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Multitracking Marantz

Long known for their portable stereo cassette recorders, Marantz recently branched out into CD-R (Compact Disc - Recordable) technology, and are now launching themselves into the cassette multitracker market with the snappily-titled PMD740 4-track tape machine.

Looking both distinctive and stylishly professional, the PMD is no half-hearted, half-baked debut. Features include six input channels together with a dedicated stereo submixer input for integrating electronic instruments into tape-based recording, four insert points and an effects buss, two independent headphone outputs, Direct Recording capability from all six channels, track bouncing capability, and sync-code routing using Marantz's exclusive Sync Tone Isolation Circuitry.

The PMD also provides 3-band, semi-parametric EQ on channels one to four, complete with a bandwidth control for the sweepable mid-range. Other features include dbx and Dolby HX Pro noise reduction and four balanced XLR mic inputs.

Retail price in the UK is set at £849.

For more information, contact UK distributors John Hornby Skewes & Co Ltd at (Contact Details).

Organs, Synths And Grooves

Time + Space, the company which helped get the whole sample CD phenomenon off the ground with their Zero-G Datafile series of sample CDs, have their lasers primed and ready for firing with three new offerings which collectively illustrate the breadth of the genre.

First up is the Hammond B3 sample CD from renowned Hammond organist Barbara Dennerlein. In addition to a dozen chromatically-sampled Hammond B3 sounds, with and without Leslie, the CD contains hundreds of unique Hammond B3 organ grooves, riffs, licks and effects - plus, for S1000/S3000 owners, 23Mb of sample data covering both the multisampled B3s and the riffs, complete with keyboard mapping. The CD also comes with an Atari MIDIfile floppy disk containing 15 minutes' worth of completed arrangements. Price of the CD plus disk is £49.95.

The first in a new series of sample CDs from Italy, Sampling 2000 concentrates on providing samples of synth and drum-machine sounds, with over 900 sounds. All sounds were digitally mastered direct from the instruments' audio outputs into SoundTools. Instruments covered include Korg 01/W and Wavestation, Roland D50 and JX8P, E-mu Proteus, Oberheim OBX and Matrix 1000, Sequential Prophet 5, Evolution EVS-1, Yamaha DX7II and SY77, Alesis HR16B and Roland R8. All synth sounds are multisampled where necessary, frequently over the entire keyboard span. Price is £39.95.

Finally, the third and final CD in the Beat Blocks series, Percussion Incognito, concentrates on live percussion, with over 500 loops played in tempos ranging from 50-170bpm. Percussionist Armando Borg uses a wide variety of percussion instruments, including agogos, bongos, cabasa, congas, claves, cowbells, guiros, maracas, pandieros, rain sticks and shekeres.

Time + Space point out that these percussion grooves are more versatile than drum grooves, in that a single pattern can often be dropped into a variety of styles, including house, reggae, soca, techno, calypso, rap and fusion.

Soon to be made available for use in conjunction with the Percussion Incognito CD are DNA Cubase Groove Templates. These are quantise templates which allow the timing of programmed MIDI parts to match those of Borg's playing in the percussion loops on the CD. Price of the CD is £54.95, while the Groove Templates disk will cost £5.

For more information, contact Time + Space at (Contact Details).

Music Maker Up North

Yes, it's that time of year again: on May 15th and 16th the Northern Music Show '93 hits town (Manchester, to be precise). Organised as previously by our very own Music Maker Exhibitions, the Show will take place at the G-Mex Centre, with 101 stands offering the latest in musical hardware, software, accessories and services. There will be plenty of live music demonstrations, while performances from top names in the music business will take place in the Sun Live Music Hall.

The Show will open from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday, with daily tickets costing £5 (children under 14 half-price, £1 off for OAPs. and UB40s). Look out for vouchers offering £1 off the entry price in Friday editions of The Sun.

Ample car parking is available, while the G-Mex Centre is close to rail, bus and tram terminals for those without their own wheels.

The Best of MOT on CD

Korg are now offering a compilation CD of the best sounds from their sound library for the 0, M and T Series synths. Costing just £5, the CD lets you hear the sounds before you buy; what's more, this cost is refundable against the purchase price of any sound card.

Each track on the CD represents one card set consisting of two cards. A total of 25 demonstrations are provided, together with an introduction and an in-depth explanation of how to choose the best sounds for your needs.

For more information, contact Korg (UK) Ltd at (Contact Details).

