Tech: New Products

Acoustically Transparent Noise Reducer

Rycote’s Baseball ($39.95) offers significantly increased performance over conventional foam windscreens and is fully compatible with Rycote’s Lyre Shockmounts. It comes in two models: Baseball (19/20) for the DPA 4018, Sennheiser MKH 8050 and Schoeps CMC641; and Baseball (24/25) for the Sennheiser MKH 50. Each Baseball is made of a unique plastic and rubber mix. The end-cap helps secure the mic and provides an effective seal against wind.

Upgrade Centers on the Game Audio Toolset

Nuendo 8 from Steinberg focuses on a game audio toolset, bringing expedited workflows and new abilities in sound design. Game Audio Connect 2 provides an interactive music workflow by taking entire music compositions from Nuendo and handing these over to the Wwise video game engine, including audio, MIDI tracks, cycle and cue markers. Other features include the Sound Randomizer plug-in for instantly adjusting pitch, timbre, impact and timing, the virtual-analog Retrologue 2 synthesizer, HALion Sonic SE 3, more than 80 effects processors, plus a newly developed video engine that replaces the Quicktime-based engine.

Single-Channel, Dual-Path Gain Reduction

The Maag Audio Magnum-K ($2,395) is a single-channel unit offering two compressor sections titled Magnum Comp and K Comp, parallel EQ with LMF and Air Band plus a switchable soft limiter. The compressor is full-featured including input and output gain control, Ratio, Threshold, sidechain input with filter, Attack, Release, plus a switchable feedback or feed-forward option. The parallel stage offers makeup gain, and two units may be linked for stereo use.

Dual-Personality Condenser

The MXL CR20 condenser microphone ($149.95) is a fixed-cardioid pickup featuring a gold-sputtered diaphragm and an innovative tube emulation switch. At the flip of a switch, the sonic characteristics of the MXL CR20 change from crisp and clear with detailed high end to warm and balanced with a rich bottom end, similar to the tones of vintage tube microphones. The mic features a sleek black and chrome finish and includes a standard hard-mount mic stand adapter and microfiber cleaning cloth, and it comes in impact-resistant foam housed in a rugged hard-plastic case.

8-Channel A-to-D for B80 and B16

Burl Audio’s BAD8 card ($2,699) for the B80 and B16 Mothership utilizes all class-A, discrete transistor circuitry and Burl’s BX1 transformer-coupled input. The BAD8 benefits from the new form factor of the BX1 transformer, allowing for more channel density. Other features include the latest analog-to-digital conversion technology, operation at 24-bit/44.1k to 192 kHz, low latency and DSUB connectivity.

Improved Interface Offers Flexibility, Upgraded GUI

RedNet Control 2 from Focusrite (free download) offers upgraded remote control for products in the company’s RedNet range of Dante-based audio-over-IP systems. Based on a web browser-like GUI, Control 2 is designed to handle any RedNet system up to 600 devices. Features include improved device monitoring, metering, and control through a GUI where devices are displayed graphically and can be dragged and dropped from a sidebar list into a grid on a tab. Each of up to 50 tabs can display up to 12 devices.

Studio Monitor Management and Tuning

JBL Intonato 2 ($2,999) offers complete control of JBL 7 Series and JBL M2 Master Reference studio monitors in stereo, surround and immersive audio production rooms. The 2U rackmount unit can calibrate and control systems of up to 24 speakers, including four subs, with customized recallable routing of up to 24 sources selected from 24 dedicated analog, 24 digital and 256 networked audio sources. A calibration microphone is included, along with an intuitive GUI for controlling Intonato 24 from Mac, Windows and a range of tablets.

192k/24-bit Signal Path, iOS/Android Control

The KEF LS50 monitor ($2,199) with its coaxial-like Uni-Q driver offers high-end performance over a wireless connection. Features include constrained layer damping bracing, precision-made curved baffle and elliptical flexible sound port promising a wide, phase-correct sweet spot with reduced cabinet vibrations and resonance coloration. Inputs include 2.4GHz/5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with the aptX codec, asynchronous USB Type B input, Toslink Optical and RCA line-level analog input. Also onboard is a 192kHz/24-bit signal path with two dedicated DACs per channel, a streaming preamplifier, and amplification in a bi-amp dual-mono configuration (200 + 30 watts per speaker). The dedicated app (iOS/Android) offers control for network setup, streaming and playback.

Interface Ups the Quality of Hi-Z Inputs

The Cloudlifter Zi ($499) is targeted for use on electric guitars, basses, low-output piezo pickups used with acoustic guitars, or vintage electro-mechanical stage pianos employing a passive output. Tone-shaping features include variable input impedance from 150 ohms to 15k ohms, letting you load the Cinemag instrument transformer inside the Cloudlifter Zi to create a range of tonal variations. Also onboard is a three-position variable gain switch and variable highpass filtering that works in tandem with the variable impedance.. The high-pass filter has a slope of 6dB per octave.

Structural Effects Platform for Sonic Deconstruction

Eventide has released Fissioni ($97), the first plug-in to feature its Structural Effects method for separating the transient and tonal components of a sound. Features include multi-effects for the transient and tonal sections, plus the ability to solo and mix the deconstructed audio. Fission comes with six effects for the transient component, including Delay, Tap Delay, Dynamics, Phaser, Reverb and Gate + EQ ;and seven for the tonal component, including Delay, Compressor, EQ, Pitch, Chorus, Reverb and Tremolo.

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