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January 2009 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    3 Stand-alone D-A Converters Compared

    Apogee Mini-DAC • Benchmark DAC1 • Lavry DA10 Black

    If your music relies on soft synths and samples, playback quality is more important to you than your recording chain, so adding a high-quality, stand-alone D-A converter may be the most targeted way to improve your system.

    Reviews
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    Alesis SR18

    Drum Machine

    Virtual instruments haven't taken over the world quite yet: the hardware drum machine concept is still alive and kicking, as demonstrated by Alesis' follow-up to their incredibly popular and long-lived SR16. Is the '18 destined to match its older brother's 20-year reign?

    Reviews
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    APS IO

    Studio Reference Monitors

    This is a first outing in SOS for Polish speaker manufacturers APS, but they're already impressing us.

    Reviews
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    Best Service Ethno World 4 Professional

    Sample Library [Mac & PC]

    More and more musicians are experimenting with the sounds of 'world' instruments — so is Best Service's Ethno World 4 Professional a one-stop-shop for all your virtual ethnic-instrument needs?

    Reviews
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    BIAS Peak Pro 6 XT

    Stereo Editing Software For Mac OS X

    The Mac's most comprehensive stereo editor has just gained a whole new set of features...

    Reviews
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    Cockos Reaper 2.4

    MIDI Audio Sequencer For Windows

    Since we first reviewed Cockos' shareware Reaper multitrack recording package, it has undergone hundreds of improvements — but the bargain asking price has barely changed.

    Reviews
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    Digidesign Pro Tools 8

    Digital Audio Workstation Software For Mac & PC: Part 1

    Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture. Will this eighth version of Pro Tools bring prosperity to Digidesign, as they try to establish their world-leading recording and mixing application as a serious contender in the music-creation market?

    Reviews
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    Earthworks PM40

    Piano Microphone System

    If recording piano is your forté, this system could make your life a whole lot easier...

    Reviews
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    Euphonix MC Control

    DAW Controller For Mac

    The MC Control's programmable touchscreen and 'Soft Keys' technology offer the exciting possibility of building your own custom DAW controller. Is it too good to be true? Let's find out...

    Reviews
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    Focusrite Saffire Pro 40

    Firewire Audio Interface [Mac/PC]

    The new audio interface from Focusrite offers an awful lot, for an awful lot less than you'd think. Let's find out what it can do...

    Reviews
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    Grace Design M201

    Microphone Preamplifier

    Regular readers will know that our Technical Editor isn't prone to excessive use of hyperbole — so when he calls a product "awesome", "stunning" and "sublime", it's probably time to sit up and take notice...

    Reviews
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    Line 6 Pod Farm

    VST, RTAS, AU plug-in

    Pod Farm, which replaces Line 6's earlier Gearbox software, is a VST, RTAS and AU plug‑in for Mac and PC that offers Line 6's...

    Reviews
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    Mackie U420 & U420d

    Analogue Firewire Mixers

    These compact, lightweight mixers are designed with live DJ-style performance in mind, but with an audio interface on board, there's plenty of flexibility when it comes to recording too.

    Reviews
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    Roland Fantom G

    Keyboard Workstation

    Roland's Fantom workstation reaches its fourth generation with the 'G' series. So just how great is the Fantom family's great-grandchild?

    Reviews
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    Sample Magic Funky House Grooves 2

    Multi-format

    There are no prizes for guessing that Funky House Grooves 2 is Sample Magic's follow‑up to the original Funky House Grooves,...

    Reviews
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    Soniccouture Scriptorium

    Kontakt 2 & 3 Scripts

    More and more sample libraries now ship as self‑contained instruments, courtesy of Native Instruments' Kontakt Player engine,...

    Reviews
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    SoundTrek Drummer

    MIDI Drum Programming Plug-in For Windows

    Multi-gigabyte drum instruments are of limited use if you don't have the time or skills to program realistic MIDI performances. Can SoundTrek's Drummer plug-in fill the gap?

    Reviews
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    Steinberg CC121

    USB Controller For Mac & PC

    Steinberg's CC121 controller is, as you might expect, designed to work seamlessly with their DAW software — so is this the perfect companion to Cubase and Nuendo?

    Reviews
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    Tonelux V8 Roadster

    Modular Outboard Processors

    Modular processing systems are growing in popularity. This contender from American makers Tonelux puts the emphasis firmly on quality.

