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April 2024 Magazine Contents

SOS (UK Edition) April 2024

REVIEWS: Softube Console 1 MkIII controller • Cherry Audio Pro Soloist soft synth • JZ Microphones BT202 SDC mics • DJ.Studio • Spotlight: 3-way Monitors • Bitwig Studio 5.1 Sennheiser HD 490 Pro headphones • PresentDayProduction MUM-8 monitors • McDSP BOB APB • SSL B-DYN 500-series • Polyend Play+ groovebox/sequencer • Trident 80B-Pre • iZotope Nectar 4 Advanced • Two notes Genome • Eventide Blackhole & MicroPitch Immersive pedals • Erica Synths x Richie Hawtin Bullfrog synth module • Gainlab Audio GLA-MP1 Bishop channel strip • Undertone Audio UTEQ500 • Meris MercuryX • New Sample Libraries — and plenty more!
TECHNIQUES + PEOPLE: DUNE 1&2: Hans Zimmer & Friends [front cover] • Synth Chords: Polysynth Masterclass • Inside Track: Olivia Rodrigo 'Vampire' • Classic Tracks: Paul Hardcastle '19' • DIY Effects Pedals • How I Got That Sound: David Bottrill/Peter Gabriel • Talkback: Taigen Kawabe • DAW Tips: Cubase Pro, Pro Tools, Studio One... and lots more!

Reviews

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    1010music Bluebox Eurorack Edition

    Eurorack Module

    The Eurorack version of 1010music's Bluebox mixer and recorder offers up to 12 tracks of audio, each with their own gain, volume, pan, four‑band EQ, on‑board reverb and delay.

    Reviews
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    Bastl Instruments Neo Trinity

    Eurorack Module

    The Neo Trinity is a six-channel modulation generator which brings the talents of the CV Trinity to a smartly ordered and complex form.

    Reviews
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    Bitwig Studio 5.1

    Music Production Software

    Bitwig goes from strength to strength as v5.1 introduces a host of new features.

    Reviews
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    Boss RV-200 Reverb

    Multi-mode Reverb Pedal

    The latest addition to the 200‑series is the RV‑200 Reverb, which offers 12 different reverb types, including a new algorithm called 'Arpverb'.

    Reviews
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    Cherry Audio Pro Soloist

    Software Synthesizer

    Cherry Audio have resurrected the venerable ARP Pro Soloist in software.

    Reviews
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    DJ.Studio

    Playlisting Software

    DJ.Studio is a one‑stop shop for creating professional playlists.

    Reviews
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    dSONIQ Realphones 2

    Headphone Correction & Virtual Studio Software

    Realphones’ sophisticated headphone tuning is now paired with an ever‑growing array of virtual monitoring environments.

    Reviews
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    Electro Harmonix Pico Attack Decay

    Envelope Pedal

    Like the original, this Pico pedal identifies individual notes extremely well and it has plenty of attack range, from just softening the attack transient to a slow bowing type of fade‑in.

    Reviews
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    Erica Synths x Richie Hawtin Bullfrog

    Analogue Synthesizer

    Erica Synths and Richie Hawtin’s educationally inspired synth isn’t just for kids.

    Reviews
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    Eventide Blackhole & MicroPitch Immersive

    Multi-channel Effects Plug-ins

    Eventide’s celebrated reverb and pitch/modulation plug‑ins have been reinvented — with immersive audio applications in mind.

    Reviews
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    Flame Sound Firestarter

    WAV Library

    Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 4/5 Stars.  Firestarter provides a modestly-priced collection of trailer‑friendly sound effects all served up in a well‑organised set of categories and in a 48kHz/24‑bit WAV format.

    Reviews
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    Gainlab Audio GLA-MP1 Bishop

    All-Valve Channel Strip

    Gainlab’s channel strip delivers high‑quality valvetube preamplification and optical compression, along with some interesting tone‑shaping options.

    Reviews
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    Instant Audio QuickMuse

    Creative Randomisation Multi-effects Plug-in

    With a GUI that looks as though it was designed by an astrologer on magic mushrooms, Instant Audio’s QuickMuse is a five‑section multi‑effects plug‑in with a simple interface and some smart randomisation functions.

    Reviews
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    iZotope Nectar 4 Advanced

    Vocal Production Plug-in Suite

    If your vocals require sweetening, a little Nectar might be just the thing...

