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Microphone Month

Summer NAMM ’04 Online Report – 1 of 4

In keeping with years of tradition, Sweetwater is proud to offer our EXCLUSIVE online report of this summer’s most exciting music trade show – Summer NAMM 2004! As always, remember to contact your Sweetwater Sales Engineer at 1-800-222-4700 for more information about any of the gear you’ll find in this year’s report.

AKG C 414 B-XLS

If you really love the sound of AKG’s C 414 B-ULS, rest assured that it continues on with the all-new C 414 B-XLS – only better. Clean, pristine, and ready to capture anything the way nature intended it. The capsule is essentially the same between the C 414 B-ULS and the new C 414 B-XLS, but AKG just took this opportunity to improve some of the “guts” of the ever-evoloving C 414.

For instance, AKG has almost completely eliminated structurally-transmitted vibrations that interfere and color the sound, thanks to a new elastic capsule suspension system. This ensures the C 414 B-XLS is as free of mechanical noise and vibration as possible (I tried this in their booth and can verify that the unintentional mic “bump” that happens while in the studio won’t effect this mic – it was amazing). With your choice of omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, or figure eight patterns, the C 414 B-XLS will quickly become one of the most-used mics in your collection! And verifying your selected pattern is easy: a two-color LED provides a quick visual indication of the current pattern. Plus, an additional output overload LED on the C 414 B-XLS gives you an immediate warning of mic clipping.

Features:

  • 1-inch large-diaphragm pressure gradient microphone

  • High sound pressure level capability and wide dynamic range

  • Completely immune to electrostatic and electromagnetic interference from digital gear, computer monitors, etc. thanks to solid metal housing and transformerless output stage

  • Three switchable bass cut filters and three pre-attenuation pads with LEDs for quick visual indication

  • All switchable components operate in low impedance circuits for ultra-high reliability even in extremely humid conditions

  • Three switchable bass cut filters and three pre-attenuation pads with LEDs for quick visual indication

  • Optional R 414 remote control unit (available late 2004) for full control of all switchable parameters

  • Includes professional shock mount/stand adapter and external windscreen

AKG C 414 B-XL II

The sound of the AKG C 414 B/TLII is known for its warm tones, turning any studio vocals (and a whole lot more) into gold immediately. The new C 414 B-XL II features essentially the same capsule – based on the AKG C 12 VR capsule – so if you yearn for that sound in an updated package, the C 414 B-XL II is for you!

AKG has almost completely eliminated structurally-transmitted vibrations that interfere and color the sound, thanks to a new elastic capsule suspension system. This REALLY blew me away when I tested it for myself in the AKG booth! This ensures the C 414 B-XL II is as free of mechanical noise and vibration as possible. With your choice of omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, or figure eight patterns, the C 414 B-XL II will quickly become one of the most-used mics in your collection! And verifying your selected pattern is easy: a two-color LED provides a quick visual indication of the current pattern. Plus, an additional output overload LED gives you an immediate warning of mic clipping situations. Over all, the new C 414s both looked, sounded and appear to be the best of what we all love about them; only better!

Features:

  • 1-inch large-diaphragm pressure gradient microphone

  • High sound pressure level capability and wide dynamic range

  • Completely immune to electrostatic and electromagnetic interference from digital gear, computer monitors, etc. thanks to solid metal housing and transformerless output stage

  • Three switchable bass cut filters and three pre-attenuation pads with LEDs for quick visual indication

  • All switchable components operate in low impedance circuits for ultra-high reliability even in extremely humid conditions

  • Includes professional shock mount/stand adapter, external pop filter and external windscreen

  • Also available in matched stereo pairs

Alesis Photon 25 & X25

Alesis seems to have jumped on board with several other manufacturers by designing the Photon 25 and Photon X25 USB MIDI controllers. Both looked and felt much like you might expect in a compact keyboard controller, but the X25 includes an “AXYZ Controller Dome” that delivers 3D control over audio effects and virtual instruments (ala AirFX)! Both the Photon 25 and the Photon X25 offer 25 full-sized keys, an LED display and twelve assignable knobs.

