News May 16 – 30 (Read MixNews May 1 – 15)
Echo Boys Drive Goodyear Spots
Echo Boys have recently completed three high-energy spots for GoodyearTires. The commercials, directed by Bill Scarlett, blend heavypercussion and bass tracks by Harry Pulver, Bob Millea and RandyAnderson with custom elements from Tom Lecher’s own sound-designarsenal.
“We approached the spots as we would a movie,” said Lecher. “Ittook a team effort to build the soundscapes from interesting sounds andrhythms and have it all meld together.”
In “Construction,” Lecher used real engine revs in the sound designand combined aerosol cans and spritzing hoses for water sprays andblended drum hits and sizzle for puddle splashes. The second spot,”Road Debris,” the accelerating percussive track saw Lecher addingominous sounds of earthquakes, rolling thunder and synthetic rumblesfor the rock slide; he used a subtle wind chime to give the feeling ofsuspended reality during the slow-motion swerve. The third spot,”Sniffers,” has the Echo Boys playing acoustic bass, piano and guitarfor a score that Lecher described as “mutant jazz with a rubberbounce.”
Cakewalk VST Adapter Now Available
Cakewalk’s (Boston) new VST Adapter is now available on the company’sWebsite, www.cakewalk.com. The Cakewalk VST Adapter convertsVST format plug-ins to DirectX and DXi format, providingsample-accurate automation with identical audio fidelity; earlier thisyear, Cakewalk acquired FXpansion’s VST adapter technology.
Sonic Foundry customers can now use the Cakewalk VST Adapter toextend their studios to include VST effects. The Cakewalk VST Adapterdownload and CD versions are available for $59. Registered Sonarcustomers can purchase it for $39. There is a free upgrade for allregistered FXpansion VST-DX adapter users.
In other Cakewalk news, the company is now shipping Image-Line’sFLStudio 4 Fruityloops edition and FLStudio 4 Producer Edition to musicretail stores around the world; Cakewalk has been the worldwide retaildistributor of Fruityloops since January 2001.
FLStudio 4 is the latest version of Fruityloops that combines loopgeneration, synth emulation and pattern-based sequencing within aneasy-to-use interface. FLStudio 4 includes native sampling,Dreamstation™ DXi analog synth, plus seven additional synths, 31audio effects, Live Performance mode, MIDI hardware control, MP3encoding, audio output up to 96 kHz, and an extensive library of 3,000royalty-free samples and 300-plus loops from which users can create aninfinite number of new sounds. FLStudio4 supports DX, DXi, VST and VSTiplug-ins, and also runs as a DXi or VSTi directly within CakewalkSonar, Home Studio and Project5, as well as Cubase, ACID 4.0 and othercompatible host applications.
Russ Berger Design Revamps Web site
Russ Berger Design Group has redesigned its Web site (www.rbdg.com), includingmany more project photos at high resolution.
“No one is going to choose a design firm based simply on one visitto a Website,” said Russ Berger, president of RBDG. “However, the goalof this new Website was to give people the best possible opportunity to‘tour’ our company and get a sense of what we’re allabout. Hopefully, they’ll find the new site engaging enough sothat their next step will be to pick up the phone and schedule a visit,or at least want to learn more.”
In addition to a company history, biographies of team members andlinks to project profiles, the new RBDG Website, which was designed byNashville-based Pixelgrazer, also features an archive of articles andpapers that various RBDG principals have contributed to industrymagazines, as well as articles that have featured the firm and itscompleted projects.
M-Audio Releases First 14 Volumes of Its Loops, Samples
M-Audio is now shipping its new ProSessions sound + loop libraries.ProSessions is a new collection of affordable top-quality samplescreated by some of today’s best musicians, composers andproducers, across a wide variety of genres and styles, including hiphop dance, pop, Latin, R&B, rap, drum ‘n’ bass, techno, world beatand more.
Each ProSessions sample features a top-quality recording with over400 MB of world-class samples in multiple formats: .AIFF, .WAV, REX2and ACIDized .WAV. The initial CD-ROM titles in the ProSessions sound +loop libraries include: Discrete Drums: World Rock and Percussion;Discrete Drums: R&B Drums and Percussion; These Drums Are Loud;Worldbeat Café; Latin Element; Latin Street; Hydrosonix Discs 1and 2 (sold separately); Hella Bumps Disc 1 and 2 (sold separately);Mechanically Separated; Electro Crash; Vector Field; and SoundsLogickal.
Widget Post Installs CEDAR Cambridge
Widget Post (Culver City, Calif.) has installed CEDAR Audio’sCambridge System, an advanced audio restoration system. Widget is thefirst company in North America to acquire the CEDAR Cambridge, whichallows highly detailed noise reduction to be achieved while maintainingthe dynamic range of the original audio.Most recently, the company has restored and produced 5.1 up-mixes toaudio tracks for DVD releases of Thelma & Louise,Robocop, A Fish Called Wanda, My Left Foot,Army of Darkness, A Bridge Too Far, Spaceballs andPlatoon.According to Clive Osborn, sales director at CEDAR Audio UK, “We arevery excited that Widget has chosen to acquire a Cambridge system; itis a true testament to have our equipment in use by [Widget co-founderBrian] Slack and team on some of the most challenging audio restorationprojects to date.””This new piece of gear allows us to do some unbelievablerestoration work. With very little tweaking, we were able to take someextremely noisy audio from West Side Story, Kiss of theSpider Woman, Pink Panther Strikes Again and A Shot inthe Dark and output some very clean tracks almost automatically,”commented Slack. “I anticipate that with the Cambridge, we will be ableto restore films that would have been cost-prohibitive to completemanually and dramatically decrease turnaround times on complexrestoration projects.”
