Mix News for May 2003

Jun 6, 2003 12:00 PM, Sarah Benzuly


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

News May 16 - 30 (Read Mix News May 1 - 15)

Echo Boys Drive Goodyear Spots
Echo Boys have recently completed three high-energy spots for Goodyear Tires. The commercials, directed by Bill Scarlett, blend heavy percussion and bass tracks by Harry Pulver, Bob Millea and Randy Anderson with custom elements from Tom Lecher’s own sound-design arsenal.

"We approached the spots as we would a movie," said Lecher. "It took a team effort to build the soundscapes from interesting sounds and rhythms and have it all meld together."

In "Construction," Lecher used real engine revs in the sound design and combined aerosol cans and spritzing hoses for water sprays and blended drum hits and sizzle for puddle splashes. The second spot, "Road Debris," the accelerating percussive track saw Lecher adding ominous sounds of earthquakes, rolling thunder and synthetic rumbles for the rock slide; he used a subtle wind chime to give the feeling of suspended reality during the slow-motion swerve. The third spot, "Sniffers," has the Echo Boys playing acoustic bass, piano and guitar for a score that Lecher described as "mutant jazz with a rubber bounce." 

Cakewalk VST Adapter Now Available
Cakewalk's (Boston) new VST Adapter is now available on the company's Website, www.cakewalk.com. The Cakewalk VST Adapter converts VST format plug-ins to DirectX and DXi format, providing sample-accurate automation with identical audio fidelity; earlier this year, Cakewalk acquired FXpansion's VST adapter technology.

Sonic Foundry customers can now use the Cakewalk VST Adapter to extend their studios to include VST effects. The Cakewalk VST Adapter download and CD versions are available for $59. Registered Sonar customers can purchase it for $39. There is a free upgrade for all registered FXpansion VST-DX adapter users.

In other Cakewalk news, the company is now shipping Image-Line's FLStudio 4 Fruityloops edition and FLStudio 4 Producer Edition to music retail stores around the world; Cakewalk has been the worldwide retail distributor of Fruityloops since January 2001.

FLStudio 4 is the latest version of Fruityloops that combines loop generation, synth emulation and pattern-based sequencing within an easy-to-use interface. FLStudio 4 includes native sampling, Dreamstation™ DXi analog synth, plus seven additional synths, 31 audio effects, Live Performance mode, MIDI hardware control, MP3 encoding, audio output up to 96 kHz, and an extensive library of 3,000 royalty-free samples and 300-plus loops from which users can create an infinite number of new sounds. FLStudio4 supports DX, DXi, VST and VSTi plug-ins, and also runs as a DXi or VSTi directly within Cakewalk Sonar, Home Studio and Project5, as well as Cubase, ACID 4.0 and other compatible host applications.

Russ Berger Design Revamps Web site
Russ Berger Design Group has redesigned its Web site (www.rbdg.com), including many more project photos at high resolution.

"No one is going to choose a design firm based simply on one visit to a Website," said Russ Berger, president of RBDG. "However, the goal of this new Website was to give people the best possible opportunity to ‘tour’ our company and get a sense of what we’re all about. Hopefully, they’ll find the new site engaging enough so that their next step will be to pick up the phone and schedule a visit, or at least want to learn more."

In addition to a company history, biographies of team members and links to project profiles, the new RBDG Website, which was designed by Nashville-based Pixelgrazer, also features an archive of articles and papers that various RBDG principals have contributed to industry magazines, as well as articles that have featured the firm and its completed projects.

M-Audio Releases First 14 Volumes of Its Loops, Samples
M-Audio is now shipping its new ProSessions sound + loop libraries. ProSessions is a new collection of affordable top-quality samples created by some of today’s best musicians, composers and producers, across a wide variety of genres and styles, including hip hop dance, pop, Latin, R&B, rap, drum 'n' bass, techno, world beat and more.

Each ProSessions sample features a top-quality recording with over 400 MB of world-class samples in multiple formats: .AIFF, .WAV, REX2 and ACIDized .WAV. The initial CD-ROM titles in the ProSessions sound + loop libraries include: Discrete Drums: World Rock and Percussion; Discrete Drums: R&B Drums and Percussion; These Drums Are Loud; Worldbeat Café; Latin Element; Latin Street; Hydrosonix Discs 1 and 2 (sold separately); Hella Bumps Disc 1 and 2 (sold separately); Mechanically Separated; Electro Crash; Vector Field; and Sounds Logickal.

For more, visit m-audio.com.

Widget Post Installs CEDAR Cambridge
Widget Post (Culver City, Calif.) has installed CEDAR Audio's Cambridge System, an advanced audio restoration system. Widget is the first company in North America to acquire the CEDAR Cambridge, which allows highly detailed noise reduction to be achieved while maintaining the dynamic range of the original audio.

Most recently, the company has restored and produced 5.1 up-mixes to audio tracks for DVD releases of Thelma & Louise, Robocop, A Fish Called Wanda, My Left Foot, Army of Darkness, A Bridge Too Far, Spaceballs and Platoon.

