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# July  2013  

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AYOBA MUSIC MAG

Inside feature’s:  Ashton  Abel,  Phil  Marwood,  Jules  Cheng,  De  Mogul  SA,  Boss  DT-­‐108,  Pro  tools   tips,  Best  studios  in  the  world  and  much  more….  


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Content:                                                                                                                                                                   4.  Phil  Marwood                                                                                                                                         8.  Mac  Book  Pro                                                                                                                                           15.  JBL  Everest  DD66000                                                                                                             22.  Charles  Pepin                                                                                                                                       24.  Ashton  Ables                                                                                                                                           26.  Frederic  MFSB  Messent                                                                                                     28.  Boss  GT-­‐108                                                                                                                                           30.  De  Mogul  SA                                                                                                                                         33.  Super-­‐X  Pro  CX  3400                                                                                                             36.  Sony  Creative  Software                                                                                           39.  VOX  AMPhono  AC30                                                                                                               40.  Audience  AU24  SE  Phono  Cables                                                                                  

Miya M. G. AKA Dj Tebza Editor of Ayoba Music Magazine also Owner at Ayoba Music Radio And Ayoba Entertainment Record Label. The magazine focuses on House Music, Deejay's and producers, Hot Clubs to go to, Producing Programs, Deejaying and Studio Equipment National and international, South Africa and its history with House Music. Powered by  Ayoba  and  GanyaniEntertainment                             www.ayobaentertainment.webs.com                                 www.twitter.com/ayobamusicmag                                       www.twitter.com/ayobaent                                                         www.twitter.com/DjTebzaSA                                         Marketing  and  Artist  Manager  at  Ganyani   Entertainment                                                                       www.djganyani.co.za                                                                                         www.ganyanientertainment.co.za                                                                                 tebza@djganyani.co.za                                                         ayobamusicmag@gmail.com                                                                 ayoba.ent@gmail.com                                                                             miyamg@gmail.com     623B  Ndlovu  Road,  Zone  5,  Meadowlands,  Soweto,   1852,  Gauteng,  South  Africa    

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1. Please tell me a little about yourself? Who is Phil Marwood?

I was born on Toronto Canada. I'm a proud papa of two beautiful kids, husband to an amazing wife, and a Producer and DJ. 2. When did your career start? I started playing the piano at a very early age. I learned to play by listening to my older brother practice at home and them jumping in and playing by ear. To my brother's amazement I was playing his Royal Conservatory of Music level 6 compositions at age 7. Not entirely sure when it "officially" started but I can remember when I was first exposed to the Dj culture. I was 12 years old and my older brother's friend Jeff was a Dj. We were at his house one day and he was mixing the James Bond theme with a breakbeat record and I almost lost my mind! I immediately went home and took apart my parents stereo and convinced my mom to buy me a Realistic mixer from the local Radio Shack. A year later and I was Dj'ing for my brother's frat parties on weekends at the University of Toronto. As cool as it was at the time, in retrospect probably not the best environment for a 13 year old :) 2.1 How did you get your start in the music business? I was DJ'ing every weekend while in college and started experimenting with production in 2002. Heavy influences in the early days were 808 state, MAW, Green Velvet, Todd Terry, Daft Punk… I launched my music label Soundtrack Recordings in 2009 where I release the majority of my music. I've been fortunate to have met some amazing Dj/producers who dig my sound which translated into my music being signed to Deeper 4    


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Shades Recordings, United Music Records, Mixed Signals Music & Soul Sun Soul Music. I'm very excited for my upcoming releases: a remix I did for Deep Forest's classic Sweet Lullaby as well as another release coming out on Tribe Records later this summer! 2.2 How had the internet changed your relationship with and to music and the industry? I embrace change. The internet has brought me closer to those who love what I love… MUSIC! It's helped me connect with many great people and producers that inspire me. Not to mention some amazing vocalists that I would have otherwise never met if not for the internet - such as Yoliswa and my partner in crime Sandra C. 3. which countries have you visited through being booked and which one is your favourite? Miami's WMC is always a favourite. But I think the most fun I've had Dj'ing would have been years ago in Ottawa Canada at the legendary Kosmic events - a massive and visually stunning event put on by the architecture students at Carlton University. I would of course love to visit South Africa! 4. Do you use loops or prefer to program your beat from single hits? I prefer to program my own beats and loop them as needed. I don't have the time or patience to search for cool sounding loops. It's quicker for me to do it myself and it definitely allows me to have more control over my sound and creativity. 5. What is the key ingredient in a track? breakdown? Style of production? Bassline? It really depends on what you want your track to be. Yes, style of production can help create an identity to your sound… I don't purposely set out to maintain a certain "sound" when I produce. I just write what I like in the moment. If my music has elements that make it identifiable as song of mine, so be it. I'm ok with that :) 6. When building a track how do you normally work? Do you start with the drum and build from that? If i'm completely starting without a thought in my head then yes, I start by making a beat. But if I have a melody or a combination of chords in mind then I lay that down first and build around it.

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7. Do you mainly use analog or digital soft synth sources? Do you think analog makes a different? Mainly digital. My analog gear is just decoration at the moment. I turn everything on anyway because I like the blinking lights. LOL. 8. Any advice on monitoring? Quiet? Loud? Do you prefer flat and boring Speakers, headphones or Big, Phat and chunky monitors? I switch between my M-Audio BX8a studio monitors and my Honda factory car stereo. Seriously, I like the raw sound in my car - it tells the truth. My advise would be to monitor your mix not blasting it too loud. If you can hear all your sounds and instruments at a low volume then you're o.k. 9. what are the biggest barriers new producers face? I guess it would have to be getting good exposure. If the music is good, it can still be hard get it into the right hands. My experience has taught me that being courteous, polite, and straight to the point can determine weather or not your music gets an honest listen. 10. How important do you think it is to have your music mastered commercially? Can you do it yourself as effectively and what tools would you recommend? I prefer to have my music mastered by a dedicated mastering engineer. It just sounds better, saves a lot of time, and they have all the right gear. 11. What do you believe is the secret to your success as a producer? There really is no secret. It's a passion and a part of who I am. My family and friends deserve as much if not more of the credit for supporting me over the years. Managing a family and a music carrier is not easy. I had to find a way to balance my priorities. I love being a husband and a dad and I love music so I had to learn how to work (produce) fast if I wanted to continue having the best of both worlds. Learning the ins and outs of my tools


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(DAW, Software Instruments etc…) was essential for me to maximize my efficiency in the short time I spend in the studio. 12. Any advice for the aspiring producers out there? I definitely think learning an instrument such as piano or guitar is a real plus. A solid foundation in music and an open mind to music from the past and present, and genres from jazz to rock to techno… It's all food for the brain. Also, I think producers can sometimes get fixated on trying to make their music sound like what they think it should sound like rather then what they can unleash from within their own potential. Trust yourself, do you own thing, and let the music speak for you...  

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Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro Review By Jerry Jackson , NotebookReview Editor

The new 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro brings a lot of new features to the table from the previous generation. Users now get a large battery that gives pretty amazing life, a better display, faster processor, FireWire, SD-card slot, and best of all a lower starting price. Getting more for less seems to be the trend during this slow economy, so is there any reason not to buy the new 13" MacBook Pro? Read our full review to find out. Build and Design The 13.3" MacBook Pro is very sleek and classy, which is what we have come to expect from Apple. The design is sharp with the unibody chassis showing no panel lines or breaks except on the bottom for the huge panel that covers the internals. Apple gives us a very simple interface with little clutter (and ports) turning what is usually a mindless appliance into a work of art. To further simplify the design they switched to an internal battery for this model, instead of having a cover and release bar like in the previous revision. 8    


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Build quality is excellent thanks to the very strong and rigid unibody chassis that is machined out a solid block of aluminum. Unless you were going to clamp the MacBook Pro in a vise and try to bend it, you can't really find any flex anywhere on the main half of the notebook. The screen cover does flex slightly under strong pressure, but with something that thin it was expected. Without any plastic panels, except at the screen hinge, there are no parts to squeak or creak under normal use. Outside of a few rugged models I can't think of a single notebook that has a stronger chassis than the unibody

MacBooks. Normally simple upgrades such as swapping in a faster hard drive or upgrading the system memory (or changing the battery) take a few additional steps on the new 13.3" Macbook Pro. To access user-serviceable components you must buy a precision Phillips head screwdriver, and remove 10 screws around the perimeter of the notebook. With the cover off you get access to the battery, hard drive, optical drive, and tightly stacked system memory. Once you overcome the fear of ripping off the bottom of your new shiny MacBook Pro, upgrading the components isn't that bad. The only problem that might come up is going against the recommended advice from Apple to not disconnect the main battery when swapping out components. Usually you want to unplug AC and the battery from notebooks before you change the RAM or hard drive to prevent damage.  

