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“That first song on your demo is like a radio hit: you want to hook the listener in the first ten seconds, interest him/her more in the next ten seconds, and if you can really hold them through the first minute they might listen to your whole tape.”- John Simon

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September 2011 (Digital Available)
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September 2011 (Digital Available)

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Computers are everywhere these days, including the vast majority of our studios -- but for all the power and creativity they unleash, they can be frustrating, too. In the September issue of RECORDING, we bring you hands-on advice and solid reviews to take the pain out of your DAW work.

New contributor Jim Stamper takes us step by step through not one but three upgrades: rebuilding his PC, moving to 64-bit Windows 7, and upgrading his DAW to Cakewalk SONAR X1. Normally any one of these upgrades would terrify a novice, and doing three at once was a major project... but Jim's PC ended up as a screaming-fast system that could tackle formerly impossible music projects without breaking a sweat. Learn what worked and what didn't, and how you can accelerate your music making experience in your studio!

Another way to improve the sound quality and creative options in our computer-based DAW is with plug-ins, those handy and powerful add-ons that let us do all manner of amazing musical tricks. In this issue, we bring you over a dozen product reviews, including iZotope's amazing Stutter Edit, a look at cool new features in Spectrasonics Omnisphere, and as a special treat, a collection of four different approaches to software reverb. Plug-ins from companies like 2C Audio, Audio Damage, EastWest, PSP Audioware, Little Endian, Softube, Tone2, ValhallaDSP, and Vienna Instruments are among those we'll be breaking down in detail for your listening pleasure.

And that's not all! Ace arranger/orchestrator Gary Eskow talks about wrapping your head around sound libraries that can contain many Gigabytes of data and millions of samples; we review mics from Earthworks and Audix; the new Universal Audio 4-710d rack preamp/dynamics processor gets taken out for a spin; and we have some fun with Zoom's cute and powerful new R8 tabletop recorder/interface/rhythm machine.

All this and lots more will have you happily tracking and mixing, with or without your computer... and you'll find it all in the September RECORDING!

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