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May 2014 Magazine Contents

SOS (US Edition) May 2014

 

Reviews

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    Spotlight: Secondary Monitors

    The Square Route

    Full-range monitoring is all well and good, but many engineers swear by the use of a secondary 'grot box' monitor system. Here's a roundup of some of the contenders.

    Reviews
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    Appworks

    Making Music On The Move

    This month's Apps include: Sonoma Wire works GuitarTone 2.2, IK Multimedia GrooveMaker 2 and the Peterson iStrobosoft.   

    Reviews
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    ART Auto‑Tune Pre

    Mic Preamp With Pitch Correction

    This combination of preamp and Auto‑Tune processor could be just the thing for adding a radio‑friendly sheen to your live performances.

    Reviews
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    Audio-Technica ATH M50x

    Closed-back Headphones

    The ATH M50 has long been a studio favourite. Is this new x-series version a worthwhile improvement?

    Reviews
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    Big Fish Audio Guitar Sessions: Indie & Alternative Kontakt Instrument

    Sample Library

    Although Guitar Sessions is available as a 5.8GB collection of WAV, REX and Apple Loops files, in this review we are looking...

    Reviews
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    Clavia Nord Drum 2

    Modelling Percussion Synthesizer

    If the original Nord Drum was good, the sequel might just be perfect...

    Reviews
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    Electro Harmonix Soul Food Overdrive Pedal

    Overdrive Pedal

    Just what the world needs, right? Another overdrive pedal... Well, in the case of the Electro-Harmonix Soul Food the answer...

    Reviews
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    Elektron Analog Keys

    Analogue Synthesizer

    Elektron have followed up their Analog Four with a fully fledged analogue keyboard.

    Reviews
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    FBT StageMaxx 12MA

    Active Monitor

    Don't be fooled by its diminutive dimensions: this powered monitor from Italian company FBT punches way above its weight.

    Reviews
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    Genelec M040

    Active Monitors

    Genelec's eco-friendly approach to monitor design continues, with the launch of the new flagship M Series speakers.

    Reviews
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    Humanoid Sound Systems Enzyme

    Software Synthesizer For Mac OS & Windows

    Innovation in synthesis is alive and well — and can whip up extraordinary sounds at the touch of a button.

    Reviews
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    Jam Origin MIDI Guitar

    Guitar‑to‑MIDI Software For Mac OS, Windows & iOS

    Hardware systems for generating MIDI output from guitars are often expensive, impractical and unreliable. Jam Origin's revolutionary software alternative is none of these things.

    Reviews
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    JZ Microphones J1

    Cardioid Capacitor Microphone

    Latvian mic specialists JZ aim to bring their distinctive design and quality sound within reach of the masses. Have they succeeded?

    Reviews
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    Kurzweil Artis

    Stage Piano

    Kurzweil instruments are often more complex than they initially appear, and that's certainly the case with the Artis...

    Reviews
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    Mackie DLM12S

    Active Subwoofer

    Mackie's DLM range of compact PA speakers has gained a subwoofer. We see how it fares as part of a full-range system.

    Reviews
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    Moog Minifoogers

    Analogue Processors & Effects Pedals

    Although they're intended mainly for guitarists, modular knob twiddlers could also find plenty to like about Moog's new pedals.

    Reviews
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    Mutec MC3+ Smart Clock

    Master Clock

    Mutec manufacture high‑performance master clocks, and digital-format and sample‑rate converters. Everything is well designed,...

    Reviews
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    Overstayer Saturator NT 02A

    Analogue Saturation Processor

    This unassuming processor reminds us how much fun can be had playing with distortion and filters!

    Reviews
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    Rhythmic RobotSH Poly Kontakt Instrument

    Sample Library

    Rhythmic Robot are so committed to preserving the ancient and the crotchety, I'm relying on them opening a nursing home one...

    Reviews
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    Roland VT3 Voice Transformer

    Vocal Processor

    If you need authentic‑sounding robo vocals or a passable imitation of Stephen Hawking, look no further than Roland's VT3.

    Reviews
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    Sample Logic Havoc Kontakt Instrument

    Sample Library

    Sample Logic's Havoc comes with the subtitle 'Tools Of Destruction' and, given that the product description suggests that it...

    Reviews
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    Sample Shop | Media

    Audio files to accompany the article.

    Reviews
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    SE Electronics Magneto

    Cardioid Capacitor Microphone

    SE's first back-electret microphone offers impressive performance at a surprisingly low price.

    Reviews
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    Solid State Logic Sigma

    DAW-controlled Analogue Summing Mixer

    An SSL analogue mixer with automation and both DAW and iOS integration — all packed in a 2U rack space. What's not to like?

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    SPL Crimson

    USB Audio Interface & Monitor Controller

    SPL's Crimson combines a high‑quality interface and monitor controller into one conveniently sized box.

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    Toontrack EZdrummer 2

    Virtual Drum Instrument

    Have Toontrack improved their popular EZdrummer software without compromising its fundamental 'easy' approach?

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    Tracktion 5

    Music Production Software for Mac OS, Windows & Linux

    If you find conventional DAWs intimidatingly complex or unaffordable, Tracktion could be the perfect alternative.