According to Clive Osborn, sales director at CEDAR Audio UK, "We are very excited that Widget has chosen to acquire a Cambridge system; it is a true testament to have our equipment in use by [Widget co-founder Brian] Slack and team on some of the most challenging audio restoration projects to date."

"This new piece of gear allows us to do some unbelievable restoration work. With very little tweaking, we were able to take some extremely noisy audio from West Side Story, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Pink Panther Strikes Again and A Shot in the Dark and output some very clean tracks almost automatically," commented Slack. "I anticipate that with the Cambridge, we will be able to restore films that would have been cost-prohibitive to complete manually and dramatically decrease turnaround times on complex restoration projects."

For more on Widget Post, visit it online at www.widgetpost.com.

Orchestral Cube Now Available for EXS24 mk II
The Vienna Symphonic Library has announced that the First Edition of its Orchestral Cube is now available for EXS24 mk II. The Orchestral Cube offers over 50,000 string, percussion, brass and woodwind samples, totaling 45 gigabytes. The Orchestral Cube contains single-note samples with a variety of dynamics options, as well as a variety of multinote samples including trills and tremolos.

The second element in the First Edition, the Performance Set, is also set for release in EXS24 mk II format this month. The creators of the Vienna Symphonic Library have been working extensively with Emagic to integrate the Performance Tool as a direct plug-in to EXS24 mk II so users won't have to leave the Logic environment. The Performance Tool will be available for Mac OS 9 and OS X, and is expected to be ready for download for registered Vienna Symphonic Library users in June of 2003.

The EXS version of the Performance Set plug-in will offer the same modes as the existing GigaStudio version, including: Alternation mode, which allows users to step automatically from one articulation to another in real time, without the need for operating distracting key switches. This can also be used with the Orchestral Cube. Legato mode allows users to perform naturally fluid and authentic passages like legato, portamento or glissando in real time without pedals or key switches. Repetition mode lets users perform repeated notes with control over both the timing and the accents in real time.

For more, visit www.ilio.com.

Brian Ahern Test Drives the Universal Audio 6176
Producer Brian Ahern recently tried out the new Universal Audio 6176 on some reissues of his older Emmy Lou Harris records: Pieces of the Sky, Luxury Liner, Elite Hotel, Quarter Moon and a Ten Cent Sky and Blue Kentucky Girl. The 6176 combines Universal Audio's 2-610 microphone/instrument preamplifier and the 1176LN compressor-into a single "channel strip" product.

Ahern is using the 6176 to record vocal overdubs and in the mastering process. "I'm taking the original 1/4-inch masters mixed in the '70s and running them through the dual-6176s to add a bit more loudness. Keep up with contemporary values, so we say?" Ahern chuckles. "I like the color that the tube/pre amp of the 6176 generates I've been using a pair of [original] Neumann M50s for the vocals. The M50 omni capsule is built into a plastiscene ball mounted on a pedestal inside the microphone cage. From this subtle and arcane technology, combined with the 6176, results a sense of depth and 'being there' enhanced by the microphone's uncanny ability to put acoustic guitar 'in your face' from a distance of 12 feet! You record the whole instrument and air around it, instead of jamming it up to the sound hole."

He likes to use the 6176 as the pre amp. "Most voices and instruments are defined by their midrange frequency content. The 6176 has a powerful and articulate midrange lens, and the compression has always been one of my favorites. I can set up the 6176 for two different feeds on the microphones, which gives me a very subtle coloration. Then, I have control on the input and the gain of the mic preamp before I even get to the compressor, which gives me more options. When I go to the Studer [24-track analog tape machine], I can then pick two different stocks and two different speeds so there's four more options there."

He also prefers to use the 6176 EQ on direct input for bass overdubs. Recently, he used it on a vintage Hagstrom Bass overdub. He used a little low-end EQ and put some overdrive through the preamp. "The Equalizer is well-thought-out and the innovative Impedance Selections create subtle tone changes that are otherwise unavailable. My vintage Hagstrom Bass bloomed as never before through the Instrument Input."

For more on the 6176, visit Universal Audio online at www.uaudio.com.

Jennifer Grassman at SugarHill
Pianist and vocalist Jennifer Grassman was at SugarHill Recording Studios (Houston) working on a new patriotic song called "Where the Wind Blows" with engineer Steve Christensen. The piano and vocals were recorded live in Studio A into Pro Tools through the Neotek Elite console. The entire song, which Grassman produced, was done in only one take.

She wrote the song in support of U.S. troops and it is airing daily on Soldier's Radio and Television Network, as well as online at www.soldiersradio.com.

For more information on Grassman, visit her Website at www.jennifergrassman.com. Visit SugarHill at www.sugarhillstudios.com.