Orchestral Cube Now Available for EXS24 mk II
The Vienna Symphonic Library has announced that the First Edition ofits Orchestral Cube is now available for EXS24 mk II. The OrchestralCube offers over 50,000 string, percussion, brass and woodwind samples,totaling 45 gigabytes. The Orchestral Cube contains single-note sampleswith a variety of dynamics options, as well as a variety of multinotesamples including trills and tremolos.
The second element in the First Edition, the Performance Set, isalso set for release in EXS24 mk II format this month. The creators ofthe Vienna Symphonic Library have been working extensively with Emagicto integrate the Performance Tool as a direct plug-in to EXS24 mk II sousers won’t have to leave the Logic environment. The Performance Toolwill be available for Mac OS 9 and OS X, and is expected to be readyfor download for registered Vienna Symphonic Library users in June of2003.
The EXS version of the Performance Set plug-in will offer the samemodes as the existing GigaStudio version, including: Alternation mode,which allows users to step automatically from one articulation toanother in real time, without the need for operating distracting keyswitches. This can also be used with the Orchestral Cube. Legato modeallows users to perform naturally fluid and authentic passages likelegato, portamento or glissando in real time without pedals or keyswitches. Repetition mode lets users perform repeated notes withcontrol over both the timing and the accents in real time.
For more, visit www.ilio.com.
Brian Ahern Test Drives the Universal Audio 6176
Producer Brian Ahern recently tried out the new Universal Audio 6176on some reissues of his older Emmy Lou Harris records: Pieces of theSky, Luxury Liner, Elite Hotel, Quarter Moonand a Ten Cent Sky and Blue Kentucky Girl. The 6176combines Universal Audio’s 2-610 microphone/instrument preamplifier andthe 1176LN compressor-into a single “channel strip” product.
Ahern is using the 6176 to record vocal overdubs and in themastering process. “I’m taking the original 1/4-inch masters mixed inthe ’70s and running them through the dual-6176s to add a bit moreloudness. Keep up with contemporary values, so we say?” Ahernchuckles. “I like the color that the tube/pre amp of the 6176 generatesI’ve been using a pair of [original] Neumann M50s for the vocals. TheM50 omni capsule is built into a plastiscene ball mounted on a pedestalinside the microphone cage. From this subtle and arcane technology,combined with the 6176, results a sense of depth and ‘being there’enhanced by the microphone’s uncanny ability to put acoustic guitar ‘inyour face’ from a distance of 12 feet! You record the wholeinstrument and air around it, instead of jamming it up to the soundhole.”
He likes to use the 6176 as the pre amp. “Most voices andinstruments are defined by their midrange frequency content. The 6176has a powerful and articulate midrange lens, and the compression hasalways been one of my favorites. I can set up the 6176 for twodifferent feeds on the microphones, which gives me a very subtlecoloration. Then, I have control on the input and the gain of themic preamp before I even get to the compressor, which gives me moreoptions. When I go to the Studer [24-track analog tape machine], Ican then pick two different stocks and two different speeds so there’sfour more options there.”
He also prefers to use the 6176 EQ on direct input for bassoverdubs. Recently, he used it on a vintage Hagstrom Bassoverdub. He used a little low-end EQ and put some overdrivethrough the preamp. “The Equalizer is well-thought-out and theinnovative Impedance Selections create subtle tone changes that areotherwise unavailable. My vintage Hagstrom Bass bloomed as neverbefore through the Instrument Input.”
For more on the 6176, visit Universal Audio online at www.uaudio.com.
Jennifer Grassman at SugarHill
Pianist and vocalist Jennifer Grassman was at SugarHill RecordingStudios (Houston) working on a new patriotic song called “Where theWind Blows” with engineer Steve Christensen. The piano and vocals wererecorded live in Studio A into Pro Tools through the Neotek Eliteconsole. The entire song, which Grassman produced, was done in only onetake.
She wrote the song in support of U.S. troops and it is airing dailyon Soldier’s Radio and Television Network, as well as online at www.soldiersradio.com.
WSDG Redesigns Russian Studio
Dirk Noy, general manager of the Walters-Storyk Design GroupEurope, reported that the design group has been awarded the commissionfor the redesign and reconstruction of the GTRK Kultura Sound RecordingStudio Complex in Moscow. Studios 1 and 3 were originally builtin 1938, while Studio 5 was added in 1968. Russia’s entire nationalradio music archive, over 300,000 tapes, were recorded at thestudio. The redesigned complex will be dedicated to musicrecording and live broadcasting.
