Sound On Sound UK

Sound On Sound UK September 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
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12 Numeri

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2 minuti
choices choices

Why is Sound On Sound publishing a major article about choosing an audio interface? Many reasons. One is that audio interfaces are now the most universal item of studio equipment there is. It’s possible to make music without a microphone, or without loudspeakers, but who now does so without a computer? Another is that choosing an audio interface is difficult. Simply identifying your own present and future needs is hard enough; deciding which product best meets them is even harder. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of devices on the market, and it’s not always obvious what separates them. Yet another reason is that buying an audio interface is not like buying a guitar or a synthesizer. It’s not only a difficult decision, but a boring one. The device we use to get…

2 minuti
ik multimedia irig keys 2 mini controller keyboard

Essentially a cut-down version of the three-octave iRig Keys 2, the iRig Keys 2 Mini is, as it suggests, a mini-key-format MIDI controller keyboard designed for mobile use. It features 25 velocity-sensitive keys, but loses the pitch and mod wheels and the external pedal input of its larger siblings. In addition to offering laptop/desktop computer USB compatibility, the iRig Keys 2 Mini can connect directly to iPhones, iPads and many Android models. Its data connection is via a mini-USB port on the rear panel and the included adaptor cables convert this to USB-A, Lightning or Android connectors. Power comes from the connected device, but it may also be powered from a USB power supply or USB battery pack. There’s a TRS 3.5mm jack audio output to connect speakers or headphones, which…

4 minuti
akg lyra multi-pattern usb microphone

USB microphones are nothing new but there’s a lot more to the AKG Lyra than its gloriously vintage look, which tips a nod towards both vintage broadcast mics and AKG’s own C414. While clearly of appeal to podcasters and videocasters, the microphone also has applications in home or mobile music recording. The Lyra sits atop a custom all-metal desk stand, and the swivel section can be separated by using a coin to unscrew the threaded thumbscrew that secures it to the base of the stand. The mic and swivel section may then be mounted on a standard mic stand, and an EU thread adaptor is included. Built into the case is a shockmount for the capsules and a sound diffusor to help reduce plosive pops. Power comes from the USB port…

7 minuti
yamaha thr10 ii guitar amplifier

The THR10 II is the smallest in Yamaha’s II series, measuring just 368 x 183 x 140 mm and weighing only 3.2kg. Despite this, and looking like a typical lunchbox amp head, it’s actually a tiny combo that caters not only for electric guitar but also for bass and acoustic guitar. What’s more, it has stereo capability: as well as the digital modelling side of things, it houses a pair of robust 3.1-inch speakers, each driven from its own amp. Yamaha describe the two THR10 II amps (there’s a standard THR10 II and a ‘wireless’ THR10 IIW version, of which more later) as ‘third amplifiers’, for use on occasions when serious sound quality is required but excessive volume isn’t. And judging by the tests I’ve conducted, it could certainly earn its…

8 minuti
liquidsonics cinematic rooms reverb plug-in

Popular wisdom has it that algorithmic and convolution reverbs are polar opposites. The one is endlessly flexible, but compromised in authenticity; the other can be spookily realistic but is essentially preset-based, with limited potential for editing. That might have been true a decade ago, but since then, the boundaries have become well and truly blurred. Impulse responses have been appropriated to bolster the realism of algorithmic plug-ins, while convolution technology has become ever more mutable in the hands of some clever designers. One of the clever designers at the forefront of this process has been Matthew Hill of Liquidsonics. His first product, Reverberate, introduced novel modulation possibilities into convolution, and he’s since developed his own Fusion-IR technology to offer much of the editing flexibility we take for granted in algorithmic reverb. Highlights…

2 minuti
decorrelation coding

Perhaps the simplest way to create a sense of space around a signal would be to send it to two very short delay lines with slightly different delay times, and pan those hard left and right. If that’s all you did, it would probably be reasonably effective — until someone listened to it in mono. Because the left and right channels in such a delay are identical apart from a few milliseconds’ time difference, collapsing them together will cause them to interfere with each other and introduce unpleasant comb filtering. This is an extreme example of ‘correlation’, where two signals have ongoing similarities that bring about audible consequences when they’re combined. There are various things that can be done to reduce the level of correlation between two related signals; in the…