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Tech: New Products, September 2010

Mix magazine September 2010 tools of the trade article features new pro audio products in September Mix magazine pro audio product section

Apogee’s new Symphony I/O boasts compatibility with Logic Pro, Core
Audio and Pro Tools HD, and offers an impressive array of user-configurable I/O options. Symphony I/O’s base chassis can accommodate up to two I/O modules, creating a variety of analog and digital I/O. Options include eight analog I/O + eight optical I/O; eight analog I/O + eight AES I/O; eight mic preamps; 16 analog inputs + 16 optical outputs; 16 analog outputs + 16 optical inputs; and plans for more. The included Maestro 2 software offers integral control of Symphony I/O from routing, mic pre adjustment, input and output calibration, and hardware control. Pricing starts at $3,690 (base unit, plus one I/O module).

At $1,799, Focusrite’s ISA428 MkII 4-channel mic preamp and A/D converter, which replaces the existing ISA428, features four of the company’s transformer-based ISA pre’s with phantom power, phase-reverse controls, switchable input impedance and an adjustable highpass filter. There’s also an optional 8-channel A/D converter upgrade that operates up to 24-bit/192kHz. Other features include DI instrument inputs, switchable balanced insert points and six-step metering for all input channels, including the four additional A/D inputs.

The MOTU MicroBook ($269) is a USB bus-powered 4×2 audio interface offering balanced I/O, a single mic preamp, 10-bus digital mixer, and modeled analog EQ and compression. It features four pairs of outputs: balanced TRS main outs, stereo “mini” line out, S/PDIF digital out and headphone mini-jack. MicroBook provides a wealth of tools for audio analysis and diagnostics, including real-time FFT, spectrogram waterfall, oscilloscope, X-Y plot and phase analysis, plus a test tone and noise generator that can be independently assigned to any output. It’s compatible with all current and recent-generation Macs and PCs, and includes AudioDesk DAW software for Mac, USB cable and mic cable adapter.

Slate Digital FG-X ($299) promises clarity and openness by analyzing each individual peak in a waveform to optimize the process of gain enhancement. Using a process called “Intelligent Transient Preservation,” the plug-in raises the overall level while maintaining the original mix’s punch, balance and character. In addition to adding gain, the FG-X also offers users precise control over transient levels and dynamic perception.

Based on RME’s ADI 6432 64-channel MADI-AES/AES-MADI converter (dist. in U.S. by Synthax), the newly developed ADI-6432R BNC ($5,999) affords fail-safe operation through the utilization of standard BNC connectors and dual-redundant power supplies. The ADI-6432R BNC uses the AES-3id standard, which carries the exact same AES data but uses the broadcast-standard, 75-ohm unbalanced RG-59 cable (1V, p-p) with BNC connectors. Each AES-3id connection carries two channels of digital audio up to 300 meters. The MADI signals also use RG-59 and can send 64 channels of audio a distance of 300 meters.

The latest in Alta Moda’s 500 Series rack products, Hippo ($1,295) is a VCA-type compressor/limiter housed in a two-rackspace 500 Series–compatible module. Features include expanded control ranges, sidechain filters, a Warmth function for added harmonics and a wet/dry blend control for parallel compression. It can also run in Dual Mono mode that unlinks the sidechains and allows the channels to operate independently.

iKey’s newly redesigned M-v2 Series active studio monitors feature a front-firing bass port, soft-dome tweeter and glass-aramid composite woofer. There are four different models: M-505v2 (5-inch woofer, 50W/25W bi-amped; $209), M-606v2 (6-inch, 65W/25W; $239), M-808v2 (8-inch, 100W/25W; $319) and the 175W M-10Sv2 10-inch subwoofer ($399). All have HF or crossover adjustment and a rear panel volume control.

Sound Radix has created a new plug-in ($149; free demo online) that promises to automatically align two microphones in phase. By instancing the plug-in on a channel, the feed from the other signal to be matched is introduced through the sidechain input. The plug-in’s metering displays level and frequencies that correspond to the color bar scheme: lower frequencies represented by wider bars, higher frequencies by narrower bars. Controls include noise-floor faders, Next/Previous buttons for choosing the best matching point to another, a delay display, polarity reverse, on/off and Detect.

After more than three centuries of making great cymbals, Zildjian digs into its vast collection to offer the Gen16 Digital Vault ($249), a 2-DVD set with 24-bit samples of its rarest, most coveted “reference” cymbals, meticulously recorded by sampling guru John Emrich and presented in a custom version of FXpansion’s BFD Eco (Mac/PC) sample playback engine. Also included in the Digital Vault are libraries of drum and percussion groove tracks (in audio and General MIDI formats) from in-demand drummers, such as Michael White, Dave DiCenso and Peter Michael Escovedo.