Phase 1 of the project, the 1,500-square-foot Studio 3, includingvoice-over booth and control room, has already begun. The studio willbe primarily used for radio drama productions, overdubbing and Foleywork in all existing surround sound formats.
Phase 2, the remodeling of Studio 5-A, a 7,500-square-foot hallcapable of hosting live audiences of 150, will commence later thisyear. Creation of new surround sound control rooms with a centeredmachine room are also planned for this studio.
Phase 3, the renovation of 4,800-square-foot Studio 1 and controlroom 1, will begin before the end of the year.
WSDG U.S.-based partners, architect John Storyk and chief designerScott Yates are collaborating with Noy on the GTRK Kulturaproject. Switzerland’s J+C Intersonic will serve as principalaudio systems/equipment consultant, engineer, trainer and supplier.Local general project supervision, construction management, equipmentsupply and installation services will be undertaken by I.S.P.A.Engineering, which is based in Moscow.
For more, visit WSDG’s Website at www.wsdg.com.
Spectrasonics Releases Virtual Instruments for Mac OS X
Spectrasonics has released its virtual instrument products forMacintosh OS X. The product line includes Stylus, Groove ControlVirtual Instrument, Atmosphere Dream Synth Module and Trilogy TotalBass Module. All three of these products can now be fully compatiblewith Audio Units hosts like Logic Audio; VST OS X hosts such as CubaseSX; as well as RTAS OS X hosts such as Pro Tools 6.0 TDM and LE. Nativesupport for MOTU’s MAS platform for OS X will be releasedshortly.
The OS X upgrade for all three Virtual Instrument modules isavailable for free to all registered Spectrasonics customers and can bedownloaded via the Internet at www.spectrasonics.net/updates.
Bill Watrous Steps Into Angel Mountain
Legendary jazz trombonist Bill Watrous recently recorded some newtracks at Angel Mountain Productions & Sound in Bethlehem, Pa.Watrous was joined at the session by the Rob Stoneback Band, an18-piece jazz big band, who were in recording for their upcoming CDthat Watrous is featured as a soloist.
Watrous came away highly impressed with the all-new facility. “[Itwas] above and beyond anything I have ever seen as far as studios areconcerned.” “Angel Mountain’s investments in cutting-edge technologyadvance our capabilities well into the future of audio recording,” saidAngel Mountain VP of marketing and sales Mike Horvath. “At the sametime, we’re able to meet and exceed the current demands andgrowing trends in the industry today.”
Angel Mountain Productions & Sound’s new multiroom studiocomplex spans over 18,000 square feet and includes three world-class5.1 audio control rooms, soffitted Quested monitors and the new SSL XL9000 K mixing console.
For more information on Angel Mountain, contact Mike Horvath or KimFallon at 610/691-5056.
Allen&Heath Hire Bardy Hayes
Allen&Heath (Anaheim, Calif.) announced that it has hired BardyHayes of Global Market Management as its account manager for the Asiaand Asia Pacific regions; most recently, Hayes was the account managerfor International Sales, an export rep firm.
According to Bob Goleniowski, Allen&Heath’s sales and marketingdirector, “We’re delighted to have been able to capture someone ofBardy’s experience and enthusiasm for our Asia sales team. We know himwell from his time with our Canadian distributor Erikson, and we arepleased he’s come back to represent Allen&Heath again. Asia is oneof our key growth areas at the moment, so he’ll be extremely busy!”
Bardy commented: “I’m really glad to be back working withAllen&Heath, a company that is really setting the new standards formixing console manufacturers. I’m looking forward to working closelywith our Far East distribution partners to maximize Allen&Heath’smarket share.”
Visit Allen&Heath online at www.allen-heath.com.
Lake Technology Announces Its First Church Install
The first Lake Contour (from Lake Technology) installation in ahouse of worship was recently completed at the First PresbyterianChurch of Colorado Springs in Colorado. Clair Brothers Systemsintegrated the Lake Contour digital speaker controller into its newmain sound reinforcement system. Clair Bros.’ Dean Wiltsie was theinstallation project supervisor.
“This is the first church installation where we’ve used the LakeContour and the CAT-2s,” said Gene Pelland, VP and director ofmarketing at Clair Brothers Systems. “Overall, after hearing back afterthe Good Friday/Easter Sunday services from the business manager at thechurch, Ed Ward, and the facilities manager, Ken Hayward, they werevery happy.
“We used the Lake Contour to drive the left and right Clair CurvedLive Array system,” continued Pelland. “We’re using three CAT-2loudspeaker elements per side, with a CS-18 subwoofer on top of thecluster.” Under-balcony Clair Bros. UB-2003 speaker feeds are driven bya BSS Soundweb. Clair Bros. also supplied six stage monitor wedges.
According to Bruce Jackson, senior VP of research for LakeTechnology, “The Lake-designed Clair iO DSP speaker controller,resulting from the collaboration between Clair Brothers and LakeTechnology, has revolutionized the way that the performance of touringconcert sound systems is optimized. The new Lake Contour builds on thattechnology to bring those same unique sound-reshaping capabilities toinstalled sound systems of any size and in any venue.”
