Synthax RME Fireface UFX+
Redesign Brings Thunderbolt, USB 3 and DSP
RME’s new flagship audio production tool, the Fireface UFX+ ($2,999) features 188 channels including analog, ADAT, MADI, AES, SPDIF, USB 2, USB 3 and Thunderbolt I/O. It also includes more powerful DSP and a new optional ARC remote control ($189). Second-generation hardware offers improved USB functionality and reliability, even with slower or multi-partitioned USB thumb drives. Thunderbolt gives the Fireface UFX+ real PCI Express audio performance under Mac and Windows, with the lowest latency, lowest system overhead and lowest CPU load.
Propellerhead Reason 9
New Tools and Sounds
Reason 9 from Propellerhead ($449) introduces three Player devices, including Note Echo, which creates rhythmic, pitched MIDI delays for melodies, drum rolls and more; Scales & Chords, which turns simple melodies into harmonies and chords; and Dual Arpeggio, which transforms chords into intricate and inspiring rhythms. Reason’s new Pitch Edit mode fixes out-of-tune notes, adds vibrato, changes your timing and creates new melodies from your recording. Reason 9 also comes with 1,000 new sounds, plus Reason rack is enhanced with key workflow improvements and darker theme options.
Buzz Audio DBC-M Mastering Compressor
Self-Adjusting Ratio Offers Unique Dynamic Control
A mastering-oriented version of the popular DBC-20 Diode Bridge Compressor, the DBC-M ($2,595) is equipped with fully switched controls for repeatable settings of every parameter, plus a self-adjusting ratio whereby the compression ratio is progressively increased with deepening gain reduction. The DBC-M audio path uses Class-A discrete amplifier designs in a balanced configuration from input to output, with a radio steel-laminated transformer to couple to the diode bridge element.
Lauten Audio LA-320
Cardioid Tube Condenser
Lauten Audio’s LA-320 professional large-diaphragm vacuum tube studio condenser vocal microphone ($799) features a 1-inch pressure gradient condenser capsule with a fixed cardioid polar pattern. Also included is a dual-triode vacuum tube, transformer-balanced output, independent high- and low-cut filters, custom dedicated power supply, tube microphone cable, spider shock-mount and hard case. The microphone features two independent filters, available with easy to engage switches.
Positive Grid Pro Series EQ
Digital, Tube and Passive Plug-ins
Positive Grid has released three new EQ plug-ins ($99), including Digital, Tube and Passive EQs that bring component-based EQ for the first time in a plug-in. Positive Grid’s unique EQ matching works by analyzing the difference between the signal from the input track and sidechain track and adjusts the controls to match the different curves. Digital EQ features five bands plus highpass and lowpass filter for each channel. Tube EQ comes with 12AX7, 12AU7 and 12AT7 preamp tubes, while Passive EQ offers 3-band controls for each channel.
Universal Audio UAD Curve Bender EQ
Classic EQ From Chandler Now in Plug-in Form
Developed for the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform by Softube, the Chandler Limited Curve Bender Mastering EQ plug-in ($299) is an exacting emulation of this ultra-boutique, inductor-based EQ. The plug-in is based on the vintage EMI TG12345 desk from Abbey Road Studios and is endorsed by Chandler Limited founder Wade Goeke. Softube emulated the Chandler Limited’s Curve Bender circuits end-to-end, including its filter inductors, germanium transistors, transformers and circuit nonlinearities, allowing the Curve Bender plug-in to retain the hardware’s rich harmonics and vintage tone.
Dynaudio Pro LYD Monitors
Three Affordable Near-Fields
The LYD-5 ($559), LYD-7 ($669), and LYD-8 ($789) monitors from Dynaudio feature 5-, 7- and 8-inch woofers and a soft-dome tweeter. Each drive unit is power by a Class-D amplifier featuring a 96kHz/24-bit signal path. Advanced controls on the rear panel include Bass Extension allowing the user to choose between having the speaker play with a flat default bass setting, or tuned to play as loud as possible (+10 Hz/+5 dB) or as deep as possible (-10 Hz/-5 dB). None of the three settings influences the linearity of the frequency response. There are two boundary settings, one for freestanding speakers (“Free”) and one for speakers placed within 50 cm of a back wall or closer (“Wall”). The Sound Balance option is a tilt filter that lifts 20 kHz by 1.5 dB while lowering 20 Hz by 1.5 dB for a “Bright” setting, or the other way around “Dark” tone shape.
