Tools of the Trade - Mixonline

Tools of the Trade

GENEX GX SERIES Genex (www.genex.co.uk) is shipping its GX Series of digital recorders that are capable of recording in both DSD (Direct Stream Digital)
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Genex (www.genex.co.uk) is shipping its GX Series of digital recorders that are capable of recording in both DSD (Direct Stream Digital) and 192/24kHz PCM formats. The series includes the GX9000 8-track mastering system and GX9048 48-track sessions system. Units feature single-wire, 24-bit/192kHz recording; DSD recording and playback; seamless DSD punch-in/out; bidirectional PCM (any sample rate) to DSD conversion; PCM sample-rate conversion up to 192 kHz; AES31 and DSD IFF support; twin removable drive bays with disk mirroring; high-speed SCSI and FireWire interfaces; and a USB 2.0 control interface. Prices range from the $4,400 GX9000 with analog inputs, to the $25,000 GX9048 with 48 channels of analog I/O.


Sonic Foundry is shipping Version 4.0 of its Vegas and Vegas+DVD PC-based audio/video-editing packages. New video features include high-quality transitions, filters, credit rolls and text animations; real-time effects/transitions previewing without having to render; advanced color correction/scene matching; and Waveform, Vectorscope, Parade and Histogram videoscopes. Audio features include unlimited tracks, 24-bit/96kHz audio support, record input monitoring, effects automation, time compress/expand, and more than 30 real-time DirectX effects, such as EQ, reverb, gating and delay. The Vegas+DVD version adds a Dolby Digital (AC-3) encoder and DVD Architect to develop menu-based DVDs, music compilations, movies and slide shows.


The z-256.256r Digital Detangler Pro audio router from Z-Systems (dist. by TransAudio Group, www.transaudiogroup.com) lets studios seamlessly integrate/reconfigure their digital audio workplaces. The unit is modular in 16×16 increments, and up to 256 stereo/2-channel inputs can route to 256 outputs. Asynchronous sources and destinations can be either 24-bit AES/EBU or S/PDIF format, at sampling rates to 192 kHz and up. I/O crosspoint assignments can be selected via a dedicated serial port using networked PC software or the firm's dedicated hardware remote. Rear-panel D-sub connectors require DB25-to-XLR breakout cables in the Tascam DA Series MDM format; Z-Sys also offers pin-out diagrams and/or pre-fabricated AES/EBU breakout cables.


Studio Projects (www.studioprojectsusa.com) intros two new stereo mics. The $999 LSD-2 is a solid-state stereo model with two dual-membrane condenser capsules mounted vertically on-axis; the upper capsule can rotate 270∞. Featuring a highpass filter, a -10dB pad and polar response switches for each capsule, the LSD-2 is designed for coincident-pair recording; the proximity of the two capsules reduces phase cancellation and results in a mono-compatible stereo signal.


AKG (www.akg-acoustics.com) expands its line of XXL speaker-equipped headphones with the closed-back, supra-aural K171 Studio and circumaural K271 Studio models. All share XXL 1.2-inch drivers with patented Varimotion technology that creates diaphragms of varying thickness: Thinner around the outside for improved LF tracking and a thicker center for accurate MF/HF response. Other improvements include a detachable cable with a secure mini-XLR connection.


The Dangerous Music Monitor from Dangerous Music (www.dangerousmusic.com) incorporates four distinct functions in a two-rackspace package, featuring analog switching, digital switching, conversion and comprehensive monitoring functions. Designed to provide access to all of a studio's tools in a simple, intuitive way, the DMM features switching of three analog input pairs, four digital input pairs (with active thru outputs), an onboard custom Troisi D/A converter and full console-monitoring functions (L/R phase reverse, L/R mute, mono, dim, alt speaker and stepped-attenuator volume control). Retail is $4,999; a remote control is optional.


Intended for broadcast and game-production applications, Dolby Pro Logic II encoding tools will be introduced by Dolby Laboratories (www.dolby.com) at NAB. Providing 5-channel matrix surround sound experience over any stereo medium, the DP563 Dolby Surround Encoder can be upgraded to include real-time encoding capability for Pro Logic II, in addition to Dolby Surround Pro Logic. Importantly, Dolby Pro Logic II is also backward-compatible with all “legacy” Dolby Pro Logic decoders.


The new flagship monitors from Event Electronics (www.event1.com), the Studio Precision 8 Series feature a new soft-dome tweeter for an expanded stereo soundstage and more precise imaging. Matched to an 8-inch woofer with a neodymium magnet for greater efficiency/lower distortion, the enclosure's front-mount, linear-flow ports are designed for better LF coupling into the room and improved bass transient response. Bi-amped and passive versions are available; the active model offers 280 watts per speaker (200 + 80 watts), with LF and HF trim controls, a continuously variable input-sensitivity control and a switchable 80Hz highpass filter. Shipping now, the active ASP8s are $1,499/pair; the passive PSP8s are $799/pair.


The long-awaited CreamWare (www.creamware.de) Noah hardware synthesizer is about to ship. The synth is based on software plug-in technology and can be configured with various instruments and synthesis methods; built-in instrument reproductions of the Minimoog, Hammond B3 and Sequential Prophet-VS — as well as guitar modelings — and orders placed before July will also receive a Sequential Pro-One emulation. All Noah instruments are fully polyphonic: Users can edit sounds from the synth or via USB using the included PC software. An onboard sequencer, arpeggiator and dozens of 32-bit effects are included. Audio I/Os let users employ Noah to process external signals, even while using it in parallel to produce its own sounds. The standard version lists at $2,075; the EX version (doubling the synth engine's power) is $2,525.


