Tools of the Trade - Mixonline

Tools of the Trade

APPLE POWER MAC G5 Just as you'd expect from Apple, the G5 is beyond next-generation.
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APPLE POWER MAC G5

Just as you'd expect from Apple, the G5 is beyond next-generation.The Apple/IBM-co-designed processor operates at 64 bits, offering 16GBper sec throughput (dual-processor systems) and allows the use of up to8 GB of RAM. The unit maintains backward-compatibility with current32-bit code, such as Mac OS X, OS 9 classic environment and existingapplications running native at processor speed, which means it will runexisting software. The system can be configured with three PCI slotscapable of either 64-bit or 32-bit operation and can include PCI-Xexpansion technology supporting 3.3-volt signaling and 33MHz and 66MHzPCI cards. I/O is impressive, including optical S/PDIF in and out, twoUSB ports, two FireWire ports (400 and 800) and one 10/100/1,000 BASE-TEthernet port. There is an extra FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connector onthe front of the computer, allowing quick and easy hookup of harddrives and other peripherals without having to crawl behind the unit.To keep things cool, the G5 is sectioned internally into fourindependently controlled thermal zones. Seven of the nine (!) fans aredesigned to spin at a low speed for minimum acoustic output. The resultis that the new unit runs three times quieter than its predecessor, theG4. Prices start at $1,999. See more at www.apple.com.

M-AUDIO SOUND + LOOP LIBRARIES

With the creative production engineer/music-maker in mind, M-Audio(www.m-audio.com)has shipped a new 14-volume collection of sample CDs. The Sound + LoopLibrary consists of hip hop, dance, pop, Latin, R&B, rap, drum 'n'bass, techno and world beat sample styles, among others. Each CDdelivers more than 400 MB of samples in .AIFF, .WAV, REX2 and ACIDized.WAV formats.

PRESONUS HP4 HEADPHONE-DISTRIBUTION AMP

PreSonus (www.presonus.com) has released the HP4, a⅓-rackspace headphone-distribution box for $129.95. The unit canbe ganged with other HP4s, and claims a -98dB noise floor with a widefrequency response. It features four discrete headphone outputs on thefront panel, accepts ¼-inch TRS balanced or unbalanced inputs, andhas dedicated volume controls and a Mono button.

ARGOSY SPIRE HS SERIES RACK ENCLOSURES

Argosy (www.argosyconsole.com) unveiled a new line ofhardwood stand-alone rack enclosures that are available in mahogany orblack ash. The Spire HS Series top and side panels are made from thick1¼-inch hardwood and are available in 14- or 28-space bays.Single, double, triple and quad-bay configurations are standard and caninclude a wide variety of accessories, including front door kits, shelfkits and a dolly system.

GEFEN 4×1 DVI/ADC SWITCHER

Modern production environments can easily become multiplatformcomputer environments, making monitoring a nightmare. That's whereGefen's ex-tend-it 4×1 DVI/ADC Switcher enters to clear up thepicture. It connects four DVI sources to two ADC and/or DVI displays.DVI sources can include any computer equipped with a DVI port. Any DVI-or ADC-equipped display can be used with the Switcher, includingApple's 23-inch Cinema HD Display. The unit is rackmountable, and comeswith an infrared remote control. Suggested retail price: $849.Available online at www.gefen.com.

BIG FISH AUDIO METHODS OF MAYHEM II

Disproving the theory that there's no such thing as an ugly baby,the newly born Methods of Mayhem II: Damage Control CD library(www.bigfishaudio.com) has hit the streets. The eviltwin CDs contain numerous disturbing guitar and bass riffs, drumsounds, soundscapes, background noises, squeals, squeaks and more. Theset retails for $99, and comes in audio, .WAV and REX formats.

DIGITAL MUSIC DOCTOR SONAR SWIFT & DEEP

For those who want to swiftly and deeply advance theirrecording/editing skills, the Digital Music Doctor (www.digitalmusicdoctor.com) released a new tutorialCD-ROM aimed at Cakewalk Sonar users. The CD targets novice throughexperienced users, and contains more than 70 minutes of video. Thetutorial is broken into nine modules: three on setup; three on MIDIrecording/editing; and three covering recording, editing, mixing andloop construction. The CD is priced at $29.95, and is availableonline.

CLEARSONIC ISOFLOOR

This modular floor decoupling system is designed to reduce sound andvibration transfer by approximately 6 dB. Using the supplied Velcrostrips, several of the 2×2-foot IF2 and/or 1×1-foot IF1baffles can be quickly assembled into a custom and quiet flooringplatform. Units can be stacked and topped with carpet or other flooringproducts, increasing their effectiveness. Visit www.clearsonic.comfor more details.

SIGMA OCTASTREAM DIGITAL AUDIO PRODUCTS

Digitally challenged broadcasters will be interested in the recentlyunveiled OctaStream (www.sigmaelectronics.com) family of AES digitalaudio signal-management products. Designed to cost-effectively address8-channel audio and the integration of AES and multichannel digitalaudio into a DTV stream, OctaStream provides unique solutions to thetiming, mixing and synchronizing challenges inherent in deliveringdigital audio. The line consists of the DA5320 Mixer and SubframeRouter, the DA5315 Variable-Delay Compensator, the DA5325 Sample-RateConverter and the SG5605 Audio Reference Generator.

