Sound On Sound UK

Sound On Sound UK October 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.

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United Kingdom
Sound On Sound Ltd
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12 Numeri

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6 min
denise audio perfect room reverb plug-in for mac & windows

Despite my gentle prodding, the Denise design team declined to reveal specific details of their approach to reverb, which they call ‘TXVerb’, but they do make clear that it works very differently from most other algorithmic reverbs. Traditionally, such reverbs use a system of recirculating delays and all-pass filters to synthesize the reverb tail, and a separate Finite Impulse Response (FIR, essentially a multitap delay line) to emulate the early reflections. A problem with this approach is that recirculating delays tend to ring at specific frequencies, which can sound metallic, especially on percussive sounds. Clever design work can minimise the ringing, and Lexicon and others have long used modulation to add complexity to their algorithm and reduce ringing. Such modulation doesn’t occur in nature (unless the walls are moving!), but…

1 min
neve 8424

PROS • Sounds great: clean, but with that subtle touch of transformer goodness. • Two characterful 1073 preamps. • Uncompromising build quality. • Two 500-series slots. • Proper ‘big-console’ facilities. • Remote control of 1073OPX preamps. • Impressive recall system, and motorised faders soon to be available. • Rather cheaper to run than a 24-channel vintage Neve! CONS • I’d have preferred more subgroup channels. • Some might have preferred more preamps and 500-series slots. • Routing the DI through the 1073s requires external patching. SUMMARY The 8424 delivers Neve’s large-format console sound and facilities in a much more compact desktop format. While most users will need to use external mic preamps and EQ, it really is in a class of its own.…

2 min
mission engineering 529i

Mission Engineering’s original 529 model power supply (which we reviewed in 2019) was designed to convert the 5V of direct current available from any USB power adapter or battery into the 9V DC used by most guitar pedals. Running a pedalboard from a battery supply means you don’t have to seek out a conveniently located mains power outlet on stage, and it’s also inherently quieter, as there’s no potential for induced hum from the PSU’s own mains transformer, or indeed an earth loop. I liked the format of keeping the battery separate from the converter so that it could be easily replaced when it could no longer be recharged, but I must admit I like Mission Engineering’s new model just as much. The 529i — effectively a 529, with a…

3 min
valiant samples quartarone guitar reveries sample library

Hosted by NI’s Kontakt (full or free player versions), Quartarone Guitar Reveries is described as a cinematic electric guitar instrument that captures the avant-garde sound and personal sound palette of European composer and guitarist Claudio Quartarone. Split into Guitar, Pad and Keys sections with 50 presets per section, the instrument is, as its name suggests, based on sounds that originate from Claudio’s guitar, though these have been extensively ‘massaged’ to create a range of ambient, abstract and cinematic sounds, many of which belie their guitar-centric origins. The instrument works by mixing two sound sources, A and B, from a choice of 25 multi-velocity samples, each of which can be treated with individual effects before being sent to a master effects section. The sample set includes sustained sounds, tremolo guitar, muted…

1 min
quiet drums

Recording even a stripped-down set of drums in an untreated domestic room is always going to be a challenge. Our drummer James shared this bit of wisdom: “Trying to get a balance between the bass drum and the snare drum in a small room was tricky. I ended up putting the mic nearer to the bass drum and putting my snare drum on a cushion (so it muffled the snares), and I used a hotrod stick to bring back some of that ‘snare-y’ sound. In retrospect I could have probably just used the hotrod on my leg and got the same effect.”…

1 min
the manual

The PolyBrute’s draft manual includes a couple of mistakes that need to be addressed, but I suspect that all will be well by the time that you read it. More worryingly, it lacks detail. This became particularly apparent when I discovered that I could use morphing to design patches that send proportions of each oscillator’s output to each filter, a superb capability that isn’t even mentioned. When I queried this, Arturia’s people suggested that explaining how specific parameters morph would significantly extend the manual so they decided (and I quote) “to retain a bit of mystery”. So which would you prefer? A 112-page manual that leaves much to be discovered, or a much thicker one that explains everything? I would choose the latter, but most people don’t read manuals (their…