MULTICHANNEL DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATIONS: The Latest and Greatest ContendersIn the world of digital audio, keeping up with new technology is anything but easy. Unlike tube gear, the market for vintage workstations is essentially 11/01/1999 7:00 AM Eastern
In the world of digital audio, keeping up with new technology is anything but easy. Unlike tube gear, the market for vintage workstations is essentially nonexistent, with the general rule being "cutting edge today, doorstop tomorrow." But with the rapid decline of memory and CPU prices and the rising affordability of high-bit/high-resolution converters, now may be the perfect time to look at upgrades and new systems.
To help you to stay on top of the latest developments, we've assembled new product information on a variety of multichannel digital audio workstations, from software-based systems on a range of platforms, to stand-alone hardware units. The products are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, and Web addresses have been included for access to more information.
Akai's DD1500 is a stand-alone multitrack MO/hard disk recorder/editor with comprehensive sync capabilities. Key features include support for 16 tracks on hard disk (eight tracks on current-generation MO disks), a control surface with dedicated transport, editing and function keys, and a high-resolution video display. The DD1500 locks to LTC, VITC and bi-phase at any speed, forward or reverse, with RS-422 machine control. Up to 12 inputs and 20 outputs are available.
In addition, Akai's DD16PB Plus dubber provides 32 voices of random-access playback on 16 outputs, either analog or digital, in sync with timecode or bi-phase, forward and reverse. The DD16PB Plus offers direct playback of most DAW formats, with 24/96 resolution. Price: from $5,894. Also from Akai, the DD8 Plus dubber offers 24-bit linear resolution and a 96k sampling rate, with 8-track random-access recording, controlled via RS-422, parallel or Akai's own remotes.
Akai's new RE32 remote provides real-time control of transport and record functions for as many as 128 tracks and comes equipped with the company's SuperView graphic display driver. Users can now control multiple Akai DD8 Plus dubbers and DR16 Pro recorders via the built-in AkaiNET (Ethernet) connection with sample-accurate lock between machines.
By combining the $399 ADAT/EDIT PCI card and software system with the new rackmount AI-3 24-bit analog-optical interface, Alesis presents a flexible system for recording multiple channels straight to hard disk. Both devices use the ADAT Lightpipe multichanneloptical interface, and the ADAT/EDIT has inputs and outputs forADAT optical, as well as ADAT sync for single-sample accuracy. The ADAT/EDI card is bundled with a limitedversionof Emagic's LogicAudio editing software, and will work with most ASIO-compatible applications.
In September, at the AES convention in New York, AMS Neve debuted AudioFile SC, a new high-performance, 32-track audio editing system. AudioFile SC features a performance accelerator that boosts operational speed up to 50 times faster. Systems may be interconnected via the company's StarNet network, with an integral PCI bus providing a gateway for interfacing the system, and AudioFile SC may be combined with AMS Neve's digital consoles for integrated post-production systems. SC upgrade packages are available to AudioFile owners.
Also new from AMS Neve is the Offline Media Toolbox, which manages the various "housekeeping" aspects associated with the upload and download of projects, as well as the import and export of files from other systems. Key features include offline backup/restore of projects; import of OMF1 2.0-compatible files; and .WAV file import/export.
Berkley Systems (BIAS) has announced DECK 2.7, featuring driver support that makes it compatible with all ASIO hardware. Other DECK features include as many as 999 virtual tracks, playback of up to 64 simultaneous tracks, real-time DSP, OMS compatibility, and support for Adobe Premiere plug-ins and QuickTime digital video playback and sync. DECK works in conjunction with third-party audio cards or in "native mode" on almost any recent Mac (including all PowerPC and G3 CPUs, even PowerBooks) with no additional audio hardware.
Cakewalk recently released Cakewalk Pro Audio Version 9 for Windows 95/NT. New features include WavePipe technology for low latency and enhanced audio streaming; export to MP3, Windows Media Advanced Streaming Format and RealAudio G2; and AudioX support, with complete control of the Yamaha DSP Factory. Other enhancements include interleaved stereo tracks, the ability to combine stereo and mono audio data in one track, smooth audio scrubbing, and improved MIDI features such as a multitrack piano roll view and the new Session Drummer and Style Enhancer MIDI plug-ins.