WSDG Redesigns Russian Studio
Dirk Noy, general manager of the Walters-Storyk Design Group Europe, reported that the design group has been awarded the commission for the redesign and reconstruction of the GTRK Kultura Sound Recording Studio Complex in Moscow.  Studios 1 and 3 were originally built in 1938, while Studio 5 was added in 1968. Russia's entire national radio music archive, over 300,000 tapes, were recorded at the studio. The redesigned complex will be dedicated to music recording and live broadcasting.

Phase 1 of the project, the 1,500-square-foot Studio 3, including voice-over booth and control room, has already begun. The studio will be primarily used for radio drama productions, overdubbing and Foley work in all existing surround sound formats.

Phase 2, the remodeling of Studio 5-A, a 7,500-square-foot hall capable of hosting live audiences of 150, will commence later this year. Creation of new surround sound control rooms with a centered machine room are also planned for this studio.

Phase 3, the renovation of 4,800-square-foot Studio 1 and control room 1, will begin before the end of the year.

WSDG U.S.-based partners, architect John Storyk and chief designer Scott Yates are collaborating with Noy on the GTRK Kultura project. Switzerland's J+C Intersonic will serve as principal audio systems/equipment consultant, engineer, trainer and supplier. Local general project supervision, construction management, equipment supply and installation services will be undertaken by I.S.P.A. Engineering, which is based in Moscow.

For more, visit WSDG's Website at www.wsdg.com.

Spectrasonics Releases Virtual Instruments for Mac OS X
Spectrasonics has released its virtual instrument products for Macintosh OS X. The product line includes Stylus, Groove Control Virtual Instrument, Atmosphere Dream Synth Module and Trilogy Total Bass Module. All three of these products can now be fully compatible with Audio Units hosts like Logic Audio; VST OS X hosts such as Cubase SX; as well as RTAS OS X hosts such as Pro Tools 6.0 TDM and LE. Native support for MOTU’s MAS platform for OS X will be released shortly.

The OS X upgrade for all three Virtual Instrument modules is available for free to all registered Spectrasonics customers and can be downloaded via the Internet at www.spectrasonics.net/updates.

Bill Watrous Steps Into Angel Mountain
Legendary jazz trombonist Bill Watrous recently recorded some new tracks at Angel Mountain Productions & Sound in Bethlehem, Pa. Watrous was joined at the session by the Rob Stoneback Band, an 18-piece jazz big band, who were in recording for their upcoming CD that Watrous is featured as a soloist.

Watrous came away highly impressed with the all-new facility. "[It was] above and beyond anything I have ever seen as far as studios are concerned." "Angel Mountain's investments in cutting-edge technology advance our capabilities well into the future of audio recording," said Angel Mountain VP of marketing and sales Mike Horvath. "At the same time, we’re able to meet and exceed the current demands and growing trends in the industry today."

Angel Mountain Productions & Sound's new multiroom studio complex spans over 18,000 square feet and includes three world-class 5.1 audio control rooms, soffitted Quested monitors and the new SSL XL 9000 K mixing console.

For more information on Angel Mountain, contact Mike Horvath or Kim Fallon at 610/691-5056.

Allen&Heath Hire Bardy Hayes
Allen&Heath (Anaheim, Calif.) announced that it has hired Bardy Hayes of Global Market Management as its account manager for the Asia and Asia Pacific regions; most recently, Hayes was the account manager for International Sales, an export rep firm.

According to Bob Goleniowski, Allen&Heath's sales and marketing director, "We're delighted to have been able to capture someone of Bardy's experience and enthusiasm for our Asia sales team. We know him well from his time with our Canadian distributor Erikson, and we are pleased he's come back to represent Allen&Heath again. Asia is one of our key growth areas at the moment, so he'll be extremely busy!"

Bardy commented: "I'm really glad to be back working with Allen&Heath, a company that is really setting the new standards for mixing console manufacturers. I'm looking forward to working closely with our Far East distribution partners to maximize Allen&Heath's market share."

Visit Allen&Heath online at www.allen-heath.com.

Lake Technology Announces Its First Church Install
The first Lake Contour (from Lake Technology) installation in a house of worship was recently completed at the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs in Colorado. Clair Brothers Systems integrated the Lake Contour digital speaker controller into its new main sound reinforcement system. Clair Bros.' Dean Wiltsie was the installation project supervisor.

"This is the first church installation where we've used the Lake Contour and the CAT-2s," said Gene Pelland, VP and director of marketing at Clair Brothers Systems. "Overall, after hearing back after the Good Friday/Easter Sunday services from the business manager at the church, Ed Ward, and the facilities manager, Ken Hayward, they were very happy.

"We used the Lake Contour to drive the left and right Clair Curved Live Array system," continued Pelland. "We're using three CAT-2 loudspeaker elements per side, with a CS-18 subwoofer on top of the cluster." Under-balcony Clair Bros. UB-2003 speaker feeds are driven by a BSS Soundweb. Clair Bros. also supplied six stage monitor wedges.

