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					the audioMIDI.com Magazine
                                                                                                                       3
                                                                                                                     11 | 07
Find It Inside: Mic Guru Harvey Gerst / Amp Expert Jule Potter / New DAW Releases / KORE 2 Review / aM.Mag miniDEALS … And A Whole Lot More




       KORE 2
       Native Instruments Looks To Create
       A Perfect Environment For Your Sounds



         e d o t:
In t h
                                          Amp Modeling
                                           Modeling Tubes, Transistors, and Tone




                                     AES 2007
                                  New DAW Software And
                                 Boutique Gear Debuts In New York



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                   Russ’ Note                           Content

Global warming is a reality; I think most people have
accepted that as fact. The polar caps are receding
and that alone makes it hard to deny. The actual        aM.Mag Intro ................................................................................         Pg 4
causes seem more of a political debate than
anything else. But are we part of the cause? Yes, to
what extent? That’s anyone’s guess. Can we help?
I think we can. It simply takes a consciousness and
action on our part to consider the alternatives and     Amp Modeling..............................................................................            Pg 6 - 10
act accordingly. Will this help? Again, I believe it    Modeling Tubes, Transistors, and Tone
will, to what extent? That’s anyone’s guess.

As music folks our market is tiny compared to the
overall consumer market. Yet as a community of
                                                        A Different Class.........................................................................            Pg 10 - 11
musicians, we make music that has, and can,
                                                        Interview With Amp Expert Jule Potter
influence the world. I urge you to consider what the
dire consequences global warming may entail for
our kids’ kids and to keep in the back of your head
that a song might just raise people’s consciousness
to become part of the solution rather than part of      A Brand New DAW .......................................................................               Pg 12 - 15
                                                        New Versions Of The Major DAWs -Which One Is Right For You?
the problem.

A little here and a little there can add up to make
a big difference and you can help too. audioMIDI.com
sells everything you need to create music with the      Of Mics And Men .........................................................................             Pg 16 - 18
computer at its core. Consequently, a big part of       Interview With Musician, Engineer, And Mic Guru Harvey Gerst
the product base is in software and software can
be delivered over the Internet as a ‘download’ rather
than a truck roll. So far a few of our software
vendors are offering their products as ‘downloads’      KORE 2 ............................................................................................   Pg 19 - 20
but about 20% of our software sales are electronic      KORE 2 Is Here, Does It Stack Up?
(downloads). This means fewer boxes are shipped,
using less paper, cardboard, plastic and fuel and
whatever else goes into the manufacturing of
software products. See where I’m going with this?       AES 2007........................................................................................      Pg 22
                                                        New Gear Debuts In New York
So, now to the point, I’m not expecting to eliminate
the greenhouse gases, but I do encourage you who
have software needs to seek out the electronic
delivery option when available. And if you’re a         Masthead
software vendor that has as yet to get onboard          Editor In Chief – Doug Edge
offering products as downloads, please do so soon.      Publishers – Russ Jones and Tom Spalding        Creative Director – Doug Edge
It’s the least we all can do.                           Layout and Graphical Design – Axel Hartmann / www.design-box.de
                                                        Contributing Writers – Doug Edge, Brent Hoover
Now, stay home and “make more music.”                   Advertising – Doug Edge – doug@audioMIDI.com – (480) 220-2815
                                                                      – Russ Jones – russ@audioMIDI.com – (818) 993-0772
                                  Russ Jones
                                                                                            Disclaimer
                            - Founder, audioMIDI.com     – aM.Mag wants to make clear that the opinions expressed within this magazine are
                                                                  not necessarily the opinions of the publishers or audioMIDI.com.
                                                                                                                             audioMIDI.com
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                                                                  Modeling Tubes,
                                                                     Transistors,
                                                                        and Tone
                                                             A Look At The Expanding World
                                                  Of Guitar Amp Modeling For Today’s Studio

                                                                                                                            By Doug Edge


    In The Beginning…                                                                         Hardware Modelers - It’s Still Nice To Have
                                                                                              Real Knobs And Switches
    It doesn’t seem that long ago that if you
    wanted to record an electric guitar you                                                   Hardware amp modeler’s range from the now
    plugged into the best amp you had around,                                                 famous red, kidney-bean shaped Line 6 Pod,
    stuck a Shure SM57 in the grill, hit record                                               to full amp setups with everything you would
    on your DAW computer (or maybe your                                                       expect from a tube or transistor-based amp;
    Alesis ADAT or Tascam DA-38), and jam-                                                    the amp, the speakers, and the tolex-covered
    med away. This type of setup, guitar-to-                                                  cabinet. A popular new format is the all-in-
    amp-to-mic-to-recorder, has been a stan-                                                  one floor devices, like the new Line 6 Floor
    dard since the day electricity and the                                                    Pod X3, that gives you a ton of amp tones,
    guitar met, and is still a great way to lay                                               effects, and much more all in a single rugged
    down your guitar tracks today.                                                            setup just a foot stomp away. Another type
                                                                                              of unit, Roger Linn’s popular hardware-based
    Lately, guitarists, recording engineers,                                                  Adrenalinn series, incorporates amp modeling
    and singer songwriters have been using                                                    with tempo-based effects for some truly
    a different method to get some incredible                                                 unique and interesting guitar sounds, as well
    sounding guitar tracks in small studios                                                   as a drum machine.
    and home setups. Guitar amp modeling
    has taken Marshall stacks into the binary                                                 Line 6 Puts The Tone On The Floor
    world of the DAW and it seems every year
    the sound of these amp modelers gets                                                      Of all the hardware amp modelers around
    closer and closer to sounding indistingu-                                                 today, Line 6 is probably the most recognized.
    ishable from the classic amp recording                                                    Line 6 launched amp modeling into studios
    technique when listening to a final mix.                                                  and recordings with the original Line 6 POD
    Amp modelers also offer some advantages                                                   and their extremely popular Amp Farm plug-
    over traditional amp set ups for one-man                                                  in for Pro Tools. If the Line 6 headquarters
    productions and singer/songwriters; but                                                   in California is any indication (which contains
    before we get ahead of ourselves, lets                                                    a huge collection of amps), they take amp
    take a look at the different forms of amp                                                 modeling very seriously. Line 6 hunts down
    modeling available for your studio today.                                                 not just particular amp models, but the best
                                                                                              individual amp “specimens” to base their
                                                                                              modeling on. With compact studio devices
                                                                                              like the new POD X3, a new line of hybrid
                                                  A few popular hardware-based amp modelers
                                                  from Line 6, Roger Linn, and Vox


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6
                                                                            Many guitarists who
                                                                            need a wide-variety of
                                                                            sounds in the studio           Amp Modeling
                                                                            and the ability to take        –It’s Not Just For Guitars
                                                                            all their sounds onto          Amp modelers are great for adding
                                                                            the road prefer hard-          warmth, grit, or distortion to non-guitar
                                                                            ware based amp mo-             sources like drum loops and even vocals.
                                                                            delers. Even though            While software-based modelers are per-
                                                                            laptops, low-latency           fect for processing tracks inside your
                                                                            audio-interfaces, and          DAW, you can achieve similar results by
                                                                            software for live per-         inserting hardware-based modelers into
                                                                            formance are much              your productions, or even using them
                                                                            more stable than even          on stage for live effects. Some recording
                                                                            just a few years ago,          engineers who don’t even use amp mod-
                                                  Line 6 Floor POD X3                                      elers for guitar tracks still have them
                                                                            many guitarists don’t
                                                                            like the idea of having        in the studio to process vocals, drums,
tube/modeling amps in the Spider Valve se-         to deal with latency and the possibility of             bass, and keyboards. If you decide to
ries, and the brand new Floor Pod X3, Line 6       their system crashing on stage. This mindset            pick up an amp modeler make sure you
has a solution for every guitarist.                is changing, though, as many of the software-           try it out on more than just guitar tracks!
                                                   based amp modelers now offer hardware
The new Floor POD X3, like all of the Line 6       controllers that also serve as a low-latency
models, offers a ton of guitar amp, speaker        audio interfaces for live performance. Soft-
cabinet, stomp box and effect models. One          ware based amp emulators usually are easier        The Waves GTR system is very well known
interesting feature on the Floor POD X3 is         to tweak and manipulate since they have a          for its detailed amp models and responsive-
that you can split your guitar signal and have     large GUI filled with virtual knobs and settings   ness to your guitar playing just like any good
it processed by two completely different           for creating amp tones.                            amp would be. Recently Waves announced
chains of amp model, speaker cab, and effects.                                                        version 2.0 of GTR. While Waves GTR 2.0
For anyone who has run their guitar through       Software –Tweak Tone Until Your Hearts Content      doesn’t have as many individual models (7
two different amps, you know that it can lead                                                         total) as some other amp modelers, each
to some really interesting sounds. You can also   IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube, Waves GTR system,        one is of very high quality and serves as a
use two separate inputs at once to process        and Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig are gaining      great jumping point for tweaking the tone
both a guitar and bass through their own amp      popularity with recording musicians and             exactly as you want it with its clearly laid
models. The Floor POD X3 has plenty of I/O for    engineers looking for access to all kinds of        out interface. Simply select from Direct, Clean,
connection to amps, PA’s, and even USB and        guitar sounds available right inside their          Sweat (small tube amp sound), Edgy, Drive,
S/PDIF digital out for recording into your DAW.   favorite DAW. Lets take a closer look at these      Overdrive, Crunch, Hot (high gain sound good
                                                  systems and some of their differences.              for soloing), and Modern. On top of the amp
Recently, Line 6 has brought the POD line                                                             models you get stomp box effects, six diffe-
into the software domain with the Line 6          Waves GTR                                           rent mics (with on and off axis placement),
Gear Box plug-ins. While you don’t need a                                                             and 15 amp cabinets. GTR allows you to play
Line 6 amp modeler to use Gear Box, having        A few years back, Waves; maker of some of           your guitar and “record” through two sepa-
something like the Floor POD X3 and Gear          the best sounding DAW plug-ins available            rate virtual mics and amp cabinets. I have
Box makes for a powerful combo both in the        today, threw their hat into the amp modeling        spoken to a few professional guitarists that
studio and on the stage. You can use Gear         ring with the Waves GTR system. This was            feel the GTR is definitely one of the best, if not
Box as your editor for your POD; giving you       designed in conjunction with the incredible         the best sounding amp modeler out there. One
a large and powerful GUI to tweak your amp        guitar luthier Paul Reed Smith. One interes-        of the reasons behind this is the high quality
sounds with while in the studio, and have         ting thing about Waves GTR is that even             PRS guitar interface that comes with GTR.
those same models right at your feet for          though it is software-based it comes with its
your next gig.                                    own hardware interface for your guitar. Why
                                                  add to the cost of a software modeler with          IK Multimedia AmpliTube And Stomp IO
Hardware amp modeling has some advan-             hardware? To make it sound better, of course.
tages over software-based modelers running        Waves GTR uses something similar to a direct        Not too long ago, IK Multimedia introduced
inside your DAW. They can easily be taken         box to take the unbalanced, high-impedance          AmpliTube 2, taking an already great soun-
from gig to gig, they have a simple plug-in-      guitar signal and transform it to a low-            ding amp emulator and making it even better.
and-play operation, and you don’t have to         impedance, balanced signal ready to be re-          One reason for this is DSM, or Dynamic Satu-
lug a computer around with you to hear it.        corded right into your DAW productions.             ration Modeling, which IK has put into Ampli-