CreamWare's tripleDAT workstation is now in Version 3.0 release, with the most significant upgrade being the integration with Pulsar and SCOPE, CreamWare's DSP-based audio platforms. Owners of both systems can now access the I/Os of Pulsar (20) or SCOPE (24) directly from within tripleDAT, making it possible to record up to 16 tracks at once. In addition, tracks can be routed internally from tripleDAT into Pulsar/SCOPE, where they can be mixed and processed through the effects on the DSP cards, taking the burden off the host PC. Other new features include 96kHz support and direct integration of .WAV and AIFF files.
Digidesign's Pro Tools 5.0 software upgrade (see Mix, September 1999) offers more powerful features for music and post-production on the Mac and Windows NT platforms-including the long-awaited native support for the capture, import and playback of Avid media within Pro Tools. Other highlights include an update to the plug-in architecture, an integrated MIDI sequencer (with sample-accurate view of MIDI and audio tracks, grid-based editing, arranging via regions and edit groups, and more) and a redesigned OMF transfer tool (now with OMF import and export). Pro Tools 5.0 incorporates aspects of Avid AudioVision with new features such as a fixed-playhead display, capture tool for non-timeline recording (up to eight tracks), a 2-channel clip editor for non-timeline editing, integrated EDL autoconforming and track arming/recording on external transports via 9-pin control. Two new video hardware options, Digidesign AVoption and AVoption XL, provide Avid Video capture and playback. In addition, Digidesign enters the host-based DAW market with a bundled, reduced-feature version called Pro Tools LE, which adds CPU-based mixing and real-time AudioSuite plug-ins to the company's entry-level hardware. LE runs with Digidesign's new entry-level project system called Digi 001-which was announced at AES-as well as the Audiomedia III card.
Digital Audio Labs offers the V8 system of PC cards and external components. With a single V8 Main Board and choice of one or more V8 I/O peripherals, a system can provide 16 true tracks of hard disk recording, with a 32-channel real-time automated digital mixer. As many as three DSP Supercharger modules may be added, each capable of running channels of real-time automated EQs, dynamics processors and effects. The V8 was engineered to operate exclusively with third-party software and plug-ins -including applications from Cakewalk, SEK'D, Waves,Minnetonka, Antares, QSound and others. DAL also offers a family of cards including the CardDeluxe (successor to the CardD), a PCI design supporting resolution of up to 24 bits/96 kHz and offering S/PDIF digital and balanced analog I/O. The card offers 4-channel operation, works with most 24/96-compatible software, including Cool Edit Pro, SAW and Cakewalk Pro Audio, and supports DirectX and Windows 95/ 98/NT and ASIO.
Digital Audio Research released its latest-generation processing platform-STORM-and the associated range of SoundStation STORM audio editing systems. The new generation is initially available as a 32-track system, scalable up to 128 internal tracks, and comes with a choice of control surfaces-DAR's new high-resolution color touchscreen controller or a compact controller for use with a mouse and monitor. Users can display up to 32 tracks at a time, with selectable viewing of waveforms, visible fades, crossfades and marks, vertical track zoom facilities and more. STORM supports sampling rates up to 192 kHz and 16- and 24-bit operation, with the ability to incorporate segments of different bit depths in the same reel. A 100Mbit D-net network port is standard. STORM offers DSP capabilities including segment-based EQ, pan, gain and mixing. The STORM lineup is complemented by the OMR8 disk-recorder range, which now includes onboard DSP and native Pro Tools compatibility. All of DAR's latest-generation editing systems incorporate Genesis software, which provides the ability to operate with a wide cross section of third-party devices and software, plus full networking capability, supporting Broadcast .WAV, OMFI, AES31, Pro Tools and Lightworks.
The Postation from Australia's dSP (see Mix, September 1998) is a digital production system offering 32-track recording and 32-channel onboard mixing, with the capability of accepting 48 additional inputs and nonlinear video. The Digital Editing Processor, the core of the dSP audio system, offers digital inputs and outputs (Y2 and AES/EBU), resolutions of 16- to 24-bit, and delivers up to 32 tracks of sustained audio playback.
