500 Series Module Master
Best described as a 500 Series module housing with an integrated and independent summing mixer is the Workhorse 5000 ($999, street) from Radial Engineering (www.radialeng.com). In addition to providing ±16VDC and 48V phantom power for each of its eight module slots, and input, direct out and summing connections on 8-channel D-25 sub jacks (for direct-to-DAW or P.A. feeds), each module has ¼-inch and XLR I/O, mono/stereo link switches and a mix/feed switch for internal patch routing of the output to feed the next module or to the master output section. OmniPort connectors on each input provide module designers with custom options, such as integrating “keying” inputs, a footswitch port or a tuner output on a direct box/instrument preamp. Designed to allow on-the-spot mixing or stereo recording, the mix bus section has pan/level pots and mute switches for each module, rotary main out and aux out controls, and a headphone monitoring section. The rear panel has XLR and ¼-inch aux and transformer-isolated main outputs, insert jacks for the master outs and bus in/out jacks for connecting additional sources and/or multiple Workhorse units.
AES Booth: #166
Ribbon Mics, Active Electronics
AT4080 and AT4081
Audio-Technica (www.audio-technica.com) unveils its first ribbon mics, the AT4080 and AT4081. These hand-built, rugged side-address mics are active ribbon designs with onboard phantom-powered electronics that bring their output to near-condenser levels, allowing for use with any pro preamp. Both the larger AT4080 and the low-profile AT4081 feature powerful-grade N50 neodymium magnets and innovative dual-ribbon construction for smooth bidirectional response with high SPL handling. The company’s patent-pending MicroLinear™ ribbon design minimizes lateral flexing for durable performance and freedom from ribbon distortion. Applications include miking vocals, horns, strings, acoustic instruments, drum overheads, orchestras, ensembles and guitar cabinets. The AT4080 lists at $1,245, with shock-mount, dust cover and carrying case; the AT4081 is $895, with isolation clamp mount and windscreen. Shipping begins in November.
AES Booth: #419
SX Series Monitors
ADAM Audio’s (www.adam-audio.de) S Series steps up the evolutionary ladder with a new name and new components. The SX Series comprises six models ranging from small near-fields to larger mid-field models, all with redesigned transducers, drivers and electronics, promising the most transparent reproduction possible. The monitors feature the new X-ART tweeter, offering 4dB higher efficiency, 3dB greater max SPLs and expanded bandwidth to 50 kHz. Also new is an ultralow-distortion, broadband Class-A/B amplifier with 1MHz internal bandwidth and Hexacone™ woofers for more linear excursion. Prices (each) range from $1,295 (two-way, 5-inch woofer) to $4,795 (three-way, dual 9-inch woofers).
AES Booth: #373
When Stereo Just Isn’t Enough
The em32 Eigenmike® from mh Acoustics (www.mhacoustics.com) is a unique, scalable microphone array with 32 capsules embedded into a rigid sphere. Individual mic outputs are processed with a beam-forming algorithm for capturing/playing accurate 3-D spatial audio. The mic’s directivity pattern (shape and direction) can be controlled in real time or stored for post-soundfield processing. It also features electronic steering, remote-control mic pre’s and 24-bit ADCs inside the spherical array, and a single Cat-5 cable carrying power, digital mic data and control/status settings. An external interface converts the digital stream to standard FireWire (ASIO drivers supplied) so the mic array appears as a standard 32-channel soundcard.
AES Booth: Demo Room TBA.
The AG52 ($1,000) analog hardware generator option for Audio Precision’s (www.audioprecision.com) APx Series of audio analyzers can generate exceptionally clean square waves with a rise time better than 2 ms. The AG52 can also generate all popular DIM test signals to complement a corresponding new DIM distortion measurement capability in the software, ideal for power amp test and measurement. Other benefits include a 2dB improvement in THD+N (to -110 dB typical) and an increase in maximum output level from 21.21 Vrms to 26.66 Vrms (balanced). The AG52 is supported by APx’s 2-channel APx520/521/525/526 models.
AES Booth: #442
SONAR 8.5 Producer
The latest upgrade of Cakewalk’s (cakewalk.com) SONAR Producer, Version 8.5 ($499), offers new beat-creation and arrangement tools, a new drum instrument, enhanced audio quantizing and new multistage effect plug-ins for vocals and percussion. Other added features include Matrix View for simple and flexible cell-based, nonlinear audio and MIDI arranging; engine optimizations and stability improvements for recording audio while looping; the ability to hot-swap audio and MIDI devices without restarting SONAR; and access to up to 128 GB of RAM. Among its VST plug-in compatibility improvements is BitBridgeXR, which lets users run 32-bit plugs in 64-bit environments.
AES Booth: #261
Dual-Domain Audio Analysis
Stanford Research Systems
The SR1 ($6,900) dual-domain audio analyzer from Stanford Research Systems (www.thinksrs.com) is a stand-alone instrument that delivers cutting-edge audio measurements, with specs such as -110dB THD+N, ±0.008dB flat response and 24-bit/192kHz resolution. With its high-performance generator and analyzers operating symmetrically in analog and digital domains, the SR1 handles analog audio, digital audio and cross-domain audio signal analysis. Measurements include level, THD+N, harmonic distortion, IMD, FFT, frequency response, multitone, crosstalk, histogram, jitter amplitude, spectrum and more. Options include a digital audio carrier digitizer with eye diagrams and carrier spectra, multichannel I/O switchers and an atomic rubidium system clock.
