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What is 1986 going to be about? The Sampler? The MIDI mixer perhaps? Will it be a stereo digital reverb for well under £500 or the widespread use of synchronisers, or even a new MIDI standard that solves some of the problems of the present slow speed system?

We must, of course, assume that technology will advance yet another step and bring the price of everything down to an even more affordable level. But what of the creative advances? What do you hope to achieve this year from a musical point of view?

Hi-Tech musical instruments and recording equipment may be the makings of your music but please tell us about it. Are you aspiring to record your favourite movement from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, complete with delicate violin work? Will it be Prelude and Fugue No. 7 by Bach or a snippet of the fast moving William Tell Overture? NO!? Strange, we thought that's exactly what everybody was trying to do with their sampled piano, strings, cello, trumpet, choir and conductor's baton. Just for one moment we thought everyone had decided to finally listen to what the music teacher said many years ago and play classical music. Not that there's anything wrong with classical music, it's just not the music of today, not your rock music or pop music, call it what you like.

Perhaps the problem lies in not being able to sell a soul a disk sample of a sound called 'Bingsplish' or 'Sloshing'. 'Cello' and 'flute' just seem to say it all don't they? But there are those who sell sampled sound disks and provide a demo cassette so you can hear what 'Sloshing' really does sound like. But some people just sample the cassette tape and never buy the actual disk. It's a cruel world sometimes.

On that point, what opinions do you hold concerning copyright infringement of pre-recorded sounds that are 'pinched' and used as the basis of samples? Drop us a line and if we get a varied enough response, we may even use it to form a feature in the magazine.

The point is that surely the music that is being produced with today's instruments and recording equipment should be trying to offer something new sound-wise as well as musically. Never before in the history of the synthesizer have there been instruments available that are capable of such a vast range of sounds and performance options. Never before has it been so cheap to buy recording equipment and effects that allow superb sound quality and creative possibilities.

So why is the music that's being produced not the best there has ever been?

'Talent', 'understanding' and 'ambition' are just a few words which might have something to do with it. Music can only be produced by yourselves, it doesn't come as a free starter pack! Don't be satisfied with copying the sounds and music of successful artists, push yourselves a little further and say something.

In this month's issue we've packed in some more interesting features that are both informative and hopefully educational. Francis Rumsey, for example, starts a new series on the subject of timecode, intended to explain what timecode is and look at the applications of SMPTE at a level that has some relevance to yourselves and not just the technician in a studio maintenance room. The series should lead nicely on to reviews of the SMPTE synchronisers that are to be released over the coming months.

There are few people around who'd dispute the fact that MIDI has changed our industry, but its true effect hasn't yet been witnessed for sure. Only now are we discovering usable practical applications for it outside of its traditional domain of keyboard interfacing. The MIDI mixer I spoke of is with us now - but in a hybrid form (see page 6 of this issue). What is most satisfying to find, as we begin a new year of musical activity, is new technology working with the old technology, currently in the shape of Dynacord's MIDI controllable valve amplifiers (reviewed this month). 'Old' doesn't necessarily equate with 'bad', just as 'new' doesn't always equate with 'good'. And we should never forget that. Always be prepared to judge technology on merit - whatever its age.

Next article in this issue

The Shape Of Things To Come

Sound On Sound - Copyright: SOS Publications Ltd.
The contents of this magazine are re-published here with the kind permission of SOS Publications Ltd.


Sound On Sound - Feb 1986

Donated by: Gavin Livingstone

Editorial by Ian Gilby

Next article in this issue:

> The Shape Of Things To Come

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