Tools of the Trade

VOXENGO SONIFORMER 2.2 New from Voxengo (, Soniformer 2.2 is a mastering tool that adds M/S encoding of L/R stereo signals into mid and


New from Voxengo (, Soniformer 2.2 is a mastering tool that adds M/S encoding of L/R stereo signals into mid and side channels, which can then be compressed or expanded as needed. After processing is performed, the M/S signal is converted into a L/R signal. Additional features include spectral compression, gain-change meters, 32-band spectrum analysis, two level-detector types, mono-to-stereo processing and up to 192kHz sample rate support. Price: $59.


Long out of production, Altec ( has reissued its classic Voice of the Theatre A7-500 speaker as the Legacy A7. The two-way bass-reflex enclosure is identical to the dimensions of its older counterpart, but constructed of 13-layer Baltic birch in a rugged black-splatter finish. Legacy A7 was acoustically matched to an original A7 using a 15-inch 515-8G woofer paired to a 511B sectoral horn — mountable internally or atop the cabinet — with a 1-inch exit 902-8T HF driver and a passive crossover for an improved top-end response (35-22k Hz). U.S. price: $4,300, shipping included.


Mindprint's ( En-Voice Mk II tube preamp/EQ/compressor channel strip puts optional USB interfacing, 24-bit/96kHz conversion into a single-rackspace chassis. Features include line/instrument/mic input with phantom power, a balanced insert point, 80Hz switchable low-cut filter, 3-band parametric EQ, tube compressor with adjustable saturation and eight attack/release presets, a low-cut sidechain filter and TRS/XLR balanced analog out.


The new FA-101 10×10 FireWire audio interface from Edirol ( offers support for Mac OS X (Panther) and WDM or ASIO support for Windows XP. This 24-bit half-rack audio interface can draw power directly from a FireWire port and records 10×10 at 96 kHz or 6×6 at 192 kHz. I/Os include 8×8 analog with two 48V preamps, stereo optical S/PDIF, MIDI I/O and a ¼-inch headphone output with built-in direct-through mixing capabilities for low-latency monitoring. Price: $695.


Dishwalla drummer George Pendergast has released Essential Rhythm, a diverse assortment of grooves, breaks and fills organized by tempo. The royalty-free $49.95 collection can be used with Acid or any .WAV-compatible audio program, including Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Reason and more. The set also includes samples of Summercamp bassist Misha Feldman, percussionist Chester Coolie (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) and engineer/guitarist/producer Thom Flowers. Hear it at


Unnatural Rhythm from Cycling '74 ( is a library of organic, extended-form grooves produced by Ron MacLeod that range from heavily processed tracks to tribal, mechanical pounding to syncopated sounds inspired by '70s-era Buchla and Serge modular synths. The 24-bit .WAV files are provided in 48 kHz for DVD and film and 44.1kHz versions for compatibility with music composition tools. The release also includes 24-bit REX-formatted versions of all applicable loops for use within Reason or any 24-bit REX-compatible audio sequencer. Price: $99.


Giving audio multiplatformers a leg-up in load-up time, Granted Software's AudioUnit Manager 1.0 for Mac OS X is available as a free download at The freebie organizes AudioUnits into sets so that users can load just the AudioUnits they need for a particular application. A command line option allows users to select a set in an AppleScript before launching an AudioUnit host.

Image placeholder title


Looking pretty good for 50, Sennheiser's ( MD 21 dynamic microphone takes one last bow in a limited production of 100 units. The original MD 21U offered uniform frequency response and was used for both speech and music broadcasting. It features an omnidirectional response, an integral desktop stand and is highly insensitive to pop/wind noise. Price: $399.

MPCSOUNDS ETHNIC HIP HOP COLLECTION's latest sound collection for Akai MPC1000/2000/XL/3000/LE/4000 drum machines has more than 30 melodic ethnic instruments (ranging from kanun to dagoba to Tibetan temple) and 21 ethnic percussion instruments such as talking drum, djembe and cajón. It's available in Turbo and Regular versions. Turbo has 670 stereo percussion sounds mapped out across all MPC banks and pads. All percussion is multi-sampled and mapped across the MPC pads in both major and minor scales, allowing easy creation of riffs. Prices start at $29.95.


