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August 2020 Magazine Contents

SOS US Edition August 2020

Reviews: Neve 1073OPX mic preamp • Jones-Scanlon Baby Reds nearfields • Arturia OB-Xa V • Apple MacBook Air • Two Notes Torpedo Captor X • Roland A-88 MkII keyboard • Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 keyboard • PreSonus Eris E7 XT & E8 XT monitors • FabFilter Saturn 2 plug-in • Erica Synths Fusion Eurorack modules • MAAT thEQblue12 mastering EQ • Radial HDI • Cre8Audio NiftyBundle Eurorack • Nextmidi Divisimate arrangement software • Shure KSE1200 in-ears • Mackie EM-91C mic •  XILS Lab X505 softsynth — and plenty more!

Techniques + People: Akai MPC Basics (front cover) • Inside Track: Lady Gaga 'Rain On Me' • How And When To Use Multiband Compression • 11 Tips For The Cash-strapped Studio • Craig Parker Adams: Mixing Frank Zappa • Synthesis Techniques For Emulating Vintage Sounds • Georgia Barnes • Time-aligning Multi-mic Recordings • Double-tracking Techniques — plus essential DAW workshops • [Video Feature] Pete Cannon: Producing Retro Jungle • [Video] Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential ! 

Reviews

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    Apple MacBook Air 2020

    Laptop Computer

    How does the new version of Apple's entry-level laptop fare in a music and audio-based environment?

    Reviews .
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    Arturia KeyLab Essential 88

    Controller Keyboard

    Arturia's budget keyboard controller offers tremendous value for money with its combination of an 88-note synth-action keyboard and a handy software bundle that includes the latest version of Analog Lab.

    Reviews .
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    Arturia OB-Xa V

    Software Synthesizer

    Arturia's latest instrument is a software recreation of Oberheim's pinstriped polysynth.

    Reviews .
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    Audio Damage Continua

    Synthesizer Plug-in

    Continua is a three-oscillator, twin-filter analogue-style synthesizer plug‑in for Mac, Windows and iOS, and there's even an experimental Linux build too.

    Reviews
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    Audix USB12

    USB Microphone

    The USB12 is a cardioid condenser microphone that, as its name implies, connects to a computer via USB Type-B socket.

    Reviews
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    Babelson Audio FD Bundle

    EQ & Saturation Plug‑ins

    Warmth is the name of the game for these three EQs, which boast modelled Marinair transformers and a range of different virtual vacuum tubes.

    Reviews
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    Beatskillz SampleX

    Sampler Emulation Plug‑in

    SampleX brings the sound of early digital samplers to your DAW.

    Reviews
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    Cre8Audio NiftyBundle

    Eurorack Case & Modules

    The NiftyBundle offers an extremely affordable gateway into the world of modular synthesis.

    Reviews .
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    Erica Synths Fusion VCF3, Fusion Modulator & Fusion VCA-Waveshaper-Ringmod

    Eurorack Modules

    The Fusion Series is all about valves. It's Erica's premium offering of Eurorack modules and is dripping with extreme saturation and deep gooey darkness.

    Reviews .
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    Eventide MicroPitch

    Effects Plug-in

    With algorithms ported from their H9 pedal system, MicroPitch is a dual pitch-shifter and a dual delay effect with modulation.

    Reviews
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    FabFilter Saturn 2

    Distortion Plug‑in

    There's rather more to FabFilter's redesigned multiband saturator than a slicker GUI.

    Reviews .
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    G-Sonique Technol HN1

    Software Instrument

    G-Sonique's Technol HN1 offers bread-and-butter techno sounds in an easy to use format and at a bargain price.

    Reviews
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    Initial Audio AR1

    Reverb Plug-in

    The AR1 is an algorithmic reverb supporting 64-bit VST and AU plug‑in formats on Mac and Windows.

    Reviews
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    Jones-Scanlon Baby Reds

    Active Monitors

    Speaker-building is an established art, but occasionally it can still yield surprises — such as the strange and wonderful Baby Reds.

    Reviews
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    Korneff Audio Talkback Limiter

    Compressor Plug‑in [Mac & Windows]

    SSL's famous listen-mic compressor just got more tweakable.

    Reviews
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    MAAT thEQblue12

    Mastering EQ Plug‑in

    MAAT's mastering equaliser models the characteristics of 12 analogue EQ designs, but leaves out their real-world drawbacks!

    Reviews .
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    Mackie EM-91C

    Cardioid Capacitor Microphone

    Mackie's first ever studio microphone proves to be an affordable all-rounder.

    Reviews
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    Native Instruments Mysteria

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: **** 4/5 Stars. Mysteria is primarily aimed at providing dark and suspenseful sounds suitable for use in a cinematic context.

    Reviews
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    Neve 1073OPX

    Remote-controllable Eight-channel Mic Preamp

    Could this be the perfect partnership between vintage vibe and contemporary convenience?

    Reviews
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    Nextmidi Divisimate

    Arrangement Software

    Suffering for your orchestral arrangements? Divisimate can help.

    Reviews .
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    PreSonus Eris E7 XT & E8 XT

    Active Monitors

    PreSonus' popular Eris range has been given an XT upgrade. We put them to the test!