The SPEED control surface provides single-action editing via a simple layout that has the editing keys placed around a smooth jog wheel, with dedicated track select keys and a numeric keypad. The user can view the waveform in various ways and can simultaneously record and playback on all tracks using threshold, punch-in/out, auto punch-in/out, or import from a quick and comprehensive clip database. A variety of software configurations provides options for automation, machine control, touchscreen control, signal processing (including sample rate conversion, time stretching) and EDL conform. As many as eight desktops or Postations can be placed on a network, and an OMF Connect station allows for integration from OMFI-compatible systems (OMF NetConnect).
Emagic is shipping Logic Audio 4.0 for Mac and Windows 98-the Windows version has been completely rewritten for the 4.0 release. The upgrade supports 24-bit/96kHz recording, includes 34 proprietary plug-ins and debuts a new, streamlined graphical interface featuring multiple-language support. Emagic has also introduced EASI (Enhanced Audio Streaming Interface), a free, cross-platform, public interface-nondisclosure agreements are not required. The core technology is platform-independent and includes multichannel support via full-duplex operation and sample-accurate sync. EASI reduces the CPU load by taking advantage of hardware accelerator functions and minimizing data transfers/format conversions.
E-mu's Audio Production Studio is a PCI-based system offering 64 voices of sampling, multitrack hard disk recording, and real-time DSP effects. The system includes a PCI card, drive bay input/output module, and a suite of software including a MIDI/audio sequencer, a sample preset editor, mixer/effects control software and hundreds of sounds on CD-ROM. The APS has the ability to record and play full-duplex, studio-quality audio directly on your hard drive while playing and recording MIDI sequences.
Version 2.0 software for the Ensoniq PARIS workstation is shipping. What's new? A Crossfades Bar in the Editor window of each SubMix offers quick access to tools for setting the shape and length of any fade-in/out or crossfade. V2.0 also supports the import/export of 16- or 24-bit mono (or interleaved stereo) as SD2 and .WAV files. For file management, new Delete Last Take and Select Last Record File commands simplify operations when recording multiple takes. And the PARIS ASIO drivers (now included with the software) allow PARIS hardware to be used with sequencers such as Steinberg's Cubase VST, Emagic's Logic Audio and Opcode's Vision DSP and Studio Vision Pro.
Euphonix recently introduced the SL156, a hardware interface providing machine control of the Euphonix R-1 multitrack recorder from all SSL G Series and AMS Neve V Series consoles. With the SL156 interface, G Series and Flying Faders, users can retain console machine control while taking advantage of the 24-bit recording and random access capabilities (such as as instant locate, nondestructive record and cut/copy/ paste editing) of the R-1. The SL156 allows 48-track record-ready arming with lamp tallies from SSL consoles, as well as direct cue control from SSL and Flying Faders automation systems. In addition, the SL156 offers one-button re-patching to allow an "instant swap" between the R-1 and any parallel-controlled tape machine. Also at AES, Euphonixannounced a software upgrade for the R-1 that makes the system fully 24-bit/96kHz capable.
New from Fairlight, the Merlin Digital Multitrack Recorder is a networkable disk-based recorder that can record 24 tracks of audio with up to 24-bitresolution (bit widthsmaybe mixed within a project), at sampling rates to 48 kHz. Merlin inherits a variety of features found on MFX3plus and FAME systems, with direct file exchange capability and networking ability.
In addition, Merlin offers a full upgrade path to 48 tracks/96 kHz. A controller replicates the interface of tape-based multitrack recorders, and Merlin offers recording modes to suit various applications: traditional multitrack tape emulation, a nondestructive DAW mode and an automatic recording mode for managed takes and ADR sessions. Editing functions (selectable from the controller's LCD screen soft menus) include cut-and-paste, razor, track, gate and trim editing functions, with a scrolling waveform display across all tracks. I/O is configurable (available with all-digital, all-analog or a combination of analog and digital inputs/outputs) and the unit offers comprehensive sync and machine control capability. Merlin files are compatible with MFX3plus, FAME and DaDplus audio platforms, and networking options allow Merlin to connect directly to Fairlight's MediaLink peer-to-peer networking solution and NT audio server.
