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August 2006 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    AKG Perception 200

    Condenser Microphone

    Designed in Europe and built in China, AKG's latest studio mic aims to deliver value for money.

    Reviews
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    Alesis M1 Active 620 & 520

    Active Monitors

    These stylish new powered monitors sit alongside the M1 Active MkII, rather than replacing it, and won't break the bank.

    Reviews
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    AMG One

    Software Loop Player [Mac/PC]

    Working with musical loops is now a well-established part of the musical mainstream. Could you do with One more tool to get the job done?

    Reviews
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    AMS Neve 8816

    Summing Mixer

    With a versatile range of features and exceptional sound quality, AMS Neve's latest piece of outboard technology manages to be more than the sum of its parts.

    Reviews
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    Boss RT20

    Rotary Speaker Effects Pedal

    The latest box of tricks from Boss is a pedal-based Leslie speaker simulator with some cool flashing lights.

    Reviews
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    Cakewalk Rapture

    Software Synth [Mac OS X /Win XP]

    Cakewalk's latest virtual instrument takes traditional subtractive synthesis as its starting point, but offers a degree of flexibility that is unimaginable in any hardware instrument.

    Reviews
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    Creamware B4000 ASB

    Modelled Tonewheel Organ

    Having served up convincing hardware emulations of the legendary Minimoog and Prophet V analogue synths, Creamware turn their attention to the mighty Hammond B3 organ.

    Reviews
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    Digidesign Icon

    Hardware Control Surfaces For Pro Tools

    Digidesign's D-Command and D-Control represent perhaps the most ambitious attempt yet to integrate recording and mixing systems. Do these Icons symbolise the future of digital audio workstations, or are they merely expensive control surfaces for Pro Tools?

    Reviews
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    DPA 4090 & 4091

    Instrument Microphones

    DPA have used their hi-tech miniature microphone capsules to produce a pair of mics that you can use on just about any sound source.

    Reviews
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    Emu Emulator X2

    Software Sampler [Windows]

    Not content with adding a huge raft of improvements to their already comprehensive Emulator X soft sampler, Emu have also removed the need to use it with their own soundcards, so now everyone can get in on the fun.

    Reviews
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    Garritan Stradivari Solo Violin

    Virtual Instrument [Mac/PC]

    Gary Garritan's powerfully expressive solo violin instrument features some impressive technical innovations. Will it create a new generation of virtual Paganinis?

    Reviews
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    IK Multimedia Classik Studio Reverb

    Modelling Reverb Plug-in [Mac OS X/Windows]

    The convolution revolution has left a gap in the market for a high-quality reverb based on more traditional room-modelling techniques. IK's suite of plug-ins looks to fill the void.

    Reviews
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    New Sample CD/DVDs

    Sample Libraries

    Four hot Sample Collections get the SOS Sample Shop review treatment: • Big Fish Audio Chill • Best Service Chris Hein Horns Volume 1 • M-Audio Premium Electric Pianos • Loopmasters Soulful House Sessions

    Reviews
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    Pro Tools Mastering Limiter Shootout: Part 2

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    We follow up our comprehensive round-up of mastering limiter plug-ins for Pro Tools with a look at hot new products from three further manufacturers.

    Reviews
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    SSL Duende

    DSP Plug-in Processor

    This sleek silver box promises to bring all the mixing power of a 32-channel SSL console into your computer recording setup.

    Reviews
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    Tapco Mix 220FX

    Compact Mixer+Effects

    We check out this suprisingly versatile member of Mackie's affordable Tapco family.

    Reviews
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    Wave Arts Power Suite 5

    Plug-in Bundle [Windows/Mac OS X]

    The latest incarnation of Wave Arts' plug-in suite is a treat for the eyes and the ears.

    Reviews
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    Way Out Ware TimewARP 2600

    Software Synthesizer [Mac/PC]

    Can this in-depth software emulation of the ARP 2600 improve on Arturia's existing 2600V?

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Ableton Live: Complete Production

    Live Tips & Techniques

    Ableton Live isn't just a DJ tool, but a very capable DAW. This month we begin a look at how to approach Live if you want to use it as a fully fledged audio sequencer.

    Techniques
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    All About Quantise

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    When sequencers first allowed you to record musical notes in real time, one of the features that became ubiquitous in all systems was quantisation. Here we take a look at how quantise has evolved and is currently used in Cubase SX.

    Techniques
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    Apple & Emagic

    Apple Notes

    It's been an interesting four years for Mac-based audio engineers and musicians since Apple acquired Emagic, so this month we take the opportunity to acknowledge the anniversary and consider what's changed over this time and what's still to come.

    Techniques
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    Bundled Synths In Digital Performer 5

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    Last month, we passed briefly over the flashier additions to the latest version of DP, in favour of some less obvious but rather useful new features. Now it's time to return for a closer look at those shiny new bundled instruments...

