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January 2009

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Sample libraries and virtual instruments make it possible to collect entire symphony orchestras, jazz bands, world-music ensembles, and any other instrument you can think of, and put them into your computer for use in your songs. Pretty cool stuff... but there's a little bit of learning to do before you dive in. In this issue of Recording, we help you do just that.

You'll find articles on the passing of great sample-library technologies (Giga) and the birth of new ones (PLAY), in-depth reviews of astoundingly powerful virtual instruments from big-band jazz to soundtrack symphony, and an in-depth look at a sample recording session for a major library maker, with hints on how to get your own recordings library-ready.

All this plus a slate of really cool reviews, our monthly columns, Readers' Tapes with Marty Peters (now online), and much more. Dive into the world of sample libraries without fear, and learn lots more besides, in the January RECORDING! Pick it up now on the newsstand... and so you get your next issue early (and save on cost), why not hit the big red Subscribe Now button on this page and have RECORDING delivered to your door each month?


A-Designs HAMMER   |   Reviewed by Justin Peacock

A rack eq that's equal parts science and magic.

“Are you serious?” asked Dave. We were cutting electric guitars and I had strapped the A-Designs Hammer eq across the channel. I was tweaking it and everyone loved the sound: Rickenbac......Expand

Frontier Design AlphaTrack   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a smart control surface with moving-fader automation in your laptop bag? Now you can.

Control surfaces are hot right now—everyone wants one, and several companies are making them. They can make you more e......Expand

EASTWEST Quantum Leap StormDrum 2 and Quantum Leap Pianos   |   Reviewed by Devon Brent and Gary Eskow

The new PLAY engine makes its debut in a pair of stunning sound libraries.

EASTWEST, a visionary company since the early days of sampling, has clearly designed Quantum Leap Pianos with the next generation of computers in mind—and th......Expand

Sonic Reality Ocean Way Drums   |   Reviewed by Nick Casares

We’ve discussed the technology and shown you the recording sessions: now it’s time to review the results.

More hit records have been recorded at Ocean Way Studios than you would probably believe. Dig through the liner notes on your ......Expand

Reviewed and Revisited: BIAS Peak Pro XT 6   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

This popular Mac editing/mastering/burning software gains interface clarity, new features, and a powerful set of optional add-ons.

One of the oldest of Mac-based audio tools is BIAS Inc.’s Peak editor. Dating back to the days of OS ......Expand

Fable Sounds Broadway Big Band   |   Reviewed by Gary Eskow

The feel and power of a jazz and theater orchestra, with impressive results.

Early last year Fable Sounds released a new virtual instrument called Broadway Big Band, distributed exclusively by the Massachusetts-based sample library ......Expand

Project SAM Symphobia   |   Reviewed by Kevin Fletcher Tweedy

A new high-end orchestral sample library with stunning sounds and a powerful performance software layer.

Vincent Beijer, Marco Deegenaars and Maarten Spruijt founded Project SAM in the Netherlands in 2002 in a manner that seems shar......Expand

Redmatica Compendium   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

Three tools that will have you cleaning up your samples and building your own virtual instruments in no time.

The Logic community (now supported by Apple) is large, technically savvy and demanding. Chief among Logic’s many bundled p......Expand

sE Electronics SE220OA Mic   |   Reviewed by Fernando Curiel

This large-diaphragm condenser mic is a solid performer in the studio.


2008 AES Convention Report   |   Written by Mike Metlay

A quick look at some of the cool gear that we saw in San Francisco...

The tone at the 125th AES Convention in San Francisco, October 3–5, 2008, was surprisingly upbeat considering the state of the economy. The show was a bit smaller......Expand

Sonic Reality Drum Sampling Sessions   |   Written by Mark Hornsby

Drum sampling sessions with a difference—recreating classic sounds for the Studio ProFiles series.

Sampling has become a major part of music production over the past 20 years. Nowadays, there’s almost no type of sound you can’t dupl......Expand

Getting Ready To PLAY   |   Written by Devon Brent

EASTWEST has made much of its new playback engine, PLAY... Here’s what you need to know before diving in.

Oh, how the times have changed! Sample libraries have now grown into multi-Gigabyte monstrosities with multiple velocity layer......Expand

Recording's Bass Column   |   Written by Dave Martin

More famous bass tracks! This time we head for Muscle Shoals and the recording of “I’ll Take You There.”

There was a time in the 1960s and 1970s when rhythm sections defined the sound of the records that came from a given studio or ......Expand

The Death Of Giga   |   Written by Devon Brent

GigaStudio is history—a lot of sample library users have been orphaned, but all is not lost...

Back in 1998, Nemesys Music Technology brought GigaSampler into the world— the first streaming-from-disk audio sampler for the PC. GigaSa......Expand

Recording's Vocal Column   |   Written by Michael Nickolas

Recording children’s vocals is challenging but rewarding. Here are some tips to help get you started.

According to the New York Times, CD sales fell 9.5% in 2007 while Nielsen SoundScan reported that children’s music sales were up 3......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Alex Hawley with Tom Hawley

The TAXI Road Rally: A Young Songwriter’s-Eye View.

As soon as I walked through the door I knew this was going to be an amazing experience. The line for registration ran through the hotel lobby out the back door and into the parking......Expand

Kef America

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