Fostex offers the new VM 200/VR 800 digital recording and mixing system, comprising two units that can be used together or separately. The VR 800 ($749) is an 8-track disk-based recorder (storage is to a variety of internal and external media) that offers nondestructive editing features, graphic envelope display, autoscrubbing, varipitch, MIDI and word sync, and more. Priced at $1,499, the VM 200 is a 20-input/8-bus digital mixer built around 32-bit RISC processing, with moving-fader automation and plenty of DSP functions.
Designed for multichannel recording and mastering applications, the Genex GX8500 multiformat 8-track digital recorder (distributed by HHb) can record in linear and nonlinear modes. Formats supported include AES/EBU, S/PDIF, SDIF-2 and Direct Stream Digital, and the new Super Audio CD standard. Sample rates are user-selectable up to 192 kHz, and bit resolution is to 24 bits (optional A/D/A converters enable 24/96 recording). Storage is to either the built-in 5.2GB MO drive, or via SCSI to remote disk or removable media. Cross-platform compatibility is offered, with support of BWF/.WAV files and a variety of disk formats.
Innovative Quality Software's SAWPro provides nonlinear, nondestructive editing and 24-bit hard disk multitrack recording; features include 3D real-time mono/stereo tracks, support of up to 12 stereo devices, DirectX/VST plug-in support, 99 levels of multiple undo, and more. IQS also recently released its Levelizer plug-in, a 32-bit dynamics processing and mastering tool for SAW32, SAWPlus32 or SAWPro. The Levelizer offers a gate, compressor and peak limiter/normalizer, with accurate gain reduction metering of all combined functions, a remove silence function, and the ability to scan and display the highest 50 peaks.
The latest offering from Intelligent Devices, Virtual Paris Pro is a virtual recording studio/audio editing system with integrated MIDI functionality. A recorder/editor offers 1,000 tracks of advanced free-form editing, 99 levels of redo/undo, user-definable crossfades and an integrated sample-level editor. Mixer features include five multimode EQs and six inserts per channel, 12 effects buses, and up to eight stereo buses. In addition, user-configurable tool sets and views allow for saving screen configurations, and a mini-mixer provides a comprehensive overview of the mix. Virtual Paris Pro supports third-party control surfaces, VST and DirectX. All parameters are fully automatable. Also available is Virtual Paris, offering the same functionality with slightly scaled-down features such as 250 tracks of advanced free-form editing, ten levels of saved redo/undo, three multimode EQs, two inserts per channel and six effects buses.
Korg's latest is the D16, a 16-track integrated digital recording system including a 24-bit digital recorder, 24-channel digital mixer, effects system (including modeling), and a built-in 2.1GB hard drive. The effects section (97 effect types) features Korg's latest REMS (Resonant structure and electronic circuit modeling system) technology, which emulates a wide variety of effects, amplifiers, speaker cabinets and microphones.
The Desktop Audio System Core2 from Lexicon offers connections for four channels of analog in, eight channels of analog out, eight channels of ADAT digital I/O and a stereo S/PDIF pair. The system features 24-bit A/D and D/A converters, with selectable dbx Type IV soft-knee limiting on every input channel, to simulate tape compression and provide 4 dB of improved headroom. It ships with Syntrillium's Cool Edit Pro SE. An optional daughterboard includes all of the effects found in the Lexicon MPX 100 Dual Channel Effects Processor.
