Top Gear from 2010

This year saw a lot of great hardware and software hit the market as recession worries eased a bit and manufacturers invested in their future. The picks below are purely my own and humanely culled from a herd of worthy candidates. Please feel free to add your own in the comments below or on my Facebook or Twitter feeds. Talk amongst yourselves.

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1. API Channel Strip – Just released at AES in San Francisco, the API Channel Strip is comprised of a 512c mic pre, 550A EQ, 527 Compressor and 325 Line Driver.

2. DPA 5100 Surround Microphone – This covert and light surround mic was used extensively to record production audio for dpa.jpegHBO’s Treme. Read Joe Hannigan’s review where he used it to record in the 3,200 seat Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

3. Genelec 8260A Monitors – This slick new monitor from Genelec sounds great and brings a new and stealthy twist to a 3-way speaker making the reviewer call it “the reference standard in 3-way coaxial design.”

4. Focal CMS40 monitors – Lots of bottom end for a small enclosure coupled focal_cms40.jpgwith great stereo imaging makes these affordable desktop monitors a winner for up close listening.

5. JoeCo Blackbox Recorder – This sturdy, single rackspace box for live joeco_blackbox.jpgcapture is just the ticket for rock solid, multi-channel field recording.

6. Josephson C715 microphonejosephson_c715.jpgBringing new tech to the game, the transparent C715 from Josephson features a Lundahl transformer and a unique take on the protective grill/windscreen.

7. Nuendo 5 – This major upgrade has made Nuendo even more Post friendly and a great recording tool for studio use. Grammy winner Chuck Ainlay reviewed it in Mix’s October issue.

8. Nugen StereoPack plugins – The Nugen Stereo Pack plugin suite brings a whole new attitude to stereo placement.

9. Pro Tools 9 – One of many new products from Avid in 2010, Pro Tools 9 ports a lot of TDM features down to an affordable, scalable version of the world’s favorite DAW.

10. SSL Nucleus – This solid desktop DAW controller from SSL literally brings a lot to the table, including ssl_nucleus_audio_hub_aes_2010web.jpgenvied SSL preamps and plugins.

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