Tools of the Trade

BEHRINGER UB SERIES MIXERS Behringer's ( UB Series of utility mixing consoles feature mic preamps (IMPs), low-noise circuitry, Alps


Behringer's ( UB Series of utility mixing consoles feature “invisible” mic preamps (IMPs), low-noise circuitry, Alps pots and low-tolerance components. The IMPs provide 130dB dynamic range, 60dB gain range and +30dBu line-input capacity. The FX PRO models in the line have onboard, 24-bit digital Virtualizer© technology with 99 stereo effects. Internal auto-range, switch-mode power supplies automatically adjust to voltages from 80 to 240 VAC.


Native Bundle 3.0 is TC Works' ( latest collection of processing tools for VST and MAS, including the Compressor, DeEsser, Graphic EQ, Parametric EQ, Limiter, Single-Band Limiter/Maximizer and SideChainer, plus two new plug-ins (shown): The Native Reverb Plus is a new version of the original Native Reverb with an enhanced algorithm, a new user interface, and additional parameters and presets. The Filtrator plug-in's envelope follower allows classic filter effects, with the filter modulated by the incoming audio signal's amplitude. LFO modulation can sync to MIDI clock for modulated filter sweeping. Selectable 12/18/24dB slopes, low/highpass filters, a separate Drive section for filter distortion and a saturation algorithm are also standard. Native Bundle 3.0 supports Mac OS X, Mac OS Classic and Windows. Retail is $499; existing Native Bundle users can upgrade for $39.


The Grace Design ( Lunatec V3 is a 2-channel mic preamp/converter for field-recording applications. The rugged chassis houses two transformerless preamps, a 24-bit, 192kHz stereo ADC and new analog noise shaping for dithering to 16/20 bits. Channels have precision 11-position gain switches and a continuously variable rotary-trim pot. Other features include phantom power, a 4-frequency highpass filter with selectable slope for each input and MS-decoding matrix. Analog inputs are XLR, analog outs are XLR, and digital outs are AES/EBU and S/PDIF. Single and dual-wire AES modes are supported for 192kHz operation, and users can bypass the converter for analog operation. Metering is via 8-segment LED meters; a dedicated LED shows battery status. The V3 can be powered via an optional 6VDC battery pack or external AC adapter. Price: $1,695.


Benchmark Media Systems ( offers the DAC1, an affordable, 24-bit, 96kHz stereo digital/analog audio converter. Featuring selectable AES and S/PDIF inputs and simultaneously available balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs, the DAC1 handles conversion through 96kHz, and can play back 192kHz material with a 48kHz bandwidth. HPA-2 headphone amplifier technology allows for distortion levels of 0.0003% under load. The DAC1's performance specs include a THD+N figure of -106 dB (0.0005%) measured at 0 dBFS, at any playback frequency, at any sample rate, with any degree of input jitter. Output levels can be preset precisely over a +10 to +29dBu gain range, and built-in 115/230VAC power is standard. Price is $795; a rack kit is optional.


The dual-identity Soundelux ifet7 (distributed by Transamerica Audio Group; is a phantom-powered FET condenser mic that combines a quality German-made capsule with two sets of completely different-sounding internal electronics. True to vintage mic tradition, the ifet7 is fully transformer-coupled but offers several improvements such as a large core transformer that dramatically improves LF headroom. A Vocal/Instrument switch selects either “I mode,” which incorporates the standard features of the vintage 47fet, or “V mode,” which captures the vintage 87fet's sound and features. Both modes offer clear high- and low-frequency performance. Price is $2,100 with wood storage box; shockmount is optional.


The QP 805HS Pro Headphones from MB Quart ( have a rugged design for use in the harshest environment. These closed, dynamic, circumaural phones feature an unbreakable steel bow and foam-filled cushioning for long wear, and a frequency response of 10 to 33.4kHz. Output is greater than 98dB SPL, and continuous power rating is 100 mW (DIN 45582). Provided with a 10-foot cable terminating in a gold-plated, ¼-inch stereo connector, the QP 805HS Pro Headphones list for $149.


Apache, from Frontier Design Group (, is a digital patchbay with 12 optical inputs and 12 optical outputs (96 channels of 24-bit audio). Featuring a precision PLL for each optical input, the single-rackspace Apache reclocks all incoming ADAT signals for trouble-free patching at all resolutions. Featuring easy-access routing controls, Apache can store and recall 12 complete routing setups and allows for an unlimited number of presets. Optical ports accept either ADAT or TosLink format signals, and all control/routing parameters are controllable from a computer via MIDI Sys-Ex commands. A Scanning Status mode provides continuous information about all current patches, while an Activity Status mode provides detailed information about specific patches. MIDI ports can connect multiple Apaches to expand the patchbay beyond 12 I/Os. Price: $649.


Mark of the Unicorn's ( 24i/o is a single-rackspace interface for Mac and Windows that provides 24 balanced ¼-inch (TRS), 96kHz analog inputs and outputs. A 24i/o core system ($1,495) includes MOTU's PCI-424 card, which provides expansion up to 96 inputs/outputs, DSP-driven mixing and monitoring via its CueMix DSP matrix, plus legacy I/O support and onboard SMPTE sync. The 24i/o rack interface — also sold separately as a $1,195 expansion I/O for any MOTU PCI-424 system, such as MOTU's new 2408mk3 or HD192 — provides 5-segment front panel I/O metering and software-switchable -10/+4 analog input levels.