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NATIVE INSTRUMENTS REAKTORSESSION AND REAKTOR 4

Reaktor Session and Reaktor 4 were unveiled by Native Instruments(www.nativeinstruments.com), boasting a new look andcompatibility with OS X. Reaktor Session gives unlimited access toReaktor instruments, samplers, effects and live tools. It includessynthesizers and resynthesizers, samplers and beat loopers, groove anddrum machines, surround and innovative effects. Reaktor Session alsoprovides access to the ever-growing online library on the NativeInstruments Website. Reaktor 4 includes new modules, enhancedfunctionality, new anti-aliasing oscillators from the NativeInstruments PRO-53 and several new filter macros, providing thebackbone for a series of samplers and synthesizers.

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TERRATEC PHASE 26 USB

Aimed at laptop production, this cross-platform, external, audio USBinterface operates at up to 24-bit/96 kHz and sports both optical andcoaxial S/PDIF connections. I/O includes two analog inputs, sixoutputs, a MIDI interface, mic input and an amplified headphone output.An unexpected plus is the addition of a phono preamp, allowing aturntable to be connected to the interface. The unit boasts low latencyand comes with drivers for Windows XP and Mac OS X. See more at www.terratec.com.

APPLIED ACOUSTICS SYSTEMS TASSMAN FOR RTAS

Applied Acoustics Systems (www.applied-acoustics.com) announced the release ofthe RTAS version of the Tassman Sound Synthesis Studio for Pro Tools.Based on AAS' physical-modeling technology, the Tassman is a modularsound-synthesis studio. Included with the software are 50 instrumentsand over 1,000 presets. Supported platforms include Windows95/98/2000/XP and Mac OS X and OS 9; drivers include ASIO, DirectX,WDM, Sound Manager and Core Audio. Price: $449 (download).

MOTU 828MKII FIREWIRE INTERFACE

MOTU (www.motu.com) released the 828mkII, asingle-rackspace FireWire audio interface for Macintosh and Windowscomputers. The new unit operates at 24-bit/96 kHz, and is meant toreplace the original 828 at the same price ($795). It offers manyimprovements including more I/O, 8-bus monitor mixing, stand-aloneoperation, SMPTE timecode and MIDI I/O.

IZOTOPE TRASH

The phrase “One man's trash is another man's treasure”is definitely true in the case of iZotope's Trash (www.izotope.com), a64-bit effects system provided in the form of a DirectX plug-in. Trashprovides over 85 box, cabinet and speaker models, ranging from ampclassics to stacks to experimental designs. Features include 45overdrive and distortion models, 12AX7 tubes, 6L6 tubes, transistors,fuzz, rectifiers and more. Other effects include multiband distortion,sweeping filters and emulations of classic delays that can be used asguitar or general recording effects. System requirements are Pentium II450 or greater running Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP and a DirectX hostapplication. Price: $199. Head to iZotope's Website to check out theTrash Cookbook, featuring “recipes” for guitar, drum,keyboard and bass presets. A demo version of Trash is also available onthe site.

Upgrades and Updates

HHB

announced substantial upgrades to its DVD-R product line.Currently only available in Europe, the 1x-4x disc will soon beavailable in the USA. In addition, the all-new HHB DVD-R4.7GB-Ggeneral-type disc claims important performance and operationaladvantages over conventional DVD-R media. See more at www.hhbusa.comMackie (www.mackie.com)announced that APB Tools TH-S Version 2.1 supports the MackieControl Extender and Baby HUI desktop control surfaces. The Mackiecontrollers can now act as playlist manager/playback controllers forthe Mac-based live broadcast program. For more info on the ABP ToolsTH-S program, visit www.apbtools.comE-mu has releasedV. 2.0 software for its XL-7 and MP-7 Command Stations, as wellas the Proteus 2500 Command Module. The new operating system offersnine new performance features, and is immediately available for a freedownload at www.emu.comLynx Studio Technology hasOS X drivers for the LynxTWO and L22 192kHz PCI interfacereference audio cards available from its Website, www.lynxstudio.comAMS Neve recentlyannounced the availability of Cedar's Dehiss process for itsAudioFile SC platform. Dehiss joins Cedar's Declick and Decrackle,which were ported earlier for the Audio-File platform. For pricing andmore details, visit www.ams-neve.comAllen & Heathannounced the release of V. 3.1 of its iDR System Managersoftware. New features include draggable curves for the EQ and dynamicssections, crossover slopes in the output PEQ, and a new cut-and-pastesystem that allows information to appear on the toolbar. The update isfree online at www.allen-heath.comRoland's M-1000digital line mixer is now OS X-compatible. For more details, visitwww.rolandus.comEmagic's Logic Platinum6.1 is now available for a free download at www.emagic.de. Thenewest incarnation of Logic allows it to be used within Pro Tools underOS X. It also provides the full functionality of Emagic's optional ESBTDM and PTHD extensions in Mac OS X…Prosoniq's OrangeVocoder has been upgraded to V. 2.0, providing compatibilitywith Pro Tools 5.3 and higher and OS X and giving it the abilityto receive MIDI. See more at www.digidesign.com…Latest in a flurry ofsoftware updates, TC Works has just shipped Spark XL 2.8.The newest version adds the promised Apple Audio Units supportannounced in the recent 2.7 upgrade. Other new features provide foruser-assignable key commands and support for long file names. Owners ofV. 2.7 can download 2.8 for free from www.tcelectronic.com.