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“I think working at home is the perfect environment for being creative, but at the same time, if you’re not careful, you can become too much of a perfectionist... I spend hours and hours sitting here working on one mix, only to find myself starting all over again the next day.”- Blues Saraceno of Poison

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April 2011

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Every year, the world of soundware -- sample libraries and virtual instruments that let us simulate or recreate instruments we don't have in our studios -- gets richer and more diverse. It's a rapidly growing field, and the products just keep getting deeper in features, better in sound quality, and more affordable. In this issue of RECORDING, we bring you a glimpse into the world of soundware in 2011.

The centerpiece of this issue is its reviews... and there are a lot of them to choose from! Over a dozen soundware products are slated for inclusion in this issue, from famous names like Synthogy, Applied Acoustics Systems, MOTU, FXpansion, WaveMachine Labs/Drumagog, and Big Fish Audio/Vir2 Instruments, and important up-and-comers like Audio Damage, XILS-lab, Slate Digital... and Zildjian, which startled the audio world with its new gen16 digital cymbal library. All this and more will be laid out in detailed and authoritative reviews that leave nothing to chance. We also bring you a hard look at SONAR X1, the new incarnation of Cakewalk's genre-defining DAW software.

If software isn't your thing, fear not -- we also include a review of Blue's new Spark microphone and an in-depth test of the JDK Audio rack processors from industry legend API. We interview Chris Cox on his work remixing Michael Jackson, delve into the problems and solutions of latency, and our music-business series "It's Your Music -- Know Your Rights" begins its look at the complex and evolving role of the Producer in modern music.

From drum replacement and virtual synthesis to old-school analog gear and the people who make or break a studio session, the April RECORDING has it all. You won't want to miss it!

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?

Reviews

Blue Spark Microphone   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Blue's most affordable studio mic design may also be its most versatile.



From Dragonflies to Kiwis and Cacti, Bluebirds, Bottles and Mice, Blue microphones are unique, imaginative and stylish, with quality and sonics......Expand

MOTU BPM   |   Reviewed by Darwin Grosse

This flexible plug-in starts with the familiar MPC experience and widely expands its horizons.



Over the last few years, some of the most interesting and useful synthesizer plug-ins have come from MOTU. Mach Five, Eth......Expand

FXpansion Geist   |   Reviewed by Mike Metlay

Building on the success of the Guru interactive beat software, new features make live rhythm creation a treat.



Geist is FXpansion's new program for loop and rhythm creation. Longtime readers will remember our March 2......Expand

JDK Audio R20 Microphone Preamp, R24 Equalizer, and R22 Compressor   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

Three new rack processors debut a cost-effective and sonically powerful new line from the folks at API.



JDK Audio is a brand new product line designed, engineered and built by API (Automated Processes, Inc.). API sta......Expand

Reviewed & Revisited: Cakewalk SONAR X1   |   Reviewed by Allen Goodman

A complete visual and workflow redesign and improved CPU performance revolutionize the popular Windows DAW.



SONAR X1 is the latest version of Cakewalk's flagship Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software from Cakewalk......Expand

Slate Digital Trigger Platinum   |   Reviewed by Paul Vnuk Jr.

We introduce a new name in drum replacement software... and as we do, we teach you a bit about how the process works.



Steven Slate is the man behind the popular Steven Slate Drums line of virtual instruments. The sof......Expand

Reviewed & Revisited: Synthogy Ivory II   |   Reviewed by Gary Eskow

A huge leap forward in realism and playability for what many say was already the best sample-based piano yet.



Ah, the elusive grand piano. To those who sample, it's the great white whale of instruments. Will we ever ......Expand

WaveMachine Labs Drumagog 5.0   |   Reviewed by Bob Emmet

The industry-standard drum replacement package adds new features and enhancements.



WaveMachine Labs' Drumagog addresses the need for drum replacement-the process of replacing the recorded sounds of a live kit while p......Expand

RECORDING's Showcase Of Sounds   |   Reviewed by Gary Eskow and Mike Metlay

Cinesamples VOXOS Epic Choirs; Zildjian Gen16 Digital Vault; ConcreteFX Kubik; XILS-lab XILS 3 and PolyKB II; Applied Acoustics Systems AAS Player and Sound Bank Series; new libraries from Puremagnetik; Audio Damage Phosphor.

Read m......Expand

Features

DAW Details   |   Written by Mike Rivers

What is latency, really, and how do you work with it... or around it?


To paraphrase author-humorist Mark Twain's comment about the weather, everyone talks about latency, but nobody does anything about it. Since most of today......Expand

It's Your Music - Know Your Rights. Chapter 13: The Role of the Producer - Part 1   |   Written by Todd Gascon and Bruce Kaphan

We start our look at producers in modern music by explaining what to expect from an outside producer working on your project.


The meaning of the word producer, as in music producer, has undergone subtle transformations over ......Expand

In The Studio   |   Written by Mike Metlay

We get down and dirty with a closet full of mics, no preconceived notions, and the hottest new instrument the industry has seen in many a year.



You'd have to have been living under a rock for the past year not to hav......Expand

Interviews

Chris Cox Remixes Michael Jackson   |   Interviewed by Lorenz Rychner

A lesson in long-distance collaboration under pressure: Jody den Broeder and Chris Cox remix the song "Monster" from Michael, making a 91 BPM vocal sound good at 128 BPM, and building a new Dance track around it. Chris Cox tells us how.
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Garritan Abby Road Studios - CFX Concert Grand Virtual Piano



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