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8
 Tube 2. Basically, DSM mo-                                                                                            some cool tools to split and
 dels the intricate respon-                                                                                            route your guitar signal
 siveness you get when                                                                                                 within Guitar Rig to create
 playing through a nice tube                                                                                           some interesting setups
 amplifier. Class A tube cir-                                                                                          that would be very difficult
 cuits do not act linearly                                                                                             and expensive to produce
 (see interview with amp                                                                                               with hardware. You also
 guru Jules Potter for more                                                                                            have a simple but functio-
 on this). IK Multimedia sta-                                                                                          nal Tape Recorder and Loo-
 tes that, “DSM technology                                                                                             per that is perfect for
 continuously adapts the                                                                                               practicing, learning fast
“shape” of the analog cir-                                                                                             licks by slowing them down,
 cuit instead of applying a                                                                                            and being able to quickly
 static snapshot. By using                                                                                             capture a new idea, chord
 more complex mathemati-                Native Instruments | Guitar Rig                                                progression, or song wit-
 cal functions, a more arti-                                                                                           hout ever having to boot up
 culated and musical re-                                                                                               your DAW software.
 sponse is possible, making
 DSM ideal for modeling tube
 preamps and tube power                                                                                                 Do I Need Amp Modeling?
 amps”. Having used both                                                                                                If you are happy with your
 AmpliTube 1 and 2, I can say                                                                                           current rig, and use just a
 that AmpliTube 2, with the                                                                                             few tones (i.e. clean, over-
 new DSM technology,                                                                                                    drive, and distortion), then
 doesn’t feel or sound like                                                                                             jumping into an amp mo-
 I am playing through a DAW;                                                                                            deler might not be for you.
 it is much more responsive             Waves | GTR                                                                     Of course, if you are in a
 and expressive.                                                                                                        recording situation and
                                                                                                                        want to add some different
 IK Multimedia’s STOMP IO, a highly anticipated    packs are very tone specific, allowing you to      sounds to your guitar tracks, an amp modeler
 floor controller and USB interface for Ampli-     pick up the exact type of sounds you want          can be a great way to get some new tones
 Tube, should be available by the time you         at a lower cost than AmpliTube 2 itself. I have    without having to go out and buy or rent a
 read this. Stomp IO has ten footswitches, six     tried out AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix and while         bunch of different amps. If you are new to
 knobs, five navigation buttons, and 2 LCD         I cannot do the late, great Jimi Hendrix justice   playing guitar and are not sure if you prefer
 displays so that you can completely control       with my playing, it is pretty amazing how          the sound of a Fender, Vox, Marshall, or Mesa-
 AmpliTube with your feet, either in the studio    much the sound matches what you hear on            Boogie, then an amp modeler can be a great
 or on the stage. Stomp IO has a Class A DI        Hendrix’s albums. These new AmpliTube packs        introduction into all of those types of sounds,
 (direct input) for your guitar as well as MIDI,   are definitely worth checking out.                 allowing you to quickly mix and match
 S/PDIF, and even inputs for expression pedals                                                        between them. For anyone who owns a small
 so you can get some tactile control for a         Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3                    studio, an amp modeler is great when a band
 Wah-Wah effect or volume. The main question                                                          comes in with less than optimal equipment,
 is if the latency will be low enough to make      Native Instruments is well known for its vir-      allowing you to quickly get new sounds that
 playing AmpliTube with Stomp IO on stage          tual instruments and plug-ins, and they have       the band might be looking for, but don’t have
 possible. From the live demo I saw of Stomp       been modeling guitar amps and effects since        the right amps or effects necessary to achie-
 IO this should not be a problem. Of course,       2004. Guitar Rig 3 is the latest version of        ve them. For bands that play cover songs or
 this is a serious piece of gear and it isn’t      amp modeling from Native Instruments and           different styles of music throughout a gig,
 cheap. Look for Stomp IO (which includes a        it is available as a software only version         amp modelers make it possible to quickly
 free copy of AmpliTube 2 or AmpliTube Metal)      ($299) or as a software/hardware combo with        change from, say, a blues song to funk jam.
 to cost close to $1,000.                          the Rig Control interface ($499). I have always    Add in the fact that amp modelers are great
                                                   liked the clean layout of Guitar Rig and its       for processing not just guitars, but vocals,
 IK Multimedia has also recently come out          simple modular design to building up your          keyboards, and drum tracks; and it is easy
 with custom-catered versions of AmpliTube.        tone with amps, effects, mics, and speaker         to see that just about every musician could
 The first one was AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix          cabinets. Guitar Rig 3’s sidebar search menu       use some sort of amp modeler.
 ($199) and IK Multimedia just announced a         also makes it very easy to pull up sounds
 new version called AmpliTube Metal. These         quickly. Native Instruments also gives you


