Tools of the Trade

Feb 1, 2004 12:00 PM, By Editors

E-MU SYSTEMS EMULATOR X STUDIO
Two new PC-based desktop sampling systems from E-mu Systems (www.emu.com) offer tools for automated sampling and preset creation, an integrated waveform editor, synthesis and a mastering-grade 24-bit/192kHz audio interface with hardware-accelerated effects. The $599.99 Emulator X Studio has two TFPro mic preamps (with phantom power), six balanced analog inputs, eight balanced analog outs, turntable input and eight speaker outs (configurable to 7.1). Also included are ADAT I/O, S/PDIF I/O, S/PDIF out, two sets of MIDI I/O and a FireWire interface, word clock I/O, SMPTE I/O and MTC out. The more basic $299.99 Emulator X has two channels of balanced analog I/O, ADAT I/O, S/PDIF I/O, MIDI I/O and a FireWire interface.

ATR 2-INCH 8-TRACK HEADBLOCK
ATR Services (www.atrservice.com) debuts a 2-inch 8-track headblock designed to fit Studer A827 analog 2-inch recorders. Made in-house by ATR, the plate is machined to close tolerances from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum. The package can include a set of Flux Magnetics Mastering heads (including an extended response play head) and is optimized for use with the Aria Reference Series Class-A discrete electronics. (Aria electronics are also available separately.) The headblock is $2,595, or $11,595 with Flux Magnetics extended response heads.

ATI AV8 SERIES
ATI (Audio Technologies Inc., www.atiaudio.com) has released the AV8 Series, a new product line of Cat-5/6 twisted-pair transmitters and receivers for composite or S-Video and stereo audio (balanced or unbalanced). These are the first products to be delivered in ATI's compact XFORM size, a ⅛-rack-width package, with 1RU and 0.5RU-high variations. The AV8 can transmit video and audio signals up to 1,000 feet over twisted-pair UTP cable such as Cat-5/5e/6. UTP cable is a fraction of the size of coaxial cable, much lighter, more flexible, easier to terminate and less expensive.

SENNHEISER HD 650
Sennheiser (www.sennheiser.com) released an enhanced version of its popular HD 600 headphones. The new HD 650s feature hand-selected matched transducers, lightweight aluminum voice coils, specially developed OFC copper cable with Kevlar reinforcing to eliminate handling noise, gold-plated ¼-inch plug and a two-year warranty. Price: $499.95.

ROLAND MC-909 EDITOR
Roland (www.rolandus.com) has released the new MC-909 Editor for Mac or PC. The editor allows users to adjust everything from envelope generators, oscillator parameters, effects parameters or even system-wide settings. Supported platforms include Mac OS 8.6, 9.x and OS X (10.2 or later) or Windows 98/ME/2000/XP. MC-909 owners can download the software free at www.mc-909.com/downloads.html.

DESK DOCTOR ZX CARD
The ZX card from Desk Doctor (www.deskdoctor.com, www.proaudiodesign.com) allows SSL E and G computers to act as a timecode master and reference locator for any DAW, video deck or code-only slave. The card has outputs for timecode and Sony 9-pin protocol, making it compatible with a wide variety of existing audio and video gear. Price: $2,495.

SK ENGINEERING MINI-SAM II
The Mini-SAM II from SK Engineering (www.skeng.com) digitally records and plays back synchronous 2-channel digital audio and control information at up to CD quality into nonvolatile solid-state memory for message repeating and control applications where cost and space are a concern. The unit's message and control information can be changed an unlimited number of times, and files are mastered via the included Windows-based software. Message play can be triggered from sources such as motion sensors, switches, logic signals, door/pressure sensors and more. Price: $595.

CONTOUR DESIGN NOTERISER
Perfect for audio laptoppers with sore necks, Contour Design (www.contour design.com) debuts the NoteRiser, which enables laptop/notebook users to position the computer for optimal ergonomic integrity, optimizing it for use with an external keyboard. The aluminum-alloy unit weighs less than 14 ounces, and places the screen at the appropriate height/angle to help decrease eyestrain and improve posture. The 11.8x10.6-inch unit flattens to approximately 1/6-inch for portability. Price: $129.95.

IZOTOPE OZONE 3
iZotope (www.izotope.com) has released Ozone 3, the latest upgrade of its PC-based mastering plug-in. Features include MBIT+ wordlength reduction, tape modeling, tube modeling, intersample clipping prevention and 64-bit acoustic-modeled reverb. There are also more than 30 additional features covering automation, performance, metering, processing and more. Price: $199 (download) or $229 (CD-ROM); as an upgrade from Ozone 2, Ozone 3 is $49 (download) or $79 (CD-ROM).