    Reviews
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    JMG Dropkick

    Kick-drum Processing Plug-in

    DropKick is a comprehensive set of tools for reshaping kick drum sounds, but it manages this with just a handful of rotary controls.

    Reviews
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    JZ Microphones BT202

    Small-diaphragm Capacitor Microphones

    JZ’s first small‑diaphragm mics combine a distinctive appearance with excellent technical specs and an appealing sound.

    Reviews
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    JZ Microphones BT202 | Audio Examples

    Hear For Yourself

    Sound On Sound Review_BT202s by JZ Microphones_Audio Examples

    The audio examples available on this...

    Reviews
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    McDSP BOB APB

    Bass Enhancement Plug-in For APB

    McDSP’s latest hybrid plug‑in refreshes the parts of the frequency spectrum other tools can’t reach.

    Reviews
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    Meris MercuryX

    Stereo Effects Pedal

    Although, at heart, this is ‘just’ a stereo reverb pedal, it’s capable of some very unusual sonic treatments...

    Reviews
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    Minimal Audio Swarm Reverb

    Reverb & Delay Plug-in

    There are so many reverb plug‑ins for Mac and Windows DAW software now that, in order to stand out from the crowd, a new one needs to offer something a little out of the ordinary, and Minimal Audio’s Swarm Reverb does exactly this.

    Reviews
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    Newfangled Audio Recirculate

    Delay & Effects Plug-in

    Recirculate is a feedback delay/echo that can process the feedback signals in various ways to make the repeats change character, with the change becoming more pronounced each time the signal passes around the feedback loop.

    Reviews
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    Orchestral Tools Pēteris Vasks Strings

    Sample Library

    Orchestral Tools’ new strings library distils the sound world of a major European composer.

    Reviews
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    Pinkertone Infinity Vol 1

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 Stars. If you are a media composer working within the broad field of modern drama, action, horror or sci‑fi, Infinity Vol 1 offers a palette of sounds that might well appeal.

    Reviews
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    Polyend Play+

    Polyend Play+

    Sample & Synth Sequencer

    Polyend’s Play gets a major + upgrade.

    Reviews
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    PresentDayProduction MUM-8

    Active Monitors

    Can a direct sales model and high‑tech components make top‑level monitoring affordable? Present Day Productions believe so.

    Reviews
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    Quiet Music MagicDrum 2

    Plug-in Instrument

    Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 Stars. MagicDrum 2 is a multi‑sampled steel tongue drum with on‑board sound‑shaping and processing that brings it into line with other recent Quiet Music offerings.

    Reviews
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    Schlappi Engineering Three Body

    Eurorack Module

    A “phase and frequency modulation toolkit” is how Eric Schlappi describes the Three Body...

    Reviews
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    Sennheiser HD 490 Pro

    Open-backed Headphones

    Sennheiser prove there’s still room for fresh thinking in headphone design!

    Reviews
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    Softube Console 1 MkIII

    Software Mix Environment & Hardware Controller

    The latest version of Softube’s Console 1 gives you even more reasons to abandon the mouse.

    Reviews
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    Solid State Logic B-DYN

    500-series Dynamics Processor

    Meet the older, hard‑hitting version of SSL’s 4K channel compressor!

    Reviews
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    Sonuscore Nordic Spheres

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 4/5 Stars. Nordic Spheres is inspired by the frozen lands of Iceland and combines carefully curated samples, categorised as Tonal, Non‑tonal and Percussive.

    Reviews
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    Teaching Machines Wellspring

    Dual-channel Spring Reverb

    Spring reverb can be a one‑trick pony, though it’s a pretty good trick! This one incorporates additional processing to make it more versatile.

    Reviews
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    Teaching Machines Wellspring | Audio Examples

    Hear For Yourself

    These audio examples accompany the April 2024 review of the Wellspring Spring Reverb unit by Teaching Machines.

    Reviews
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    Three-way Monitors

    Spotlight Round-up

    Three‑way studio monitors usually come at a premium price. We round up the models that won’t break the bank!

    Reviews
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    Trident 80B-Pre

    Microphone Preamplifier

    With separate control over mic and line/instrument inputs, as well as variable high‑ and low‑pass filters, Trident’s 80B‑Pre is more versatile than most 500‑series preamps.

    Reviews
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    Two notes Genome

    Amp, Cab & Effects Modelling Plug-in

    Combining Two notes’ highly respected models and dynamic IR‑based cabinets with support for third‑party machine‑learning amp captures, Genome is brimming with potential.

