Several of us from Sweetwater Sound attended the 99th AES (Audio Engineering Society) Show that was held in New York on October 6-9, 1995. The Show took place in the Jacob-Javitz Center, and as usual there was no shortage of new products and technologies for the recording and live sound industry. There were over 300 exhibitors and over 20,000 attendees. This year's visit to NY was particularly interesting because the Pope was also visiting at the same time. Needless to say, security was incredibly intense and accommodations were frustrating at best. Here are some quick thoughts regarding the show:

Akai debuted several new products, including the new S2000 Sampler. With 32 voices, expandability to 32 megs of RAM (using 72 pin SIMMs), the capability to load all Akai, Roland and E-mu libraries and priced at only $1195.00 retail, it should be available around the end of the year. Also shown was the new DR-16 16 track Hard Disk Recorder, while the list price on the DR-8 has been lowered to just $3495.00.

Amek showed their new Angela II console and the new Rembrandt priced from $50,000-$125,000 - how many did you say you'll need?

Aphex showed their new 108 2 Channel EasyRider Compressor at $349.00 list. They also displayed their very cool 661 Tubessence Expressor tube compressor/limiter in single channel configuration at $749.00. Available late this year.

Cakewalk Music Software (which used to be Twelve Tone Systems) showed their new upgrade to Cakewalk, Cakewalk Pro Audio, which now works with Session 8 PC.

Digidesign showed several new products and, with the support of many of their third party developers, probably had the largest booth at the show. Pro Tools was the big news (see Digidesign feature for more information) but the company also announced DINR noise reduction will soon work with PTIII and TDM. Also, Audiomedia III with Session software for Windows should ship by the 2nd quarter of next year.

Other cool 3rd party stuff: TC Electronics showed TC Tools, a TDM plug-in that features the world famous TC Electronic's M5000 Reverb and TC1210 Spatial Expander. List is $995 and it should be available in December. Focusrite showed a new TDM plug-in based on the Red 2 Parametric Equalizer. Steinberg showed three new plug-ins: Spectralizer, TimeGuard and Tun-A and their Pro Tools III and TDM compatible sequencer CuBase Audio.

Another really hot program by Intelligent Devices, Pro Audio Analyzer, was being shown. It's billed as the ultimate real time audio monitoring program. Using any Digidesign hardware or the native audio of a PowerMac (including PowerPC Power-books) you have a spectrum analyzer, Phase scope, waveform monitor, high resolution peak metering (with clip indication) and much more. Only $395 and it is available now.

DBX showed three new products: The model 1046 is a Quad compressor/limiter with 4 channels of OverEasy and hard-knee compression in a one rack space with XLR and 1/4" connectors at $549 retail. The 1066 is a high quality 2-channel compressor/limiter featuring a brand new DBX VCA, OverEasy style compression with user-adjustable parameters. It also has a new PeakStopPlus Limiter and expander gate with side-chain monitoring, balanced XLR and 1/4" connectors switchable between -10 and +4 operation. This unit will be a hit for DBX at only $549 retail. Finally there's a new single channel, very high end, tube-based, mic preamp, compressor/limiter, the 1650T, designed by legendary New York studio installer Greg Hanks. It's a very cool, retro-looking piece which includes emulations of many of the most popular compressors. i.e SSL, Neve, etc. Available in VERY limited quantities in the spring for about $3000.

Digitech showed the new StudioQuad , four-in/four-out multi-effects device.

Logic Audio from EMagic now supports Pro Tools III and TDM.

Fostex debuted their successor to the popular RD8 8 track recorder, the new CX-8, which is based on the new Alesis ADAT-XT. It includes DB-25 pin style connectors (same as Tascam's DA88) for +4dB operation and RCAs for -10dB. List is $3495 ($4 less than Alesis). Should be available at the first of the year. Fostex also showed their Foundation 2000RE and a brand new, 8 track-digital, hard disk-based, personal recorder, the DMT-8, which includes a 16 channel mixer, jog/shuttle wheel and built-in 540 mb hard drive that's good for about 12 minutes of recording time. Priced at $2495, the DMT-8 will be a nice product for musicians who want high quality along with ease-of-use.

Mackie Designs showed a new mixer, the VLZ-1202, a whole new design based on the incredibly popular MS1202 with 3 band EQ and 4 mic inputs, along with the ALT 3/4 feature (like the CR1604) plus XLR outputs which can be switched between line and mic level. The price was not finalized at the AES show but we have been promised that it will be less than $449.00.

Marantz showed their new CDR-620 CD Recorder, the first CD recorder to have both audio and SCSI connections. The SCSI port will work with computers and it should work with Masterlist CD and most other authoring programs. You can also record audio directly into the 620 (digital and analog) without having to use a computer. It also can convert DAT indexes into CD start ids. This is one hot machine at less than $5000, and it should be available early next year.

Mark of the Unicorn was giving out audio CDs demonstrating their next release of Digital Performer. The new Digital audio transposition algorithm transposes audio more accurately than I have ever heard before. If you want a copy of this free CD, give us a call and we'll send it right out to you. You can now add harmonies or correct pitches without rerecording a new part. Every serious studio will need Digital Performer just to use as a studio fix-it tool.

Neumann showed the M149 condenser microphone, their first new, large diaphragm tube mic in over 30 years. With 5 patterns and a 9 position high pass filter this is bound to be a very popular mic for the elite few who can afford it. Available in limited quantities in December for about $4500.

Opcode Systems was showing StudioVision 3.0 which is now shipping. The pitch to MIDI feature and back again just has to be seen to be believed.

Panasonic debuted their new multi-channel digital audio tape recorder, the MDA-1 which is based on the new Alesis ADAT-XT with two unique features. First, it includes XLR, 3-pin connectors (as well as RCAs) for ins and outs. It also incorporates muting relays on the outputs, improving the signal-to-noise ratio while in the stop mode. Pricing is not final yet, but it should be less than $4000.00.

Tascam showed several new products including two Mini-disk products. The MDR801R is recorder/player at $2499, while the MDR801P is a player only version for a couple of hundred dollars less. Available March/April 1996.

Next year's 100th AES show is in San Francisco next October and is open to the public. If you can, please plan to attend. If you have questions about any of the products introduced at this year's show, please feel free to ask us. - CS