PRINCETON DIGITAL SP2016 PLUG-IN
Princeton Digital has released Pro Tools|HD plug-in versions of the legendary Eventide SP2016 reverbs. The $699 plug-in set, called Reverb 2016, includes the stereo room, room reverb and high-density plate algorithms from the original hardware unit. The set requires a Pro Tools|HD or Accel system running under Mac OS X, 10.2 or newer. The initial release supports 44.1/48kHz sample rates; a 96kHz upgrade for Accel hardware is planned for release soon, and Rev. 1.0 purchasers will receive free upgrades. A fully functional 30-day demo version can be downloaded by visiting www.princetondigital.com.

YAMAHA VST PLUG-INS
Yamaha has released three VST plug-ins for the Mac (9.x or X) and Windows (XP, 2000, ME, 98 or 98SE) platforms. The trio includes Pitch Fix ($299), providing formant pitch correction; Vocal Rack ($199), a suite of vocal processing tools; and Final Master ($199), a group of tools for audio sweetening. The plug-ins will operate with any VST/AU-compatible software. For more info, visit www.motifator.com.

GARRITAN PERSONAL ORCHESTRA
From the high-end Garritan Orchestral Libraries (www.personalorchestra.com) comes the new, affordable Personal Orchestra. The package is a library, sample player and notation program in one convenient package. Personal Orchestra contains samples of all the major instruments in a symphony orchestra, in addition to a Steinway concert grand piano, Stradivarius violin, Wurlitzer and Venus concert harps, Haynes flutes, Heckel bassoons, Mustel celeste, Rudolf von Beckerath concert pipe organ, harpsichord and many more. Price: $249.

CYCLING '74 RADIAL 1.1
Radial 1.1 from Cycling '74 is a loop-based composition and performance tool designed for Mac OS X's CoreAudio and CoreMIDI, allowing the use of multiple audio and MIDI interfaces at very low latency. New features include a convenient file-grouping mechanism and improved sync capabilities. Radial is $199 and is available for purchase or download from www.cycling74.com.

AIRR SUPPORT MIC STANDS
AiRR Support (www.networkpromktg.com) has improved its line of mic stands, substantially upgrading reliability and adaptability. The larger, steel-reinforced height-adjustment crank has an improved gear ratio for smoother operation, while the counterweight features a higher-quality screw mechanism for greater sturdiness. For extra stability, a second sandbag is now included as an additional counterweight. The overall look of AiRR stands has also changed, with an all-black electroplated finish. The stands are available in three sizes and are priced from $335.

GENEX GX ACCESSORIES
Genex (www.genexaudio.com) releases new accessories for its GX9000 and GX9048 multitracks. The GXR948 Remote Controller ($2,500) enables direct control of up to 48 channels of record arming and monitoring, with no bank switching via dedicated buttons for each function, plus displays for critical parameters. The GXPC Edit is a $500 plug-in waveform editor for Genex GXR PC control software (Windows XP), enabling cut/copy/paste/erase operations on up to 48 channels of audio data. Connection is via USB 2.0. The GX9MB meter bridge ($1,000) provides up to 48 channels of 24-segment level metering in a 19-inch, 4U chassis that can be freestanding, rackmounted or mounted onto the GXR948 remote. Features include timecode display, recorder status and signal present LEDs. Meter dynamics, fine-scale calibration and over-sensitivity can be controlled remotely from the GXR PC software or the GXR948 remote.

PRESONUS CENTRAL STATION
At the recent Winter NAMM show, PreSonus (www.presonus.com) debuted Central Station, a passive studio control center aimed at DAW users. The unit features three sets of monitor outputs, each with their own trim pots and three sets of analog stereo analog inputs. Two of these inputs feature balanced TRS jacks and the third has RCA inputs with trim control for matching signals at different levels. It also accommodates two digital inputs (S/PDIF or Toslink), providing D/A conversion up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Also included are two headphone outs; mute, dim and input select; cue select; and output select. An optional remote is available for talkback, mute, dim, input and output selection, as well as level adjustment. Price: $699.95.

AUDIO EASE IMPULSE RESPONSES
Audio Ease now offers acoustic samples (impulse responses) of Australia's famed Trackdown scoring stage for use in Altiverb, a sampled acoustics plug-in. Located in Sydney, Trackdown is one of Australia's largest, independently owned, purpose-built orchestral film scoring stages. Built in 2003, it features the latest in acoustic design for a world-class scoring environment. Samples can be demoed and purchased at www.audioease.com/IR.

SONIC STUDIO SONIC MAGIC
Sonic Studio LLC (www.sonicstudio.com) now offers Sonic Magic, a custom version of Dark Matter's Media Magic EDL translation utility for the Mac. Media Magic format can read/convert many of the disk and file formats used in pro audio post/music facilities, allowing source projects and audio files to be interchanged between a variety of different systems/standards. Sonic Magic is a cost-reduced version of Media Magic for Sonic Studio owners to translate both source sound files and EDLs between Sonic Studio and Pro Tools 5.0 systems. Features include converting region definitions, locations of those regions on the timeline and crossfade approximations. Sonic Magic also supports AES31 import and export of Sonic Studio projects. The upgrade is free for registered owners of UltraTools|HD 2.2 and 2.3 bundles, as well as for registered owners of SoundToy's individual HD-compatible plug-ins.

