Recording

AES 2003 - Big News from the Big Apple

The Chicago Cubs may not have made the World Series (just wait 'til next year!) but the Audio Engineering Society pulled off a miracle. In these days 10/21/2003 8:00 AM Eastern

TheChicago Cubs may not have made the World Series (just wait 'til nextyear!) but the Audio Engineering Society pulled off a miracle. In thesedays of economic downturn, AES NYC was packed with attendees,exhibitors and hot new products. Walking through the crowded aisles atthe Javits Convention Center, the vibe was upbeat, and alive. Many feltthat this was the best AES show in a decade, and they were right.

Technology Spotlight

Mackie dXb DigitalConsole


Mackie (www.mackie.com) turned heads with the debut of itsdXb digital console. The "X" operates with 72x72 of I/O at 96 kHz andlower, and is capable of 36x36 of I/O at 192 kHz. The desk features 24channel strips with 100mm P+G moving faders, two integrated 15-inchtouchscreens, and it will operate as a fully functional Mackie ControlUniversal offering control for Nuendo, Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic andmore. It also comes fitted with one UAD-1 card, giving the user accessto a long list of popular DSP processors. In addition, "X" boastspowerful automation and FireWire I/O option cards for streaming audioto and from a computer. I/O is truly flexible and can be configured anyway the user wants. Other features include: a tape-style transport withmemory location recall, weighted jog/shuttle wheel, padded armrest withbuilt-in mouse pad and a control room section that allows for A/Bmonitoring, dual phones mixes and talkback. Pricing is targeted atunder $20k.

Clearly, 2003 is not 1993, and today's AES show is an entirelydifferent beast, with a whole lotta talking on non-vintage topics suchas networking, FireWire, multi-platform connectivity and the externalfunctionality of consoles as controllers. Meanwhile, the dealings ofcomputer companies such as Microsoft and AMD have become major eventsin our lives, while talk about OS X compatibility peppers regularconversations. Certainly Guitar Center stepping up as an Apple resellerspeaks volumes about a changing industry. However, we're all audiohounds at heart, and if something makes, stores or tweaks sounds, wewanna know about it. Here are a few AES debuts that caught ourattention...

Put former Opcode, Be, Passport and E-mu/Creative minds together todevelop a product and what happens? You get the Receptor hardware-basedplug-in player, the debut product from newly formed MuseResearch (www.museresearch.com). Receptor is asoftware-programmable hardware interface capable of running VST synths,effects, processors and instruments. Receptor allows control over 16channels of audio (via digital or balanced analog I/O) or synths withup to 57 effects. A 32-bit mixing architecture provides full MIDIautomation of all parameters and preset-based recall of a set ofinputs, synths and effects. A built-in hard drive loaded with a varietyof plug-ins gets you started. Receptor is expected to ship nextquarter.

Digidesign (www.digidesign.com) Pro Tools users who have hitthe DSP headroom ceiling will rejoice at the release of the HD Accelcard, which allows for higher voice counts and features nearly twicethe raw DSP power of HD Process cards (HD Core card doesn’tchange). Accel is included with Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel and HD|3 Accelsystems, and may also be purchased separately ($4,995). Digi’snewest I/O box, dubbed the 96I ($2,195), operates at up to 24 bit/96kHz. It features 16 analog inputs, two analog outs, S/PDIF I/O,software-adjustable level control for inputs and the same converters asthe existing 96 I/O HD box. Also shown was the Impact Mix BusCompressor ($695), Digi's first TDM plug-in compatible exclusively withHD Accel, offering support for up to 7.1 surround at up to 192 kHz.

Fairlight (www.fairlightau.com) had six new products, but inaddition to the Dream Constellation console, highlights were theStationPlus integrated mixer and editor and the Pyxi NonLinear Video (NLV). StationPlus doubles the capacity ofStation —taking the integrated mixer/editor from 56 channels and24 buses to 144 channels and 48 buses—and provides control ofNuendo and Pro Tools record/edit platforms, and features the ability toadd VCA-style fader groups. Pyxis NLV offers sync and transfer, atouchscreen interface, network-ready project management, full supportfor 9-pin control and more.