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Screen and Speakers The screen on the MacBook Pro is average compared to other glossy panels, and has the downside of having the highly reflective glass layer over the LCD. This increases the amount of reflection from other objects, including you sitting right in front of the notebook. While you do adjust to it after a while, it can still be annoying. Pictures and movies look great thanks to the glossy surface and a healthy 60% bump in color gamut over the previous generation MacBook, which gives vibrant colors and deep blacks. Overall brightness is excellent for viewing in brightly lit rooms like in an office building or lecture hall. If you were able to find a spot of shade you could also use it outdoors as long as you find a strategic position away from any glare. Viewing angles are average for a TN-panel LCD, with colors starting to show signs of inversion when titled 20-25 degrees forward or back. Horizontal viewing angles are much better, with colors staying accurate at steep angles, right up until the point where reflections overpower screen. The speakers sound weak compared to other notebooks, with little bass or midrange sound. The enclosed position of the speakers doesn't help with stereo separation, so it ends up sounding like one mono speaker. For enjoying some iTunes music or watching a movie headphones are the best option. The MacBook Pro also supports digital audio out through the headphone jack, so hooking it up to a stereo for surround sound is another option you could go with. Keyboard and Touchpad The 13" MacBook Pro offers a full-size Chicletstyle keyboard that is fully backlit for typing where overhead light might not be the best. While Sony originally created this style of keyboard, I think Apple really perfected it and made the better version. The keyboard is comfortable to type on and easy to transition to if you are used to typing on a standard notebook keyboard with tighter key spacing. Individual key action is smooth with less than average pressure required to activate each key. Key noise is low, with a smooth almost-muted click when pressed. If you enjoy stealth typing, look no further. The backlight is nice even when your room isn't completely dark. If you are not used to an Apple keyboard, it makes it easier to spot keys since everything is lit up. The backlight is also fully adjustable, to be brighter when the room is brighter, and dimmer when you don't need the keys blindingly-bright in a pitch black room. 10    


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One trade-off to the shape of the unibody MacBook Pro is the sharp edges around the perimeter. The palmrest on most notebooks have a slightly rounded or sloped edge for the front of the palmrest, whereas the MacBook Pro is a perfectly flat surface with a sharp edge. If you normally hang your wrists off the edge like I do, one thing you notice over time is the edge digging into your wrist. If you have small hands this might not be a big deal, but for someone like me it gets painful quick. This is just another example of form having a higher priority than function. The touchpad is a large multi-touch surface with no separate touchpad buttons. The clicking action is through a clicker button under the touchpad, which allows the entire surface to "click". If you are used to other touchpads, it takes a while to get used clicking the surface itself, instead of a button below it. In OS X the touchpad sensitivity is excellent, offering no lag on the default sensitivity settings. Contrast this with Windows, where the driver support doesn't give you the same fluid experience. Movement is choppy and over-sensitive, where the cursor will sometimes release an object middrag or take many tries to double click. Another problem we ran into is the touchpad sometimes detected a slight increase in fingertip pressure as a double click, opening applications when moving over a list in the start menu. None of these problems happened within OS X. Ports and Features The new 13" MacBook Pro offers two USB ports, one mini-DisplayPort, LAN, and the return of FireWire 800. While eSATA is generally the best when it comes to fast external storage, more Mactargeted storage devices offer FireWire from the long standing Apple support of the standard. The Macbook Pro also offers a headphone jack and a new SD-card slot, bringing it to the same level that most PC's have been at for a number of years. The most notable feature on the MacBook Pro is a handy battery gauge mounted on the side of the notebook. Pressing the button lights up a number of eight LED's showing the current charge level of the battery. This is a handy feature if you are thinking about grabbing the computer before you head out the door without an AC adapter ... just in case the battery is actually dead.

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Performance System performance is excellent, even with the NVIDIA 9400M integrated graphics. While most Intel integrated graphics options have greatly reduced performance compared to dedicated options, NVIDIA has broken that trend with the 9400M. With an average 3DMark06 score of more than 2,100 3DMarks, it is comparable to low-end dedicated options and can handle previous generation games with some tweaking of the resolution and detail settings. In our test of the game Portal, the 13" MacBook Pro delivered 38-42 frames per second (FPS) at 1280x800 resolution on high settings looking through a single portal. Looking through no portals the framerate would be as high as 55FPS, and if you were looking through two it would drop down to about 22-23FPS. Outside of gaming performance the system handled 720P and 1080P HD movie decoding with ease, perfect for a home theatre hub with a miniDisplayPort to HDMI adapter. While we didn't see any significant slowdowns related to the 5400rpm hard drive in our review model, upgrading to a 7200rpm drive would decrease boot and application load times. Battery impact should be minimal, but you will probably see a drop of 15-30 minutes. One interesting hard drive related quirk we noticed with the new MacBook Pro was the drive was working on SATA-150 mode only. Some of our forum members are experiencing this problem as well, which you start to see after you upgrade to a fast SSD that is capable of pushing more than 150MB/s. It is too early to say if this is a hardware or software bug, but we are leaning towards a software problem. 12    


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Heat and Noise Heat output is always a touchy subject when it comes to the newer aluminum-body Apple notebooks. When under stress the entire system acts as one huge heatsink, making it very unfriendly for your lap in those conditions. Under normal daily activity the MacBook Pro stays relatively cool, shedding heat into the air quite well, keeping the body cool to the touch. Fan noise under these conditions is non-existent. One situation that warmed up the notebook considerably was installing Windows Vista through BootCamp. The back section of the notebook, bottom, and keyboard had recorded temperatures as high as 115F. Unlike warm plastic, the aluminum body was quick to transmit this excess heat to your hands or legs making things quite unpleasant. Thankfully it was only during the installation that we saw temperatures get that high, but if you were gaming for a few hours or encoding lots of video you might experience the same thing. Below are two temperature readings taken from the 13" MacBook Pro during our tests. One shows how hot it can get while running Portal for 20 minutes, and the other shows what it is like under normal non-stressful conditions. Battery Battery life was excellent ... even when running Windows Vista where MacBooks tend to have less-than-impressive battery life. The 58Wh battery is similar in capacity to most 6-cell batteries, but the times we saw were in line with notebooks having larger 9-cell extended batteries. In OS X with the backlight set to about 70%, wireless active, and the hard drive set to never turn off we found the 13" MacBook Pro to last 7 hours and 59 minutes. With the same testing conditions in Bootcamp, the MacBook Pro stayed on for 5 hours and 1 minute, still respectable for a 13" notebook, but far from optimal. Apple driver support inside Windows leaves much to be desired--making the notebook consume far more power than it should. It appeared the lower power states of the processor were disabled, keeping system power consumption between 12-13 watts for the length of the test. Another problem that kept recurring is the keyboard backlight wouldn't stay off. Under OS X you can completely turn off the backlight, but in Windows it is forced into automatic mode. You can't adjust the brightness of the keyboard until the computer detects less-than-optimal lighting conditions, then when you do it completely forgets the setting minutes later when another shadow is cast over the keyboard. Bottom line is if you want longer battery life for the MacBook Pro, keep using OS X unless Apple corrects this problem with an update.

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Conclusion The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has many strengths that make it a good notebook you should consider buying. It gets excellent battery life while running OS X, it can game on integrated graphics, its screen looks excellent, and it has fantastic build quality. With that said its all-aluminum design causes heat to be quickly transmitting into your skin acting as a huge heatsink, driver support inside Windows isn't the best, and the sharp edges of the palmrest can be painful to lean your wrists across. For its intended market most people won't care about the Window's driver problems and the substantial increase in battery life from the previous model is worth the internal battery. Overall if you can get past some of its design quirks it is a great notebook with a feature set that is hard to beat. 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro Specifications: Mac OS X v10.5.7 (9J3032) Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz (3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz frontside bus) 2GB 1067MHz DDR3 SDRAM 160GB 5400rpm SATA hard disk drive 13.3" glossy widescreen TFT LED backlit display (1280 x 800) NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics (256MB of DDR3 shared memory) 8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) iSight webcam AirPort Extreme WiFi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) Mini DisplayPort, Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports (480Mbps), FireWire 800, Audio out and microphone in, SD-Card reader Dimensions : 0.95" x 12.78" x 8.94" (H x W x D) Weight: 4.51 pounds Integrated 58-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery 60W MagSafe power adapter with cable management system

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JBL Everest DD66000 Got £44,000(R665 286,51)($66 959) burning a hole in your pocket?

