Tools of the Trade

ANTARES AVOX VOCAL PROCESSOR This slick-looking vocal toolkit from Antares ( comprises five separate vocal processing plug-ins. Throat

This slick-looking vocal toolkit from Antares ( comprises five separate vocal processing plug-ins. Throat allows the user to process a vocal track through a physical model that can be subtle or beyond the limits of physical human anatomy. Duo is an auto-doubler that uses Antares' vocal-modeling and vibrato processing technologies to create a doubled part that sounds like a second singer. The Choir Vocal Multiplier turns a single voice into four, eight, 16 or 32 distinct, individual unison voices, each with its own pitch, timing and vibrato variations. Punch gives a vocal more dynamic impact through a combination of compression, gain, limiting and overload protection. Sybil is a de-esser using a compressor with threshold, ratio, attack and decay controls, and a sidechain. AVOX supports RTAS (Mac OS X and PC), VST (OS X and PC) and AudioUnits (OS X). Price: $599.

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Drawmer's ( 3SUM ($1,295) multiband split and sum device enables individual processing of up to three bands prior to re-summing. The stereo signal is split into two or three frequency-adjustable bands, which can be sent to external processors before returning to the 3SUM where they are re-combined. The 3SUM employs a high-quality signal path culminating in a variable threshold, brickwall limiter section with bypass facility. The limiter employs a two-stage design, applying different processing to the material's high-frequency content. In applications where the material's dynamics need to be retained to create an open sound, the limiter is used for catching peaks.

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The latest clock from Antelope (, the OCX-V ($2,695) is based on a discrete oven-controlled crystal oscillator, and provides up to 8x lower jitter and 100x higher stability than other master clocks, and can lock to atomic clock for ultimate precision. The unit features Antelope's proprietary Jitter Management Module, which reduces jitter to undetectable levels while noticeably improving any connected device's sound quality. The OCX-V locks to PAL, NTSC and 20 HDTV standards. International pull-ups and pull-downs are also supported. Format conversion is simplified with a built-in video sync generator and a unique video Gearboxing mode.

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Coyote R&D ( has released the “little computer that can”: the Musi-Can64 ($1,395). The new single-rackspace unit is an all-new 64-bit version of its multimedia rackmount PC that promises faster speeds, more disk storage and whisper-quiet operation. Every Musi-Can64 comes with the company's exclusive cross-platform NetMIDI drivers and remote-control software, enabling 256 MIDI ports per machine over high-speed network for both Macs and PCs, plus high-speed, low-CPU — utilization remote-control software, eliminating the need for a separate monitor, mouse and keyboard.

This new panner from Digidesign ( is made specifically for the ICON D-Control work surface. It features an integrated 640×480 high-resolution color LCD touchscreen, two touch-sensitive joysticks with associated punch buttons, two touch-sensitive rotary encoders with 15-segment LED rings and six mode buttons for each panner. In addition, it offers a custom assign mode for controlling non-pan — specific parameters with the touchscreen and joysticks, AutoGlide automated panning features and touchable onscreen speaker icons to place sounds at discrete sources and for “snap” automation moves. Price: $4,995.

The latest audio device from the mind of Rupert Neve ( is a 2-channel, single-rackspace “true tape” emulator and line driver. The unit incorporates an actual tape drive circuit that feeds a tiny magnetic “head,” which, in turn, is coupled to a correctly equalized replay amplifier. Record and Replay controls are counter-ganged to keep overall input-to-output level approximately constant; it only changes as it would in a real tape recorder, with varying drive levels to the circuit eventually resulting in saturation. The frequency response and distortion performance of the Portico 5042's tape circuitry is tailored to that of a typical analog tape recorder. Each of the unit's two channels is equipped with input level control, tape saturation level control, a 7.5 ips/15 ips switch and an independent bypass switch that toggles between the tape and line amplifier function, with the input level control remaining in circuit. An 8-LED meter displays input or drive level to the tape circuit. Price: $1,435.

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This vertically oriented desktop FireWire interface from Focusrite ( features onboard DSP and 24-bit/192kHz processing. The unit features four inputs (two S/PDIF) and 10 outputs (two S/PDIF), two Focusrite preamps and MIDI I/O. Also included is a suite of plug-ins featuring compression, EQ, amp modeling and monitor path reverb. Free accompanying software allows the engineer to create up to five unique stereo mixes of all incoming and recorded tracks. In addition, plug-ins are also available for use within the user's software platform. Price: $499.

The Rolls ( MX56c ($110) desktop mixer is an upgrade from the MX56s and features four inputs, including a mono ¼-inch line input, a stereo ⅛-inch (3.5mm) line input, a balanced XLR microphone input with phantom power and a stereo RCA line input. For output, the unit features stereo RCA outs, a front panel stereo ⅛-inch (3.5mm) headphone output and a ¼-inch unbalanced mono line-level out. The unit is powered via a 9V battery or the Rolls PS27 12VDC adapter (included).

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KORG D3200
Proving that recording keeps getting better and cheaper, Korg's ( D3200 ($1,799) digital multitrack recorder operates at 16- or 24-bit resolution at sample rates of either 44.1 or 48 kHz, provides up to 32 tracks of digital audio playback and can record up to 12 tracks at once. The surface features two new ways to facilitate operation: a 4×4 Knob Matrix of assignable real-time control knobs and ClickPoint, an innovative new three-axis fingertip navigation tool. In addition, a high-resolution 320×240-pixel tilt-up LCD provides a clear icon-driven display that uses four-level grayscale shading and backlit illumination for enhanced visibility. The unit offers a flexible 12-bus, 44-channel mixer with up to 69-bit internal processing resolution; a 4-band parametric peak/shelving EQ on 24 channels and the master outputs; automated mixing; 100 scene memories; and sophisticated digital editing. There are also 11 high-quality effects (eight insert, two master and one final) with 128 presets and 128 slots for user entries.

Need a tech or training for digital audio gear? Call Obedia ( The remote tech company has now made it easier than ever to get your gear in order with “Tech-in-a-Box.” The new product allows customers to create their own Obedia account and then use the hotline to dial directly into Obedia's team of technical experts and receive a response in a guaranteed time of 10 minutes or less. It features a “tips and tricks” reference card for both Mac and Windows users and a phone card with a unique direct-dial hotline number. Tech-in-a-Box comes in two formats — 60 minutes and 140 minutes — both offering significant savings over standard rates. Each card can be recharged anytime with extra minutes at the rate by simply calling the hotline and giving your account number. The first time you recharge, you also get an extra 10 minutes free. Prices: $99, 60 minutes; and $199, 140 minutes.