Technology Spotlight

JBL LSR6300 Series StudioMonitors

Five years ago, JBL unveiled itsaward-winning LSR (Linear Spatial Reference) monitors. Now with itslatest LSR6300 Series, JBL addresses the problem of room acousticscaused by the physical properties the space itself. The new, THX™approved Series has three models: The LSR6328P is a bi-amplified systemwith 8-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter; the three-way LSR6332 has a12-inch woofer, 5-inch mid and 1-inch tweeter; and the LSR6312SP is apowered sub with onboard bass management.

Designed to counteract the boomy LFstanding waves created by a room's geometry, the LSR6328P and theLSR6312SP feature JBL's RMC™ (Room Mode Correction) circuits. AnRMC Calibration Kit (included with the sub, and optional with theLSR6328P) provides everything needed to measure the room response,identify the dominant room mode and calibrate system response. The kitalso includes a test tone disk and simple SPL meter to set the integral22 bands of 1/10th-octave, analog parametric filters (between 26 and 96Hz) that notch out offending frequencies. The LSR6328P also providesboundary compensation filters, for use when the speaker isplaced/mounted on a wall, corner or large furniture surface. For moreinfo, visit www.jblpro.com.

 

The DR-100 digital recorder from Otari (www.otari.com) features48-track recording at 24-bit, 44.1/48kHz, and 24-track recording at24-bit, 88.2/96k direct to a 72GB SCSI drive. Up to 208 virtual tracksare available, with five editing layers totaling 256 tracks, including48 nominal tracks. Features are accessible via either one-touch buttonaccess via a graphical interface. The unit features MADI interfacingand a 48-track remote control connected to the audio engine over100Base/T Ethernet.

Genex (www.genexaudio.com) demoed new accessories for theGX9000 Series, including the GXR948 Remote Controller. Also, GXP editis a plug-in waveform editor for Genex GXR PC control software thatenables cut, copy, paste and erase operations on up to 48 channels ofaudio data.The GXRMB meter bridge provides 48 channels of 24-segmentlevel metering. Also announced was file exchange capability betweenGenex and Merging Technologies.

Tascam's (www.tascam.com) SX-1LE Digital ProductionWorkstation is a standalone system offering 16-track, 24-bit hard diskrecording with full editing capability (including 5.1 surround), a40-input 32x8 digital mixer, 16 mic pre’s, a CD-RW drive and abuilt-in MIDI sequencer—all for under $3,000. The FW-1884,co-developed with Frontier Design Group, is an integrated FireWireaudio/MIDI interface and control surface featuring 18 inputs andoutputs; 4-in/4-out MIDI I/O; mic pre’s; analog, Lightpipe andS/PDIF I/O; and touch-sensitive, motorized faders.

Merging Technologies (www.merging.com) showed the new 16-channel DSDPyramix system, also available in 2- or 8-channel configurations. Newsoftware enhancements to the DSD system include full Scarlet Bookspecification authoring and the ability to internally monitor the16-channel mixed signal path during DSD recording. Merging also showedthe Vcube Video HD recorder/player and CEDAR Retouch software.

MOTU (www.motu.com) unveiled the 896HD ($1,295), atwo-rackspace FireWire audio interface for Mac and Windows PCs. The896HD replaces the 896 at the same price and adds many new features,including 22 simultaneous outputs, 192kHz operation, 8-bus monitormixing and standalone operation.

A few major application upgrades debuted. Cakewalk (www.cakewalk.com)showed off more than 100 new features in Sonar 3, including aredesigned interface featuring a Dynamic Console view with per-channel,6-band parametric EQ and assignable effects controls; a Universal BusArchitecture; gapless effects patching; VST/VSTi support; and many MIDIenhancements. Sonar 3 includes Lexicon's Pantheon reverb, which has 35factory presets, six reverb types and 16 editable parameters.

M-Audio (www.m-audio.com) and Ableton (www.ableton.com)announced Live 3, which, in addition to matching samples of any tempoand pitch, lets users dig into the samples themselves, modifyingaspects like volume, pitch, pan, and effects controls by drawingparameters as clip envelopes.

