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Tech: New Products, April 2009

Mix magazine April 2009 tools of the trade article features new pro audio products in April 2009 Mix magazine pro audio product section

Control Freaks

Dangerous Music
DAC-SR, Uniswitch

Dangerous Music is shipping the DAC-SR 6-channel digital-to-analog converter/input-switching module ($TBA) for its Monitor ST and companion Monitor SR 5.1 controller. The Monitor ST ($2,199) is a scalable/customizable solution for DAW-based recording and mixing in studio environments where a traditional console is not employed. The single-rackspace system features a remote control for input source and speaker switching, as well as integrated cue and talkback systems, including an onboard headphone amplifier. The remote connects to the rack unit via Cat-5, making it easy to configure and control any system from the listening position. The $1,499 Monitor SR is a companion single-rackspace expansion module providing full 5.1 surround monitoring capability. Also new is Uniswitch ($219), a universal RS-232 switcher with customizable options. Paired with the appropriate Gefen component, Uniswitch can control and switch between a single display, mouse and keyboard for up to four Macs and/or Win PCs. Uniswitch can also route four HDMI (or DVI) sources to one display.

Tame Power Peaks

Tripp Lite
Platinum Surge Suppressors

Tripp Lite debuts three new premium surge suppressors designed for audio/video applications. The Platinum Series surge suppressors include the AVBAR10 ($189.99; 10 outlets, four are transformer-isolated), AVBAR8 ($149.99; eight outlets, two are transformer) and the AVBAR6 ($119.99; six outlets). All incorporate Isobar® technology to provide up to 3,384 joules of surge-stopping power and isolated filter banks to eliminate interference between connected components. All models have diagnostic LEDs, all-metal housings, safety covers to protect unused outlets, and space-saving, right-angle plugs. Connected components are covered by up to $500,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance.

Creative Collaboration

Cycling ’74 & Ableton
Max for Live

After two years of development, Cycling ’74 and Ableton announce Max for Live ($TBA), the integration of Cycling ’74’s Max/MSP environment into Ableton Live. Available as an add-on for Ableton’s new Live 8, Max for Live lets users extend and customize Live by creating instruments, controllers, audio effects and MIDI processors. Devices developed with Max for Live use the same features as those created by Ableton, including UI controls, MIDI mapping, multiple undo, tempo-based effects, sample-accurate automation and comprehensive file/preset management. Such devices can also be shared using Ableton’s new Web collaboration features. A Preview mode allows editing in Max while devices continue processing audio and/or MIDI as if they were inside Live. Once saved, an edited device updates in place inside Live’s Device view. Max for Live includes devices such as step sequencer, a MIDI effect that features four 16-note sequences with adjustable step sizes, sequence shift buttons, Random mode and real-time MIDI control. Also offered is Loop Shifter, a new loop playback device that uses MIDI to change the way loops are played back.

Sonic Mangler

Dynoray N4CR Preamp/Compressor

Also known as the Dynamic Death Ray, the Atomisonic Dynoray N4CR ($799) is based on the Shure Level-Loc, a compressor long prized among engineers and artists for its unique compression and distortion effects. The Dynoray features mic/instrument/line-level inputs, variable decay control and a “disintegrate” setting for radical distortion effects. The unit features balanced and unbalanced I/Os, and polarity reverse and bypass switches with LED indicators. A large green LED “Dynoray” indicator lights when the Dynoray is engaged, brightens with increased compression and distortion, and shuts off in Bypass mode.

Scalable Duping

Disc Makers
Reflex Daisy Chain

The Reflex Daisy Chain duplicator series from Disc Makers (priced per configuration) offers the capabilities and quality of the standard Reflex Series with the added ability to connect up to hundreds of towers together — all operated by a single source. Each tower includes a beefy 320GB hard drive that stores up to 63 full-size DVD images. The 7-drive units have a throughput of 56 DVDs or 105 CDs per hour, while the 10-drive units can turn out 80 DVDs or 150 CDs per hour. The Daisy Chain Series lets users mix 7- and 10-drive models, and more units can be added when the need arises. Units can be quickly configured to work together or run independent jobs simultaneously.

Passively Yours

KRK Systems
R6 Monitors

Taking its cues from KRK‘s Rokit line of speakers, the new R6 ($149 each) passive studio monitor features five-way speaker binding posts and a precision crossover, and can handle 100 watts (RMS) of power. The R6 voicing is designed to mimic the voicing of KRK’s Rokit 6 monitor, and leverages KRK’s research and development into baffle design and fabrication. The curved front baffle minimizes HF diffraction, promising a sweet spot that is significantly larger than what is possible with products with square or lightly rounded baffles. The baffle’s molded front-facing bass port is designed to reduce LF phase distortion and unwanted frequency emphasis typical of rear-facing bass ports.

Vertical Gain Crusher

Brad Avenson
BAC-500 Compressor

The BAC-500 ($1,000) from designer Brad Avenson is a feedback-style FET compressor built around two discrete op amps and a custom output transformer. Features include controls for input gain, attack, release, ratio and output, along with sidechain contour switching, a gain-reduction meter, and distortion and bypass switches. The attack control varies from fast to quite fast, while the release has a fairly wide range, enabling the compressor to go from “pumping, breathing fast” up to approximately 1.5 seconds. The ratio goes from 2:1 to 20:1, with an Infinity! setting offering overcompression and a variety of other tonal characteristics. The three-position sidechain settings are flat, highpass filter and an option that somewhat exaggerates the high end while cutting the low end. The distortion switch lets users overload the FET for color. With all input and output controls cranked full, the BAC-500 delivers nearly 50 dB of gain.