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                                                                                                                                                   9
Which Amp Modeler Is Right For You?
Picking out which of the devices discussed
above sounds the best is definitely a subjec-
tive choice. That being said, here’s a couple
                                                          A Different Class
                                                                                  Improve Your Amp (or Amp Modeler) Tones
points that might help make your decision.                By Knowing What To Listen For. Amp Designer Jule Potter Fills Us In.
If you play live and want to be able to bring
the tones you create in the studio up on
stage, Line 6 and the new Floor POD X3 in                                                                                                    By Doug Edge
tandem with the GearBox plug-ins for editing
the amp models in your DAW, is very hard to          Knowing what goes into a well-designed tube amp can help you create the sound you’re
                                                     looking for in your own tube amp or amp modeling software. Even if you solely use amp
beat. With the recent availability of Stomp          modelers for your own guitar tracks, it is always good to know what exactly is behind
IO from IK Multimedia though, Line 6 might           the design of a guitar amp to better understand what‘s available to you in your amp
see some more competition on stage.                  modeler of choice. For instance, depending on the type of sound you are looking for
                                                     you may want to start with a Vox model rather than a Fender. Maybe you need to push
If you already have a decent guitar rig set-up       the master, or power tube section in your amp modeler, rather than the pre-amp gain
but just want to fill in some gaps for playing       or vice-versa to get the type of distortion you want to hear.
heavier material or doing some Hendrix covers        Even if you prefer micing up a physical amp rather than using amp modelers, it isn’t
you can’t beat the quality and price of IK           always an easy task to record, say, a 100-Watt Marshall in the late hours of the night
Multimedia’s Jimi Hendrix or Metal packs. If         without waking up everyone on your block. Of course, you can always turn your amp
you are going to stay pretty much “in the box”       down, but much of the coveted tube amp sound comes from overdriving the tubes,
                                                     turning your 100 Watt amp down to avoid the cops showing up at your door might not
and need a ton of different amp tones Am-            produce that nice distortion your looking for.
pliTube 2 is hard to beat with over 20,000 amp
combinations and the DSM modeling technol-           Over the past few years more and more players have been discovering the world of
                                                     small, low-wattage, boutique amps. These amps are usually very well made (in many
ogy in AmpliTube 2 sounds great. Add the             cases hand-wired), sound fantastic live and in the studio, and give your recordings
soon to be released Stomp IO, and you have           huge sound without blowing your eardrums. This is not a new way to record guitars in
one serious rig right at your feet.                  the studio. For instance, Jimmy Page, when not in front of his huge Marshall stack on
                                                     stage, recorded many of his incredible tracks for Led Zepplin on a small Supro amp.
If you like a nice, clean interface and are
                                                     Jule Potter is the man behind Jule Amps. Many engineers and guitarist feel Jule Amps
looking to make some unusual guitar sounds,          cannot be equaled for recording superior guitar tone in the studio. I spoke with Jule
in addition to using some classic amp models,        to get an idea on what makes a great amp, real or virtual.
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 might just
be the ticket. With its abundance of interest-       DE: You hear quite a bit about a more reactive,        has more odd order harmonics. It can also have
ing effects and its Sound Modifier processing        dynamic sound that comes from overdriving a            more sustain than the soft distortion. Both hard
that lets you tweak synthesis based proces-          tube amp’s power tubes rather than a preamp            and soft distortion can happen in the preamp or
sors like filters, envelop generators, etc., for     tube section. What are some of the main differ-        output section. With preamp distortion the vol-
                                                     ences between power tube and preamp tube               ume can be lowered to comfortable studio levels
your guitars sound, Guitar Rig 3 stands out.         distortion?                                            (with a Master Volume) and you still get to choose
If you think processing a guitar this way is         JP: The tonal difference in the studio between
                                                                                                            the distortion tone you want.
a bit out there you may be right, but just           the two methods can be made negligible. Others         Output tube distortion can give you more rich
listen to what players like John Frusciante          will swear by one method, but I suspect motiva-        variations of distortion than preamp distortion.
and Trent Reznor (a Guitar Rig user) have            tions other than technical accuracy when they          This is like a wider palette. The disadvantage is
                                                     do so. But there are differences. There is soft        that output tube distortion is going to be loud.
been doing by plugging their guitars into            and there is hard distortion.                          This is why there is so much interest in 5 watt
synths, or go even further back and listen                                                                  amps. You can drive a 5 watt tube amp into
                                                     Soft distortion is warm, rich, even-order harmonic     output distortion and still be in the same room.
to The Who and the incredible sounds Pete            distortion. It is achieved by carefully manipulating
Townsend created by plugging his axe into                                                                   The 23 watt version of our Brenda K single-ended
                                                     the gain curve of a tube. All tubes have an area       Class A amp is designed for output tube distortion,
an ARP synthesizer.                                  of operation within which they pass audio rela-        and it is almost too loud for most studio environ-
                                                     tively linearly. Operating in that area you get        ments. It does have a tonal advantage over
Lastly, if you are looking for a simple, straight-   out what you put in. When you bias the tube            preamp distortion in that the range (headroom)
forward system that doesn’t have a huge              slightly higher than that linear gain area, you        of variable distortion is extremely wide.
                                                     operate in an increasingly non-linear area. Even
number of models, but each one is superb and         order harmonics increase - the sound is not what       Output tube distortion can be hard on speakers,
serves as a perfect platform for creating your       you put in, it is distorted.                           tubes, and output transformers. Shoving a
own tone, you’d be hard pressed to do better                                                                squared-off wave into any component makes
                                                     Hard distortion is known as "clipping." This hap-      that component work quite hard.
than the Waves GTR system. Add in the fact           pens when we push so much signal into an am-
that you get the high quality PRS Guitar Inter-      plifier that the power supply can not hope to          Outside the studio, on stage, everything changes.
face for plugging your guitar into your DAW          pass the signal with any accuracy. We are running      On stage, the objective is certainly tonal, but
                                                     the tube far beyond the non-linear gain area.          there is also the physical pleasure (or pain) of
and you have a system that is hard to beat.          The offended amplifier simply cuts off the top         having a powerful tube output section shaking
                                                     and/or bottom of the signal. This hard distortion      the whole stage. I enjoy living in both worlds.


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10
DE: What is the difference between even order         On stage, size does matter. A significant compo-      careful. Great tonal variations can be heard in
and odd order harmonics, does one type gener-         nent of a live performance is how the audience        different 12AX7 tubes.
ally sound better to guitarists for producing         and performers are moved by the music. I mean
distortion?                                           this literally. If you have ever stood 15 feet in     Each manufacturer chose different places in the
                                                      front of a Marshall stack being pushed by a 100       amp for distortion, and different distortion pat-
JP: I hesitate to say one type sounds better to       Watt amp at full tilt, you know what I mean. Even     terns for their products. Those have become
all guitarists. If you are searching for a clear      the mightiest of 5 Watt amps is not going to         "signature" sounds.
sound, even order distortion is going to be pref-     compress your chest like a large wattage amp
erable. If your tonal objective is excitement and                                                           Jim Marshall used a rather clean preamp, accen-
                                                      on stage. You gotta like it.                          tuated the high frequencies and established his
unusual sounds, the odd order harmonics may
be better. The difference is both mathematical        DE: You often hear guitarists refer to the tubes      big sound with a powerful output section. Leo
and tonal. Even order distortion occurs when a        in guitar amps as an indicator of their general       Fender used a bit more gain in his preamp with a
higher or lower tone is created that is an even       sound. 6L6, 6V6, EL34, EL84, 12AX7, etc. Could        softer 6L6 output section. Paul Rivera designed
multiple of the base note. When you put a tone        you give a quick description of the more popular      the intricate EQs of some of the later Fender amps
through any tube amplifier you are going to           tube types used and which ones are associated         and established the "Black Face" sound. Mesa
create not only the base tone, but also mathe-        with the sound of Fender, Vox, and Marshall           Boogie has done a good job of highlighting hard
matical multiples of that tone. In effect you get     amps?                                                 distortion. Each of these signature sounds come
a lot more than you planned for.                                                                            from successfully manipulating the distortion of
                                                      JP: The 6L6 is the Fender sound. I just modified      different sections of what are really very simple
To our ears even order harmonics sound warm.          a beautiful 1972 Traynor so that it could use 6L6     amplifiers. The end result is that there is a whole
We often find them more comfortable to listen         output tubes instead of EL34s. The objective was      lot of beautiful sound out there to work with.
to than odd order harmonics. "Soft" distortion        to make it more Fender-like. The sound of the
produces more even order harmonics.                   6L6 can be more ringing and bell-like than other      Special thanks to Jule Potter for the interview.
                                                      output tubes.
Mathematically, odd order harmonics are har-                                                                Want more info on Jule Amps?
monics that are not even multipliers of the base      The 6V6 was originally designed for car radios. It
note. They are heard as more abrupt, maybe            has a warm rich sound. It can be too warm for         Give audioMIDI.com a call at 1-877-888-1656.
even a little disturbing. "Hard" distortion produc-   some guitarists. The small wattage amps of Gibson
es more odd order harmonics. Both have their          and Fender all used the 6V6 back in the day.
place in music.
                                                      The EL34 ended up being the Marshall heavy
DE: You often hear people talking about Class A       output sound. These days, it is used by virtually
or Class AB tube amps. What is the difference         every manufacturer. It is relatively inexpensive,
between the two?                                      and easy to design circuits around. It can be a
                                                      bit bright sounding.
JP: Most important for us, Class A operation
produces only even order harmonics. The sound         The 12AX7 is the workhorse of today. It is a high
is warmer and more full sounding than other           gain dual amplifier that is used in every section
biasing operations. Class A tubes are biased to       of amps except the output section. The good
run only in the linear gain range. They run full      thing is that it is available everywhere, but be
time. If you think of any tone as a sinusoidal
waveform, in Class A operation each output tube
passes 360 degrees of that waveform.
AB operation does not allow output tubes to pass
360 degrees of the waveform. At some point, an
AB Class output tube is resting. AB operation is
greatly more efficient than Class A. That means
transformers and tubes can be much smaller
and inexpensive than Class A components. An
inherent function of AB operation is that it will
cancel harmonics. The tone can be made signif-
icantly cleaner and sharper than Class A.
DE: One of the biggest misconceptions out there
is that a low wattage guitar amp is not going to
be nearly as loud as say, a big 50 or 100 watt set-
up, yet many 5, 12, and 15 Watt amps can be
extremely loud, even enough volume to play
small venues and clubs. What exactly does the
wattage rating on a guitar amp mean?
JP: Wattage comparisons are mathematical. The
math is easy. The RMS voltage squared at the
speaker is divided by the impedance of that
speaker. There is nothing else to it.
Relative loudness is another thing. That is SPL.
As a quite famous (loud) Punk Rocker explained
to me several weeks ago, when you stick a mi-
crophone up close to a 5 Watt amp it can sound
like a room full of 100 Watt amps cranked full
blast. We could say size does not matter in the
recording world.



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                                                                                                                                                                  11
                                                             A Brand New DAW
                         ‘Tis The Season For New Versions Of Your Favorite DAWs

                                                                         As the weather cools and we head into winter (at least up here in the
                                                                         Northern Hemisphere), the DAW world has refused to go into hibernation.
                                                                         Ableton, Apple, Cakewalk, and Magix have all recently announced new
                                                                         versions of their popular production software. For most of us out
                                                                         there who already have at least one DAW program, many of these new
                                                                         DAWs are available at incredibly low crossgrade and upgrade prices.
                                                                         Lets take a look at these updates and see if one of them catches your
                                                                         eye, or more importantly, your ears.

