Tools of the Trade

HARRISON ST2 POST CONSOLE Harrison's ( ST2 digital film/post console is offered in various control surface options, with touch-sensitive


Harrison's ( ST2 digital film/post console is offered in various control surface options, with touch-sensitive knobs, motorized automated joystick panners, high-res digital meters, multi-operator capabilities and multiple input/output format options. Based on Harrison's digital.engine, the ST2 offers 40-bit DSP and a 2,240×2,240 digital-routing switcher. The system has up to 768 channels per digital core, with full processing on all buses on every channel. Also featured is Dynamic Profiling (any strip can control any channel) and a range of plug-ins, including De-esser, Camera Noise Cleaner and Bus Limiter. The IKIS automation platform offers 10 EQ shapes, ±30 dB of gain and expanded dynamics control. The 8-band EQ includes notch, high/lowpass and Find functions. AD/DA converters are 24-bit (48/96 kHz), and SRC can be bypassed on AES I/Os of groups of eight.


Ableton's Live 2.0 audio sequencer (dist. by M-Audio, can apply time stretching of tempo and pitch to any kind of audio material. Incorporation of unlooped, unstretched audio allows linear tape-style recording with loop-based manipulation and playback. Live 2.0 allows the user to record unlimited audio takes with unlimited tracks; processing additions include effects presets, new gate and redux effect, and new filter modes for the auto filter. Other enhancements include Rewire support, improved auto-mation, traditional solo and pre-fader listening, input gain settings, improved file management and multiport MIDI reception. Performance-related updates include refined MIDI and computer key mapping, assignable scene advance and track-launch buttons, and free assignment of all transport/tempo controls. MSRP: $399.


The Tuned Reference 8 (TR8) and Tuned Reference 5 (TR5) Bi-Amplified Direct-Field Monitoring Systems from Event Electronics ( provide flat response and uncolored sound, combining a new high-efficiency amp with technology from Event's 20/20bas and Project Studio models. The TR8 has a shielded, 8-inch, mineral-filled woofer; a 1.5-inch diameter damped-rubber surround mid and a shielded, 1-inch natural silk-dome tweeter. The TR5 matches the same tweeter with a shielded 5.25-inch polypropylene woofer. Both feature a power-on LED, subsonic filter, output-current limiting and protection against RF interference, excessive temperature and turn-on/off transients. Inputs are RCAs and balanced XLR and ¼-inch TRS. The TR8s are $599/pair; the TR5s list at $399/pair.


Sony's ( Oxford Inflator plug-in for Pro Tools|HD/TDM/Mix/RTAS systems provides an increase in the apparent loudness without obvious loss of quality or audible reduction of dynamic range, or damaging increases in peak signal level. The plug-in can be used to create effects ranging from subtle tube-like harmonic characteristics to saturation distortion-modeling; it offers “virtual headroom” above digital maximum to allow percussive peaks to pass without causing signal overload. Two modes of operation — direct and band split — allow maximum flexibility and artistic creativity, and ensure optimal DSP usage.


Oram Pro Audio ( is now shipping the Grand Master Series Al Schmitt Pro-channel, a rackmount channel strip that includes a mic pre, 6-band EQ and optical compressor. Designed by John Oram and Al Schmitt, the Pro-channel's precision-switched control of all parameters allows repeatable settings. The mic pre has transformer and transformerless paths, with gain to +70 dB in fine steps, selectable phantom power, phase reverse and VU meter-level selection. The (switchable pre/post-EQ) compressor section's optical attenuator offers unobtrusive soft-knee dynamic control. Retail is $8,525; a stereo version is also available.


The Waves ( 360° Tool-kit is a suite of surround plug-ins for Pro Tools|HD and Mix systems. The set includes Surround Manager for setup and bass management; a 6-channel Surround Reverb; Surround Imager (shown) for distance panning; Surround Limiter, a 6-channel implementation of the L2; Surround Compressor, which combines dynamic compression and channel grouping; Surround Mixdown to derive quad, LCR, stereo and mono mixes directly from the surround mix; and a Surround Panner.