HHB ( introduces the CDR830 BurnIT Plus CD recorder, an enhanced version of its CDR830 BurnIT CD-R. The rackmount CDR830 BurnIT Plus features balanced XLR analog inputs/outputs with line/mic-input gain switching, balanced XLR digital I/Os, wordclock input, parallel remote input, plus 24-bit A/D converters, 24-bit multilevel Delta Sigma D/A converters and a CD-Text facility to store/display disc, artist and track names. SCMS-free digital operation, onboard sample rate converter and a digital record gain control have been added.


Brauner Microphones (distributed in the U.S. by Transamerica Audio Group; introduces the Phantom C microphone, the company's first non-tube (FET), large-diaphragm mic. Designed for vocal and voice-over applications, the cardioid Phantom C is a phantom powered FET mic specially tuned for vocal applications. Specifications include 8dBa self-noise, 28mV/Pa sensitivity and 142dB max SPL at 0.5% THD. Supplied with case and shockmount, the Brauner Phantom C is priced at $1,380.


The TB4 DAW Talkback Monitor from Coleman Audio ( is a one-rackspace unit providing a talkback facility to the cue mix, plus a Dim function for control room monitors. The talkback section features a remote mic with a 12-foot cord. The TB4 has four balanced stereo inputs and two balanced alternate speaker outs on XLRs. All signal paths are completely passive, and level control is provided by a stepped attenuator accurate to 0.05 dB. A headphone output can be switched between control room monitor and cue mix signals. A separate stereo cue mix input and output with its own level control is available on TRS ¼-inch jacks. Price: $1,150.


Sound Performance Labs ( announces Nugget, a studio condenser mic built to company specs by Audio-Technica and based on A-T's popular 40 Series. The mic features a 1-inch diameter cardioid capsule, fully transformerless circuitry, high-SPL capacity, switchable 50Hz low-cut filter, 10dB pad and a distinctive gold finish. Nugget ships this month; retail is $428, including shockmount.


Lexicon ( offers a LOGIC7® UpMix Option for its flagship 960L multichannel processor. Based on the popular LOGIC7 technology used in Lexicon's high-end consumer gear, the upgrade generates 5-channel surround information from stereo inputs and yields a wide front image and full distinct Ls/Rs surround envelopment. Users have full real-time control of program elements, roll-off and surround delay, and the algorithm can be altered to suit stereo-source variations.


The Otari ( DB-10 is a digital on-air console with 10 faders that handle mic, line or stereo AES/EBU or S/PDIF pairs. Fail-safe operation, snapshot recall, onboard 3-band EQs and compressors on each channel, mix-minus buses and an affordable $8,500 retail round out the package.


Sonic Solutions' ( DVD Producer Version 3.5 is its latest pro DVD-authoring system. Version 3.5 features real-time MPEG compression of video and Dolby Digital audio, OpenDVD-compliant authoring, enhanced file-transcoding functions, speed enhancements, a manual-button routing creation of complex DVD menus, and Sonic's JumpAnywhere automatic DVD navigation programming — a new DVD design engine with drag-and-drop operation. DVD Producer is available integrated with Sonic's SD-Series of hardware video-encoding solutions or as a software-only version, and supports a wide range of DVD-R devices.


The SIU-100 system expansion interface for Sony's ( DMX-R100 digital console features a 160×160-channel audio-routing matrix and format-converter function (analog, AES3, TDIF, S/PDIF, ADAT, MADI), plus eight slots to accommodate all DMX-R100 option boards. In addition to front panel operation, the unit offers PC/Mac control via Ethernet and 100-snapshot memory/recall.


“The Remote” SR-8000 from Brainstorm Electronics (distributed by plus24; is a multi-machine remote that controls up to eight machines via serial and MMC commands. The unit communicates with various synchronizer modules, DAWs and hard disk recorders connected to a breakout box by a single cable. Features include 100 memory registers (each with In and Out points), track-arming, 24-track status display, 10 user-defined “F” keys, and programmable offset, auto punch, loop (repeat), rehearse and ADR beeps. Also standard are illuminated transport keys, a precision jog/shuttle wheel, full-sized numeric keypad, large 80-character LCD and 8-digit timecode reader.


Universal Audio's ( 2192 Dual DA/AD Converter is a single-rackspace, 192kHz device that provides simple front panel controls, yet offers deep flexibility in signal routing and monitoring. For example, the unit accepts analog inputs at sample rates from 44.1k to 192k Hz, and can simultaneously output to AES/EBU (single- or dual-wire modes), S/PDIF and ADAT — with industry-standard S-MUX interleaving for sample rates above 48kHz. The output monitor is selectable among any of the digital inputs or the analog input, without interruption to the transcoding.


Digital Music Systems' ( DigiSAM storage, editing and playback system combines a 1U Windows NT computer and a flat-panel touchscreen to record from balanced TRS or S/PDIF ins, or rip CDs from its 24x drive, tweak files and automate playlists. The standard version stores up to 130 hours of 44.1k stereo and can be expanded to 100,000 minutes.


The miniature CUB-01 cardioid boundary mic from Sanken (distributed by Plus24; overcomes the limitations of previous boundary mic designs, producing a rich, full-bodied sound. Thanks to its cardioid directional characteristics, narration and dialog are clearly recorded while unnecessary background noise is eliminated. The CUB-01's small size allows for discreet placement in film work using double-sided tape.