RTW Loudness and Mastering Tools
The new software Version 4 for RTW’s Loudness Tools ($249) and Mastering Tools ($549) adds support for Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan plus a selectable 12th octave RTA, cinema loudness (TASA and SAWA), and free scalable instrument size. The new version allows the Loudness Tools and Mastering Tools software to be operated as a stand-alone version. Both tools are part of the RTW Masterclass Plug-ins, a range of products that provide RTW meters as plug-in software. Analyzer tools require no additional hardware and are targeted at musicians, radio producers, and audio/video engineers who need to meet the resulting implementation specifications required by TV and radio broadcasters.
NEW SOUND REINFORCEMENT PRODUCTS
WorxAudio PDA-1000R Amp
Dante Plus Delay, Compressor/Limiter
WorxAudio Technologies’ PDA-1000R power amplifier ($1,780) features integrated DSP and Dante audio networking technology. The new PDA-1000R provides PreSonus’ Active Integration technology to create networkable Dante-enabled loudspeaker systems with powerful DSP that can be controlled by a computer running WorxControl (a loudspeaker management and remote control/monitoring application for AI-enhanced WorxAudio loudspeakers) over a standard LAN. As a 2-channel, Class-D power amp with 500W per channel, the PDA-1000R incorporates two onboard Presets, High Pass Filter, Temperature, Signal, -3 dB, Limit and Clip indications, XLR Input, XLR Pass-thru, and Dante, which offers a no-hassle, self-configuring, true plug-and-play digital audio networking experience.
Zaxcom ZHD Transmitter
10 Channels in a 1MHz Space
Zaxcom has released its latest line of digital recording wireless transmitters with a brand new modulation, Zaxcom High Density (ZHD). ZHD modulation allows for up to 10 channels of wireless to be operated in 1 MHz of frequency spectrum space. Like other Zaxcom Digital Wireless transmitters, the new ZHD models, the TRXLT3, TRXLA3 and TRX743 (prices TBA) are 100-percent digital, have built-in backup recording with timecode, NeverClip for superior dynamic range and are fully encrypted. When using ZHD modulation the wireless signal is 50 kHz wide and can be spaced as close as 100 kHz apart, so a single American television channel of 6 MHz can contain up to 60 channels of Zaxcom high-density wireless.
Lectrosonics SRc and SRc5P Receivers
Digital Hybrid Wireless Dual- Channel With Smart Tuning
Lectrosonics’ SRc ($3,080) and SRc5P ($3,280) Receivers, Digital Hybrid Wireless dual-channel diversity “slot” receivers with Smart Tuning and SuperSlot compatibility, are designed for top performance in tough RF environments. Each comprises two receivers built into a single, ultra-compact housing, with optional adapters for video camera receiver slots and standalone use. The two internal receivers can be operated separately, each using switching, antenna combining diversity, or in tandem with ratio diversity reception. The audio inputs of the receivers can be mixed internally or left separated for discrete recording tracks or external mixing. The 5P variant allows dual-channel operation for cameras with only one audio channel in the slot.
Sanken CSS-50 Shotgun Microphone
Short, Stereo Focused Transducer
The new CSS-50 short stereo shotgun microphone from Sanken ($TBA) features three distinct operation modes. Mono mode offers sharp shotgun directivity, Normal (stereo) mode provides precise stereo localization, and Wide (stereo) mode allows for expanded 140° stereo, ideal for cinematic ambience and sound effects. Unlike conventional approaches, the CSS-50 is especially effective in the 400 to 3k Hz range for optimum stereophonic perception.