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December 2020 Magazine Contents

SOS (US Edition) December 2020

Reviews: Avid Pro Tools | Carbon (front cover+video) • Audient EVO 4 & EVO 8 interfaces • iZotope RX8 audio restoration software • Avantone CLA-10A nearfields • UDO Audio Super 6 polysynth • Heavyocity Damage 4 library • APS Klasik 2020 monitors • Tascam Model 12 USB mixer/recorder • Arturia Modulations plug-ins • Mojave MA-50 microphone • Austrian Audio Hi-X50 headphones • Spitfire Audio Abbey Road One: Orchestral Foundations library • RYK Modular M185 sequencer • TC Electronic Finalizer software — and plenty more…

Techniques + People: Apple Silicon: What It Means For You • Inside Track: Machine Gun Kelly ‘Concert For Aliens’ • Classic Tracks: Darude ’Sandstorm’ • Matt Berry • Steph Marziano • Studio Construction: The Boxy System • Patchbays In The Modern Studio — plus Cubase, DP, Logic, Live & Studio One DAW workshops.

Reviews

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    Gear Of The Year logo

    2020 Gear Of The Year!

    SOS Team Choices

    The SOS team pick their highlights from 2020's hardware and software launches.

    Reviews
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    APS Klasik 2020

    Active Nearfield Monitor

    The revised Klasik from Polish company APS offers exceptional performance at a remarkably low price.

    Reviews .
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    Arturia Modulations

    Modulation Plug-ins

    Arturia add some helpful extras to their plug-in models of three classic analogue modulation effects.

    Reviews
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    Audient EVO 4 & EVO 8

    USB Audio Interfaces

    Are Audient’s minimalist EVOs smarter than the average audio interface?

    Reviews
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    Audified VocalMint Compressor

    One-knob Compressor Plug-in

    Though there’s only one main user control, VocalMint's audio path comprises a serial chain of three different types of compressor, and multiple behind‑the‑scenes parameters have been optimised specifically for vocal processing.

    Reviews
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    Austrian Audio Hi-X50

    Closed-back Headphones

    AA’s latest cans employ their successful high‑excursion driver in a new on‑ear design.

    Reviews
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    Avantone CLA-10A

    Nearfield Active Monitors

    Avantone’s take on the classic NS‑10 is now available in powered form. We fire them up...

    Reviews
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    Avid Pro Tools | Carbon

    Computer Recording System

    Avid’s innovative ‘hybrid’ audio interface promises to banish latency for good.

    Reviews
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    Best Service Emotional Viola

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars. This library features a rich close‑miked viola with the same depth of colour, wealth of articulations, and seamless ornamental transitions found in previous Emotional releases.

    Reviews
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    Black Rooster Audio KH-COMP1

    Compressor Plug-in

    This characterful compressor offers a little more control than most ‘vibe machines’.

    Reviews
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    Eventide Spring

    Reverb Plug-in

    Eventide’s Spring is a meticulous emulation of the kind of spring reverb you might find in a guitar combo, but with an extended parameter range for more creative uses.

    Reviews
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    GIK Acoustics VISO Booth

    Portable Vocal Screen

    GIK Acoustics' portable vocal screen is sensibly-priced and reduces room coloration, but without adding any obvious boxiness from the screen itself.

    Reviews
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    Heavyocity Damage 2

    Sample Library

    Heavyocity’s commando percussion team return to the sound stage tooled up and looking for something to break.

    Reviews .
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    In Session Audio Guitar Swell

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: **** 4/5 Stars. Guitar Swell won’t replace your guitar player, but will help you produce a wide range of evocative sounds that might inspire you to take your compositions in a new direction.

    Reviews
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    IO‑Instruments Sponde

    Eurorack Module

    Given its excellent price tag, this Eurorack mixer has more features than it has any right to, and it doesn’t skimp on the sound quality.

    Reviews .
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    iZotope RX8

    Audio Restoration Software 
[Mac & Windows]

    Once again, iZotope have raised the benchmark for affordable audio restoration.

    Reviews .
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    Mojave MA-50

    Cardioid Microphone

    Mojave’s most affordable mic yields great results on a wide range of sources.

    Reviews
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    Mojave MA-50 Audio Examples

    Hear For Yourself

    The MP3 audio files on this page accompany the review of the Mojave MA-50 in SOS December 2020.

    Reviews
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    Patching Panda Moon Phase

    Eurorack Module

    This stereo analogue filter allows different filter modes for the left and right channels, and then messes with the dimensions of space by applying mid‑side processing afterwards.

    Reviews .
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    Performance Samples Oceania II

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ***** 4.5/5 Stars. Oceania II is not an upgrade, but a newly recorded library with additional features. Its remit is exactly the same: full‑on Mens’ and Womens’ choir performances.

    Reviews
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    Pro Tools | Carbon - First Look

    What Is A 'Hybrid' Audio Interface?

    Pro Tools | Carbon might be the biggest news from the world of music technology this year. But how does Avid's "hybrid audio interface" work?

    Reviews
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    RYK Modular M185 Sequencer

    Eurorack Module

    If you’ve not used this style of sequencer before, then it can be totally revolutionary in terms of what it does to your modular music-making.

    Reviews .
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    Sonixinema Abstract

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: **** 4/5 Stars. This cool virtual instrument will appeal to those looking for something a little different to spice up their virtual percussion arsenal.

    Reviews
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    SoundMorph Dust

    Synthesizer & Effect Plug-in

    SoundMorph’s Dust takes an interplanetary approach to granular resynthesis.

