Archive for August, 2009

Testing The M-48

rssstage.gifTesting the RSS M-48 Personal mixing system on stage today. Features include thirty-two channel feeds that you can custom assign per-box from a computer or the Roland V-Mixer. Each unit has three bands of EQ per channel, a reverb, “room” mic for adding to your mix and more. Watch for the review soon in Mix.

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Les Paul Memories

paulpaul.gifLes Paul died today at 94. I was lucky enough to meet him a few times at Mix TEC Awards after parties and he always attracted a crowd and had great stories. His impact on the audio recoding industry and music in general as a recording artist and inventor of the electric guitar can’t be overstated. Mix’s website is packed with Les Paul press releases and some other gems including a podcast about his involvement with the legendary Fairchild compressor, a great gallery of rare photos, an interview with recording artist Steve Miller who talks about his early and musically formative experiences with Les, and a download of the original patent for the Les Paul guitar. UPDATE: Full story with more links just posted on Mix’s website.

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Welcome to AES 2009!

Stay tuned to this page to get your breaking news from the show floor!
—Editors

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On My Desk: Sonic Lens and RNR1

rnr1slens.gifI just got the new Rupert Neve-designed ribbon mic from SE Electronics. The RNR1 is an active (phantom powered) ribbon with a large engine and as you can see a slick look. I’ve also got the perfect front end for ANY mic in the Upstate Audio Sonic Lens stereo mic preamp. We’re having a blast using this pre, which brings a whole new level of clean to the audio path. Reviews are imminent and will blow your mind.

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Mackie/Pro Tools—The Mystery Unfolds

mackie-1.jpgWe get a lot of odd items in the mail at our offices here, but the other day we were intrigued by the arrival of a rather strange parcel. Within the ordinary-looking outer packaging was an unmarked black box (somewhat reminiscent of the black monolith from Kubrick’s 2001—A Space Odyssey) and within that was a Mackie Onyx 820i analog mixer with FireWire interfacing, a copy of Pro Tools M-Powered software, a DVD marked “Insert Me� and a page of instructions printed using ransom note–style cut-out letters. The outside of the mixer’s box touts a large notice saying it’s compatible with Pro Tools M-Powered in large letters with the words “and Logic, SONAR, Cubase, etc.� listed beneath in smaller type.

In true Mackoid tradition, the DVD had a short video clip of a Mackie employee with an altered voice and wearing a stocking over his face to conceal his identity. The mystery spokesperson explains a few people were chosen to receive this “top-secret� parcel and then goes to play part of a Pro Tools session through the 820i. More mysterious perhaps was the other file on the DVD—an installer for the Mackie Universal Driver Version 1 that would let Mackie products act as an audio interface/front end for Pro Tools M-Powered software. If so, it’s a lot of impact for a relatively few lines of code.

Assuming this isn’t simply a case of reverse-engineering on Mackie’s part, this development is significant for several reasons. Up until this point, Digidesign has been exceedingly protective about its hardware, with the only sanctioned deal being sister company M-Audio gear working with the specially branded Pro Tools M-Powered. So this is either the first step (admittedly, a small step and not a leap) toward easing Digidesign’s “software curtain� on Pro Tools hardware, or simply opening the market somewhat on the M-Powered side to bring more users into the Pro Tools fold. And once there, some of these users would, in theory, eventually upgrade to Pro Tools LE or a full-bore Pro Tools HD system, making it a win on Digidesign’s part.

Yet so far, other than a mysterious note, a new FireWire-enabled mixer and a driver with a lot of potential, there are many questions and few answers. However, more information should surely come on September 9—Mackie’s “official� launch date for the 820i. But one thing is for sure: This story ain’t over yet.

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