The Everest DD66000 is JBL's ultimate state-of-the-art hi-fi loudspeaker, a magnificently massive monumental affair that effectively doubles up the already dramatic K2s. Indeed, if asked to nominate my all-time favourite among the thousand or so speaker systems that i've tried over the past twenty something years, I'd definitely pick the Everest's predecessor, the JBL K2 S9800. I was, therefore, unlikely to say no when asked whether i'd like to review a pair of DD66000s for the christmas holiday. A quick Google, however, indicated some inevitable practical problems. This 'flagship' model is not only very expensive, it's also extremely heavy. Weight aside, it's also exceptionally large, though not unduly tall, while the front-to-back depth is surprisingly small. It's also quite beautifully styled, in the way the large midrange horn is integrated into the front and in the classy veneered bass enclosure that forms a continuous curve around the sides and back. The result is very elegant and not unlike a large and beautifully made item of furniture. Construction is complex throughout to combat any possible colorations. Non-Conformity Nostalgia plays a part in an unusual shape, which harks back to the very successful 1950s Hartsfield corner horn design. This really put JBL on the Japanese audiophile map and Japan remains the major market for JBL's high-end Project designs.  

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A more prosaic and fundamental reason for this speaker's width lies in a driver line up that places two 380- millimetre bass drive units side by side across the front. These sit below a wide, but vertically quite narrow midrange horn (giving 100- degree by 60degree directivity), which in turn sits below a tiny horn-loaded supertweeter (60-degree by 30-degree directivity). That unusual collection of drivers and their disposition certainly doesn't conform to any current US 'high end' stereotype, but to JBL's history, which goes back to the 1920s. It's successful across every possible speaker category and has learned a thing or two along the way. This Everest DD66000 might be large, heavy, very costly and decidedly different, but all aspects of Greg Timbers' acoustic design have undeniable logic, and industrial designer Daniel Ashcraft has also done a very neat job from a difficult brief. Compression This is at heart a twoway design, albeit "augmented" (as JBL puts it) with some extra help at both ends of the audio spectrum. The crossover points listed in the specifications explain how it operates. The main crossover point, set at 700hz, transfers the signal from the inside 380millimetre bass/mid driver to the horn-loaded 100-millimetre mid/treble compression driver. 16    


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The other (outside) 380-millimetre unit only operates up to 150hz, albeit with a relatively gentle six decibel/octave roll-off above that point. The 25-millimetre compression horn 'supertweeter' only comes in (and at a rapid 24-decibel/octave rate) at 20khz – effectively above audibility. Whatever one's views about horn-loaded compression drivers, which are certainly regarded with some suspicion by some sectors of the hi-fi industry, using one allows JBL to place that major crossover point down at 700hz. That's some two octaves below the 2.5-3khz frequency used by the vast majority of conventional two-way direct radiator designs and a far better frequency for delivering properly coherent voice reproduction. White paper Using two 380millimetre drivers to supply the bass for a domestic hi-fi system might seem over the top. But, having enjoyed the single example used in the K2 S9800, i too was nervous that this Everest would deliver altogether too much bottom end. There was some excess to be sure, but not sufficient to be distracting, and thinking it through, such a large bass driver area actually makes plenty of sense. After all, the larger the area of the cones, the less the excursion required for the same loudness and the more closely it resembles the behaviour of a musical instrument. Indeed, in some respects the bass driver area here has something in common with that supplied by horn-loaded bass, which has got to be a good thing. The sheer quantity of information in the Project Everest DD66000 Technical White Paper is rather overwhelming, with far more detail than we have space to cover properly. Heavily edited highlights include very advanced drive units. Both horn-loaded units use beryllium dome diaphragms, 100 millimetre and 25 millimetre in diameter, while the 380 millimetre bass drivers have 320 millimetre diameter doped paper cones with concentric ring stiffening, and a complex motor with an Alnico magnet.  

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Uniquely, the crossover network uses two nine volt batteries to polarise key capacitors and improve their linearity. The horn enclosures are largely made from precision moulded SonoGlass, with a measure of mechanical isolation from the main enclosure. The main carcase is made from different thicknesses of MDF, totalling 25 millimetres and with extensive bracing, while an extra leather-covered layer takes the front baffles up to 45 millimetres. 18    


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The ultimate top end The speakers were positioned with normal left/right separation and as far from the rear wall as possible without blocking the doorway. Although a little closer to the wall than might have been desirable, I doubt it was much of a compromise, and the weight and bulk rendered further exploration impossible. There was a bit too much bass when measured under our usual far-field, in-room averaged conditions, but around six decibels below 250Hz didn't seem too excessive. However, what was totally impressive was the remarkably flat and even tonal balance further up: the response from 300Hz all the way up to 10kHz was held within remarkably tight +/-1.5 decibel limits. The ultimate top end roll-off was mildly marred by a small 17kHz spike. Not unexpectedly, sensitivity is generous, especially below 300Hz, if not quite as high as the specified 96 decibels above 300Hz. Furthermore, it's achieved alongside a fairly easy amplifier load, which stays between six and eight ohms over most of the range, only falling below five ohms at ultrasonic frequencies. The pair match was very close indeed and the ports are tuned to a relatively low 28Hz, ensuring good response down to 20Hz (at 92 decibel sensitivity under our in-room conditions). Headroom The truly marvellous feature of this extraordinary speaker is its utterly magnificent headroom. There's no stress or strain at any level and if you start winding up the volume, it's pretty certain your ears or your amplifier will give up long before the Everests do. In fact, until this degree of headroom is actually experienced, it's hard to believe it makes much difference, but believe me it does. Tied in with this headroom is quite brilliant overall consistency. Play it whisper quiet so you don't disturb the household in the middle of the night and you still hear everything that's going on, albeit quietly. Turn it up as loud as you can, to near disco levels, and every note is clear as crystal. The JBL doesn't mind. It'll simply do its thing with impeccably smooth neutrality, and wonderfully coherent voices. The overall character might err on the bright side for some tastes and systems and its openness is not kind to poor quality signals. Top quality amps and sources are essential here, even if the trim control helps a little. Bass Monster But the Everest's best feature for my money was the way it handled the bass guitar. This instrument is the foundation of truly great rock music and I've never heard a speaker deliver bass lines with better poise and delicacy as well as power. Strong but not heavy or intrusive, they're also exceptionally clean and subtle.  

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I dug out most of my Grateful Dead discs, simply because Phil Lesh's bass playing was so engrossing, and took similar pleasure with recordings featuring Jack Bruce, Jaco Pastorius, John Entwhistle and Jack Cassidy. Massive Attack's Mezzanine did sound rather too bass heavy, but conversely Mingus Ah Um seemed somewhat bass light, so one can hardly blame either on the speaker. Coloration is exceedingly low, dynamic range is wide, dynamic expression is always vivid, while the speakers proved surprisingly involving and informative when handling notoriously 'difficult' material like early Velvet Underground and Captain Beefheart recordings. Horns do it differently, especially in imaging terms. They treat sound a little like lenses do light, focusing it into a beam. This reduces the proportion of room reflected sound in the total sound compared to conventional direct radiator designs. The result is remarkably sharp, precise and well focused images, giving great insight into the recording itself, but less of an illusion of musicians coming into the room. Rattling the windows Delivery and installation coincided with Rage Against the Machine's brilliant Killing in the Name download making the coveted christmas Number one slot. I celebrated by digging out my eponymous 1992 LP and using it to 'break in' the Everests. Although my regular Naim NAP500's 150 watt falls somewhat short of the everest's stated 500 watt power handling, it still generated unfeasibly high levels, to the point where the the listening room windows started rattling while the JBLs showed no signs of stress whatsoever. High sound levels come naturally to the Everests. They just go on getting louder without complaint or compression, make a great speaker for those into heavy dance/techno music and will go seriously loud without ever tending to sound aggressive. The massive headroom and lack of strain is always very welcome. The generous sensitivity means that low noise amplifiers are preferable – some faint hiss became audible via the Naim amplifier when the world became after-midnight quiet, though not sufficient to spoil things. However, despite what JBL says, very low power valve amplifiers are also entirely practical. The first watt matters most The manual (with, one detects, a slightly sniffy air) suggests that the speakers: "will operate adequately with an amplifier or receiver of 70–100 watts", before going on to recommend 100–500 watts to "ensure optimal system performance".