    Reviews
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    Undertone Audio UTEQ500

    500-series Equaliser

    With a chameleon‑like ability to replicate the curves of almost any analogue bell or shelf EQ, this has to be one of the most versatile equalisers out there.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Classic Tracks: Paul Hardcastle '19'

    Producer: Paul Hardcastle | Engineer: Alvin Clark | Released: 1985

    Paul Hardcastle’s iconic ‘19’ owes more than a little to serendipity and the limitations of the Emulator II sampler...

    Techniques
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    Cubase 13: Convincing String Arrangements

    Steinberg Cubase: Tips & Techniques

    Get better results from Iconica Sketch’s strings using the Cubase Logical Editor.

    Techniques
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    Cubase 13: Convincing String Arrangements | Audio Examples

    Hear For Yourself

    Audio examples to accompany April 2024's Cubase 13 workshop.

    Techniques
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    DIY Effects Pedals

    Building Your Own Stompboxes

    Making your own pedals can be a lot cheaper than buying them — and with many of the self‑build kits now available, you won’t even need a deep knowledge of electronics.

    Techniques
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    Eddie Bazil - Production Engineer

    Drum Beat Construction - Part 1 | Podcast

    4 Expert Tips

    In the first of a two-part series, Eddie Bazil explains how some simple adjustments in your DAW will help you achieve more bounce in your drum beats, by adding syncopation, swing and dynamism.

    Techniques
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    Hans Zimmer and Friends: SOS Front Cover 0424

    Dune: Hans Zimmer & Friends

    "Unleash The Synthesizers!" Creating A Movie Sound World

    For the Dune movies, Hans Zimmer and his team of extraordinary musicians didn’t just create a score. They created an entire world.

    Techniques
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    How I Got That Sound: David Bottrill

    Peter Gabriel ‘Passion’

    David Bottrill’s vast credit list includes Peter Gabriel, Smashing Pumpkins and Tool to Muse, Silverchair, Rush and many others. When asked to pick a favourite sound from that catalogue, he chose the drone that underpins ‘Passion’ by Peter Gabriel.

    Techniques
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    Inside Track: Olivia Rodrigo 'Vampire'

    Songwriter & Producer Daniel Nigro

    Guts has cemented Olivia Rodrigo’s status as a major star. Her chief songwriting and production partner is Daniel Nigro.

    Techniques
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    Modular generic image

    Modular Technique & What's New?

    External Instruments

    Quick round-up of What's New in the Modular world, plus External Instruments tips.

    Techniques
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    Pro Tools: Loops & Beats

    Avid Pro Tools: Tips & Tricks

    Who says you can’t create beats in Pro Tools? We show you how...

    Techniques
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    Step Up Your Synth Chords

    Polysynth Masterclass

    Do you find yourself reverting to the same familiar chords? Technology can help...

    Techniques
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    You can define how song sections behave, and select them during performances using big, touchscreen‑friendly buttons.

    Studio One: The Show Page revisited

    PreSonus Studio One: Tips & Techniques

    The Show Page has evolved in the last few years, and makes it easy to take your productions on the road. Let's revisit what it offers...

    Techniques

Sound Advice

People

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    Beyond Our Years

    Leader

    Now I don’t know about you, but I long ago gave up the idea that functionality was the most important aspect of guitar design, but does the same really hold true for studio equipment?

    People
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    Ryuichi Sakamoto

    Ryuichi Sakamoto - A Tribute | Podcast

    1952 - 2023

    As a tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto on the first anniversary of his passing, Caro C talks to Richard Barbieri, Natalie Beridze and Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto).

    People
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    Talkback: Taigen Kawabe

    Artist & Producer

    Japanese artist and producer Taigen Kawabe is best known as the frontman and bass guitarist of boundary‑destroying psych‑rock band Bo Ningen, whose repertoire ranges from experimental soundscapes to guitar‑driven chaos and screaming.

    People
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    Tim Bran - Music Producer

    Tim Bran - Music Producer | Podcast

    The MixBus Interview

    Producer and Engineer Tim Bran talks us through his early career at Island Records, being invited to tour as a session musician, recording London Grammar and setting up his own collaborative tech and studio projects.

    People
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    Why I Love... The Nashville Number System

    Mike Senior

    Whether you’re playing music or just stroking your chin about it, do yourself a favour and check out the Nashville Number System. If you’re anything like the author, you’ll wonder what took you so long!

    People
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