117th AES inSync Report – DAY 3 of 5.
Welcome to this installment of our inSync report of the 117th AES Convention! Each day this week we’ll cover some of the latest and greatest products that appeared for the first time at this year’s AES show. If you’d like to get the whole scoop on our online report, check it out here. Enjoy today’s installment!
Earthworks DrumKit System
While developing a new 25kHz series of mics for percussion, the brainiacs from Earthworks took them into the studio to try them out. They only used two mics for overheads and one for the kick. What they heard blew them away so much so that they decided to create a new bundle – the Earthworks DrumKit System.
The DrumKit System comes in two flavors: the DK25/R is for recording and features two TC25 omnis for overheads and an SR25 cardioid for the kick and a KickPad (more on the KickPad later). The DK25/L is for live performances and has three SR25s and a KickPad. These new microphones were made for drums, but according to Earthworks, they sound great on other instruments as well.
I will say this of these new drum mic bundles, they come in the most attractive carrying case any drummer has ever seen. Each bundle comes in a beautiful wood case that’s reminicent of tom cases from the ’40s.
A good kick drum mic needs to be designed and optimized for a specific purpose – make the kick snap with a deep thud! With that in mind, Earthworks has rolled out their new KickPad – just plug it into the mic line going to your kick drum microphone and BAM(!), your kick will automatically sound even better. As a passive device, the KickPad is only a few inches long and won’t get in the way of anything. While designed specifically for their new SR25 cardioid microphone, Earthworks suggests that it will improve the sound of any tradionally used kickdrum microphone.
The R-1 is a hand-held portable device that records and plays back at crystal-clear, 24-bit audio resolution without compression. Many of the Edirol employees were so busy in the booth, in fact, that I had to get get information about the R-1 (and new R-4) from one of the top engineers from Japan. Between his broken english and my rusty Japanese (lived there for two years), we had a great conversation about this little beauty – here’s the deal: Electrolytic capacitors provide stable, reliable power to the analog circuits, eliminating DC interference and offering a truly low-distortion sound. Maximum recording time is approximately 137 minutes (MP3, 64 kbps mode) when using the included 64 MB memory card. The R-1 offers nine quality modes ranging from 64 kbps compression to 24-bit linear WAV.
There are probably a hundred or more uses an audio pro can think of for such a device. Keep in mind that it also houses a couple of on-board mics as well. Record your rehearsals, keep track of all your song ideas, etc. I don’t know how a musician can get by without one in fact! The R-1 did not feel cheap, or plastic either. And, the R-1 goes above and beyond with its quality internal effects processor, equipped with 13 tools for perfecting your sound (microphone simulator, noise suppressor, hum-cut, EQ, reverb, center canceller, and more). The EQ of the R-1 offers a variety of presets for various styles of music. The R-1 also provides Tuner and Metronome functions, making it an excellent portable music-practice tool!
For the remote recording professional, Edirol introduced the R-4! The R-4 brings you a new generation of portable recording. Enjoy superb sound quality, use the 40GB hard disk drive for extended recording, record up to four channels at once, and edit waveforms on the recorder itself! All this plus a compact size and light weight that assure outstanding mobility in the field. The Edirol R-4. Gear up for the new generation of portable recording.
Edirol R-4 Features:
- Extended Recording with 40GB Hard Disk Drive
- Superior 24-bit/96-kHz Linear Recording
- Simultaneous 4-Channel Recording
- On-Board Limiter
- Built-In Nondirectional Stereo Microphones
- Five High-Quality Effects
- L Terminal for Linking a Digital Video Camera
- Waveform Editing Using Only the R-4
- Easy Playback with the Jog Dial
- Built-In Stereo Speakers
- USB 2.0 Terminal Provides a High-Speed Computer Data Link
- Advanced Linking with the EDIROL DV-7DL
- CompactFlash™ Slot
- 2-Way Power Supply
- Digital Audio Input/Output
- Soft Carrying Case
E-MU Proteus X
Proteus X is the culmination of over 15 years of sound module development, including E-MU’s patented pitch interpolation, all controlled by an interface that lets you dial in the right sound. Proteus X ships with E-MU’s 0404 Digital Audio System 24-bit/192kHz audio interface, and features comprehensive WDM, DirectSound and ASIO 2.0 drivers for Windows 2000 and XP.