UK Mastering House Relies on Cool Edit Pro 2.0
Independent UK mastering house A2B Production Solutions has selectedCool Edit Pro 2.0 digital audio recording, editing, mixing andmastering software as its primary platform. A2B founder Antony Barsonsaid that he selected the software for its advanced functionality,system reliability and audio quality.
“We use Cool Edit Pro 2.0 to master to and from a wide variety ofmedia, and it enables us to concentrate less on the technology and moreon the creative aspect of audio engineering,” Barson said. “As aresult, we can provide our clients with cost-effective turnkeyservices, and we’re beginning to earn a name in the productioncommunity as a good place with whom to do business.”
According to Barson, one of the features he finds most useful arethe frequency-analysis screens. “I have been introduced to otherediting systems, but I have found that they are not as comprehensive orintuitive. Features such as the frequency-analysis screens make my joba lot easier. Also, the envelopes and hard limiting features areinvaluable for boosting volume levels and bringing the music forwardthroughout the track, while retaining at least some of their intendedlevels.”
For more on Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro, visit www.cooledit.com.
Mackie Control Surfaces Now Supported by APB Tools
Mackie Designs Inc. (Woodinville, Wash.) announced that APB ToolsTH-S Version 2.1 supports its Control Extender and Baby HUI desktopcontrol surfaces.
TH-S users can now take advantage of a Mackie-quality, intuitivecontrol surface as a playlist manager/playback controller with thisMac-based live broadcast program. Each channel strip so that the eightchannel strips with their own dedicated V-Pot and navigation buttonsallow TH-S users to use the Extender for several different sources ofaudio within Pro Tools and ASIO-supported applications. Because themaster control section of the Mackie Control is not necessary tocontrol the TH-S software, only the Extender is supported.
“The goal of all developments is to combine high-quality audioalgorithms with specialized intuitive user surfaces/interfaces toreduce workload in production and live situations,” stated BerndSchoenhaar, founder and CEO of APB Tools. “We believe the MackieControl Extender and Baby HUI are perfect controllers for oursoftware.”
Pragmatic Unveils High-Power Hideaway Amps
Pragmatic Communications Systems Inc. released two complete ranges ofhigh-performance, compact amplifiers in its Hideaway Series: The MBA(MonoBlock Amplifiers) and SAA (Stereo Audio Amplifiers) are mono-blockand dual-mono-block designs, respectively.
The MBA Series features three mono-block designs: MBA 124 (24watts), MBA136 (36 watts) and the MBA148 (48 watts). Each is housed inan attractive, high-impact, anodized case measuring only 2×3.5×3(WxHxD) inches. The units accept any volume-controlled line-level inputvia gold-plated phono inputs. Outputs are offered via high-quality,gold plated, five-way binding posts. Power is supplied via 12 VDC.
The SAA Series features three stereo models: SAA224 (24 watts perchannel), SAA236 (36 watts per channel) and the SAA245 (45 watts perchannel). These are housed in the same attractive compact case as theMBA Series. The same advanced circuitry provides wide dynamics andclean power in a 2-channel format.
Pragmatic’s MBA and SAA amplifiers are designed for a wide range ofuses, including kiosks, classrooms, boardrooms or small rooms aroundthe home or office, as well as remote applications or for instanceswhere signals need to be transmitted over long distances. Advancedprotection circuitry guards against damage from overload, excessivetemperatures or short circuits. Also, there is no heat sinks or vents.For further flexibility in a wide array of applications, availableoptions for both ranges include rotary volume control, standardrackmount kit for multiple amplifiers and an in-wall version that canbe fitted in a standard junction box. All models are backed with atwo-year warranty and are available for immediate delivery.
For more, visit www.wireless-experts.com.
Adobe Acquires Technology From Syntrillium Software
Adobe Systems announced an agreement to acquire the technology assetsof Syntrillium Software; Syntrillium’s flagship product, Cool Edit Pro,will join the company’s existing line of pro digital video products,including Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Encore DVD andAdobe Photoshop.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though Adobe said that itexpects that the acquisition will not impact earning gained in Q2 of2003.
“Cool Edit Pro has won recognition across the music and videoindustries, and by teaming up with Adobe, we will be able to bring thiscomplete multitrack recording application to an expanded set ofcustomers,” said Bob Ellison, president of Syntrillium. “IntroducingCool Edit Pro into the Adobe family is great news for our customers,who will benefit from the company’s complementary product line andcommitment to delivering high-quality products.”
“By adding Cool Edit Pro to our product line,” said Bryan Lamkin,senior VP of Digital Imaging and Video Products at Adobe, “Adobe isdelivering a complete workflow of video pros and DVD authors. Theintroduction of Adobe Encore DVD and out acquisition of thisoutstanding audio application demonstrate our intention to put the bestDV tools in the hands of PC users worldwide.”
Syntrillium products can still be accessed via its Website, www.syntrillium.com.