According to Bruce Jackson, senior VP of research for Lake Technology, "The Lake-designed Clair iO DSP speaker controller, resulting from the collaboration between Clair Brothers and Lake Technology, has revolutionized the way that the performance of touring concert sound systems is optimized. The new Lake Contour builds on that technology to bring those same unique sound-reshaping capabilities to installed sound systems of any size and in any venue."

For more, visit www.lake.com or www.clair-audio.com.

UK Mastering House Relies on Cool Edit Pro 2.0
Independent UK mastering house A2B Production Solutions has selected Cool Edit Pro 2.0 digital audio recording, editing, mixing and mastering software as its primary platform. A2B founder Antony Barson said that he selected the software for its advanced functionality, system reliability and audio quality.

"We use Cool Edit Pro 2.0 to master to and from a wide variety of media, and it enables us to concentrate less on the technology and more on the creative aspect of audio engineering," Barson said. "As a result, we can provide our clients with cost-effective turnkey services, and we’re beginning to earn a name in the production community as a good place with whom to do business."

According to Barson, one of the features he finds most useful are the frequency-analysis screens. "I have been introduced to other editing systems, but I have found that they are not as comprehensive or intuitive. Features such as the frequency-analysis screens make my job a lot easier. Also, the envelopes and hard limiting features are invaluable for boosting volume levels and bringing the music forward throughout the track, while retaining at least some of their intended levels."

For more on Syntrillium's Cool Edit Pro, visit www.cooledit.com.

Mackie Control Surfaces Now Supported by APB Tools
Mackie Designs Inc. (Woodinville, Wash.) announced that APB Tools TH-S Version 2.1 supports its Control Extender and Baby HUI desktop control surfaces.

TH-S users can now take advantage of a Mackie-quality, intuitive control surface as a playlist manager/playback controller with this Mac-based live broadcast program. Each channel strip so that the eight channel strips with their own dedicated V-Pot and navigation buttons allow TH-S users to use the Extender for several different sources of audio within Pro Tools and ASIO-supported applications. Because the master control section of the Mackie Control is not necessary to control the TH-S software, only the Extender is supported.

"The goal of all developments is to combine high-quality audio algorithms with specialized intuitive user surfaces/interfaces to reduce workload in production and live situations," stated Bernd Schoenhaar, founder and CEO of APB Tools. "We believe the Mackie Control Extender and Baby HUI are perfect controllers for our software."

For information about the Mackie Control Extender and Baby HUI, visit www.mackie.com. For information about APB Tools TH-S program, visit www.apbtools.com.

Pragmatic Unveils High-Power Hideaway Amps
Pragmatic Communications Systems Inc. released two complete ranges of high-performance, compact amplifiers in its Hideaway Series: The MBA (MonoBlock Amplifiers) and SAA (Stereo Audio Amplifiers) are mono-block and dual-mono-block designs, respectively.

The MBA Series features three mono-block designs: MBA 124 (24 watts), MBA136 (36 watts) and the MBA148 (48 watts). Each is housed in an attractive, high-impact, anodized case measuring only 2x3.5x3 (WxHxD) inches. The units accept any volume-controlled line-level input via gold-plated phono inputs. Outputs are offered via high-quality, gold plated, five-way binding posts. Power is supplied via 12 VDC.

The SAA Series features three stereo models: SAA224 (24 watts per channel), SAA236 (36 watts per channel) and the SAA245 (45 watts per channel). These are housed in the same attractive compact case as the MBA Series. The same advanced circuitry provides wide dynamics and clean power in a 2-channel format.

Pragmatic's MBA and SAA amplifiers are designed for a wide range of uses, including kiosks, classrooms, boardrooms or small rooms around the home or office, as well as remote applications or for instances where signals need to be transmitted over long distances. Advanced protection circuitry guards against damage from overload, excessive temperatures or short circuits. Also, there is no heat sinks or vents. For further flexibility in a wide array of applications, available options for both ranges include rotary volume control, standard rackmount kit for multiple amplifiers and an in-wall version that can be fitted in a standard junction box. All models are backed with a two-year warranty and are available for immediate delivery.

For more, visit www.wireless-experts.com.

Adobe Acquires Technology From Syntrillium Software
Adobe Systems announced an agreement to acquire the technology assets of Syntrillium Software; Syntrillium's flagship product, Cool Edit Pro, will join the company's existing line of pro digital video products, including Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Encore DVD and Adobe Photoshop.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though Adobe said that it expects that the acquisition will not impact earning gained in Q2 of 2003.

"Cool Edit Pro has won recognition across the music and video industries, and by teaming up with Adobe, we will be able to bring this complete multitrack recording application to an expanded set of customers," said Bob Ellison, president of Syntrillium. "Introducing Cool Edit Pro into the Adobe family is great news for our customers, who will benefit from the company's complementary product line and commitment to delivering high-quality products."

"By adding Cool Edit Pro to our product line," said Bryan Lamkin, senior VP of Digital Imaging and Video Products at Adobe, "Adobe is delivering a complete workflow of video pros and DVD authors. The introduction of Adobe Encore DVD and out acquisition of this outstanding audio application demonstrate our intention to put the best DV tools in the hands of PC users worldwide."