Offering solutions for post, broadcast and studios, Dolby's ( Model 585 is an advanced, real-time audio time-scaler for multichannel audio (up to eight channels), providing high-quality pitch correction. The $8,000 unit processes PCM audio from any multichannel system, with special consideration for supporting decoded Dolby E and Dolby Digital audio and their associated metadata. The eight audio channels can support multiple individual audio programs such as 5.1 +2, four stereo pairs or eight mono channels, and all other Dolby E program configuration modes.

Image placeholder title


For the high-end audio user seeking an all-in-one extension solution, the Gefen ( CAT5-9000 accommodates a diverse selection of peripherals, including a monitor, two audio lines and a microphone, plus PS/2, USB and RS-232 peripherals. Components are extended through small rackmountable send/receiver units positioned locally at the computer and remotely at the workstation. They are then connected by Cat-5 cables, which allow peripherals to be distanced by hundreds of feet. Price: $995.


pcAudioLabs' ( Video Manual and Tutorial: Volume 1 CD-ROM has nearly three hours of video instruction on the Nuendo mixer and related features. Topics include VST multitrack setup, VST connections, mixer overview, using inserts, EQs and sends, audio recording/routing/signal flow, MIDI, VST instruments and ReWire, surround mixing and more. Price: $49.


This 2-channel version of Apogee's ( Rosetta 800 outdoes its big brother by offering the CODA Audio Finishing Module, a trio of tools that includes Aptomizer (a level normalizer), sample rate conversion and UV22HR dithering. The Rosetta also includes up to 192 kHz of support with Apogee's Intelliclock, MIDI I/O, and two channels of AES, S/PDIF (co-ax and optical) and ADAT/SMUX I/O. Options include Soft Limit digital overload protection, a FireWire expansion card and a card for direct connection to Pro Tools|HD and Mix systems. Price: $1,995.


New from Trillium Lane (, TL Space — the first TDM-based convolution reverb — can harness up to eight Pro Tools|HD DSP engines in parallel to deliver smooth, low-latency convolution processing. Internally, TL Space uses 32-bit block, floating-point processing for maximum sonic fidelity. When used with Pro Tools|HD Accel systems, it provides zero latency processing, essential for live studio work. Designed for Mac OS X or Windows XP, it includes a comprehensive library of high-quality sampled reverb spaces and effects, and can easily import existing impulse responses in common convolution formats.

Image placeholder title


Looking like Pharaoh's answer to Auralex, Triple P Designs' (dist. by Independent Audio, U.S.-made monitors are purposely limited in frequency response to emulate consumer playback systems on TVs, boom boxes, computer speakers and car stereos. The concept is nothing new, but now it can be done in style. Price: $299.


Supercharged, user-configurable audio PCs from Alienware ( come with AMD or Intel processors and feature quick-release drive bays, dual processors, whisper-quiet operation, upgradeable architecture, unique CardKeeper retention devices and more. Systems ship within seven days and can be preloaded with software, including Nuendo, Sonar 3, Project 5, Adobe Audition, Acid, Vegas, Reason, Ableton Live 3 and more.


The first to fill a niche that's been empty since the inception of Pro Tools 6, SRS Labs ( announces a Circle Surround encoding software plug-in for Digidesign's Pro Tools. The $795 plug allows Pro Tools users to offer multichannel surround sound to their clients — without leaving the host app.


From Rain Design (, the folks who created the slick, futuristic iGO, comes iLap. The all-aluminum stand is adjustable for lap and desktop use and keeps your Mac/PC notebook computer (and your legs!) cool by raising it off the worksurface, letting airflow cool the unit. The price for 12/15/17-inch models is $49.90, $59.90 and $69.90, respectively.


For studios upgrading to plasma displays, OmniMount ( offers the U3TILT plasma mounting system. The U3 secures up to 63-inch/200-pound plasma displays and features a sliding wall plate designed for mounting to wall studs 16 to 24 inches on-center. Price: $249.


ClearSonic's ( Sorber S5-2L panels ($180) are 24×66×1.6-inch, freestanding, acoustic absorption baffles made from two sections of compressed Fiberglas inserted into a heavy-duty cloth case with a center hinge. Retail is $180, and smaller 44-inch S4-2 units are also available at $120 each. Units set up and tear down in seconds. Multiple units tack together to grow with your needs and are available in light or dark gray.


