Tools of the Trade

M-AUDIO RADIUM M-Audio's ( Radium USB MIDI controller combines USB/MIDI interfacing, a 61-note keyboard with eight MIDI-assignable knobs


M-Audio's ( Radium USB MIDI controller combines USB/MIDI interfacing, a 61-note keyboard with eight MIDI-assignable knobs and eight MIDI-assignable sliders (for real-time control of any 16 MIDI parameters within software programs). Five user-preset banks extend this control to 80 MIDI parameters. Two MIDI Outs send data to external gear: one from the keyboard and one from the computer. Also standard are pitch and mod wheels and octave-up/down keys that extend the 5-octave keyboard's range. The unit is powered via the USB port or via a 9-volt DC power supply for stand-alone operation. MSRP: $299.


PreSonus' ( TubePRE single-channel mic/instrument preamp has a transformerless 12AX7 tube circuit and can be used as a preamp/front end, direct box or in a side effects chain. The dual-servo gain stage is capacitor-free for low-noise performance and wider dynamics. Specs include a 10-80k Hz response, 94dBu noise floor and >90dB signal-to-noise. In addition to a +40dB rotary gain control and +20dB overdrive circuit, the TubePRE has a backlit VU meter, and switches for pad, polarity reverse, -20dB pad, 80Hz low-cut filter and 48VDC phantom power. I/Os are balanced XLR and unbalanced ¼-inch.


A major upgrade to Ableton's ( sequencing instrument for Mac OS 9/OS X and Windows, LIVE 2.0 introduces Elastic Audio. This feature allows tempos to be set anytime during recording, performance or playback, and users can drop-in recordings, loops and complete songs, which will play in sync, direct from disc. In addition, time-stretching can be applied to any audio material, not just loops; time-stretching algorithms have been optimized for rhythmic and melodic material. LIVE 2.0's new Arranger view is a full-blown multitrack recording/editing suite with real-time effects, dynamic parameter automation and unlimited undo. Also new are advanced auto-mation handling, DJ-style crossfading and more. List is $399.


TC Electronic ( is giving away the 24/7-C, a plug-in designed to provide vintage compression and limiting for its PowerCore card. Available as a free download to all registered PowerCore users, this remodeled classic dynamics processor was inspired by a vintage processor and is designed to re-create the details of the sound. At least four (maximum of six mono) instances of 24/7-C can run on one of PowerCore's DSPs — up to a minimum of 16 on one card — without taxing the CPU. TC also added the new Classic Verb to the list of plug-ins already included with PowerCore, adding to the list that already features the virtual Finalizer Master X3 and the mono-synth PowerCore 01.


The 5052 Dual-Tube Processor from TL Audio (dist. by HHB,, the latest Ivory 2 Series of processor, provides two channel strips, each with a tube preamp stage, tube compressor, 4-band EQ and a peak optical output limiter. The preamp accepts mic, line and DI inputs with variable input gain, 90Hz filter, 30dB pad and phase reverse. The tube compressor is hard/soft-knee switchable, and all parameters are variable. The pre/post-compressor-switchable EQ section has full parametric mid bands, and the LF/HF bands are selectable to shelving. Balanced and unbalanced I/O, balanced inserts and compressor sidechain inserts are standard. A 24-bit, 44.1/48kHz digital output is optional.


SM Pro Audio's ( PR8MKII multichannel microphone preamp is a two-rackspace unit with eight discrete mic pre's and an optional ADAT Lightpipe output. Other features include 20dB pad, 48V phantom power and phase reverse on every channel, and eight analog XLR balanced inputs and outputs. List: $399.


Originally designed and built for selected dealers in Germany, the HeadAmp 4 from SPL ( is a high-quality, Class-A headphone amp/distribution system for studio and live use. The 4-channel, single-rackspace unit features four independent headphone outputs with stereo/mono and left (or right) channel-only modes, daisy-chaining connector to link multiple HeadAmp 4s, an internal power supply and a $249 MSRP.


ADK Microphones' ( A-48 Vintage Valve is a studio condenser mic with a transverse-mounted 12AX7 tube and 1.07-inch diameter, 5-micron, gold-sputtered diaphragm. Nine polar patterns are remotely variable from the outboard power supply. The $1,295 price includes PS, multipin cable, shockmount and flight case.


Summit Audio ( is now shipping the 2BA-221 tube mic and line preamplifier. The 2BA-221 features swept highpass filter, multiple simultaneous tube and solid-state outs, insert jack and internal power supply, plus continuously variable microphone impedance from 100 ohms to 10k ohms and separately controlled hi-Z/line and microphone inputs. The unit also offers XLR and ¼-inch ins/outs and three variable, independent gain stages. In addition, users can stack inputs linking multiple 2BA-221s to perform as a mixing device. Retail: $695, with three-year warranty.


PSP ( introduces the big brother of its Lexicon PSP 42 software emulation of the legendary Lexicon PCM42. Available for VST and DirectX for PC and VST for Mac, the new PSP 84 plug-in can produce a wide variety of delay-based effects, with two independent delays operating with variable sampling rate and a tape-saturation algorithm with adjustable gain; a filtration section with three second-order, switchable resonant filter types, five LFO waveforms synchronized to the sequencer tempo or envelope PSP follower; and a vintage Reverb mode to simulate spring and plate reverb characteristics. The PSP 84 offers support for sampling rates of up to 192 kHz, MIDI and VST automation of all parameters, and Logic Control.


