Nearly 100,000 industry enthusiasts ventured to Frankfurt, Germany, to see the latest audio and music technogadgets at the 20th annual Musikmesse, held from March 3-7, 1999. Although the show was just a month after NAMM, there was no shortage of new and cool products. Here are a few that caught our eye.
Electrix[superscript]TM (www.electrixpro.com), a new division of IVL Technologies, unveiled three signal processors housed in wedge-shaped chassis for rackmounting or use as slant-faced tabletop devices. Touted as “The Ultimate Vocoder,” WarpFactory ($499) has gender, Q, “order” and formant freeze controls. Mo-FX ($599) creates effects such as autopan, tremolo, delay and flange, along with band filters and variable distortion. Filter Factory ($499) is an analog stereo filter with tap-tempo, LFO, distortion and selectable waveforms. No presets. No menus. Just spin a knob or two and you’ve got monster sounds, ASAP. Awesome!
ML Audio + Carbons (www.mlaudio. com) demoed MusicaNova 2001, a five-way sound reinforcement speaker built into a 58x58x22-inch (HxWxD), 418-pound enclosure. A 15-inch woofer is set into each corner; the rest of the face is a massive 90degreesx90degrees carbon fiber horn fed by three 12-inch mids, a 1-inch compression driver and 32 ribbon tweeters set into the horn surface. Add 15 kW of amps and the optional 4×18 sub and you’ve got one BIG system.
SADiE (www.sadie.com) debuted Artemis, a DAW designed for music editing, stereo or surround mixing, CD mastering, DVD production and post work, with 24-bit/192kHz capability, eight to 24 inputs/outputs, 32-bit internal processing, 9-pin and timecode sync, and support of various file formats (.WAV, SDII, AIFF, AudioFile and more).
TC Works’ (www.tcworks.de) Spark editing/processing/mastering software package for the Mac platform offers waveform editing, fast file access, real-time dynamics and time stretch, sample rate conversion, VST plug-in compatibility, AIFF, SDII, .WAV and QuickTime file support, dithering, hi-res onscreen meters, 24/96 support and a powerful FX-Matrix allowing up to four parallel streams with up to five effects on each. Price? $499.
Can’t sing on key? The Intonator from TC Electronic (www.tcelectronic.com) is a vocal intonation processor that provides 24-bit pitch correction (with 96kHz internal processing), along with de-essing, Adaptive Lo-Cut filtering, simultaneous outputs of dry and processed vocals, and a unique “do not process anything but this note” feature. Retail: $1,499.
Soundcraft’s (www.soundcraft.com) Series Four live sound FOH console, shares the name of an earlier Soundcraft board, yet is based on the layout of the company’s acclaimed Series Five, but in a smaller footprint, with 24/32/40/48-frame sizes. Series Four has eight VCAs and eight mute groups, 4-band EQ with parametric mids, ten aux sends (four mono/stereo switchable) and a 16×8 matrix. Optional are Showtime[superscript]TM/Virtual FX snapshot automation and Virtual Dynamics (adding compressors, gates and autopaners on every input.)
Ideal for DJ mixing or just plain audio fun, the Kaoss Pad from Korg (www.korg.com) combines a compact sampler/multi-effects box with an X-Y controller providing real-time, fingertip control of multiple effects parameters simultaneously, and slick tricks such as scraping, tapping or skipping across the pad for results unattainable by knobs, sliders or wheels.
Emagic (www.emagic.de) announced Logic Audio 4.0 for Mac and Windows 98/NT, a major upgrade to its flagship digital audio/MIDI sequencer/scoring package, which in its Platinum version, offers 24-bit/96kHz digital audio recording, including 31 audio plug-ins, 16 effect buses, and up to 128 audio tracks, along with an elegant new graphic user interface. Hot!
Novation (www.novationuk.com) showed the Nova MIDI module, based on the ASM (Analog Sound Modeling) synthesis engine used in its award-winning SuperNova synth. Nova features 12-voice polyphony, 36 voices, three oscillators, two ring modulators, resonant filter, up to 42 simultaneous effects, two audio inputs (20-bit DACs), six assignable outputs and a combo tabletop/rackmount case.
Audio-Service’s (www.audio-service. com) PP02R is a plug-in adapter providing XLR inputs with switchable phantom power for the channel 9-16 TRS inputs on a Yamaha 02R console. No word on U.S. availability, but any 02R could use this smart, simple accessory.
We’ll present other Musikmesse product hits in our product columns in future issues. Meanwhile, we’re off to Las Vegas for the NAB convention in a couple of weeks. See you there!