10/20/2013 12:50 PM
Although Day 2 of AES 2013 started off quietly, the crowds soon packed the place: by noon, it was difficult to navigate the show floor due to the crush of visitors.
A lot of attention was being paid to the Avid S6, a modular and customizable control surface that utilizes high-speed EUCON Ethernet connections for DAWs that support the protocol (Pro Tools, Nuendo, Cubase, Logic). Our demo was based around a Pro Tools session, of course, which clearly showed off the controller's touch screen workflow and detailed metering. The multi-color LCDs in the touch-sensitive knobs and buttons reflect the tracks and effects you're working on. Overall, the S6 feels very well thought-out, ergonomically speaking, with an emphasis on visual feedback that makes it fairly easy to navigate the controls.
Another hit of the show is the Neumann TLM 107 ($1,699.95), a multi-pattern, large-diaphragm condenser mic that the company is positioning towards the project studio market. The mic's frequency chart shows that it has a fairly flat response across much of its range, but with a slight presence peak that was surprisingly mellow sounding and not harsh on sibilants (which was fairly easy to tell even at a noisy tradeshow). The TLM 107's pad, lowcut filter, and polar patterns are selected with a multidirectional switch, like the kind you find on a digital camera, located on the back of the mic—easy and intuitive to use. And, the mic saves the most recent settings when you power it down.
Prism Sound unveiled Titan, an 8x8 USB audio interface with preamps and converters that are based on the company's high quality Orpheus interface. The Titan has an MDIO expansion slot which can be used to host a Pro Tools HDX card, for example. Additional features include a pad on each preamp and ADAT I/O in the mixer. Titan is priced just under $5k.
Sony's recent announcement of high-resolution PCM and DSD players for the consumer market was on the minds of many AES attendees, because it shows music industry support of high-end audio is just around the corner. To round things out on the content creation side, Sony introduced the PCMD100, a hand-held digital recorder that creates DSD (2.8MHz), PCM (up to 192kHz), and MP3 files, but can also playback WMA, AAC, and FLAC files. With its pair of condenser mics in an X/Y pattern, the PCMD100 can record a PCM and MP3 file simultaneously. Our editorial team heard recordings at the show that were made with this device and we were highly impressed by the overall sound, especially the solid low end that it captured when used on a set of drums.
-- Gino Robair