Tech: New Product Hits of Winter NAMM 2011

Mar 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By the Mix Staff


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Winter NAMM 2011 Videos

This 2011 Winter NAMM show (held January 13-16, Anaheim, Calif.) was a record-setting event, with 90,114 registered attendees checking out 1,417 exhibitors in the Anaheim Convention Center. There was plenty of new gear and choosing the Mix Certified Hits (our choices for the show’s Top 20 products) proved particularly difficult. Listed here, alphabetically, are our selections.

Apple’s iPad has proven itself ideal in all sorts of pro audio/music applications, with a nearly endless supply of useful apps available. Its main drawback had been a lack of pro connectivity, but the Alesis StudioDock, an audio interface for the iPad, features two XLR/¼-inch jacks (each with its own gain control and switchable phantom power) and MIDI In/Out ports. StudioDock can also connect to a Mac or PC using its USB port to send MIDI back and forth for creative, new applications of the iPad and computer used in tandem.

Dangerous Music’s Liaison is a point-to-point, hand-wired box for ultra-fidelity switching/patching/routing of analog gear in mixing or mastering applications. Easy, switchable control—with six insert points and parallel effects loops—adds ease of operation for instantly trying various combinations or ordering of gear, such as EQ-before-compressor or parallel effects chains.

New from Crane Song founder Dave Hill is RA, a nonlinear plug-in that emulates amplifier overload, providing control over even-order harmonics, compression of low-level audio and peak level. It’s available for Mac TDM systems only, with a version for PC TDM in the works.

The new 2000 Series mics are DPA Microphone’s first models to be available for less than $1,000. The heads and bodies are separate, and the bodies are compatible with DPA’s higher-end capsules for easy upgrades.

Derived from E-V’s classic RE20, the new RE320 culls key features of the company’s venerable RE20 and RE27N/D mics into a versatile studio and live performance tool. The RE320’s “dual personality” essentially creates two mics in a single body: One setting engages a response curve that’s ideal for voice and most instrument miking; the other position activates a response designed for kick drums.

The classic Fairlight CMI sound is back as the CMI-30a 30th-anniversary model, which updates the sounds and power of the original CMI system in a retro-styled package (complete with light-pen control) but using a Fairlight CC-1 Crystal Core FPGA engine under the hood. The project is driven by Fairlight co-founder Peter Vogel, and sound quality is continuously variable using the unique Goodness control, which spans from Series I, II or III quality to the “best possible” 36-bit floating point.

Focusrite’s new professional audio networking system, RedNet delivers all the features required in a professional studio environment, offering a robust, reliable networking technology. It’s based on Audinate’s proven Dante digital audio networking technology, using standard IP-based networking and components such as Ethernet cables, routers and switches to carry up to 256 channels (128-in/128-out) of high-resolution digital audio over a standard Ethernet network.

JBL takes its popular 15-inch EON system to the next level with improved input sensitivity, a lowered noise floor, user-selectable EQ control and a re-voiced system for peak performance. EON515XT combines a JBL 2414H HF neodymium compression driver and a 15-inch JBL 265F-1 Differential Drive woofer matched to a Crown Class-D amplifier to deliver 132dB maximum SPL while keeping the weight at a low 32.5 pounds.

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