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What’s New At NAB?

10 Hot Products from NAB

I haven’t seen attendance numbers this year, but NAB seemed busier than ever. Every hall was jammed with attendees on hand to see what exhibitors were offering. The biggest audio news of the show happened this morning with DTS announcing they have purchased SRS Labs.

Some of the products that turned heads at the show were the Focal SM9 monitors which are now shipping. The monitor uses its focus mode to make the cabinet morph from a three way system with a passive radiator, to a two way system with just the touch of a button. There will be a review coming very soon.

Yamaha unveiled the CL Series, a Dante network–based console featuring remote I/O for a faster, more responsive Yamaha system solution. All three CL models in the Centralogic™ series, only differentiated by frame size and input capability, feature 24 mix buses, 8 matrix buses, plus stereo and mono outputs, and 16 DCAs.

DPA showed their new live microphone, the d:facto. Features include, a pre-polarized super cardioid condenser capsule, controlled off-axis response, extreme sound level handling, 3-step pop protection and more.

iZotope’s IRIS is incredible. Calling it a synth or sampler doesn’t do it justice. Apart from having some great sounds included in the software (4GB), it offers a completely unique way of manipulating audio and mapping it across a keyboard. Onboard DSP sweetens the deal and you can drag and drop audio into the interface making it a great sound bending tool for post, live performance, music mixing and more. The intro price is just $149.

Roland’s latest software upgrade for its M480 console includes many new features such as increased number of DCA’s from 8 to 24, scene Fade Function, increased delay time up to 1.2 seconds for broadcast and large outdoor applications, five new effect processors including Multi-Band Compression/Expansion and BOSS digital effect models, second order shelving on Lo and Hi EQ, mutually Exclusive LR/C assignment for cross-matrixed linear array speaker configurations and more.

SSL showed a cost-effective, live recording solution for live, broadcast and anyone else needing high track count capture. SSL’s Live-Recorder combines Soundscape Version 6.2 DAW Recorder/Player software, a MadiXtreme or MX4 PCIe audio interface and an industrial strength high performance 1U rack mounting PC. The Soundscape 6.2 software is a powerful audio only multi-track DAW Recorder/Player.Soundscape V6.2 has SSL’s ‘Pro-Convert’ technology built in, so can export recorded multi-track sessions in a range of formats which are native to a selection of popular DAW packages for editing and mixing. Export formats include; Pro Tools® 8 & 9 Sessions, Cubase/Nuendo Track Archives, Final Cut XML’s and Samplitude/Sequoia Edit Lists The price is expected to be around $6k.

Sound Devices showed a new video/audio recorder called the PIX 260. The rackmounted unit uses the Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD codecs, and records and plays files up to 220 Mbps in high-quality 10-bit 4:2:2 video as well as 32 tracks of 48 kHz audio. Files from the PIX 260 are ready for direct import into Avid and Final Cut editing environments, eliminating time-consuming transferring and transcoding. Files can also play out of the PIX 260 for real time applications.

Studio Technologies Live-Link Jr. is a highly-integrated camera extender system optimized for electronic news gathering (ENG), uplink truck, and specialized broadcast applications. The portable camera end unit and rack-mounted truck end unit provide all the resources needed for a single-camera live event. Linked using just two single-mode optical fibers, the same excellent performance will be supplied whether the units are hundreds of feet or miles apart. Notable features of the Live-Link Jr. system include performance flexibility, support for high-quality on-air (program), talent cue (IFB) and intercom audio, and ease of use.

Lectrosonics showed a new wireless transmitter. The WM Watertight Transmitter, the company’s newest addition to its line of highly acclaimed Digital Hybrid Wireless® microphone systems offering compandor-free audio. Combining ‘cabled-microphone’ audio performance combined with a super-tough housing designed to withstand the harshest environments, the new Lectrosonics WM Watertight Transmitter is certain to be well received by theatrical and location sound professionals.

Finally, Dynaudio showed their 20th anniversary main monitors, the M3XE. It combines world-class driver and cabinet technology from Dynaudio Professional with cutting-edge signal processing and amplification from Lab.gruppen, Lake and TC Electronic. Sporting the newest and most pristine Dynaudio driver technology, M3XE takes over where most other monitor systems give up. With unsurpassed attention to detail, underpinned by an impressive 20Hz – 25kHz frequency response and beyond 133dB SPL, M3XE leaves no room for desire in terms of resolution, range or sheer power. The powerful combination of Lab.gruppen, Lake and TC Electronic processing technology forms the ultimate backing for M3XE and ensures unlimited power and the tools for optimizing any room to become the perfect listening environment.

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New Advanced Panning Plugin for Pro Tools

Maggot software has just released a new ProTools plugin called SPANNER for working in 5.1 or 7.1 surround. It is $199 has very low CPU overhead, so can be used on every track in a session. It can also can be used as an AudioSuite plug allowing non-realtime downmixes. READ MORE

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Free DAW!