Unveiled at AES, the HDR24/96 from Mackie is a rackmount 24-track recorder/editor that's 24-bit/96kHz-capable. Final details were unavailable at press time, but this less-than-$5,000 unit includes an onboard 20GB IDE-format hard drive, an empty drive bay allowing for a second hard drive, and a rear panel SCSI port. The back panel I/O uses the same cards as Mackie's D8B digital console, so users can custom-configure the HDR24/96 for any type of connections, whether digital (ADAT/ TDIF or AES/EBU) or analog. Other features include MTC and SMPTE sync import of SD2, AIFF and .WAV files, 192 (8x24) virtual tracks and onboard DSP (phase reverse/normalize, reverse, pitch shift and time compress/expand). Among its edit functions are: drag-and-drop with a choice of nine crossfades, track slipping and keyed sample replacement for replacing drum parts. A meter bridge is optional, and users can add a standard PC-style keyboard and S-VGA monitor to expand the system. Two HDR24/96 units can be synched to provide 48-track recording capability.
Mark of the Unicorn features a family of mix-and-match workstation components. The 2408 is a multichannel digital audio hard disk recording system for Mac OS and Windows, including a PCI card (PCI-324), rackspace I/O unit, I/O software drivers for both Mac OS and Windows, and the AudioDesk software package, featuring 24-bit recording and real-time, 32-bit effects processing. Effects plug-ins are supported (in the MOTU Audio System and Adobe Premiere formats), along with MOTU's PureDSP time-stretching and pitch-shifting technology. MOTU's 1224 is an expander for a 2408 core system, or it can be used as an independent core system (includes the PCI-324 card and AudioDesk). The 308 is a multiformat digital audio interface designed for use as an expander for an existing MOTU core system; as many as three can be connected for 72 simultaneous I/Os. Although AudioDesk and Digital Performer (MOTU's MIDI sequencer with integrated digital audio recording) are software front-ends, the hardware is compatible with all major Mac and Windows audio applications.
Micro Technology Unlimited offers the Microsound Digital Audio Workstation, available with computer or by adding the Microeditor software and Krystal DSP audio card (required for Microeditor, a 32-bit Windows 95/98/NT application) into your computer. The Krystal DSP sound card and Microeditor are the heart of the system, which processes and mixes with 24-bit samples and 56-bit accumulators, with proprietary algorithms to convert back to 16 or 24 bits. Microeditor offers random access editing with Floating Tracks for adjusting segments in sync; Disk Layering allows overlapping of more than 100,000 sounds. Microeditor 5.2b and MicroCD 2.3 are the latest production releases, available online at www.mtu.com.
Studio Vision Pro is Opcode's integrated MIDI sequencing and digital audio recording software for the Macintosh. Version 4.5 includes comprehensive automation for consoles and VST plug-ins, ReWire support for software synthesizers, and audio file management, EQ and plug-in enhancements. SVP features Power Mac-native code, Digidesign Pro Tools TDM and ASIO hardware support, advanced DSP features, real-time effects and EQs, and patented Audio-to-MIDI, QuickTime Movie support; it comes with BIAS Peak SE sample editing software.
Otari has released software upgrades for its RADAR products. V2.03, aimed at RADAR I users, adds features such as selective backup and restore and a revision of the progress indicator system to include both time remaining and quantity of backup or restored data. In addition, audio recorded in 16-bit mode on a RADAR II and backed up to Exabyte tape can now be restored to RADAR I. The revision provides support for the RE8-II controller, including a new sync user interface, default SMPTE rate preference setting, illegal sample rate detection and more.
The Version 2.07 upgrade for RADAR II enables the display of waveforms for audio levels above the Wave Noise Floor, using new zoom and scroll keys on the RE8-II remote. A new menu item under the DI I/O menu routing section lets the user select which tracks to input from the multichannel digital inputs (TDIF or AES-Multi). A new internal/external SMPTE display mode has been included for when RADAR II is controlled by an external transport such as a VCR or audio deck.
Peavey and Cakewalk have joined forces with StudioMix(tm), a moving fader hardware control surface that integrates with Cakewalk 8-track digital audio recording/MIDI editing software. The console includes MMC transport keys, jog/shuttle wheel, four user-definable soft keys and tactile control of volume, pan, sends, returns, track arming, mute, solo, chorus/reverb, etc. This "studio in a box" package retails at $899.