Sonic Solutions ( is shipping PlantDirect technology to deliver DVD-title masters to replication facilities over the Internet. PlantDirect is an add-on software module for the Sonic ROM Formatter DVD-formatting application. Previously, professional DVD authors were required to use expensive Digital Linear Tape (DLT) storage drives and media to deliver DVD masters through standard shipping methods to the plant. By eliminating the DLT step, PlantDirect speeds the process by allowing finished masters to be delivered electronically.


The Behringer ( B-2 PRO condenser mic has a 1-inch, gold-sputtered dual-diaphragm capsule, with selectable cardioid/omni/figure-8 patterns, low-cut filter and -10dB pad. The mic boasts low-noise transformerless FET circuitry, a 20-20k Hz response and 149dB max SPL. The $189.99 retail includes case, suspension mount and windscreen.


The 48x EliteMicro automated CD/DVD duplication system from Disc Makers ( copies at least 20 CD-Rs or two DVD-Rs per hour. The stand-alone unit has a compact 8.5×11-inch footprint, can be easily connected to any PC (Windows XP or 2000 required) via a FireWire card and cable. The EliteMicro includes Padus DiscJuggler software, and I/O bins can hold up to 50 discs for greater unattended duplication capacity. The CD-R version retails for $1,590, and the DVD-R version is $1,990. Units are also available with an onboard Autograph IV 1200 dpi inkjet printer, but connects to any Primera inkjet printer.


New from Cool Breeze Systems ( is the CSi Vol. 7 tutorial CD-ROM. CSi Vol. 7 covers key operational techniques and new features in Steinberg's Cubase SX workstation. The CD-ROM features the new Movie Tutorial interface, with more than four hours of movie tutorials; a 1,200 term glossary is also included. Mac and Windows shortcuts and key commands are covered, and built-in quizzing tests your progress. Online lessons and movies are also available at


Designed to lower computer noise, enclosures from Silence Cases ( are available in four standard models that accommodate one or two CPUs, with or without a 5-inch external drive bay. All feature sound-sealed front/rear doors and cable pass, an active sound-attenuating ventilation system with adjustable fan speed, internal acoustic foam, casters, natural wood finishes and a stated broadband attenuation spec of -24 dB. Pricing ranges from $429 to $559.


Samson ( expands its S Mini line of portable audio processors. With an estimated $59 street price, S•Combine is a 2-to-1 mic combiner with two balanced XLR mic inputs, one balanced XLR mic output and an AC adapter included. S•Split (also $59) is a 1-in × 3-out transformer-isolated mic splitter, with one balanced XLR mic in and three balanced XLR mic outs. The $59 S•Phantom is a 2-channel 48 phantom power supply with AC adapter. For live/installed sound applications, the $149 S•2-Way is a two-way stereo/three-way mono signal-distribution unit offering 2 ms of delay for time alignment, mute and phase switches for each output and XLR balanced outs.


Celestion's ( CDX1-1415 and CDX1-1425 are 1-inch compression drivers featuring Neodymium magnet structures and are light weight. The CDX1-1415 has a stated power rating of 20 watts, a 2-20 kHz response, 104dB sensitivity, 8-ohm impedance and weighs 8.81 ounces. The larger CDX1 has a 25-watt power rating, frequency range of 2-20 kHz, 108dB sensitivity, nominal impedance of 8 ohms and weighs 13.76 ounces.


Steinberg ( presents the VSL 2020, a digital audio card for transmission of multichannel 24-bit/96kHz audio and MIDI data with Cubase SX/SL and Nuendo systems within a VST network. Steinberg's new V-Stack software (see “Upgrades and Updates”) is also included. Other features: 32 ADAT channels, two optical ADAT I/O with S/MUX support;S/PDIF I/O; unbalanced (-10dBV) stereo RCA I/O; SuperClock (FS 256) and WordClock I/O with BNC connector; and MIDI I/O. List price is $399.


Denon ( introduces the DN-C615, its first professional MP3 player, a two-rackspace unit with CD-R/RW playback, ±12% pitch control and MP3 playback with intuitive folder/title search. Other features include Repeat and Random modes, 10 seconds of shockproof memory, and a preset, selectable Auto Cue. Playback mode is also preset, as well as selectable for single track or continuous play. User preset functions are available via an IR remote sensor or a wired remote-control terminal.


The Bravo duplicator from Primera ( is designed for automated production of up to 25 CDs or DVDs per job, with 48x CD-R recorder or optional Pioneer combo DVD-R/CD-R recorder. After recording, discs are printed at up to 2,400 dpi resolution in the integrated color printer. Bravo attaches to any PC running Windows 2000/XP through its built-in FireWire and USB interfaces; the unit also comes equipped with Prassi PrimoDVD 2.0 duplication software. Also included is SureThing CD Labeler Primera Edition software for graphic design. For Mac OS X users, Bravo comes equipped with Charismac Engineering's Discribe V. 5.0 duplication software, and users can design labels in graphic design programs such as Adobe's Illustrator and Photoshop, etc. and import them into the software. Two Bravo models are available: The Bravo CD Publisher with a 48x CD-R recorder is priced at $1,995; the Bravo DVD Publisher with a Pioneer DVD-R/CD-R recorder is priced at $2,495. (The DVD-R unit records DVD-Rs at 4x and CD-Rs at 16x.) An optional business card adapter kit copies and prints 80mm mini-discs, rounded “hockey rink” mini-discs and business card-shaped CDs.