Tech: New Products, December 2011

Magma has released ExpressBox 3T ($979), the first three-slot PCIe expansion chassis for Thunderbolt™ technology. The expander works with any Thunderbolt-equipped computer and provides three PCIe 2 12/01/2011 4:00 AM Eastern

Magma ExpressBox 3T
Magma has released ExpressBox 3T ($979), the first three-slot PCIe expansion chassis for Thunderbolt™ technology. The expander works with any Thunderbolt-equipped computer and provides three PCIe 2.0 expansion slots (two x8 and one x4) operating at up to 10 Gbps. Using the chassis, users can daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt devices including high-resolution displays. The PCIe card(s) require a Thunderbolt-compatible driver and Mac OS Version 10.6.7 or newer, or Windows 7 using Boot Camp.

Sterling Audio ST6050 Microphone
Voiced by engineer/producer and multiple-Grammy-recipient Allen Sides, the ST6050 ($1,699.99) from Sterling Audio was inspired by Ocean Way’s expansive collection of microphones. By combining classic capsule and FET design with modern manufacturing techniques, the ST6050 promises stunning clarity with a rich, warm, open sound and a silky top end. The ST6050 features a 1-inch, 8-micron, gold-sputtered capsule and a robust transformer design with side-by-side windings that yield an even low-frequency response while maintaining openness and top-end air. The chassis comprises a chrome-plated, woven-brass grille with steel-head frame, plus a heavy brass body with chrome-plated closing ring. The ST6050 package includes an SM7 shockmount, attractive wood storage case and windscreen; it can be purchased through

AEA RPQ500 Preamp
Based on the design of AEA’s full-rack RPQ preamplifier and promising the same ultra-clean, high-gain signal path as the company’s other preamps, the RPQ500 ($649) has been enhanced with additional features, turning it into a workhorse tool for any API 500–compatible rack. Features include 80 dB of quiet JFET gain and NoLoad™ input impedance above 10k ohms, plus the CurveShaper, offering a natural option for sculpting your sound right at the start of the signal path. Switchable and tunable LF and HF contour controls allow users to tame proximity problems and provide HF extension and slope control. Other features include a Line/Mic switch bypassing the preamp, allowing the unit to be used for tracking with other preamps or during mixdown.

Rain Computers Nimbus M2 Computer
The Nimbus M2 from Rain Computers is a new do-anything workstation providing a standard 6-core processor, NVIDIA Quadro 600 workstation video card and 8 GB or 16 GB of memory right out of the box. The platform is expandable to 32 gigs, features an external hard drive bay for fast “hot-swap” drive installation and a new cooling system developed by NZXT that combines modular cooling fans with advanced acoustic insulation. The Nimbus M2 multimedia workstation is available now starting at $1,599 through the Rain Custom Shop, as well as through select Rain-authorized dealers like American Musical Supply (AMS), Best Buy and B&H Photo in New York.

AMS Neve 2264ALB Limiter/Compressor
A re-creation of the classic Neve 2264A limiter/compressor in 500 Series format, the 2264ALB ($1,395) is hand-assembled at AMS-Neve’s headquarters in the UK, using hand-wound transformers to the original specs and new features like a confidence LED for checking signal status. The new unit also adds a slow-attack switch, which changes the attack time to 12 ms, allowing a 2264ALB (or a pair) to be used as mix bus compressors where a slower attack time is desirable. The 2264ALB, like the 1073LBEQ, also incorporates Neve’s Audio Processing Insert design, allowing it to be inserted between the input and output stages of a 1073LB module. All three units—the 1073LB, 1073LBEQ and 2264ALB—can be combined, creating a classic Neve channel strip in Lunchbox format.

Emotiva Audio AirMotiv Monitors
Emotiva Pro has debuted Airmotiv, a lineup of self-powered, high-resolution monitoring systems, each using the company’s exclusive Airmotiv folded ribbon, boasting extended frequency response throughout and beyond the audible range. All monitors are bi-amped, starting with the Airmotiv 4 ($399 pair), which features a 4.5-inch LF driver (50 watts) rated down to 52 Hz. The Airmotiv 5 ($599 pair) offers a larger 5.25-inch woofer (100W), while the flagship Airmotiv 6 ($799 pair) has precision-matched LF drivers (210W). The LF drivers feature Curv® ultra-rigid and lightweight composite-cone structure, promising natural and well-balanced sound quality and low distortion. Other features include RCA and balanced XLR connections, tilt control and an LF control.