Syntrillium products can still be accessed via its Website, www.syntrillium.com.

Sonic Foundry Sells Entertainment Business
Sonic Foundry has closed on the sale of assets comprising its entertainment industry-based business to Deluxe Media Services Inc. for approximately $5.6 million cash, including an estimate of net working capital.

Sonic Foundry's entertainment business include its digital media conversion, encoding and distribution products and services for companies in the television, motion picture and entertainment industry.

With the money Sonic Foundry will receive from its deal with Sony Pictures Digital ("Sony Buys Sonic Foundry's Desktop Software Assets," mixonline.com/ar/audio_mix_news_may/index.htm), the company will use the approximate $24 million to pay off debt and fund the company's forward operations. All of the approximately 80 Sonic Foundry employees–currently working at the company's Toronto- and Los Angeles-based operations–will be impacted by the sale, although the majority of them are expected to transition to Deluxe.

According to Sonic Foundry chairman and CEO Rimas Buinevicius, "The company's focus has been evolving to rich-media content creation, management and distribution over the Internet with Web streaming and distribution solutions, such as our Mediasite Live product. Mediasite Live is a Web presentation system Sonic Foundry introduced in 2002 that is used for a wide variety of enterprise communication applications, such as distance learning, corporate training and Webcasting.

"We timed our transition to focus exclusively on the rich-media enterprise market as we began to see greater applications for our advanced technologies," Buinevicius continued. "Our proprietary offerings and expertise in the areas of indexing, navigating and interpreting rich-media content are the principal foundations that define the rich-media database of the future. Products help create the content for these databases, while our follow-up offerings will focus on enhancing and improving the workflow consumption and interpretation of rich media."

For more, visit Sonic Foundry at www.sonicfoundry.com.

Roxio Buys Pressplay
Roxio announced that it acquired Pressplay (the joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment), which gives Roxio a legal digital music-distribution infrastructure and catalog rights with all five major music labels. Pressplay will serve as the foundation for the launch of Roxio’s new legal online music service under the Napster brand.

"Roxio’s acquisition of Pressplay significantly accelerates the development of our online music business," said Chris Gorog, Roxio’s chairman and CEO. "With our acquisition of Napster, we obtained the most powerful brand in the online music space. Now, with our acquisition of Pressplay, we have the most complete and scalable legal technology infrastructure to use as a platform to relaunch Napster. After taking the necessary time to add features, enhance functionality and improve usability, we will launch a new service with an extremely compelling consumer experience that builds on the qualities of the Napster brand."

Under the terms of its agreement, Roxio has purchased a majority ownership for $12.5 million in cash and approximately 3.9 million shares of Roxio common stock. Based on Roxio’s closing stock price on May 16, 2003, the purchase price would be approximately $39.5 million, excluding transaction costs estimated at approximately $1 million. In addition, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group each have the right to earn up to $6.25 million based on positive cash flows resulting from the new Napster service.

Both labels will each provide a representative to join Roxio’s board of directors. pressplay’s president, Mike Bebel, will report directly to Gorog, and pressplay’s senior management team and its offices in Los Angeles and New York will remain in place.

"Online music is highly synergistic with our core business of CD/DVD recording and digital media software and will be of great interest to our global customer base of over 100 million digital media consumers. Very significant positive changes have recently occurred in the legal online music sector resulting in far greater availability of content and much broader flexibility for consumers. We believe these critical changes now provide an environment for a very positive consumer experience that will help propel the growth of this industry," said Gorog.

Zach Horowitz, president and COO of Universal Music Group, said, "The potential of the legitimate online music market is only now becoming apparent. The combination of pressplay, Roxio and Napster uniquely positions the service for the future. We are excited to continue to be part of that future by becoming a major shareholder in Roxio and look forward to working with Chris Gorog and his team to find new ways to make the online music experience an especially compelling one."

Robert Bowlin, executive VP at Sony Music Entertainment, said, "When pressplay launched in 2001, one of its great differentiating features, CD burning, was made possible by its relationship with Roxio. We believe that the combination of Roxio’s strong software expertise and its Napster brand, with pressplay’s unique programming and depth of content, will create an unparalleled service for music fans."

Commenting on the immediate financial impact of the transaction, Roxio’s CFO Elliot Carpenter said, "We anticipate spending approximately $20 million to fund the relaunch of Napster. Following the relaunch, we expect that this new business will result in negative cash flows until the service is widely adopted."

Roxio will provide a more detailed outlook of the financial impact of this transaction to its fiscal first quarter ending June 30. For more, visit www.roxio.com.

Non-Stop Music Library Expands Catalog
Salt Lake City-based Non-Stop Music announced that in addition to its award-winning production library, new music libraries have been added: Groovers Music Library, Media Music, Point Music Library, Countdown Media and JW Media (Latin America). The company also released four new CDs: Attitude 3, Action 2 and 3 and Adventure 2 in its Producers Series.

