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Tech: New Products, April 2011

Mix magazine April 2011 tools of the trade article features new pro audio products in April 2011 Mix magazine pro audio product section

The new Duende Native Plug-In Suite from Solid State Logic is a group of processors functionally and sonically identical to the now-discontinued DSP-powered Duende plug-ins, but they run natively using a host computer’s processing. The collection (VST/AU/RTAS, Mac/PC) is 64-bit capable and includes the EQ & Dynamics Channel plug-ins, Drumstrip and Vocalstrip, X-EQ and X-Comp mastering-grade processors, and X-Verb, a hardware standard reverb for the DAW. Duende Native plug-ins are available for purchase individually or priced in bundles from the SSL Web store.

Sound Devices has released the latest hardware accessory for its 788T digital recorders. The CL-WIFI ($249) works with its companion iOS software app to allow iPads, iPhones and iPod touches to control a connected 788T. The hardware CL-WIFI is a Wi-Fi access point when the iOS device connects to it over Wi-Fi. The CL-WIFI app then uses the Wi-Fi connection to communicate with the 788T. The iOS app controls metering of 788T input and track levels, timecode, file length, frame rate display and record start/stop input-to-track routing, enabling take list and take name editing.

The Audio-Technica phantom-powered U851RO offers outstanding speech intelligibility and transparent sound quality for surface-mount applications, professional recording, television, conferencing and other demanding sound-pickup situations. The U851RO’s ($313) small-diameter UniPoint® capsule near the boundary eliminates phase distortion and delivers clear, high-output signal. The unit is equipped with a PivotPoint® rotating output connector, allowing the cable to exit from either the rear or the bottom of the microphone; a UniSteep® filter, which provides a steep low-frequency attenuation to improve sound pickup without affecting voice quality; and UniGuard® RFI-shielding technology, which offers outstanding rejection of radio frequency interference.

Inward Connections has released the Magnum 500 Series ($950) preamp. Replacing the discontinued MPD-500 mic preamp, the Magnum 500 features the VF-600 discrete amp block giving it a much warmer-sounding response than its predecessor. Other features include three highpass filter settings (70 Hz, 100 Hz and 200 Hz), separate input and output gain for tonal variation, +48VDC phantom power, polarity reverse and hi-Z DI input. The Magnum fits standard 500 Series slot configurations, mechanically and electronically.

Quantum Leap Spaces from EastWest is a 24-bit true stereo convolution reverb created with an arsenal of gear from Neumann, Neve, Telefunken, TG, Manley, Sennheiser and Fairchild. Produced and engineered by Nick Phoenix, Quantum Leap Spaces includes custom impulses with a focus on the Western U.S. Impulses were taken of concert halls, churches, cathedrals, caverns, recording studios, soundstages, forests, a swimming hall, parking garages, water tanks, a tunnel and more. Most impulses are in 8-channel format to accommodate surround mixes. Quantum Leap Spaces is available for Mac and PC for $299 MSRP.

Studio Six Digital’s Smaart® Tools ($19.99) was developed by the company with Rational Acoustics and is based on the proprietary algorithms, techniques, features and color mapping found in the Smaart® Version 7 acoustic test and measurement software. The bundle brings the analysis of Smaart to the iPhone and iPod touch and iPad mobile platforms. The single-channel module includes Smaart V. 7’s RTA bar graph, RTA line graph, RTA bar and FFT graph, as well as Spectrograph. Plus, all of the RTA banding options available in Smaart V. 7 are available in Smaart Tools, including log, lin, octave, 1/3, 1/6, 1/12, 1/24 and 1/48-octave modes. On the iPhone and iPod touch, there is an additional spectrograph with the RTA line graph overlay. On an iPad, split-graph mode is available so you can put any two graphs on the screen at the same time.

Aimed at any situation that requires audio signals to be split and fed to multiple destinations, the rackmountable 1U Drawmer 4x4R ($1,255) has four inputs and 16 balanced outputs. Each input features a mic preamp offering up to 66 dB of gain. The 4x4R’s I/O may be configured in a variety of ways, ranging from a single input routed to all 16 outputs, to four different inputs each with four outputs and any configuration in between. The 4x4R features bargraph metering and switchable phantom power on every input channel. A front panel headphone jack provides a “listen” facility to monitor any of the four inputs. Transformer isolation is available for some or all of the outputs.

FMOD Studio from Firelight Technologies is an entirely new mixing platform that offers management of assets by running them through a virtual mixer, giving sound designers the ability to improve their mix without continual code adjustments. The platform will also support pro-audio DSP effects from companies such as iZotope. Users will be able to set snapshots for environments and actions within their title and use the mixer to automate tasks that were previously performed manually.

Designed by Sontronics founder Trevor Cole, the DM-1T and DM-1S ($159 each) are small-diaphragm, pencil-style condensers designed to work on tom and snare, respectively, while the DM-1B ($399) is purposed for kick drum, bass and guitar cabinets. With a cardioid polar pattern and switchable -15dB pad, the DM-1T and DM-1S each come with a metal drum mount and mic clip. The DM-1B is a large-diaphragm, end-fire condenser mic that can cope with up to 150 dB (with the -15dB pad switched in) and comes in an aluminum flight case. All mics are covered by Sontronics’ Lifetime Warranty and come with a free download of Toontrack’s EZdrummer Lite.

VisLM from Nugen Audio allows U.S. broadcasters to comply with the ATSC A/85 standard as referred to the CALM Act by offering a scalable system for metering. Two versions (VisLM-H, $449; VisLM-C, $299) offer a range of parameters including true-peak level metering (intersample-accurate level monitoring), loudness range (to help decide if and how much dynamic compression to apply), momentary “instantaneous loudness” for mixing by ear, short-term loudness (3-second time window) and program loudness (long-term integrated loudness measurement). VisLM-H offers additional features including offline data file export, multiple export parameters and post-mortem time logging.

AV3 Software has released Get, a dialog search tool for Final Cut Pro editors. Get locates footage based on a patented phonetic search technology, powered by Nexidia, producing the most accurate representation possible of the true spoken content. Its unique combination of spoken-word search and traditional methods of content identification makes Get a revolutionary search tool for the enhancement of any Final Cut Pro editing workflow. Other features include combined dialog and NLE metadata searches, as well as dialog and desktop metadata searches, and the ability to pre-select content to be used within editing applications and projects.

Originally released as hardware only, the UPM-1 ($975) plug-in from Soundfield uses a unique algorithm that analyzes the stereo input material and separates ambient sounds from the direct sounds—or what might broadly be referred to as the “distant” and “close-miked” sounds. As with the original hardware unit, the plug-in allows detailed adjustment of the relative levels of direct sound and front and rear ambient sound in the final 5.1 mix, with continuous software rotary controls for width and center-channel divergence. Level, mute and solo controls are also provided for each channel.