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Tools of the Trade, June 2008

PRESONUS STUDIOLIVE This 162 digital performance and recording mixer from PreSonus ( features FireWire recording with JetPLL synchronization


This 16×4×2 digital performance and recording mixer from PreSonus ( features FireWire recording with JetPLL™ synchronization delivering 22 channels of recording and 18 channels of simultaneous playback. The heart of StudioLive is the Fat Channel, which is engaged by pressing any Select button. It features EQ and dynamics on every input channel, as well as on every aux, subgroup and main output. The highpass filter and 4-band semi-parametric algorithms are based on PreSonus’ digital EyeQ™ equalizer. Also included in the Fat Channel are compressors, limiters and gates modeled after the company’s ACP88. Other features include LED metering, 100mm faders, talkback, multitrack recording software (Mac/PC) and the ability to export to WAV file formats for compatibility with any other DAW. The unit has 16 XMAX mic preamps and two programmable 24-bit stereo DSP engines offering reverbs, delays and time-based effects.


Yamaha ( has released the RH10MS ($159) pro headphones, featuring Ultrasone’s patented S-Logic™ technology. On the lighter side, the cans feature a tip o’ the cap to Yamaha’s legacy NS10 monitors by using white plating on the outer ear cuffs. On the technical side, S-Logic claims to offer a unique headphone listening experience by reflecting the signals off the surface of the outer ear in different directions rather than firing the transducer directly at the listener’s inner ear. The effect simulates listening to speakers from several feet away, allowing listeners to perceive the same volume at significantly lower SPLs. The 265-gram (excluding the 9-foot cord) units feature an ergonomic design, a padded band for comfort during extended wear and a velour storage pouch. Specs include an 18-21k Hz frequency response, 32-ohm impedance and 96dB sensitivity.


For those seeking expert advice on how to tame the wild acoustic space, Auralex now offers free advice that includes product recommendations and placement for customers facing the challenges of larger spaces, such as churches and gymnasiums. Personalized Room Analysis and free Large-Room Analysis forms are downloadable as PDFs from Auralex’s site (, or users can call Auralex directly (317/842-2600) to have a copy of either form faxed. Once all sections are filled out and forms are submitted, within two or three business days an Auralex consultant will review the information and formulate suggestions for Auralex products and their suggested placement in the room.


Two new cases from Hardigg ( — SuperMAC and BlackBox (priced per configuration) — offer a range of features inside a tough, roadworthy enclosure. SuperMAC is the company’s most compact transport container with a removable rack option. It features patented Comfort Grip handles, recessed cobalt-black hardware, molded-in lid hangers and a Lock N Load™ quick-latch system that locks racks securely for transit. BlackBox has a rugged steel frame, a 2-inch front lid and a 5-inch rear lid with edge casters, molded-in rib design for secure stacking and interlock, shock-mounts offering two inches of sway space to isolate equipment and an automatic pressure-relief valve.


Digital Sound Factory ( has reissued the original E-mu Proteus sample content for use with Cakewalk’s Dimension Pro and Dimension LE synths. Using the original content with the advanced parameters available in Cakewalk’s Dimension, the new instrument programs are matched and tuned to the original hardware products. The E-mu Proteus Pack comprises more than 3,500 sounds that can be used with or without the synthesis options of Dimension, providing numerous ways for custom sonic creation. The Dimension LE synthesizer can be downloaded for free at; sample sets start at $19.95.


Promising to be the first update for VST3 compatibility in a commercially available, third-party plug-in, Version 1.1 of VirSyn’s ( Matrix Vocoder ($187, Audio Units/RTAS) is now available for Mac OS 10.4 and Windows XP through the VirSyn Website. The plug-in uses VST3’s new native sidechaining ability to improve handling and routing when used with all of Steinberg’s latest generation of VST3-ready Cubase and Nuendo production environments. Other VST3 features include a new dynamic I/O and busing system, enhanced CPU efficiency, sample-accurate automation and more.


Three new mics from Lauten Audio ( offer a range of features targeted for studio use. The $999 FC-357 is a solid-state, multipattern large-diaphragm condenser model, with Class-A electronics and a dual-diaphragm capsule capable of omni, cardioid and figure-8 patterns. The $1,599 ST-221 has two small-diaphragm tube mics packaged in pairs, featuring interchangeable cardioid and omni capsules, military-grade NOS tubes and high-resolution electronics. The $1,599 LT-381 has a newly designed, dual large-diaphragm capsule; NOS military-grade pentode input and triode output circuit; and variable omni, cardioid and figure-8 patterns.


Mixcraft 4 ($64.95) from Acoustica ( is affordable, Windows-based, multitrack audio (up to 192 kHz)/MIDI recording software that supports third-party VST and DirectX plug-ins, Apple Loops, ACID Loops and its own custom loop format. The included Song Kit lets users create quick demos in dozens of styles, and then mix, master and burn a CD or MP3 directly in the software. It also comes with a well-rounded arsenal of soft instruments, including a virtual Minimoog and B3 organ, a virtual analog poly synth, a 250MB quad-strike grand piano sample and a General MIDI library.


