Tools of the Trade


CAD e1002

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The first of five new Series 2 condenser mics, the e1002 from CAD ( features an internal power reservoir system that supplies significantly more than the current available from phantom powering. The new supercardioid studio mic boasts an extended frequency response of 10 Hz to 18 kHz, 132 dB of dynamic range, less than 0.15% THD, 148dB SPL handling (with pad in) and transformerless balanced output circuits.


The latest offering from Geoffrey Daking (dist. by features four Class-A preamps in a single rackspace. The unit handles mic or line inputs via four rear TRS/XLR Neutrik Combo jacks; the front has four line inputs (+10 to -50) or ¼-inch instrument inputs. Each input offers continuously variable gain control, a 20-segment LED level meter with +24dB peak indicator, switchable +48-volt phantom power, switchable input polarity and a 20dB pad. Price: $2,895.


Universal Audio ( announces the UA Fairchild 670 compressor for the UAD-1 DSP card. UA designed the $149 plug-in using component modeling techniques to capture the sonic signature and behavior of Allen Sides' favorite Fairchild at L.A.'s Ocean Way Studios, combined with a separate aux panel adding original rear-access controls, common mods and unique digital-only additions. Existing UAD-1 users can experience the UA Fairchild 670 phenomenon via a 14-day fully functional demo that is part of the Version 3.4 UAD-1 software release.


SoundToys ( has released a new $199 version of the SoundBlender multi-effects plug-in, specifically designed for the Roland V-Studio platform. The plug-in features dozens of individual time, pitch, filter and modulation-based effects, a newly designed interface and a host of new presets.


Feel the need for speed? ADS ( offers three new affordable FireWire 800 products allowing Mac and PC users to step up to the fastest peripheral bus available. The $99 Pyro 1394b PCI card and $99 Pyro 1394b card bus for notebooks add FireWire capability to existing computers, while the $199 Pyro 1394b drive kit offers an external, stackable storage device that can be used with almost any IDE hard drive, ATA-100 drive, CD, DVD or DVD-RAM drive.


Ultrasone headphones (dist. by Ears Audio, from Germany claim to offer depth, dimension and detail at lower, safer, less-fatiguing sound pressure levels, with up to 98% reduction in electro-magnetic field emissions. The Ultrasone 650s are foldable, offer a frequency response of 10 Hz to 25 kHz and are available with a coiled or straight 9-foot cable. Impedance is 75 ohms with sensitivity at 94 dB. Retail: $249.


Key Composer from Contour Design (, a new tool meant to be used with ShuttlePRO v2 ($129.95), lets Mac audio/video application users access multiple keystroke combinations with one touch, either all at once or step-by-step. Version 2.5 of the Mac driver for the ShuttlePRO v2 is available via free download from the company's Website; a Windows version is also available.


Using a FireWire connection, the under-$500 IF-FW/DM interface card from Tascam ( ports 24 channels of I/O from a DAW to Tascam's DM-24 digital mixer (16-channel input and output when used at 88.1 kHz or 96 kHz). The unit adds eight inputs and eight outputs when used with the Tascam SX-1 or SX-1LE (up to two cards can be installed); offers MIDI I/O; supports ASIO, MME, WDM and Apple CoreAudio; and is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows XP.


The newest plug-in release from URS ( is a digital emulation of Solid State Logic's SL4000e console equalizer. The plug-in closely models the original, but adds new features including numeric display windows to show gain, frequency and Q settings in real time, in/out switching on all four bands of EQ and filters, input/output metering with gain clip indicators, total reset automation and full 192k support. Mac OS X 10.3.1 Panther is currently supported, as well as the MBox, Digi 001, Digi 002, MIX, HD and HD Accel systems. Prices: $649.99 (TDM, RTAS and Audiosuite, Mac 9 and OS X) and $399.99 (native RTAS and Audiosuite, Mac 9 and OS X). Owners of the URS Classic Console EQ TDM and Native Bundles can add the URS S series for $599.99 and $349.99, respectively.


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The Ivory virtual instrument from Synthogy (dist. by, features more than 3,500 samples designed to faithfully re-create every nuance of the grand piano. All 88 keys were individually sampled at up to eight dynamic levels in the finest studios and concert halls in the world, producing more than 20 GB of samples. Sampled pianos include the German Steinway D 9-foot concert grand, Yamaha C7 and Bösendorfer 290 Imperial Grand. Ivory is available for AudioUnits, VST and RTAS for PC and Mac OS X. Price: $349.


Aviom ( has released Euroblock versions of its AN-16/i input and AN-16/o output modules, which, when used together, create a powerful digital audio snake capable of transferring high-quality 24-bit audio digitally over inexpensive, industry-standard Category-5 cables. The new releases are fully compatible with their TRS-equipped counterparts and the AN-16SB System Bridge. TRS and Euro-block variations can be mixed/matched as needed when creating/installing a system. Each product has 16 Euroblock connectors on the rear panel, simplifying wiring and installation. The wire is simply inserted into slots on the connector and tightened in place with a screwdriver; no soldering is necessary. Each unit comes with everything needed to install the product. Price: $999/each.


Part of a group of new products from mastering engineer John Vestman, the two-rackspace Nemo DCM-8 from Nautilus ( features balanced and unbalanced (RCA) stereo bus inputs, two stereo bus thru outputs to recorders, a balanced source-select output, stereo bus pad, RCA input pad, optional remote and dim logic-in for external talkback control. Electronic design is from Steve Firlotte (Inward Connections) using the SPA690 discrete amp block electronics of John Hall, renowned designer of early Langevin products. We saw the boxes at NAMM and the fit, finish and feel are top-notch. Price: TBA.


Designed for use with the OB1 mains and TLE1 active subwoofer, the CB6 three-way center-channel speaker from PMC ( combines a custom 170mm bass driver, 75mm acoustically isolated soft-dome mid and silk 27mm dome tweeter. The 31-element, 24dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley crossover uses matched Solen capacitors. The complex cabinet structure forms a labyrinth that is damped throughout its length to increase air density by up to 30%, effectively improving driver control, lowering distortion and producing a full octave more bass than that of an identical driver in a ported cabinet design.


Aimed at those seeking a quality monitor path for a DAW, the Presonus ( Central Station offers affordable (under $500) routing of up to five stereo inputs and outputs (two digital and three analog). The unit does not use amplifier stages, op amps, active ICs or chips, thus eliminating coloration, noise and distortion. In a further effort to keep the sound pristine, the unit is equipped with 28 sealed silver relays, offering a minimalist signal path and keeping audio from passing through extraneous electronics.


Apogee Electronics ( unveils its AD-16X and DA-16X converters. The new units feature sampling rates up to 192 kHz, option cards to connect both units directly to Pro Tools|HD and FireWire devices, and the same C777 clocking technology found in its Big Ben master clock. The units also include the familiar “SoftLimit” and “UV22HR” options and a redesigned power supply scheme. Prices: AD and DA 16X, $3,495/each; HD and FireWire option cards are $595/each.


Wizoo announces the release of Sonar 3: Mixing & Mastering, an easy-to-read and practical book by Craig Anderton to help readers improve their arranging, mixing and mastering skills using the powerful features in Sonar 3. The book also includes a CD-ROM containing audio examples and more to enhance the learning experience. The $50 book is available directly from Wizoo ( or music/book retailers.