    Techniques
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    Buss-powering USB & Firewire Peripherals

    PC Notes

    Buss-powering USB and Firewire peripherals from a laptop seems like a good idea, cutting down on annoying power supplies and keeping everything portable — but it's not quite as straightforward as you might imagine.

    Techniques
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    Donald Fagen

    Recording Morph The Cat

    Morph The Cat, Donald Fagen's third solo album in 24 years, sees Fagen and engineer Elliott Scheiner continue their quest for the best possible sound quality — which, it seems, comes only from analogue recording.

    Techniques
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    Jim Moray

    Folk Music For The 21st Century

    The idea of bringing folk music up to date is not a new one, but few people have taken it quite as far as Jim Moray. His material may be traditional, but his approach to music technology is as modern as it gets.

    Techniques
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    Logic: Getting Started With Surround Sound

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    The facilities for surround sound in Logic Pro v7 are often overlooked, so here we take a peek at how to get going.

    Techniques
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    Making A Living From Music For Picture: Part 9 of 9

    Roll Credits...

    Rather appropriately, we round off this series by looking at what you need to consider when composing music designed to play while the end credits roll...

    Techniques
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    Minimising Noise In Electric Guitar Rigs

    Guitar Technology

    Electrical noise — hiss, buzz and hum — is something that plagues every electric guitarist to some degree, but noise comes in a variety of forms and it is important to establish exactly which kind(s) you are experiencing in order to devise an appropriate solution.

    Techniques
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    Mix Mode Options In Sonar

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Sonar offers several ways to mix, but is that a benefit or a source of confusion? Learn what the various mix modes do and you can choose the one that's right for your project.

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: Dance Track

    Dave Rogers

    This month, Dave Rogers' dance track gets a dose of production 'fairy dust'. Use the SOS Music Player to audition the changes.

    Techniques
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    Pure Data: An Introduction

    Open Source Graphical Programming Environment

    Pure Data lets you process audio and MIDI within a powerful modular environment, and lets you combine it easily with video, custom hardware controllers, light shows, and even robotics. But, best of all, it's free!

    Techniques
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    Software Studios: The Next Generation

    PC Musician

    The totally software studio, with sound quality at least as good as that offered by studio hardware, is now more feasible than ever before. But what are the factors to consider if you're going to go completely 'soft'?

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Ergonomics

    Simon McEvoy

    This month's task for the SOS crew involves stripping down Simon McEvoy's entire studio to improve the acoustics and ergonomics.

    Techniques
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    Using Reason's Spider Audio & CV Devices

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    The grey Spider devices look mild-mannered and unassuming — but they have super-powers that can unlock the hidden reserves of Reason's sound-making devices, as well as solving a host of more mundane problems.

    Techniques
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    Uwe Schmidt: Recording Yellow Fever!

    Yellow Magic Orchestra Goes Latino

    Japan's YMO helped pioneer the use of electronic instruments and sampling. Now Uwe Schmidt, aka Señor Coconut, has used the same techniques to render their greatest hits as Latin dances, with contributions from all three original YMO members.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    CLASSIC TRACKS: The Knack 'My Sharona'

    Producer: Mike Chapman • Engineers: David Tickle, Pete Coleman

    In 1979, at the end of a 13-way bidding war, The Knack went into the studio to record their debut single — a debut single that would go gold in seven days and sell six million copies worldwide. This is the story of how it came to be...

    People
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    Crosstalk: Your Feedback

    Readers' Writes

    Some of the more interesting correspondence we receive at SOS towers.

    People
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    Donald Fagen

    Recording Morph The Cat

    Morph The Cat, Donald Fagen's third solo album in 24 years, sees Fagen and engineer Elliott Scheiner continue their quest for the best possible sound quality — which, it seems, comes only from analogue recording.

    People
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    Jim Moray

    Folk Music For The 21st Century

    The idea of bringing folk music up to date is not a new one, but few people have taken it quite as far as Jim Moray. His material may be traditional, but his approach to music technology is as modern as it gets.

    People
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    Mixing Advice From Roger Nichols

    Across The Board

    Mixing music might seem like a black art, but here's a simple approach to help the newcomer get their tracks together.

    People
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    Money Isn't Everything

    Paul White's Leader

    Editor In Chief Paul White ponders ways to make recordings on a tight budget...

    People
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    Sounding Off: Are DJs Musicians?

    Harry Webley

    They certainly need talent... Harry Webley ponders their place in the universe.

    People
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    Uwe Schmidt: Recording Yellow Fever!

    Yellow Magic Orchestra Goes Latino

    Japan's YMO helped pioneer the use of electronic instruments and sampling. Now Uwe Schmidt, aka Señor Coconut, has used the same techniques to render their greatest hits as Latin dances, with contributions from all three original YMO members.

    People

Music Business

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