Proteus X ships with over 2GB of sounds and thousands of presets, including a Stereo Grand Piano, the full Proteus 2000 soundset (includes all 1024 original presets), a Hip-Hop producer bank, Beat Shop 24-bit drums and grooves, and many more. You can also expand your Proteus X with soundsets from some of E-MU’s most popular sound modules, like the Mo’Phatt, Virtuoso 2000 and Planet Earth, as well as any CD-ROM from the Emulator X library. Proteus X also supports a host of other sound formats, including EOS, EIII, GigaSampler, Akai, HALion, EXS24, SoundFont 2.1, WAV and more. Proteus X also gives you some flexibility in how you play these sounds, offering both standalone and VSTi functionality, and supports both hard disk streaming and playback from RAM.
Genelec 8000 Series Monitors
By now you have have seen Genelec’s new ads in the various industry magazines regarding their new line of studio monitors, the 8000 Series. What could be better? Actually hearing them! The near-field, two-way systems of the 8000 Series comprise three new products: the 8030A, 8040A, and 8050A. The “baby” 8030A now comes in white, silver, as well as the launch color black, while the 8040A and 8050A are available in white as well as black.
The 8030A, the smallest of the series, features a 5-inch bass driver along with a 3/4 inch tweeter loaded into a new advanced Genelec Directivity Controlled Waveguid (DCW). The free field frequency response is 55Hz to 21kHz. Peak SPL per pair is 108dB driven by a pair of 40-watt amplifiers.
The intermediate sized 8040A, incorporates a newly designed 6 1/2-inch woofer and a 3/4 inch tweeter also set into the Advanced Genelec DCW. The free-field frequency response is 45Hz to 21kHz. Peak SPL per pair is 115dB achieved utilising 90 watt amplifiers for each driver.
The 8050A is the largest model. Like its predecessor, the ubiquitous 1031A, it uses a new proprietary 8 inch bass driver and a 1 inch tweeter also set into the Advanced DCW. The 8050A will produce peak SPLs of 120dB with a free-field frequency response of 35Hz to 21kHz. Bass and treble amplification is 150 and 120 watts respectively.
Grace Design m902
At its core, the new m902 is a high-quality reference headphone amp. The m902 is built upon the remarkable success of the model 901 from Grace; but with addition of many new and essential features designed to make it invaluable for any critical audio application! Audio pros will be floored by the m902’s latest generation, high-performance 24-bit/192kHz DAC! It includes Grace’s unique s-Lock dual stage PLL for extremely low jitter and rock-solid digital performance. A full compliment of digital and analog inputs are available (including USB). New to the m902 is the ability to simulate the acoustics of a loudspeaker listening environment which significantly improves imaging while reducing listening fatigue when using headphones! Additionally, the m902 cleverly adds stereo analog line outputs for connection to studio monitors, allowing it to also function as an elegantly simple high-fidelity monitor controller!
DAW applications such as Logic Pro and Sonar 4 are blessed with an abundance of fantastic virtual instruments and plugins. But let’s face it, as these plug-in effects and instruments become more powerful and complex, utilizing them to their fullest with a mouse and keyboard alone can be frustrating and time consuming. Enter the C4 from Mackie, which as of AES show is supported by both Logic Pro and Sonar 4 with more to come!
We actually reported the C4 a while back, but it appears to be ready to help you out with your most demanding projects. With its 32 V-Pots and four giant virtual “scribble strip” displays, the Mackie Control C4 can simultaneously access and display up to 32 plug-in parameters without switching banks – control that’s far beyond the rest of those sub-pro control surfaces out there. The 32 push-button V-Pots are arranged in groups of eight directly below the four backlit LCD displays, surrounded by LED rings that display current knob positions. Function buttons beneath the displays and knobs allow you to select the arrangement of software parameters exactly how they show up on screen. So you can set up the C4 to tweak your software precisely the way you want – both on screen and on the control surface itself. Get your hands back on your music with a C4!
