Tools of the Trade

EDIROL R-4 PRO RECORDER The highly skilled big brother to the portable R-4 handheld recorder, Edirol's R-4 Pro (, $1,595) provides the ability
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The highly skilled big brother to the portable R-4 handheld recorder, Edirol's R-4 Pro (, $1,595) provides the ability to slave to or act as a master to any device via SMPTE timecode. The 4-channel recorder also features AES/EBU I/O (XLR), 4-channel analog I/O (XLR combo), DC input for an external battery, USB 2 backup, individual monitoring of its four channels and uncompressed recording up to 96kHz/24-bit. The internal 80GB hard drive can record approximately 116 hours at 16-bit/44.1kHz, 106 hours at 16-bit/48kHz, 70 hours at 24-bit/48kHz, 34 hours at 16-bit/96kHz and 30 hours at 24-bit/96kHz. The four inputs include phantom-powered mic preamps with individual gain control and an onboard limiter as a safety net against sudden transient peaks. The R-4 Pro includes built-in omni mics and a pre-record function that captures audio before the Record button is pushed.

The latest preamp from Buzz Audio ( is Elixir ($895), a Class-A unit with a transformerless input coupled with a Lundahl transformer on the output. Designed to fit into the API 500 Series rack format, Elixir offers up to 70 dB of gain, +34 dBu of output level before clipping, low noise level (-132.5dB EIN) and an upper frequency response out to 300k. Controls include an output mute switch, high- and low-input impedance selection, polarity flip, input pad and phantom power on/off. A front panel ¼-inch jack accepts instrument level input.

Said to marry the richness of a tube output with the unique transient and frequency characteristics of a ribbon mic, the TRM-6 ($499.99) tube/ribbon transducer from Nady ( features a low-tension, 45mm-long, 2-micron — thick aluminum ribbon and a 12AX7A preamp tube. The mic boasts an ultrahigh dynamic range and >135dB SPL capability. It includes a spider shock-mount, foam windscreen power supply, 33-foot XLR cable and lockable aluminum flight case.


DK-Technologies ( has released DK-Matrix for its line of high-end meters. Although DK's MSD600M and PT0660M meters are front panel — configurable, this new PC software option lets users tweak aspects of the meters to suit their needs, as well as add new features. The software allows crosspoints within the internal matrix to be set to connect the audio inputs to the outputs and to a variety of displays, such as PPM bars, the JellyFish surround sound display, phase meter and spectrum analyzer. DK-Matrix also allows input/output labeling and assigning different color/widths to the PPM bars. DK-Matrix is available to all new audio meter customers, and is included with updates to DK's new Version 5 instrument software as part of the company's SoftWare Assurance (SWA) package.


Studio and live sound engineers will be able to take the guesswork out of room setup, tuning, equalization and time-alignment problems by using the TDM TrooTrace ($495) plug-in from Troodon Technologies ( The plug features 10 audio analysis and system-alignment tools, including single- and dual-channel FFT analysis functions such as input spectrum (RTA) and spectrograph; system frequency, time and phase response; auto-delay; coherence; SnapDiff Live; and peak/RMS level meters. The interface allows the user to store and recall custom layouts, view multiple functions simultaneously and quickly zoom in on areas of interest. New signal routing features in Digidesign's VENUE D-Show 2 software allow any solo'ed instrument or mix to be sent to TrooTrace for immediate analysis.


Duping CDs and DVDs is easier than ever with Disc Makers' ( first automated tower duplicators: the ReflexAuto3 and the ReflexAuto8. Promising high-volume output with minimal interaction, the ReflexAuto8 ($4,790) lets users burn 32 DVDs or 48 CDs per hour with a 1,000-disc capacity. The ReflexAuto8 carries eight Plextor 16x DVD±R/48x CD-R drives and includes a 160GB internal hard drive. The ReflexAuto3 ($1,890) duplicates 18 DVDs or 26 CDs per hour, uses three Plextor 16x DVD±R/48x CD-R drives and includes a 160GB internal hard drive.


The AEROMAX aacPlus from Linear Acoustic (, $10,000 base price) is the first surround sound encoder and decoder to accommodate Dolby-E Metadata format directly throughout the broadcasting transmission chain. The unit is the chosen audio codec for XM Satellite Radio and is standardized across a variety of platforms as a compression format for digital audio, including DVB, MPEG, 3GPP and other international standards.

IK Multimedia's Ampeg SVX plug-in (, $399) features more than 20 bass gear emulations — including classic Ampeg bass amp models and stomp boxes — powered by AmpliTube's unique DSM (Dynamic Saturation Modeling) technology. The emulations include Ampeg amp models of the BA-500, B-15R “Portaflex,” SVT-CL and SVT-4PRO, along with six Ampeg cabinet models and six microphone simulations in four positions each. Also included are eight modeled stomp boxes, a precision tuner and support for all major plug-in platforms on Mac/PC.

“Try before you buy” can be music to your ears if you're looking for samples. has released Techno Base 1 ($99.90), a collection of 2,000 loops by seven of's top techno producers. Both Apple Loops and WAV versions (16-bit/44.1kHz) of the collection are available. By visiting the Website, users can download 80 full-quality files from the collection for free.

