Tools of the Trade



TerraTec Electronic (dist. by Fostex, offers the TerraTec Producer Phase 88 Rack, a 24-bit/96kHz multiple I/O interface for PC-based recording. The modular system offers eight high-quality analog inputs/outputs (+4/-10dB-switchable) in an external rack module that connects to the Phase 88 PCI bus card. In addition to S/PDIF digital I/O and two MIDI I/Os, the unit has two balanced mic inputs. Up to four Phase 88 Rack systems can be cascaded for up to 40 physical I/Os. The PCI bus card features 20-channel mixing and 20×4 routing.


Drawmer's ( M-Clock multiple-output AES Grade-1 master clock generator incorporates onboard up/down sample-rate conversion with the capacity to interconnect up to 28 digital audio devices and 12 clock outputs at sample rates up to 192 kHz. Each of M-Clock's four sample-rate converters offers simultaneous AES/EBU, S/PDIF and Toslink outputs — all locked to the same internal master clock. The M-Clock also offers Superclock for Digidesign Pro Tools Mix 24 hardware interfacing and AES 11 (Digital Black) to synchronize semipro units without word clock inputs.


Incorporating BBE's Sonic Maximizer circuitry, the DI-100x active direct box from BBE Sound ( offers a 15dB pad switch, ground lift switch, balanced XLR output, impedance balanced ¼-inch tip-sleeve output, plus ¼-inch tip-sleeve input and thru connectors. Finished in a Ferrari-red baked-enamel finish, the DI-100x has a thick, extruded-aluminum housing with recessed switches and a nonslip bottom pad. Additional features include 1% metal film resistors and mil-spec circuit boards.


The legendary Helios Electronics (dist. by Vintage King Audio, has resurrected the Olympic Type 69 Series EQ, which was used by The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin and others. Available in 1U dual-mono or mono vertical module versions, this classic discrete 3-band EQ/preamp is similar to the original, but with much-improved build quality, additional 30Hz and 16kHz EQ settings, and a Sowter input transformer based on the original Lustraphone (Olympic) transformer models.


Sonic Network offers Symphonic Strings MINI, a $449.95 subset of the 20 CD-ROM Symphonic Strings Collection production library, featuring members of the Boston Pops and Boston Ballet string sections. Sections include first violins, second violins, violas, celli, basses and section ensembles. The six CD-ROM MINI version is available in Gigasampler and Soundfont formats; other formats are planned. MP3 demos are available


Mackie Designs' ( Mackie Control C4 is a hardware controller for plug-ins/virtual instruments, providing an analog-style interface, eliminating the need to constantly “bank switch” to access parameter-rich software modules. The C4 has four banks of eight V-Pots each, and four full-size displays and corresponding knobs for instant access to as many as 32 separate software parameters. C4 is supported by MOTU Digital Performer and Emagic Logic Audio, and it may be used independently or with additional Mackie Control and/or Mackie Control Extenders. Price: $1,099.


Quantec Tonstudiotechnik (dist. by HHB, intros two new 24-bit Yardstick reverb effects processors, both containing the top features of all past DSP-based Quantec reverbs. The Yardstick 2496 room simulator offers dual-mono/stereo inputs and up to six outs, each with assignable individual delay of up to 0.2 seconds. All I/Os are digital via AES/EBU. The Yardstick 2403 is a similar version with XLR analog I/Os.


Z-Systems (dist. by Transamerica Audio Group, debuts the z-Qualizer, a 6-band, stereo digital parametric EQ. The half-rack unit combines digital precision and repeatability with the openness of a fine analog EQ. Center frequency, gain and bandwidth (Q) are variable and filter band overlap. Capable of handling up to 24 bits at up to 192 kHz, the unit outputs 24/20/16 bits and features both TPDF and POW-r wordlength reduction. In addition to stereo-linked and dual-mono operation modes, the z-Qualizer supports M/S (mid-side) encoding and decoding. Presets can be loaded/unloaded via MIDI, and snapshot automation is possible via MIDI program change commands. Connections are AES/EBU I/Os and MIDI In/Thru. Retail: $1,200.


The V-AMP PRO modeling guitar amp and multi-effects processor from Behringer ( features a 24-bit/96kHz AES/EBU and S/PDIF outputs and Ultra-G cabinet simulation. This rackmount unit offers 32 virtual amp models and 15 speaker cabinet simulations. Features include a wordclock out, balanced analog stereo direct outs, and effects such as delays, flangers, rotary speaker, wah and reverbs. Custom amp/cabinet combinations may be stored in 125 memory locations. A free Windows editor is downloadable from the Internet. Price: $269.99.


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SPL's ( GainStation mic preamp is available either as an 8-channel rackmount device or a single-channel unit. Features include peak and FET limiters, separate instrument inputs and switchable input impedance. The unit has two separately controllable preamp stages (tube and transistor) with fully discrete Class-A circuitry throughout.