ECHO INDIGO IO
Echo Digital Audio (www.echoaudio.com) offers the Indigo io portable recording system for Mac/PC laptops. The new unit offers the same hardware and software as the original Indigo but adds a stereo analog input. Indigo io features one stereo ⅛-inch analog input, one stereo ⅛-inch analog out, headphone amp, eight “virtual” outs through software and 6-foot audio adapter cable for RCA and ¼-inch connections. In addition, the original Indigo has been enhanced for pro users to include software support for Echo's multiclient drivers and eight “virtual” outputs. Price: Indigo io, $229; Indigo (original), $159.

TERRATEC SINE AMPS
Terratec's (www.terratec.com) SINE PA Series offers three studio power amps (2x60, 4x60 and 2x100W) that are designed for use with near-field speakers. These single-rackspace amps boast a S/N ratio of 97 dB (@ 30 watts and 1 ohm) and feature onboard overheat protection and switch-on delay circuits, eliminating power-on thumps. A special feature of the PA 460 model is a cascaded circuit allowing its output power to be switched from 4x60 watts to 2x120 watts. Also offered is the SINE HP 48 stereo headphone amp (with four stereo amps to drive eight pairs of headphones) and up to four different signal sources. Prices: PA 120, $199; PA 200, $269; PA 460, $320; and HP 48, $139.

Yamaha MSP10 Studio
Note: The following product was inadvertently omitted from the Mix roundup of new studio monitors in the December issue. Our apologies.

YAMAHA MSP10 STUDIO
The MSP10 Studio from Yamaha (www.yamaha.com/proaudio) is a bi-amped design, featuring an 8-inch woofer driven by a 120-watt amp and a 1-inch titanium-dome tweeter with a 60W amplifier. The MDF cabinet has an integrated waveguide that achieves uniform dispersion over 120°. The rear panel has balanced XLR inputs, input-sensitivity control, response trim switches for both the woofer and tweeter, and an 80Hz low-cut switch (recommended when using the MSP10 Studio with the optional SW10 subwoofer). Retail: $999/each.

UPGRADES AND UPDATES
Mackie (www.mackie.com/uad-1) and Universal Audio have released Version 3.3 software for the Mackie UAD-1 DSP Powered Plug-Ins card. The upgrade supports OS X on all Mac platforms including G5 processors…Cakewalk has launched www.Project5.com, a virtual community for the Project5 enthusiast. The new site offers free tutorials and tips, in addition to providing an online community where users can exchange project files, synth patches and patterns…Metric Halo's Mobile I/O 2882 has been upgraded with an onboard DSP chip, providing access to the company's signal processing effects without sacrificing computer processing power. The 2882+DSP is bundled with a variety of MH plug-ins, including MIOComp, MIOLimit, MIOEQ-6, MIOEQ-12, MIO M/S Processor and MIOStrip. The $2,195 2882+DSP is OS 9- and OS X-compatible. Visit www.transaudiogroup.comSoundToys (formerly Wave Mechanics) released V. 2.4 of the UltraTools bundle, adding support for Digidesign's Pro Tools|HD Accel card. The gang of four plugs include SoundBlender, PitchDoctor, PurePitch and Speed, as well as two pro producer libraries with some 70 new remix, guitar and mixdown presets for SoundBlender. The upgrade is free for registered owners of UltraTools|HD 2.2 and 2.3 or SoundToy's individual HD-compatible plug-ins. Price: $1,195. Visit www.soundtoys.comTC Electronic announces that Native Bundle V. 3.1 is now available and includes the Sonic Destructor plug-in and a newly reduced price of $295. The new version is a free download for 3.0 owners or can be purchased for $149 as an upgrade from Native Bundle 1.0/2.0…GRM Tools (www.grmtools.org) now offers both volumes of its Classic VST bundle for $130 (originally $199). For $50 more, users can upgrade to be compatible with OS X or Windows XP…Native Instruments' (www.native-instruments.com) Battery 1.3 update brings the drum sampler to Mac OS X and Pro Tools users on OS X. Battery 1.3 now supports AudioUnits, RTAS, VST and stand-alone operation with CoreMIDI and CoreAudio. The update is available to registered users as a $29 direct download or $49 on CD…Celemony Software has released Melodyne 2.1. The latest version of the audio recording software now supports the DXi interface under Windows XP and is optimized for Macintosh OS 10.3 and Apple's G5 computer. The upgrade is free for registered Melodyne users and is available for download from www.celemony.comM-Audio (www.m-audio.com) is shipping the new Studiophile SBX subwoofer. The sub features a 120W amp, 8-inch woofer and accepts both XLR and TRS inputs. Additionally, the rear panel controls allow control of level, phase and crossover frequency (50-180 Hz). The SBX is designed to integrate with the company's BX5 active bi-amplified reference monitors and sells for $499.95.



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