Tools of the Trade

M-AUDIO IE-40 EARPHONES Good things come in threes when it comes to in-ear listening devices from M-Audio ( The company's IE-40 ($499.95)


Good things come in threes when it comes to in-ear listening devices from M-Audio ( The company's IE-40 ($499.95) high-definition professional reference earphones feature Ultimate Ears™ triple-driver technology and an audio crossover-network, routing-specific bandwidth to the appropriate high, mid- or low-frequency drivers. The earphones provide 26 dB of sound isolation and include a universal-fit kit featuring an assortment of foam and silicone tips, letting users customize the fit to ensure optimal isolation and comfort. Also included is a replaceable 46-inch cable, shapeable over-ear loops to help prevent cable snags, a ¼-inch adapter, protective metal carrying case, flexible attenuator/limiter, cleaning tool and user guide.

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Building on the reputation of the 1604 console, API ( has released the Model 1608, which uses the legacy 2520 circuitry and boasts the same standards as the API Vision and Legacy consoles. The desk has 16 548B inputs with 312 mic pre/line inputs and direct output; it also includes 12 550A 3-band equalizers and four 560 10-band graphic EQ modules. The center section offers 5.1 monitoring and has space for up to eight additional 500 Series modules. Other features include comprehensive VU metering, rear-connector patching, eight additional inputs designated as effects returns and moving-fader automation as a future option. A fully fitted 16-channel console starts at $49,900, with a 16-channel expander option for $39,900.

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If you have a small room with acoustic problems, then you'll want to check out Genelec's ( SE™ (Small Environment) DSP Monitoring System ($TBA). This group of products offers a 24-bit/192kHz digital audio interface, and combines the SE7261A 10-inch DSP subwoofer with 8130A digital input active monitors (5-inch bass drivers and ¾-inch tweeters) for easy configuration as a sub-assisted stereo or multichannel reference system. Software control is achieved with the SE7261A DSP subwoofer providing all necessary network connections to the host computer and supplying extensive DSP resources through its highpass AES digital outputs to the 8130As. Also included is the AutoCal GLM SE software, providing a graphic interface to help speed users through system setup and complete acoustic calibration. The sub features 8-channel AES/EBU bass management, four notch filters, bass roll-off applied to sub channels and AutoPhase sub integration.


AnaMod Audio's ( ATS-1 ($2,995) — the box that's a great pretender when it comes to analog tape emulation — now offers two new user-installable cards that imitate the Ampex 351 tape machine and Scotch 111 tape. The ATS-1 now offers four cards total and controls for simulating various hardware tape-type functions such as record, machine type, tape formulation, speed (7.5, 15, 30 ips), bias, LF record, HF repro and hiss.

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The Model 583s ($1,249) tube input stage from LaChapell ( is offered in the “lunchbox” format and is based on its 992EG platform in single-ended form, coupled with high-quality Burr-Brown and THAT Corporation output drivers. The unit delivers >70 dB of gain with a typical non-weighted EIN of -120 dB referencing a 150-ohm load. Equipped with a 12AX7/ECC83 tube and having a frequency response of 12-70k Hz, the 583s uses the Cinemag CMMI-10 or the optional Jensen JT-115k input transformer, and has a max output of >26 dBu. The well-laid-out, anodized front panel offers controls for input and output gain, phantom power, -20dB pad, polarity and hi-Z/lo-Z input.

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MOTU's ( MachFive universal sampler instrument gets a major upgrade with new features such as 32 GB of included sounds, unlimited parts per instance, a new graphics engine, full-screen editing and programming, a new modular synthesis architecture, keygroup layering with rule-based switching, sample time-stretching, unlimited multi-point envelopes, stand-alone operation and more. MachFive 2 opens and reads all major sampler library and audio file formats directly, with no conversion necessary. The LoopLab groove slice engine lets users edit REX, ACID, UFS and Apple Loops, or create their own by simply dropping the loop into the Lab for instant slicing and tempo find/set. The new graphic mixer features faders, effects slots, metering and unlimited channels. For bending and shaping, there are 47 real-time effects, from multiband graphic EQ and convolution reverb to tape delays to amp simulators to exciters to vinyl effects. MachFive Version 2 is $495 new or available as a $195 upgrade from V. 1.

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These two EQ plug-ins from URS ( re-create the legendary 7-band passive equalizers used by Motown staff engineers during the '60s and '70s and the 6-band passive EQs used for film and professional cinema in the 1930s. The MotorCity EQ offers proportional Q, a feature where small boost/cuts will have a very broad Q and greater boost/cuts will have a narrower Q, while the Vintage Cinema Equalizer offers six bands at 80/200/500/1.25k/3.2k/8k Hz. Expanding on the original design, the Cinema EQ also offers a seventh band at 16 kHz. When both plug-ins are used together, the frequencies overlap for a total of 14 bands. The $499.99 TDM license includes TDM/RTAS for Power PC and Intel Mac OS X, with Audio Units, VST, Windows XP and Vista support coming soon.


