|Music Technology - March 1989|
As musical technology makes the process of writing, recording and performing music more precise, the question has to be asked: how perfect do we want our music?
Stabilant 22 - Stanley Kubrick's new sci-fi epic, a miracle cure for AIDS or merely the latest brand of shaving foam to be found at Rita Fairclough's "Cabin"? This and more in this month's Newsdesk.
"Who are the DemoTakes?", demands one reader; "Where do I buy some sounds for my Super Jupiter?", enquires another, "Ambisonics and art!" cries a third - their voices (and yours?) in MT's readers' letters pages.
Competing with the flexibility of computer-based recording systems is a problem for a dedicated sequencer, but Roland's latest MC500 software update makes it as competitive as ever. J Eshleman begs for MRC.
Software for IBM PC and compatibles
As scorewriting software increases in popularity, it increases in variety - if you're using an IBM PC and you're on a tight budget, Songwright could be for you. Ian Waugh scores the wright stuff.
The machines that stole the musicians' feel from your music are the same machines that you can now use to restore it - once you know how. Travis Charbeneau investigates the subtleties of the human touch.
Frankfurt Musikmesse 1989
Rain, sub-zero temperatures and sleazy hotels - who'd go to Frankfurt if it wasn't for the trade show? Simon Trask finds more than warmth and shelter at the Musikmesse.
Take four musicians with a love of acoustic instruments, a fascination for high technology and some considerable talent, and you've got Frazier Chorus. Louise Swann and Stephen Hillier listen to songs from the English coast.
MIDI Performance Effect
The arpeggiator is still regarded by many as "the poor man's sequencer", but Oberheim may be about to change that with a small grey box called Cyclone. Simon Trask blows hot and cold.
Software for the Atari ST
A new sequencer program for the Atari ST from British company Hollis Research sets out to be powerful and friendly without breaking the bank. Ian Waugh reckons it's on the right track (man).
The question "can computers write music" has never been more important than it is in 1989; what is an algorithmic composition program, and will it ever replace the human composer? Ian Waugh composes himself.
The originator of acid house claims the secrets of good music are feel and emotion rather than a Roland Bassline and an Akai sampler. Simon Trask gets in the mood.
Winter NAMM 1989
Californian sunshine, sea and sand - with all this on offer, why should MT's intrepid reporters want to visit a trade show in Anaheim? Bob "El Bobo" O'Donnell, Chris "El Macho" Meyer and Dan "La" Rue have the answer.
Software for the IBM PC
Generic sample editors have been giving Atari ST users a lead in sample editing for a while; now IBM PC users have the chance to get ahead. Dennis Miller has a vision.
After carving a career for themselves with their unique brand of anarchic funk, Shriekback have decided the time has come for a change. Barry Andrews tells David Bradwell about the importance of loving musical equipment.
Digital Reverb Unit
Digital reverberation technology is recognised for making reverb units cheap, but the same technology means a little more money buys a lot more power. Vic Lennard reflects on the R880.
A course called Soundscape can teach you all about Contemporary Music and Technology; the right piece of music will win you a place on that course - in MT's exclusive competition.
Eight-track reel-to-reel recorder
As 8-track tape recording takes its first steps onto cassette, Fostex introduce another revolutionary idea: the reel-to-reel tape deck with a detachable control panel. Vic Lennard does it from a distance.
Digital Space Echo
When Roland made the most popular tape echo unit in the world they called it Space Echo - now they've revived it in digital form. Gordon Reid listens to echoes from the past.
If you are a devotee of Yamaha's DX27, Roland's D50 or Casio's CZ1, there are patches for your synth in this month's Patchwork pages - if another synth is your passion why not make it a feature next month?
Software for the Atari ST
Coupled with its success, the digital parameter access-editing of Kawai's K1 synthesiser has made it an obvious target for software editors - like these from Dr Ts, Soundbits, Drumware and Steinberg. Vic Lennard looks on.