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August 2010

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August is the hottest part of the summer, and our August issue covers the hottest and fastest-changing topic in the modern personal studio: the Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. We revisit this rapidly changing landscape on a regular basis to touch on new and vital developments of interest to our readers, and our August issue is no exception!

In this issue, we look at new developments and new ways of working in the computer-based studio. Beto Hale takes us through the composing process for a Hollywood stage spectacle, where sometimes the correct answer to the familiar question of “Which DAW is best?” is “All of them at once!”. New writer Darrell Burgan reveals the pitfalls and unexpected delights of a computer running Windows audio software... without running Windows. And Devon Brent explains how he’s watching recent and current trends in audio computer hardware, to determine the best time to upgrade his computer to one that will last him for years to come.

And there are reviews galore, too! On the software side, Mike Metlay dives into new DAW contender PreSonus Studio One, and Allen Goodman discusses the thrills and chills of upgrading to Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5. And in hardware, we look at ways to add power to your DAW without buying a new computer: audio interface and control surface solutions from Steinberg for beginning and advanced users alike, a new disk array from Glyph Technologies, and the incredible Muse Research Receptor 2—a one-cable way to massively multiply your DAW’s ability to handle plug-ins and virtual instruments.

Outside the computer, we have a review of AEA’s beautiful new A840 ribbon mic, an interview (or two) that will thrill our guitar-playing readers, our latest look at the legalities of making and recording music for a living with ace music lawyer Todd Gascon and industry veteran Bruce Kaphan, and much more. Whether you rely on your computer for your music making or go old-school all the way, you’ll find something to broaden your horizons in the August 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?


PreSonus Studio One   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

There’s a new DAW in the arena... here’s a first look at what it offers.

PreSonus, known up to now for its audio hardware, has released a new DAW called Studio One. It’s touted as a clean slate of sorts... a brand-new progra......Expand

AEA A840 Active Ribbon Mic   |   Reviewed by Scott Dorsey

The legendary AEA legacy in a new and intriguing active format.

This is how AEA (Audio Engineering Associates) introduced the A840 microphone at last year’s AES convention in New York: “...a powered version of the acclaimed ......Expand

Reviewed and Revisited   |   Reviewed by Allen Goodman

What’s new and (very!) cool in Cakewalk SONAR 8.5.

Let’s take a short walk down memory lane. Who remembers things like DOS (before Windows), like setting DIP switches for IRQ settings on a MM-401 ISA card, or having a total ......Expand

Steinberg CC121, MR816 x/MR816 CSX, and CI2   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr

A desktop control surface, powerful rack FireWire interfaces, and a beginner-friendly all-in-one interface controller, all fine-tuned to rock the house with Cubase and Nuendo.

While audio interfaces are legion, an interestin......Expand

Glyph GT062E   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

Reliable rackable RAID for your recording rig.

Glyph aims its products at people like recording musicians and video producers, with their tight production schedules, increasing track counts, and growing sample libraries. The......Expand

RECORDING's Showcase of Sounds   |   Reviewed by Lorenz Rychner

SONiVOX Playa Hip Hop Instrument.

SONiVOX, the brand from the company Sonic Network, long known for the Sonic Implants product line, has dedicated three Virtual Instrument volumes to the style of Hip Hop: Sampla, Hip Hop Str......Expand

Muse Research Receptor 2   |   Reviewed by Allen Goodman

This powerful rack processor massively increases your DAW’s power—with no hassle.

When I received the Receptor 2 Pro from Muse Research, my first thought was, “Hmmm, okay, it’s a rack-mounted computer with a custom-optimized......Expand

Plug-in Outlet   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr

brainworx bx_digital V2 equalizer; PSP oldTimer compressor.

Typically software equalizers come in one of three varieties—vintage emulations of famous hardware, the ultra-tweaky surgical variety with a gazillion frequency ban......Expand

Running Your Studio Under Linux   |   Reviewed by Darrell Burgan

Can the famed open-source operating system really beat Windows at its own game for audio power users? Here’s one intrepid explorer’s tale...

For a long time, computer-based musicians have had only two realistic paths forward......Expand


Jennifer Batten   |   Interviewed by Bruce Kaphan

The famed guitar shredder discusses the recording of her new album Whatever.

I like to tell my production clients that a good recording has “legs”; you just never know who might be listening to your music, or when and where ......Expand


Recording the Music for a Theatre Play   |   Written by Beto Hale

A Los Angeles composer uses three DAWs to create music for a well-respected stage show. Why three? Read for yourself!

Late last fall, I was recommended by my good friend and former Berklee classmate Cheche Alara, a well-know......Expand

RECORDING's Guitar Column   |   Written by Brian Tarquin

Steve Lipson, engineer for Jeff Beck, shares some of the guitar hero’s tone secrets.

Where do you begin to describe the illustrious and diverse career that the guitar icon Jeff Beck has enjoyed for the past half century? He ......Expand

It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 5: The Business End—Part 2   |   Written by Bruce Kaphan and Todd Gascon

We return to the discussion of business entities and keeping it legal with the tax man... this time in your local area and state.

Last month we laid out how the federal government impacts what you can and cannot do as you go......Expand

Fade Out   |   Written by Devon Brent

What, Me Upgrade? No—And Here’s Why!

I haven’t done a meaningful upgrade of my DAW for almost five years now, aside from a new hard drive, or replacing faulty parts like a power supply or motherboard, etc.. That is a big cha......Expand

Kef America

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