Radial Firefly Tube DI
Ready for rack, floor or desktop, the Radial Firefly ($599) tube DI is a Class-A, fully discrete instrument front end designed for both studio and live performance. The Firefly features two inputs, allowing quick changes via the front panel switch or using a standard latching remote footswitch. Like Radial’s JDV, the Firefly is also equipped with Drag Control load correction, allowing the user to adjust the load on a magnetic pickup for more natural rendering. When bypassed, the load jumps to 4 mega-ohms so that the Firefly can be used with piezo pickups. The Class-A circuit features a select 12AX7 tube drive with gain and trim controls to increase the grit and warmth as needed.

Millennia NSEQ-4
Millennia Music & Media Systems has released its ultra-high-performance NSEQ-4 ($4,605) parametric equalizer, designed for those not needing the versatility of having the NSEQ-2’s valve and solid-state circuitry in the same unit. Features include an all-discrete, true-differential, Class-A input buffer/amplifier; selectable balanced or unbalanced input; third-generation FSA-03 EQ amplifier; improved output stage; hardwired bypass; and an upgraded power supply. A user’s NSEQ-2 can be converted at the factory to the NSEQ-4 for $800. 

New Sound Reinforcement Products

DiGiCo SD10-24
The DiGiCo SD10-24’s control surface offers 25 100mm touch-sensitive faders for its 96 channels of processing, 12 of which can be configured as full Flexi Channels; outputs can be assigned across the surface. Processing options include channel delay, single and multichannel presets, HPF and LPF with 24dB per octave, four bands of parametric EQ with band-curve selection, compressor, dual-insert points and busing. Dual-mono inputs offer fast main and alt channel-switching. User-defined Smart Key macros are accessed via four layers of 10 backlit LCD keys. Back panel I/O comprises eight mic inputs, eight line outputs, eight mono AES I/O, two MADI connections, 16 GPI and GPO connections, MIDI, word clock, MADI and Optocore. Dynamic EQ provides expansion and compression on all four bands of parametric EQ, and can be assigned to any of the input or output channels, with 10 units being allocated as required. The 48 assignable buses can be configured as mono or stereo groups, or auxiliary buses. There is an additional stereo or L/C/R master bus and 16x12 output matrix. Sixteen stereo Sound Grid racks can be inserted, with up to eight plug-ins in each rack. Expansion options are available.

Earthworks WL40V
Earthworks Microphones’ first wireless product, the WL40V wireless vocal microphone capsule, is adapted from the company’s SR40V vocal mic. The WL40V’s hypercardioid polar pattern and extended flat frequency response translate to a natural on- and off-axis performance. The wireless capsule is interchangeable with any screw-on-type handheld transmitters that receive a 31.3mm/pitch, 1mm threading, such as those from Lectrosonics, Line 6 and Shure. The WL40V will be available through authorized Earthworks dealers Q1 2012 and comes with a 15-year warranty.

Using its Q-Sys integrated platform, QSC’s TSC-3 touchscreen controller allows users to control Q-Sys systems and other devices under Q-Sys control. The Q-Sys Designer software creates custom control panels with buttons, faders, custom navigation and other software tools. The CCN32 CobraNet audio I/O card allows for system-bridging between Q-Sys and a CobraNet legacy platform, and provides up to 32x32 channels of CobraNet audio I/O of a Q-Sys system.

Lake Processing LM 44
The stand-alone LM 44 digital audio processor is similar to the LM 26 with the exception of its I/O configuration: four analog inputs and four analog outputs as opposed to the 26’s 2-in/6-out. The LM 44 accommodates 8-in/8-out AES-3 and 4-in/8-out Dante digital audio transport. The unit also uses four Mesa modules, each with an independent input mixer and output signal processing chain, allowing it to be used as a mix-matrix or full-system EQ. The LM 44 can be operated in a Contour mode configuration (two contour modules) allowing for use as a loudspeaker crossover processor. Inputs that are not routed to the processing modules (in each mode) can be passed through to the output router. All three signal types—Dante, AES and analog—are maintained simultaneously, with user-prioritized automatic failover and dual redundancy. It is now available from Lake.

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