Tools of the Trade

ADOBE SOUNDBOOTH Adobe's ( Soundbooth removes noise from existing recordings and lets users record dialog tracks, sound effects or other

Adobe's ( Soundbooth removes noise from existing recordings and lets users record dialog tracks, sound effects or other audio assets. Available for Windows and Intel-based Macs, the app can alter existing audio files with sample-accurate tools that cut, copy, paste, fade, stretch and add effects. Integration with Macromedia Flash and Adobe's Premiere Pro facilitates creation and tweaking audio for the Web and other applications. As a bonus, its AutoComposer feature offers fast creation of custom music to fit a video or audio project. The public beta of Soundbooth is available as a free download at

Meant to increase productivity of any Bravo II or BravoPro Disc Publisher, the ADL-MAX (, $1,995) auto-loader can burn, print and transport up to 350 discs automatically and hands-free. Advanced robotics move discs from the four integrated input bins into and out of Bravo II and BravoPro's burning and printing mechanisms. With ADL-MAX, Bravo II's capacity increases from 50 discs to 325 discs, while BravoPro's capacity increases from 100 discs to 350 discs.

BOSS ( has released a slick palmtop recording studio and guitar companion that's only slightly larger than an iPod. In addition to four recording tracks, the Micro BR Digital Recorder ($319.50) offers eight additional Virtual Tracks (32 total) for comping, loads and plays back MP3s to an SD card, and can time-stretch in real time without affecting pitch. The BR also features internal guitar effects, more than 250 drum patterns, USB connectivity, a ¼-inch stereo line input and headphone output with separate volume control.

Studer ( brings new capability to its entire Vista console range with Score Live DSP platform. This six-space center of serious processing power houses up to 10 DSP cards and 12 I/O cards of various formats. The DSP can be user-configured, offering cost-savings over fixed-configuration platforms. New options include System Configuration Editor software that lets users adjust factory-defined settings on a job-by-job basis and the ability to add 10 seconds of delay to signals to compensate for delays introduced through off-site production elements. The system maintains full redundancy in power supplies and DSP, along with a redundant link between the desk and core.

Taking a page from the M-Audio playbook, Digidesign ( releases the extremely portable, USB-powered Mbox 2 Mini ($329). The compact unit allows recording at up to 24-bit/48kHz, and features two analog I/Os (two ¼-inch, one XLR), front panel volume control, zero-latency monitoring, monitor mute switch, stereo headphone out, phantom power and a Kensington Security lock to prevent the user's Mini from disappearing. The unit ships with Pro Tools LE and comes packed with DigiRack and Bomb Factory plug-ins, and the Xpand! sample playback/synthesis workstation software.

The RME Micstasy (dist. by Synthax,; $4,199) offers eight mic preamps and eight channels of digital conversion (up to 24-bit/192kHz) that can run together or separately. Micstasy offers 85 dB of gain, digitally controlled in 0.5dB steps. There are also eight line inputs. A slick Auto-Set function automatically sets levels within a user-defined headroom range of -1, -3, -6 or -12 dB. An I64 slot accepts an optional I64 MADI card ($748), allowing users to transfer up to 64 channels of AES/EBU audio and gang up to eight Micstasy units for a total of 64 channels. Micstasy is completely remote-controllable via MIDI or MADI and can act as a front end for Pro Tools directly from the session's Mix window. Channels can be grouped from stereo up to surround setups, and then stored as user presets.

This 2-channel mic preamp/converter from SM Pro Audio (, $499) not only offers two front panel mic/line inputs, switchable phantom power and -20dB pad, but also a built-in headphone amp and analog/digital rotary mix control for low-latency monitoring. The ADDA 192-S features up to 24-bit/192kHz operation and can operate via internal or external sync.

If versatility is in your studio game plan, you may want to check out the Type A tube mic from Red Microphones (, $1,345). Type A comes with a single, hot-swappable, lollipop-style capsule; eight other available capsules are priced from $249 to $849. Capsule personalities range from cardioid, figure-8 and omni patterns to “bright” and smaller-diaphragm capsules. The “Robbie-reminiscent” power supply has an ECC88 vacuum tube and a soft-start feature to maximize tube life and minimize startup time. The mic ships in a foam-lined flight case that holds the cable, shock-mount and power supply.

Not what you would expect from a virtual instrument company, Native Instruments' Audio Kontrol 1 (, $299), is an affordable, compact USB 2 audio interface with 24-bit/192kHz Cirrus Logic converters. Additional features include USB 2 connectivity, two inputs (line and mic) and hardware control of instrument parameters. The handsome desktop unit comes bundled with Xpress Keyboards — three software instruments based on Native Instruments' Pro-53, B4 and FM7 — and Guitar Combos, with three amp emulations from the company's Guitar Rig.