Sonic Foundry Sells Entertainment Business
Sonic Foundry has closed on the sale of assets comprising itsentertainment industry-based business to Deluxe Media Services Inc. forapproximately $5.6 million cash, including an estimate of net workingcapital.
Sonic Foundry’s entertainment business include its digital mediaconversion, encoding and distribution products and services forcompanies in the television, motion picture and entertainmentindustry.
With the money Sonic Foundry will receive from its deal with SonyPictures Digital (“Sony Buys Sonic Foundry’s Desktop Software Assets,”mixonline.com/ar/audio_mix_news_may/index.htm), thecompany will use the approximate $24 million to pay off debt and fundthe company’s forward operations. All of the approximately 80 SonicFoundry employees–currently working at the company’s Toronto- andLos Angeles-based operations–will be impacted by the sale,although the majority of them are expected to transition to Deluxe.
According to Sonic Foundry chairman and CEO Rimas Buinevicius, “Thecompany’s focus has been evolving to rich-media content creation,management and distribution over the Internet with Web streaming anddistribution solutions, such as our Mediasite Live product. MediasiteLive is a Web presentation system Sonic Foundry introduced in 2002 thatis used for a wide variety of enterprise communication applications,such as distance learning, corporate training and Webcasting.
“We timed our transition to focus exclusively on the rich-mediaenterprise market as we began to see greater applications for ouradvanced technologies,” Buinevicius continued. “Our proprietaryofferings and expertise in the areas of indexing, navigating andinterpreting rich-media content are the principal foundations thatdefine the rich-media database of the future. Products help create thecontent for these databases, while our follow-up offerings will focuson enhancing and improving the workflow consumption and interpretationof rich media.”
For more, visit Sonic Foundry at www.sonicfoundry.com.
Roxio Buys Pressplay
Roxio announced that it acquired Pressplay (the joint venture betweenUniversal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment), which gives Roxioa legal digital music-distribution infrastructure and catalog rightswith all five major music labels. Pressplay will serve as thefoundation for the launch of Roxio’s new legal online musicservice under the Napster brand.
“Roxio’s acquisition of Pressplay significantly accelerates thedevelopment of our online music business,” said Chris Gorog,Roxio’s chairman and CEO. “With our acquisition of Napster, weobtained the most powerful brand in the online music space. Now, withour acquisition of Pressplay, we have the most complete and scalablelegal technology infrastructure to use as a platform to relaunchNapster. After taking the necessary time to add features, enhancefunctionality and improve usability, we will launch a new service withan extremely compelling consumer experience that builds on thequalities of the Napster brand.”
Under the terms of its agreement, Roxio has purchased a majorityownership for $12.5 million in cash and approximately 3.9 millionshares of Roxio common stock. Based on Roxio’s closing stock priceon May 16, 2003, the purchase price would be approximately $39.5million, excluding transaction costs estimated at approximately $1million. In addition, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal MusicGroup each have the right to earn up to $6.25 million based on positivecash flows resulting from the new Napster service.
Both labels will each provide a representative to join Roxio’sboard of directors. pressplay’s president, Mike Bebel, will reportdirectly to Gorog, and pressplay’s senior management team and itsoffices in Los Angeles and New York will remain in place.
“Online music is highly synergistic with our core business of CD/DVDrecording and digital media software and will be of great interest toour global customer base of over 100 million digital media consumers.Very significant positive changes have recently occurred in the legalonline music sector resulting in far greater availability of contentand much broader flexibility for consumers. We believe these criticalchanges now provide an environment for a very positive consumerexperience that will help propel the growth of this industry,” saidGorog.
Zach Horowitz, president and COO of Universal Music Group, said,”The potential of the legitimate online music market is only nowbecoming apparent. The combination of pressplay, Roxio and Napsteruniquely positions the service for the future. We are excited tocontinue to be part of that future by becoming a major shareholder inRoxio and look forward to working with Chris Gorog and his team to findnew ways to make the online music experience an especially compellingone.”
Robert Bowlin, executive VP at Sony Music Entertainment, said, “Whenpressplay launched in 2001, one of its great differentiating features,CD burning, was made possible by its relationship with Roxio. Webelieve that the combination of Roxio’s strong software expertiseand its Napster brand, with pressplay’s unique programming anddepth of content, will create an unparalleled service for musicfans.”
Commenting on the immediate financial impact of the transaction,Roxio’s CFO Elliot Carpenter said, “We anticipate spendingapproximately $20 million to fund the relaunch of Napster. Followingthe relaunch, we expect that this new business will result in negativecash flows until the service is widely adopted.”
Roxio will provide a more detailed outlook of the financial impactof this transaction to its fiscal first quarter ending June 30. Formore, visit www.roxio.com.
Non-Stop Music Library Expands Catalog
Salt Lake City-based Non-Stop Music announced that in addition to itsaward-winning production library, new music libraries have been added:Groovers Music Library, Media Music, Point Music Library,Countdown Media and JW Media (Latin America). The company also releasedfour new CDs: Attitude 3, Action 2 and 3 andAdventure 2 in its Producers Series.
