Tech: New Products, August 2009High-End Gain Control Airfield AudioCompressor The new Liminator from Airfield Audio (www.airfield audio.com) is a vintage-style analog audio compressor
The new Liminator from Airfield Audio (www.airfield audio.com) is a vintage-style analog audio compressor available in mono ($1,995), stereo ($3,495) or mastering editions. The hand-assembled unit features switchable transformers (Jensen/Sowter); five-position step rotary switches for attack, release and ratio; a switchable VU meter; and continuously variable adjustment on threshold and output gain. The no-compromise unit also offers silver solder on all connections, a relay bypass, a link switch and a circuit board made with 3-ounce copper.
This mini-bundle of plug-ins (VST, RTAS, Audio Units) from Brainworx (www.brainworx-music.de) comprises bx_dynEQ mono, bx_dynEQ stereo, bx_dynEQ M/S and bx_boom! Promising a new and unique approach to dynamic EQ, bx_dynEQ includes a “cross-feed” M/S feature, allowing M and S signals to trigger each other, and an array of filter types (including a new bandpass) and Brainworx's Bass-Shift and Presence Shift filters. bx_boom! is a preset stripped down to only two parameters and an intuitive graphic design tool, enabling the user to attenuate or boost the impact of the bass drum sound in the final mix or in a stereo drum loop. Purchase (349 Euros) is Web-only from Brainworx's Website.
BRU PE Archiving Solution
Designed with input from the AES P&E Wing and NARAS members, BRU PE ($499) from the Tolis Group (www.tolisgroup.com) is a multiprocessor and multicore-aware backup solution specifically designed to create session archives. Features allow drag-and-drop of volumes, folders or session files; creation of two tape copies of the same data simultaneously; and tape library support (up to two drives and 24 slots). BRU PE supports all tape technology with no special drivers required. It allows creation of a single archive element containing all assigned components on one set of backup tapes, multiple archives containing one or multiple components on a single set of backup tapes, or multiple tapes with one or multiple components per tape.
MZD 8000 Digital Module
The slick, new MZD 8000 ($999) module for Sennheiser's (www.sennheiserusa.com) 8000 Series microphones allows users to digitize their signals directly after the capsules of their MKH 8020 (omni-directional), MKH 8040 (cardioid) and MKH 8050 (supercardioid) microphones. The screw-on unit replaces the current XLR module, and outputs AES-42-standard signal up to 24-bit/192kHz. In addition, the module contains a DSP unit allowing remote control of a low-cut filter, attenuation and limiter via PC control software and Neumann's DMI interface (not included). The DMI provides phantom power and word clock to sync the microphone, or they may be synched using an external word clock.
Pro studios, composers, musicians and engineers understand the importance of being able to work with written music. Sibelius 6 Pro ($599) from Sibelius (www.sibelius.com) has made it easier than ever by taking automated scoring up a notch. Sibelius 6 can now interface with most DAWs and sequencers via ReWire support, allowing the user to add a live performance to an audio recording or sync a recording with a score's playback. Other features include version tracking, synchronization with video and film, and Magnetic Layout, which gives everything just the right amount of space and avoids collisions to produce beautiful and printable results.
This simple and affordable plug-in from Audio Damage (www.audiodamage.com) features three custom-designed reverb algorithms powered from a simple GUI (VST/Audio Units; Mac/PC). Eos Reverb's ($49) effects include a mono-in/stereo-out plate, true stereo plate and a stereo Superhall. Controls include modulation rate and depth, attack, diffusion and full control over the EQ and multipliers of the reverb tail. Low CPU usage is promised, as compared to other plug-ins, including far-lower CPU use than the average convolution reverb.
The news from Apple's WWDC brought some exciting options for audio pros who own Apple (www.apple.com) mobile devices and Novation (www.novationmusic.com) products. Automap for iPhone and iPod touch (available from Apple's App Store), combined with Novation's free Automap 3 Standard software or Automap 3 PRO ($29.99), provides two horizontal faders and eight buttons per page (pages unlimited) displayed on a single iPhone/iPod touch screen. Automap lets you see, at a glance, how every control on your iPhone/iPod touch is assigned, both on the iPhone and iPod touch itself, and across your computer screen. Control maps are automatically placed into categories depending on type, and controls can be re-assigned via the Learn mode.
The 500 Series has a new member in the VC500 ($925) compressor from Inward Connections (dist. by Vintage King, www.vintageking.com). The Steve Firlotte-designed unit features SPA690 all-discrete amp blocks; transformerless, differentially balanced input; and transformer-balanced output. Ratio control ranges from 2:1 to 30:1 to infinity, release control from 0.1 to 3 seconds, and threshold from -40 dB to +22 dB. The stereo-link switch allows the module detector circuit to be tied to adjacent 500 Series compressor modules.