New from Roland, the VSR-880 Digital Studio Recorder is a rackmount 8-track recorder with 128 Virtual Tracks, featuring nondestructive editing with 999 levels of Undo. Applications include direct replacement for tape-based MDMs; integration with digital mixers; and track expanders for current V-Studio owners. The VSR-880 features an R-BUS connection, providing eight channels of up to 24-bit digital I/O when connected to other R-BUS devices, or to ADAT and Tascam TDIF units using the optional DIF-AT.
An optional VS8F-2 Effect Expansion Board adds two powerful onboard stereo effects processors. Thirty-six stereo effects algorithms include Roland's COSM-based effects such as the new Speaker Modeling and Mastering Tool Kit algorithms. The VSR-880's built-in SCSI port can be used for backing up projects to external devices or for use with Roland's VS-CDRII CD Recording System.
New from SEK'D is Version 5.3 of Samplitude 2496 multitracking/mastering software for Windows 95/NT. Features include a new surround editor that allows users to create true 5.1-channel or 2-channel Lt-Rt (Dolby Pro Logic-compatible) mixes. Samplitude now supports the Apple QuickTime format (*.mov) and also imports and exports AIFF files in high-resolution 24- or 32-bit formats. Other new features include an intuitive, flexible mixing environment, more MIDI capability (including the ability to import MIDI files or record MIDI in real time), MP3 encoding, sync enhancements, support for mono plug-ins such as Antares Auto-Tune, and more.
Designed for DSP-intensive applications, the SADiE ARTEMIS is supplied as a fully configured turnkey system with eight to 24 inputs and outputs. Support for 24-bit/96kHz and 192kHz audio editing is standard, and all internal audio processing is to 32-bit floating-point accuracy. All ARTEMIS systems include SMPTE timecode support, four channels of RS-422 control, SCSI ports for connecting additional hard disks, CD-R, DLT, DDS or Exabyte drives, and a rackmount breakout box. The latter provides eight channels of AES/EBU digital I/O on XLRs, digital reference input, RS-422 9-pin I/O and eight channels of unbalanced analog I/O. As an option, balanced analog I/O is available. ARTEMIS exploits many new features in the SADiE 3 software: The latest version now includes full surround sound mixing facilities, allowing the user to select between mono, stereo, LCR, LCRS and full 5.1 surround mixer strips.
At September's AES convention in New York, Solid State Logic debuted MixTrack, a 24-bit, 96-track hard disk recording option for the Axiom-MT digital console. MixTrack is a completely integrated option, operating over Ethernet from the MT's machine control panel. The integration provides access to control-panel features, such as a scrub wheel that enables automated events to be set using SSL's varispeed automation write capability, enabling set-up of automation events with the recording medium at rest or at scrub speed (as opposed to catching events "on the fly"). MixTrack can provide up to 4 11/42 hours of recording on each track, and additional removable hard disks are available as options.
Vegas Pro marks Sonic Foundry's expansion into Internet authoring tools and media editing. Retailing at $699, the application is a nonlinear multitrack recording/editing system for Windows. Based around a multi-threaded architecture for real-time performance (including editing and effects), Vegas Pro is 24-bit/96kHz capable, accommodates unlimited tracks and includes DirectX plug-in support. Additionally, Vegas Pro has the ability to mix file properties, bit depths and sampling rates. Also standard is support of MP3 files and the creation of streaming media content, including the ability to incorporate timeline metadata for both Windows Media Technologies 4.0 and RealNetworks RealSystem G2 file formats.
The SonicStudio HD workstation from Sonic Solutions offers real-time, nondestructive waveform/bar/text-mode editing, multichannel audio scrubbing, 144 virtual tracks with real-time, infinitely variable crossfades, drag-and-drop sound placement and copy-and-paste editing, auto or punch-on-the-fly recording, multiple EDL playback and simultaneous record, timecode reading and writing, and QuicKeys[superscript](R).
The system is 24-bit throughout, with ten types of real-time EQs and filters, dynamic and snapshot mix automation, real-time 96kHz-to-44.1kHz sample rate conversion, internal digital mixdown, and Sony Super Bit Mapping(tm) and Sonic Turbo Bit Mapping bit-reduction algorithms. A variety of formats are supported, with true 16- to 24-bit resolution and sampling rates up to 192 kHz. Sonic Studio EDLs are directly compatible with Sonic's DVD Creator(tm) and DesktopDVD All-In-One DVD publishing workstations and workgroups.
