Tools of the Trade

NEW APPLE G5S The latest and fastest G5s are now available from Apple (, with every model featuring dual 64-bit PowerPC G5 processors. Other
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The latest and fastest G5s are now available from Apple (, with every model featuring dual 64-bit PowerPC G5 processors. Other features include advanced liquid cooling, 8x DVD-R and three PCI slots. Units range from an entry model using dual 1.8GHz processors ($1,999) up to a dual 2.5GHz unit ($2,999). The new G5s can run Apple's new monster 30-inch flat-panel monitor ($3,299). The new monitor demands so much bandwidth that it calls for the optional NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card with two DVI interfaces, also available from Apple.

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The affordable, bus-powered UA-25 from Edirol ( delivers audio and MIDI signals to/from the computer via a single USB connection. It features phantom powered mic preamps on TRS/XLR combo inputs, a hi-Z switch for instrument level signals, S/PDIF I/O, RCA outs, TRS balanced I/Os, a direct monitoring switch for low-latency recording and an onboard limiter. Drivers are available for cross-platform use and include ASIO 2.0, WDM, Core Audio and Mac OS native. Price: $295.


iZ Technology ( has released new feature-rich software for its RADAR 24 hard disk recorder. Features include Red Book CD burning, sample rate conversion, FAT32 and HFS drive format support, CD-R-to-DVD-R export, Broadcast .WAV file export and a file browser. Also new are extended 9-pin support for direct and fast file location, Sony Blue Laser Optical and Iomega REV drive backup support, and a boost in the increased number of available projects from 99 to 999. Price: $99.


The Aphex ( Model 228 8-channel unidirectional audio level interface offers high-quality interfacing between consumer- and pro-level components. The single-rackspace 228 adds pro +4dBu outputs to consumer and semi-pro gear ranging from multichannel DVD players to converters and outboard devices, with XLR balanced outs and ground loop — isolating unbalanced RCA inputs. Retail is $349, including a test CD of calibration reference levels.


Those duping with Disc Makers ( Reflex towers will be interested in the new USB 2.0 connect package. The new package offers direct connection to a Mac or PC, facilitating the burning of a master directly from the computer's hard drive. The Reflex USB 2.0 connect package is included free with the Reflex1 duplicator and is $139 for the ReflexPro4 and ReflexPro7.


Offering portable and small-footprint drive storage, the SmartDisk ( FireFly USB 2.0 20GB portable hard drive is about the size of a deck of playing cards. The unit supports USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 host systems and is Mass Storage Class — compliant, freeing the user from having to load drivers before use. Supported platforms include Windows 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP; Mac OS 8.6 to 9.x; and Mac OS X 10.1 or higher. Price: $189.


Targeted at heavy-duty environments in which Cat-5 quickly runs through its nine lives, Pro Co's ( ProCat cable is designed to meet or exceed all standard Cat-5 — compliance specifications. The outer jacket is made of over-molded 6.86mm PVC and the 5.72mm inner jacket contains four color-coded, twisted-pair 24 AWG stranded-copper conductors as a standard cable. ProCat is available in bulk and custom and standard lengths and terminations, including any combination of RJ-45 and Neutrik Ethercon connectors.

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The SPL ( MixDream is an active, cascadable 16×2 analog outboard summing bus offering 16 inserts with individual and overall hardware bypass relays. This two-rackspace, Class-A unit also features a stereo limiter/expander, switchable master inserts with gain and switchable Lundahl output transformers. I/O is provided on Tascam-standard DB25 connectors with the main and monitor stereo outs on XLRs. The back of the unit is also home to a ground lift, voltage selector (110/220) and a power switch. Price: $3,795.


The new single-rackspace drive enclosure from ACARD ( holds up to four hard drives and is cascadable with other 3020s for up to 15 TB of storage. The ARS-3020 supports Ultra160 LVD SCSI for transfer rates up to 160 MB/s. For even more cost-effective performance, ACARD's SCSIDE technology can turn an IDE drive into a highly efficient SCSI drive. The company also offers three PCI cards: the AEC-67160 single-channel Ultra160 SCSI adapter (PC, $69), AEC-67162 2-channel Ultra160 SCSI adapter (PC, $139) and the AEC-67162M 2-channel Ultra160 SCSI adapter for Mac ($159).


The new German-made Nuendo controller from WK Audio ( features 12 100mm motorized faders at 12-bit resolution, 12 small faders, 40 encoders with key function, trackball, ASCII keyboard, jog wheel, 30-segment meter bridge (24-channel and eight master meters) and a digital control room remote. The system is expandable by adding up to four fader packs, allowing for up to 120 channels. Also available are optional wood side panels, stand and joystick. Price: $16,995.


The Roxio ( Toast CD/DVD burning software has all of the same features as Toast 6 Titanium with a number of extras, including BIAS Peak 4 Express mastering and mixing software. Other features include the ability to share CD or DVD burners across a network, universal audio and video-file conversion, and Deja Vu for automatic data backup to CD or DVD with compression and encryption. The package is also bundled with Dolby Digital encoding/decoding software. Price: $199.