Audix (www.audixusa.com) launches its Micro Series condenser mics with the M1245 and 1290 cardioid models. Measuring only 1.7 inches long, the M1245 is optionally available as a hypercardioid and in a version with a 10mV higher output, suitable for distance miking. Frequency response is 80-20k Hz; S/N ratio is 75 dB. The M1290 (available in omni and hypercardioid versions) measures 3.5 inches long and has a 40-20k Hz frequency response. Both mics feature 12mm, gold vapor-coated diaphragms, may be phantom powered and accept input levels up to 140dB SPL. Connectors are female mini-XLR-type; accessories include cables and special mic clips.


Fostex (www.fostex.com) announces the PMO.5, a compact, self-powered studio monitor system featuring a 5-inch woofer and 0.75-inch soft-dome tweeter in a front-ported cabinet. Weighing 14.3 pounds and measuring 11×7.13×10.25 inches (H×W×D), the PMO.5 offers a frequency response of 50-20k Hz, ±2 dB, and a maximum short-term SPL of 105 dB. MSRP: $349/pair.


Audio-Technica's (www.audio-technica.com) AT3060 phantom-powered tube microphone features high sensitivity and low noise with the traditional warm sound of classic tube mic designs. An all-new, large-diameter cardioid condenser element and large coupling transformer for improved linearity at low frequencies are also included. The AT3060 operates on standard 48-volt phantom power, so it doesn't require a separate power supply and multicore cable. List is $599, including an AT8458 shockmount.


Geoffrey Daking & Co. (dist. by TransAudio Group, www.transaudiogroup.com) has redesigned the Daking Mic Pre/EQ and Daking FET Compressor. Patterned after the EQ circuitry of the Trident A range consoles, the $1,995 Daking Mic Pre/EQ employs all discrete transistor circuitry and transformer-balanced I/Os. Features include five stepped frequencies per EQ band, with continuously variable boost/cut at all frequencies. Also $1,995, the Daking FET Compressor has discrete transistor circuitry, transformer-balanced I/Os and Class-A amps. Compression ratios are 1.5:1, 2:1, 3:1, 5:1, 10:1 and 20:1. Threshold is adjustable in 2dB increments. Attack can be set from 250 µs to 64 ms, and the unit offers customized Neve 33609 Auto, A-D Compex Auto and Fairchild 670 #5 and #6 release settings.


MBHO microphones (www.mbho.de) has upgraded its small-diaphragm MBNM 440-CL condenser microphone. Now designated the 440-CLS, the mic features a switchable -10dB pad and stereo bundle includes free mic clips and a vintage-style mic case. The 440-CLS lists at $439.


Voxengo CurveEQ (www.voxengo.com/curveeq) is a linear-phase equalizer VST plug-in that offers spectrum matching among its features. CurveEQ displays actual filtering information, including input and output FFT spectrums. A SpectruMatch function can transfer a spectrum's slope from one recording to another, and GearMatch technology transfers impulse responses of high-end analog audio gear to your digital audio while allowing frequency-response adjustment. Other features include a Vintage Processor that adds “presence” and a compressing saturator. All sample rates are supported.


M-Audio (www.m-audio.com) introduces three new USB products: The OmniStudio USB is a rackmount, USB audio/MIDI studio interface ($499.99) based on M-Audio's successful Quattro USB and Omni Studio, combining their features into a single 24-bit/96kHz interface. The 4×4 architecture is software-configurable for 4×4 operation at 16 bits, or 2×4 or 4×2 operation at 24 bits, and includes an onboard mixer, numerous I/Os, effects sends/returns and M-Audio's Maximum Audio Tools software bundle. The $179.95 MobilePre USB is a USB bus-powered 2-channel mic/instrument preamp with a built-in audio interface. Audiophile USB, built on the Audiophile 2496 ($249.99), is a combination audio/MIDI interface with 24-bit/96kHz fidelity, Mac and PC drivers and 109dB dynamic range.


Spectrasonics (www.spectrasonics.net; dist. in the U.S. by Ilio, www.ilio.com) released the Trilogy Total Bass Module, a MAS/RTAS/VST plug-in instrument that comes with a 3GB library of 1,000 bass sounds and an interface to create custom patches. As two different bass sounds can be layered into a new patch, over 1 million sound combinations are possible. Other features include analog synth-style legato triggering and Glide, plus a Zone editing feature that lets users create distinctive synth parameters for each key. Retail: $399.


A DI box/instrument preamp for both stage and studio, the DITTO (Direct Input, Tube Transformer Output) Box from Groove Tubes (www.groovetubes.com) features dual-triode tubes — 12AU7 and 12AX7 — and a custom, nickel-core output transformer. It provides up to +30 dB of all-tube gain (no op amps or transistors), while offering an isolated, balanced low-impedance output for all instruments: vintage keyboards, electric bass and acoustic/electric guitars with internal transducer-type pickups. MSRP: $399.


New from Antares (www.antarestech.com), Tube is an analog tube-modeling plug-in. The software models the effect of a high-quality tube peamplifier, and has two tube models: A “blue” tube adds the warmth of a classic tube preamp, and a “fiery orange” tube re-creates the warm distortion of an overdriven tube amplifier. The interface features a realistic visual representation of a tube, allowing the user to easily determine which effect has been chosen. An OmniTube mode will apply the tube effect to the entire signal at all levels. Tube is DSP-efficient enough to be used on dozens of tracks simultaneously. For Mac RTAS, MAS or VST systems, and PC-based RTAS, VST and DirectX systems.


DigiTech (www.digitech.com) released the Vx400 Modeling Vocal Processor with USB computer interface, a modeling effects processor designed for recording or live performance use. In addition to a USB port streaming 24-bit audio, the Vx400 features direct speaker-compensated P.A. outputs, all in a rugged metal housing. Retail: $374.95.