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In my experience, although the most powerful amplifiers are also usually the most expensive, they only rarely offer the best sound. Clearly the single-ended triode valve amplifier doesn't figure on JBL's radar, but i spent many delightful hours enjoying the Everests with a pair of three watt rated PX-4-based monoblocks, via a passive Music first pre-amplifier. Simplicity has its advantages. While this is certainly a speaker for those who like to play their music loud, the Everest is also beautifully smooth and delicate at low and very low levels. Despite the undoubted qualities of my regular PMC's iB2i references, the JBL DD66000 does indeed go a long way towards justifying its much higher price and actually seems rather good value by high-end speaker standards. Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

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Man-K - The African Vision Khutso Ramela, born in the Rockville section of Soweto on the 27th of September 1992, was once a devoted and passionate soccer player, playing for the Bidvest Wits Football Academy, until the day his love for music grew beyond the one he had for soccer, putting a shade on his initial passion. It was in 2008, the year Khutso put a cross on professional soccer and shifted his dedication towards music production. It all started with a group of 3 called “Crew of Knights”, an alliance which led to 2 distinct EPs, “Serinity” and “African Roots”. The collaboration between Man-K, Revick P and DJ Trans did not last, and the group had to split a few years later. In 2011, Man-K released his very first solo project under Jambalay Records, “Cultural Experiences Part 1” featuring Mike Anderson. Still the same year, Man-K moved towards Paso Doble’s label, Melomenia Records, for which he produced his “When Africa Began EP” comprising 3 excellent tracks; “When Africa Began”, “The Massai Tribe” and “Voice of an African Child”. The following year, it is under Beat Religion Music that he released another project, “Battle Ground EP”. But very recently, with an enthusiasm I could hear still in his voice the day of the interview, Man-K literaly entered the (cours des grands) when he reached an agreement with Spirit Motion, a label owned and operated by the great 22  


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South African duo, Black Motion; "You know, Black Motion inspires me big time! They are one of my main sources of inspiration. One of my favorite tracks of the moment is one of Black Motion, Manghoro featuring Candy. This track is thigh! I love it very much especially because of the African elements in it and the way it is built. Black Motion really inspires me! Those guys are the best!" And it is Black Motion themselves who introduced Man-K to Nulu Records. This new collaboration, for the benefits of the entire South African House industry, led to the amazing "African Vision EP", the very last project released by Man-K early in 2013 comprised of 3 beautiful tracks; “Wild Drums”, “Africa my Home” and “Secrets of a Slave”. Now based in Protea Glen, Soweto, Man-K is busy completing his third and last year of full time study in Radio Production at the Boston Media House in Sandton, Johannesburg and he is working part time in a community library in Protea North. I asked him if he was succeeding in properly balancing his time between his musical career taking off and his full time studies; "Yeah I do manage to balance my time between music production and my studies. I have to say though that I sometimes get into trouble by focusing too much on music production and forgetting about my school assignments. But I know how to balance my work". Professionally, his main objective is to, obviously, make music production his full time occupation. And the way his career is taking form, it is fairly possible that his diploma in Radio Production stays on a shelf as a Plan B. At the moment, Man-K is working on his debut album scheduled to be released early in 2014. Until the official release of this album, which is going to be named "African Vision" or "Ramela" meaning "We are growing" in his mother tongue, Setswana, Man-K is busy with a few collaborations with Black Motion and Sol Phenduka (just to name a few) planned to be released this year still. Also, Man-K aims to release another EP towards the end of 2013, "African Vision Part 2". This would be a beautiful Christmas Gift! I asked Man-K how busy he was with DJ gigs and what his approach was towards the DJ side of his work; "Usually I don’t get a lot of gigs cause I’m still busy studying you know, but they still come through then and there. Like tonight (25 May 2013), I’m playing in Ga-Rankuwa at DJ's Lounge alongside Black Motion, Marissa Guzman and Nape-Leon. I will be playing before Marissa Guzman performance and I’ll be showcasing my African Vision EP and some exclusive tracks I have been working on lately like one called "The Era" and another one called "Angola" featuring Mfojo. Tonight is the last day of Marissa Guzman’s Tour in South Africa. She is leaving back to the USA tomorrow." And how are you approaching your performances in general?; "I usually play local stuff, South African music only. I like to start my sets with classic South African tracks in order to get the attention of the crowd then I move on with my own stuff." Now, let's hope that this encounter, North of Pretoria, between ManK/Spirit Motion and Marissa Guzman will develop into concrete collaborations between these significant names of the industry! Written by Charles Pepin www.tia-house.com Facebook: TIA House, @TIA_DJChuck "This is Africa" on Pure.FM (Deep House Channel), every second Saturday at 7pm (GMT-4), 60 mins Exclusive Guest Mix fresh out of Mzansi !

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Ashton Abels 1. Please tell me a little about yourself? Who is Ashton Abels?

i was born in/grew up Bonteheuwel - Cape Town South Africa -radio dj /club dj/ music manager/ mc/ radio presenter at UCT Radio also doing guest dj slots on 5fm, Metro fm and the Mother city's Goodhope fm also some online radio stations/ Big music lover Down to earth guy, humble and always keeping it positive

2. When did your career start? -My career started and took a next level when i started my radio show on a campus, community radio station called UCT Radio in 1999 and that is when i got a show after being a guest dj on various shows and slots on the radio station,at the time time i did mobile djing(i loved it!meet all kinds of people) and a few clubs around Cape Town,So getting the 3-6am Sunday Morning Show was a switch to my life and dj/music career because i had freedom of producing my own radio show and play my own music that time of a Sunday Morning....The Show took toll as Cape Town's Time Bomb Explosion and Hit with a Bang!in House Music and underground sounds of house music and hip hop that is not your radio friendly sounds. 2.1 How did you get your start in the music business? -i think from starting out with playing parties and township gigs u show your art/passion and skill as dj and that grip to people that spot me doing what i love. 24  


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2.2 How had the internet changed your relationship with and to music and the industry? - the internet did wonders if i must put it in that way, now im honored to have direct contact with the world/music producers/djs/music lovers/artists and theres just so many...i can go on..and on.... 3. which provinces have you visited through being booked and which one is your favorite? Jozi/Durbs/ around SA but eastern cape - a few years ago i was one of the djs with 10 or more rock & other bands on a farm in Kenton - a few thousand people in a midnight storm going crazy for good music 4. How did you become a club Dj? Got spotted doing township/community parties and also took another step with me being on radio with a different sound of club dance music 5. What is the key ingredient in music manager? u need to know by heart, mind & soul 6. When did you start being a radio Dj? i started as a guest dj in 1998 on various shows and radio stations and in 1999 i got the Sunday Morning 3-6am and did my all to bring something different in that slot and it grew to a listenership that loves my styles of music. It created an after party for the clubbers leaving clubs early, driving home or parking and pumping car systems loud. Two year later in 2001 i hit the time slot 12-3om midday and its grew on another level. 9. What are the biggest barriers new dj's face? dj equipment and new technology is endless, a If i can just continue with Turntables... 10. How important do you think it is to have your music mastered commercially? Can you do it yourself as effectively and what tools would you recommend? its extremely important to have a good mastering job, but how u choose to do it is all down to personal choose like i mentioned before new technology is endless and there lots of tools to use out there 11. What do you believe is the secret to your success as a dj be yourself, be humbled, believe, have faith, set goal and achieve, "practice makes perfect" have passion from the heart and don’t give up... 12. Any advice for the aspiring producers out there? have passion from the heart and don’t give up on your dream  

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The Politics  Of   Dancing  #03   Welcome  to  the  third  editorial  in  the  series  here  on  Ayoba.  My  name  is  Frederic  Messent,   equally  known  as  MFSB  (although  with  a  slightly  different  meaning)  and  I’ll  humbly  get  you   into  the  so  many  different  reasons  that  have  led  to  the  situation  we  have  to  deal  with  on  a   daily  basis,  wherever  we  may  be,  regarding  that  thing  reputedly  uniting  us:  in  other  words,  the   music…   The  goal  of  this  series  is  certainly  not  to  divide  ourselves,  but  contrary  have  us  all  thinking  as   to  the  why,  the  how  and  whatsoever  explaining  the  obvious  lack  of  impact  of  our  scene,   despite  the  existence  of  undeniable  talents,  and  countless  initiatives  hailing  from  all  over  the   world  geared  towards  its  recognition…   26    


