AES 2010 Product Picks

Nov 11, 2010 5:56 PM, By Mix Editors


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AES 2010 Product Video Demos

After celebrating its first World Series win, the city of San Francisco was still in a party mood when the 129th Audio Engineering Society convention (November 4-7) came into town. With the current state of the economy, a few regular exhibitors skipped this expo, but if there was a downturn in the industry, it certainly didn’t show on the faces of the thousands of enthusiastic attendees that packed into the Moscone Center for four days of nonstop pro audio action. Here are some of the highlights.

Avid Pro Tools 9

Avid Pro Tools 9

The big news at AES was certainly Avid’s release of Pro Tools 9. Far more than a simple software update, PT9 users now have the choice of working with the DAW in a $599 software-only stand-alone configuration or with a choice of Avid or third-party (Core Audio and ASIO) audio interfaces, and with Avid Artist and Pro Series controllers. The new software replaces Pro Tools LE and spans upward to Pro Tools 9 HD TDM. All versions now include Automatic Delay Compensation and EuCon support. Other features include support for 96 mono or stereo voices in the new software-only version of Pro Tools (192 voices with Pro Tools HD systems), 256 internal buses and 160 aux tracks.

After years of operating within a closed environment, this announcement was warmly greeted, not only by interface suppliers at AES (including Apogee, Focusrite, Lynx, RME and Prism), but also by users who now have more options from which to choose. In other DAW news, Stanford Research Systems—known for its audio test systems—debuted Perfection 10, a Rubidium Atomic audio clock source. Priced at $3,495, the two-rackspace unit has eight ultraprecision 10MHz BNC word clock outputs, all fed from an ultrastable rubidium oscillator with ±0.5ppb accuracy.

Solid State Logic ( showed its next-generation AWS console/controllers, now in 24-input (AWS 924) and 48-input (AWS 948) variants—both using 24-fader footprints. Each AWS 948 channel has a single mic pre and two line inputs, a stereo insert and new stereo EQ with independent switching of each band between E and G Series tonal characteristics. Standard to both are motorized faders that follow DAW automation data, a new phase meter, LCD digital scribble strips, updated cosmetics and more.

Solid State Logic Nucleus

Solid State Logic Nucleus

The company’s Nucleus is a $4,999 desktop I/O and controller with two banks of eight channel controls, center section controls, 100mm moving faders, digital scribble strips, assignable V-Pots and softkeys, user-customizable key-command mapping and communication via HUI and MCU. Also featured is a SuperAnalogue output to separate +4/-10dB connections, a stereo USB record/playback path to DAW, two combo XLR mic/line/instrument inputs and a Duende Native Essentials plug-in bundle.

Allen & Heath’s GS-R24 analog recording console has optional motorized faders and MIDI controllers for DAW interfacing. It has 24 mono input channels (each with mic pre and 4-band parametric EQ), two stereo channels, two tube channels, six aux sends and four subgroups. Optional is a 32-channel FireWire interface module (with digital send/returns on all input channels and the master stereo) and an analog I/O-plus-MIDI module. The MIDI control section has switches, rotaries, two MIDI faders, 24-channel faders and a jog wheel for scrolling functions.

API had heavy traffic throughout the three days from its central vantage point in the 700 aisle. The company announced its 124th order for the 2-year-old 1608, then debuted The Channel Strip, made up of a 512c mic pre, the famous 550A EQ, the 527 Compressor and the 325 Line Driver. Each processing piece can be switched in or bypassed individually, and a Flip switch allows the compressor to be placed after the EQ if desired. MSRP: $2,995. And finally, proving that big studios are here to stay, API led a six-manufacturer announcement at Restaurant Lulu for the rebuild/refurbish of world-renowned Wisselloord in the Netherlands. There will be a Vision going in, so watch this space for the ongoing news.

Malcolm Toft debuted his first new Trident console in 25 years. Shown in a 32x24 frame (40 and 48 inputs also offered), the Series 82 combines a flexible in-line and split monitoring design (96 inputs with EQ on remix), with expanded 4-band parametric EQ, sweepable HP filter, eight aux sends, classic Trident preamps with Lundahl transformers, full meter bridge, TT patchbay and D25 multipin interfacing to DAW or recorder. A 32x24 model is $68k; automation is optional.

Undertone Audio's new console

Undertone Audio's new console

Producer Eric Valentine and designer Larry Jasper launched a new 24-channel console under the Undertone Audio brand. All models are custom (up to 108 inputs), but include 24 buses, six aux sends and 4-band custom parametric EQ with a Shape control to create customized tone-shaping contours. The design uses all discrete, single-ended, Class-A circuitry in the signal path; output transformers are optional. The mixer’s Acoustically Transparent Work Surface™ is a patent-pending porous metal on the main console surface that’s said to eliminate acoustical reflections and comb-filtering effects from reference monitors on the meter bridge.

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