For those wanting to capture audio well above the audible spectrum, the new CO-100K omnidirectional condenser mic from Sanken ( boasts a frequency response from 20 Hz to 100 kHz. The fixed-omni mic can take more than 137 dB (1% THD) of SPL and outputs less than 22 dB of self-noise (A-weighted). Price: $1,895.


Nuendo users looking for a quality three-to-one knockdown of their surround mixes or any other audio track will want to check out the new Nuendo-resident DTS Encoder. The encoder uses the Nuendo export dialog, which allows exports to be processed faster than real time. The encoder also creates additional discrete .WAV files of the exported audio corresponding to the number of encoded and internally decoded channels and automatically places them on newly created tracks in the Nuendo project. This lets users monitor the complete encoding/decoding process on a per-channel basis. Visit


Bargain hunters will love these three new affordable plugs from Levelground Media. Titled Vintasion 2.0, Fattenizer 2.0 and CrunchEQ 1.0, the trio features revamped interfaces, 64-bit internal processing and serial- or parallel-processing routing options to provide an unlimited set of processing effects. All three plugs support all AudioUnits — host environments and are available for purchase from Price: $54.95.


For those lamenting that the sheer size of the new G5 is too wide for 19-inch rackmounting, Marathon ( has an answer. The new rack assembly allows the computer to be mounted horizontally, is only six rack units tall and is constructed of lightweight aluminum and steel to prevent sagging. It features ball-bearing, telescoping sliderails, allowing easy access to the case interior and rear panel connections and can adjust to rack depths from 21 to 34 inches (front to rear rail). The unit is easy to install and retails at $250.

SENNHEISER EH150/250/350

Fresh from Summer NAMM, this trio of headphones from Sennheiser ( delivers pro performance at an affordable price. The EH150 and EH250 offer a sealed design, while the EH350 uses Sennheiser's trademark Open-Aire design. All three units feature high-quality, 10-foot oxygen-free copper cables, and are priced at $59.95, $99.95 and $139.95, respectively.

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Designed specifically to offer extended digital bandwidth to the XLogic Channel rackmount unit, the new internally mounted card draws on SSL's ( C Series digital console technology. The expander includes an allowance for varispeed and pull-up/down frequency operation and accepts external sync from 32 to 200 kHz. It also has a selectable fixed-clock sample frequency in Master mode (44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz at 24 bits), and one ADC card can be shared between two XLogic Channel units. Price: $650.

Upgrades and Updates

Yamaha ( offers V. 2 software for the 01V96 digital console as a free download for current users (included in new production models). New features include Studio Manager V. 2, application-specific functions, the ability to run Yamaha's Add-On Effects and expanded DAW control…Apogee Digital ( is shipping its X-HD card. The interface allows AD-16X, DA-16X, Rosetta 800 or Rosetta 200 owners to connect directly to a Pro Tools|HD or Accel system core card, eliminating the need for Digi HD I/O…BIAS ( has released its previously Mac-only audio restoration software Soundsoap ($99) and Soundsoap Pro ($599) for the PC platform. SoundSoap is designed for the consumer/hobbyist, while SoundSoap Pro targets the high-end digital video, film, broadcast and multimedia pro…Mackie's Mackie Control Universal Extender now supports the newly released V. 2.2 of both Cubase SX/SL and Nuendo. Visit for more details…Universal Audio ( has announced that the UAD-1 Project Pak and Studio Pak will include a special version of FXpansion's VST-RTAS adapter, designed exclusively for Universal Audio to enable the UAD-1 DSP card to be used with Digidesign Pro Tools (PC and Mac). Supported systems include M-Box, 001, 002, Mix|24 or HD running System 6…Steinberg's Halion 3 is now shipping worldwide and is available for $399 from authorized dealers. Check it out at…The Audio Ease ( BarbaBatch 4.0 is an upgrade of its audio file converter for OS 9 and OS X. Added file formats include Red Book CD, including extraction of separate songs, Sonic Solutions 32-bit files and Broadcast .WAV, including annotations and timestamps…Ready for the new 64-bit world, M-Audio ( has released new Audio64 drivers for its Delta and FireWire series of audio interfaces. The drivers will allow full compatibility with Microsoft's imminent Windows XP 64-bit and “Longhorn” operating systems…PreSonus is now shipping the promised CSR-1 ($199.95 retail) optional remote for the Central Station studio control center. See for details…Digigram ( has resized its PCX924v2, PCX22v2 and VX222v2 stereo sound cards to fit the short-length PCI format. With a length of only 175 mm, the boards now fit 5V, 5V+3.3V or 3.3V PCI buses, as well as computers with PCI-X bus. The new cards are fully compatible with existing drivers for the original longer versions…Spectrasonics has released new Windows/RTAS-compatible updates of its Trilogy, Stylus and Atmosphere plug-ins. The software is a free download for registered users from the Spectrasonics Website,