Non-Stop Music Library cues can also be heard in the upcoming film trailer promotion of X-Men 2, Finding Nemo, The Hulk and Freaky Friday.

For more on Non-Stop, visit www.nonstopmusic.com.

Mackie Upgrades D8B
Mackie Designs (Woodinville, Wash.) announced Version 5.1 for its Digital 8·Bus (D8B) recording console; version 5.0 software was released last January.

New features include: a "Use V3 Style EQ" preference added to the Mix Options window. This global setting is saved with the session and allows complete backward-compatibility with Version 3 sessions. HUI Mode Improvements include Cut, Copy, Paste and Shift/Add buttons added to the HUI layer. Undo was moved to the Undo button and more functional buttons are now displayed onscreen. Modify levels for trim faders is now calibrated in dB steps. Users can link a channel to a channel directly above or below it, between the mic/line and tape return banks (banks 1 and 2 only), allowing for control of up to 24 stereo sources from a single bank. A Peak Hold option was added to the TOP meter view, which is enabled from the Options/Meters menu. Overload indicators can now be manually cleared by clicking on them or clear all overloads by pressing F10 or selecting Clear Over Loads from the Options/ Meters menu. Hot Keys have been added for Show HUI Layer, HUI mode on/off and meter type in GUI. Record Ready can now be mapped in the MIDI Map window. A Surround Panner replaces the Pan control in the Fat Channel when a surround mode is selected, and lastly, the ability to remove the selected channels from the L-R bus when copying.

Version 5.1 is currently available as a download from www.mackie.com. Version 5.1 is free for anyone who purchased a D8B after November 15, 2002, or anyone who has already purchased the Version 5.0 upgrade. Otherwise, the Version 5.1 upgrade is available for $299.

PAMA Adds More Charter Members
Fairlight, Focusrite, Manley Labs and Steinberg North America have joined the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) as charter members; other charter members include AKG Acoustics, Altec-Lansing, Audio-Technica, Califone, DiGiCo, Dolby Labs, Fairlight, Focusrite, Group One, Harman Pro Group, Klotz Digital, Manley Labs, Meyer Sound, Neutrik, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony, Steinberg North America, Tascam, Telex and Yamaha.

"The momentum of support for the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance continues to grow as more and more companies come to understand what this alliance can do for them," Paul Gallo, PAMA executive director, said. "The addition of Fairlight, Focusrite, Manley Labs and Steinberg North America will make our alliance an even stronger voice for the industry."

Lynx Offers Beta Version of OS X Drivers
The OS X driver for Lynx Studio Technology's Lynx TWO and L22 192kHz PCI interface reference audio cards is now available in a beta version; a downloadable version is available at www.lynxstudio.com. The OS X driver offers the ability to install multiple Lynx cards in a Mac and to use more than one application simultaneously. The final OS X driver will be released this summer.

The beta OS X driver allows quality audio recording and playback for either single multichannel or multiple stereo streams. Features unavailable in the beta version, but will be offered in the final release, include full software mixer control using the LynxTWO mixer utility, timecode and video genlock, LTC-to-MIDI timecode conversion and firmware update support.

Telex Names New President, CEO
Telex Communications (Minneapolis) named Raymond V. Malpocher as president and CEO to replace Ned Jackson, who is retiring. Malpocher was most recently with Teleflex Corporation as group president of its Marine/Industrial division.

According to Edgar S. Woolard Jr., chairman of the Board of Directors, "During his tenure with Telex, Ned Jackson made outstanding progress improving our operations and introducing a new family of products. We greatly appreciate his many contributions. We are excited that Mr. Malpocher has decided to join Telex. He has broad operating experience implementing world-class processes. Together with his strong management beliefs and practices, we are confident he will build on our solid foundation and provide the necessary leadership to continue the company's journey to excellence."

For more, visit Telex at www.telex.com.

AES Conference to Focus on Multichannel Audio
On June 26, 2003, the Audio Engineering Society will kick off three days of presentations and discussions on the present and future of multichannel audio at its 24th International Conference; the event will be held at the Banff Centre (located Banff, Alberta, Canada).

"The conference seminars and workshops will feature a wide range of practical and operational topics" said Theresa Leonard, AES 24th Conference chair and director of audio at the Banff Centre. "End-users, audio researchers and academics alike will benefit from the extensive program."

Papers topics will include surround perception, spatialization and reverb; signal processing; wave field synthesis; and alternatives to 5.1. The seminars, which will be enhanced by a multichannel monitoring room setup, will include a presentation on multichannel mastering techniques by Bob Ludwig and Steven Marcussen. Presentations on the challenges of surround sound for documentaries, radio drama in surround, the New Year’s Eve concert live from Vienna and the challenge of center channel will also be included.

The selection of live demonstrations include demos of multichannel audio reproduction, an MPEG-4-based interactive virtual 3-D scenery, a speaker Periphonic playback demonstration and practical examples of sound recording works by prominent recording engineers.