The Aviom ( A-16 Personal Mixing and Distribution System lets performers adjust their own stereo monitor mixes over the first LAN optimized for real-time multichannel digital audio transmission. Its 24-bit/96kHz A/D converters packetize 16 audio channels in the rackmount A-16T transmitter and on to any number of 16-channel A-16 mixer units connected via readily available Cat 5 cable with up to 330 feet between components. The mixer's stereo output can drive in-ear monitors (IEMs), amp/wedge combos or studio headphones. The A-16T transmitter is $749.95; the A-16 personal mixers are $439.95/each.


Glyph's ( Trip2 FireWire storage system is built for high-res audio/video storage needs. The system is based on technologies introduced in the Companion, and features multiple Oxford 911 chips, QuietMetal construction to eliminate external noise and S.M.A.R.T. Manager diagnostic software with predictive failure analysis. Trip2 is available in two- to six-drive configurations; drives are hot-swappable, 7,200 rpm and available in capacities of 60, 120 and 180 GB. The system is SAN-ready.


Sonic Foundry's 5.1 Surround Plug-In pack for ACID Pro 4.0 allows users to encode ACID mixes to 5.1 multichannel surround or stereo Dolby Digital AC-3 files and burn them to CD. The plug-in ships with two components: The AC-3 Encoder plug-in features optimized templates to create DVD-compliant AC-3 files (5.1 surround or stereo) with various customization options. Also included are input filtering, channel processing, RF overmodulation protection and dynamic range compression. The AC-3 DVD Burner lets users burn 5.1 or stereo AC-3 files to DVD (DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW). The 5.1 Pack is priced at MSRP $399, and will be available as a download only at


CEDAR's (dist. by Cambridge noise-reduction system is a suite of new CEDAR algorithms said to remove more noise and more types of noise than before without damaging the desired audio or introducing unwanted side effects and artifacts. The scalable, modular system handles 96kHz audio, with 64-bit floating-point processing at all times; operations are real time and automatable. Other features include a dedicated rackmount timecode reader/generator; many channel, metering and dithering options; and a wide range of I/O formats. Cambridge is designed to be used on a 2.0GHz or faster Dell Precision 530 Xeon; development for other PCs is underway.


Inter-M ( offers two new graphic EQs that combine familiar analog controls with the precision and quality of digital performance. Built in conjunction with Algorithmix, a German digital audio development company, both the dual-channel GEQ-2231D ($825) and the single-channel GEQ-1231D ($600) feature front panel analog-style faders to control 31 bands per channel. The DSP-based units include premium AD/DA converters for 24-bit/64kHz resolution, and also feature peak limiting, low- and high-cut filters, an extended bandwidth of 10-30.5k Hz and a dynamic range greater than 100 dB. I/Os are balanced XLRs.


Behringer ( upgrades three of its dynamics processors: The $109.99 Autocom Pro-XL1600, Composer Pro-XL2600 ($139.99) and $159.99 Multicom Pro-XL4600 offer improved audio performance and new features, including an dynamic enhancer that makes up for compression-induced HF energy loss. Also featured is an Interactive Knee Adaptation function, blending hard/soft-knee characteristics, an automatic ratio control and an interactive gain control, which provides the peak protection of a clipper and a program limiter. The Autocom Pro-XL and Composer Pro-XL also have a switchable voice-adaptive de-esser that differentiates between male and female voices. The Composer Pro-XL adds tube-simulation circuitry for added warmth. The Multicom Pro-XL has been upgraded with an enhancer and an expander/noise gate.


Distributed by PMI Audio (, the Joemeek VC6Qcs combines the Joemeek CurrentSense preamp, photo compressor and Meequalizer channel into a single studio tracking/mixdown channel. In the studio, the VC6Qcs is suitable for recording instruments or vocals. In live applications, the VC6Qcs can be inserted between an instrument or mic and the FOH/monitor console for precise dynamic processing and EQ.


