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April 2009 Magazine Contents

Reviews

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    Alesis Master Control

    Firewire Audio Interface & Control Surface

    Audio interface, control surface, monitor controller — the Alesis Master Control does it all. Could it be the perfect companion to your DAW?

    Reviews
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    Audio-Technica AT2035 & 2050

    Condenser Microphones

    Industry stalwarts Audio-Technica introduce two new microphones that offer a similar character to their popular AT2020, but with better performance and additional features.

    Reviews
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    Camel Audio Alchemy

    Software Synth [Mac/PC]

    Truly original and innovative software is a rare thing these days, but Camel Audios latest is exactly that. Find out what it is that sets Alchemy apart from the soft-synth crowd...

    Reviews
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    CEntrance AxePort Pro

    USB Guitar Interface

    If you're a guitar player who uses computers to create music using samples, loops and virtual instruments but don't need to...

    Reviews
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    Focal CMS65

    Active Nearfield Monitors

    Focal control everything from design to manufacture in their factory in France — and this approach appears to be paying off.

    Reviews
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    IK Multimedia T-Racks 3

    Master Processing Suite [Mac/PC]

    IKs original T-Racks invented the idea of one-stop shop software for master processing. Do the improvements in version 3 keep it ahead of its rivals?

    Reviews
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    Imperfect Samples Braunschweig

    Piano Sample Library

    The inaugural product from Imperfect Samples is a sampled piano with a difference...

    Reviews
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    Line 6 Pocket Pod Express

    Modelling Guitar Processor

    If you thought the Pocket Pod was a no‑brainer spin‑off from the successful Line 6 Pod line, you should take a look at the...

    Reviews
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    Loopmasters KJ Sawka

    Multi-format

    Drum & bass wasn't designed for human drummers but has still attracted the attention of a few die-hard technicians whose superhuman dexterity is surpassed only by their lung capacity.

    Reviews
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    Markbass Studio 1

    Bass-guitar Amp Emulation

    A couple of years ago, the bass player in my band announced proudly that he'd bought himself a Markbass combo. I wasn't very...

    Reviews
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    Nine Volt Audio Taiko

    Sample Library

    You'd have to be bloody serious about Taiko to want 2.3GB of multisamples, but the instrument's ubiquity in high‑octane film and TV scores has led Nine Volt Audio to take it very seriously indeed.

    Reviews
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    SE Electronics SE4400a

    Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone

    Small size and a choice of polar patterns make this mid-priced, large-diaphragm mic a very versatile performer.

    Reviews
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    Sonic Reality Ocean Way Drums

    Virtual Drum Instrument

    Ocean Way Drums offers 19 drum kits, recorded in a world-famous studio by a world-renowned engineer. Is this the best drum sample library money can buy?

    Reviews
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    Soniccouture Bowed Piano

    EXS24 & Kontakt 2/3

    Following their excellent esoteric tuned‑percussion releases Hang Drum and Balinese Gamelan, Soniccouture stay off the beaten...

    Reviews
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    Sony Acid Pro 7

    DAW Software For Windows

    Acid Pro has always offered a fabulous environment for loop-based music creation, but version 7 sees it making a bid for fully fledged DAW status.

    Reviews
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    Toontrack Jazz EZX

    EZ Drummer Expansion

    If you want great drum sounds but don't need to tweak every bolt in the kit, Toontrack's EZ Drummer provides a very natural‑...

    Reviews
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    Universal Audio Twin-finity 710

    Hybrid Microphone Preamplifier

    Which is best, tube or solid state? When it comes to investing in a preamp, thats a question you may no longer need to ask...

    Reviews
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    Waldorf Blofeld Keyboard

    Digital Synthesizer

    Waldorf build on the success of their Blofeld synth by adding not only a keyboard, but also sample RAM.

    Reviews
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    Waves Maserati Collection

    Plug-in Bundle [Mac/PC]

    Most of us cannot afford to have Tony Maserati mix our tracks — but thanks to Waves, we can now use his personal effects and processing chains in our own mixes.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Advanced Mixing In Logic Pro 8: Part 1

    Logic Notes & Techniques

    A professional producer and mixer passes on his favourite Logic mixing methods, starting this month at the bottom, with tips for bass and drums.

    Techniques
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    Advanced Vocal Compression

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We explore some of the advanced parallel compression techniques used by top mix engineer Michael Brauer — and how you can recreate them using Cubase.

    Techniques
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    Building A Beatbox In Ableton Live

    Ableton Live Notes & Techniques

    We show you how to make Live emulate an MPC-style workflow for composing rhythm tracks.

    Techniques
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    Cubase: Advanced Vocal Compression — Audio Files

    Hear For Yourself

    We explore some of the advanced parallel compression techniques used by top mix engineer Michael Brauer — and how you can recreate them using Cubase.

    Techniques
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    Double-tracking Vocals

    Sound Techniques

    Whether you want to do it for real or fake it, double tracking can add very effective texture to vocal parts.