Taking the legacy KM line of mics into the future, Neumann ( has introduced three new digital models: the KM 183 D, KM 184 D and KM 185 D. The mics' modular construction permits the passive omnidirectional, cardioid and supercardioid capsules to be combined with the KM D output stage, with more directional options promised soon. The Neumann A/D converter from the Solution-D D-01 is located immediately next to the capsule. Integrated DSP functions — including gain, compressor/limiter and de-esser and a peak limiter — can be configured and controlled remotely via the DMI-2 digital microphone interface and the RCS remote-control software. The mics come in nickel and black Nextel finishes, and support all sampling frequencies from 44.1 to 192 kHz.

This versatile and affordable multi-effects plug-in for Mac and PC from SFX Machine ( features more than 300 presets and a preset editor, which allows users to create their own effects. Other features include host tempo sync, which facilitates locking LFO frequencies and delay line lengths to a sequencer's tempo, an output limiter, automated parameter control via a MIDI Learn interface and a Randomize button for quick effect paradigm shifts. The plug is available in VST and Audio Units formats for Mac OS X, and in VST format for Windows. Price: $199.

This new DSP-sipping plug-in from URS ( features separate compressor and EQ sections, each with separate in/out switching. The Classic Console Strip allows 12 instances per HD Accel chip, five instances per HD chip (TDM) and 48 instances at 30% CPU usage on a 2GHz Mac G5 Quad. The URS Strip Compressor digitally re-creates characteristics of a transformer input and a specially designed 1975 VCA gain-reduction amplifier. It features fully adjustable threshold, ratio and gain makeup, and has three preset attack and release settings. The EQ section offers LF and HF bands with three different frequencies, while the midrange band is fully sweepable with a selection of wide or sharp “Q” bandwidth. Prices: $499.99 (TDM, RTAS, Audio Units, VST); native, $249.99 (RTAS, Audio Units, VST).

The e 602 II ($289) cardioid dynamic mic from Sennheiser ( is designed to work with kick drums, bass guitar cabs, tubas and other low-frequency instruments. The mic is 40% lighter than its predecessor, the e 602, making it easier than ever to tuck into tight spots at the end of a boom arm. The mic also offers high-performance voice coil construction, a shock-mounted capsule, fast transient response and extended LF response, and is housed in a rugged aluminum body. The e 602 II also features a hum-compensating coil to help eliminate electrical interference, and it comes with an integrated stand-mount and protective pouch.

Muse Research ( has released new UniWire audio and MIDI networking technology in the V. 1.5 system software update for its Receptor hardware plug-in player. UniWire allows customers to offload processor-intensive tasks to Receptor while retaining complete control and integration with their computer DAW program. This way, Receptor can serve as an external, modular DSP processor that can be used as an accelerator for any desktop or laptop PC or Mac…TL Audio (dist. in the U.S. by Independent Audio, has launched the TL Audio M4/40-channel and M4/48-channel tube mixers. The new desks carry additional channels and still feature four valve stages from input to output, 4-band swept EQ, four aux sends, separate track level output, an optional ADAT interface and 24-bit/96kHz output…Sony Media Software's ( Cinescore, its new software-based soundtrack creation platform, is now shipping. The software gives videographers, photographers and broadcasters the ability to select a basic theme and then sit back while Cinescore's music-generation engine creates custom music that can be shaped to fit any project…Audio Ease ( has released a Windows RTAS and VST version of Altiverb, the convolution reverb originally released only on the Mac. The new version is available as a free download for all Altiverb 5 owners. Also on the horizon for Altiverb is a version that runs on Digidesign TDM chips, RTAS versions optimized for Pro Tools 7 and an Intel Mac — compatible version…Speaking of which, MOTU's ( Ethno Instrument V. 1 is now shipping as a Universal Binary for Intel Mac, PowerPC Mac and Windows. In a simultaneous release, V. 1.1.2 of the MOTU Symphonic Instrument is also now shipping as a Universal Binary update that includes numerous enhancements and optimizations…Steinberg Media Technologies ( is now shipping the HALion Symphonic Orchestra (HSO), a new 27GB orchestral library offering more than 1,250 orchestral string, woodwind, brass and percussion instrument patches, including a vast array of articulations and playing styles. HSO also offers state-of-the-art sampling technologies such as RealAmbience, RAMSave, Crescendo Control and more…All PreSonus ( recording systems, including Firepod, Firebox and Inspire 1394, are fully compatible with all Apple computers loaded with Intel processors. As all PreSonus recording systems are class-compliant and built into the OS X operating system, there was no need for a driver update. However, software control panels need to be updated and are now available for download…It's always nice to end this section with something free, so here goes! Ableton ( announces a free upgrade to Live Lite 5 Enhanced Edition for current Live Lite Digidesign Edition and all Ableton Live Lite M-Audio versions. Live Lite 5 Enhanced Edition offers many features found in Live 5, including plug-in delay compensation, MIDI remote control, full ReWire support, high-definition recording and rendering (up to 32-bit), Mackie Control support, track freeze and the Complex Warp mode for high-fidelity, on-the-fly time stretching.