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May 2006 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Alesis Fusion

    Synth Workstation

    In these days of fast, flexible computers and powerful virtual instruments, has the hardware workstation synth had its day? Alesis's Fusion mounts the case for the defence, offering four synthesis types, sampling, sequencing and hard disk recording — for under £1000.

    Reviews
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    Allen & Heath WZ320S

    Mixer

    A robust and unusually flexible mixer with lots of stereo inputs.

    Reviews
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    ART USB Phono Plus

    Turntable/Phono Preamp & USB Interface [Mac/PC]

    Most computer audio interfaces don't offer the RIAA equalisation required to attach a turntable directly, but ART's neat problem-solver is designed to do just that.

    Reviews
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    Arturia Brass

    Brass Software Instrument

    Manufacturers have sought to provide expressive computer-based simulations of real instruments by releasing ever larger and more detailed sample libraries. But whatever happened to the idea of modelling instruments using synthesis techniques? Arturia haven't forgotten...

    Reviews
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    Cakewalk Dimension Pro

    Software Synth & Sampler [Mac OS X/Win XP]

    Cakewalk have taken the workhorse soft synth that was bundled with their Project 5 loop sequencer, put the sound library on steroids and made it available as a separate product on both Mac and PC.

    Reviews
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    Creamware Pro 12 ASB

    Modelled Analogue Synth

    Creamware's Minimax ASB (the company's hardware recreation of the Minimoog) won over the critics — can they repeat the winning ASB formula with Sequential Circuits' Prophet 5 synth? Synth wizard Dave Stewart is your guide...

    Reviews
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    Electrovoice Cardinal & Raven

    Microphones

    These new condenser and dynamic microphones from the EVBlue range boast classy retro styling but how do they sound?

    Reviews
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    ESI Pro Near05 Experience

    Active Monitors

    Boasting a serious sound at a very affordable price point, these new monitors should win many friends.

    Reviews
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    Grace Design Model 101

    Mic Preamp

    Some mic preamps are renowned for their flattery of the recorded signal, but this high-spec single-channel unit proudly aspires to cleanliness and neutrality, translating the character of your performances and microphones with the utmost fidelity.

    Reviews
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    Guitar Technology

    Digitech Expression Factory • 'Re-amping' Electric Guitars

    • Digitech EX7 Expression Factory • Electro-Harmonix 2880 Super Multitrack Looper • Technique: 'Re-amping' electric guitars

    Reviews
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    Marantz PMD570

    Digital Stereo Recorder

    This sleek rackmount Compact Flash-based recorder makes an ideal recording 'scratch pad', and files can also be imported into your DAW when things get more serious.

    Reviews
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    Native Instruments Bandstand

    General MIDI Soft Synth [Mac OS X/Windows]

    General MIDI synths are rarely glamorous, but there's no reason why they should not sound as good as more professional alternatives — that, at least, is the thinking behind NI's Bandstand soft synth.

    Reviews
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    PSP 608 Multidelay

    Delay-based Effects Plug-in [Mac/PC]

    PSP's latest plug-in covers the spectrum from vintage tape-echo emulation to serious weirdness.

    Reviews
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    Sample Libraries: On Test

    Hot New Releases

    Zero G Nostalgia: Kompakt Instrument • Big Fish Audio Soul City: Multi-format • Zero G Vocal Forge: Intakt Instrument

    Reviews
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    Source Elements Source-Connect

    Remote Recording Plug-in [Pro Tools]

    This innovative new plug-in allows Pro Tools users to record each other over the Internet, in real time.

    Reviews
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    T-Bone SCT2000 & Retro Tube

    Multi-Pattern Valve Microphones

    These two multi-pattern valve (tube) mics are contrasted with each other in terms of both sound and design cosmetics.

    Reviews
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    Terratec Axon AX100 MkII

    MIDI Guitar System

    Take Blue Chip's advanced Axon MIDI guitar system, bundle it with new editing software and a Terratec soundcard, and you have the Axon AX100. We strum its sounds and test its triggering...

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Advanced Tempo & Beat Control In Digital Performer

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    When it comes to controlling sequence tempo and imposing a meaningful beat structure on freely-recorded MIDI and audio, DP has plenty of tricks up its sleeve — including Live-like 'liquid audio' powers.

    Techniques
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    Are PC Musicians Ready For Windows x64?

    The 64-bit Question

    With advantages such as more efficient processing and the ability to address up to a Terabyte of RAM, Windows XP Professional x64 has a lot to offer PC-based musicians — in theory. We put the fully 64-bit system idea to the test.

    Techniques
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    Core Duo Laptops: Battery Life

    PC Notes

    Intel Centrino laptops, especially those using the brand-new Core Duo processor, offer much to the PC-based musician but can suffer a reduction in their usually generous battery life under certain circumstances. We investigate...

    Techniques
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    DIY Mastering

    Cubase Notes & Techniques

    While mastering in a home or project studio is unlikely to produce the very best results, Cubase SX does have some basic tools for those who want (or have) to adopt a DIY approach.

    Techniques
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    Logic: Tempo-Matching With Global Tracks

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Global Tracks let you manipulate the bars and beats of your Song to match freely-played MIDI or audio recordings. Find out how to tempo-match...

    Techniques
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    Loop-based Composition In Reason

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    Reason is more than just a MIDI sequencing environment; it can also be used for creating new pieces spontaneously from sample loops. We show you how...

    Techniques
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    Making A Living From Music For Picture: Part 6

    Completed Orchestrations

    We look at the completed orchestrations for the film project introduced last month, and begin to consider the problem of what to do when a director demands revisions to your work...

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: James Michael

    'Do Ya Luv Me'

    Despite having a generally well-balanced mix, James Michael felt that his track wasn't sounding quite right, so he contacted Mix Rescue for some mastering pointers. Check out the 'before' and 'after' mixes while you pick up some useful tips.

    Techniques
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    Pro Tools Mastering Limiter Shootout: Part 1

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    If you want to get maximum level out of your Pro Tools mixes, you need a mastering limiter. But which one? We put the leading contenders to the test.

    Techniques
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    Recording 24: The Game

    Richard Aitken: Nimrod Productions

    In the past, tie-in video games have had to use samples to recreate real orchestral soundtracks from the original TV series or film. With 24: The Game, however, it was the other way around.

    Techniques
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    Recording A String Section

    Theory & Practice

    You can mike up a string section in many different ways, but which one sounds best? We explain the theory behind the most popular mic techniques and then record several of them on a real string session so that you can let your ears decide.

    Techniques
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    Recording Killer Guitar Sounds In Sonar 5

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    The technology for easily achieving an expensively produced effect when recording guitars is becoming more and more accessible. We take a look at what Sonar has to offer in this department, and examine other tools for creating killer guitar sounds.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: The Lab

    Flying Duvet Remedies

    Flying duvets provide an emergency remedy for control-room acoustics in The Lab's two-storey industrial unit.

    Techniques
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    Universal Binaries & Mac Mini

    Apple Notes

    The Mac Mini joins the iMac and the new Mac Book Pro as the latest Apple computer to make the move to Intel processors. We also have the latest news on Universal Binaries, including a look at whether the developer tools used to create these new applications will have a negative effect on performance for Power PC users.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

Music Business

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