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State of  Independence!   None  of  us  has  probably  forgotten  about  this  classic  by  the  likes  of  the  late  Donna  Summer,  although  no  doubt   as  to  how  the  situation  back  then  can’t  be  compared  to  today’s  one.  Independence  at  this  time  would  be   synonymous  with  the  fact  to  come  up  with  the  will  to  provide  an  alternative  as  opposed  to  the  already   ongoing  corporatism  itself  synonymous  with  the  so  called  unique  thought…  And  far,  not  to  say  behind,  are  the   days  when  brilliant  minds  such  as  Chris  Blackwell,  Richard  Brunson  or  Ronan  O’Rahilly  would  give  birth  to   structures  such  as  Island  Records,  Virgin  or  Radio  Caroline  for  the  latest.  Not  only  because  the  (economical)   environment  has  changed  in  a  drastic  way,  but  also  because  of  the  mentalities…   Don’t  get  me  wrong  though,  as  there  are  still  talents  here  or  there,  but  unfortunately  so  many  starving,  like  in   a  critical  condition,  trying  to  survive  day  after  day,  with  what  people  perceiving  so  far  away  from  today’s   reality…   As  a  long  time  observer,  be  it  as  a  broadcaster  on  various  radio  stations  or  the  editor  of  various  magazines,   I’ve  always  been  surprised  by  the  global  lack  of  reactivity  of  a  whole  bunch  of  artists  and  creators  in  a  world   where  nothing  can’t  be  achieved  without  a  proper  communication,  not  to  even  say  a  mass  one.  This  resulting   in  a  whole  bunch  of  so  to  say  unreknown  knows  how.  A  phenomenon  which,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  has  been   growing  along  with  time,  even  though  the  evolution  of  technology  allows  us  to  do  things  nowadays  which   would  have  been  considered  as  utopia  not  so  long  ago…   Like  it  or  not,  Internet  -­‐  with  the  ongoing  process  of  digitalization  resulting  in  the  disappearance  of  the  object   (ie:  the  vinyl  record,  the  press)  -­‐  still  hasn’t  been  assimilated  in  a  proper  way  by  a  big  majority  of  us,  eventually   developing  contradictory  reflexes  by  some…   Believing  that  everything  can  be  achieved  like  on  a  single  click  is  total  nonsense.  Be  it  for  wannabes  thinking   they  can  claim  to  be  a  DJ  or  a  producer  because  of  havin’  a  laptop  with  a  few  programs.  As  for  each  of  us   thinkin’  we  can  be  home  anywhere  on  Internet  starting  from  the  moment  we’ve  logged  in  on  a  site  X  or  Y.     Independence  nowadays  requires  almost  an  unceasing  researching  process  in  order  to  assimilate  the  latest   techniques,  and  God  knows  how  outdated  we  all  can  be  at  a  moment  or  another  if  not  aware  of  this.   Independence  requires  the  constant  ability  to  redefine  our  own  selves  and  therefore  the  one  to  open  our   minds  in  front  of  everything  that  may  come  to  our  attention…     Our  environment  is  full  of  people  complaining  here  or  there  about  the  current  situation,  and  this  with   obviously  accurate  reasons.  But  first  of  all,  are  they  themselves  ready  /  disposed  to  hear,  read,  observe  and   eventually  put  themselves  in  a  position  which  could  give  them  the  opportunity  to  consider  things  in  a  different   way???  This  is  all  the  question  that  still  a  majority  of  them  avoid  to  respond,  either  because  they  figure  that   admitting  they  know  the  response  might  be  seen  as  a  sign  of  weakness  in  front  of  theirs,  either  because  they   don’t  want  to  wonder.  But  the  result  on  both  cases  remains  the  same…   Internet  has  managed  to  break  countless  (technical)  boundaries,  allowing  people  from  all  over  the  world  to   write,  talk  and  eventually  see  each  other.  It  ironically  hasn’t  managed  to  help  us  yet  getting  rid  of  a  that   decidedly  reluctant  disease  that  is  ignorance  that  many  try  to  hide  while  makin’  proof  of…  arrogance…       Frederic  MFSB  Messent  is  the  publisher  of  Indamixworldwide.com,  the  new  version  of  is  is  under  construction   Feel  free  to  follow  us  on  https://www.facebook.com/indamixworldwide  as  on   https://www.twitter.com/INDMIXWORLDWIDE          

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GT-10B:

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Bass Effects Processor

Top-of-the-Line Bass Station Bass Tone Factory Powered by BOSS’ latest custom-made sound processor, the GT-10B provides dozens of stunning effects algorithms and COSM® amp models to explore, combine, and customize, but with careful attention given to the needs of bass players. Indispensable effects for bass, including pro-grade Comp/Limiter, EQ and OD/DS, compliment the full range of effects offerings onboard, from essential to esoteric. EZ Tone Wizard Tone creation is more than easy with the GT-10B. The amazing, intuitive EZ Tone wizard lets bass players unlock their full creative potential with its unique interactive approach to programming. Parallel Chain Parallel Chain is an ideal feature for bass performance. Complex effects sound can be blended with powerful, pure tones. Switching or blending these two paths according to your playing intensity offers more dynamic and impressive bass performances than ever.

Top-of-the-Line Bass Station Bass players can enjoy the same core processing muscle and flexibility of the GT-10 in a specially made sibling: the GT-10B, optimized for the low-frequency domain. The massive power of BOSS’ latest DSP engine and COSM® sound-modeling know-how are integrated to provide the most creative and essential features for

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bass. With Parallel Chain, Phrase Loop and EZ Tone onboard, the GT-10B takes its place as the most advanced-yet-friendly bass station on the market. Optimized for bass, with essential effects such as OD/DS and Comp/Limiter, the GT-10B provides topquality sounds without sacrificing richness and bottom of the bass tone EZ Tone enables intuitive tone creation by using an interactive user interface based on graphic icons Parallel Chain offers two separate effects paths that can be blended, switched by playing dynamics, or with the onboard pedals Phrase Loop allows instant sound-on-sound loop creation USB capability offers audio- and MIDI-streaming in real time GT-10B comes equipped with XLR outputs as well as 1/4-inch jacks

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De Mogul SA 1. Please tell me a little about yourself? Who is De Mogul SA?

De Mogul SA is a Dj/Producer Born and rose in Mafikeng, North West of South Africa. Grew up in Bokone, a small village in Mafikeng, Born on the 14th of February 1990, sadly the only guy in the Family of 5. 2. When did your career start?

Being a producer or Dj, well at first it wasn’t all about career and stuff but it was kind of something I enjoy doing. I loved music in general so I would say I fell in love with production in 2008, but couldn’t do anything about it, then I learned how to Dj instead, got help from HARDLABOUR of which is the movement I was with at that moment till now. Then yeah, I went to North West University in 2009 as my 1st year, that’s when I got exposed to so many things involving music production, in 2010 that’s when I started to do my own sound, inspired by Culoe De Song’s sound, I began to be more interested into production, I fell in love with a certain style of Afro Deep then yeah I began to produce ;). 30  


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2.1 How did you get your start in the music business? I realized that most of the guys I was mostly to spend time with loved my music, then I thought why not let me just spread my wings a little bit, then I myself started doing remixes of other artists as I realized if want to get into this music business I’m going to need a strategy then yeah my audience loved my remixes until I got recognized by Dj Ganyani in 2012 and requested me to join his Company/Label Ganyani Entertainment. 2.2 How had the internet changed your relationship with and to music and the industry? When I first got introduced myself to the internet I was amazed how friendlier it was ;), I min I began to fall in love with music even more especially house music, unlike those days were by internet was only accessible to those in either cooperates, I mean I usually used to upload my remixes and send it to labels/dj’s just so to recognize and luckily I was introduced to Master G (Dj Ganyani) by my manager Machismo through the internet then yeah I got a deal. So internet to me really plays a big role in my music. 3. which provinces have you visited through being booked and which one is your favorite?

Local is one my favorite meaning North West, cause there I played a lot to an extend that, if I need support I no were to run back to, its crazy man how people love me back at home, and also I’ve played in Gauteng mostly in Alexandra Township. I also wish to Play in Durban, I kinda love Durban audience ey! ;) 4. Do you use loops or prefer to program your beat from single hits?

Using loops Kinda limits creativity for me and remember loops are someone’s idea so that means u r using someone’s ideas in your music, so for me I prefer making my own loops from single hits, there I can tell a story I want and wish to tell to my audience.

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5. What is the key ingredient in a track? breakdown? Style of production? Bassline?

I would say be versatile, don’t get stuck in one style, because for that you might get bored easily, and trust me you want to get bored in music, well I don’t believe in signature sound so to say but it is good for one to have especially to your fans. But for me I just feel like it’s a limit to what I can do, also I get bored easily with one sound (Bassline, synths, pads etc) 6. When building a track how do you normally work? Do you start with the drum and build from

that? I normally start with the percussions, make sense of it, normally lol, what I like to do is remix a vocal the take it out then I have a sick drum perc ;) 7. Do you mainly use analog or digital soft synth sources? Do you think analog makes a

different? I really like Analog a lot sadly m limited there lol, so I’ll go with digital for now but I really like to working in analog mode cause you sound sounds original ey rich lol. 8. Any advice on monitoring? Quiet? Loud? Do you prefer flat and boring Speakers, headphones

or Big, Phat and chunky monitors? I used to work with bad sound before ey lol. But now all I can say is Event Studio Monitors, that’s the way to go! In terms of how loud to be I would suggest a soft sound when working not low or high but relaxed, you would work wallah! Lol 9. What are the biggest barriers new producers face?

