Tools of the Trade - Mixonline

Tools of the Trade

GENELEC 8200/7200 SERIES DSP MONITORS Genelec ( has jumped into the DSP speaker control game with the introduction of its 8200 Series
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Genelec ( has jumped into the DSP speaker control game with the introduction of its 8200 Series bi-amplified active monitors and 7200 Series active subwoofers. All employ the company's proprietary DSP (Digital Signal Processing), GLM™ (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager software) and AutoCal™ (Automated Calibration software) technologies. The 8240A ($1,595 each) features a 6.5-inch woofer and ¾-inch tweeter with a free-field frequency response of 48 to 20k Hz (±1 dB). Peak SPL per pair is 115 dB driven by a pair of 90-watt amplifiers for each driver. The 8250A ($2,550 each) offers an 8-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter set with a free-field frequency response of 38 to 20k Hz (±1 dB). Peak SPL per pair is 120 dB, driven by 150W LF and 120W HF amplifiers. The 7260A ($2,950) sub features a single 10-inch proprietary driver with a 120W power amplifier. The monitors can operate in one of three modes: stand-alone, using settings from the onboard DIP switches; GLM computer-assisted, where the DIP switches are bypassed and controlled by GLM through the network; or stand-alone GLM, where each speaker stores its own settings independent of the network.

Building on lineage provided by the legendary M49 microphone from the 1950s, Neumann ( has created the TLM49 ($1,699), a large-diaphragm cardioid mic optimized for vocal and speech recording. Like the original M49, the TLM49's high frequencies are more directional than lower frequencies; however, the pattern leans more to the hypercardioid (vs. straight cardioid) due to capsule construction. The capsule is the 34mm K 47, the same used in Neumann's U47 and M49. The sensitivity of the mic at 1 kHz into 1k-ohm is 12 mV/Pa, and it will take up to 110dB SPL with less than 0.5% THD.

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Yes, it's true! Users can record eight tracks of high-quality audio to a box about the size of a digital camera. The MINIR82 from Sonosax ( records from 44.1kHz/16-bit up to 192kHz/24-bit audio on a Compact Flash card, and offers many other pro features including 0.1% pull-up/down, BWF file capability, metadata storage and 2x high-quality microphone preamps with limiter and LF cut, 2x line inputs, 8x digital inputs and full timecode functionalities.

Had he been burning CDs at the South Pole, Ernest Shackleton would have loved Primera's ( TuffCoat with AquaGard, which promises to protect printed CDs and DVDs from runs, smudges or smears when exposed to rain, snow and spilled liquids. Discs can be printed with any inkjet CD/DVD printer and will remain legible even under the most dire of circumstances.

Three new drum sample sets from Smart Loops ( are available via download for use with Cakewalk's Dimension Pro sampler (Mac/PC) or any software sampler that can load WAV files. SL Acoustic Kit, SL Thunder Kit and SL Trap Kit ($39 each, or $89 for all three) provide the user with a complete drum kit, including toms, hi-hats, crash cymbals, ride cymbal, china cymbals, splash cymbals, cymbal chokes, cymbal rolls and cymbal swells. Each SL sample set includes multiple velocity layers and multisample mappings for Dimension Pro.

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The Speakerphone plug-in from Audio Ease ( is perfect for those times when the user honestly wants something to sound bad (on purpose, of course!). Speakerphone emulates authentic speakers of any size together with their natural environments and will simulate a bad GSM connection on a busy sidewalk, a bullhorn with feedback and a helicopter overhead, or a 1952 rockabilly guitar amp in a recording studio. It will also add dial tones, operators and static, and the user can select from a wealth of ambiences on either the caller's or receiver's end. With a click, the user can send anything from the sample-playback bay right to the cursor in a user's Pro Tools track. The user can call up one of the hundreds of carefully crafted and archived presets, or click on Show Controls and the whole dashboard slides out with the most minute detail.

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Piling gear on Great GRAMMA is usually no way to treat a lady, but in this case, it provides excellent isolation of large instrument cabinets from the floor. The Great GRAMMA (Gig and Recording, Amp and Monitor, Modulation Attenuator; $119) from Auralex ( is an isolation platform that is 30×19×2 inches (L×W×H) and exceeds the 300-pound load capacity of the original GRAMMA. The new system comes complete with a carrying handle, road-ready carpet, Studiofoam Wedges (underneath) and PlatFoam (underneath).

AMS Neve ( expanded its 88 range of outboard gear with the 8803 ($1,850) dual-channel equalizer and filter. The single-rack unit uses EQ circuits based on the classic Neve 8108 design with enhancements to the frequency and Q ranges. Signal flows from the balanced inputs and ± 20 dB of trim to two 12dB/octave filters. The highpass filter has a variable corner frequency from 25 to 300 Hz, while the LPF offers a range of 3 to 15 kHz. Four bands of EQ offer selectable shelving and switchable Q on high and low bands, and continuously variable Q on the mids. Frequency selection is continuously variable on all bands, with ranges of 33 to 440 Hz, 120 to 2k Hz, 0.8 to 9 kHz and 1.5 to 18 kHz. The 8803 forms part of a family of products with the 8816 summing mixer and 8804 fader pack. The 88 range features recallable settings, a USB port connecting the unit to either a PC or a Mac, and software used to store and recall settings.

