Sound On Sound UK January 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.

United Kingdom
Sound On Sound Ltd
4,06 €(VAT inclusa)
30,51 €(VAT inclusa)
12 Numeri

in questo numero

2 min
are loops cheating?

Many of us use rhythm loops in our compositions, but at what stage does relying on them become cheating? After all, products such as Apple Loops offer not only rhythms but also complete musical phrases, bass lines, vocal segments and so on that you can stitch together into complete tunes without ever composing an original note of your own. There’s no copyright issue when combining Apple Loops or other licensed commercial products to create finished tunes, but does it still feel like your composition? The answer is, inevitably, somewhat vague and depends on the perspective of the user. The same question used to be asked of sampling in general, but I have to confess that I sometimes find loops very useful. Just a tiny segment taken from a loop can be…

14 min

Osmose — keyboard technology takes a giant leap There’s always been something slightly unsatisfactory about controller keyboards. Even top-of-the-range models, decked out with ribbons, continuous encoders, trigger pads and aftertouch, often fail to replicate the immediate, intuitive expression available to skilled players of simple acoustic instruments like violins or acoustic guitars. And even the best keyboard controllers, in the hands of the most expressive players, can be let down by the sounds to which they’re mapped; after all, the number of hardware control methods is irrelevant if they’re not assigned to samples or sounds that respond to those controllers. But now the expressive possibilities available to keyboard players have taken a great leap with the announcement of Osmose, from French company Expressive E. At its most basic, Osmose is a 49-note keyboard…

13 min
behringer rd-8 analogue drum machine

I have to be honest, although I knew there was a buzz around Behringer’s 808 reboot I hadn’t paid it much attention before one turned up at my front door. Don’t get me wrong, the 808 is everything: hearing Cybotron’s ‘Clear’ on the electro mix tapes that circulated at school was like stumbling into a portal to a new world. A generation or more on, the dominant musical styles of our time still build on a foundation of 808 kicks, snares and hats. I just assumed that today’s producers would be indifferent to where those sounds were coming from, or would be happy with the convenience of Roland’s digital recreations. I was wrong; how many products generate a 150+ page Gearslutz thread before they ship? The RD-8 is a true analogue recreation…

1 min
get yourself connected

High up the list of reasons to get an RD-8 is its complete set of multiple outputs. Every drum channel has a discrete quarter-inch out, which automatically breaks routing to the main mono out when connected. In case you were wondering, there’s no audio-over-USB like the TR-08. Again, remember £300. A cool bonus is a return channel. This lets you connect out individual channels to external effects and bring them back into the mix at the final output stage. As well as audio I/O, there are comprehensive sync and external trigger options. Sync mode is set via a dedicated front panel section. The RD-8 can run as both master and slave over regular MIDI, USB MIDI, old-school Roland sync or modular clock. The back panel also sports the full 808 complement of three…

1 min
fast dump

The RD-8 can store 16 Songs with 16 Patterns, but sooner or later you’re going to need to get your creations in or out of the box. There’s no software utility for this, instead the RD-8 relies on good old-fashioned SysEx dumps. There’s not really any useful information for the typical user about how to do this, other than a mention of the Dump button on the front panel. Instead the manual devotes pages to explaining the data model and MIDI messaging used to encode the unit’s settings, songs and patterns. I can only think that Behringer have dropped this information here hoping that an independent developer will use it to create a backup utility.…

1 min

Other analogue recreations of the 808 are available, such as the Eurorack-sized System 80 880, the Acidlab Miami (reviewed SOS Nov 2014), and the E-licktronic Yocto. However, all are around three times as expensive, although you can get a DIY kit version of the Yocto for RD-8 money. Arturia’s DrumBrute Impact is an original take on a classic analogue drum machine, with a better modern sequencer than the RD-8. Roland’s own TR-08 is of course digital, but still sound great. It’s compact, battery powered and has multitrack USB audio. It also keeps the 808’s real-time song write mode. In most respects the RD-8’s sequencer is more accessible, and has cool new tricks like Step Repeat and per-channel pattern length. Its size and all the outputs make it much more like…