                                                                                                                                      By Doug Edge


 Ableton Live Turns 7                                                                                          or MIDI out to your external gear
 The Little App That Could Keeps On                                                                            and back into Ableton is automati-
 Tracking                                                                                                      cally handled for you in Live 7.
 Ableton Live has had quite the growth                                                                         On the sounds side Ableton has re-
 spurt in the past few years, eclipsing                                                                        ally upped the ante. The new Drum
 its early reputation as just a li-                                                                            Rack allows you to easily load, pro-
 ve/looping performance tool and                                                                               gram, and edit your beats. Each
 transforming into a full-fledged DAW                                                                          sound in your kit can be processed
 with features like audio and MIDI re-                                                                         individually and there is a nifty vi-
 cording, arranging, mixing, track                                                                             sual GUI that allows you to quickly
 freezing, and more. With every major                                                                          navigate a drum kit with more than
 re-tooling Ableton has always made sure that      log compressors. Operator (sold separately,        sixteen sounds. You can also quickly unfold
 the fun, efficient workflow and easy single-      or included in Ableton Suite), Dynamic Tube,       the Drum Rack track in the Session View
 window navigation that has been popular           and Saturator plug-ins can now be put into         mixer to adjust levels, mute, pan, etc. for
 since version 1.0 stays front and center. Able-   High Quality Mode for anti-aliased processing.     each individual drum sound in your kit.
 ton Live 7 looks to stick to this same philoso-   One completely new feature in Live 7 is a
 phy. In 2006, Computer Music ran a story          real-time audio analyzer called Spectrum.          Ableton has collaborated with Applied Acous-
 with Gerhard Behles, the man behind Ableton       Yes, we could all probably stand to look away      tics Systems (creators of great sounding
 Live, called “Why Doesn’t Live Got…?”. The        from our computer monitors and listen more         physical-modeled virtual instruments), and
 article highlighted questions from Live users     with our ears instead of our eyes, but for         Chocolate Audio to introduce a ton of new
 about what they thought was missing in Live       certain situations having the ability to quickly   instruments and sound libraries. The Tension,
 6. Ableton, and Gerhard, must really listen       look at real-time visual feedback for a track      Electric, and Analog collections are all based
 to their users because it seems that most of      can be a great help. Live 7 also has improved      on physical-modeling. Session Drums and
 the updates in Live 7 stem directly from what     its MIDI timing, gained the ability to change      Drum Machines cover the percussion side,
 was asked about in the Computer Music ar-         time signatures in the Arrangement window,         and there is also the Essential Instrument
 ticle as well as what Live users have been        and to view multiple automation curves at          Collection 2 library. All of these titles, as well
 requesting on the Ableton forums.                 once. The highly requested Tempo Nudge             as the Sampler and Operator virtual instru-
 One of the biggest upgrades in Live 7 is that     feature, and the ability to sidechain are now      ments, are included with Live 7 in the boxed
 the mix engine now utilizes 64-bit summing.       a part of Ableton Live. One really interesting     version of Ableton Suite. If you are looking
 The same 64-bit processing is also available      feature in Live 7, as far as DAW enhancements      for the ultimate Ableton Live set-up this is
 in the re-vamped EQ 8 plug-in. While Live is      go, is the External Instrument and the Exter-      it! Ableton Live with Essential Instruments
 still not fully 64-bit across the board like      nal Audio Effect devices. This allows you to       is available for $599, the complete Ableton
 Cakewalk’s SONAR, the improvement to the          easily add outboard synths, drum machines,         Suite sells for $999. Give us a call at 1-877-
 mix engine and EQ 8 should make for some          and external processors like compressors,          888-1656 and you will receive an exclusive
 great sounding mixes. The Compressor plug-        EQs, etc. into Lives “virtual” signal chain. The   puremagnetik Live Pack for FREE! Just men-
 in offers a new model based on vintage ana-       latency compensation for sending your audio        tion aM.Mag when you call.


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12
     Logic Studio & Logic 8                            applications, sounds, and instruments inclu-
     Apple Finds A New Logic                           ded in Logic Studio, what may be the most
                                                       amazing feature is the fact that the full
     Apple’s Logic program seemed to be in a           version is available for under $500. That is
     suspended state with it being close to three      less expensive than some DAW program cross-
     years since the last update, Logic 7, hit the     grade offers! Give audioMIDI.com a call at 1-
     streets. The latest version, Logic 8, is part     877-888-1656 and you will receive an exclusi-
     of the new suite called Logic Studio. Logic       ve Apple Loops library with either Logic
     Studio includes Logic Pro 8, Soundtrack Pro       Studio or Logic Express. Simply mention
     2, Main Stage, as well as a ton of new effects,   aM.Mag when you call.
     sounds, and instruments.

                                                            Logic 8 Might Be Even Cheaper
                                                                   Than You Think!                      of the latest computer chips and operating
                                                                                                        systems (VISTA and Windows x64). On top of
                                                                                                        the straightforward audio editing, SONAR is
                                                                                                        probably the most user-customizable DAW
                                                                                                        out there as it allows you to put your favorite
                                                                                                        and most used features right at your finger-
                                                                                                        tips. You can customize the Transport Bar,
                                                                                                        change colors, create custom shortcuts, and
                                                                                                        a whole lot more.
     For many musicians Logic 8 was worth the
     wait. The back-end engine has been comple-        Want in on a little secret? Logic 8 Express      One ingenious feature in SONAR is ACT, or
     tely redesigned and the main interface is         just might be the best DAW deal around!          Active Controller Technology. ACT makes it
     built around a simple, single-window design.      Logic Studio is already incredibly priced at     much easier to control the faders, plug-ins,
     One of the upgrades that many users are           under $500, but what if you could pick up        and virtual instruments in SONAR by auto-
     excited about is that you can now perform         Logic 8 for under $200! Sound too good to        matically re-mapping your control surface
     sample-accurate editing directly from the         be true? Maybe not. Logic 8 Express is the       or keyboard as you change from, say, an EQ
     arrange window.                                   same Logic program you find in Logic Studio -    plug-in to a virtual instrument on your com-
                                                       the same single-window layout, the same re-      puter screen.
     Of course, all the great soft-synths and ef-      designed back-end, and the same sample–ac-
     fects that Logic is known for are included.       curate editing available from the arrange
     You also get 18,000 Apple Loops, 2,400 chan-                                                       SONAR 7 also includes a new step-sequencer,
                                                       window. What’s the $300 difference between       re-designed MIDI tools, internal sidechaining,
     nel strip settings, and 1,300 sampled instru-     Logic Studio and Logic 8 Express? It is the
     ments! One of the cool features that hasn’t                                                        more bundled virtual instruments and new
                                                       extra programs, virtual instruments, effect      mastering plug-ins, as well as Pitch-to-MIDI
     been widely publicized is that with Logic 8       plug-ins, PRO Tools HD support, and sample
     and a .Mac account you can back up personal                                                        translation via the included Roland V-Vocal
                                                       libraries found in Logic Studio. If you don’t    plug-in. SONAR 7 Producer is available as a
     channel strip settings, plug-in settings, and     need all of the extras like Main Stage, Space
     key commands to your .Mac site and access                                                          crossgrade for only $349.
                                                       Designer, Soundtrack 2 Pro, etc. and all those
     your settings from any studio with an inter-      Apple Loops, Logic 8 Express might just be
     net connection.                                   the ultimate DAW deal. For under $200 you        Magix Samplitude
     In addition to Logic 8, Logic Studio includes     not only get Logic 8, but also Ultrabeat, the    Are You Ready For Object-Oriented Editing?
     a host of other programs. Main Stage allows       ES2 soft-synth, the complete EXS24 sampler,
     for a simplified, full-screen environment for     Guitar Amp Pro, Ringshifter, and full-featured   Magix recently debuted Samplitude 9, which
     playing your virtual instruments live. Sound-     pitch correction. If you already have enough     uses object-oriented editing. What exactly
     track 2 is a full-blown audio DAW with a very     virtual instruments and plug-ins Logic 8
     cool rolling edit function that keeps your        Express is one deal you can’t pass up!
     audio region locked in place along the time-
     line, but allows you to pull the actual audio
     in that region forwards or backwards. Sound-      Cakewalk SONAR                                   is object-oriented editing? Just think of all
     track 2 also gives you a quick button function    SONAR Hits Lucky Number 7                        your audio clips, regions, or even samples
     to change the traditional waveform display                                                         as being separate objects that can all be
     to a spectrum view. Another interesting pro-      Cakewalk’s SONAR has been perking up the         processed individually, or as a group, with
     gram included in Logic Studio is an Impulse       ears of musicians and recording engineers        respect to plug-ins, volume, panning, etc. Say
     Response Utility that lets you create your        for a while now. SONAR has been at the fore-     you have a vocal phrase that needs to be
     own Impulse Response files. With all the          front of utilizing the 64-bit processing power   processed differently then the rest of the