Boasting a new electronic design upgraded from the OctaMic and OctaMic D preamps, the RME ( OctaMic II ($1,799) offers eight channels of mic and line preamplification, eight TRS balanced line outs, eight AES/EBU digital outs operating up to 24-bit/192kHz on D-Sub, two ADAT outputs (S/MUX, up to 96 kHz) and an AES-S/PDIF sync input. Other features include balanced combo XLR/TRS inputs, switchable phantom power on each channel and a low-cut filter. Additionally, the unit offers improved heat dissipation due to its larger housing with improved convection, as well as a choice of sync sources, including internal clock, AES-S/PDIF (via 25-pin D-sub) or word clock.


Eventide's ( E-Control provides real-time control of the company's H8000 Series, H7600 and Eclipse hardware multi-effects processors. The plug-in gives new legs to great-sounding outboard gear users may have sitting in their racks by providing multiple parameter control automation and program change capability within Pro Tools. It is available new for $199 or free if a H8000FW, H7600 or Eclipse hardware processor was purchased after September 1, 2007.


The ADL 700 from PreSonus ( is a single-channel, Class-A tube preamp/compressor/EQ developed in partnership with Anthony DeMaria and manufactured by PreSonus. This all-discrete, high-voltage, Class-A channel strip is based on the ADL 600 2-channel tube preamp. It features instrument, line and microphone inputs with selectable input impedance, high gain and highpass filter. The compressor stage is a discrete, FET-based VCA compressor with variable threshold, ratio, attack, release and make-up gain, while the EQ is a discrete, Class-A, 4-band parametric EQ with switchable high/low Q.

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Perfect for Pro Toolers on the go, the Mbox 2 Micro ($279) from Digidesign ( is a pocket-sized Pro Tools LE system no bigger than a typical USB Flash drive. Compatible with sessions produced in Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools LE or Pro Tools M-Powered systems, the Mbox 2 Micro features a rugged, compact, anodized aluminum case; ⅛-inch stereo output jack supporting up to 24-bit/48kHz audio playback; and a volume wheel. It comes bundled with Pro Tools LE software, a collection of more than 45 Bomb Factory and DigiRack effects plug-ins, and Digidesign's Xpand! sample playback/synthesis workstation.


Aimed at high-end users and post-production houses wanting control over their audio archives and libraries, the CEDAR (dist. by Independent Audio, Cambridge Server ($9,420) is a combination of four elements: the Cambridge Server Pack software, Cambridge V. 5 software core, Cambridge “Q” quad-core server-grade host PC and any combination of CEDAR Cambridge audio processes the user desires. The Server Pack offers print server-style batch processing, locally and across a network, and background processing using multiple instances of CEDAR simultaneously. The Cambridge V. 5 software core adds an audio recorder with BEXT metadata handling and editing to every CEDAR Cambridge system.

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This 4-channel mic preamp from Focusrite ( marries an analog front end with dynamic convolution DSP, outputting the sounds of 40 vintage and classic preamps across all four channels. Digitally controlled and remotely controllable over Ethernet via dedicated Liquid4Control software, Liquid4Pre ($3,499.99) offers 99 setup memory slots and total recall of every parameter. A Pro Tools TDM/RTAS plug-in allows integrated remote control via Pro Tools and ICON/VENUE systems. A harmonic-distortion circuit accounts for variance in the vintage originals, while Session Saver — an AGC circuit — intelligently reduces the input level to help avoid critical overs. Every channel has independent controls for highpass filter, phantom power and polarity reverse. Also on the front are four screens displaying VU meters and other information. AES and ADAT optical digital I/Os are provided as is an optional EtherSound 8-channel card.

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Digital Audio and Computer Systems' (DACS, HeadLite 2 ($TBA) headphone amp is a 4-in/4-out unit with input selection for each amplifier and the ability to drive any impedance headphone to its maximum output level without distortion. Input sensitivity is variable; other features include conductive plastic pots and a balanced input option using the THAT InGenius IC. Outputs for each channel appear on the front and rear, and it can drive long lines to headphone outlets in remote rooms. Users can select from the four inputs (A, B, C and D) to hear A and B, or C and D as stereo and A, B, C or D as mono.

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New to the digital cable arena, Switzerland's Vovox ( has released a hat trick of digital connectivity in the unbalanced Vovox Link Protect AD (75 ohms), the balanced Vovox Link Direct SD (110 ohms) and the 8-channel cable Vovox Mucolink Direct SD (110 ohms; prices TBA). The cables are available in lengths ranging from 3 to 33 feet, and offer either gold-plated RCA, BNC or XLR Neutrik connectors. Like all other Vovox multichannel cables, Mucolink direct SD is assembled according to the customer's requirements.