Tech: New Products, June 2010

Mix magazine June 2010 tools of the trade article features new pro audio products in May Mix magazine pro audio product section 5/21/2010 1:20 PM Eastern

Fink Analog Audio CS2-FA Tube Channel Strip
Fink Analog Audio is shipping its CS2-FA Tube Channel Strip ($3,999). The unit’s Class-A design combines vintage Bill Putnam-style tube preamps; three-band EQP-1A Pultec-style passive equalizers with semi-parametric mids; and two-tube implementations of the 1176 limiter, which retains the original character and discrete transistor control of the FET attenuator. Features include mic/line and hi-Z direct inputs, transformer I/Os, bandwidth that’s ±1dB out to 50 kHz, a soft knee setting and a stereo link switch.

Primacoustic KickStand Bass Drum Microphone Stand
Taking a page from its Recoil Stabilizer, the KickStand ($90) from Primacoustic is a microphone boom-stand isolator that decouples a kick drum mic from the floor. The design features a thick, high-density foam isolation pad under a laser-cut steel platform shaped to eliminate standing waves while offering sufficient height to allow easy mic placement. The isolation eliminates resonances, while the added mass stabilizes the mic capsule for greater clarity and improved transient response.

Equator Audio Research AARC Software
Now included with every Q15 reference monitor, Equator’s Automated Room Response Calibration software is designed to tame unwanted sonic conditions and aid in achieving a more accurate listening result. Using a Mac/PC host computer, the software gathers sonic information via a test mic at the listening position and then sends compensation data back to each speaker’s internal CPU, so each speaker delivers the appropriate audio. Multiple filters can compensate for each speaker’s boundary condition, location, existing room nodes and other EQ issues, as well as time-based, secondary-reflection comb filter phase problems.

Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017 Mobile DI/Pre/Comp
Housed in a rugged, portable chassis, the Rupert Neve-designed Portico 5017 preamp/compressor/DI $1,195) features 2-channel operation, as well as Vari-phase, Silk and DI/mic blending capabilities. Based around a new LDR (light dependent resistor) design, the 5017’s optocoupler compressor has been simplified to a single threshold control with auto makeup gain. The blend control is used for mixing direct and amplified signals to achieve the desired tonal blend between the two sources, and Vari-phase is used to minimize or attenuate phase cancellation between the two signals.

TAC System NML RevCon-RR
This novel plug-in ($1,280) eliminates nearly all reverb from speech and music sources by first separating noise, removing ambience, then mixing in the noise again to keep the sonic image more stable. Features of NML RevCon-RR include a spectrogram and audio envelope display, envelope control to treat the de-reverberated sound, and frequency dependent reduction. It supports AudioSuite for Pro Tools 7 or later and AU/VST formats.

RME Babyface Portable Interface
Sporting an incredible amount of features in a small package, the bus-powered RME Babyface ($750) features 192kHz AD/DA converters, two phantom-powered preamps, 10 inputs, 12 outputs and onboard processing. The Babyface has an RME optimized USB 2 high-speed bus (Mac/PC) that uses RME’s SteadyClock to ensure reference-quality conversion. The optical I/O is usable as ADAT with SMUX support or S/PDIF. The headphone output is driven from an extra D/A converter available on the unit or breakout cable. Other features include a DI input, TotalMix DSP mixing software and FPGA-based three-band parametric equalizer, reverb and echo.

Audix TM1 Measurement Microphone
Designed to capture acoustic measurements for room analysis software, RTAs and other sound control devices, the Audix TM1 ($299 MSRP) has a uniform Omnidirectional pattern and a flat 20 to 20k Hz frequency response. This 6mm capsule condenser mic features a nickel-plated brass body, shock absorbent “O” rings and snap-to-fit mic clip. Options include an acoustic foam screw-on windscreen and shock-mount adapter.

Blue Sky EXO 2 2.1 Monitor System
Evolving from Blue Sky’s EXO stereo monitoring system, the $499 EXO 2 package comprises a powered 110-watt subwoofer, two 35W satellites and a controller. Like the original, the EXO2 combines true full-range monitoring with the convenience of a desktop remote control hub. However, so that the subwoofer can more easily integrate into smaller spaces, the EXO sub has been greatly reduced in size (10x9x11 inches). Each 3-pound (7.2x4.8x5-inch) satellite features a 3-inch cast-frame woofer, neodymium motor structure and a 1-inch fabric-dome neodymium tweeter.

Audio Precision APX515 Audio Analyzer
AP has released its latest and most affordable audio analyzer: the APx515 ($6,200). The unit features two-in/two-out operation at up to 192 kHz, an intuitive GUI with one-click measurements, control via a footswitch or barcode scanner and the ability to create custom reports using MS Word and the APx UI. The APx515 promises tests within three seconds and offers three options including SW-HST, which adds high-speed multi-tone and continuous sweep measurements; SW-AML, which adds IMD, MOL, dynamic range and FFTs; and SW-ACR, which adds acoustic response measurements. 

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