Two noteworthy desktop workstations are ready for prime time:Lexicon’s (www.lexiconpro.com) Omega is a 24-bit integratedcomputer recording system that includes the Omega 8x4x2 USB I/O mixer,ProTracks Plus 32-track recording software and Lexicon’s newPantheon reverb plug-in. Omega includes two dbx mic preamps, four TRSactive balanced line inputs and an S/PDIF input combined with anadditional DAC, plus MIDI I/O and more. Mackie’s Spike (www.mackie.com)comprises an XD-2 2-channel USB, 24-bit/96kHz audio/MIDI interface withMackie mic preamps and onboard SHARC dynamics processing, plusTracktion multitrack audio production software with unlimited trackcount, VST plug-in support, and the Nomad Factory Blue Tubes WarmerPhaser plug-in.

Hits You May HaveMissed

Audix (www.audixusa.com) has updated itsSCX-1 small-diaphragm condenser mics. The new SCX-1PR bodies havemultiposition pad and bass rolloff switches for moreversatility.

Blue Sky (www.abluesky.com) showed a slick system of monitorstands, with quick height setting and full angle adjustment for preciseplacement.

CableTek (www.cabletek.ca)intro'd three new Jensen transformer-based interfaces: a 6-channelrackmount DI, perfect for 5.1 applications; an isolation box, themissing link for trouble-free interconnection of sound systems; and theJ-PC, a computer audio interface.

Crown's free Pocket IQapplication allows control of TCP/IQ-based networks with a PDA runningMS Pocket PC 2002 on the ARM processor, like the HP 3855 or 5450iPaq.

Groove Tubes' (www.groovetubes.com) "The Brick" is a brick-sized,mono tube mic pre/direct box/line driver for studio/stage use. Retail:$499.

Littlelabs’ (www.littlelabs.com) $600 Multi Z PIP works as aninstrument preamp, re-amper, DI and mini instrument mixer. It hasbalanced line-level, transformerless output and a line-level,transformer-isolated output, instrument impedance/level pickupemulation transformer output, a pre-transformer insert and can sumthree extra inputs with the main input.

Terrasonde ' s (www.terrasonde.com) $2,490 Digital Audio Toolboxoffers some 20 digital domain tests in one unit. Also new? The $899Studio Tool Box, with a bevy of useful studio functions, and theAnalysts Firmware accessory, bringing sophisticated multiband RT60,STIpa intelligibility and time/delay waterfall measurements to anyAudio Toolbox owner.

Whirlwind's (www.whirlwindusa.com) CobraNet-based digital ESnake can transport 32 channels each way over 100 meters of CAT-5cable.

 

Plug-ins!

As always, plug-ins made a strong AES showing. Waves (www.waves.com)introduced the granddaddy of all plug-in packages, the Diamond Bundle.With 35 apps from Waves’ Platinum, Transform and RestorationBundles in one package, the Diamond Bundle has plenty of tools forWaves fans. And at $7,000/TDM $3,800/native, it’s a lot cheaperthan buying the plugs individually.

Eventide (www.eventide.com) showed two new TDM plug-ins, bothbased on Orville technology: The Octovox Harmonizer allows eight voicesof diatonic pitch shifting, with a cool “music notation meetsstep sequencer” Notation Grid interface. The Reverb plug-in hasan integrated compressor, dual delay and pre/post 3-band parametricEQ.

Sony (www.sony.com) brings Oxford plug-ins to the masseswith new Pro Tools LE versions of the EQ, Dynamic and Inflator,available individually or as a $700 bundle. A new Transient Modulator(TransMod) plug-in, which “revitalizes” track dynamic levelby manipulating transient material, is available in for both LE and TDMPro Tools platforms.

TC Electronic (www.tcelectronic.com) showed new plug-ins forPowerCore: the VoiceModeler voice morphing plug-in brings Heliconprocessing technology to PowerCore users; the Intonator HS plug-inallows vocal intonation correction; Filtroid is a dual filter bank, andDynamic EQ offers up to four bands of processing.