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14
take. You can simply separate each of the         have added new tool modifiers and commands         Cakewalk’s SONAR has gained a great reputa-
vocal sections you need to change into their      specifically designed for editing post-audio.      tion for recording, editing, and mixing audio.
own objects, highlight them, and then pro-        While there is no denying that Nuendo is one       If you mostly record live instruments and
cess the “objects” with, say, a filter and a      of the most powerful and feature laden DAWs        want a powerful editor that produces great
little saturation. This can all be done within    out there, and it is used by many professionals,   sounding mixes, SONAR is definitely worth
the same audio track of the original vocal.       tickets to the show are not cheap. Nuendo          checking out. SONAR’s x64-bit processing is
Samplitude knows to turn the plug-ins on          will set you back $1800.                           great for DAW performance and putting out
only at the newly created object regions so                                                          a high quality mix. Cakewalk has also teamed
that your DAW is always running as efficiently    Which One Is Right For You?                        up with companies like Roland to provide
as possible. An object can be anything from                                                          pitch correction, phrasing, dynamics, and
a complete stereo master recording to a           Today’s DAW programs all can handle power-         vibrato, as well as Pitch to MIDI conversion.
single sample! Object-oriented editing might      ful audio/MIDI editing and production. It
seam a bit different if you are used to a         seems that if a successful new feature is          Finally, Magix Samplitude is an incredibly
traditional DAW program where you would           introduced in one application it is soon to        powerful DAW for recording and mixing.
have to either create a separate track with       be found in another. If you just compare the       Samplitude’s object-oriented based editing
the audio regions you wanted to process, or       list of features between all the new major         might be a bit foreign if you have used other
draw in plug-in automation curves to turn         DAW releases they might all seem very similar      DAWs in the past, but once you realize the
the effects on and off at the appropriate         in ability. Moreover, with Apple now using         potential this type of editing has for creating
times. Samplitude‘s object-oriented editing       Intel processors it is possible to run PC only     a powerful and efficient workflow, as well as
can be immensely powerful in the right hands.     programs like Sonar and Samplitude very            maximizing your computers CPU resources,
                                                  efficiently on a Mac with either Bootcamp          you might be hard pressed to find a more
Samplitude 9 Professional also features a         or a Windows virtualization program. So, are       capable DAW. While Samplitude might not
real-time room simulator for convolution          there any generalizations that can be made         come with as many built in virtual instru-
reverb, a powerful pitch-correction system        about which of these new DAW programs              ments, the plug-in effects sound fantastic
for fine tuning a performance after it has        work best in a particular environment? It          and I don’t think any other DAW can compete
been recorded, and a very useful time-            helps if you can download a demo and try           with Samplitude’s real-time audio analysis
stretching program to quickly fix, say, a drum-   the DAW out before shelling out cold hard          for getting a new picture on what is going
mer who temporarily falls behind the tempo.       cash. That being said, here are some opinions      on in your mix.
Some of the best real-time audio analysis         on where these new DAW updates really shine.
available in any DAW is included in Samplitude                                                       Also, don’t forget to check out the other
9 as well. Samplitude 9 Professional is avai-                                                        available DAW programs out there. Digital
lable as a crossgrade for only $495.              If you are looking for a clean, simple layout      Performer has really improved its efficiency
                                                  with an interface and workflow that might          and is hugely popular with singer-songwriters,
Nuendo 4                                          not be exactly like a traditional analog recor-    film composers, and musicians running large
Steinberg Adds Something New To Nuendo            ding studio set-up, but seems to invite you        touring or live performance setups. FL Studio
                                                  to experiment and just have fun with the           is an incredible all-in-one system for creating
Nuendo is well known as a powerful DAW for        music, Ableton Live might be the perfect           songs from the ground up with its well laid
recording not just music, but also as a great     solution. With the new Ableton Suite you could     out GUI and huge number of plug-ins and
production tool for post-audio and film. The      find yourself never needing, or wanting for,       virtual instruments. Steinberg’s Cubase has
recent unveiling of Nuendo 4 strengthens          third party plug-ins and virtual instruments.      a great sounding mix engine and powerful
this position with many new features. One                                                            editing features. Of course, there is also
of the highlights of Nuendo 4 is a brand new      Along those same lines, Logic Studio with          ProTools, a great DAW for recording, editing,
automation system. Steinberg has created          its newly designed single-window interface,        and mixing music. If you prefer to use one
a nice, well laid out automation window that      multitude of virtual instruments and effects,      of the many M-Audio audio interfaces rather
gives you large buttons for writing automa-       and powerful MIDI functionality makes it a         than those from Digidesign you can get your
tion, punching in and out, the ability to         great choice for having a complete music           ProTools groove on with Pro Tools M-Powered.
change multiple settings at once, and more.       production environment right out of the box.
MediaBay is a new database system for orga-       Logic 8 is a steal for anyone looking to fill      Need some more advice? Give audioMIDI.com
nizing and quickly finding tracks, sounds,        their tunes with great synths, drum, and           a call toll free and we will help you with all
sample databases, loops, and more. Nuendo         sampled acoustic instruments. Logic, with          your questions. Mention aM.Mag to receive
4 has also added 38 new VST plug-ins, side-       its very capable score feature, video support,     your own special deal!
chaining capabilities for some of the included    and MIDI tools, is also very popular with film
plug-ins, drag & drop capabilities for quickly    composers. Apple’s close relationship with
moving and copying plug-ins, the ability to       Apogee has also resulted in native-based
build up entire signal chains with track pre-     DAW/Interface combos that rival the perfor-
sets, and a high quality time stretching and      mance of much more expensive DSP-based
pitch-shifting algorithm. Steinberg hasn’t        systems in both sound quality and ultra-low
forgotten about post-audio in Nuendo 4, they      latency performance.


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                                                                                                                                                       15
                                                        Of Mics And Men
                                                                 An interview with musician, engineer,
                                                                           and mic guru Harvey Gerst.
                                                                                                                                       By Doug Edge
 Many newcomers to the recording world look to online user groups and forums for info on gear and techniques to make their recordings sound
 better. I myself did, and currently do, the same thing and even though I have been working with audio in one form or another for almost 15
 years I still look to the wisdom of others. One person who has helped out untold musicians and engineers on the subject of getting great sound
 when you don’t have thousands to spend on mic pre’s and microphones is musician, recording engineer, and mic guru Harvey Gerst.
 Harvey Gerst has been a popular moderator and contributor to various forums on the web answering questions and giving tips on gear and
 recording techniques. One of his areas of expertise is microphones, more specifically testing and trying out less expensive microphones from
 companies like MXL, SE Electronics, and other Chinese manufactured mics that are getting a great “bang for your buck” reputation.
 Exactly who is Harvey Gerst and can he help steer us through the daunting choice of choosing a great microphone at a great price, and some
 techniques on how best to utilize those mics to improve our recordings? I recently spoke to Harvey about what led him into the world of recording
 at his current studio, Indian Trail Recording Studio, outside of Dallas, Texas. It seems in the world of music Harvey’s story starts with a song.

 DE: If I’m not mistaken you actually knew the     DE: You have your own recording studio that          one mic might sound fantastic and another
 Byrds before they were even called the Byrds.     you run with your son in Texas called Indian         of the same model might sound like a complete
 Can you give us a bit of background behind how    Trail Recording Studios. You have worked with        dud. Do you think the overall quality from mic
 you met Roger McGuinn, and how it led to you      some incredible artists -Buffalo Springfield,        to mic has improved in recent years?
 co-writing a couple of early Byrds songs - "It    the Byrds, Bob Dylan, Sweetwater, Albert King,
 Won't Be Wrong" and "Please Let Me Love You.”     Jefferson Airplane, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Kenny     HG: This whole "mic expert" thing kinda throws
                                                   Rogers, Mike Bloomfield, the Doors, Jimi Hen-        me. I had designed a multi-pattern condenser
 HG: I first met Roger (he was "Jim" back then)    drix, Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, Janis          mic for IMC (which became the basis for the
 at a friend's house, where he played some         Joplin, and many others. What led to the deci-       design of the CAD E200), but I hadn't really
 Dylan songs he had learned in New York. A         sion of opening your own studio outside of           thought about mics till The Sound Room asked
 few months later, I ran into him at the Trouba-   Dallas, far from the recording capitals of both      me to review a bunch of Oktava mics for
 dour in L.A. where I was appearing in a group     LA and New York?                                    "rec.audio.pro"; an Internet news group forum
 called "The Men" (who later became "The                                                                where professional recording engineers hung
 Association"). This was right around the time     HG: Around 1978, I really got burned out on          out and discussed stuff. Out of all the stuff
 the Beatles hit and it seemed like Roger and      the whole L.A. music scene and wound up in           they sent me, I found a few (the MC-012 in
 I were the only two "folkies" that liked them.    Fort Worth, writing manuals for Radio Shack's        particular) that really stood out and they
                                                   new TRS-80 computers. In 1987, I ran into            became pretty popular. I had heard the MXL
                                                   Jerry Freed, the president of International          2001 and didn't think much of it, when some-
 The Men wanted to do a sea shanty that Roger
                                                   Music Company, on a street in downtown Fort          one asked if I was judging their whole line on
 had done with Judy Collins, but when Roger
                                                   Worth. When he found out I was living there,         that one model? I had to admit that I was
 played the song for me, he played it like the
                                                   he gave me his card and said report for work         judging the whole line on that one model.
 Beatles might have done it. I said that would
                                                   on Monday; I was his new Director of Electron-
 make a great rock and roll song and I came                                                             At the next AES show, I went to MXL and asked
                                                   ics. IMC owned Ross, Charvel, Jackson, and
 up with the first verse of "It Won't Be Wrong".                                                        to review their entire line, admitting that I
                                                   distributed Akai Pro in North America. When
  The whole thing took about 10 minutes to                                                              hadn't been very fair. They agreed and I found
                                                   I left IMC, I kept an Akai 1214 recorder/console
 write and I promptly forgot about it.                                                                  3 really nice models in their line; the MXL 603,
                                                   for our little home demo studio. A few years
                                                                                                        the V67g, and the V77 tube model. Later, they
                                                   later, my son convinced me to open the studio
 We wrote a second song that night called                                                               added the V69ME which I also liked. After that,
                                                   to bands and it just kinda grew from there.
"Please Let Me Love You” and Gene Clark added                                                           I was asked to review mics from Studio Projects,
 a wonderful section. A while later, I found       DE: You have become known as an expert on            ADK, Avant, and a few others. The American
 Roger had recorded it with the Byrds (they        inexpensive mics that sound great. With the          distributors are tightening up quality control
 were called the "Beefeaters" at the time).        change over the past decade of more and              on mics from China and many are being de-
 The whole songwriting thing took place at a       more mics being made in places like China            signed in the US these days. China is kinda
 small table in the Troubadour bar.                quality control seemed to be a problem initially,    where Japan was back in the 60's; a sleeping