The SonicStudio HD features the HDSP(tm) Plug In Processor, allowing third parties to develop technologies for mastering, High Density Audio and new audio formats.
The Sony DADR-5000 Digital Audio Disk Recorder, an alternative for the analog magnetic film dubber, is a 16-channel recorder for selectable 16-, 20- or 24-bit uncompressed digital processing. Designed to network without external synchronization, the DADR-5000 now lets users plug and play Pro Tools disks without format conversion, real-time transfer or generation loss.
Soundscape Digital Technology's newest workstation, R.Ed, combines 32-track, 24-bit hardware (up to 28 inputs and 32 outputs per unit) with complete editing software for Windows 95/98/NT. R.Ed provides host-independent processing and supports two fixed and two removable IDE drives per unit. I/Os include AES/EBU and TDIF ports. An optional board adds 2-in/4-out balanced XLR analog I/O (with 24-bit converters); Soundscape's SS8IO-1 option adds up to 24 channels of XLR balanced analog I/O and 24 channels of TDIF/ADAT conversion.
R.Ed software is an updated version of Soundscape's SSHDR1-Plus Version 2 systems, with a new user interface. Features include nondestructive editing tools such as cut, copy, move, trim, slip, normalize, real-time fades and multichannel audio scrubbing. R.Ed can also play synchronized nonlinear video files via video capture cards. R.Ed is modular-two or more linked R.Eds can provide more than 64-track playback and 48 digital I/Os at 24-bit resolution. The Soundscape Mixtreme PCI card provides the expandable mixing engine for use with the company's mixing and plug-in environment with real-time, third-party DSP.
Soundtracs has introduced DSM, a production station integrating a SADiE audio editor with video playback, and based on the architecture of its new DS-3 32-bit console. DSM features a 96-channel mixer and 32-track nonlinear audio editor, facilitating subframe-accurate sync between audio, video and automation. Single-step filing allows all data to be loaded, saved, archived and restored in one operation to a single medium.
The AudioCube 3 from Spectral is a 24-bit/96kHz mastering, audio restoration, archival and editing workstation, based on dual 500MHz Pentium III processors in a 5U rack enclosure. The AudioCube performs numerous real-time audio restoration functions (deNoise, DeBuzz, DeCrackle, de-ess, DeClipp, etc.) in multichannel formats and includes an editor. The Quadriga module offers automated transfer from analog tape or vinyl, while monitoring the incoming audio data and reporting on errors.
Steinberg is now shipping its Nuendo system on the NT platform. Nuendo combines native audio processing with real-time efects, a VST-compatible plug-in architecture and up to 256 tracks of digital audio, plus MIDI enhancements. Cubase 4.1 VST, the most recent version for the Mac, includes dynamics processors built into audio channels, VST remote control devices, ASIO 2.0 features, VST mixer views and Yamaha DSP factory support. Cubase 3.7 for Windows is also shipping.
Syntrillium is shipping Cool Edit Pro Version 1.2. Upgrades include full reverb, hard limiter, pitch bender and DTMF/notch filter effects; RealMedia G2 support; automatic silence detection and deletion; preview for almost every effect; and VCR-like timed record capability.
Just around the corner is Cool Edit 2000, a pro-level, 24/96-capable editor/ recorder with more than 20 DSP effects (Reverb, NR, Time/Pitch Stretch, etc.). Cool Edit 2000 will be available as a stand-alone system, but is part of a suite: The Studio Plug-In adds a 4-track mixer, and the Audio Cleanup Plug-In provides restoration tools like click/pop elimination, hiss reduction and clip restoration.