BIAS (www.bias-inc.com) unveiled Peak 4, optimized forthe Apple G5. But the big news was SoundSoap Pro, a beefed-up versionof its SoundSoap plug-in offering 512-band noise reduction with a suiteof four restoration tools, including Hum & Rumble, Click &Crackle, Broadband and Noise Gate.

Native Instruments (www.native-instruments.com) and SonicNetwork (www.sonicnetworkinc.com) are bundling the KontaktPlayer Silver sample player and Sonic Implants libraries to provide asample-playback sound library for Sibelius 3 notation software(www.sibelius.com). NI also offered the NI Kompletebundle, which includes Reaktor Session, Kontakt, Battery, Absynth 2,Vokator, Ni-Spektral Delay, Fm7, B4 Organ and Pro-53 plug-ins for$1,499.

SoundToys (www.soundtoys.com), formerly known as WaveMechanics, showcased the UltraFX line featuring eight plug-ins, two ofwhich debuted at AES. FilterFreak uses a 48dB/octave analog modelingfilter, with modulation features that include programmable rhythmicfiltering, triggered envelopes and tempo-controlled LFOs. PhaseMistresscombines analog phasing with tempo-locked modulation and programmableLFOs.

SADiE (www.sadie.com) demoed CEDAR's (www.cedar-audio.com) Retouch V2. Version 2 includesan audio preview facility for auditioning the processed audio withinthe Retouch window without the need to write the process back to theplaylist to determine the result. In addition, users can now load afull minute of audio material into Retouch.

In other plug-in news, Steinberg (www.steinberg.net)announced support of the DTS encoder for Nuendo. Trillium LaneLabs (www.tllabs.com) showed the TL EveryPhase phasermodeling plug-in for Pro Tools. Arturia (www.arturia.com)announced the CS-80V, an emulation of the Yamaha CS-80 synth. SFXMachine’s (www.sfxmachine.com) namesake plug-in added somecool MIDI parameter controls and is now available for both Mac andWindows.

Harrison (www.glw.com) unveiled its slick-looking new DTCplug-ins. The new “toys”—as they’recalled—run on any IKIS-based Harrison console and feature a BeOSGUI giving them a unique and detail-rich look. The DTC package consistsof a dedicated processing module, with a standard array of 32 buslimiters with "Look Ahead," "Anti Breathe" control, and a suite ofsoftware plug-ins (sold separately) added to the digital.engine DSPcore on an IKIS automation system.

Unique Recording's (www.ursplugins.com) Bobby Nathan demoed newplug-ins modeled after two popular legacy designs. The URS 550B EQfeatures a Unique Class-A digital algorithm, four bands of EQ eachoffering seven selected frequency centers, ±12dB gain per band.The URS 1084 EQ features a Low band with four frequency centers, Midband with six frequency centers and High band with three selectedfrequency centers, each with 12dB of boost/cut per band. Both plug-insare ported for Pro Tools HD and HD Accel on both OS X and OS 9.TDM/RTAS $899, non-TDM/RTAS $449.

Consoles!

Present at the show and looking healthy, Fairlight (www.fairlightusa.com) unveiled the DreamConstellation console, boasting new automation functionality, up to 144channels, 48 buses and 32 mono multitrack buses. Automation and audiocan be edited simultaneously, enabling the user to move clips, tracks,ranges or entire projects with previously written automation. Able toaccommodate up to four QDC cards and with updated Dream Series 3.1software, the board features access to Creamware plug-ins, has anupdated GUI, and offers fader control of Nuendo and Pro Tools.Constellation's base price is $120k.

API (www.audiotoys.com) showed Vision, its high-end,multiformat Vision 5.1 surround mixing console that was profiled inlast month's Mix.

Solid State Logic (www.solid-state-logic.com) showed enhancements toits six-month-old C200 digital console, which include SSL Quad buscompressor emulation and a USB interface option for ease of DAWintegration. In addition, there is enhanced third-party routerintegration, two new meter views enabling operators to meter only largefaders or only small faders, and added information on mic preamp andpan format status.