Mackie Designs ( announces software upgrades for its Soundscape 32 DAW. Version 3.7 software adds track arming on-the-fly, “gapless” punch-out, faster manual punch-ins, increased maximum parts (to 16,384), improved overload handling when working with multiple EQ elements in a single mixer column, auto track-output assignment, global Move/Copy function, video-file player support and a new M-S-decoder mixer element. New Console Manager V. 1.5 software offers Mackie Control/Mackie Control Extender/Baby HUI controller support, optical touch-sensitive faders and comprehensive editing control.


The 7073A Active Subwoofer from Genelec ( features four 12-inch, long-throw woofers, full onboard 6.1-capable bass-management system and 1 kW of internal amps offering 124dB SPLs down to 19 Hz. The bass management features six I/Os (LCR front and LCR rear), plus LFE input and summed signal-output connectors. Additional features include an 85Hz test generator to help crossover alignment, bass roll-off adjustable in 2dB steps and four-position phase-matching controls (from 0° to -270°). The 7073A's wide, low-profile, 56.75×22.6×22-inch (W×H×D) cabinet is ideal for placement under projection screens or studio windows. Price: $6,500.


A 2×2 DVI Switcher from Gefen ( acts as the controlling interface between two cross-platform computers using two digital flat-panel displays. Users simply switch between the two computers, with each displaying its information on a dual-screen extended desktop. The DVI Switcher supports all digital displays, and supports Macs and PCs — used separately or in combination, provided each has a DVI or ADC display port. (Apple-brand flat-panel displays require a DVI-to-ADC converter.) Computer access is controlled via the Switcher unit or optional remote control. The Switcher is priced at $799, including DVI, USB and audio cabling.


DPA's ( Instrument Microphone Kit (IMK4061) includes the popular DPA 4061 miniature mic and XLR adapter, together with a selection of unique mounting accessories for stringed instruments such as violin and cello, universal surface mounts with double-sided tape for guitars, wind instruments, drums and percussion, a magnet holder to attach the mic to drum rims or piano frames, and foam windscreens. The DPA 4061 handles 144dB peaks for close placement near snares, trumpets, speaker cabinets or other high-SPL sound sources. The DPA 4061 can also be used with any pro wireless system.


Microtech Gefell (dist. by Cabletek Electronics, offers three new condensers: the M294 and M295 cardioids, and the M296 omni-directional. All three 48-volt phantom-powered mics feature a nickel diaphragm less than 0.9-microns thick, and include 10dB pads and highpass filters. The M294 has a natural presence rise at 8 kHz, while the M295 has a flat upper end with a low-frequency roll. The omni M296 has a flat 20-20k Hz response. Also offered is the M930 XY Stereo Pack, a stereo kit that packages two matched M930 large-diaphragm cardioids, an innovative X/Y stand adapter and low-noise transformerless electronics.


Now shipping, the Mercury 66 Limiting Amplifier from Mercury Recording Equipment ( recreates the sound of the classic Fairchild 660 comp/limiter using similar circuitry, tubes and custom-transformer I/O. The mono (stereo-linkable) unit features a fast 50µs attack time; release time varies from 0.3 to 25 seconds, and the 1:1-to-20:1 ratio controls allow use as a compressor or limiter. Construction features no ICs or PC boards, with hand-wired, point-to-point connections. Retail is $6,995.


Speakeasy Vintage Music ( has a line of studio-grade tube preamps designed to interface today's virtual and hardware-based B3 organ clones with consoles, P.A. rigs or amp/cabinets — rotary or otherwise. Offered in stereo/mono rackmount or pedal versions, the hand-built preamps feature vintage-design tube circuitry and a Class-A output. All are available with appropriate Leslie connectors and/or ¼-inch outputs.


Shure's ( M44-7-H Turntablist Cartridge is now offered premounted on a Technics headshell, thereby eliminating setup time. Shure's premium scratch needle, the M44-7, offers high output, skip resistance and minimal record wear.