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16
     giant, capable of building just about anything     HG: You just hit on several that I would suggest.   DE: On top of Indian Trail Recording Studio
     to any standards. The question is whether          Most new people become obsessed with large          you also have a line of inexpensive head-
     we are prepared to pay higher prices for higher    diaphragm condenser mics, but some good             phones called MoreMe. These have quite a
     quality. There is no question in my mind that      small omnis, a few small diaphragm condens-         reputation online for sounding great and not
     Chinese mics are improving, as they try to         ers, and a ribbon or two really improve your        breaking the bank. What led you into the world
     capture a greater share of the market.             chances of producing a great recording. If          of headphones and what makes the MoreMe
                                                        you can find a Shure SM-7 dynamic mic for           line different?
     DE: Deciding on which mic to buy these days        around $300, that will really open up your
                                                        vocal choices. And you can use it on snare,         HG: The MoreMe line of headphones kinda
     seems like a daunting task. There are so many                                                          happened by accident. Like most studios, we
     microphone companies let alone types of mics       high hat, kick, bass amps, guitars, horns, and
                                                        several other things as well.                       used Sony 7506's for bands during tracking,
     out there. In many cases if you buy a mic, take                                                        but a combination of misuse and accidents
     it home, decide you don’t like the sound of it                                                         meant we were replacing them about every
     in your recording space, you are unable to         DE: It seems some standards exist for certain       3 months. At roughly $100 a pop (times 5 for
     return it because of the “spit” laws out there     recording situations. Vocals, use a large con-      a typical band), we were spending almost
     that say once you speak or sing into a mic it      denser mic. Electric guitars, stick a SM57 in the   $2,000 a year on headphones. I found some
     would be a health hazard to return it to the       grill. Acoustic guitars, use a small condenser      cheaper Koss headphones at Radio Shack, and
     store. What advice would you give to someone       (or stereo pair) focusing around the twelfth        with their "insurance policy", I got that cost
     trying to find the best mic for their dollar if    fret of the guitar for a nice, “smooth” sound.      down to about $500 a year, but then, Radio
     they can’t really test-drive it first? Should      Close micing, use an omni pattern, rather than      Shack dropped their insurance deal, and I was
     they be looking at certain specs, the frequency    a more traditional cardiod pattern, to get around   back to square one. I musta tried every low
     response of the mic, the type of material used     the problem of too much bass (proximity effect).    cost headphones on the market, but most
     for the diaphragm, etc.?                           Are there any “general rules” of micing that        broke in a very short time.
     (Editors Note: sE has a 7-day trial program        you think might be ingrained into recording
                                                        engineers heads from day one that shouldn’t         Then, I found some that sounded like they
     for their line of microphones, contact audio-                                                          would work, but there were two problems.
     MIDI.com if interested)                            be? Do you have a favorite “non-traditional”
                                                        mic technique that you like to use?                 One, they had a very short coiled cord, and
                                                                                                            two, the manufacturer wanted an order for
     HG: The easiest solution is buy from companies                                                         100 pair as a minimum, if I wanted a decent
     that have a good reputation and are willing        HG: Close micing has become the favorite            price. I didn't need a hundred pair of head-
     to take returns on mics that don't work for        technique, but it isn't always the best choice.     phones , but I thought that maybe some other
     you. Specs don't mean much unless you un-           You don't listen to electric guitars with your     studios were having the same headphone
     derstand specs; most people don't. There are       head 1" from the center of the speaker. I'll        problems I had. I mentioned it on homerecord-
     are some standard choices for instrument           sometimes set up a mic at ear level, back           ing.com, and a few other small studios ex-
     microphones, but the real problem is choosing      about 4', pointed towards the speaker, to get       pressed interest in them, enough to perhaps
     mics for voices. Usually, large diaphragm          the sound the guitarist normally hears. Same        order 100 of them. The manufacturer didn't
     condenser mics (LDC) are the preferred vocal       thing with acoustic guitars; over the guitarist     even try to help, so I said, I'll put them out as
     mics, but a good dynamic mic (like the Shure       shoulder, at ear level, pointed down towards        my own brand, MoreMe, and the rest is history.
     SM-7) or a ribbon mic can often provide better     the guitar. And you really hafta understand         To deal with the short cord, I found a durable
     results. It's important to remember that with      how microphone patterns work and how to             heavy-duty 25' headphone extension cable
     condenser mics, output is a function of dia-       use them effectively - and when.                    that we're able to offer at a great price.
     phragm size; larger is louder. But vocals aren't
     just about loudness; sometimes you wanna                                                               They're in a lot of major studios today and a
     trade accuracy for flattery. You'll choose a       DE: What are a couple of your favorite mics
                                                        right now that are relatively inexpensive?          lot of major albums were done with MoreMe
     microphone because it flatters the singer, not                                                         headphones. I'm still amazed as to how well
     because it's accurate.                                                                                 received the MoreMe's are at major studios
                                                        HG: The MXL's that I mentioned (and their new       around the world. Turns out, the big studio
     DE: For someone just getting into recording        604 series), the Studio Projects T3 (a truly        guys had the same problems with headphones
     who might have already picked up a large           versatile mic), The ADK Hamburg mics (very          breaking that I had.
     diaphragm condenser to record vocals and a         warm), the new Avant's, and some of the old
     standard SM57 dynamic to record electric           Russian Oktava mics are all really good values.     aM.Mag would like to thank Harvey Gerst for
     guitars and snare, what other type of mics;         A friend on one of the forums is making            the great interview. You can check out Indian
     small condenser, omni-pattern, ribbon, etc. do     inexpensive omni mics for around $25 each,          Trail Recording Studio online at
     you think are important to round out a newly       and they work very well. They're called Naiant      www.itrstudio.com. For a great deal on a new
     started microphone collection for recording        mics and our favorite is the MSH-O1 omnis,          mic and a pair of MoreMe headphones call
     a typical band?                                    great for acoustic stuff and drum overheads.        1-877-888-1656 and mention aM.Mag!


     Check Out www.audioMIDI.com/aMMag for the latest new products, reviews, and interviews. To Place An Order Call 877-888-1656
18
                                                                                                    KORE 2                                  Review by Brent Hoover

When KORE was released last year I thought it was a brilliant idea. Probably because I have had a similar idea myself, which was to try and create some
standard by which synth sounds could be categorized by their aesthetic qualities rather than just the broad categories of “Lead” or “Bass”. With the
proliferation of software synthesizers growing at an ever increasing clip, the number of “Bass” sounds was becoming overwhelming. One could imagine
Al Gore showing a PowerPoint slide of Bass sounds flooding most of the lower lying areas of Florida. There needed to be some way to narrow down your
search by what quality of sound you wanted, and have it be across all of your available sounds, not just the sounds in a single synthesizer.