Non-Stop Music Library cues can also be heard in the upcoming filmtrailer promotion of X-Men 2, Finding Nemo, TheHulk and Freaky Friday.
For more on Non-Stop, visit www.nonstopmusic.com.
Mackie Upgrades D8B
Mackie Designs (Woodinville, Wash.) announced Version 5.1 for itsDigital 8·Bus (D8B) recording console; version 5.0 software wasreleased last January.
New features include: a “Use V3 Style EQ” preference added to theMix Options window. This global setting is saved with the session andallows complete backward-compatibility with Version 3 sessions. HUIMode Improvements include Cut, Copy, Paste and Shift/Add buttons addedto the HUI layer. Undo was moved to the Undo button and more functionalbuttons are now displayed onscreen. Modify levels for trim faders isnow calibrated in dB steps. Users can link a channel to a channeldirectly above or below it, between the mic/line and tape return banks(banks 1 and 2 only), allowing for control of up to 24 stereo sourcesfrom a single bank. A Peak Hold option was added to the TOP meter view,which is enabled from the Options/Meters menu. Overload indicators cannow be manually cleared by clicking on them or clear all overloads bypressing F10 or selecting Clear Over Loads from the Options/ Metersmenu. Hot Keys have been added for Show HUI Layer, HUI mode on/off andmeter type in GUI. Record Ready can now be mapped in the MIDI Mapwindow. A Surround Panner replaces the Pan control in the Fat Channelwhen a surround mode is selected, and lastly, the ability to remove theselected channels from the L-R bus when copying.
Version 5.1 is currently available as a download from www.mackie.com.Version 5.1 is free for anyone who purchased a D8B after November 15,2002, or anyone who has already purchased the Version 5.0 upgrade.Otherwise, the Version 5.1 upgrade is available for $299.
PAMA Adds More Charter Members
Fairlight, Focusrite, Manley Labs and Steinberg North America havejoined the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) as chartermembers; other charter members include AKG Acoustics, Altec-Lansing,Audio-Technica, Califone, DiGiCo, Dolby Labs, Fairlight, Focusrite,Group One, Harman Pro Group, Klotz Digital, Manley Labs, Meyer Sound,Neutrik, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Steinberg North America, Tascam,Telex and Yamaha.
“The momentum of support for the Professional Audio ManufacturersAlliance continues to grow as more and more companies come tounderstand what this alliance can do for them,” Paul Gallo, PAMAexecutive director, said. “The addition of Fairlight, Focusrite, ManleyLabs and Steinberg North America will make our alliance an evenstronger voice for the industry.”
Lynx Offers Beta Version of OS X Drivers
The OS X driver for Lynx Studio Technology’s Lynx TWO and L22 192kHzPCI interface reference audio cards is now available in a beta version;a downloadable version is available at www.lynxstudio.com. The OS X driver offers theability to install multiple Lynx cards in a Mac and to use more thanone application simultaneously. The final OS X driver will be releasedthis summer.
The beta OS X driver allows quality audio recording and playback foreither single multichannel or multiple stereo streams. Featuresunavailable in the beta version, but will be offered in the finalrelease, include full software mixer control using the LynxTWO mixerutility, timecode and video genlock, LTC-to-MIDI timecode conversionand firmware update support.
Telex Names New President, CEO
Telex Communications (Minneapolis) named Raymond V. Malpocher aspresident and CEO to replace Ned Jackson, who is retiring. Malpocherwas most recently with Teleflex Corporation as group president of itsMarine/Industrial division.
According to Edgar S. Woolard Jr., chairman of the Board ofDirectors, “During his tenure with Telex, Ned Jackson made outstandingprogress improving our operations and introducing a new family ofproducts. We greatly appreciate his many contributions. We are excitedthat Mr. Malpocher has decided to join Telex. He has broad operatingexperience implementing world-class processes. Together with his strongmanagement beliefs and practices, we are confident he will build on oursolid foundation and provide the necessary leadership to continue thecompany’s journey to excellence.”
For more, visit Telex at www.telex.com.
AES Conference to Focus on Multichannel Audio
On June 26, 2003, the Audio Engineering Society will kick off threedays of presentations and discussions on the present and future ofmultichannel audio at its 24th International Conference; the event willbe held at the Banff Centre (located Banff, Alberta, Canada).
“The conference seminars and workshops will feature a wide range ofpractical and operational topics” said Theresa Leonard, AES 24thConference chair and director of audio at the Banff Centre. “End-users,audio researchers and academics alike will benefit from the extensiveprogram.”
Papers topics will include surround perception, spatialization andreverb; signal processing; wave field synthesis; and alternatives to5.1. The seminars, which will be enhanced by a multichannel monitoringroom setup, will include a presentation on multichannel masteringtechniques by Bob Ludwig and Steven Marcussen. Presentations on thechallenges of surround sound for documentaries, radio drama insurround, the New Year’s Eve concert live from Vienna and thechallenge of center channel will also be included.
The selection of live demonstrations include demos of multichannelaudio reproduction, an MPEG-4-based interactive virtual 3-D scenery, aspeaker Periphonic playback demonstration and practical examples ofsound recording works by prominent recording engineers.