    Techniques
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    Heavy Zebra ‘Karla’

    Classic Tracks: Producer Heavy Zebra; Engineer Kevin Byrne

    Blighted by drug abuse and mental illness, Heavy Zebra never fulfilled their early promise. Nevertheless, the deranged majesty of their 1972 single Karla makes it a bona fide classic track.

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: Timo Carlier

    Recording simple ideas quickly

    Recording simple ideas quickly often helps you to capture a good, fresh-sounding performance — but it can also leave you with frustrating technical problems in the mix. This month, we tackle just such a recording...

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: Timo Carlier | Media

    Audio files to accompany the article.

    Links to the MP3 preview and high-resolution WAV files that accompany the SOS APRIL 2009 Mix Rescue article for our newsstand/bookstore readers who do not have eSub-access to the main web article.

    Techniques
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    Non-Windows Hard Drives

    PC Notes

    If youre under the impression that installing your audio apps on a non-Windows drive will lead to better performance, youre in for a surprise. Recording audio tracks to such a drive, though, is a different matter...

    Techniques
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    Recording Techniques For Upright Piano

    Miking Techniques & Recording Tips

    Weve discussed how to record grand pianos in some depth in past issues, but miking an upright piano can present a very different challenge.

    Techniques
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    Recording Upright Piano: Audio Files

    Hear For Yourself

    We've discussed how to record grand pianos in some depth in past issues, but miking an upright piano can present a very different challenge... Here are links to MP3 and WAV files to accompany April's recording workshop.

    Techniques
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    Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Jochem van der Saag

    Seal: Soul 'A Change Is Gonna Come'

    When Seal decided to pay tribute to classic soul records on his album Soul, he turned to legendary producer David Foster — and his right-hand man, Jochem van der Saag, who was responsible for mixing and much more.

    Techniques
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    Sonar: Integrating External Hardware With Your DAW

    Sonar Notes & Techniques

    Is it time to lighten the load on your CPU and put that outboard signal processing hardware to work inside your DAW? We explain how...

    Techniques
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    Studio SOS: Gerry Daly

    Making the most of your studio space

    We turn a less-than-ideal square rented room into a workable recording and mixing space.

    Techniques
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    The SOS Guide To Choosing A Modular Synth

    Plug & Play

    No longer the preserve of men in laboratories or capes, the modular synth business is thriving, and i'ts now easier to go modular than ever before. Read on and we will show you how...

    Techniques
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    Track Comping

    Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    One of the major new features in Pro Tools 8 is a system for easily assembling 'comp' tracks from multiple takes. We explain how it all works.

    Techniques
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    Upgrading MacBook Hard Drives

    Apple Notes

    With the increasing size of audio files and high-quality sample libraries, a Apple MacBook hard drive that seemed capacious just a couple of years ago may now be straining at the seams — but swapping it for a bigger one is easier than you might think.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

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    Q. How can I create a better stereo image?

    I've recorded a couple of songs with just three tracks: acoustic guitar, bass and lead vocal. I'll obviously pan both bass and lead vocals in the centre.

    Sound Advice
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    Q. How much difference does mic position make to vocals?

    I have heard from a 'proper' singer that changing the mic position when recording vocals can make a big impact on the way they sound. 

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Is Windows 7 good for musicians?

    Could SOS write an article on the latest Windows 7 as soon as possible, and say whether in your view it's worthwhile to try it instead of Vista, or even XP?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Should I buy a separate preamp?

    I have happily been using Pro Tools for the past decade and am currently using Pro Tools LE with an Mbox 2 interface. I want to buy a mic preamp, perhaps a Behringer Tube Ultragain or similar, but will this be a waste of money when using Digidesign's LE Interfaces?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What should I buy to equip my studio?

    I'm planning to start some writing and recording in my basement home studio — only there's no equipment in it!

    Sound Advice

People

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    Kevin Burleigh & Glasvegas: Recording A Snowflake Fell

    Christmas In Transylvania

    For most bands and most record labels, trekking to the wilds of Eastern Europe to record a Christmas album would be a project that would remain filed under Nice idea, but... Glasvegas, however, are not your ordinary guitar band.

    People
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    Playback

    Readers’ Music Reviewed

    The editorial team audition another crop of your submitted tracks.

    People
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    ReGenesis

    Early Genesis for the modern keyboardist

    Forming a tribute act can be challenging when it comes to getting the sound as close to the original band as possible, and approaching the keyboard rig for a Genesis tribute certainly proved tricky.

    People
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    Sounding Off: David Glasper

    21st Century Culture

    What can we do to save ourselves from the misery and bathos of 21st century culture? Simple: hide in the past.

    People
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    Paul White - Editor In Chief

    Won’t Get Fooled Again

    Leader

    Editor-In-Chief Paul White likes dreaming up April Fool's blue-sky products, but with the unveiling of MOTU's Volta and Microsoft's Songsmith, fact is indeed becoming stranger than fiction!

    People

Music Business

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    Notes From The Deadline

    TV Music From The Inside

    Your showreel can say a lot about you. And if its going to get you work, what it needs to say is: trust me.

    Music Business
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