The other features of KORE I had envisioned, although    Thirdly, NI had tried to make the ultimate all-in-one      me a third entirely different color. But my results
I imagine almost anybody who has used a soft-synth       sound design unit and had included an audio inter-         are haphazard, I rarely get exactly the purple I
has thought of this as well, was a control surface       face. Turns out, like Pizza-in-a-cup and PSP movies,       want or even close. KORE allows you to imagine
that would automatically map to the important            while it sounded like a good idea nobody actually          the sound you want and get closer to it more than
parameters of a synth and give visual feedback as        wanted that. And just as well as it didn’t function        any other system I have used.
to what factors they were, at what point they were       great, with high latency values that would have made
currently at, and their range. And lastly was a “sound   it difficult for its much vaulted live use. And it prob-   If you do own or purchase any of the plug-ins upon
laboratory”, where one could combine and layer           ably didn’t help that Steinberg released its almost        which the Integrated Engines are based, then the
synths and effects of different types and manufac-       identical SoundFrame architecture that not only            engine is replaced with the full plug-in and full edit
turers and create your own Frankenstein of a sound       covered synth and effects but entire channel config-       capabilities are available. But for something like
(hopefully not the one from Johnny Winters               urations, loops, etc. And of course SoundFrame also        Reaktor, which for many the plug-in itself would
“Frankenstein”) and save it off as one complete unit     lacked any third-party support, so we’re stuck with        be overwhelming, the engine not only allows you
and use it in your sequencer of choice.                  two identical standards, and nobody using them             access some of the amazing sounds that Reaktor
                                                         except the people who created them.                        can create, but shields you from some of the elab-
And on those promises I think NI could feel that                                                                    orate interfaces of the ensembles.
they completely delivered, unfortunately it turned       Just as a finale to my precursor, I wanted to em-
out to be a little more complicated than everybody       phasize that I really liked KORE and used it until         That’s the big news for KORE 2, out of the box you
(or at least I) had thought. There were more factors     the day that I installed KORE 2. As an avid user of        get NI plug-ins and sounds with no additional
in play than it first seemed.                            NI synths it was a great boon to me, and made all          purchase. The rest of the improvements are what
                                                         the NI synths easier to use and more likely to get         one would expect from a maturing product.
                                                         into the “knob-twisty” part of synths that don’t           My personal favorite is the improved handling of
                                                         lend themselves to creating MIDI control templates.        plug-in scanning. With the original KORE it choked
                                                          When synths can have parameters like “Lips” and           on a lot of the plug-ins I have installed and scanning
                                                         “Danger” as well as “Cutoff” and “Resonance” you           plug-ins was a time consuming process. I ended
                                                         don’t feel like spending the time to map out all the       up having to create a separate plug-in directory
                                                         parameters.                                                for KORE so that I could keep only “KORE-safe”
                                                                                                                    plug-ins in there.
                                                         So having spelled out what KORE was and was not,           The KORE 2 scanning process is much faster and
                                                         what can KORE 2 do to make itself relevant?                smarter, if it doesn’t like a particular plug-in it will
                                                                                                                    still stop, but when restarting it remembers which
                                                         Free Plug-ins                                              plug-ins didn’t work and skips over them, and
                                                                                                                    remembers to skip over them even when rescanning
                                                         Remember all those synths that you needed to buy           for new plug-ins. Also, having it set to rescan at
                                                         before to got any sound? Well now they’re included.        startup could now be enabled because it would
                                                          But before you think it comes with a free copy of         quickly scan and only find new plug-ins rather than
                                                         Komplete let me be more specific, it comes with            starting again from scratch. Oddly enough the
                                                         the “Integrated Engines” of NI Flagship synths:            only plug-ins it didn’t like were all the plug-ins that
                                                         FM8, Kontakt, Absynth, Reaktor, and Massive (Pro           come with Cubase 4 that are Cubase-specific.
                                                         53 is included in both the “Synth” and “Classic”
Firstly, all other soft synth manufacturers did not      Komplete collections but apparently that doesn’t
join hands around the world, stop from developing        buy it moorage on the flagship). Guitar Rig 2 is also
and selling their own products and create “KORE          an Integrated Engine within KORE 2. What
Sounds” for their presets especially when it was         “Integrated Engines” means is that while the sound-
for a product coming from someone they saw as            creating code is there, the full Interface and ability
one of their leading competitors in a business           to edit the synth is not there. So they are sort of
where nobody really gets rich. A lot of promised         “read-only” versions of the synths, with selected
third-party support didn’t appear and people began       parameters for each preset modifiable from the
to perceive that KORE was only of value if you           KORE controller. So you can still tweak, but you
owned either all or at least a lot of Native Instru-     won’t be able to create your own sounds from
ments plug-ins, an idea that became something of         scratch. But KORE comes with 500 sounds that use
a self-fulfilling prophecy.                              these integrated engines, and with the truly diverse
                                                         selection of timbres and synthesis methods that
Secondly, KORE got off to a shaky start as a hard-       these engines provide you are getting a really full
ware unit. I can say from experience that the            spectrum of sounds. And of course, all the KORE
difference between hardware and software manu-           sounds are all categorized to make finding the
facturing is about as large as between skydiving         right sound quick and artistic. And I want to em-
and pantsuits. I hope it won’t upset the lovely          phasize the use of the word artistic here, as opposed
people at NI when I say that the first few off the       to intuitive. Mixing different colors of paints is
boat were of questionable construction. Not cheap        intuitive, no one ever showed me how, and I could
parts, but not well put together.                        clearly see that mixing one color with another gave

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                                                                                                                                                                               19
Nesting Sounds                                             the most effect. So, if you are looking to get that     lers, etc., both because I was already familiar with
                                                           characteristic “wow” effect of a filter sweep you       KORE and because this part of the interface is fairly
The other big improvement is the way that sounds           will only be tweaking right in the filters “power       intuitive. But as far as exploring MultiSounds or
can be combined, stacked, nested, and routed. You          band”. Another cool feature of the range assign-        the various routing objects or anything really
can combine a chain of multiple synth and effect           ment is the ability to assign two parameters to one     exploiting the power of KORE 2, a manual read was
plug-ins into a “MultiSound” and then that Multi-          controller (in itself, cool) but to give them inverse   a must. And here I will have to repeat my own
Sound can then be added into another MultiSound.           ranges so they would work like a DJ crossfader          repeated ding on Native Instruments, their manuals,
It’s hard to overstate the amount of flexibility that      allowing you for example to use it on FX levels so      while serviceable, are subpar compared to their
is available here. Great care has gone into allowing       that one way was all flanger, no chorus and the         products. It always seems like they took their
you to use plug-ins, both third party and built-in,        other side was all chorus, no flanger, rather than      original design spec and changed wherever it says
in any combination you could possibly imagine              having to adjust the 2 parameters separately. I’m       “will do” to “does” and called it a day. They are a
including feedback loops so KORE becomes almost            sure the more creative among you could come up          great reference manual, but as far as getting up
a Meta soft-synth, allowing you to combine synths          with more exciting examples than that.                  and running on a piece of software it can be a
and FX similar to how Reaktor allows you to combine                                                                challenge.
                                                           Installation and Startup
individual modules.                                                                                                The Controller
                                                           The installation was straightforward and utilizes
                                                           what is probably the best challenge and response        I did not have a KORE 2 controller to test but the
                                                           system there is to register and authorize your plug-    changes to the new controller are both small but
                                                           in. The only hitch was there were two installers, one   necessary. Firstly, the audio portion has been removed.
                                                           for the program and controller and one for the           Secondly, the build quality has been beefed up to
                                                           sounds. It didn’t seem like the two were in agreement   make KORE 2 have a more solid feel and higher dura-
                                                           about where the sounds were to be installed and         bility. For those of you with current KORE controllers,
                                                           KORE 2 could not find it own sounds until I pointed     I can tell you that running the new software with the
                                                           it at the directory in Preferences. I am again assum-   old controller is not an issue. A couple of the buttons
                                                           ing that this was a pre-release related bug and am      are renamed, and you get more pedal slots, but
                                                           hoping that it will be fixed by release time. If the    otherwise the KORE controller is fully functional with
                                                           KORE Sounds installer had either asked me, or even      the new software, so people who bought the original
                                                           told me where it was installing the sounds it would     KORE have their investment protected.
                                                           have been a timesaver over hunting over my hard
                                                           drive so that KORE 2 could find itself.                 Conclusion
                                                           Now I began using KORE 2 without the manual,            KORE 2 is a strange beast in that it is really unlike
                                                           something I like to justify by saying that I am         any other product on the market. In many ways,
                                                           testing the intuitiveness of the product, but it’s      if you don’t understand why you would need it, you
Care was also taken to allow flexibility and ease of       really more about wanting to play with my new toy       probably don’t. But if you work with a lot of soft
use during live performance. Using MultiSounds,            right now. This time though I had an excuse since       synths, or just use a few often, I think its value is
it’s possible to recall several channels of synths         there was no included manual, and as far as finding     clear. Creating a perfect environment for selecting,
each routed out different channels, with different         my way around to do anything significant without        perfecting, and creating sounds using an intuitive
group sends and inputs (be they MIDI or audio)             reading the manual it was extremely difficult. I        controller is no small feat and NI have come back
very quickly and without using the mouse. Included         could browse sounds, play sounds, assign control-       and done it again, better.
with the MIDI effects are an arpeggiator and step
sequencer, allowing you to do things like retrigger
a loop every downbeat if running inside or in sync
with another synth, or drive it completely on its
own in some cases completely eliminating the need
for a sequencer live.
Another feature that is great for both live and
studio use is the Sound Variations. Sound Variations
work similar to preset morphing, except that each
preset can store 8 sound variations along with the
preset, in fact all the included KORE Sounds include
8 variations already built in. These variations sit
on a 4x2 grid where you can morph between any
of the variations using either the controller or the
grid in the software. This allows for a fluid, multi-
parameter motion that would not be possible by
using any other modulator. And if you are using
third party plug-ins, or the full version of the NI
plug-ins, you can choose any controllable parameter
to be used in a Sound Variation, so each variation
can be subtle or drastic.
Which leads us to mapping and using the controller.
 Using a MIDI learn or Assign function you can
assign any controllable parameter to one of KORE’s
knobs on one of the User Pages, of which you can
create many. Besides the fact that this automati-
cally stores the MIDI learn or Assign function with
the preset, it also allows a great amount of flexibility
that is not obvious. One of my favorite features is
the ability to assign ranges for a parameter within
which the controller works. So, rather than having
the cutoff knobs cover the entire frequency range,
it can be constricted to just the area where it has


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20
            A-Designs The HAMMER EQ

                                           The AES show recently finished up in New York and there have been some exciting new products announced. AES
                                           stands for Audio Engineering Society and in addition to showing new products, many technical papers on recording
                                           and equipment design are presented at the show. Quite a few boutique and high-end analog manufactures had new
                                           products to announce, as well as some interesting new software plug-ins. Quite a few new DAW updates were also
                                           shown at AES, for more info on those check out the “A Brand New DAW” article in this issue of aM.Mag.