Erase That CD!

Latest recruit to AMG's Producer Series sample CD range is none other than Erasure's Vince Clarke. The CD, whose working title is the tongue-in-cheek Only If You Have To, will feature all-new material recorded by Vince in his Amsterdam studio. Not surprisingly, given his sonic predilections, the CD will be 100% analogue. Sounds will include the synth drums and percussion used on Erasure's Chorus album, while the CD will also include a selection of specially-created loops.

Very generously, Vince will be donating his worldwide royalties from the sale of the CD to charity.

The CD should be available sometime in June, while a CD ROM version is planned for later release.

For more information, contact AMG at (Contact Details).

Consuming Interests

This year's Consumer Electronics Show, which is taking place at Olympia from September 16th-20th, is set to include a new event designed to present today's entertainment technology in a new way.

Described by its organisers, News International Exhibitions, as "an exciting interactive format designed especially for the public", Live '93, as the event is called, will embrace all the products of contemporary entertainment technology - hi-fi, TV, video, home computers, in-car stereo, CDI, Camcorders, CDs, video games, radio, cable, satellite... Companies involved will include Sony, Technics/Panasonic, JVC, Sharp, Sanyo, Pentax, Atari, Commodore, Amstrad and Acorn. Where musical instrument 'entertainment technology' fits into the scheme of things is far from clear - but, with the current generation of GM/GS keyboards and modules together with MIDI Songfiles making hi-tech musical instruments ever more accessible and, well, entertaining, there must surely be a place for it.

The organisers promise a spectacle of "style, sound, photoshoots, demonstrations, competitions, game shows, tomorrow's technology, live TV and radio broadcasts, premiere screenings, seminars, TV out-takes, plus a whole host of music, media and sports celebrities." What's more, they're projecting attendance figures of 100,000 to 125,000 (nothing like being cautious...).

If you want to find out more about Live '93, News International Exhibitions can be contacted at (Contact Details).


While Commodore's powerful new Amiga 4000 030 computer is providing leading-edge multimedia capabilities for around the £1000 mark (see last month's Incoming Data), Silica Systems are making the company's mass-market Amiga A500 and A600 machines available at their lowest ever price thanks to a new Summer promotional offer.

The standalone A500 with 1Mb memory will retail for a mere £199 including VAT, the 2Mb version for only £229 (that's just £30 for the extra 1MB). Included in these prices is Silica's Zool software pack, worth £127, which consists of three games and a word processor package.

Also available in this special offer is the Cartoon Classic pack, at £229 inc VAT. For the games fans this includes The Simpsons, Captain Planet and Lemmings! Also part of the pack are GFA Basic and Photon Paint. The total cost of the software in this pack is £265 - but you get it all free with the computer.

The A600 standalone with 1Mb will cost only £249 including VAT, the 2Mb version just £279 (again, only £30 more for the extra Mb). The A600, too, will come with a free Zool pack.

Silica's offer is expected to run through till early Autumn. The Amigas will be available through the company's shops in Central London, Sidcup and Southend, and from their Mail Order Division.

Silica spokesperson Andy Leaning comments "This is a great opportunity for 8-bit users looking to upgrade to an Amiga." Indeed, there's never been a better (as in cheaper) time to invest in an Amiga.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that Atari are also in the process of slashing prices on their ST machines as the Falcon comes online - and they, too, are aiming at computer users who have yet to upgrade from their old 8-bit machines.

All in all, for musicians thinking of taking the plunge into computer-based sequencers, notation, editor/librarians and the like, now is an ideal time to pick up machines which have been doing sterling service in the hi-tech music world for the past six or seven years - and still have plenty of life in them.

For more information on Silica's promotion, contact them at (Contact Details).

Revving Up The 32

New from Italian company Generalmusic is the Turbokit upgrade for their S2 and S3 workstation synths. This is an easy 'plug-in' option which provides 500 ROM sounds, 64 oscillators (giving 32-note polyphony), new sound edit modes including graphic waveform editing, and new sequencer functions including a pattern sequencer. Samples can now be loaded directly off Akai sample library disks, and there is an optional static RAM expansion for future upgrades.

For more information contact UK distributors Key Audio Systems Ltd at (Contact Details).

Fostex For Hire

Hampstead-based music company Studiohire have been appointed dealers in Fostex equipment by Fostex (UK), and now stock the latest range of Fostex equipment for sale. They also carry the entire range for hire, allowing customers to try the equipment out before buying.