    Reviews
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    Source Audio EQ2

    Programmable EQ Pedal

    The EQ2 offers quality graphic and parametric EQ, with full MIDI capabilities, all delivered in a robust pedal. What's not to like?

    Reviews
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    Spitfire Audio Abbey Road One: Orchestral Foundations

    Sample Library

    Spitfire’s latest project marks a new partnership with an iconic London studio.

    Reviews .
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    Tascam Model 12

    Mixer, Multitrack Recorder & USB Audio Interface

    Tascam have done far more than shrink the Model 24.

    Reviews .
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    TC Electronic Finalizer

    Mastering Software [Mac OS / Windows]

    The processor that revolutionised home mastering is at last available in software form.

    Reviews .
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    Toontrack Legacy Of Rock SDX & Classic Rock EZX

    Expansions For Superior Drummer & EZdrummer

    Toontrack recapture the drums of rock’s golden age with help from legendary producer Eddie Kramer.

    Reviews
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    UDO Audio Super 6

    Polyphonic Synthesizer

    UDO Audio’s highly anticipated debut instrument is a synthesizer with a sound all of its own.

    Reviews .
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    United Plugins Transmutator

    Blending & Morphing Plug-in

    Much more than a crossfade tool, Transmutator offers multiple blending modes that allow you to combine or transition between two signals in creative ways.

    Reviews
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    Waves Kaleidoscopes

    Modulation Plug-in

    Waves breathe a little freshness into the familiar.

    Reviews .
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    Zoom 5.2.2

    The Musicians’ Update

    The hugely successful teleconferencing platform Zoom has had some small but significant updates, making it even more useful to musicians in lockdown.

    Reviews

Techniques

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    Classic Tracks: Darude 'Sandstorm'

    Darude’s 1999 dance hit has taken on an extensive and often surprising life of its own.

    Techniques .
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    Cubase: String Theory Part 2

    Steinberg Cubase Pro Tips & Techniques

    Last month we ‘faked’ some string‑arrangements. Now it’s time to add a human touch.

    Techniques .
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    Cubase: String Theory Part 2 Audio

    Audio Examples: Hear For Yourself

    The following Audio examples accompany our Cubase: String Theory Part 2 workshop article.

    Techniques
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    Digital Performer: Working With Clips

    MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    One of the most significant features introduced in DP 10 was the Clips window, and in the 10.1 release, MOTU made it even more powerful.

    Techniques .
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    Inside Track: Machine Gun Kelly 'Concert For Aliens'

    Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Adam Hawkins

    When rapper Machine Gun Kelly enlisted the help of producer and Blink‑182 drummer Travis Barker on his latest album, a shift to pop‑punk seemed inevitable. Who better to mix it than punk/hip‑hop crossover engineer Adam Hawkins...

    Techniques .
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    Live: Session View

    Ableton Live Tips & Techniques

    Live’s Session view abandons the timeline and allows you to simply trigger individual looping or one‑shot clips of any length.

    Techniques .
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    Logic Pro: The Step Sequencer

    Apple Logic Pro X Tips & Techniques

    Finally, Logic Pro X catches up with, and in many ways improves upon, the step sequencers in other DAWs.

    Techniques .
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    Patchbays In The Modern Studio

    How To Choose The Right One For You

    Even in today’s computer‑based studios, a patchbay can change your life. We help you choose the right one.

    Techniques .
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    Studio One: Exploring Analog Delay

    PreSonus Studio One Tips & Techniques

    Analog Delay has been a stock Studio One plug‑in since the beginning, pumping out cool vintage echoes with its previously vanilla GUI, but with v5 it received a bit of an interface upgrade.

    Techniques .

Sound Advice

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    Apple Silicon

    What Does It Mean For You?

    Apple recently announced a transition in the Mac’s hardware architecture that promises to be the most significant in the product’s history. But how will this affect musicians and audio engineers?

    Sound Advice .
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    Q. Is Ultrasonic Noise On DSD Recordings A Problem?

    I recently started capturing my vinyl collection to DSD and hi‑res PCM. The result sounds great but when I examine the audio file in iZotope RX 8 Elements I see a band of ultrasonic noise. Should I be worried about this?

    Sound Advice
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    Dropbox logo

    Q. What’s The Best Way To Share Audio With A Collaborator?

    Could you recommend a platform that allows me to share musical ideas with my friends, so we can eventually form songs/compositions?

    Sound Advice
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    Q. Why Are Some A-B Stereo Arrays Angled Outwards?

    Can you offer any guidance on what’s essentially an A‑B stereo array, but with the mics angled slightly outwards?

    Sound Advice
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    The Boxy System

    Modular Studio Construction

    The biggest investment most studios make is in bricks and mortar... and plasterboard... and Rockwool. 
But is there another way?

    Sound Advice .

People

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    Matt Berry

    Musician, Songwriter & Producer

    Perhaps best known for his television work, Matt Berry’s true love has always been music and the analogue instruments he uses to make it.

    People .
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    Talkback: Steph Marziano

    The Brightest New Talent

    In our new monthly feature, we track down the new producers who are making waves and find out what makes them tick.

    People .
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    The Death Of Live?

    Leader

    For anyone who supplies or works in live sound, or the wider events industry, it’s been a disaster...

    People
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    Why I Love... Passive Speakers

    Phil Ward

    There’s an element of art in the design of passive speakers that’s somehow diluted, lost even, once you put the crossover upstream of multiple power amplifiers...

    People
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