PreSonus is now shipping Studio One™ Free, a new entry-level version of its DAW for Mac® and Windows®. Intended for beginners who don’t yet need the advanced features in Studio One Artist, Producer, and Professional, Studio One Free provides all of the recording and editing features needed for basic music production-and as its name implies, it’s free. READ MORE

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Jim Marshall Dies at 88

Jim Marshall, the founder of Marshall amps has died at 88. From the 1960s forward, Marshall amps became the very definition of rock and roll guitar amplification. READ MORE

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Free EQ/Compression Webinar

Join Sennheiser on Thursday April 5 at 5:00 PM EDT / 2:00 PM PDT for a complimentary webinar that will teach you how to effectively use equalization and compression. The webinar will be presented by Grammy-winning producer and engineer David Thoener and is brought to you by audio specialist Sennheiser as part of our Online Recording Sound Academy program. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Webinar Topics:

Using EQ constructively
Compressing – when to use compression and when not to
Adding that final sheen to the mix with gentle use of EQ

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Musikmesse Brings Zynaptiq Plug-in

At Musikmesse, which closed last week Zynaptiq introduced UNVEIL, a real-time de-reverberation and signal focusing plug-in for the Mac OS X AudioUnits (AU) format, at their booth at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, Hall 5.1 Booth A91. READ MORE

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Musikmesse Day 2: Focusrite ISA Two

The ISA Two dual-mono mic pre features two independent channels of the highest quality classic Focusrite mic pres, with line in and front-panel instrument inputs – no DI box required. Based on the legendary designs found in the Focusrite Forte and Studio Consoles, ISA Two is the ideal front-end for your rack. READ MORE

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Musikmesse Day 1: Dynaudio DBM50 Monitors

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Why Did The Oscars Sound SO Bad?

I’m not sure about your local broadcast, but my audio for the 84th Annual Oscar Ceremony was awful. For me it started at Billy Crystal’s monologue with the feed sounding like a everything was pushed through Avid’s Lo-Fi plugin, and the problems continued throughout the show.

My reality check came after I discovered Oscars Audio Guy (@BarrettTryon) as he heckled from Twitter saying: “We used tin cans this year to offset Billy Crystal in HD,” he wrote. “Anyone have some more string we can borrow for mic cord?” Wired.com ran an article about him as did Tryon’s home town website coloradosprings.com. Tryon commented from Facebook that the Academy wasn’t amused by the spoof as they suspended him and had Twitter yank his account.

UPDATE: The Buzz Continues! Variety has just posted an article online, as did Leslie Shapiro at Sound and Vision Magazine and Barrett was just interviewed by Vanity Fair. Also, a Twitter site has gone up to “free the O…. Audio Guy from Twitter jail.”

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Top 10 Pro Tools 10 Questions Answered


Mix recently produced a Pro Tools 10 Webcast that is now available for viewing on-demand. Alongside the presentation, texted questions were being answered live by the presenters and Avid product specialists. Here are the top 10 questions from the the text portion of the program.

Q: What are the new DSPs in the new cards ? Why can’t they work with Accel Cards ?

A: The HDX cards have TI chips, that are ^x more powerful than the old Sharc chips (each). Completely different architecture

Q: Can a project created on 8.0.3cs3 for Windows be moved to a Pro Tools 10 or 10X for a Mac system?

A: Yes, not a problem

Q: So surround requires HD?

A: Surround can be achieved with PT 10 + Complete Production Toolkit or any of the HD family

Q: So we can use Pro Tools 10 HD for example on laptop without the hardware?

A: Correct – if you have Pro Tools HD, you can use the software stand alone using the HD ilok auth to authorize it.

Q: What is clip gain?

A: Clip gain is the ability to isolate a region and add or subtract gain from the edit window on each clip. It is different than automation. Clip gain is pre insert, Automation as at the fader level. They run separately

Q: When is this 1000+dB supposed to happen?

A: With Pro Tools HD Native or HDX, you get 1500+ dB of headroom

Q: I am running 8 HD3 TDM. Can I use the 10 software with my TDM cards, 192s and TDM plugs?

A: Yes, Pro Tools 10 will work with your existing HD Accel system assuming your computer will support Snow Leopard or Lion

Q: My computer only has 4Gigs of Ram and with PT10 you need that just to run it?

A: PT needs 4gigs just to run properly, so I would recommend 8-12 GB, especially with disk cache enabled.

Q: Is Pro Tools 10 compatible with the 003 rack?

A: Yes it is!

Q: I received Pro Tools 9 as a student edition, I was told that I get 4 years of free upgrades. Is this true?

A: Yes this is true. Congrats and thanks for supporting!

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