TC Applied Technologies, a newly established subsidiary of TC Group (, has announced the DICE II IC, a single package chip that handles all standard pro audio I/O formats, including the IEEE-1394 (FireWire) interface. An integrated solution to interface digital audio products, the DICE II can support a total of 96 FireWire audio channels at 96kHz sample-rate and features two sample rate domains, each with an on-chip PLL. Additional features include: AES receiver/transmitter (eight channels in each direction); ADAT receiver/transmitter with S-MUX support for 96 kHz; ARM 32-bit RISC processor; IEEE-1394 Link Layer Controller; and support for 100-meter runs of Ethernet cable. Multiple DICE II chips may be arrayed for greater channel handling capability.


Absynth 2.0 from Native Instruments ( offers 800 new musical presets, a revised DSP core and new sampling/synthesis options. Absynth 2.0 is now a synth and sampler, with a new Patch window to mix sampling, granular sampling, subtractive, wavetable, FM, AM, ring modulation and wave-shaping synthesis. Each voice has six synth oscillators (or three sampling oscillators), four filters, three ring modulators and a wave-shaping distortion function. Waveforms can be drawn by hand or created by drawing harmonics. Most parameters can be controlled by Absynth's envelopes (each with up to 68 breakpoints); synched to the tempo; and envelopes can be dynamically controlled via MIDI. Each envelope can be modulated with its own variable-speed LFO. A new Link mode allows multiple envelopes to be chained together, with adjustable time, amplitude and slope scaling. New filters include 2-/4-pole lowpass and multipole allpass filters.


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The Convertible, from Korby Audio Technologies (, is a revolutionary mic system with interchangeable capsules that re-create the sound of classic mics, such as the Neumann U47 and U67, Elam 251 and AKG C12. The body is hand-wired, using hand-selected discrete components. The four included hot-swappable capsules let users change heads without having to power down. Simply pull the entire grille/capsule assembly from the body and plug in another assembly for a different classic sound. The capsule is housed in a nickel plate and mesh grille assembly; the body is a powder-coated cylinder.


WiebeTech offers an improved version of its 40GB MicroGB+™ FireWire pocket drive (measured at approximately 25 MB/sec), for increased performance in Final Cut Pro or Pro Tools applications. Visit www.wiebetech.comE-mu's Vintage Keys keyboard is a 61-note keyboard version of its Vintage Pro module, combining classic sounds from the '60s/'70s/'80s with the synthesis features and sound quality of its Proteus products. It includes more than 30 keyboards: from the Hammond B-3 and Wurlitzer electric piano to legendary analog and digital synths like the ARP 2600 and CP70. Check it out at www.emu.comMastering Audio: The Art and the Science by Grammy Award-winning engineer Bob Katz, is a 319-page, $39.99 text outlining the steps in CD production, from creation to final pressing. Topics include the mysteries of jitter, dither and wordlengths; high sample rates; distortion; headroom; monitor calibration; metering; mastering; compression; digital interfacing; and more. Go towww.focalpress.comThe Recording StudioTest CD from Tejera Microsystems Engineering includes test tones for audio system calibration, plus spoken directions that walk the user through all of the tests. Data files containing printable instructions and a glossary of audio terms are included. Visit www.tmenet.comMiddle Atlantic Products' UL Listed FC-4 Fan Control automatically triggers fan operation when a rack's internal temperature reaches one of three user-selectable degree settings. The FC-4 can control up to four 120VAC fans and may be mounted stand-alone or inside MAP's MPR Modular Power. For info, call 973/839-1011 or visitwww.middleatlantic.comMy Dog Rax's Steel Classic stainless steel rack system is offered in 19- and 29-space models. Featuring a 2-inch square tubing frame faced with natural woods set into the sides and top, the Steel Classic may be customized with drawers, lighting and more. Call 310/621-8871 or surf…The $34.95 Sonic Hotbox Volume 1 hip hop-style drum loop package has over 175 hip hop drum loops and 100-plus samples of hi-hats, kicks, snares and other percussion in Mac and PC formats, including Reason Refill, Acidized .WAV 16/24-bit and Rex 2. Visit www.sonicstop.comSpinAudio's RoomVerb M2 has been updated to Version 1.1. The $145 VST/DX reverb plug-in has over 200 presets. Separately controlled room dimensions can vary from one to 200 meters, with up to 200 seconds of reverb time and up to 100 early reflections with six decay envelopes. Download a free demo version atwww.spinaudio.comGefen's VGA-to-ADC conversion box links Apple's new 12-inch PowerBooks to any Apple flat-panel display, including the 23-inch HD cinema display. Visit www.gefen.comVirSyn's CUBE Soft Synth additive synth for both Mac OS and Windows can run as a stand-alone app or as a VST/AudioUnit plug-in with up to eight independent outs, four morphable sound sources, morphable filter banks, three envelopes with temp sync, two LFOs (64 time/level segment per envelope) and a comprehensive effects rack. Check it out…Now shipping, Spectrasonics' Trilogy Total Bass Module software plug-in instrument integrates a custom 3GB core library with hundreds of new bass sounds and an interface to create custom user patches. Trilogy is designed to function as a native plug-in instrument, without the need for a sampler, in hosts such as Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase VST, Nuendo and Pro Tools. It's distributed in the U.S. by Ilio Entertainments; visit