Tech: New Products, February 2009

Feb 1, 2009 12:00 PM

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High-End FX for Your DAW

TC Electronic
PowerCore 6000

TC Electronic's (www.tcelectronic.com) System 6000 algorithms, once only the domain of the system with the same name, are now available on the PowerCore 6000 platform for $3,495, a fraction of the 6000's price. The unit features eight FreeScale DSP engines, the same DSPs used in System 6000, and has an SRAM memory design that supports high-performance reverbs and delays. This enables users to run the 6000's reverbs and delay algorithms with popular DAWs, as well as with any other VST- and Audio Units-compatible host. PowerCore 6000 includes three of TC Electronic's best reverbs, starting with the VSS3 stereo source reverb, a genuine and original reverb directly ported from the System 6000. NonLin2 is an effects reverb capable of generating compact vocal ambience, percussive and dramatic drum sounds, reverse reverbs and new “twisted” effects. Completing the reverb section of PowerCore 6000 is DVR 2 digital vintage reverb, which emulates the original EMT250 processor.

PowerCore 6000 is expandable, offering a final audio touch with the MD3 Stereo Mastering Tools. M and S components of a stereo signal can be processed separately and provide even more control, making full use of the Spectral Stereo Enhancer. The mastering options given with the inclusion of the MD3 are supported through two more plug-ins: Brickwall Limiter, the plug-in used to get rid of the signals known to generate distortion in consumer CD players, radio processors and data-reduction codecs; and Unwrap 5.1, the tool that facilitates smooth and fast stereo to 5.1 up-conversion. Rounding out the plug-in package that comes with PowerCore 6000 is TapFactory, a delay/reverb hybrid based on the Reflector algorithm from System 6000. TapFactory features effects that range from reverbs like ambience and early reflections to delay, and allows individual parameter settings for each of its 24 taps within seconds.

Versatile Quick-Change Artist

Focusrite
Liquid Saffire 56 FireWire Interface

The new flagship 2U multichannel FireWire I/O from Focusrite (www.focusrite.com, price TBA) features Liquid technology combined with the Saffire PRO interface to deliver a host of preamp flavors, seamless software integration and routing flexibility. Two of Liquid Saffire 56's eight preamps use the third generation of Focusrite's Liquid Preamp; each provides a choice of 10 different preamp emulations. Models are based on the Neve 1073, Pultec MB-1, Telefunken V72 and more. A harmonics dial on each Liquid preamp lets users compensate for variance in vintage originals of the same model, or to add levels of 2nd, 3rd and 5th-harmonic distortion to shape the preamps' performance creatively. I/O options include 10 analog outputs, 16 channels of ADAT I/O, stereo S/PDIF or AES I/O (on RCA phono), MIDI I/O and two virtual “loopback” inputs for routing digital audio between software applications. Mic, line and instrument inputs all have independent connectors. In addition, onboard word clock I/O allows Liquid Saffire 56 to supply a master clock for your studio or slave to an existing clock.

Analysis Tools for the Mac

Blue Cat Audio
VST Plug-In Bundle

Blue Cat Audio's (www.bluecataudio.com) latest version of its analysis plug-ins (already available for PC) features Mac OS X compatibility, as well as several improvements and fixes. The six VST plug-ins are available as a single bundle (Blue Cat's Analysis Pack) or separately ($299 each). They include an audio level meter, spectrum and stereo field analyzers, and a multitrack oscilloscope. While the Multi Series offers multitrack analysis, the Pro Series lets users extract parameters from the incoming audio signal and record them as automation curves or send them as MIDI CC messages for unique sidechaining effects and external hardware control. The upgrade is free for existing customers, with demo versions available for download.

Vis at Warp Speed

Muse Research
Receptor 2 Pro Max

The dual-rackspace, 18-pound Receptor 2 Pro Max ($3,199) from Muse Research (www.museresearch.com) features a 3GHz dual-core processing engine, 3 GB of RAM, a 1TB drive and an E-SATA port for connecting to external drive arrays. Pro Max's time-saving software features include Muse's Universal Preset Access (UPA), which brings out all of the factory presets of a virtual instrument or effect for easy access from the mixer-like user interface. The new model also has enhanced Ethernet performance benefits with UniWire technology that preserves your CPU, letting users offload processor-intensive tasks to the Receptor. The unit comes with updated factory sounds, including hundreds of presets based on the Plugsound Box collection of virtual instruments with keyboards, synths, GM sounds, drums, urban sounds and loops.

Affordable Directionality

Avlex
Superlux PRA-116B Shotgun Mic

This compact, 7.8-ounce shotgun mic from Avlex (www.avlex.com) features a unidirectional polar pattern, excellent off-axis rejection and an integrated low-frequency roll-off switch set at 80 Hz at 12 dB/octave. The PRA-116B ($210) includes a mic clip, camera shoe shock-mount adapter, windscreen and carry pouch, and it is powered by a single 1.5-volt AA alkaline battery (included), promising 800 hours of use.






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