Sonosax (www.sonosax.ch) launched the SX-ST/VT portable filmproduction console based on its popular SX-S model. The new mini-deskhandles as many as 32 inputs and features eight main buses, four auxbuses, a monitor section with five LED meters and a communicationsystem with two discrete lines. Prices start at $12,900.

Logitek Electronic Systems (www.logitek.com) introduced the Route-XY ($1,250),an I/O selector for the Logitek Audio Engine. The unit converts analogor sample-rate converts digital signals, then routes and mixes thesignals in the digital domain. Up to 12 units can be connected inseries.

Top 10 AES Live SoundPicks

By Mark Frink

Apex (www.apex-audio.com) of Belgium introduced itsIntelli-X comprehensive 4-by-8 speaker management system, offering 256EQ filters and 50 presets, employing 24-bit converters, with AES inputsalso available. Notable features on the 1U front panel are 10-segmentLED meters, plus USB and serial connections for laptops. An optional 1Uaccessory is the “Intelli-Sense” servo system, whichcontinuously monitors RMS power delivered to the speakers and adjustslimiters.

Adamson’s (www.adamsonproaudio.com) new Spektrix compact linearray is a three-way, 62-pound enclosure that can be either bi- ortri-amped. Innovative features include captive, hidden, revolving-diskinterconnection and a unique sliding-point rigging frame. It employstwo different purpose-designed 8.5-inch Kevlar drivers, one for LF theother for MF, plus a BNC DE900 compression driver on a 120-degreehorizontal device.

Crest Audio (www.crestaudio.com) introduced its HP Eight,reaching an amazing price by employing modular input construction inblocks of eight channels. Ten aux sends and fader-flip provide monitormix facility. Features include five stereo line inputs with 3-band EQand an 11x2 matrix. Designed and built in the U.S. by Crest’sX-Series team, it comes with the same five-year warranty.

 

DiGiCo (www.digiconsole.com) refined its D5 digital consolefor theater with a 124-bus engine instead of the 40 found on the D5Live. In addition to the D5T control surface, there is a D5TcController, a compact frame designed for running programmed events,with widely spaced master faders, macro keys, rugged Previous and Next"Go" buttons, plus script-tray and keyboard. The D5Trc Remote Controlis useful for tweaking from various locations during rehearsals, havinga single input and output control section.

First-time exhibitor MagneticAudio Devices (www.getmad.us) showed its Planar Magneticfull-range transducers. Arrays are built from individual 6x9-inch,4-pound "MAD-1" drivers, which employ NeoDymium motors with a"stretched" voice-coil strip on a flat, flexible membrane. Though thistechnology is in its infancy for live sound, it may be the next thingin P.A. speakers.

Martin Audio (www.martin-audio.com) introduced the W8LM 53-pound,three-way, bi-amp or passive Mini Line Array, employing tworeflex-loaded 8-inch speakers, one direct-radiating and lowpassed at300 Hz, and the other employing a phase plug to reproduce up to 2.2kHz. It also uses dual 1-inch horn elements, and 12-ohm impedanceallows up to four cabinets per amp channel.

Meyer Sound (www.meyersound.com) finally released SIM 3,offering two mic and two line inputs in a compact 2U chassis; specialintroductory pricing is a quarter of SIM II's. It’s quicker andhas twice the previous LF resolution. Data is stored on a Fast FlashDisk (FFD)—faster and more robust than hard disk. SIM 3 displaysmultiple trace memories and is designed to accommodate the latency intoday’s digital consoles and processors. It comes withself-documenting user macros and preset procedures, making it simple tooperate.

SLS Loudspeakers (www.slsloudspeakers.com) introduced several newspeakers, including its RLA/3 compact line array. Each 20-pound LS6500line array module employs the same 6.5-inch woofer and ribbon HF as thecompany’s 6-foot LS8695 Line Column.

Xilica Audio Design (www.xilica.com) ofToronto made its first AES appearance, showing new DLP-4080 4x8 speakerprocessor with 32-bit floating-point DSP.

