Big Performance, Small Package
Offering twice the amp power of the VS3208, Quested's (www.quested.com) new V3110 ($9,000/pair) monitor is powered by a 700-watt, Class-D amplifier for the 10-inch woofer and 150W per driver of Class-A/B amplification for the 3-inch mid and 1.13-inch HF. The V3110 offers independent EQ/trim for the HF, mid and LF, allowing for setup in a variety of environments and positions, and its 24dB/octave crossover slopes promise greater drive unit efficiency. Other features include a rotatable MF/HF section for horizontal or vertical placement, combo XLR/TRS inputs and 120dB max SPL.
mpressor Dynamics Plug-In
brainworx (brainworx-music.de) and elysia (www.elysia.com) have collaborated on the mpressor ($440) software dynamics processor plug-in, which closely emulates elysia's mpressor hardware unit. The software offers all of the hardware unit's functions, including its unique Auto-Fast feature, promising perfect attack, Anti-Log for non-logarithmic release curves and Negative Ratios for compression effects. The mpressor plug-in is available in RTAS, VST, Audio Units and TDM formats, and a free 14-day trial version is available for download.
From the minds of Grammy Award-winning engineer Mick Guzauski and designer Larry Swist (www.guzauski-swist.com), the Guzauski/Swist near-fields ($12,000; available for purchase directly from the manufacturer) feature a 12-inch, low-resonance, long-excursion driver in a sealed cabinet; a 3-inch Dome ATC midrange; and a 1-inch Morel soft-dome tweeter (the same used by Dynaudio). The system is powered by 1,500 watts of Class-D amplification included in a separate rack. The acoustically decoupled midrange/tweeter enclosure is hung from the woofer cabinet and isolated down to 6 Hz using a military-grade isolation system. Users can align the system either vertically or horizontally.
Hearing the Almighty
The new VOG (Voice of God, $420) processor from Little Labs (www.littlelabs.com) comes in a 500 Series module format and lets users add a proximity effect without the source being close to the mic. VOG features a sweeping sharp peak resonance from 20 to 300 Hz while everything below the peak is rolled off at a steep -24dB/octave. This gives the ability to focus on the low end while eliminating mush and unnecessary woofer excursion.
Little, Yellow, Different
Newly redesigned from the ground up, the Active MixCubes ($459/pair, $259 each) from Avant (www.avantelectronics.com) incorporate a Class-A/B amplifier rated at 60W RMS. Other features include a rear-mounted, detented gain knob; a pin-1 audio ground lift; illuminated on/off switch; combo TRS/XLR input jack; and an aluminum heat sink. A pair weighs 14 pounds, 4 ounces, and comes with a five-year limited warranty to the original owner.
Scarlett Plug-In Suite
The latest software release from Focusrite (www.focus rite.com), the Scarlett ($99) plug-in suite harkens back to the company's Red Range hardware. This collection of compression, gating, EQ and reverb plug-ins offers a library of presets and classic Focusrite features, controls and GUIs, including detailed porthole-style VU meters. The plug-in's EQ uses the same 6-band EQ approach as Focusrite's Red 2 and ISA EQs, while its compressor can operate in stereo and dual-mono and features a sidechain input. Scarlett is dual-platform (Mac/PC) and works under VST, Audio Units and RTAS (Pro Tools) hosts.
Big Bam Boom
EpiK DrumS Ken Scott Series
EpiK DrumS (www.epikdrums.com, $749), the latest virtual instrument drum kit plug-in from Sonic Reality, features five of the world's best drummers recorded by legendary producer/engineer Ken Scott. For this VI, Scott re-created the drum sounds he recorded with David Bowie, Supertramp, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dixie Dregs, Missing Persons, Elton John and The Beatles using the same gear, instruments and original drummers — Billy Cobham, Terry Bozzio, Woody Woodmansey, Bob Siebenberg and Rod Morgenstein. The collection offers more than 80 GB of 24-bit samples, including 2,000 grooves featuring discrete user control over the mixes, or mixes by Ken Scott himself.
Studio Suite 9 Studio Management Software
The latest incarnation of AlterMedia's Studio Suite (www.studiosuite.net) offers a range of new modules for organizing contacts, rates/scheduling, maintenance/inventory and more. Other features include iPhone access, a new “quick-find” feature, e-mail management, dynamic categorization and increased reporting options with easier data export to Excel. The software comes in three versions priced from $499 to $1,799, and requires FileMaker Pro 9 to operate.