AES Booth: #767
Outstanding in the Field
HS-P82 Portable Recorder
The HS-P82 ($4,999) from Tascam (www.tascam.com) is a high-quality, 8-track digital field recorder for music, TV and film production. Features include eight mic preamps, XLR inputs, eight AES/EBU inputs and outputs (DB-25 connector), and recording with timecode up to 24-bit/96kHz (8-track) or 4-track at 24-bit/192kHz. In addition to the eight independent channels, a stereo mix can also be recorded for a total of 10 channels. The unit has no moving parts, using dual Compact Flash slots for recording with backup. The HS-P82 is housed in an aluminum chassis with a TFT color touchscreen. Power options include AA batteries (x10), NP type, AC adapter, external DC input and optional V-mount adaptor for Endura batteries.
AES Booth: #219
Distributed exclusively by Vintage King Audio (www.vin tageking.com), Wunder Audio’s CM7 FET ($2,495, retail; $1,995, MAP) microphone is a multipattern version (cardioid, omni, figure-8) of the classic but single-pattern U47 FET. The CM7 FET features a new K47 dual-membrane capsule, wooden mic box, historic-style shock-mount and one-year warranty.
AES Booth: #541
New from Mojave Audio (www.mojaveaudio.com) is the David Royer-designed MA-101fet, which offers interchangeable cardioid and omni capsules. The MA-201 features ultralow-noise electronics with custom resistors and a military-grade FET combined with a large Jensen output transformer, which accounts for the mic’s unusual tapered shape. A -15dB pad switch is standard, and the ½-inch-diameter diaphragms are 3 microns thin for fast transient response.
AES Booth: #560
More Features, More Channels, More Fun
FET III Compressor
The TransAudio Group (www.transaudiogroup.com) introduces the Daking FET III stereo compressor/limiter. In addition to adding another channel over the mono Daking II, the new model has variable highpass filters at the detector stage to customize the behavior of each limiter channel — ideal for fine-tuning limiter behavior on bass-heavy material. The Geoff Daking-designed unit can be used independently in dual-mono or linked for stereo operation via a continuously variable control for tying operation of each limiter channel together to a greater or lesser degree. Retail is less than $2,000.
AES Booth: #555
Digital Domain M/S Miking
KMR 81 D and KK 120
Neumann (www.neumannusa.com) has expanded its range of digital microphones. Making their U.S. debut at AES are the KMR 81 D digital shotgun mic and the KK 120 figure-8 capsule head for the company’s KM D small-diaphragm digital microphone body, already offered with five other capsule choices: free-field EQ’d omni, wide cardioid, cardioid with LF roll-off, diffuse-field EQ’d omni, cardioid and hypercardioid. The mics operate from 44.1 to 192 kHz, have standard AES-42 digital outputs and allow creating digital M/S stereo recordings in an integrated digital workflow. Expanded accessories adapt the line to uses ranging from field recordings to installed sound applications, and Neumann plans to debut a portable version of its 2-channel DMI-2 digital mic interface next year.
AES Booth: #330
Eddie Kramer Collection
The latest in the Waves (waves.com) Signature Series, the Eddie Kramer Collection features five application-specific plug-ins, with dedicated tools for guitar, drums, vocals, bass and effects. The plug-ins feature intuitive graphic interfaces and a retro-modern look with optimized control ranges that deliver Kramer’s distinctive, unmistakable sound. All five plug-ins feature complete all-in-one processing chains with 24-bit/96kHz resolution; RTAS, AudioSuite, VST and Audio Units support; and Mac/PC compatibility. The collection is available separately ($800) and in the Waves Mercury bundle. The Eddie Kramer Collection is Native only, and it requires iLok authorization.
AES Booth: #249
Three-Way Coaxial DSP System
8260A Studio Monitors
Genelec (www.genelecusa.com) expands its 8200 Series of DSP-driven monitors with the 8260A, a three-way design incorporating a proprietary Minimum Diffraction Coaxial (MDC™) mid-high driver on a Directivity Control Waveguide for smooth, flat on/off-axis response. With the MDC, the midrange driver cone forms a continuous surface for the tweeter output, coupling both drivers into a single coincident point source. The rounded edges and curved front of the enclosure’s Minimum Diffraction Enclosure™ substantially reduce diffraction artifacts. Genelec Loudspeaker Manager software manages crossover filters, driver EQ, driver alignment, room-response correction, calibration filters and distance-compensating delay, so the 8260A can be used with other 8200 Series DSP monitors and 7200 Series subs in the same setup. Genelec’s AutoCal automated room-calibration/system alignment provides accurate response for multichannel audio systems in varying room environments.
AES Booth: #254
Studio Cardioid Condenser
MXL Microphones’ (mxlmics.com) V89 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic with a custom design that minimizes body resonance and a tuned grille cavity to help eliminate standing waves and reduce harmonic distortion. The fixed-cardioid pattern V89 has a gold-sputtered diaphragm and offers high sensitivity and low-noise circuitry. Retail is $599, with three-year warranty, wood case and shock-mount.
AES Booth: #527