    Reviews .
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    Radial HDI

    DI Box & Distortion Processor

    This studio DI box goes further than most, adding character to a range of sources.

    Reviews .
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    Red Room Audio Palette Orchestral Series

    Sample Libraries

    This comprehensive four-part sample library aims to provide a complete orchestral scoring toolkit.

    Reviews .
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    Roland A-88 MkII

    MIDI 2.0 Controller Keyboard

    Is Roland's A‑88 MkII controller keyboard the perfect all-rounder?

    Reviews .
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    Shure KSE1200

    Electrostatic In-ear Monitors

    If you thought earbuds were a compromise, think again...

    Reviews .
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    Soniccouture All Saints Choir

    Kontakt Instrument

    Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars. The 32 singers of this choir sample library were recorded in soprano, alto, tenor and bass sections, each on a separate day, so you can mix and pan them as you like.

    Reviews
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    Soniccouture Blanks

    Software Drum Instrument

    Soniccouture deliver a powerful drum sampler engine where you provide the samples.

    Reviews .
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    Source Audio Spectrum Intelligent Filter

    Stereo Effects Pedal

    Source Audio have managed to get the relationship between input envelope and filter response to feel very natural on this envelope-controlled filter.

    Reviews .
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    Spitfire Audio Alex Epton Entropy

    Plug‑in Instrument

    Rating: **** 4/5 Stars. Spitfire's literature describes Entropy as delivering post-industrial soundscapes...

    Reviews
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    Toontrack Latin Cuban Drums EZX

    EZdrummer Expansion

    Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars. This latest addition to the ever-expanding EZX expansion library comprises two of drummer Robby Ameen's Pearl custom drum kits, set up and tuned for recording Latin-flavoured rhythms.

    Reviews
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    Two Notes Torpedo Captor X

    Guitar Amp Dummy Load & Speaker Simulator

    Reactive load boxes that also offer top-quality speaker simulation have been seriously expensive — until now...

    Reviews .
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    Xaoc Devices Odessa

    Eurorack Module

    Xaoc's Odessa aims to bring additive synthesis to the Eurorack world.

    Reviews .
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    XILS Lab X505

    Software Synthesizer

    XILS Lab have recreated a classic Roland string synth, and made a few improvements to boot.

    Reviews .

Techniques

Sound Advice

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    11 Tips For The Cash-strapped Studio

    Cheap & Cheerful Solutions

    I've put together 11 of my personal favourite cost-cutting tips that won't burn a hole in your wallet, covering everything from monitoring and recording improvements to making your instruments play that bit better.

    Sound Advice
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    AMD vs Intel chip graphic for article

    Core Wars! AMD & Intel CPUs Tested

    Which Is Best For Your Music PC?

    AMD's third-generation Ryzen chips have reignited the CPU arms race with Intel — but which is best for a music-production PC?

    Sound Advice
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    Glossary-AZ-image

    Glossary Of Technical Terms

    Recording | Audio Production | Music Technology | Music Software | MIDI | Audio Plug-ins | Acoustics | Live Sound | Electronics | Computers |

    Welcome to Sound On Sound's regularly updated, indispensible explanations of technical terms from the fields of Recording, Audio Production, Music Technology, MIDI, Music Software, Audio Plug-ins, Mac and PC Computing, Live Sound, Acoustics, Electronics and more...

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What gear and software do I need for sample-based soundtracks?

    I'm looking for advice as to what I should be considering as my next move, to give me the 'oomph' for creating music that uses the best sample libraries for orchestra...

    Sound Advice
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    Q. What makes a good mic preamp?

    How do I tell which preamps are good and which aren't? Are there any particular specs I should I look out for?

    Sound Advice
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    Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

    Video

    You are that rarest of things, a musician with money to spend. Should you use that money to pay for studio time? Or invest in your own equipment and record your music at home?

    Sound Advice

People

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    Craig Parker Adams: Mixing Frank Zappa

    Archive Record Keeper

    Frank Zappa was as fastidious about cataloguing his recordings as he was about making them. The task of mixing this enormous archive falls to one man...

    People .
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    Georgia Barnes

    Artist & Producer

    An explosive Glastonbury performance and acclaimed second album have propelled Georgia Barnes into the mainstream.

    People .
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    Sam Inglis, SOS Editor In Chief.

    Keeping It Fresh

    Leader

    We all want our music-making tools to be intuitive. But what does that actually mean?

    People
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    Robin Rimbaud, AKA Scanner, in his studio.

    Robin Rimbaud - Scanner | Podcast

    Life Beyond The Computer Screen

    Robin Rimbaud (AKA Scanner) tells the story of how a fascination with tape recorders, and the work of composers John Cage and David Tudor, led to a studio filled with exotically named instruments and creating music without a screen.

    People
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    Why I Love... Keytars

    Atheen Spencer

    It's fair to say that keytars have had bad press over the years. It's my view that this malicious campaign was started by...

    People

Music Business

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    Cranborne Audio 500 ADAT rack.

    Cranborne Audio - Behind The Brand | Podcast

    Sean Karpowicz

    SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns chats to the MD of Cranborne Audio, Sean Karpowicz, about how and why he started this innovative British pro-audio manufacturer, the many business and technical challenges involved along the way, and his company's approach to product design and manufacture.

    Music Business
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