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April 2020 Magazine Contents

SOS (US Edition) April 2020

Reviews: Moog Matriarch (front cover) • Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV • SSL 2+ audio interface • Avid S1 control surface • MOTU Digital Performer 10.1 • RME Babyface Pro FS interface • Boss SY-1000 guitar synth • Drawmer 1976 saturation processor • EastWest Hollywood Backup Singers • Euterpe Vertice filterbank • Mackie SRM-Flex PA • Motas Electronics Motas-6 synth • Novation Launchpad Pro, X & Mini MkIII • Quested V2104 monitors • sE Electronics V Pack Arena drum mics.

Techniques + People: The Psychology Of Mixing • Bombay Bicycle Club • Classic Tracks: Happy Mondays 'Step On' • Inside Track: Selena Gomez 'Rare' • Ken 'Pooch' Van Druten: FOH Mix Engineer • Mix Rescue... Pro Tools Folder Tracks and other DAW workshops • Warren 'Oak' Felder: Recording Demi Lovato's 'Sorry Not Sorry' [Video Feature].

Reviews

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    Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV

    Laptop Computer

    The ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV has more screens and power than you can shake a stick at. Is it the perfect portable music machine?

    Reviews
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    Audified ToneSpot Electric Pro

    Electric Guitar Processing Plug-in

    Electric Pro has been designed with electric guitar in mind — but it isn't, as you might expect, an amp modeller. Rather, it focuses on the studio-processing and effects side of things.

    Reviews
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    Audiothingies Doctor A

    Reverb & Delay Processor With MIDI & CV Inputs

    If you're seeking a performance-friendly effects processor with a top-notch signal path, this might be just what the doctor ordered...

    Reviews
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    Austrian Audio Hi-X55

    Closed-back Headphones

    Following on from their outstanding debut microphones, Austrian Audio turn their attention to the headphone market.

    Reviews
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    Avid S1

    EUCON Control Surface

    The S1 brings Avid's EUCON control within reach of mere mortals.

    Reviews
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    Bastl Instruments Kompas

    Eurorack Module

    The Kompas is a delightfully odd three-coordinate probabilistic pattern navigator.

    Reviews
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    Best Service Arabic Oud

    Engine 2 Instrument

    Rating: **** 4/5 Stars. For this virtual oud, musician Bassam Ayoub recorded and produced his own performances at his studio in Weisbaden, Germany.

    Reviews
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    Boss SY‑1000

    Guitar Synthesizer

    With its impressively fast tracking system and analogue synth-like sounds, this is a guitar synth with which guitarists can finally feel at ease.

    Reviews
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    Cem Olcay StepBud

    AUv3 MIDI Sequencer For iOS

    This dedicated 64-step sequencer can be run stand-alone or within a host that supports MIDI-based AUv3 plug-ins, such as Audiobus or AUM.

    Reviews
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    Drawmer 1976

    Stereo 3-band Saturation & Width Processor

    Could this be the ultimate analogue 'vibe box'?

    Reviews
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    EastWest Hollywood Backup Singers

    Sample Library

    If you crave the sound of super-slick backing singers, is EastWest's Hollywood Backup Singers a viable alternative to paying regular session fees?

    Reviews
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    Electro-Harmonix Ram's Head Big Muff Pi

    Distortion/Fuzz Pedal

    The 1973 version two Big Muff Pi — with a ram's head printed on the casework — was used on so many classic records that EHX have decided to bring it back.

    Reviews
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    Erica Synths Pico System III

    Modular Synth

    The Erica Synths Pico System, and in fact the whole Pico range of modules, represents good value for money in a small package...

    Reviews
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    Euterpe Vertice

    Hand-built Analogue Filterbank

    They say they don't make 'em like they used to, but in the case of this Italian boutique filterbank, they do!

    Reviews
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    Mackie SRM–Flex

    Active Line Array

    We put Mackie's portable and affordable column PA system to the test.

    Reviews
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    Mission VM-Pro Ultrasweep

    Volume Pedal

    Mission Engineering's VM-Pro buffered volume pedal, widely considered one of the best available, just got better!

    Reviews
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    Moog Matriarch

    Semi-modular Synthesizer

    Much more than just an expanded Grandmother, the Matriarch has all the makings of a classic Moog synth.

    Reviews
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    Motas Electronics Motas-6

    Analogue Monosynth

    The Motas‑6 brings together the worlds of analogue and digital for a unique take on the classic three-oscillator, analogue monosynth.