Each day’s events will feature roundtables and discussions, aswell as cultural and musical events. Day one will include a round tablediscussion, “Towards the Polarization of Surround Sound Systems,” whichwill explore the synergies between hardware and software engineeringand the relationship that exists between them and the sales andinstallation function. That evening, a wine and cheese party willaccompany the Posters Sessions, which will run concurrently with a livemusic performance featuring multichannel components in the soundsystems. Also taking place in the Walter Phillips Gallery will be apresentation by the Paradise Institute, which will feature theperformance art piece presented at the 2001 Venice Biennale. Daytwo’s highlights include a demonstration of microphone technologyand techniques in the recording studio, as well as a roundtable ofprominent engineers who will share their views of the multichannelfield based on their experiences. Wrapping up the three-day event willbe a performance by one of Canada’s top classical performers,cellist Shauna Rolston.
Seattle Clubs Install SymNet Systems
Two Seattle-based clubs, the Shark Club and Medusa, have installed aSymNet Audio Matrix, a mixing, routing and processing system fromSymetrix.
Longtime purchaser of Symetrix products, Mark Naficy, who is theowner of NAF Productions Inc., a Seattle audio rental, sales andinstallation company, put both clubs, which have been longtimecustomers, into the SymNet 8×8 Digital Signal Processor hardwaremodule.
“Both clubs are using it for all of their audio processing needs,including EQ, crossover, compression, limiting–a million differentthings–which has allowed them to replace many of the individualpieces they had to buy individually before,” Naficy said. “Using SymNetDesigner, we can see the entire system on a laptop or desktop computerscreen, and pieces of it can be easily seen and adapted or changed asneeded and downloaded into the unit. It has all of the processingthat’s needed for a system built into a computer-based program andunit.”
Medusa, a year-old club that has hosted numerous nationally andinternationally acclaimed DJs, uses SymNet to control the sound systemon the dance floor and the main room of the club. Another Symetrixproduct, the 322 DSP engine, is used for processing audio in the otherareas of the club. “The SymNet module is the only thing between theDJ’s mixing board and the amplifiers, but they’re not able to interactwith it or change any settings in it because they’ve been preset,”Naficy said. “So instead of a bunch of know-it-all DJs coming in andpossibly blowing up the system, we’re able to retain control. With alot of different DJs in and out of the club, everything is clamped downwith the system, and the club ends up with a consistent sound and asystem that’s also protected from damage.”
At the Shark Club, an in-house sound person controls the SymNetsettings and configures the system as needed for the numerous livebands who play there. “We pretty much gave them the unit and theyconfigured it, letting them determine how everything is routed,” Naficysaid. “We had sold a system to the club about five or six years ago,and when Symetrix came out with its SymNet product, we upgraded them toit. It really made a big difference in the sound of the system becauseof their ability to control it more effectively.”
For more on the Symetrix products, visit www.symetrixaudio.com.
George Massenburg Employs Sanken Mic on RecentProject
Renowned producer/engineer George Massenburg recently employed theSanken CU-44X microphone for much of the new album, Sweet Is theMelody, from 12-year-old Canadian prodigy Aselin Debison; theeffort was co-produced with Peter Asher.
“I recorded almost everything with a pair of Sanken CU-44Xs,”explained Massenburg. “It’s simply a classic microphone that seems tohave been overlooked amidst the plethora of new mics on the marketthese days. On acoustic guitar, the CU-44X has incredible range; a big,flat low end; and fantastic high end. From any perspective, it is flat,clean and very extended. For Aselin’s vocals, it was superb,transparent and gave me great clarity and range. Percussion wasfast and clean. Drum overhead miking was clean and linear and nolow-end mush; a nice, useful cardioid pattern. For strings, thismicrophone outshines even the honored benchmark mics of thepast. On acoustic piano, we got a big sound, well-separated tones,clean high end, warm low end and nice attack. The high-frequencyresponse of this mic is unbelievable; best I’ve heard, and ready forthe 96kHz sampling future.”
For further information, visit Sanken distributor Plus24 at www.plus24.net.
Molex Upgrades ParaLink
Molex has added a 3.2Gbps version to its ParaLink Parallel OpticalInterconnect product line. The ParaLink module is a pluggable12-channel parallel module for high-speed, high-density optical-datatransfer applications. This enhanced version increases throughput by25% over more commonly available devices at 2.5Gbps per channel.
The new ParaLink modules are compatible with the new generation ofXAUI interface chips. The modules can transmit optical data over 300meters of multimode fiber depending on type of fiber.
The company’s ParaLink-P devices come as a set of separate12-channel transmitter and receiver modules. The transmitter is basedon a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser array (VCSEL) with activebias and modulation feedback to provide constant optical output overoperating range and lifetime. The devices operate on a 3.3-volt supplyand typically draw only 250 mA, providing a very low-power consumption,typically 1.6 watts per link. These modules plug into a 10×10 BGAsocket previously mounted on the motherboard, allowing for a moreflexible final assembly, test and repair process.