I would say they make same sounds, just try to be unique then your doors will open up for you! I always keep that in mind when working (Producing) 10. How important do you think it is to have your music mastered commercially? Can you do it yourself as effectively and what tools would you recommend? LOL I can’t master my own tracks even if I learned to master I would recommend doing it myself, besides time and all that, I prefer my sound being mastered by a passionate engineer. Give it a better ear to it! :) 11. What do you believe is the secret to your success as a producer? Love what you do, do it for write reasons, passion first, success later, then you’ll see thing falling into place, shortly I’d say just be eager to learn new things from others no matter how small they are you will make it if you follow such simple rules. 12. Any advice for the aspiring producers out there? Learning and instrument like a piano is a good start to being a producer, be unique and love what you do, also try to go extra mile so that u always be forward. Strive for quality not quantity. ;) To Book De Mogul SA Contact M. G. Miya(tebza), Artist Manager Marketing Manager at Ganyani Entertainment http://www.djganyani.co.za/ http://www.ganyanientertainment.co.za/ tebza@djganyani.co.za call: 060 333 5373 32  


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SUPER-X PRO CX3400 High-Precision Stereo 2-Way/3-Way/Mono 4-Way Crossover with Limiters, Adjustable Time Delays and CD Horn Correction

The CX3400 3-way stereo/4-way mono crossover features absolute precision, state-of-the-art circuitry, with superiorgrade components, ultra low-noise op amps and balanced inputs and outputs. The CX3400 also includes a switchable pre-EQ circuit, providing enhanced performance of systems with constant-directivity horns. A user-adjustable multiband limiter is included for the ultimate protection of individual loudspeaker system components. Sound Quality When a sound system is tuned properly, it becomes powerful, balanced and efficient. Bass content is punchy and tight, with vocals and instruments that are rich, crisp and well defined. The CX3400 crossover’s accurate signal processing protects critical loudspeaker components and improves overall system efficiency.

What’s a Crossover? Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know what a crossover is and you know that you need one. But if you are new to multi-way PA systems, here is a brief overview.  

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Loudspeakers (which we call transducers) convert electrical signals into sound waves. And no matter how well a transducer is designed and made, it simply cannot reproduce the entire audio spectrum all by itself. Low-frequency sounds tend to push a transducer to its maximum, making it impossible for that same transducer to reproduce the treble content with the sound quality it deserves. (Try singing high falsetto next time you’re bench-pressing your limit!) That is why high-quality sound systems use multiple speakers (woofers and tweeters) to share the work. When the woofer (usually the larger transducer) does all the heavy lifting, the tweeter can easily handle the high-frequency stuff. Three- and four-way systems distribute the work even more, allowing the individual transducers to reproduce the frequency range they are best suited to. It is the crossover’s function to divide these tasks between the various transducers.

Divide and Conquer The CX3400 provides two modes of operation: 3-way stereo, for left and right Lows (woofers), Mids and Highs (tweeters); and 4-way mono, for Lows, LowMids, High-Mids and Highs. In either mode, you have the option of normal (left and right), or summed-mono low-frequency output. Adjustable time delays (up to two milliseconds) are also provided, so that the sound coming from the various transducers arrives at the listener in-phase and at the same time. By using 1% metal film resistors, along with other extremely tight-tolerance components, the CX3400 is able to guarantee surgically precise frequency selection with incredibly low thermal noise. State-of-the-art, ultra low-noise op amps ensure super-quiet operation. CX3400’s elegant LED matrix shows at a glance which operation mode is selected and which controls are active.

Getting Connected All of the inputs and outputs accept balanced and unbalanced XLR connections. The inputs feature 25 Hz Low Cut filters for low-frequency driver protection. Mute and phase invert switches are provided for each frequency range, making troubleshooting an entire loudspeaker system a breeze.

Value Stop by your authorized BEHRINGER dealer today and demo the CX3400, the super-affordable way to optimize the performance of your sound system. 34    


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Product Features: Professional stereo 2-way/3-way/mono 4-way crossover featuring stateof-the-art Linkwitz-Riley filters with 24 dB/octave Individual Limiters on each output for optimal loudspeaker protection Adjustable time delay for phase alignment between drivers CD horn equalization for constant directivity horn compensation Absolutely flat summed amplitude response, zero phase difference “Low Sum” function provides mono output for subwoofer operation Individual output Gain controls for all bands Individual output Mute switches for easy band adjustment Individual Phase reverse switches for instant phase correction Switchable 25 Hz Low cut filter on each input for low-frequency driver protection Servo-balanced and gold-plated XLR connectors for all inputs and outputs Ultra-high precision potentiometers for ultimate accuracy and repeatability Illuminated switches for secure operation in dark stage environments Shielded toroidal mains transformer for minimal noise interference High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life Conceived and designed by BEHRINGER Germany

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Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro 10

Many readers will no doubt be familiar with Sound Forge, at least in name. From more humble beginnings back when it was a Sonic Foundry product to the brand new Sound Forge Pro 10 from Sony Creative Software, this audio editor has long been a staple of many studios and editing suites thanks to its straightforward layout and solid functionality. In case you're unfamiliar, Sound Forge is a standalone app that enables you to perform all the usual audio editing operations (cut, paste, trim, normalise, etc), add effects/fades, resample, record and even restore audio files, all through an intuitive interface. SF10 supports pretty much any audio file format, working at up to 64-bit/192kHz resolution, and it can host both DirectX and VST plug-ins, all while offering full Windows 7 compatibility - it's certainly what you'd call comprehensive.

In detail Firing up SF10, it looks and feels almost identical to the preceding version, which is actually reassuring. The menus and windows work in the same way, making experienced users feel instantly at home. Going a bit deeper, it's evident that some niggles have been addressed: working with multiple files in v9 led to a baffling mess due to the use of Windows' clunky multiple document interface, but they now appear neatly tabbed along the base of the work area. Sticking with the visuals, there are plenty of View menu options for customising the main work area to your heart's content, and everything seems to dock together more neatly than before. Something we wish Sony had addressed this time, however, is that navigating the FX Favourites can be slow - if, like us, you have a multitude of plug-ins installed, the menu takes a very, very long time to scroll all the way to the bottom, which can be a pain. 36    


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Previous versions of Sound Forge included the Sony Time Stretch effect, which gave mixed results, often suffering from nasty flanging side effects. SF10 boasts the addition of zplane's tried-and-tested élastique Pro timestretching and pitchshifting plug-in. It does exactly what you'd hope, changing the pitch and/or time of your musical source with minimal artifacts. And if you just want to convert from one sample rate to another, the new iZotope 64-bit SRC function will do this for you with no discernible artifacts.

Processing tools SF10 contains over 40 effects and still comes with the Noise Reduction 2 package, which is a helpful set of tools for restoring poor-quality recordings. New effects include a Resonant Filter plug-in (which is exactly what you'd expect) and the iZotope Mastering Effects Bundle 2. This is provided by audio wizards iZotope, makers of the excellent Ozone 4. In fact, the contained effects read almost identically to the module list from Ozone: Mastering EQ, Mastering Reverb, Multiband Compressor, Mastering Exciter, Mastering Imager and Mastering Limiter. It's no surprise, then, that the processors offer great quality and are thoroughly suitable for the majority of mastering situations. Though featuring slightly different GUIs and fewer features than the Ozone 4 modules (the absent MBIT+ dithering is actually included in the main Sound Forge Process menu), they're certainly from the same stock and yield extremely similar results when loaded into an Ozone-esque plug-in chain. If you don't already have Ozone 4, the Mastering Effects Bundle 2 could be a compelling reason to snap up SF10 - the only downer is that you can't use the plug-ins outside Sound Forge. As in previous versions, there are plenty of automation and batch processing functions for alleviating the tedium of carrying out repetitive tasks. Although SF10 is ideal for editing standard stereo format audio files, it also supports multi-channel editing/recording and boasts Dolby AC3/surround sound support, not to mention all-new direct editing of individual samples in GigaStudio/Sampler and SF2 instrument formats. Also on the editing front, the new event-based editing system makes working with multiple audio events in a single window child's play, and becomes indispensable when fading together files or arranging audio into tracks for CD.

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Not content with making audio editing look easy, burning audio CDs is also a doddle, with a new disc-at-once (DAO) burning option and CD-Text functionality included. It's a little basic but handy for chucking files onto CD without the hassle of firing up a separate burning app. Another improvement is the replacement of the simplistic file properties editor with the more comprehensive Metadata editor, enabling you to tag each file with relevant information – vital when mastering for CD and using CD-Text. For those who need greater CD-burning functionality, Sony's CD Architect 5.2 is also included, giving you access to Red Book specification audio CD burning and being spot-on for producing pre-masters for replication. It's dead easy, with drag-and-drop ordering of files, and it enables you to be as specific as you like regarding the layout and configuration of your disc. SF10 also has a genuinely useful Help menu and interactive tutorials, with the boxed version including a voucher for video training tutorials, all of which are great for audio editing novices.

Summary If you're in need of an audio editing suite, or you're dissatisfied with mastering/editing inside your sequencer, we heartily recommend SF10. However, existing users who own the already well apportioned version 9 will need to consider whether the revisions to SF10 make this upgrade worthwhile.

