Tools of the TradeCORSAIR FLASH SURVIVOR If you thought that Flash drives were wimpy, think again. The Corsair USB 2 Flash Survivor (www.corsair.com) is water-resistant
If you thought that Flash drives were wimpy, think again. The Corsair USB 2 Flash Survivor (www.corsair.com) is water-resistant to 650 feet/20 atmospheres, encased in CNC-milled aluminum and uses rubber-molded collar shielding for shock-proofing. It comes in two versions: the 4GB Survivor ($59) for regular use and the GT (8 GB, $129), which transfers data 5x faster than the smaller model. Both come preloaded with a security application using 256-bit AES encryption, allowing the user to create a hidden, password-protected partition on the drive to secure the data should the Survivor be stolen or compromised.
Meant to be more portable and affordable than its big brother, the M-16DX, the M-10DX ($499) 10-channel digital mixer from Edirol (www.edirol.com) features a 24-bit/96kHz processing engine (the same engine featured on the M-16DX), backlit LCD, built-in COSM effects, and dedicated channel controls for 3-band EQ, pan, aux, select and level. The unit also offers two phantom-powered mic preamps, 10 line inputs and headphone output, and it includes Room Acoustic Control software for room compensation.
The Backwards Machine ($35) from SFX Machine (www.sfxmachine.com) reverses and overlaps snippets of the incoming audio to produce an ongoing backward effect. Other features include the Reverser, which switches audio backward or forward without clicks or glitches; Time, which controls the delay time or the length of each audio snippet; Feedback Depth, and separate Wet Mix and Dry Mix controls.
It's back to the '60s you go with this simulation plug-in ($249) that evokes guitar legend Jimi Hendrix' rig. Based on IK Multimedia's (www.amplitube.com/Hendrix) AmpliTube 2 and made with Authentic Hendrix, LLC, the plug-in re-creates Hendrix's complete guitar amp and effects setup. In addition, it offers more than 20 new amp models, including the Vox Wah V846, Maestro FuzzTone, Univox Uni-Vibe, several Roger Mayer fuzz stomp pedals, the Marshall 1959 JTM100 Super Lead and more. Modules include a tuner, stomp effects, amp heads, cabinet/mics and rack effects. The SpeedTrainer audio player allows the player to slow those lightning fast licks down for easy ripping.
The new GM10 ($599) mic from SE Electronics (www.seelectronics.com) is designed to capture guitar through an innovative design: A clamp holds the mic capsule while the preamp is located at the end of the extension arm, allowing it to be placed precisely, close to the guitar. To keep nasty vibrations from getting into the signal path, the capsule has a built-in shockmount. The mic and assembly ship together in a black-aluminum flight case.
Studer (www.studer.ch) and Digigram have jointly developed an EtherSound interface card for Studer consoles. Designed to fit into the Studer D21m I/O system rack for use with the Studer OnAir 3000 and Vista Series and routing systems, the card offers 128 channels of audio (64 input/64 outputs) to be connected to the D21m via a single Cat-5 connection. A second Cat-5 connection permits daisy-chaining or redundant ring setups, allowing for the network to remain uninterrupted should a cable be broken. Boasting low latency, inputs and outputs can be patched internally within the console on the OnAir 3000's I/O screens; Digigram's control software can be used to route signals between different EtherSound-enabled devices over a standard Ethernet network.
Just when you thought you knew every DAW on the market, Ardour (www.ardour.org) 2 arrives with the ability to transform any computer running Linux or OS X into a tool to record, edit and mix multitrack audio. The upgrade features more accessible menus via an improved GUI, instant accelerator key rebinding direct from menu, destructive recording, undo/redo across program startup/shutdown, redesigned support for VST plugs, and support for Frontier Designs' TranzPort and Mackie Control protocol devices. The best part is that this product is free for download from Ardour's Website, and it is an open-source application without copy protection so that anyone with programming skills can participate in the development of Ardour, adding features and fixing bugs, and then passing updates along the pipeline for other users.
Stepping into the distributed cue mix arena, PreSonus (www.presonus.com) has released the HP60 ($399) headphone amplifier system. The unit features six headphone amps outputting two stereo main inputs (A and B) and external input “more me” ins. Stereo output is available on each channel to send line-level channel mixes to additional headphone amplifiers or monitor systems. Channel controls offer headphone level, mix between inputs A and B, external input volume, mute and mono. Talkback is via external XLR microphone.