As an introductory offer, Studiohire will deduct one day's hire charge from the purchase price if you subsequently buy. This offer applies to the entire range of Fostex products, from the X28H cassette multitracker to the G24S multitrack.

For more information, contact Studiohire at (Contact Details).


There's strength in numbers, so the saying goes - and Boundary Row Studios, Node Recording Services, Studio 101a, Beatfarm Recordings, David Ferguson Music and Hooj Studios evidently agree, for they've come together to form the Boundary Recording Complex.

Collectively they are able to provide a 'one-stop' service offering two 24-track recording studios, a 64-channel MIDI-based production studio, an ADAT digital programming suite, a 16-track audio-visual suite and a Sound Tools digital editing room - all completely integrated by means of tie lines.

Recent clients of the new complex have included Rising High Records, the BBC, Channel 4, Guerilla, Pulse-8 Records, Big Audio Dynamite II, Gwen McCrae, Bizarre Inc and Mute Records - an intriguingly diverse collection which no doubt reflects the diverse range of facilities on offer at the complex.

For more information, contact studio manager Paul Shulton at (Contact Details).

Low Profile

Last month we ran a news item, under the heading 'Rising Profile', about the Patchking generic editing software for the ST from new Manchester-based software house Waterfall Digital. It has since transpired that the company have decided against the direct-selling approach indicated in the press release, and are in the process of negotiating a distribution deal for the software.

Consequently, Patchking is not available at the moment - but, claim the company, when it does finally surface it should be "the most advanced MIDI editing software available bar none." Can your MIDI instruments bear the wait?

Watch this space for further information as and when it becomes available. In the meantime, apologies for any confusion and inconvenience caused; normal service will be resumed as soon as possible as soon as possible as soon as...

Brixton Clinic

The Brixton Exchange Mart music shop in south London will be holding a MIDI Music & Software clinic in-store on Saturday 22nd May. Experts from Zone Distribution and Roland UK will be on hand to give advice and demonstrations, and there will be special price reductions for those attending the clinic.

For more information, contact BEM at (Contact Details).

From ABC To Z(oom)

ABC Music have bought up the entire stock of Zoom's 9001 multi-effects processor, and are offering the units for sale at £199 each (retail was previously £249). For a limited period they're also throwing in the power supply (worth £17) free of charge.

Effects offered by the 9001 include reverbs, gates, delays, level limiting, EQ, chorus, flanging, pitchshift and exciter - plus the more, er, unique 'wave', 'robot voice' and 'ambience'.

For more information, contact ABC Music at (Contact Details).

Planetary Invitation

London-based independent label Tongue & Groove Records in conjunction with Time Out magazine, the London Arts Board and the London Borough Grants Unit is inviting unsigned artists/musicians/producers living or working in the London orbital area to submit original tracks in a London street music style for entry into a new competition.

Planet London, as the competition is called, aims to both celebrate and reflect the capital's musical diversity and up-and-coming musical talent. Funk, soul, reggae, jazz, world, folk, rap and fusion are all acceptable - but rock and hardcore, it seems, are out.

Ten acts of varying styles will be chosen by a distinguished panel of DJs, journalists, producers and artists (so far to include DJ Paul Oakenfold and jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan). The winning acts will then go on to contribute a track each to a Planet London compilation album to be released in October of this year (with international distribution through Revolver).

In addition to the valuable record exposure, the winners will receive a share in the profits from the album sales (contracts will be prepared by the Musicians' Union), will take part in the press launch, and will gain live exposure via a Planet London tour. There will also be publicity via Time Out, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

Applicants should send a high-quality recorded cassette, two tracks max, clearly labelled with name, address and phone number, to: (Contact Details). For more information, contact the label at this address, or (Contact Details).

The deadline for entries is May 28th 1993 - so get busy!

MIDI In The Limelite

Hands On MIDI Software, the Portsmouth-based company already well known for their MIDI Songfiles (which are now fully compatible with GM/GS, incidentally), are venturing into hardware with the 8-channel Limelite MIDI Lighting Controller.

As its description suggests, the Limelite lets you control its lighting system from MIDI data - opening up all sorts of interesting possibilities. Each lighting channel can be faded, dimmed, strobed, chased or pulsed under direct real-time control from your MIDI sequencer, using note-on and velocity information to select channel together with light intensity.