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Vox amPhone AC30 Amp Modelling Headphones  

We all like to think we have a sixth sense. Mine alerts me to marketing hype at the merest whiff of a press release, and I felt exactly that ‘BS sense’ tingling when I first read about Vox’s amPhone AC30 guitar-modelling headphones. It looked for all the world like a simple marriage of convenience between Audio-Technica, who provide the headphones, and Vox, who provide the guitar amp modelling. But having now tried them out over a number of weeks, I’m pleased to report that my fears were largely unfounded. I’m not saying that these are the best cans in the world, because they’re certainly not up to mix monitoring or other critical listening standards, largely because they suffer from the boxy resonance that you get from most cheaper plastic closed-back designs, and this inevitably makes setting mix levels and fine-tuning effects as much a game of chance as of skill. Nor is the amp modelling, borrowed wholesale from Vox’s Amplug range, the best in the world. In both respects, they’re far from being what I’d describe as ‘professional quality’.

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All that notwithstanding, blending the two products has still created something that I actually quite like. As I’ve said, they’re not really designed for serious professional use, but think of them for what they do offer and you might find that you quite like them too: they’re lightweight and convenient, they fit nicely, and they’re thus very comfortable to wear. With the guitar unplugged, or the modelling switched off, the amPhones can be used as standard headphones, with no batteries required. Insert two AAA batteries and plug the quarter-inch jack into your guitar, and you can use the Amplug-style controls on one earpiece to switch in the ampmodelling circuitry. You can also plug a smartphone or other audio playback device into an aux input socket, and there are the same tone and level controls as you’ll find on the Amplug AC30. As with that product, there are also models for different styles of amp, including bass. Although the guitar modelling may not be world-beating in quality, the sound really isn’t that bad. In fact, while I might not want to use it on a final recording, it certainly feels pretty responsive, and does a passable enough imitation of an AC30 that I could happily rehearse at home, or in a quiet corner of a studio while band-mates recorded their instruments, without fear of intruding on the session. And that’s really what this product is all about. So, while they may well be the result of a marketing opportunity spotted by Vox, I can well imagine the amPhones being attractive to quite a number of guitarists. Just don’t expect the ultimate in professional studio quality and you won’t be disappointed! Matt Houghton. www.voxamps.com

AUDIENCE AU24 SE PHONO CABLE Quiet Authority by Jacob Heilbrunn |

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John McDonald is the president of the Audience Company, which produces a variety of products ranging from loudspeakers to power conditioners that have consistently garnered favorable notices over the past fifteen years. But it seems safe to say that the heart of the company is its cable lineup. Unlike some of the behemoth cables out there, Audience’s are notable for their sleekness and flexibility. If the aspiration is to have a cable that is as unobtrusive as possible, then Audience has fulfilled that mission. But that is only the start of the story. Audience cables, which I’ve tried in the past, have always delivered a lot of sound for the money, falling, like Magnepan loudspeakers, into the category of overachievers. So I was more than a mite curious to see what progress Audience had made in the intervening years in seeking to improve its cables. Perhaps there is no better test-subject than a phono cable, where the tiny signal is most sensitive. Audience sent me its latest version of the Au24 SE cable to audition. To retain as much of the signal as possible, Audience offers three versions of the cable. A “low-Z” version for moving-coil cartridges with an impedance of less than 30 ohms and a “high-Z” one for cartridges exceeding 30 ohms. They also sell another version for moving-magnet cartridges. The cable construction itself is based on the contention that low-eddy-current resistance is essential for good performance and that the optimal material for constructing a cable is continuous-cast high-purity copper. Audience also provides grounding plugs on the cable. Overall build-quality looks excellent. What’s the sonic payoff? Previously, Audience cables were smooth and detailed. But for this new SE version Audience has replaced the RCA connectors with new ultralow-mass RCAs with improved tellurium copper metallurgy. (Owners of Au24 and Au24e cables can upgrade to SE status for $220 per pair.) The result is a dramatic improvement. The dominant characteristic of the new phono cable appears to be a vanishingly low noise floor and an enticing tonal clarity. After pulling an old Angel pressing off the shelves of the famed harpsichordist Igor Kipnis—he used to drive around the country in a van that contained rubber foam and seatbelts to safely hold his instrument—playing Scarlatti sonatas, I was most favorably impressed not simply by the purity of the sound, but by its see- through quality. Any sense of haze is banished by the Au24 SE cable. Similarly, a vivid sense of presence came through on the LP What’s Up [Steeplechase] with jazz trumpeter Bill Hardman. The Audience provided an airy treble and captured the sound of his straight mute exceedingly well; the overtones, buzz, and rasp come through so audibly that they endow the Hardman sextet’s playing with a genuine sense of effervescent propulsion.  

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Lacking in the bass regions. The Audience lands firmly on the side of a tightly defined rather than a plummy bass, but it boasts enough whack to satisfy probably even the most ardent bass nut. The pellucid character of the Audience translates into a number of bonuses when listening to LPs that you may have listened to frequently. Those small but significant improvements that endow a recording with a greater sense of realism, that move it from mere reproduction to true emotional engagement, are amply supplied by the Au24 SE. These thoughts are prompted by listening to several cuts on the new Acoustic Sounds reissue of The Weavers 1963 Concert at Carnegie Hall, a sonic standout that should be in every serious audiophile’s collection. On the song “Guantanamera,” for example, the Au24 SE captures the way Pete Seeger rolls his “r”s with amazing fidelity. Or Ronnie Gilbert softly chuckling to herself for a split second on “Goodnight, Irene,” something I don’t believe I have ever heard before. Frankly, the whole combo with the Lyra Atlas, Ypsilon gear, and Wilson XLF’s was pretty overwhelming. All of the Audience’s sterling qualities were evident right from the outset. The Audience is an extremely quiet and neutral cable. Its whiplash speed and transparency can become addictive, but it will not appeal to those searching for a cable that supplies additional perceived warmth or body. Instead, it exudes a quiet authority that makes it a very promising candidate for anyone searching for a first-rate phono cable.

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Pro tools Tips & Techniques Find out what the Pro Tools 11 world will hold for your hardware setup. Mike Thornton In this first Pro Tools workshop of 2013 I wanted to look forward to the future — or at least to what the post-Pro Tools 10 world holds for owners of existing Pro Tools hardware. There has been a lot of discussion and speculation about this issue, so I thought it would be good to take a look at what has and hasn’t been said. There are a few conclusions we can reliably draw from the information that Avid have made available: All plug-ins in the TDM and RTAS formats will not work with Pro Tools 11. Pro Tools 11 will be AAX-only. Pro Tools 11 will be a 64-bit-only application. Pro Tools 10 will be the last version to work with the HD TDM cards. For users who continue to use legacy hardware and software, there will be software updates for three years and hardware support for five years. That should mean that legacy systems using PT10 and legacy hardware such as the TDM-HD cards will continue to work, and Avid will continue to release ‘customer service’ updates for PT10 to deal with bugs and so on.

Still Up In The Air Although it is clear that the HD TDM cards will no longer work with the 64-bit Pro Tools 11, the future of the 96 and 192 interfaces is much less certain. Avid have made clear on a number of occasions that they won’t be doing anything to intentionally break support for the older devices, although they won’t be officially supporting them any longer. In episode 88 of Dave Pensado’s popular video series Pensado’s Place, he put the question directly to Bobby Lombardi, Senior Manager Product Management at Avid: “The 192s won’t work in 11, will they?” Bobby replied “My hunch is they will, they just won’t be supported.” He goes on to say that Avid are simply “limiting the qualification list”, and further underlines his point by saying “We are not doing anything in the code to turn stuff off.” The situation with these older interfaces might become comparable to that of third-party interfaces from companies like Apogee and Lynx. These were never officially supported by Avid or Digidesign. It has always been up to those third-party companies to enable and support that functionality — and that continues to be the case with new products like the Lynx LT-HD card for their Aurora. So it would appear that these third-party interfaces and the legacy 96 and 192 interfaces will continue to work in a post-Pro Tools 10 world for the foreseeable future, but there can be no guarantees. Moving onto the 002, 003 and Mbox 2 families, the situation is less clear. Although Avid’s statements treat them in the same breath as the 96 and 192 ‘blue’ interfaces, my hunch is that post Pro Tools 10, there will be no drivers written for these interfaces, so if you would like to continue using them, you will need to stay with PT10. It is unclear what Avid plan to replace the 003 family with, as its demise leaves a hole in the Avid range. The future of the Control 24, Command 8 and Pro Control is also unclear. Although Pro Control still functions, it has not been officially supported in either Pro Tools 9 or 10, so there is significant speculation that when Pro Tools moves to 64-bit with Pro Tools 11, it will stop working, but who knows? As for the Control 24 and Command 8, there has been no indication as to whether they will continue to work. All we can say for sure is that they definitely won’t be supported.

