs quite a punch, with 1400W of power under the hood, and also boasts very sturdy construction and built-in digital effects.

    Reviews
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    M-Audio Microtrack 24/96

    Portable Digital Stereo Recorder

    The new Microtrack packs a high-quality 24-bit/96kHz two-track recorder, complete with USB connectivity, into a box not much larger than a mobile phone. Is it the ideal field recorder? We check it out...

    Reviews
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    Millennium Dual-core Pentium 4 PC

    Music Computer

    Dual-core processors hold the key to unprecedented performance with music applications. But how do systems based around Intel's Pentium D, like this one from Millennium Music, compare with their AMD-based rivals?

    Reviews
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    Psoft Chronostream 2

    Pitch & Time Manipulation Software [Windows]

    If you need a new way of adapting the feel of a loop, or you want decent pitch-shifting and time-stretching on a budget, Psoft's inexpensive utility might be for you.

    Reviews
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    Raxx System

    Wall-mounted Rack Kit

    Free-standing studio racks are very useful and can hold a lot of heavy equipment, but sometimes it can be advantageous to...

    Reviews
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    Sample Libraries: On Test

    Hot New Releases

    Big Fish Audio First Call Horns • Best Service Galaxy Steinway 5.1• Big Fish Audio London Solo Strings • Tascam Larry Seyer Acoustic Drums

    Reviews
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    Sennheiser Freeport

    Radio Microphone System

    It's not difficult to find a cheap wireless mic system these days, but not all have a prestigious name tag — unlike this Sennheiser true-diversity setup, their most cost-effective to date.

    Reviews
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    Skylife Sample Robot

    Auto-sampling Software [Windows]

    Like the idea of having all your hardware synth sounds in a software sampler, but can't be bothered to do the necessary programming? Fear not, Sample Robot will do it for you...

    Reviews
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    Steinberg Hypersonic 2

    Virtual Workstation Synth [PC/Mac]

    The new version of Steinberg's virtual sound module brings more and better instruments, without sacrificing convenience or ease of use.

    Reviews
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    TC-Helicon Voice Pro

    Vocal Processor

    Combining pitch-correction, multi-part harmony generation, the ability to change vocal character, and multi-effects processing, TC-Helicon's Voice Pro is a complete vocal production suite inside a single box. But does it sound any good?

    Reviews
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    Yamaha Stagepas 300

    Portable Powered PA System

    We test this affordable complete vocal PA you can carry from the car to the stage in one trip!

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Changing To A Dual-Core PC

    PC Musician

    If you've been waiting and wondering whether to 'go dual-core' in your next PC upgrade, which processor to choose is only one of the factors to consider. We discuss the options and implications.

    Techniques
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    Choosing The Right Reverb

    How Best To Use Different Reverbs

    Recording engineers have been adding artificial reverberation to recordings for many years, and have developed a variety of different ways of doing this. Home recordists now have access to modern versions of all these tools, so let's look at how they compare to each other, and how best to use each.

    Techniques
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    Creating A Drum Editor In Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Some users of Steinberg's Cubase complain that Logic has no specialised drum editor. Little do they know that Logic lets you build your own.

    Techniques
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    Harbal Auto EQ & Windows Driver Model

    PC Notes

    Can Harbal's new automatic track EQ solve your equalisation problems with one click? We find out, as well as exploring the mysteries of the Windows Driver Model...

    Techniques
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    Intel Macs: What Do They Mean For Musicians?

    Apple Notes

    If 2003 was Apple's 'year of the notebook', 2006 is set to be the 'year of Intel', with the prospect that every Mac computer in the company's range will use an Intel processor by the end of it.

    Techniques
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    Line Arrays Explained

    The Science And The Magic

    If you've been to a large gig or a festival in recent years, you've no doubt had the pleasure of hearing line arrays of loudspeakers in action. But why are line arrays the current 'best practice' in large-scale PA, how did they evolve, and will they ever filter down to more modest gig venues?

    Techniques
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    Logical Editor

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We delve into the Boolean operations in the Logical Editor, offer some tips for entering numeric values in the Transport Panel, and take a first look at Cubase running on dual-processor, dual-core systems.