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Mixing liquid and electronics is usually a bad thing, but not with the Focusrite (dist. in the U.S. by American Music & Sound, Liquid Mix ($999). The versatile, 32-channel hardware device with onboard DSP can host 32 classic EQs and 32 vintage compressors selected from a pool of high-quality vintage and modern-day classics. The units can be mixed and matched within a processor; for instance, a 7-band EQ can be constructed from separate EQ sections in each of the unit's 32 channels. Each channel appears as a separate VST/Audio Units/RTAS effect within the sequencer and will work within all major applications, including Pro Tools. Liquid Mix's DSP is housed within a desktop controller that connects to a computer via FireWire, which also provides bus power. Users can control each channel from the desktop unit or from within a sequencer using a GUI that functions like a plug-in. An optional expansion card (sold separately) increases the number of available channels at higher sample rates. The Mac version is shipping now, with a PC version soon to be released.

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Audio-Technica ( has come up with an innovative and price-busting mic in its 30 Series: the AT3060 ($499) phantom-powered tube microphone. The mic operates on standard 48V phantom power, eliminating the need for a separate power supply and cable, and boasts a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser element, offering high sensitivity and low overall noise levels. The AT3060 ships with an AT8458 shock-mount and a protective pouch.

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For the first time, the words “ADAM Audio” ( and “below $1,000” can be said in a single sentence. The A7 two-way near-field studio monitors ($999 a pair) feature the company's A.R.T (Accelerated Ribbon Technology) folded ribbon tweeter with a state-of-the-art 6.5-inch carbon-fiber woofer powered by two 50W amplifiers. The front panel features a power switch and detented volume knob, while the rear panel offers controls for tweeter level and two high- and low-frequency shelving filters. Input is provided via balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) connectors.

This innovative product from SoundTech ( allows users to plug their guitar, bass, keyboard or other electronic instruments directly into a PC or Mac without using a sound card. The cable features an imbedded A/D converter and signal booster, and features simple “live when lit” operation, a ¼-inch-to-mini adapter and ¼-inch male-to-dual-¼-inch female splitter. It is compliant with USB 2, and works with Win 98 SE/Win ME/Win 2000/Win XP and Mac OS 9/X without an additional driver; driver software is included for older non-plug-and-play — compliant computers. Price: $6.

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M-Audio ( has launched another high-end product into orbit with its Sputnik ($699) tube microphone. The Sputnik features a military-grade 6250M vacuum tube, 3-micron evaporated-gold Mylar diaphragm, solid brass construction, and selectable cardioid, omni and figure-8 polar patterns. Borrowing a design idea or two from vintage mics, Sputnik has its tube mounted upside down to facilitate shorter connections that in turn make for more controlled impedance and less stray capacitance. The mic employs a socketless design, eliminating the potential for impedance mismatch, signal deterioration and contact corrosion, and features a precision-machined, solid-brass back plate that yields much greater crucial rigidity. To ensure consistent operation throughout the production run, each tube is handpicked and then burned in for a week.

( has released Version 5 of Boom Recorder,
a Mac OS X — based software field recorder specifically designed for
use on a film set or during live performances. It can record up to 32
channels from a high-resolution audio interface and is now Universal
Binary — compatible…Merging Technologies ( now offers V. 1.2 software for its VCube SD and HD-2K
hard disk video recorder/player systems. The upgrade is free of charge
to all users, and offers new features such as support of MPEG-2,
playback of HD video, and easy adjustment of picture format, frame
rate, pixel aspect ratio, synchronization and reference signals in just
two mouse clicks…MOTU ( is now shipping a PCIe version of its PCI-424,
allowing users of MOTU's flagship PCI-based recording system for Mac
and PC to take full advantage of today's fastest PCIe-equipped Macs and
PCs…Spectrasonics' ( Stylus RMX is now supported on Apple Computer's new Intel Macintosh platform.
The new version of Stylus RMX supports all Mac OS X Universal Binary
VST and Audio Unit hosts, including Logic Pro 7.2, GarageBand 3,
Ableton Live 5.2 and others…Making diamonds even more valuable, Waves ( has added Q-Clone to its Diamond bundle,
adding $1,000 of value to the bundle with no additional charge. The
company has also announced the availability of Universal versions of
its entire line for Intel-based Macs…Speaking of drivers, M-Audio ( is now offering support for Apple's new Intel-based Mac computers
for its complete line of FireWire- and USB-compatible peripherals…Live
recorders, film and video post Pro Tools users will want to check out
the previously PC-only reNOVAtor from Algorithmix (
The high-resolution processor can remove unwanted disturbances from
audio tracks without audibly affecting the original program, even if
the impairment overlaps desired material…Steinberg Media Technologies ( has updated the EuCon adapter module
for its Nuendo media production system to V. 3.2. The new version
further extends the Nuendo functionality that can be directly
controlled by Euphonix's MC and System 5-MC products. The best news is
that it is available at no cost for registered owners of the Nuendo
EuCon adapter…Prism Sound ( has launched a major update to its dScope
audio test system software. Key features include dB SPL units,
measurement mic sensitivity and frequency-response calibration, impulse
response by MLS and swept-sine method, and dynamic LS impedance
measurement via an external ballast resistor in series with EUT.