Photon 25 Features:

  • Forty immediately accessible controls

  • Twelve knobs with three active layers

  • 25-key, velocity-sensitive keyboard

  • Great-feeling, super-high-resolution knobs

  • X/Y Joystick to control Pitch Bend/Modulation or other parameters

  • 4-Character LED display

  • Easy template placement for virtual instruments and digital audio workstations

  • Twenty editable, storable configurations

  • Three-way power: USB Bus Power, External Adapter (Optional), Or 4 “C”-Size Batteries (Optional)

  • Windows XP and Mac OS X ready

Photon X25 Features:

  • USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller with Audio

  • Revolutionary AXYZ Controller Dome with 3D control over audio effects and virtual instruments

  • Complete MIDI control with ten 360° endless knobs, ten buttons, and three active layers for over sixty immediately accessible controls

  • 24-Bit, 44.1/48 kHz Audio with balanced, stereo audio inputs and outputs

  • 25-key, velocity-sensitive keyboard and great-feeling, full-size Pitch and Modulation wheels

  • LCD screen with dedicated encoder for fast and easy setup

  • Easy template placement for instruments and DAWs

  • 20 editable, storable configurations

  • Three-way power: USB Bus Power, External Adapter (Optional), Or 4 “C”-Size Batteries (Optional)

  • Windows XP and Mac OS X Ready

Alesis XGuitar

Perfect for stage, studio or practice, the new X Guitar by Alesis harnesses the power of hundreds of pedals for the guitarist seeking that special sound. For the price, you can almost consider it a fantastic effects unit that comes with a guitar! Why? The X Guitar is a full-scale electric guitar that features 80 editable guitar presets in one professional package, including headphone and line outputs. All of the presets can be user-configured using the 9 effect modules and 8 different signal routing possibilities.

Features:

  • 80 Programs, each a factory preset that can be edited by the user or restored to factory default

  • 9 effects modules, each with multiple selectable effects, over 40 different effect types

  • 8 different signal routing options for re-ordering effect modules

  • 28-bit high-quality effects including reverbs, delays, chorus and flanging, amp emulation and transposition

  • Master volume and two tone controls

  • Simple up/down toggle switch to facilitate program changes on-the-fly

  • Built-in auto-chromatic tuner

  • 1 dual humbucker and 2 single stack humbucker pickups

  • Expression pedal input for volume, wah-wah and control over effect parameters

  • 30 hours of operation (on 4 AA batteries)

  • Stereo/headphone output on 1/4″ TRS connector

Alesis CD Twin

The CD Twin from Alesis was released earlier this summer, and is a nifty product that every studio, large or small, can take advantage of. What is it? The CD Twin is a standalone audio and data CD duplicator with a 52X burn mechanism that makes one-button CD copies, as well as compilations from several audio CDs. It’s that simple. So, whether you simply want to make a duplication of an existing CD, or need an external CDRW for your computer (USB 2.0), the CD Twin from Alesis is for you!

Features:

  • Smart “One-Touch” CD-to-CD Backup

  • Easy to use interface also allows you to make a custom music CD using your favorite songs

  • USB 2.0 Connection allows the CD-Twin to also operate as an external CDRW drive

  • Built-in headphone and line-level outputs allows the CD-Twin to works as a stand-alone music CD player

  • Integrated LCD control panel makes it easy to perform track-by-track or whole-disc copying

  • Designed to archive music, data, photo, and CD+G compact discs

  • Includes Nero backup software for your Windows PC

Alesis GigaMix 4 CD

Hmmm… this is one product that left everyone thinking, “why didn’t somebody come up with that one years ago?” The GigaMix 4 CD from Alesis is much like other powered mixers for smaller venues and other live sound applications, but adds a twist: it includes a built-in CD player! DJs, schools, churches and other groups who need playback along side their mixer will find the GigaMix 4 CD a real convenience.

Features:

  • 6 input channels

  • Four high-gain mic/line (XLR and 1/4″ balanced) inputs with phantom power

  • Two line input channels with dual, balanced 1/4″ inputs

  • 28-bit onboard effects

  • 100 onboard preset effects

  • Faster setup and greater portability

  • 3-band EQ on every channel

  • Master 9-band graphic EQ

  • Built-in CD player

  • Independent Main and Monitor volume controls

  • 200 watts @ 4ohms

Alesis MultiMix USB Mixers

The MultiMix line offers a choice of input configurations. Studio-quality components and effects processing combine with rock-solid construction. The MultiMix mixers also have USB audio, which allows direct computer audio interfacing for 16-bit simultaneous stereo input and output using standard recording software. With multiple I/O configurations, great prices and USB output, this new line of mixers just might be the hit of the year for smaller home studios everywhere!

