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Computer Music

Computer Music January 2021

Computer Music's goal is to help its readers create great music with a PC or Mac. Each month find easy-to-follow tutorials for all sorts of music software, unbiased reviews of the latest products and answers to technical questions. Our Zinio edition does not include the DVD but it DOES INCLUDE the full software, samples and tutorial files to download. Full details inside. Download does not include Producer Masterclass in-studio video. This digital edition is not printable.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

11 min
orchestral manoeuvres in the dark

Over, yes count them, 40-odd years, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have always embraced music production technology. Back in the early days they used it to replace unnecessary humans on stage – famously playing live with a four-track tape recorder called Winston – and used synths like the Korg M500 Micro-Preset synth on early hit singles like Electricity and Messages. They were also early adopters of sampling technology, used across albums like Dazzle Ships and Junk Culture, and now, of course, use the latest plugins for writing and all the latest synth hardware when touring. In fact, they haven’t just welcomed technology, they’ve made it a huge part of their (and we hate to use the word, but will) ‘journey’. And what a journey it’s been. We mention four decades and…

5 min
#7 inspiration from samples

When you go to begin the creative process of writing anything, not just a song, there’s nothing more intimidating than a blank screen. Getting something onto the page to kick off the process can often be the hardest part, so how do you start the ball rolling in the first place when it feels like your thought pond has been totally drained? This month I’ll be looking at a great trick to get your creative juices flowing when you find yourself with a rare window of time to write, but of course all that ends up happening is you stare helplessly at your DAW’s empty tracks area as the minutes tick by. The traditional route that many of us take when starting a new song is to loop up an eight-bar…

6 min
ik multimedia amplitube 5

Almost five years after the launch of AmpliTube 4, Italian music technology powerhouse IK Multimedia have kicked their popular guitar amplification and processing suite up another gear with the release of version 5. The most immediately apparent change to AmpliTube 5 is its redesigned GUI, which now sports the more modern look already adopted by stablemates T-RackS 5 and SampleTank 4, and is freely resizable. Of course, there’s also a ton of new amps, cabinets and effects to get to grips with, including two stompboxes (based on the Tech 21 SansAmp and MXR Distortion+), five boutique amps (inspired by the PRS Archon 50, Aguilar DB750 and DB410, Bogner XTC 3534, Diezel VH4 and Friedman Pink Taco PT-20), and 19 rack effects derived from T-RackS 5 (Black 76, White 2A, Shimmer Reverb,…

1 min
get started

01 Register your FileSilo account and log in. Even if you have a subscriber ID, you’ll still have to unlock each mag separately or migrate your old Vault account (see step 3) 02 Head back to the Computer Musicpage (filesilo.co.uk/computermusic) and choose an issue to unlock. You’ll need to answer one question to prove you’ve purchased the issue 03 You can migrate your old Vault account over to FileSilo to retain the issues you’ve added – head to filesilo.co.uk/vault and enter your Vault email address . Reset your password via the email you receive, and log in…

3 min
presonus atom sq £225

Atom SQ is a new PreSonus controller designed both as a compact melody and beat player with keys/pads that double up for both tasks. As ever with PreSonus controllers, you can expect deep integration with the company’s Studio One DAW (the very good Artist version of which is supplied with it), and it is optimised for standard and step sequencing (within the Pattern editor) in that DAW. It also comes with Ableton Live support so you can get deep with that DAW too, but also boasts MCU, HUI and MIDI modes to get to grips with MIDI hardware and other DAWs (although not as deep as with Live and Studio One). Solid control Atom SQ is solid, compact and feels up to the job. It’s not angled, which would be a bonus,…

1 min
take a bow

All of the instruments we’re describing here are usually played with a bow – a long, thin piece of wood (or these days, often carbon fibre). It’s strung along its length with horsehair that’s fixed at either end of the bow and coated in rosin – a sticky mixture of tree resin and wax – to produce the necessary amount of friction required to create sound when moved across the strings. Up to 200 hairs from a horse’s tail can be used in the production of a bow, and it’s this side that’s used for 90 percent of normal string playing. There is, however, a technique known as ‘Col legno’, which, when marked on a score, means that the part should be played by striking the strings percussively with the wooden…