Yamaha (www.yamaha.co.jp)has new PM-1D input cards offering PM5000-quality mic pre’s. Oneversion has A/B inputs for two channels with 28-bit sampling, while theother has four channels with 24-bit sampling for higher rack-density.The PM-1D on display was being controlled remotely from a wireless RECOtablet from TEQSAS (www.teqsas.de) The 8-inch 800x600 touch-sensitivescreen is a smart device running embedded Linux with a Flash Disk tomake it extremely rugged in its rubber sleeve. It connects to theuser’s device-wired computer via WiFi and can control manysoftware apps, offering wireless control potential for otherproducts.

Toys in the Rack

Plug-ins were hot, but there was no shortage of real hardwareprocessors. Manley announced eight new products (all profiled atwww.manleylabs.com), including: a 24/192 A/D andD/A converter; FLuRB, a surround matrix decoder that creates5.1/6.1/7.1 playback from a FLRB (Front, Left, Right, Back) coincidentarray; a dual-channel (one tube/one discrete solid-state) preamp; theMini Massive Passive 2-band EQ; a utility mic/preamp switcher foreasily and quickly auditioning various mic/pre combinations withouttedious repatching; and a slew of devices designed for masteringapplications.

Focusrite (www.focusrite.com) announced The Liquid Channel,which is said to offer the ability to emulate any classic micpreamp/compressor combination through its use of fast SHARC chips toapply unique level-dependent impulse responses to every sample ofaudio. The unit includes 40 mic pre and 40 compressor presets; this isenhanced by its high-end, variable-impedance mic preamp circuitry and anew digital EQ based on Focusrite's ISA110 sound to provide aversatile, "liquid" channel strip.

Rane's (www.rane.com) new digital products offer familiaranalog-style controls, including the PEQ-55 parametric (with 10-bandstereo mode); the DEQ-60L Perfect-Q cut-only, long-throw fader stereographic also has 3-band tone controls; and the G4, a full-function,look-ahead digital quad gate. Our fave? The MM 42 IEM processor, with3-band compression, 5-band parametric, 3-band peak limiting and cue busfor multi-unit interconnection.

SSL's new Xlogic rackmount processors hail from itssuccessful XL 9000 K console. The $3,595 XLogic Channel is amic/line/instrument preamp Twin-Curve dynamics, high/lowpass filterswith routing to the dynamics sidechain, G and E series EQ andswitchable metering. A digital interface card is optional. The6-channel XLogic Multichannel Compressor ($6,995) has separate controlsfor the LFE channel and separate L/C/R and surround channel trims withdifferent thresholds for each input. The unit can also be set up asseparate 4-channel and twin stereo compressors. The $4,345 XLogicSuperAnalogue Mic Amp combines four XL 9000 K preamps with optionalremote control. The XLogic G Series Compressor ($3,355), the classiccenter compressor, features compression and sidechain bypass and thefamiliar SSL autofade switch.

Microphones!

You can never have enough mics, and this AES had plenty oftemptation. The 1965 Sony C-38 (www.sony.com) was the world’s first FET mic,which after a few minor changes—windscreen shape (C-38A) and theability to accept either 9VDC battery or phantom power(C-38B)—sold more than 65,000 units worldwide. Now the fameddual-pattern (cardioid/omni) condenser C-38B is back as a faithful$2,200 reissue.

Telefunken North America’s (www.telefunkenusa.com) Ela M 270 re-creates perhapsthe rarest tube mic of all time: a stereo version of the Ela M 251. Thehandcrafted 270 is not for everyone, but listing at $19,995, it’snice to dream. The company also announced its Ela M 14 (a cardioid-onlytube mic with CK12 capsule), priced at $2,995; the Ela M 12—a C12replica priced at $6,495; and the U47M, which reprises the classicTelefunken U47 in several versions with various tube options from$5,500 to $7,500. Another U47 clone came in the form of WunderAudio’s (www.wunderaudio.com) $4,000 CM7, with an EF14 tubeand 6-micron diaphragm on a German M7 capsule.