The new EditBOX Mini-SAS storage line from Proavio ( integrates new features including a standardized cable type, industry-standard SFF8088 interface ports with pro locking connectors, native internal Mini-SAS system architecture and an overall increase in performance by up to 20%. The EditBOX 4MS (1 TB/4x, 250 GB, $649; 2 TB/4x, 500 GB, $899) is a small-format, four-drive SAS/SATA disk array featuring a x4 SFF8088 interface port and new Mini-SAS architecture that greatly increases the signal integrity. It’s capable of exceeding speeds over 225 MB/s. The EditBOX 8MS (2 TB/8x, 250 GB, $1,249; 4 TB/8x, 500 GB, $1,595) is a small-format, 8-drive SAS/SATA disk array with a dual-x4 Mini-SAS interface that supports disk configurations up to 8 TB. It is capable of delivering an excess of 450 MB/s when configured in RAID-5.


Available in 8- ($379) and 12-channel ($439) versions, Bardl P Series mixers from Avlex ( are designed for desktop studio or live applications. Features include USB and S/PDIF ports, Mac/PC integration, switchable mic/line inputs (four on the 8-channel P80U; eight on the 12-channel P120U), switchable phantom power and 3-band shelving EQ. There are also contour control on groups 1, 2 and the main mix bus, as well as 4-segment LED indicators for the main/group outputs. Other features include separate headphone level control and direct output control for recording, plus dual-bus outputs and three aux outputs.


Blue Cat Audio ( has released the Digital Peak Meter Pro 3 ($58.31), a redesigned version of its unique audio analysis tool. The meter is a VST and DirectX plug-in for Windows offering a new GUI, Bob Katz’ K-System scales support, the ability to blend RMS and peak envelopes for the transformed output, mid-side mode, average values display, undo/redo support and Windows opacity-management support. Other features include main MIDI setting displays in the plug-in user interface, anti-aliased curves, and improved values in the MIDI settings panel and the host application.


This stand-alone duping unit from Disc Makers ( boasts an easy-to-use interface and runs without a computer. The Forte ($499) features a 20x DVD±R/40x CD-R drive, 25-disc input/output capacity, a 160GB hard drive that stores up to 31 full-size DVD images and duplication rates of seven DVDs, or 14 CDs per hour. The machine has a small footprint and houses a rugged built-in fan, professional grade robotics and advanced control features, giving users the option to duplicate CDs/DVDs in both single and multi-master modes.


Keeping the airwaves free from the effects of naughty words, the Sonifex (dist. by Independent Audio, RB-PD2 ($2,882) stereo profanity delay is a rackmount box featuring an automatic audio-stretch algorithm that allows between two and 64 seconds of delay to be built up live during broadcast while maintaining the correct pitch. The delay can also be applied while playing a pre-selected audio file on a Compact Flash memory card. The unit features balanced analog and AES/EBU digital I/Os, and handles sample rates up to 48 kHz at 24-bit. The RB-PD2 has Build, Delay, Cough and Dump features, as well as a dedicated Record mode for storing audio from either the analog or digital inputs to a linear WAV file on a Compact Flash memory card.


This 20-page free guide helps readers define and treat noise problems as it applies to doors and openings. It covers steps to solve the problem and the mechanics of sound transmission, including sound transmission loss, sound transmission class and the role of gasketing in achieving the performance ratings you require. Other topics include sound trap components, head and jamb protection, automatic door bottoms and saddle/hinges. In addition, the guide details considerations when dealing with window and curtain walls and more. The text can be viewed online at or downloaded as a PDF.


Numerical Sound’s ( Hollywood Impulse Responses (HIR, $129.95) were inspired by the ambience of 20 major Hollywood blockbuster films released from 1977 to 2006. Impulses were designed to change the perceived timbre of an individual instrument, ensemble or an entire orchestra. The user can adjust the tone of a track by selecting the appropriate dark, warm, flat, clear or bright impulse when mixing the wet signal in with the dry. Also included are six sets of IRs that are highpass-filtered at points of the frequency spectrum matching the range of acoustic instruments. These points are at the notes C2, G2, C3, G3, C4 and G4. For example, a solo violin tracking the IRs from the G3 set will exactly match the range of the instrument. Requirements include a program such as Altiverb, Pristine Space, Space Designer, IR-1, Acoustic Mirror, Perfect Space or SIR. Logic, Cakewalk, Samplitude, Sequoia and Nuendo all have convolution integrated into their programs, so purchasing a plug-in is required.


This new audio workstation from Rain Recording ( features the AMD Phenom™ 9000 Series quad-core processor, ATI Radeon™ HD 3800 Series GPU and the AMD 7 Series chipset. The Solstice Spider Edition ($2,799.95) is housed in a crimson-anodized, aluminum chassis and features a 500GB, 7,200 rpm Ultra 300 SATA II system drive with 32MB buffer, identical streaming drive, dual-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW combo drive, 10 USB 2 ports, three FireWire 400 ports, four PCI Express x16 buses, two PCI slots, RAID-readiness, two PS/2 ports, aluminum keyboard and Microsoft optical mouse. Free shipping and free third-party integration are standard.


The SpectraPhy LE ($59) from Crysonic ( is a look-ahead brickwall limiter/level maximizer designed for tracking, mixing, mastering and live use. Features on this native PC VST/Native Universal Binary (Intel/PPC) Audio Units- or VST-format plug-in include less than 0.2ms delay; individual left/right channel limiting with linking; graphical spectrum and attack/release display; pre-smooth function to tame transients; pre- or post-output spectrum; 64-bit internal precision; 24-bit/96kHz audio support; velocity-sensitive dials; and full automation for all parameters.