    Techniques
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    Making A Living From Music For Picture: Part 4

    How To Make A Pitch

    Success! You've been invited to pitch for a job. Surely that Hollywood career now beckons? Well, no... This is just a pitch — there are others competing for the job. We look at how to maximise your chances of winning the commission...

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: Kick Drum & Lead Vocal

    'Time' by Panic Number

    Kick drum and lead vocal present tough processing challenges in this installment's remix.

    Techniques
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    On-line Mastering Services Shootout: Part 1

    Web Masters

    A new business model based around the Internet promises to make professional mastering more convenient — and much more affordable. But is on-line mastering a real alternative or a false economy? We put the UK's leading services to the test.

    Techniques
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    Recording Les Retrouvailles

    Yann Tiersen

    The unique musical world of Yann Tiersen was opened up to millions of people by the soundtrack to Amelie. His idiosyncratic working method involves toy instruments, songs built from fragmented ideas, and entire string sections created by recording himself over and over again.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Building A DIY Vocal Booth

    Paul Joyner

    This time, the team convert a small empty room into a professional vocal booth within the space of a single afternoon!

    Techniques
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    Using Quantising in Digital Performer

    Digital Performer Notes & Techniques

    Quantising is all about turning your sloppy playing into rigid, computerised perfection, right? Well, no — at least, it doesn't have to be. We check out the finer points of quantising in DP and look at what it can do for your music.

    Techniques
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    Using Reason With 8 Major Audio Host Applications

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    Reason makes an ideal 'synth rack' for use with a variety of host software. We take you through the steps needed to Rewire it to eight popular programs.

    Techniques
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    Using RXP REX-file Player In Sonar 5 Producer Edition

    Sonar Tips & Technique

    Now that the RXP REX-file player is bundled with the Producer Edition of Sonar 5, the creative possibilities of REX files have really opened up for Sonar users. We take a tour around RXP and discuss its features and uses.

    Techniques
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    Working With Video In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Once you have got your video and sync audio files into a Pro Tools Session, what do you do with them? Our short series on sound for picture concludes by explaining the ins and outs of dubbing, sound effects and Foley.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Chris Trimby: Monitor Engineer

    Mr Monitor

    The award-winning Chris Trimby not only tours with top artists and spends summers working the major festivals but also mixes live sound for TV music shows, including BBC TV's Top Of The Pops, proving how varied and interesting a career as a monitor engineer can be. We find out how it all happened and what's involved...

    People
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    CLASSIC TRACKS: Bob Marley & The Wailers: 'I Shot The Sheriff'

    Producers: Chris Blackwell, The Wailers • Engineers: Phill Brown, Tony Platt

    Bob Marley & The Wailers were the first Jamaican musicians to achieve world stardom. Tracked in Kingston and finished in London by Island engineers Phill Brown and Tony Platt, their breakthrough album was a truly international recording and a true reggae classic. Find out how it was recorded...

    People
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    Cool & Dre

    Producing Hip-Hop

    Miami is now a hip-hop centre to rival New York and LA, and Cool & Dre are two of its most active beatmakers, songwriters and producers.

    People
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    Crosstalk: Don Buchla Replies

    Readers' Writes

    Synth pioneer Don Buchla took issue with some points raised by our review of his 200e modular synth and felt them somewhat unfair — read on and you decide.

    People
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    Editor's Studio Makeover

    Paul White's Leader

    Our esteemed Editor In Chief got bored over Christmas so he decided to conduct a Studio SOS makeover on his own studio. Read all about it...

    People
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    Line 6: Inside the Tone Modelling Factory

    Marcus Ryle • Michel Doidic • Jeff Slingluff

    We go behind the scenes at the home of the Pod and Variax to get the latest on developments in the world of guitar modelling technology.

    People
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    Sounding Off: Brave New World?

    John Savage

    This reader ditched all his old synths and hardware in favour of a shiny new all-singing, all-dancing Music PC and soft synths. Does he now regret the decision? Read on...

    People
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