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Sound On Sound UK

Sound On Sound UK February 2020

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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.

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United Kingdom
Sound On Sound Ltd
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12 Numeri

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2 minuti
nothing but the truth

Most of the time we’re on the lookout for plug-ins, pedals and processors that help us create interesting sounds — something to make us stand out from the crowd. However, there are two key studio items that are much better off being boring, inasmuch as they don’t do anything to draw attention to themselves. One is of course the host computer, which we only tend to notice when it goes wrong — the rest of the time we just take it for granted. The other is our monitoring system. To know that we have a good mix, we need monitors that are boringly honest and significantly more revealing than the speakers or earbuds used by a typical music consumer. There’s also the vexing question of room acoustics, speaker position and…

11 minuti

Korg mix past & future at NAMM Korg have always produced an eclectic selection of new products at the NAMM Show, and this year was no exception. The most striking of these was a reissue of the legendary ARP 2600 semi-modular analogue synth, created with ARP co-founder David Friend. The Korg ARP 2600 FS sticks closely to the sound and capabilities of the original, right down to the simple onboard step sequencer and built-in spring reverb, and adds only aftertouch, XLR outs and MIDI connectors. It also sports the different filter types used in early and later 2600s. At an anticipated price of around £3200-£3500 (including a carrying case), the 2600 FS is a bit of a bargain compared to the current cost of a working original 2600. Part revival, part upgrade…

15 minuti
roland mc-101 & mc-707 grooveboxes

Roland can comfortably claim to have invented the groovebox. The idea germinated with the MC-202, with its combination of synth, internal sequencer and portability. The earlier Micro Composers — the MC-4 and MC-8 — were pure sequencers, notable for being the first to be digitally controlled, and for being disguised as supermarket tills. It was the MC-303 that first bore the title groovebox and added the final ingredients: drums and effects. More MCs followed that shared arbitrary model numbering with classic TR devices. Now, after a decade out of the groovebox business, Roland are back with two new “self-contained production platforms”, the 101 and 707. Both are built around the same engine, but presented in two form factors: one ultra portable and battery powered, the other taking its design from Aira…

1 minuti
roland mc-101 & mc-707 £399 & £799

PROS • Fast and fun to use. • A great sample-based drum machine. • Deep Jupiter X family synth engine. • You can sequence external synths and capture audio loops. • Massive sound library. • Scatter effects. • Separate track outputs via USB. CONS • User patches can’t be saved outside of Projects. • MC-101 pads not velocity sensitive. • Some operations are multi-step; saving requires stopping. • Live set management might be tricky. • Could use macro page(s) to control synths. • No Arpeggiator. • No Undo. SUMMARY This could be the stand-alone ideas and performance workstation you’ve been waiting for.…

1 minuti

By popular request, since the product launch Roland have added the ability to sample directly into a Project’s audio pool, then slice and edit the audio for use in Drum and Tone tracks. This is a foundational MPC workflow that’s also been adopted by Live, Maschine and the Elektron samplers. Sampling and slicing is handled smoothly and intuitively. There’s automatic transient detection and you can edit manually. Dropping slices into a drum kit couldn’t be easier: you just select a pad and hit Enter. Tone tracks can also load samples and slices for pitched playback. This is all good... However, they seem to have missed one obvious use case. You can’t access this slice/assign editor from imported or existing samples, it’s only available for audio that’s just been recorded in the dedicated…

1 minuti
mc on stage

The MCs, particularly the 707, are uniquely equipped among grooveboxes for live performance and hybrid DJ sets. The Scene system, patch-per-clip option, faders and performance effects make it great fun to live assemble a track from building blocks. The 707 also has a Cue system, external FX Loop and Alt output. There’s no side-chaining for pumping the output from a kick, but there is a dedicated final-stage multi-band compressor and EQ on top of all the other effects. I found using these as well as the Saturator or Limiter effect on the master made the output really fat and punchy. I do have a couple of concerns though. Live arrangement is great, but I can imagine many performers would want at least a Scene playlist feature to provide some song…