Each day’s events will feature roundtables and discussions, as well as cultural and musical events. Day one will include a round table discussion, "Towards the Polarization of Surround Sound Systems," which will explore the synergies between hardware and software engineering and the relationship that exists between them and the sales and installation function. That evening, a wine and cheese party will accompany the Posters Sessions, which will run concurrently with a live music performance featuring multichannel components in the sound systems. Also taking place in the Walter Phillips Gallery will be a presentation by the Paradise Institute, which will feature the performance art piece presented at the 2001 Venice Biennale. Day two’s highlights include a demonstration of microphone technology and techniques in the recording studio, as well as a roundtable of prominent engineers who will share their views of the multichannel field based on their experiences. Wrapping up the three-day event will be a performance by one of Canada’s top classical performers, cellist Shauna Rolston.

Online registration and detailed program information can be found on the AES 24th International Conference located at www.aes.org or by visiting www.banffcentre.ca/aes.

Seattle Clubs Install SymNet Systems
Two Seattle-based clubs, the Shark Club and Medusa, have installed a SymNet Audio Matrix, a mixing, routing and processing system from Symetrix.

Longtime purchaser of Symetrix products, Mark Naficy, who is the owner of NAF Productions Inc., a Seattle audio rental, sales and installation company, put both clubs, which have been longtime customers, into the SymNet 8x8 Digital Signal Processor hardware module.

"Both clubs are using it for all of their audio processing needs, including EQ, crossover, compression, limiting–a million different things–which has allowed them to replace many of the individual pieces they had to buy individually before," Naficy said. "Using SymNet Designer, we can see the entire system on a laptop or desktop computer screen, and pieces of it can be easily seen and adapted or changed as needed and downloaded into the unit. It has all of the processing that's needed for a system built into a computer-based program and unit."

Medusa, a year-old club that has hosted numerous nationally and internationally acclaimed DJs, uses SymNet to control the sound system on the dance floor and the main room of the club. Another Symetrix product, the 322 DSP engine, is used for processing audio in the other areas of the club. "The SymNet module is the only thing between the DJ's mixing board and the amplifiers, but they're not able to interact with it or change any settings in it because they've been preset," Naficy said. "So instead of a bunch of know-it-all DJs coming in and possibly blowing up the system, we're able to retain control. With a lot of different DJs in and out of the club, everything is clamped down with the system, and the club ends up with a consistent sound and a system that's also protected from damage."

At the Shark Club, an in-house sound person controls the SymNet settings and configures the system as needed for the numerous live bands who play there. "We pretty much gave them the unit and they configured it, letting them determine how everything is routed," Naficy said. "We had sold a system to the club about five or six years ago, and when Symetrix came out with its SymNet product, we upgraded them to it. It really made a big difference in the sound of the system because of their ability to control it more effectively."

For more on the Symetrix products, visit www.symetrixaudio.com.

George Massenburg Employs Sanken Mic on Recent Project
Renowned producer/engineer George Massenburg recently employed the Sanken CU-44X microphone for much of the new album, Sweet Is the Melody, from 12-year-old Canadian prodigy Aselin Debison; the effort was co-produced with Peter Asher.

"I recorded almost everything with a pair of Sanken CU-44Xs," explained Massenburg. "It's simply a classic microphone that seems to have been overlooked amidst the plethora of new mics on the market these days. On acoustic guitar, the CU-44X has incredible range; a big, flat low end; and fantastic high end. From any perspective, it is flat, clean and very extended. For Aselin's vocals, it was superb, transparent and gave me great clarity and range. Percussion was fast and clean.  Drum overhead miking was clean and linear and no low-end mush; a nice, useful cardioid pattern. For strings, this microphone outshines even the honored benchmark mics of the past. On acoustic piano, we got a big sound, well-separated tones, clean high end, warm low end and nice attack. The high-frequency response of this mic is unbelievable; best I've heard, and ready for the 96kHz sampling future."

For further information, visit Sanken distributor Plus24 at www.plus24.net.

Molex Upgrades ParaLink
Molex has added a 3.2Gbps version to its ParaLink Parallel Optical Interconnect product line. The ParaLink module is a pluggable 12-channel parallel module for high-speed, high-density optical-data transfer applications. This enhanced version increases throughput by 25% over more commonly available devices at 2.5Gbps per channel.

The new ParaLink modules are compatible with the new generation of XAUI interface chips. The modules can transmit optical data over 300 meters of multimode fiber depending on type of fiber.

The company's ParaLink-P devices come as a set of separate 12-channel transmitter and receiver modules. The transmitter is based on a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser array (VCSEL) with active bias and modulation feedback to provide constant optical output over operating range and lifetime. The devices operate on a 3.3-volt supply and typically draw only 250 mA, providing a very low-power consumption, typically 1.6 watts per link. These modules plug into a 10x10 BGA socket previously mounted on the motherboard, allowing for a more flexible final assembly, test and repair process.