ParaLink pluggable modules have been designed with a low profile of8.4 mm to enable use with PCI-compliant cards and otherheight-constrained applications. Modules have a compact 54x18mm sizelayout, and the devices are available with an EMI shroud to provide EMIsuppression for front-panel-mounted applications. The optical interfaceis an MPO receptacle that allows for easy connection to standard12-fiber MT-based ribbon cable. Through a cross-licensing agreement,all Molex ParaLink-P modules are fully pin-out compliant andinteroperable with Infineon’s PAROLI 2 pluggable parallel opticalinterconnect devices.
ParaLink 3.125G modules are available now. Pricing starts at lessthan $1,000 per transmitter and receiver pair. For more information onthe Molex ParaLink-P, or other fiber optic products, visit www.molex.com.
Shure Ships DSP Processor
The new DFR22 Audio Processor features 2-in/2-out DSP and Shure’spatented automatic digital-feedback reduction algorithm (DFR). Alsoincluded are modules for EQ, dynamics processing, delay and matrixmixing. The DFR22 is also easily configured through a flexibledrag-and-drop Windows software interface.
“The DFR22 will give current users of our DFR11EQ and P4800 the bestof both products in a new form factor,” said Bob Reider, Shure’scategory director of audio processing products. “It will function as anout-of-the-box, 2-channel feedback reducer or as a fully configurable2x2 device with a full complement of software-configurable audioprocessors. It also answers the many requests we’ve received for astereo version of our patented feedback-reduction algorithm.”
The DFR22 features single-channel and stereo 5, 10 and 16-band DFRprocessing blocks. In addition, it now offers an Auto-Clear mode thatremoves changes to EQ made by the feedback reducer after a specifiedperiod of time. The DFR22 includes both XLR and Phoenix connectors, andtakes up a single rackspace.
For more, visit Shure online at www.shure.com.
MOTU Upgrades 828
MOTU’s new 828mkII ($795), a single-rackspace FireWire audiointerface for Mac and Windows, replaces the 828 at the same price butadds new features.
These new features include more simultaneous inputs (20) and outputs(22), 24-bit 96kHz operation, 8-bus monitor mixing with front-panel LCDprogramming, stand-alone operation, front-panel mic/guitar/instrumentinputs with preamps and sends, SMPTE timecode sync and MIDI I/O.
“The 828mkII is equally well-suited for both studio and stage,” saidJim Cooper, director of marketing at MOTU. “It gives you all of theanalog and digital I/O you need for desktop recording, includingconvenient front-panel mic inputs with sends for your favoritecompressor, EQ or guitar amp. You can program multiple monitor mixesonscreen with the included CueMix Console software, hit the road andthen tweak mix settings at your gig using the front-panel LCD displaywithout the computer. And, we’ve added convenient MIDI jacks so youdon’t need to carry an extra MIDI interface.”
Additional features include ADAT sync input; wordclock input/output;punch-in/out; two 1394 FireWire connectors; IEC power receptacle;universal compatibility with virtually all audio software on Mac OS 9/Xand Windows ME/2K/XP; and AudioDesk, a sample-accurate workstationsoftware for Mac OS with 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit automatedmixing/processing/mastering.
The 828mkII is expected to ship in Q2 of 2003. For more, visit www.motu.com.
Middle Atlantic Products are Quality-Assured
Middle Atlantic Products has been approved for registration of itsQuality Assurance System in accordance with the InternationalOrganization for Standards (IOS) 9001:2000.
Managed by TUV Essen, the third-party evaluation of Middle AtlanticProducts’ New Jersey, California and Illinois facilities verifies thatthe quality systems used to engineer, manufacture and distribute itsproducts meet international standards for quality practices.
According to Keith Carney, VP of engineering and quality assurance,”ISO 9001:2000 registration is not necessarily an end unto itself, butinstead a very important step forward in our company-wide pursuit ofquality in each and every aspect of our operations. Middle AtlanticProducts will continue to examine and re-examine ways to improve ourproducts and processes and in doing so, maintain our competitive edgebased on quality and innovation.”
Certification to ISO 9001:2000 is a model for quality assurance indesign, manufacturing and customer care. This registration applies toall products manufactured under the quality system in place at theregistered site. Registration requires demonstration of a totalquality-control system in five distinct areas: product realization,quality management, management responsibility, resource management andmeasurement, and analysis and improvement.
Following the initial registration, Middle Atlantic Products will beaudited twice yearly to ensure that the company’s quality systemcontinues to meet the requirements of IS0 9001:2000.
Vocal Mic Invitational Announced
To be held at Ocean Way Nashville on July 17, 2003, this one-dayevent will explore the technology and technique of vocal miking, aswell as demonstrations with vocalists from manufacturers. An engineerpanel from Music Row’s finest will cap the event with a discussion ofvocal microphone techniques in an interactive session.
The event is open and free to the greater Nashville engineeringcommunity, as well as local recording schools. NAMM attendees are alsowelcome, including dealers and sales reps.
The event will take place on the main tracking floor of Ocean WayNashville. Two iso rooms will be alternately set up with the livepresentations.
For more, visit www.aes.org/sections/nashville/.