    Reviews
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    MOTU Digital Performer 10.1

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    Long a favourite amongst film and TV composers, Digital Performer now embraces loop-based production and live performance.

    Reviews
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    Native Instruments Straylight

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars. Straylight is designed with media/film composers in mind and, by combining a granular synthesis engine with sample playback, Straylight specialises in soundscapes, transitions and ambient tones...

    Reviews
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    Novation Launchpad Pro, X & Mini MkIII

    Control Surfaces

    Major updates to Novation's third generation of Launchpads improve both form and function.

    Reviews
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    Pulsar Echorec

    Analogue-modelling Delay Plug-in

    This plug-in sounds pleasingly 'organic' and adds some useful functionality compared with the Binson Echorecs on which it's based.

    Reviews
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    Quested V2104

    2-way Active Reference Monitors

    The baby of Quested's established V series provides quality monitoring even for those with limited space.

    Reviews
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    RME Babyface Pro FS

    USB Audio Interface

    RME's distinguished do-it-all desktop interface just got even better.

    Reviews
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    sE Electronics V Pack Arena

    Drum Microphone Set

    Fully loaded with shell, kick and overhead mics plus mounting hardware, sE's smart V Pack Arena has everything you need to make quality drum kit recordings.

    Reviews
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    Sonuscore Elysion

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars. Powered by their multi-layered engine featuring sequencers, modulators and effects, Sonuscore give you Elysion, the 'hybrid twin' that does for synthetic sounds what The Orchestra does for the orchestra.

    Reviews
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    SSL 2+ audio interface

    SSL 2+

    USB Audio Interface

    If you've ever dreamed of having an SSL in your studio, that dream just became surprisingly achievable...

    Reviews
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    Step By Step: Adventures In Sequencing With Max/MSP

    Book Review

    A tutorial book on making step sequencers with Cycling '74's Max graphical programming environment.

    Reviews
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    Warm Audio WA-DI-A & WA-DI-P

    DI Boxes

    These gadgets offer more than the ability to patch your guitar or bass into a mic preamp!

    Reviews
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    Wave Alchemy Bassynth

    Bass Instrument For Kontakt

    Bassynth is all about big and meaty bass sounds. Its 11GB sample library comprises over 800 multi-samples of 'real' instruments such as brass, winds and bass guitar, plus synthetic sounds.

    Reviews

Techniques

Sound Advice

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    Q. Can I correct my speakers' response with graphic EQ?

    My monitors sounded inconsistent to me, so I've been adjusting their frequency response by ear using a 31-band EQ on my PC. I've done a lot of tweaks, and they now sound phenomenal, but I want to be sure I'm doing the tweaks correctly.

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Is there a 'right way up' to mount a mic?

    I've seen some pictures where the mic is hanging upside down. Is there a good reason for this? Or is it better to put it the 'right' way up?

    Sound Advice
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    The Psychology Of Mixing

    Mind Games

    Mixing can be a mentally taxing pursuit, but these simple strategies will help you maintain your focus and get the best results.

    Sound Advice

People

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    Bombay Bicycle Club

    John Congleton, Jack Steadman & Ed Nash: Recording Everything Else Has Gone Wrong

    When Bombay Bicycle Club chose to work with prolific producer John Congleton, both band and producer found themselves having to adapt...

    People
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    Ken 'Pooch' Van Druten: FOH Mix Engineer

    Justin Bieber • Iron Maiden • Jay‑Z • Whitney Houston • Linkin Park • Kiss

    Pooch's career has seen him mix front-of-house for artists as diverse as Iron Maiden and Justin Bieber. But just how different are mixing for pop and metal?

    People
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    The Mix Review: April 2020

    Commercial Hit Productions Analysed

    To help you brush up on your listening skills, we examine the production of some recent hits from Meduza, Roddy Ricch, Jorja Smith, Eminem and a classic mix of Harry Belafonte from the first LP ever to sell a million copies.

    People
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    Paul White

    The Modular Mindset

    Paul White

    On occasions I think the modular synth concept is a bit bonkers. It takes ages to set up a sound with little chance of being able to repeat it... Surely programmable synths were invented to get around that shortcoming?

    People
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    Why I Love... The Kindness Of Strangers

    Paul Evans

    Steve gave me his time that day, he was good-humoured and made it fun. He showed me how synthesizers work and how to create sounds... it was magical.

    People
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