ParaLink pluggable modules have been designed with a low profile of 8.4 mm to enable use with PCI-compliant cards and other height-constrained applications. Modules have a compact 54x18mm size layout, and the devices are available with an EMI shroud to provide EMI suppression for front-panel-mounted applications. The optical interface is an MPO receptacle that allows for easy connection to standard 12-fiber MT-based ribbon cable. Through a cross-licensing agreement, all Molex ParaLink-P modules are fully pin-out compliant and interoperable with Infineon’s PAROLI 2 pluggable parallel optical interconnect devices.

ParaLink 3.125G modules are available now. Pricing starts at less than $1,000 per transmitter and receiver pair. For more information on the Molex ParaLink-P, or other fiber optic products, visit www.molex.com.

Shure Ships DSP Processor
The new DFR22 Audio Processor features 2-in/2-out DSP and Shure's patented automatic digital-feedback reduction algorithm (DFR). Also included are modules for EQ, dynamics processing, delay and matrix mixing. The DFR22 is also easily configured through a flexible drag-and-drop Windows software interface.

"The DFR22 will give current users of our DFR11EQ and P4800 the best of both products in a new form factor," said Bob Reider, Shure's category director of audio processing products. "It will function as an out-of-the-box, 2-channel feedback reducer or as a fully configurable 2x2 device with a full complement of software-configurable audio processors. It also answers the many requests we've received for a stereo version of our patented feedback-reduction algorithm."

The DFR22 features single-channel and stereo 5, 10 and 16-band DFR processing blocks. In addition, it now offers an Auto-Clear mode that removes changes to EQ made by the feedback reducer after a specified period of time. The DFR22 includes both XLR and Phoenix connectors, and takes up a single rackspace.

For more, visit Shure online at www.shure.com.

MOTU Upgrades 828
MOTU's new 828mkII ($795), a single-rackspace FireWire audio interface for Mac and Windows, replaces the 828 at the same price but adds new features.

These new features include more simultaneous inputs (20) and outputs (22), 24-bit 96kHz operation, 8-bus monitor mixing with front-panel LCD programming, stand-alone operation, front-panel mic/guitar/instrument inputs with preamps and sends, SMPTE timecode sync and MIDI I/O.

"The 828mkII is equally well-suited for both studio and stage," said Jim Cooper, director of marketing at MOTU. "It gives you all of the analog and digital I/O you need for desktop recording, including convenient front-panel mic inputs with sends for your favorite compressor, EQ or guitar amp. You can program multiple monitor mixes onscreen with the included CueMix Console software, hit the road and then tweak mix settings at your gig using the front-panel LCD display without the computer. And, we've added convenient MIDI jacks so you don't need to carry an extra MIDI interface."

Additional features include ADAT sync input; wordclock input/output; punch-in/out; two 1394 FireWire connectors; IEC power receptacle; universal compatibility with virtually all audio software on Mac OS 9/X and Windows ME/2K/XP; and AudioDesk, a sample-accurate workstation software for Mac OS with 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit automated mixing/processing/mastering.

The 828mkII is expected to ship in Q2 of 2003. For more, visit www.motu.com.

Middle Atlantic Products are Quality-Assured
Middle Atlantic Products has been approved for registration of its Quality Assurance System in accordance with the International Organization for Standards (IOS) 9001:2000.

Managed by TUV Essen, the third-party evaluation of Middle Atlantic Products' New Jersey, California and Illinois facilities verifies that the quality systems used to engineer, manufacture and distribute its products meet international standards for quality practices.

According to Keith Carney, VP of engineering and quality assurance, "ISO 9001:2000 registration is not necessarily an end unto itself, but instead a very important step forward in our company-wide pursuit of quality in each and every aspect of our operations. Middle Atlantic Products will continue to examine and re-examine ways to improve our products and processes and in doing so, maintain our competitive edge based on quality and innovation."

Certification to ISO 9001:2000 is a model for quality assurance in design, manufacturing and customer care. This registration applies to all products manufactured under the quality system in place at the registered site. Registration requires demonstration of a total quality-control system in five distinct areas: product realization, quality management, management responsibility, resource management and measurement, and analysis and improvement.

Following the initial registration, Middle Atlantic Products will be audited twice yearly to ensure that the company's quality system continues to meet the requirements of IS0 9001:2000.

For more on Middle Atlantic Products, visit www.middleatlantic.com. For more on the International Organization for Standards, visit www.iso.ch/iso/en/ISOOnline.frontpage.

Vocal Mic Invitational Announced
To be held at Ocean Way Nashville on July 17, 2003, this one-day event will explore the technology and technique of vocal miking, as well as demonstrations with vocalists from manufacturers. An engineer panel from Music Row's finest will cap the event with a discussion of vocal microphone techniques in an interactive session.

The event is open and free to the greater Nashville engineering community, as well as local recording schools. NAMM attendees are also welcome, including dealers and sales reps.

The event will take place on the main tracking floor of Ocean Way Nashville. Two iso rooms will be alternately set up with the live presentations.

For more, visit www.aes.org/sections/nashville/.

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