Portable Mixing Partner
552 Production Mixer
Sound Devices' 552 ($2,895) integrates a portable mixer and recorder that features five Lundahl transformer-balanced microphone inputs with a wide dynamic range. Each input offers front panel gain control of mic/line sources and has an LED indicating phantom-power status, a sweepable highpass filter and pre- or post-fade direct output. The integrated 2-track, 24-bit/96kHz digital audio recorder writes Broadcast WAV files or MP3 files to SD and SDHC media, and allows the user to assign either the outputs or combinations of inputs and outputs as record sources. The 552 also allows for stereo linking of input pairs 1/2 and 3/4, offers sunlight-viewable 21-segment peak/VU meters with Zoom mode, and is equipped with a voice-driven setup and option menu. Four AA batteries or an external 10-18 VDC can power the unit.
Super-Clean Gain Module
A descendant of the TRUE Systems Precision 8, the PT2-500 ($650) mic preamp is a 500 Series module featuring up to 70 dB of gain, switchable phantom power, an 80Hz highpass filter and polarity reverse. Other features include a DI input, DI Thru for amplification and effects, and a promised frequency response of 1.5 to 600k Hz (-3 dB).
How Low Can You Go?
The Sub7 ($550) subwoofer from ADAM Audio is designed for use with ADAM's A5 self-powered desktop monitors. It comes in matte-black, piano-black and piano-white finishes; and is equipped with balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA I/O connectors. Other features include a polarity switch, 85Hz highpass filter and a wireless remote control for adjusting both the volume and the crossover frequency from the sweet spot.
Feel the Xynergi
XE6 Extension Module
Fairlight (fairlightau.com) has introduced a new 6-fader extension module that adds tactile mixing control to the Xynergi hardware platform. The Xe6 Fader Extension (price TBA) works with the Xynergi tactile controller to create a desktop production system that places moving faders and basic channel functions at the user's fingertips. The Xynergi runs on the FPGA-based CC-1 digital media engine in all SD and HD file formats.
PitchCraft EZ ($99) from BIAS is a pitch-modification plug-in available for Mac/PC hosts supporting VST/AU and RTAS/AudioSuite formats. Promising an easy-to-use interface and pro-quality results, its features include pitch correction and scale conformation across a variety of scale types that can be customized using a mouse or MIDI keyboard. PitchCraft EZ also offers independent formant and transposition controls for creating both natural and artificial effects, such as changing gender or “resizing” a vocal.
Handy Hardware Leveler
Formerly the brand known as Arsenal from creator API, the JDK Audio R22 ($1,195) is a 2-channel rack-mount compressor with linkable stereo operation. Features include RMS power summing, a patented Thrust circuit for chest-hitting low end, LED gain indicators and switchable analog metering between the output level and gain reduction. There is switchable hard- or soft-knee compression, variable threshold, ratio and make-up gain, and balanced I/O via XLR or TRS connectors.
TILT ($2,450) is a single-rackspace, 8-channel tone control from Tonelux (www.tonelux.com; dist. by TransAudio Group, www.transaudiogroup.com) that rebalances a channel's high- and low-frequency content with a single knob. First featured on the company's MP1a discrete mic preamp module, TILT is centered on approximately 700 Hz and boosts high frequencies from up to 6 dB while simultaneously cutting low frequencies by the same amount when turned fully to the right. When turned to the left, low frequencies are boosted by up to 6 dB while high frequencies are similarly cut. Each channel features a rotary TILT control knob, in/out and polarity-reverse switches, and separate LED indication of signal presence and clipping. I/O is provided via XLR connectors with a D-Sub multipin connector offering I/O access for all eight channels.
Near Your Ears
RPM8 Studio Monitors
The RPM8 ($499 each) studio monitors from Akai are two-way, active, bi-amped (80W/40W) near-field speakers featuring an 8-inch woven Kevlar LF driver and a 1-inch silk-dome tweeter. Weighing 32 pounds and measuring 17.5×11×13.5 inches (H×W×D), the magnetically shielded MDF cabinets offer dual front ports and an optimized waveguide for control of directivity and reduction of early reflections. Other features include bicolor LED clip indicator, balanced XLR and ¼-inch TRS inputs, and playback up to 113dB SPL with a frequency response from 39 to 20k Hz.