Many of my articles for Hi-Fi News and Stereophile have referenced papers published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society or preprints of papers delivered at the AES’s twice-yearly Conventions. The AES website has a search engine for both and allows you to purchase hard copies or Acrobat downloads online. Credit to the AES for having extended its electronic document archive to the earliest of its conventions and journals, and for keeping its prices reasonable (particularly if you become a member). Would that you could say the same of all other academic institutions.





I have found Iowegian International Corporation’s ScopeDSP a very useful piece of software for performing inverse FFTs, particularly when designing digital filters that are out of the ordinary. I also have Iowegian’s ScopeFIR Pro for conventional FIR filter design. Both programs are good value.



In May 2003 Syntrillium Software – creator of the Cool Edit line of audio editors – was acquired by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Cool Edit Pro is now Adobe Audition and Cool Edit 2000 has, shamefully, been discontinued, although attractive upgrade prices are being offered. With the proviso that I don’t use it professionally in a recording or broadcast studio environment, Cool Edit Pro/Audition is far and away the best audio editing software I’ve laid hands on, although to be fair I have not had an opportunity to try recent versions of Sound Forge. What I like about it are its ease of use (I’ve hardly ever had to refer to the manual), the range of features it offers out of the box (spending a small fortune on plug-ins appeals less when the money is your own) and its reliability in respect of doing things right. Its sampling rate conversion, for instance, is as clean as a whistle whereas many other audio editors I’ve measured are nonlinear and alias badly on downsampling. CE2000 was a bargain – almost as versatile as CEP but without its multichannel recording capability. I’ve now graduated to Audition CS6 and it will probably be my last given that Adobe has adopted a ridiculous subscription model for Audition. Am I prepared to pay £17.15 per month – over £200 per year! – for a product I use only fitfully? Absolutely not.



Professor Angelo Farina is one of the unsung heroes of the audio academic establishment, not least for creating the range of Aurora plug-ins for Cool Edit/Audition. You can do some clever things with these, and at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost you. Note that I am not talking here about ways to create a funkier bass sound.



As an occasional programmer I find it much easier to write code in Basic than ‘terse’ C++. PowerBASIC’s compilers are my choice: they generate fast, compact Windows 32-bit executables and DLLs with full access, if you want it, to the Windows API. I use Console Compiler v4 for console (text driven) executables and Compiler for Windows IDE v8 for GUI executables and DLLs. I also have Forms v1.5 for drag and drop dialog design. To enhance the appearance and functionality of console applications I use Perfect Sync’s Console Tools Pro.






Friends and colleagues


As well as being a fellow contributor to Hi-Fi News, Ivor Humphreys is a good friend from our days working together on Gramophone’s audio section (he as audio editor, me as audio consulting editor). In addition to his continuing journalistic activities he has diversified since leaving Gramophone into audio CD mastering (he masters the monthly cover discs for both Gramophone and Classic FM magazine), academic book typesetting and web page design. You’ll find his site a good advert for his skills and taste in the latter department.



Paul Miller, editor of Hi-Fi News, is the UK’s pre-eminent technical reviewer. Within the audio industry he is almost as well known for the audio test solutions he has created, both for review and production line QC purposes, beginning with the original Jitter Analyser. You can learn more about this aspect of his work here. As far as I’m aware he was the first reviewer to hit on the, in retrospect, obvious but nonetheless inspired idea of publishing on his web site review measurements that had to be omitted from the printed version due to space restrictions.


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