    Reviews
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    Ueberschall Acoustic Guitar

    Sample Library

    Acoustic Guitar is another addition to Ueberschall's impressive collection of sample libraries for their Elastik loop player....

    Reviews
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    U‑he Satin

    Tape Emulation Plug‑in For Mac OS & Windows

    U‑he's Satin is one of the most comprehensive tape simulations yet devised.

    Reviews
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    Warm Audio WA76

    Mono FET Compressor

    This is far from being the first clone of a UREI 1176 FET compressor, but it's probably the cheapest to have hit the production lines. Is any of the classic sound sacrificed in Warm's cost-cutting quest?

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    Yamaha MGP32X

    Mixing Console

    There's much more to this mixer than meets the eye, thanks to some cleverly incorporated digital technology.

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    Zaor Miza 88XL Studio Desk

    Studio Furniture

    This desk combines three 4U‑high equipment bays at the back of the desk, with a deep monitor surface above, and a sturdy keyboard shelf below, capable of carrying an 88‑note master keyboard.

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Techniques

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    Dynamic Racks

    Reason Tips and Technique

    We round up the pick of Reason's Rack Extension dynamics processors.

    Techniques
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    Establishing Project Studio Reference Monitoring Levels

    Monitor Wizard

    If you're serious about recording and mixing you need to set a consistent reference level to which you can always return. Our seven‑step guide explains how to do it.

    Techniques
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    Good Vibrations

    Ableton Live Tips and Techniques

    We look at Live's unusual Collision instrument and associated Corpus effect.

    Techniques
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    Kick It Up

    Cubase Tips and Technique

    Got a drum loop with a great groove but a less-than-great kick sound? Let's beef it up...

    Techniques
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    Making Sends

    Sonar Tips and Technique

    Get creative with sends and buses in Sonar X3.

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: I Strip For Couples

    Getting Strings To Sit In A Mix

    Mixing strings in rock music: our engineer follows up last month's string‑recording session by describing how he integrated those strings into a full‑on rock mix.

    Techniques
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    Mix Rescue: I Strip For Couples | Media

    Hear For Yourself

    Audio files to accompany the article.

    Techniques
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    Passing Chords: Part 3

    Improving Your Compositions

    In the final part of this series, we develop a basic chord sequence into something more elaborate.

    Techniques
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    Project & Survive

    Digital Performer Tips and Techniques

    Understanding DP's projects and sequences can help you develop, archive and protect your hard work!

    Techniques
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    Sets On Fire

    Studio One Tips and Technique

    Studio One's Sound Sets are the perfect vehicle for sharing samples and sounds.

    Techniques
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    Starting Points

    Pro Tools Tips and Technique

    Familiarise yourself with some basic concepts, and you'll be up and running with Pro Tools in no time.

    Techniques
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    Totally Retro

    Logic Pro Tips and Technique

    Create killer sounds with Logic Pro X's Retro Synth.

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Classic Tracks: The Blues Brothers 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'

    Producer & Engineer: Bob Tischler

    His role as producer of The Blues Brothers soundtrack left Bob Tischler in charge of recording some of the best musicians of the 20th century, while managing conflicting shooting schedules and coping with the day-to-day effects of John Belushi's prodigious cocaine habit.

    People
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    Inside Track: Pharrell Williams "Happy"

    Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Leslie Brathwaite

    The biggest hit of 2014 is a triumph of minimalism — and a triumph for mix engineer Leslie Brathwaite.

    People
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    Node

    Flood, Ed Buller, Mel Wesson & Dave Bessell: Recording Node 2

    Consisting of two big-name producers, a Hollywood composer and an academic — plus masses of modular gear — Node are the ultimate synth supergroup.

    People
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    Paul White - Editor In Chief

    Offering A Helping Hand

    Leader

    I'm writing this column in February, and here in the UK, half the country seems to be flooded — so terms like 'SOS' and 'Rescue' have taken on a far more serious connotation.

    People
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    Playback

    Readers' music reviewed

    This month we review to music from Gertrude,Tycho, Richard Pinhas, Daniel Trigger, Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble, Andrew Maxwell Morris, Michael Lee and Rebecca Shearing. 

    People
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    Polar Bear

    Seb Rochford & Leafcutter John: Recording In Each And Every One

    Jazz quintet Polar Bear have always been musical adventurers, and their latest album extends their experimental philosophy to studio techniques.

    People
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    Sounding Off

    In many ways, there has never been a bigger or better time for dance music.

    Want to be a superstar DJ? Join the queue.

    People
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    The Mix Review

    Commercial Productions Analysed

    This month we discuss tracks from Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Tom Odell and our Classic Mix is Bonnie Raitt's 'I Can't Make You Love Me' from 1991.    

    People

Music Business

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    Hit Factory Criteria, Miami

    Studio File

    If recording studios were viewed the same way as wine, 1958 would be seen as an exceptional vintage.

    Music Business
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    Notes From The Deadline

    TV Music From The Inside

    You can't please all of the people all of the time. Even when they are on the same production team.

    Music Business
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    Dan Daley

    Off The Record

    Music & Recording Industry News

    Neil Young's new company Pono Music promises a lot — but can it deliver?

    Music Business
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