    Reviews
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    Zero G Elektrolytic

    Multi-format Sample Library

    Ian Boddy has been involved in the experimental electronic music scene for 25 years, and SOS readers will doubtless be...

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Bigger, Badder Electric Guitar

    A Multi-mic Technique For Loud Electric Guitars

    It's easy enough to make a guitar and amp sound loud and gutsy in the live room, but how do you capture the same sense of volume and distortion on your recording? Phase alignment, that's how...

    Techniques
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    Bigger, Badder Electric Guitar: Audio Files

    Hear For Yourself

    These audio files complement the article 'Bigger, Badder Electric Guitars' by Jack Ruston in SOS January 2009. The audio file titles should be self-explanatory.

    Techniques
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    Cartoon Composing

    Scoring An Animated Series

    Composing for an animated series presents a different set of challenges to scoring for film or conventional TV. We look at what it takes to be a cartoon composer...

    Techniques
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    Digital Performer 6: More New Features

    Digital Performer Notes & Techniques

    Version 6 of DP comes with improved hosting of Audio Unit plug-ins — but what does that mean for the MAS format? We consider the issues, and bring you a guide to DP's new bundled convolution reverb, ProVerb.

    Techniques
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    Exploring Sonar 8's Beatscape Instrument

    Sonar Notes & Techniques

    Sonar 8 introduced Beatscape, a new Cakewalk instrument designed specifically for the groovily inclined. We dig behind the interface for some tips and tricks you won't find in the documentation.

    Techniques
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    Firewire & New MacBooks

    Apple Notes

    Despite offering powerful new features and an innovative design, Apple's new MacBook and MacBook Pro could pose problems for musicians dependent on Firewire audio interfaces. We consider the good, the bad, and the incompatible.

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: Barry Martin

    Editing Vocals and more

    We look at editing vocals for tighter timing, strategies for faking double-tracked electric guitar, and much, much more...

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: Barry Martin | Audio Files

    Hear For Yourself

    Here are the links to the MP3 and WAV files that accompany the January 2009 Mix Rescue article for our newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article and don't fancy typing in all the long URLs by hand.

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: John Cowburn

    Help & Advice For The Home Studio

    We go old-school in this month's Studio SOS, as we visit a hardware-only studio and help John Cowburn to inject a Motown vibe into his mixes.

    Techniques
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    Timing Correction

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    With Cubase 4.1, Steinberg overhauled the Sample Editor, creating a very powerful new tool for real-time pitch and time manipulation.

    Techniques
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    Vocal Production In Logic Pro: Part 1

    Logic Notes & Techniques

    Dynamics control without compression, tuning for dummies, and vocoding for fun and profit... There's all this and more in part one of our complete vocal production masterclass.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Chinese Crisis: Recording Hanggai's Folk Music

    Matteo Scumaci & Robin Haller

    The task of bringing Hanggai's Chinese folk music to Western ears was challenging enough in itself. But then things started to go wrong...

    People
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    Inside Track: AC/DC 'Black Ice'

    Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Mike Fraser

    How do you capture the essence of pure rock & roll? For Mike Fraser and AC/DC, the answer was simple: get the sound right at source, track to analogue tape, and don't mess about with the results!

    People
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    Paul Epworth

    Producing Almost Everyone

    With credits ranging from Kate Nash to Bloc Party, Primal Scream and the Rapture, Paul Epworth might just be Britain's busiest producer.

    People
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    Playback

    Readers' Music Reviewed

    The editorial team play 'Jukebox Jury' with another batch of your submitted tracks.

    People
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    Science 101

    Paul White's Leader

    Knowledge is power, so our esteemed Editor In Chief puts the case for a little scientific understanding...

    People
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    Short Cuts

    People Making Waves With Music Technology

    The first of a new column spotlighting innovators and leading edge appliance of musical technology.

    People
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    Sounding Off

    Mark Wherry

    Sounding Off becomes Sounding On, with a positive stance on the use of technology in musical creativity. No, really!

    People
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    Status Quo: 'Rockin' All Over The World'

    Classic Tracks

    In 1977 Status Quo brought in producer Pip Williams to help them clean up their act. The result was a hit album and a best-selling single — 'Rockin' All Over The World'.

    People

Music Business

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    Notes From The Deadline

    TV Music From The Inside

    When it comes to pitching music to TV executives, there are only two golden rules. The first is to meet the brief, however sketchy it might be. The second? Never, ever try to be cool.

    Music Business
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