                                           A-Designs Nails It –The HAMMER EQ                                                RME Goes PCIe
                      IK Multimedia ARC    A-Designs has a stellar reputation for producing high quality mic                RME is well known for their high quality audio interfaces, but if you use
                                           preamps and has recently announced a new EQ unit, the HM2EQ                      a laptop and want to use an RME interface the FireFace 800 or 400 was
                                           HAMMER. The HAMMER is a dual mono, three band tube EQ engineered                 your only choices (although, they are good choices). At AES RME introduced
                                           with an ingenious filtering system that allows the even-order harmonics          the HDSPe, a PCIe based card to allow laptop studios with a PCIe slot to
                                           to flow through the 12AT7 tubes filtering out unwanted noise. Peter              connect to the very popular Multiface, Multiface II, Digiface and other
                                           Montessi, the man behind A-Designs, had the following to say about               RME interfaces. The HDSPe will be available in December for $349.
                                           the inspiration behind creating the Hammer; “A-Designs felt that the             Roger Nichols Digital Splits The Signal With SPL-IZER
                                           next progression in equipment was naturally an EQ. The HAMMER is                 The SPL_IZER is a multiband compressor that splits your signal into
                                           a completely original design. We feel that there is nothing else like it         three separate frequency bands so that each band can have independ-
                                           on the market. This box is magic. I bring it into studios and have them          ent compression settings. The SPL_IZER uses a Finite Impulse Response
                                           buss a stereo line through the HAMMER. And instantly it adds magic to            splitter to ensure that no phasing occurs. Multiband compression is
                PreSonus Monitor Station   their best mix. This is without touching any dials or switches or frequencies.   a great way to compress drum tracks and loops as well as stereo
                                           That's why we say there is magic in this box."                                   mixes. One interesting use for multiband compression comes straight
                                                                                                                            from Roger Nichols website, “Vocals are often split into high and low
                                           IK Multimedia Builds An ARC                                                      frequencies, then delay is added only to the higher frequencies. Thus
                                           IK Multimedia recently introduced ARC, or Advanced Room Correction.              the sibilant-rich sounds have echo, while the lower notes do not. If
                                           The ARC system is a microphone/software combo that measures your                 there's a fairly dense instrumental background, this technique avoids
                            RME HDSPe      room’s acoustics and then applies a room equalization correction via             muddying up the midrange - the vocal echoes "float" over the other
                                           a plug-in that you insert on your DAWs master buss. Putting this type            sounds.” The SPL-IZER cost $129.
                                           of tool in the hands of studio owners that might not have the best
                                           acoustical space to mix in could really improve their mixes. Its not             SSL –Roll Your Own SSL Mixer
                                           exactly the cheapest tool, but if you consider the relative cost of hiring       Imagine if you could take just the parts you need out of a world class
                                           an acoustician to measure your space, or how you could easily spend              mixer, rack them al up in a box, and mix. SSL’s X-Rack system is based
                                           the same amount on a nice mic or mic preamp, it makes sense to                   around this idea and they announced two new modules at AES. The
                                           ensure you are hearing the best possible sound in your mix room. ARC             Stereo Bus Compressor Module will make your mixes sound huge.
                                           will sell for $699 and should be available by the time you read this.            Combine it with one of the SSL 4-Input or 8-Input modules and your X-
                                                                                                                            Rack becomes a serious DAW summing device. The new VHD Input Module
                                           iZotope Destroys Noise                                                           is based on the input section of the popular SSL E-Signature Channel.
                                           iZotope is well known for their high-quality signal processing plug-ins          The Variable Harmonic Drive circuit allows you to dial in 2nd and 3rd
                                           (and their extensive online resources on how best to use them). At               harmonic distortion to give your tracks some real flavor and bite.
Roger Nichols         SSL X-Rack System
    SPL-IZER                               AES iZotope introduced RX, a new audio restoration suite. iZotope RZ             Steinberg Updates Cubase 4
                                           is a stand-alone application that includes Hum Removal, Declipper,               Yamaha/Steinberg announced an impressive update for Cubase at AES.
                                           Declicker, Denoiser, Spectral Repair, and Advanced Spectrogram.                  Cubase 4.1 is a free update for Cubase Studio 4 and Cubase 4 users. The
                                           iZotope is developing plug-in versions of RX, but if you purchase the            4.1 update now allows you to import your SEQUEL projects, gives you
                                           stand-alone version of RX now you will get the plug-ins for free once            sidechain inputs for the VST3 plug-ins, supports Music XML file import,
                                           they are released. If iZotope’s past plug-in quality is any indication           contains a new global transpose track, and a whole lot more. One very
                                           RX will be one of the best audio restoration programs out there. RX              cool upgrade is Steinberg’s Studio Connections system. Studio Connec-
                                           is priced at $349.                                                               tions gives you compatibility with Yamaha devices like the Motif XS,
                                                                                                                            allowing you to do a recall of your entire studio of Yamaha hardware.
                                           Pearlman Mics –The Best Sub $1000 Mic Ever Built?                                Yamaha and Steinberg have definitely put some work into creating a
                                           Dave Pearlman is well known in the recording world for his incredible            symbiotic relationship with their hardware and software. For all those
                                           tube based TM-1 microphone. Recently Dave introduced the brand-new,              Cubase AI and LE users out there make sure to check out the aM.Mag
                                           hand-built TM-2 mic The TM-2 uses a 32mm Peluso capsule and a 6AK5               miniDEALs section for a great deal on upgrading to Cubase 4.1!
                                           tube, has both cardioid and omni patterns, and comes with all the case
                  Steinberg Cubase 4.1     candy (handmade Mogami cable, power supply, and shockmout). This                 Submersible Music Keeps The Rhythm
                                           very well could be the best sounding microphone ever created for                 Submersible Music recently announced Drumcore 2.5 and Drumcore
                                           under $1000. Dave Pearlman had the following to say about the reason             LT. Drumcore 2.5 is perfect for musicians looking to add professional
                                           he created the TM-2; “I created the TM-2 as an even more affordable              drummers to their music productions in a simply laid out program
                                           alternative to the TM-1. I kept getting calls to offer a great sounding          that also allows you to manipulate the performance to fit your own
                                           tube mic with a smaller profile so people could get it closer to the             style. Drummers as divers as Sly Dunbar (Bob Marley) and Matt Sorum
                                           subject ( guitars, toms, percussion) as well as being a great vocal and          (Velvet Revolver) are included. Drumcore LT is a free download from
                                           all around mic. The 'U67' type shape is just what they wanted!“                  Submersible Music that is a “lite” version of Drumcore. This allows
                                                                                                                            you to use the incredible DrummerPacks from Submersible Music
                  Submersible Drumcore     PreSonus Monitor Station –Mission Control                                        without having to purchase Drumcore!
                                           Monitoring your mixes on a variety of speakers is a great way to make            TL Audio Fat Track –Track, Sum, And Mix With Tubes
                                           sure your music will translate well regardless if someone is listening           TL Audio makes some great, tube-based analog mixers that have been
                                           back on an ultra-expensive stereo system or a crappy car stereo. Of              used by Coldplay, Gorillaz, and others for tracking, summing, and mixing
                                           course, easily connecting and switching between multiple monitors is             their music. At AES TL Audio announced the Fat Track, which looks to
                                           not always a simple task. PreSonus looks to change that with the new             be an incredible compact mixer. The Fat Track features 2 main tube
                                           Monitor Station. The Monitor Station provides talkback, speaker switching,       preamps for Mic or Line input, a 3-band EQ, balanced inserts, FX
                                           input source switching, and four ultra loud and clear headphone amplifiers       send/return, a tube-stage in the master section, 4 stereo returns (along
                                           delivering everything you need to control your recording environment.            with the individual tube-stage inputs for channels 1 and 2 this allows
                                           Call audioMIDI.com at 1-877-888-1656, mention aM.Mag, and get an exlusive        you to do analog-summing for multiple tracks from your DAW), and a
                      TL Audio Fat Track   deal on the new Monitor Station with 4 Harvey Gerst MoreMe headphones!           host of other features. This looks to be one serious piece of gear!



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           22

				
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