Spotlighted in last month's Mix, Tascam's MX 24-24 is a disk-based, 24-bit, 24-track recorder/editor. This stand-alone, four-rackspace unit supports Broadcast .WAV and Digidesign's SD2 file formats, and an optional software utility converts MX 24-24 EDLs to/from standard OMF files. Features include an internal hard disk, empty bay for adding another drive, rear panel SCSI port, MIDI and SMPTE read/write/chase, MIDI Machine Control, rehearse/auto-punch/looping functions, jog/scrub wheel, a cascade port for linking multiple units and a choice of destructive or nondestructive editing modes. Optional I/O cards include TDIF, ADAT Lightpipe, AES/EBU digital and balanced analog. Retail is $3,999.
ViewNet Audio from Timeline is a graphical user interface application for the Tascam MMR-8/MMP-16 digital multitrack systems. The software provides real-time status display and control of multiple machines, along with commands for manipulating audio events. Created in JAVA, ViewNet Audio is compatible with Macintosh and Windows 95/98/NT systems. Also released, Version 1.1 of TransAudio PipeLine, a software application that provides backup, import and export of popular DAW file formats. The software can perform a TapeMode convert, which rewrites all audio referenced in a session into contiguous files.
The 4-channel TCR4 and 8-channel TCR8 from 360 Systems are designed specifically for broadcast, video production and video post-production. Both models offer 24-bit audio, a large amount of internal hard disk storage, high-density removable disks, complete timecode implementation and VTR emulation. The 4-channel unit, when coupled with timecode capability, could be used as a replacement fo DAT machines and "audio dedicated" VTRs. TCR8 provides several hours of 8-channel audio. Both units offer editing features such as user-selectable crossfade length; dynamic edit mark features; and pre-roll, edit in, edit out and post-roll. Rehearse functions allow for full simulation, and the RMW (Read-Modify-Write) feature provides layering and mixdown capability. Systems include analog and digital I/O, a large display screen, built-in keypad for cut titling and organization, and a number of remote control options including P2 (9-pin), RS-422 and GPI connections.
Studio Suite 16 from Tracer Technologies is a 16-track digital recorder that emulates the typical multitrack tape deck interface. Features include multiple card support, DirectX support, effects, automation and editing features.
WaveFrame has been busy: NetWave, developed with mSoft, provides complete integration with the WaveFrame editing system-sounds are stored on a Windows NT server in .WAV format. Sounds are searched, auditioned and selected in a Web browser application and transferred to the user machine in the background. Mix to Pix brings the DSP engine of the upcoming WaveFrame 7.0 to current users-the engine (up to nine 56303 processors) can provide 32 channels of mixing, with EQ, aux sends and panning capability on each input. WaveFrame Digital Video adds full-motion NTSC nonlinear video to all WaveFrame systems. And finally, the Event Processor, co-developed with E-mu, brings a cuesheet-based sampler to the WaveFrame system.
Yamaha's DSP Factory comprises a DS2416 Digital Mixing Card and an AX44 Audio Expansion Unit, combining to turn a personal computer into a multitrack recording/mixing system. The DS2416 PCI card offers the mixing power of the Yamaha O2R, complete with 24 channels, onboard digital effects and dynamic processors, plus 16 tracks of hard disk recording at up to 32-bit resolution. The DS2416 offers host-independent processing and is controlled using software from developers of MIDI and hard disk recording applications-companies include Steinberg, Emagic, Canam Computers, C-mexx, Cakewalk, SEK'D, Minnetonka, MxTrax and others. Cards can be linked, and expansion cards are available. The AX44 installs into a tower drive bay and provides four 11/44-inch analog inputs, two of which can accommodate microphones, and four 11/44-inch analog outputs, plus a stereo headphone jack.
Finally, slated to ship this fall, Yamaha's D24 is a stand-alone 8-track magneto-optical recorder/editor offering 8-track simultaneous record and play at 16/20/24-bit audio and 44.1/48kHz sampling rates, along with 4-track record/ play at 96 kHz, SMPTE/MIDI sync, and the capability to interlock up to six units for 48-track capability.
Berkley Systems (BIAS)www.bias-inc.com
Digital Audio Labswww.digitalaudio.com
Digital Audio Researchwww.dar.uk.com
Innovative Quality Softwarewww.iqsoft.com
Mark of the Unicornwww.motu.com
Micro Technology Unlimitedwww.mtu.com