Mackie Onyx 80
Mackie’s new family of premium live sound consoles, the Onyx 80 Series, made their U.S. debut at this year’s AES show in San Francisco. This is the first showing of the Onyx 80 Series since it was introduced at the PLASA show in London in September. Like the successful Mackie Onyx small-format analog mixers introduced earlier this year, the Onyx 80 Series consoles feature all-new analog circuitry, a full compliment of Mackie’s flagship Onyx microphone preamps, and the renowned “British-Voiced” four-band Perkins EQ.
The Onyx 80 Series consoles will be offered in four sizes: the 24-channel Onyx 2480, 32-channel Onyx 3280, 40-channel Onyx 4080, and 48-channel Onyx 4880. All four models incorporate features that any hardcore live engineer will appreciate including eight Aux Sends with Stereo Link function for up to four IEM mixes; an Aux/Group Flip function; an 10×2 Matrix; four Mute Groups; eight stereo Aux inputs; and an optional rack-mountable redundant power supply. The master section and channel strip configuration are the same across the line, the mixers differ only by channel count and footprint.
Mackie Onyx 80 Channel Strip Features:
- Premium Onyx microphone preamps on every channel
- 4-band Perkins EQ with hardware bypass
- 48V Phantom Power, Mic/Line, 100Hz High-pass, and Polarity switches
- 8 Auxiliary sends with Pre/Post switches
- Auxiliary Send Stereo Link feature for IEM applications
- Direct Outputs on DB-25 connectors (8 channels per connector)
- 4 segment LED level indicators
- Smooth, long-throw 100mm faders
- Mute, and PFL Solo switches
- Balanced XLR mic and 1/4″ line inputs, plus 1/4″ insert jack
Mackie Onyx 80 Master Section Features:
- 8 Stereo Aux Inputs w/ 60mm faders, 4-band fixed Perkins EQ and 4-segment LEDs
- 8 Auxiliary Send Masters with balanced 1/4″ output, 1/4″ insert, Mute and AFL Solo
- 8 Groups with 100mm faders, balanced 1/4″ output and ” insert, Main Mix assign, Pan, Mute, AFL Solo and 4-segment LED meters
- 8 Aux Master / Group Flip switches
- 10 In x 2 Out Matrix with balanced -inch outputs
- 4 Mute Groups
- Balanced XLR Talkback Mic input with routing to all Aux Sends, Groups and Main Mix
- Dual 100mm Main Mix faders
- Phones / Monitor section with Solo, Monitor and Phones level
- Main Mix to Monitor / Phones switch
- Big pair of 12-segment tri-color LED meters dedicated to Main Mix and Solo levels
- Power Indicator LEDs for +15V, -15V, +48V and +12V power supply rails
- Rude Solo Indicators for AFL and PFL
Mackie Onyx 400F
The Mackie Onyx 400F is a 10-channel, 192kHz-capable FireWire audio interface that features the new flagship Mackie Onyx microphone preamps, as well as on-board DSP matrix mixing. The 400F’s on-board DSP mixing matrix allows latency free headphone mixing and routing independent of the DAW software. This is a particularly useful feature for those operating older DAW-based systems where processing power is limited.
Front panel controls on the Onyx 400F include control-room output level, dual independent headphone outputs with dedicated level control, dual instrument inputs, and four-segment metering for the mic inputs. The rear panel includes four combo mic/line inputs, balanced TRS sends and returns for the first two mic inputs, four line inputs, eight line outputs, Control Room outputs, Word Clock I/O, MIDI I/O, SPDIF I/O and two FireWire ports. The 1U rackmount steel chassis features an extruded aluminum front panel with machined aluminum knobs. A black plastic accent strip is flushed mounted into the front panel to complete the look.
The Onyx 400F is bundled with a complete software package which includes Tracktion, Mackie’s audio recording and MIDI production software, as well as the Mackie Final Mix mastering toolkit.