Audix F-90

The F-90 from Audix is a miniature pre-polarized condenser microphone that is very low profile and is exceptionally easy to use. Audix is well-known for their wonderful drum mics, and the F-90 appears not to dissapoint. Designed primarily for use with drums and percussion, the F-90 will fit into very tight places and can be used beneath cymbals, in between drums, on frame drums, hand percussion instruments, and rim-style mounts. Characterized by a cardioid pickup pattern and a smooth uniform response over a frequency range of 50 Hz – 18 kHz, the F-90 features a precision machine aluminum capsule, integrated mic cable, and a chrome plated steel clamping system that is very easy to use. It’s tiny, easy to place, won’t get in the way of flying sticks and is priced nice.

Auralex TruTraps

For those who have ever been involved with acoustically treating your studio, it is common knowledge that an airspace behind a passive absorber increases its low frequency effectiveness. Building on that principle, Auralex Acoustics introduces TruTraps Broadband Absorption System. TruTraps allow you to quickly, easily and affordably install acoustical panels on your walls, ceiling and corners for a “one-product-fits-all,” broadband acoustical solution.

The TruTraps system includes 15 flat-cut, 3″ thick, 2’x4′ Studiofoam panels called TruPanels, and 128, 3″ thick TruSpacers to be used for offset mounting of the TruPanels, providing a total of 120 square feet of coverage.

While several other manufacturers have their own versions of absorbers that incorporate airspaces, TruTraps offer a significant increase in flexibility over competing products:

  • TruSpacers can be combined to yield airspaces from 3″ and beyond

  • The 3″ TruPanels have been specifically-designed to allow for placement of Q’Fusors on the flat surface.

  • This provides you with a combination broadband absorber and diffusor.

Boss DB-60

The new DB-60 is a handy timekeeper that can lay down a click in style. Along with the standard functions of a metronome, the DB-60 provides a menu of rhythmic patterns, a note-mixing feature to create rhythms that match the feel and style of your music, and the ability to handle time signatures of up to 17 beats per measure.

Features:

  • Wide variety of rhythm patterns to play along with

  • Quickly create original patterns with the Note-Mixing function

  • Loop Play for calling up memory settings and playing the patterns repeatedly

  • Memory function for storing independent tempos for each song

  • Tap Tempo, Timer, and Stopwatch functions

  • Standard Pitch function for tuning instruments

  • Backlit display

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm

The DR-880 is a rhythm-programming powerhouse that’s loaded with world-class drum, percussion, and bass sounds from Roland’s famous SRX library. It also includes a stunning collection of original waveforms. You can get microscopic with the DR-880, but you also have the option of taking the simple route with its three EZ Compose buttons, which allow original patterns to be constructed without note-by-note programming hassles. Patterns can be taken deeper with the Groove Modify feature, where various groove and triplet feels can be applied. Ghost notes and fills can also be added automatically. Guitar and bass players can join the action by plugging directly to the DR-880’s Guitar/Bass Input jack, and playing through the built-in COSM® Drive/Amp models and multi-effects.

Features:

  • Innovative EZ Compose feature for quick, hassle-free programming

  • 440 world-class drum and percussion sounds, 40 bass sounds with COSM bass-amp models

  • Guitar/bass input, multi-effects, COSM amp models

  • 3 independent insert effects (EQ and compression), TSC (Total Sound Control) featuring 3-band EQ and high-quality ambience

  • 1,000 patterns (500 preset, 500 user); easily add fills, ghost notes, chord progressions, and more

  • 20 velocity-sensitive pads

  • Four assignable footswitch and expression-pedal inputs

  • Individual outputs, digital out, USB port

Boss FS-6

Two switches in one, BOSS’s new FS-6 combines latch- and momentary-type switching into one unit. With two switches conveniently housed side-by-side, the FS-6 allows each switch to be set for latch or momentary operation. Pick the configuration that best suits your playing style and setup.

Features:

  • Each footswitch can be assigned latch- or momentary-type

  • Stereo input jack for single stereo cable connection

  • Can be connected to other footswitches (FS-5L/FS-5U/FS-6/AB-2) for extension

  • Can be used with a wide variety of instruments, rhythm machines, guitar amps, etc.

Boss SYB-5

The BOSS SYB-3 was the world’s first bass synthesizer to be packed into a compact pedal, and it found favor with experimentalists and tone aficionados alike. Today, the next-generation bass-synth pedal has arrived: the SYB-5. Utilizing the latest in DSP technology, the SYB-5 faithfully reproduces the classic sound characteristics of analog synthesizers with enhanced punch and power.

Features:

  • 11 DSP variations of saw, square, and pulse synth waves

  • Enhanced Wave Shape mode provides sharper sounds

  • Hold notes with the onboard pedal and jam over the top

  • Control filter cutoff and LFO rate via EV-5 Expression Pedal (sold separately)

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