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I hope this has helped to clear up some of the confusion that has arisen from Avid’s announcements about the future of some of their hardware after Pro Tools 10. In summary, Pro Tools 11 and beyond will definitely not support HD TDM cards, TDM or RTAS plug-ins. There is still life left in the ‘blue’ HD and third-party HD interfaces, but the future looks less bright for native interfaces and older control surfaces. At least Avid have given us plenty of warning so we can plan what we might do when the time comes! It is traditional to make resolutions at the start of the new year, so for this January workshop, I have put together some ideas to help you keep your Pro Tools system going in 2013 and beyond... First, make use of one of the utilities that are out there to help you manage Pro Tools preferences and databases. Windows users have Trasher 10, put together by Steven Gilliland: he doesn’t have a web site, but has put some information about it on the DUC (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=316863), and it can be downloaded from http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6233434/TRASHER%2010.zip. Once you have downloaded and unzipped it, place Trasher 10 inside your Documents folder (not the public Documents folder) and run. A full Read Me will be available once Trasher 10 has launched. This is what you can do with it: Back up and restore Pro Tools Preferences and DAE Preferences. Back up and restore Pro Tools I/O Settings. Back up and restore Pro Tools Plug-Ins Settings. Recycle Pro Tools Preferences and DAE Prefs. Recycle Pro Tools Databases. Open RTAS Used and Unused Plug-Ins folders. Open AAX Used and Unused Plug-Ins folders. Open Pro Tools 10 Reference Guide and Documentation. Open Avid Log Files folder. For Macs, Jean-Charles Deshaies has written an application (right) that can do a similar set of tasks — surf to www.jcdeshaies.com and download the version that suits your version of Pro Tools. Once you have downloaded the file and unzipped it, drop the application into your Applications folder and run it. There are tick boxes for each of the options that I have listed above, and Jean has added a feature which allows you to back up your preferences, once you have a working, reliable set of them. This means that when you have to delete your preferences, you can use the Restore feature, so you don’t have to work your way through the various Pro Tools Preference panes resetting them from the default settings back to your preferred settings. If, like me, you find this application useful, make sure you click on the PayPal Donate button and give Jean a bit of cash!

RTF Troubleshooting Guide Avid have put together some detailed ‘troubleshooting guides’ which also help to set up your computer in a Pro Tools-friendly way. It will save you a lot of trouble if you work through these guides and set up your computer as suggested. Avid and the Pro Tools community have a lot of experience of what works and doesn’t work, and what won’t play nicely with Pro Tools, so do work through these guides before asking for help if your Pro Tools system isn’t working properly: Windows 7 http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/Troubleshooting/en349411 Mac OSX Lion http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/Troubleshooting/en423791 44  


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When troubleshooting, only change one thing at a time, and change it back to confirm. That way you can be sure that the problem goes when you changed it and returns when you restore it. It is the only way to be sure you have fixed the problem. Especially with USB and Firewire interfaces, you should check you have the latest drivers — for thirdparty interfaces, check the appropriate manufacturer’s web site, but for the Avid interfaces check this Avid page, where Avid have been posting regular updates: http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/download/en379411. Since Avid unbundled the Pro Tools software from their hardware with Pro Tools 9, it has been possible to use non-Avid hardware with Pro Tools. However, some units work better with Pro Tools than others. If you plan to buy a third-party interface to use with Pro Tools, fear not: there is an independent database based on users’ experiences for you to check out at www.pro-toolsexpert.com/pro-tools-hardware-checker/.

Pro Tools can integrate external hardware into its mixer, and even compensate for the delay that this introduces. In this month’s workshop, we’ll be exploring two areas of Pro Tools that are often overlooked. The first of these is its ability to integrate external hardware processors as inserts in the mixer, and the second is the Universe view — which has developed extensively in recent versions, and which I have just discovered after many years of disregarding it. Although most of us are doing more and more ‘in the box’ these days, using plug-ins for processing, there are still occasions where using a hardware processor is the way forward, either because there isn’t a plug-in equivalent or because the hardware just sounds better. We have had delay compensation for plug-ins for a while now, and the good news is that this can still be employed when you’re using your interface to route audio out to a hardware processor and back. You can specify a separate delay value in milliseconds for each external device you use in the H/W Insert Delay tab of the I/O Setup window, and these times will then be used by the delay compensation engine to timealign the paths when the hardware insert is in use and Delay Compensation is enabled. What’s more, Pro Tools will only apply these delay offsets when the I/O is being used for hardware inserts.

Compensation Stations The six million dollar question is how you know what value to set for each device. How many milliseconds does the audio take to do the round trip out through the interface, through the hardware processor, back through the interface and into Pro Tools? The first and last sections of that journey will be the same in every case, because they are down to your interface setup, and Pro Tools will compensate for them automatically. However, some outboard units — including all digital devices — add a latency of their own, which needs to be compensated for. The best way to do so is to measure the round-trip latency yourself, and Pro Tools will help you do this. Before you start, make sure that Automatic Delay Compensation is on: from the Options menu, select Delay Compensation and choose Short, Long or Maximum. Make sure your Session’s Main Time Scale is set to Min:Sec. Create two mono audio tracks and record a short section of tone on the first. The way I do this is to highlight a 50ms section of the track, select Signal Generator from the AudioSuite menu and hit Render — but you could use any audio sample, as long as you can clearly identify the start of the audio. Add a hardware insert on this track. This is done by clicking on the insert slot and selecting I/O rather than a plug-in. In the first screenshot, I used input and output 5, so ‘A5’ is what is displayed.

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Ensure that only the dry signal is being passed through the hardware processor, but don’t put it into a true bypass mode, as the audio needs to go through the full chain. So in the case of a reverb or delay, setting the output to 100 percent dry will ensure that the audio passes through the processor, but the effect won’t mess up the test measurement. In the case of a compressor, set the controls so that it doesn’t compress, and for an EQ, set the controls flat. Now bus the output of this track to the input of the second track. Record-enable this second track, then press Record Enable and Play in the Transport window. Pro Tools will play back the audio on the first track and record it, via the outboard processor, to the second. (Highlight the audio clip you’ve created so that Pro Tools only records for the length of the test file.) After recording, zoom in and measure the difference between where the audio starts in the two tracks. I measure the offset by placing the cursor at the start of the audio waveform on the second track and then using the keyboard shortcut Alt-ShiftTab. This will take the cursor back to the beginning of the region, in effect selecting the offset between the starts of the two clips. You can then read off the length of this selection, which represents the delay introduced by whatever hardware device is connected to your insert. However, when dealing with very small delays, be aware that the timeline display doesn’t show time increments smaller than 1ms, even though you can enter fractions of a millisecond in the H/W Insert Delay window. Once you’ve figured out the delay and entered it, the delay compensation engine will compensate for the latency of the external processor as well as the round trip out and back through a hardware insert point, and you can use your favourite hardware processor in your Pro Tools Session without having to be constantly moving clips back and forward to compensate for the round-trip delay. One possible application for this is to use some of the really cheap but very powerful apps that are coming onto the market for smartphones and tablets. You need to have an audio interface of some kind for your smartphone or tablet, but then you can use the apps to process your audio, making full use of the touchscreen interfaces that can bring some of those effects to life.

Universe View The Universe view displays an overview of the entire Pro Tools Session above the tracks pane in the Edit window. I must admit that until very recently I never used it, as I felt it took up valuable screen space, especially on single-screen systems. However, this is becoming less of an issue on today’s larger displays, and I am now finding the Universe view really useful, especially when navigating around large Sessions. The Universe view can be displayed by selecting Universe in Other Displays, by double-clicking the black divider above the main timebase ruler, selecting Universe from the Edit window pop-up menu, or clicking the Show/Hide Universe view button.

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This overview represents audio and MIDI material on all tracks in the Session that are not hidden, including tracks that are inactive, or contain offline clips. It displays them all in the same order as you will see them in the main Edit window. The tracks are represented by horizontal lines that are the same colour as the clips on the tracks, and tracks are displayed at the same height regardless of how many channels they have. The framed area or highlighted box within the Universe view shows what is visible in the Tracks section of the Edit window. So if you change what is displayed in the Edit window by zooming, scrolling horizontally or vertically, hiding or showing tracks, or changing track heights, the framed area in the Universe view relocates and resizes accordingly. But the highlighted box isn’t just a display of what you can see in the track section of the Edit window: it also jumps to any point you click within the Universe view, and the main Edit window will follow. Alternatively, you can drag the highlighted box around the Universe view and very quickly get to the appropriate part of your Session. You can resize the height of the Universe view to fit the total number of tracks in the Session, or to show more or less of the Edit window, by clicking and dragging the border between the bottom of the Universe window and the top of the Timebase rulers. If you have more tracks in the Session than are visible in the Universe view, you can scroll up or down to show the other tracks, and a mouse scrollwheel can also be used to navigate the Universe view. I have found that this makes navigating large Pro Tools Sessions much easier, and I wish I’d discovered it before!

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Dreams do come true….

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Ayoba Music Mag July 2013  

We Love Music and Sound

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