The RME (www.rme-audio.com) HDSPe 9632 is a newly engineered PCI-Express card operating at up to 192 kHz and featuring two channels of balanced analog I/O, a 96kHz-capable ADAT I/O (SMUX), SPDIF I/O, MIDI I/O and a separate headphone output with its own D/A converters and volume control. Optional analog expansion boards offer four balanced ins or outs. The unit ships with unbalanced RCA/phono breakout; optional breakout cables are available for balanced XLR I/Os and AES/EBU. The HDSPe 9632 offers RME's TCO (Time Code Option) module and features RME's TotalMix, SyncCheck and SteadyClock. The card supports Windows XP, Vista and Vista 64; Apple Power PC; and Mac Universal (Intel).
JBL Professional (www.jblpro.com) has introduced two 5.1 surround systems that feature 24-bit, 96kHz AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital inputs, along with analog inputs. Up to eight LSR4326P ($1,199 each) or LSR4328P ($1,699 each) monitors can be configured (with 6-inch and 8-inch woofers, respectively), along with two LSR4312SP subwoofers ($1,100 each). The speakers feature the next-generation automated version of JBL's RMC (Room Mode Correction) technology, in which each speaker (plus the new LSR4312SP subwoofer) has a built-in analyzer that measures and automatically compensates for low-frequency problems caused by the room's standing waves and boundaries. The user connects a supplied calibration microphone to the speaker, presses a button and then views correlations on a computer using the LSR4300 Control Center Software. The app also includes a monitor control section, and solo and mute, and can be controlled wirelessly.
New from the company that's chosen large-diaphragm dynamic mics as its niche, Heil Sound's (www.heilsound.com) new Handi Mic Pro Plus ($110) is said to be the world's smallest, large-diaphragm dynamic available. In addition, the off-axis ports create a linear cardioid pattern, making it ideal for live situations. Similar in performance to the company's PR20, the handheld Pro Plus offers the ability to take high SPLs, and because of its small size has the ability to fit into tight spots such as in broadcast applications.
This major upgrade to Sony's (www.sonycreativesoftware.com) Sound Forge application introduces a range of new features, including multichannel audio support, drag-and-drop editing between channels, wet/dry mix and crossfade options. New tools for audio analysis include phase scopes, mono compatibility meters and multichannel-capable spectrum analysis. Other features include channel and hardware meters, multichannel Windows Media format support, and Dolby Digital AC-3 export. Windows XP and Vista are supported. The upgrade includes additional software: CD Architect 5, Noise Reduction 2 and four mastering plug-ins comprising a reverb, multiband compressor, IRC limiter and loudness maximizer, and a parametric equalizer. Price: $399.95.
Those producing in tight spaces will appreciate the small footprint of MusicXPC's (www.musicxpc.com) Windows-based media production computers. The Professional C5 ($1,449) and Professional C5x ($1,749) offer Heat-pipe technology, which moves heat away from the CPU without the use of fans. A backup/restore system allows quick recovery from catastrophic failure, a drive crash or even a re-formatting. The C5 features a 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1 GB of RAM and an 18x dual-layer DVD±RW drive. The C5x uses a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB RAM and a 256MB DDR2 PCI-E x16 dual-channel graphics card. Both use two separate 7,200 rpm hard drives, providing a total of 570 GB of storage, and carry ports for FireWire, USB 2, PCI and Gigabit LAN.
The Bremmers Audio MultitrackStudio (www.multitrackstudio.com; Pro, $69, Pro Plus, $119) features unlimited tracks, MIDI recording and comprehensive editing/mixing with VST and DX plug-in support. The Pro Plus offers all this plus operation at up to 192 kHz for more powerful mixer routing and automation. In addition, the app includes a Level History display, EQ Spectrum display, VariSpeed, Guitar Amp simulator, reverb and instrument plug-ins. Windows Vista or Windows 98 is supported. Older versions can be upgraded for $23 (Professional) or $39 (Pro Plus).
The TXC ($949) compressor from Tonelux (www.tonelux.com) allows parallel mixing of the dry and compressed signal and the ability to control the mix of feedback and feed-forward compression effects for custom compression knees. The unit also offers an Over-Ratio control, where the gain reduction is greater than the gain of the signal going into it for negative compression effects and for restoring transients to signals with minimal dynamic range. The Tilt control increases high frequency and decreases low energy into the sidechain, eliminating pumping due to a more uniform distribution of energy across the spectrum. It also features a 6-LED gain-reduction meter and can be linked to another unit. The MP1a mic preamp ($749) offers a transformer-coupled input and output, plus an instrument input on the front. There is also a -20dB pad, polarity switch, dual-knob input gain and output fader. In addition, there's an 8-segment LED with peak indication that can be switched to monitor input or output level. The rear panel XLR is multed to the front panel, as well as a D-Sub on the rear of the host V-Rack. The insert return input of the V-Rack is a resistor-isolated mic level input that can be used when the MP1 is in a live recording situation and there is no splitter.