Limelite's specification includes eight function modes, 32 intensity levels, 50 preset Scenes, 30 preset MIDI-to-light-channel assignments, 16 preset Chase sequences, Strobe mode - even a preset Ambient lighting mode, which apparently is intended to provide the lighting level between songs. The system fits into a 2U 19" casing, with all the connections on the back and large positive-action switches on the front.

So that you can program a lighting set in your bedroom without having to set up the full Limelite paraphernalia, Hands On have also developed Litebar, a miniature 8-channel lighting setup built into a 1U 19" case (sitting atop the Limelite in the accompanying photograph).

Limelite retails for £450. A full lighting rig, consisting of Limelite, Litebar, eight Parcans and Par 56 bulbs, two lighting stands, two T-bars and all necessary cables (even a MIDI cable), is available for £999.95. Hands On are also throwing in a demo disk containing MIDI Files designed to test out the rig.

For more information, contact Hands On MIDI Software at (Contact Details).

Apollo Launch

Following the unfortunate demise of Glasgow venue The Apollo and its recording studio last year due to water damage, Apollo Recording has now reopened the studio at 7 Garth Street, in the basement of Glasgow's newest musical instrument shop Merchant City Music.

The new studio, which provides an integrated tape/disk digital recording environment, is the first of its kind in Scotland. A Mac Quadra running Cubase Audio is augmented by two Alesis ADATs and two Akai S1100s, while effects processors providing true digital in/outs (Roland R880 x 2 and Roland E660) complete the picture. The studio also boasts the first Amek Einstein Super 'E' mixing console in Scotland, complete with Supertrue automation.

Apollo Recording has recently scored its first Top 40 single credit with TTF's New Emotion EP, while other recent work has included dance singles for Analog Alliance, Suburban Delay, Ultrasonic and Damian.

For more information, contact studio partners Calum Maclean and Andy Haldane on (Contact Details).

The Handbook Of Recording

Now available from the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) is The Handbook Of UK Recording and Duplicating 1993, a new publication which takes over from the annual APRS Guide. The Handbook provides key information on APRS members, covering studios, post-production and duplicating facilities together with producers, and includes a reference section together with topical editorial features.

The new publication comes in a new, ringbound format utilising looseleaf colour pages with tabbed section dividers, making it easily updateable.

Costing £7.50 (plus £1.50 post and packing in the UK), The Handbook can be obtained direct from the publishers, APRS Ltd, at (Contact Details).

The Northern Touch

Touchwood Audio Productions is a new Leeds-based production company offering a range of professional musical services - their motto is 'From sampling to soundtracks: Touchwood have the answer'.

Based at their newly-opened Touchwood studios, just five minutes from the city centre, the company will take on music composition, production and recording (including jingles, voice-overs and backing tracks), music technology training and consultancy, studio and MIDI system design, and remixing and MIDI pre-production. Equipment in the studio includes a Tascam M3500 32-channel console, a Tascam MSR-16S multitrack, Quad amps and Tannoy/JBL monitoring.

For more information, contact Andy or Bruce at (Contact Details).

SLAM ming Samples

Intrinsic Technology's SLAM Akai sampler and sample CD librarian for the Atari ST has now been reduced in price from £89 to a mere £25 - a price breakthrough which has been made possible, say the company, by repackaging and volume sales.

SLAM is also now Falcon-compatible, with the exception of the direct Akai disk-reading feature available in the Atari version - and apparently there are no plans to include this feature in future versions. The company are, however, making an increasing number of sample CD templates available.

Soon to be released is SLAM Pro, a suite of programs consisting of the original SLAM, a SLAM desk accessory, an S9xx parameter editor and four sample disks. Upgrade paths will be made available for individual parts of the suite, which are also available separately.

An upgrade to the latest version of SLAM for existing users is available for £7, on return of one of the original program disks.

For more information, contact Intrinsic Technology at (Contact Details).

Emagic Update Logic

The first update for Emagic's Notator Logic software running on the Mac has arrived, in the form of V 1.2 software. New features include enhanced conversion of Notator SL files to Logic format, implementation of MIDI Machine Control, editable slurs, editable crescendi and decrescendi, an Arrange Alias function, an alphanumeric search function, and support for Sample Cell.

The update is free to all registered users of Notator Logic, and will be mailed directly. Existing users should therefore make sure their program is registered with Sound Technology in order to get this and further upgrades.

For more information, contact Sound Technology plc at (Contact Details).

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Beck To The Future

Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Music Technology - May 1993

News by Simon Trask

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