Dirk Brauner

(distributed by www.transaudio.com) showed VMA—an upscale (!)version of his $5,000 VM1A tube studio mic. Priced about 30% higherthan the original, the new model has a switch that kicks in alternatecircuitry for a choice of original or a more “vintage”sound. Thinking stereo? AEA’s (www.wesdooley.com)R88 puts a matched pair of large, figure-8 ribbon capsules (angled at90°) in a single housing for Blumlein or M-S stereo recording.Price: $1,895.

Neumann celebrated its 75th anniversary by unveiling a300-page, “coffee table” book with 500 color photosdetailing its history, people and products. It’s available at www.neumann.com/book. Neumann also showed themid-priced, TLM 127 large-diaphragm, multipattern condenser mic with aremote pattern-switching option and impressive 7dBA self-noise.

PLM (dist. by www.independent audio.com) unveiled the DT40(five-pattern) and CT40 tube mics, based on Pearl’s classic,large-diaphragm, rectangular condenser capsule, paired with Nuvistortubes. The Lawson AIR mic (www.lawsonmicrophones.com) is a hypercardioid,condenser model specifically for vocal recording, with a newlarge-diaphragm capsule designed by Gene Lawson. New mics at SEElectronics (www.seemics.com) include ICIS (a $999 tube modelwith fixed cardioid pattern) and Gemini, a $1,499 cardioid with dual12AU7s.

The DigiMic? Not exactly—B.L.U.E. Microphones (www.bluemic.com)teamed up with Digidesign to offer a special-edition mic,supplied exclusively with future Digi product bundles. Dubbed theBluebird, the new mic is a large-diaphragm, cardioid condenser withlow-noise Class-A electronics, Blueberry hi-def cable, shockmount andpop screen.

Acoustical Materials

Acoustical materials rarely make headlines, but there were someslick entries. Developed by producer Keith Olsen and engineer AnthonyGrimani, StudioPanel from MSR Inc. (www.msr-inc.com) isan "Engineered Acoustic Solution in a Box" providing easy-to-configuresystems with traps, absorbers, diffusors and complete instructions foroptimizing the project room. Primacoustic (www.primacoustic.com) expanded its line of studiosolutions with the Polyfuser a dual-function LF bass trap combined withwideband diffusion properties.

Monitors

AES had tons of new monitors. Here are just a few: Linn (www.linn.co.uk) debuted its 318Afour-way, powered near-fields, which feature 1,000 watts (total) ofquad-amplification and a servo-controlled bass repsonse system. Anotherquad-amped design, Blue Sky (www.abluesky.com) demoed its Big Blue, a 500-wattthree-way with dual 8-inch woofers, 4-inch cone mid and 1-inch tweeter.EMES (dist. by www.xvixionaudio.com) unveiled a full line ofconventional (non-Owl) active 2-way near/mid-fields, for usewith/without optional powered subs. Newcomer Intelligent AudioSystems (www.intelligentaudiosystems.com) launched itsRADS™ line of "intelligent, adaptive" active subs that adapt tothe listening environment. Now available in a 5.1 surround package,PMC's (www.pmc-speakers.com) DB1 is a compacttwo-way—unpowered for your choice of amplifiers; an active TLE1sub is optional. And Klein + Hummel has returned to the U.S. promarket by establishing K+H North America (www.khna.com) and a full line of active, high-resmonitors.

Tannoy (www.tannoy.com) took a giant step with EllipseiDP™, a new, intelligent active monitoring system combining itsDual Concentric™ and Wideband™ technologies with DSPexpertise from TC Electronic. Besides the unique ellipsoidalenclosures, the system offers full bass management, instant recall ofpreselected crossover frequencies and delay/room compensationEQ—all storable/recallable from presets or a remote.

More to Come!

There were lots of other cool products at AES, and we'll presentthese in our regular new-product columns in upcoming issues. Meanwhile,AES returns to Berlin from May 8-11, 2004, and the next U.S. AES swingsinto San Francisco from October 28-31, 2004. Halloween in San Fran?Should be fun!