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Sound On Sound UK

Sound On Sound UK

November 2020

Sound On Sound is the world's best recording technology magazine, packed full of in-depth, independent product tests, including music software, studio hardware, keyboards and live sound (PA) gear. Every issue also includes SOS's unique step-by-step tutorial and technique columns on all the leading DAW programs, as well as insightful interviews with leading producers, engineers and musicians.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Sound On Sound Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
presonus pm-2 stereo microphone kit

While large-diaphragm microphones tend to be the most glamorous, small-diaphragm models are often better-suited to recording acoustic instruments, and they are also easier to set up as X-Y stereo pairs. Common applications in the smaller studio include drum overheads and other acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitars. Designed in the US by PreSonus but manufactured in the Far East to keep costs down, the two mics in the PM-2 kit are closely matched, small-diaphragm capacitor microphones, each employing a 0.75-inch, centre-terminated, gold-sputtered 6mm mylar diaphragm. Although there are currently no alternative capsules offered to fit these microphones, the cardioid ones provided are removable. These screw onto the end of the matte-silver ‘stick’-type bodies. The mics are fairly light and won’t make your mic stand droop. As is common with this type of…

1 min.
usb connectivity

The now ubiquitous USB port serves for both MIDI and audio communication with your DAW, and with the dedicated driver installed the kit’s TD-27 control module offers 28 channels of audio configured as 14 stereo pairs. Each channel appeared as an input in my DAW, and I was instantly able to record a multitracked drum kit alongside a MIDI track of the performance. Each drum was in perfect isolation on its own track. The extensive routing options within the TD-27 enabled me not only to route the drums to their own channels but to send the overheads and room mics to the main outputs (USB 1- 2) and effects to the direct outputs (USB 3- 4), allowing for even greater flexibility at the mixing stage, with ambience and effects also recorded on…

1 min.
aston element

£159 PROS • Affordable.• Effectively handles vocals and most instruments.• High-quality accessories. CONS • Care is required when fitting the mic to the mount to ensure that the lugs have clicked into place, otherwise the mic is not secure.• You may need to use a high-pass filter in some applications. SUMMARY The Element is a new take on the moving-coil microphone concept that overcomes many of the limitations of conventional dynamic designs, while also avoiding some of the issues that can afflict capacitor models. The result is a full, largely natural sound that treats high frequencies with respect.…

1 min.
the designer speaks

The Aston Element’s unusually extended frequency response for a dynamic microphone owes much to recent advances in material science, says designer Trevor Szynk: “The high-frequency performance of vintage large-diaphragm moving-coil microphones was inferior due to the physical mass of the paper diaphragms they employed. They also had magnets the size and weight of a house brick. The technology has advanced considerably in both of these areas, and it is now possible to manufacture a moving-coil microphone with a diaphragm as light as its condenser counterpart, and a high-efficiency magnet compact enough to fit into a standard microphone form factor. “The magnet in the Element is more powerful than the ones found in most high-frequency speaker drivers. With the magnet being as powerful as it is, the coil can use much less…

1 min.
antelope audio

£1795 PROS • A surprisingly comprehensive selection of I/O in a compact desktop package.• Excellent audio specifications and good subjective sound quality.• With four high-impedance inputs, two dedicated reamping outputs and built-in amp simulation, it offers a lot for guitarists.• Powerful built-in effects processing, with a wide range of AFX modules spanning everything from mic preamp emulation to vintage EQ.• Very good low-latency performance over Thunderbolt.• Built-in talkback. CONS • The touchscreen is small and not terribly useful.• No speaker switching.• Indifferent low-latency performance over USB.• Apart from the global Auraverb, there are no AFX delays or reverbs.• No Thunderbolt cable included. SUMMARY The Zen Tour Synergy Core packs many of the features you’d expect from a top-grade rackmount interface into a handy desktop format, and backs them up with some serious audio processing capabilities.…

1 min.
mpc beats

The MPK Mini comes with three excellent instrument plug-ins: the versatile polysynth Hybrid 3, and electric and acoustic pianos from Velvet and Mini Grand. But the exciting new addition is a host DAW you can use these with, and which has its own built-in instruments. MPC Beats is in fact free to anyone, but MPK owners get a bonus four expansion packs. And of course there’s a control preset for the MPK Mini. Beats is a version of the MPC software that comes with Akai’s MPC hardware units. It’s a sophisticated DAW with a powerful mixer. It can be a little unintuitive to navigate as it’s primarily designed to be used as a back end for hardware control, but several people I’ve spoken to who came to it fresh have got…