The SSA 2A stereo summing amp from Tube-Tech (dist. by TC Electronic, was designed to bring the warm sound of tube mixing amplifiers to any digital audio mix. Eight stereo inputs and one stereo output are summed together with low-noise, low-distortion tube amps. Retail is $3,895. Tube-Tech also debuts the MMC 1A, which combines a mic preamp with a multiband tube compressor. The unit's flexible inputs include a ¼-inch hi-Z instrument jack, a Lundahl transformer-equipped mic stage (with 69 dB of gain and variable impedance control) and a line-level jack for accessing the compressor directly. The 3-band optical compressor has adjustable crossover points for setting the dynamics action, and the unit has a list of $3,995.


E-mu Systems ( debuts the 0404 Digital Audio System, a low-cost ($99 street), 24-bit/96kHz PCI audio interface that delivers everything needed to record, mix and playback audio from a PC. The 0404 works with all major PC audio/sequencer apps, offering ¼-inch analog I/O, MIDI and S/PDIF (optical and co-ax) digital I/O and all of the hardware-accelerated effects, mixing and monitoring of E-mu's 1820M/1820/1212M systems. It ships with comprehensive ASIO 2.0 and WDM drivers and a software package that includes SFX Machine LT and Steinberg's Cubasis and WaveLab Lite.

Image placeholder title


Telefunken North America ( has completed its entire series of microphones that re-create the legendary vintage Telefunken sound. Detailed reverse-engineering has produced meticulous reissues of the classic Telefunken mics, including precious new-old-stock vacuum tubes. The mics include wooden mic box, flight case, external power supply, swivel connector cable and five-year limited warranty. Now shipping, the series (pictured left to right) includes the U47M (Short Body), U47M (Long Body), Ela M251 (with AC701K tube) Limited Edition, stereo Ela M270, the Ela M251E (with 6072A tube), Ela M12 and the Ela M14, with the latter being the first in a new line of affordably priced studio mics. Prices range from $2,995 to $14,995 and more.


Version 1.2 operating system for HHB's ( PortaDrive location audio recorder offers enhanced metadata support, Ethernet data transfer and the ability to record directly in Pro Tools V. 5 format and simultaneous recording to an external disc…Apogee's ( AD-16X and DA-16X converters are now shipping. The converters feature sampling up to 192k, the C777 clocking technology from Apogee's Big Ben, a redesigned power supply and analog section, and direct connectivity to Pro Tools|HD with the X-HD card…Applied Acoustics Systems ( now offers the Lounge Lizard EP-2 V. 2.0.1 update, which adds MIDI controller range mapping, improved support for parameter names on the control surface, better performance in RTAS plug-in format and various bug fixes. The update is free to current EP-2 users, $49 as an upgrade from EP-1 or $199 as a new purchase…Summer's almost gone but until the end of August, you can still take advantage of a great buy-one-get-one-free offer from IK Multimedia: Any purchase or upgrade of T-RackS or AmpliTube (Digidesign Bundle or full versions) qualifies you for the other — absolutely free. Visit for details…PowerFX just released three collections of CD-ROMs in the Apple Loops Disc Jams Series optimized for Apple's Soundtrack and GarageBand. Included are Rock and Pop Trio (acoustic drums, bass, and lead and rhythm guitars), Street Stylin' (urban-themed loops with synth basses, guitars, keys and beats) and Session Percussion (percussion loops for any genre). It's $49 from www.powerfx.comTC Electronic has released software V. 1.11 for Reverb 4000 and a Mac OS X version of the TC ICON editor program used to control it. The upgrade includes emulations of popular presets from the M5000 and increases the sampling rate to 96 kHz. The update and ICON editor are available as free downloads at has updated its Nuendo and Cubase DAWs. Version 2.2 of Nuendo, Cubase SX and Cubase SL will offer new remote-control features; Cubase SX and Nuendo also receive three new VST plug-ins. Get the free upgrade at www.steinberg.netSpinAudio's RoomVerb M2 reverb audio plug-in now supports Mac OS X with the release of V. 2.1, available in VST and AudioUnit formats. A free demo version is available at www.spinaudio.comPropellerhead Software has announced a special limited-time offer allowing Reason Adapted users to upgrade to the full Reason 2.5 for $299. Read all about it at