Sound On Sound UK

Sound On Sound UK February 2021

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
41,56 kr(Inkl. moms)
312,87 kr(Inkl. moms)
12 Nummer

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10 min
take two recording drum kits with only two mics

The history of record-making is littered with great recordings that were shaped, in part, by how artists and engineers worked around technical obstacles, the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper being a prime example. Sadly, I can’t claim to have recorded a seminal album in the last few months, but I have enjoyed some recording experiments driven by technical limitations. A room here at Half-Ton Studios became vacant during the Covid-19 lockdowns and, rather than attempt to let it again, I took the opportunity to turn the room into a dedicated drum-recording space, in which I could keep a kit permanently set up and ready to record should inspiration strike. This ‘new’ space initially had only four XLR feeds into the studio’s main control room (I installed more later, of course), so while learning…

4 min
output frontier nearfield active monitors

When I first glimpsed the prototype of these speakers at the 2020 NAMM show in January last year, they were very much an unexpected addition to the Output range, as the company’s line-up otherwise consists of software and studio furniture. In designing these monitors, Output enlisted the help of Barefoot Sound, the US company behind a distinguished range of esoteric studio monitors. Essentially Barefoot looked after the speaker design while Output contributed the cosmetics. The resulting design was then put to manufacture in the Far East, a move that enabled Output to bring these monitors to market at a very competitive price. The monitors are two-way active speakers built around a 6.5-inch time-aligned, dual-concentric driver, newly developed for the Frontier with the aim of maintaining phase coherence across a wide range…

1 min
user algorithms

The Opsix doesn’t have the luxury of a large display, but its two User Algorithm screens nonetheless allow brave souls to create new algorithms and try to interpret what’s going on. To use them, you select the User Algorithm option for the current sound and the first User Algorithm screen then allows you to select each Operator and determine whether it feeds back upon itself and how it’s affected by any or all of the others, and by how much. You can step through all six to create up to 36 pathways but, if you go wild, you’ll never work out what’s happening, especially if you use modulation to affect the nature of the algorithm dynamically. The second page allows you to determine which Operators are acting as carriers. This…

1 min
alternative unmix

Whatever differences might exist under the hood, SLP7’s Unmix Stems and iZotope RX8’s Music Rebalance target similar tasks. In RX8, you get four stems; vocals, percussion, bass and other instruments. RX8 offers a ‘preview’ feature (at lower quality) and three standards — good, better, best — of separation, as well as a Separation slider that apparently trades off greater isolation against the possibility of artefacts. The three quality levels take different amounts of time to process. Good happens faster than real-time (much as happens in SLP7) but Better and Best take longer. Running a few tracks through both unmixing processes, and using RX8 Standard in ‘Good’ mode, I thought the results were very similar in quality (that’s to say, pretty remarkable in both applications). I also ran a couple of examples…

1 min
crackling pots & switches

Any badly worn pots may need to be replaced, but first it is worth spraying them with Deoxit D5 (there are dedicated ‘pot sprays’, but I’ve found Deoxit works well in cleaning pots, switches and jack sockets). You won’t find it in many high-street shops, but you can find online suppliers easily enough. To get this into a pot, the best entry point is where the three tags emerge, but if you don’t want to dismantle the guitar, try laying the guitar on its back and then spray around the pot shaft, as the liquid is very runny and usually seeps through to where it is needed. Strat-style jack sockets that work loose can usually be tightened by removing the socket plates held in place by two wood screws, then manually…

2 min
prophet rev 4 vs prophet-5 rev 1

I was very keen to compare the Rev 4 against my Rev 1 Prophet-5, the synth that is perceived by many to be the Holy Grail of Prophets and, when testing the two using simple patches, I was often able to make them sound very similar. There were differences of course. For example, the balance of the waveform levels in oscillator 2 was different, the total level of oscillator 2 is lower on my Rev 1, and the maximum amount by which the filter contour is applied to the cutoff frequency is greater on my Rev 1. Can I say that these differences are true of all Rev 1s? No... and there’s no way to know whether, after innumerable tunings and recalibrations, this is my synth’s original response. After all…