Vintage Gain Crusher
The AT-101 ($19,000) from Analogue Tube (www.analogue tube.com) is a faithful re-creation of the original Fairchild 670 stereo limiter. The sturdy unit is handmade with Grayhill switches, Sowter transformers, Hovland caps and a new-generation 6386 remote cut-off triode developed to replace the original 50-year-old tubes. Controls on each channel include input gain, AC threshold, DC threshold, 6-position time-constant switches and metering switches. Improvements on the original include a hinged front panel, stereo-link switch and a power supply mod with controlled heater voltage switch-on to help extend the life of critical tubes from power-ups.
Big Screen Sound, Smaller Boxes
A more compact version of the acclaimed Acheron 80 and Acheron 100 cinema screen loudspeakers, Meyer Sound’s (www.meyersound.com) Acheron Studio (targeted at $8,500 each) is now shipping. Designed for smaller re-recording stages, post-production facilities and smaller theater/screening rooms, the systems are voiced for perforated or non-perf screen installs. The 30.8×25.4×16-inch (H×W×D) enclosures feature onboard DSP, 700 watts of noiseless convection-cooled Class-A/B MOSFET bi-amplification, a 15-inch woofer and a 4-inch compression driver mated to an 80×50-degree horn based on the technology of the larger Acheron systems. Options include subwoofer(s), surround channels and remote monitoring of system parameters via a PC.
The Sony (pro.sony.com) PCM-M10 ($399) is a palm-sized compact recorder featuring electret condenser stereo mics, USB port (Mac/PC), 4GB internal Flash memory, 96kHz/24-bit capability and a microSD/Memory Stick Micro (M2) slot. Other features include a built-in speaker, cross-memory recording, digital pitch control, digital limiter, low-cut filter, track mark functions, a 5-second pre-recording buffer and A/B repeat capability. The PCM-M10 comes supplied with Sound Forge Audio Studio Recorder Edition software.
MIR Mixing Software
Vienna MIR ($1,695) is a stand-alone Windows application that runs exclusively with Vienna Instruments (www.ilio.com). MIR’s Control icon lets users move and rotate instruments freely on the concert stage, changing their volume and stereo width within a 3-D environment. Using Multi-Impulse Response convolution, Vienna MIR combines directional and reflection information from every instrument, assembling all of the acoustic interactions into an accurate re-creation of musicians playing their instruments in place and in space. Minimum system requirements include PC Intel quad-core i7-920 or better, with Vista/Windows 7 64-bit and 12GB RAM.
Saffire PRO 24 DSP I/O Solution
Focusrite’s (www.focusrite.com) Saffire PRO 24 DSP ($499) is a 16-input/8-output FireWire audio interface featuring Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) for headphone monitoring of 15 different modeled sets of speakers in different acoustic environments from different positions. Other features include twin mic preamps, A/D converters, six analog outs, ADAT inputs, stereo S/PDIF I/O and two virtual “loopback” inputs for routing digital audio between software applications. Users can also take advantage of the onboard DSP to power Focusrite Studio Suite, Compression, Gating, EQ and Reverb plug-ins for latency-free, professional tracking solutions. Added extras include Saffire Mix Control software, Focusrite’s Xcite+ bundle, Ableton Live 7 Lite, Novation’s Bass Station soft synth and more than 1 GB of royalty-free samples from Loopmasters and “Mike the Drummer.”
Digital Mic Interface
The DMI-8 ($3,498) 8-channel digital microphone interface from Neumann (www.neumannusa.com) boasts all of the features of Neumann’s DMI-2 while offering 8-channel operation and the ability to change mic settings without a computer. Features include AES-42-to-EBU conversion, synchronization of the microphones without a sample rate converter, automatic word clock or AES-11 sync, and 44.1kHz to 192kHz operation. The rackmount unit offers D-Sub 25 outputs with Tascam and Yamaha pin assignments, ADAT interface and open architecture for connection to other multichannel interfaces such as EtherSound and MADI.
Working in Harmony
Evo ($249) is the latest harmony-creation tool from Antares Audio Technologies (www.antarestech.com), promising faster pitch detection with greater accuracy; smoother, artifact-free pitch shifting; and seamless, natural-sounding throat modeling. Other features include four formant-corrected harmony voices, five channels of Antares’ CHOIR Vocal Multiplier, humanization features for natural-sounding performances and a flexible real-time preset system for harmony and vocal type. Users can also set harmonies at fixed or scale intervals, define harmony chord-by-chord and play the four harmony voices on a MIDI keyboard. Evo is available for RTAS (Mac/PC), VST (Mac/PC) and Audio Units (Mac OS X).
Affordable Phantom Power
Nady (www.nady.com) has released two new phantom-power-supply units. The SMPS-USB ($69.99) provides single-channel, 48VDC phantom power for condenser mics featuring a balanced XLR I/O and a USB port for computer use (Mac/PC). The SMPS-2X dual phantom power supply ($59.99) has two separate XLR I/Os allowing for stereo recording. Other features include a durable/compact all-metal housing and 18-volt AC power supply.