UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid Interface
The UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid ($595) from MOTU (www.motu.com) promises to be the world's first dual FireWire and USB 2 audio interface for Mac and Windows. It offers recording at up to 24-bit/192kHz, two mic/instrument inputs, six line-level analog inputs, 10 analog outputs, stereo S/PDIF and a headphone output. Other features include separate 48-volt phantom-power switches for the two mic inputs, a switchable -20dB pad and mic trim range from 0 to 60 dB. The unit ships with CueMix FX™, a 10-input/14-bus mixer with onboard DSP effects, including reverb, plus EQ and compression on every input and output.
Smaart Gets Smarter
Smaart Version 7
Smaart 7 from Rational Acoustics (www.rationalacoustics.com) is FFT-based software for real-time sound system measurement, optimization and control. It can access multichannel input devices, operating native on both Windows and Mac — including 32- and 64-bit versions — running multiple, simultaneous spectrum and transfer function measurements. New features include delay tracking, enhanced impulse response, RTA and real-time FFT with better than 48th-octave resolution and an improved spectrograph, while a new code base and improved GUI support a modern object-oriented architecture for enhanced data acquisition and optimized measurement engines. Price: $895, with various upgrade paths.
The Pro-Q ($199) EQ plug-in from FabFilter (www.fabfilter.com) features up to 24 bands that operate in either zero-latency mode or in linear-phase mode with adjustable latency. Filter shapes include bell, high/low shelf, high/low cut with 6/12/24/48dB per octave slopes. You can link the bands or run them independently on multiple channels; a mid/side mode lets users process the mid and side signals separately. The display can be changed to 6/12/30dB ranges, and it provides automation of all parameters. It is available in RTAS, VST, VST 3 and Audio Units for Mac OS X and Windows.
Correct and Control
MSC1 Monitor System Controller
No stranger to speaker tuning, JBL (www.jblpro.com) now brings its expertise to any manufacturer's monitor. The MSC1 ($375) Monitor System Controller features console-like controls essential for listening from the mix position, as well as JBL's third-generation RMC™
Room Mode Correction technology. RMC allows connecting two sets of speakers and a sub, and then tunes the system to overcome LF room problems that can affect the quality of the mix. Features include the ability to monitor up to three 2-channel input sources while controlling the volume of the monitor system and connected headphones. The subwoofer output has its own level control, selectable crossover settings and RMC to blend the sub with the speakers perfectly.
The GlissEQ ($119.95) plug-in from Voxengo (www.voxengo.com) features 32 filter bands whose effective gain is dynamically adjustable according to the sound material being filtered. These “dynamic behavior” filters promise an assistive equalization experience where boosting highs will not create fatiguing overload and boosting lows will not “mush” the sound. Other features include instance naming, undo/redo, M/S mode, a real-time spectrum analyzer, and export to any other instance of GlissEQ — making it possible to compare intertrack spectrum in real time. It's offered in Audio Units and VST plug-in formats for Mac OS X (V. 10.4.11 and later) and Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) computers.
The SPL (www.soundperformancelab.com) Vitalizer (native, $359; TDM, $579) plug-in is based on the company's MK2-T hardware unit, which makes use of scientific psychoacoustic technology to process audio signals. The Vitalizer allows users to choose between a dry, percussive bass or a punchy, soft and very deep sonic character, and also offers mid- and top-end processing, which unmasks overlapping sounds. An easy-to-use compressor complements the bass section, allowing the correction of level change due to bass processing. Supported platforms include VST, Audio Units, RTAS and TDM for Mac and PC and Digidesign's VENUE.
Project Studio Reflexion Filter Software
Aimed at the home studio on a budget, SE Electronics' (www.seelectronics.com) Project Studio Reflexion Filter ($169) offers the same basic design as the company's Reflexion Filter minus the multiple layers, acoustic boundaries and higher price of the original. Instead of using multiple layers, the Project Studio Reflexion Filter uses a patented polyester acoustic board lined in high-density crystal foam with a curved ridge cut, promising better performance than standard acoustic foam.
Omega Studio Bundle
Lexicon (www.lexiconpro.com) has launched the Omega Studio Bundle ($279.95), an integrated computer/recording package that combines Lexicon's Omega Studio USB recording interface with Steinberg Cubase LE 4, Lexicon Pantheon VST reverb plug-in and an AKG D 88 S microphone. The interface is an 8-in/4-bus/2-out USB I/O mixer with inserts, instrument input, MIDI I/O, metering and monitoring functions, and the ability to record up to four tracks at once to Cubase LE's 48 tracks.
BravoPro Xi Series Disc Publishers
The latest disc publishers from Primera (www.primera.com) offer 300-percent faster robotics, a seventh-generation disc-picking mechanism, optional Blu-ray recordable drives, and compatibility with Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS 10.5 (or higher). The BravoPro Xi Disc Publisher ($2,995) has a 100-disc capacity and a high-speed CD/DVD drive that can burn/print up to 32 discs per hour, while the $3,295 BravoPro Xi2 Disc Publisher has a 100-disc capacity with two high-speed CD/DVD drives creating 60 discs per hour.
Stop Feeling Powerless
Roland Systems Group
RSS S-0808 Digital Snake
Perfect for field use, the S-0808 (price TBA) digital snake from Roland Systems Group (www.rolandsystemsgroup.com) is an 8-in/8-out, compact, lightweight digital snake that supports multiple power options, including battery power, embedded-powered over REAC and power over Ethernet (PoE). It can be used paired together as a complete point-to-point 8x8 snake system or as a stage input box with any RSS V-Mixer. The inputs offer remote-controlled preamps, phantom power and 24-bit/96kHz A/D conversion, as well as choices of XLR, TRS line and hi-Z capability, which reduces the need for direct boxes. The included side-mounting adapter plate enables powering via IDX V-Mount or Anton Bauer Gold Mount battery systems.
Real PC Guitar
MusicLab (www.musiclab.com) has created the $249 RealLPC virtual guitar instrument. It features multichannel layering incorporating a custom library of samples taken from every fret of all six strings of a real Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar. Floating fret position technology imitates the change of fret position of a guitarist's hand on the neck, giving the user the ability to play 140 frets using just 46 keys of a standard keyboard. Other features mimic strumming, plucking, sliding, bending and muting using a standard MIDI keyboard, as well as MIDI controllers such as Pitch Bend, Modulation Wheel, Sustain Pedal and Aftertouch.
Track Tidier for Post
WNS Noise Suppressor
Designed for fast, effective broadband noise suppression on dialog tracks, Waves (www.waves.com) WNS ($2,800, native and TDM) offers Pro Tools integration, multiple simultaneous instances, full recall and full automation. Features include zero latency, low CPU usage, user-definable frequency range selection and operation at up to 24-bit/192kHz. Supported formats include TDM, RTAS, AudioSuite, VST, Audio Units, Windows 7 and Mac OS X.