Tech: New Products, June 2011Mix magazine June 2011 tools of the trade article features new pro audio products in June 2011 Mix magazine pro audio product section
Lynx Hilo Converter
Lynx Studio Technology has released the Hilo ($TBA), a desktop converter promising pristine, open, transparent audio quality. Features include two channels of mastering-quality A/D conversion, up to eight channels of D/A conversion, a secondary monitor output and an independent headphone amplifier. In an industry first, Hilo’s 480x272 touchscreen provides a flexible and intuitive interface that can adapt to a particular application and can be easily upgraded with enhancements and new features. Initial front panel controls support extensive signal routing and mixing, sample rate selection, clock source options, levels, metering and diagnostic features.
Softube Classic Channel Plug-Ins
Softube’s ME 1B midrange equalizer plug-in, a clone of Tube-Tech’s classic midrange EQ, joins the Softube/Tube-Tech CL 1B compressor and PE 1C “Pultec” equalizer to round out a collection of sound-sculpting tools. All three are available as a specially priced bundle called the Tube-Tech Classic Channel. With a street price of $599.99, the collection offers a healthy 30-percent discount over purchasing each separately, and contains all three Softube Tube-Tech products both as separate plug-ins and combined into a single, powerful channel strip. Supported formats include Mac or PC, VST/VST3/AU/RTAS.
Sonivox Big Bang Drums
SONiVOX Big Bang Universal Drums ($149.99) is a virtual instrument for Mac and PC featuring a deeply sampled custom-made SJC drum kit played both with sticks and brushes, as well as two different snare drums and two bass drum beaters for flexibility in most musical contexts. All programs are multi-velocity and multi-take round-robin for the utmost in realism. The MIDI Learn and Save Function offers compatibility with any MIDI controller. Other features include independent zone (per-drum) tempo-synched variable resolution roll/retrigger mode and eight user-assignable stereo outputs and effects buses with onboard EQ, and tempo-sync delay. Available for Mac stand-alone, RTAS, VST and AU-compatible, plus PC stand-alone, RTAS and VST-compatible.
DACS MicAmp 500 Preamp
Boasting operational equivalence to its pristine MicAmp2 preamp, the DACS MicAmp 500 ($1,122) promises ultra-realistic sound, combining clarity, punch and remarkable detail in a 500 Series rack unit. Features include switches for 48V phantom power and polarity, gain control in 12 4dB steps from a minimum 20dB gain up to 64 dB, trim control with 8 dB of additional gain, bass roll-off switch operating at two frequencies (30 Hz and 80 Hz) and a 3-LED confidence meter.
X-Panda ($3,199) is SSL’s new small-format, 24-channel analog mixer aimed at project studio owners, offering a versatile feature set and compact frame. X-Panda can be used for tracking (using external mic preamps) or master mix summing. X-Panda provides eight mono channels (each with main and alt inputs, giving 16 mono inputs) and four stereo channels. All channels feature an input level trim with a center detent at unity gain, tri-color signal-indicator LEDs, polarity invert, an insert and a direct channel output (which can be switched post-fader). In addition, each channel has a stereo cue section with dedicated level and pan controls.
Drawmer HQ-r, HQ-b
Designed to work with the company’s HQ Precision preamp/DAC, Drawmer’s HQ-r is a wired remote controller that can drive single or multiple HQ units simultaneously, while the HQ-b is a remotely controllable HQ module that lacks the front panel controls of the original device, and is designed exclusively for control via the new HQ Remote. The HQ Remote adds a mono/stereo switch, user-defined volume level presets, a digital master volume display, and Mute and “intelligent” (level-dependent) dim controls. The new remote can also act as a master volume controller for multiple linked HQ units, permitting the creation of a 5.1 surround master volume control system that incorporates all of the benefits of Drawmer’s high-quality preamp and D/A conversion technology.
Focusrite RedNet 5
Not promised this year but newsworthy nonetheless, RedNet 5 ($TBA) is the latest addition to the RedNet family of networked audio interfaces from Focusrite. Connecting to a Pro Tools HD system via DigiLink, RedNet 5 allows the user to use the low-latency performance of the Pro Tools HD cards alongside RedNet’s audio interfaces. RedNet boasts excellent sound quality with a dynamic range of 120 dB throughout the system. Coupled with its scalable architecture—which communicates using superfast, rock-solid Gigabit Ethernet technology—it allows studio users to add the full benefits of RedNet to their Pro Tools HD system.
Voxengo Deft Compressor Plug-In
Voxengo Deft Compressor ($79.95) is an audio track and bus compressor plug-in for professional audio production applications, available in AU and VST plug-in formats for Mac OS X. Version 1.3 features a new oversampling filter type “Min-phase/Lin-phase” switch, global “Auto-Oversampling Level” 1x (off) option, and a bevy of fixes from previous versions. The characteristic feature of this compressor is its ability to produce “slim-” and “slick”-sounding compression, with an intelligibility enhancement effect achieved because the compressor’s timing function closely resembles the S-curve on both attack and release stages. Other features include auto-makeup gain, key signal filtering, internal channel routing, channel grouping and more.
beyerdynamic Tour Gear
beyerdynamic’s new Tour Gear mic line includes 25 different models for live performance, divided into four categories: the entry-level TG 30 series, TG 50 (vocals, instruments, drums, headsets, lavalier), next level up TG 70 and the top-class TG 90 (TGV90r ribbon, TG V96c true condenser). Each mic features Sound Channeling Technology, in which the company’s acoustic experts have created acoustic labyrinths with special geometries that provide optimized sound channeling. They influence the sound and model the polar pattern by using precisely tuned delay lines and attenuation pads.
The IC2 (IC Squared) from Renkus-Heinz is a high-powered, medium-format digitally steerable loudspeaker system designed for theater and club installations. Features include integrated digital beam steering with high-power output, built-in amplification and RHAON network control. Four 8-inch low-frequency Neodymium transducers and 1-inch Titanium Nitride–coated HF drivers offer high SPL point-source performance while providing individual steering control of each driver. Each IC2 two-way 8-inch module delivers articulate musicality and powerful punch, and can be used stand-alone, as a small groundstack or as a flown array of up to 20 cabinets.
Engineers can now monitor the status of any Harman HiQnet-compatible AKG radio mic directly from the Soundcraft Vi Series console surface, courtesy of VM2 (Vistonics Microphone Monitoring). VM2 provides real-time visual displays of battery life, RF status, mic muting and internal clipping directly on a channel strip on the Vistonics™ screen. Users simply plug in the mics, patch them to the related console channels, and that’s it. Users can identify the relevant mic receiver in the rack by pressing the Locate button, causing the receiver front panel display to flash. VM2 will be available for all Soundcraft Vi Series consoles in Version 4.5 software, including Vi1, Vi2, Vi4 and Vi6. Compatible AKG wireless mic systems are WMS 4000, WMS 4500 and DMS 700 (optional HUB 4000Q HiQnet Ethernet interface required).
Waves’ SoundGrid Compact System ($1,100) includes everything Yamaha users need to process their live performances using Waves plug-ins, as well as the tools to capture their performances into a DAW. Users can process up to 16 live audio channels using up to 40 plug-ins in real time with super-low latency; record MultiRack-processed tracks in real time direct to a DAW in the same computer, pre- or post-processing (or both, for maximum flexibility); and adjust their plug-ins,