One day you're a keyboard player writing songs with an unknown Bradford singer. The next - one of those songs goes to Number One. Phil Ward goes on the road with John Beck, for whom exactly that happened with Tasmin Archer, and experiences the fulfilment of some great expectations.
It's called a studio; it could be called a workstation; but actually it's a serious keyboard. Nicholas Rowland identifies a product with several possible identities and several possible markets. Have Ensoniq weighted in vain?
General MIDI - what is it and where did it come from? Vic Lennard, who is also known as General MIDI having worked his way up from humble Private, explains all with some maps, a codebook and a sharp, pointy stick.
Ian Waugh logs in to a new Mac program that's a virtual CD player and virtually a sampler, allowing you to build your own library of alternatives to that irritating monkey squeak. What you do with your existing CD remote control is your own affair
Meat Beat Manifesto are to music what Andy Warhol was to art - but they've already been famous for longer than 15 minutes. Phil Ward follows them to a Peel session and to their studio in Swindon, and finds that Meat is not, in fact, necessarily murder.
Dom Foulsham continues our series on the digital ins and outs of sampling, and talks to some arch sampling professionals about the tricks of their trade. Discover how to get a convincing crash cymbal; how to break the rules creatively and stay legal; and 20 things to do with a redundant manual. Read it and weep, Jive Bunny
Bob Williams has one of the finest collections of analogue synthesisers in the world, and cherishes them with a care that would make the Science Museum blush. Peter Forrest crosses hill and dale to Cornwall to take a long, loving look, and uncovers a whole network of Moog and Mellotron devotees. Whatever next - 'The Antique Rhodes Show'?
In a career spanning 30 years, including stints with Art Blakey and Miles Davis and a string of hit fusion albums, Lonnie Liston Smith has seen the changing role of the jazz pianist at first hand. In London for a rare live outing, Lonnie talks keyboards while Simon Trask clicks his fingers, shuts his eyes and goes "yeahhh"