This linear handheld recorder from Sony (, $439.95), the MZ-M200 Hi-MD uses Hi-MD media (up to 1 GB) and can record 94 minutes uncompressed and up to 34 hours in ATRAC4 Plus format. Features include a USB 2 port, Mac/PC software, ECMl-DS70P stereo mic, MDR-EO931 ear buds, AC adapter and a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The svelte unit's front panel display features an illuminated stereo meter with battery life indicator, track name/number and elapsed recording time. The Record button is recessed for confident operation; other controls include display select, volume, track marking, cancel, play, pause, fast-forward and fast-reverse.

E-mu's grand piano sound library, the Platinum 88 (, $149) offers Emulator X and Proteus X users more than 7 GB of 24-bit grand piano samples. The set is based on samples from a Steinway Model L concert grand piano, featuring 12 layers of samples for each of the piano's 88 notes: five layers with the sustain pedal up, six with the sustain pedal down and a layer dedicated entirely to note-off sounds. If hard drive space is an issue, the set also includes 1GB and 200MB, 16-bit versions of the piano.

SSL XLogic Delta-Link MADI HD
SSL's Delta-Link converter box (, $3,595) provides MADI connectivity between Pro Tools HD systems and enabled gear, offering 256 channels of digital audio interconnection from a single source. This unit can also serve as a long-distance problem-solver because fiber-optic MADI transports audio up to 3,000 feet between the Pro Tools system and other MADI equipment, allowing the user to control I/O remotely over the same distances. Other features include two optical MADI ports, word/super clock input, low-latency I/O (one sample in and one to two samples out) and a USB interface for user control and future firmware updates.

Lawo's ( MC290 digital console features a user-definable center section that lets users hot-swap the control modules to fit their needs, along with the ability to accommodate up to five rackspaces of outboard gear into the meter bridge or the control surface. Central control functions can be transferred to anywhere on the desk. And if you've got the jitters about down time, Lawo's Double Star Technology makes redundancy ubiquitous for live and broadcast operation.

In the article “Microphone Preamplifier Technology” in Mix's November 2006 issue, the chart titled “New Mic Preamps, at a Glance” listed some erroneous information about the Mercury M72/1 preamp. This mono preamp retails at $1,900 ($1,595 street) and is based on the Telefunken classic tube V72 circuit. For more information, visit

Antares Audio Technologies
( releases Universal Binary versions of AVOX — the Antares vocal toolkit. Current AVOX suite or individual plug-in owners can download the upgrades free from Antares' Website. The upgrades are available in Mac RTAS, VST and Audio Units formats. The Toolkit includes the THROAT physical modeler/designer, DUO auto-doubler, CHOIR multiplier, PUNCH impact enhancer and SYBIL de-esser…Cakewalk ( releases two more Expansion Packs for its Rapture and Dimension Pro synths. The inaugural Series 1 and 2 packs are available as free downloads to registered Rapture and Dimension Pro owners. The new packs include 350 new pro sound programs and more than 100 MB of new wavetables and multisamples, including basses, drums, SFX, pads and more…Solid State Logic ( announces PC and new Mac-Intel processor support for its Duende processor. The DSP platform box offers SSL processing in a DAW environment…Good advice is hard to come by, but CharterOak's ( Website provides plenty of it with a mic tips and tricks section from founder Michael Deming. The educational endeavor seeks to open the lines between manufacturer and user and will be upgraded monthly…Digital Performer Version 5.1 from MOTU ( boasts seamless operation across both Power PC and Intel-based Macs. Digital Performer 5.1 is available as a free download, supports Tiger OS 10.4 operation on the blazing new Macs and offers numerous code enhancements and optimizations…From the “if I had a nickel for every time I've written this” department: SampleTank 2.2 from IK Multimedia ( is now compatible with Mac Intel Core Duo Systems. The free upgrade also includes improved MIDI operation, faster instrument load times, improved search function reliability, Pro Tools 7 Native support and better Audio Units multichannel support…Focusrite Liquid Mix is now available for PC. Version 1.5 also works for PowerPC and Intel Macs. Liquid Mix works with Pro Tools HD, LE and M-Powered systems through IK's VST wrapper. Get the upgrade at www.focusrite.comMillennia-Media ( releases HDOE and HROE output expansion options for the HV-3D and HV-3R 8-channel mic preamps. Both provide two buffered outputs per mic channel for a total of three from each mic. Each of the eight outs are provided on DB-25 connectors in Tascam format. The splits can be used for live, broadcast or recording feeds, or as confidence duplicates at a lower level to prevent digital overs. The HV-3R option is field-installable, while the HV-3D can be returned to Millennia for an upgrade or ordered with a new unit.

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!