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New Gear, December 2011

December 1, 2011

Auralex Sustain Bamboo Series
Sound diffusors
$420–$1,258.95
highlights
Line consists of the WavePrism, WaveLens, QuadraTec (shown), Peak Pyramid Diffusor, and KeyPacs • Made entirely from 100% “eco-friendly” bamboo • can help achieve LEED certification • different units provide different acoustical qualities—eliminating flutter echoes, sound scattering and redirection, bass-trapping, fine-tuning existing treatment, etc.
target audience Studios, post-production suites, listening rooms, rehearsal spaces requiring acoustic treatment
analysis Bamboo is environmentally-friendly yet provides excellent acoustic characteristics.
Auralex Sustain Bamboo Series product page

Steinberg UR28M and UR824
USB 2.0 audio interfaces
UR28M $499.99, UR824 $999.99
highlights
UR28M (desktop) has 6 ins/8 outs, UR824 (rack-mountable) 24 ins/outs • dspMixFx hardware offers DSP-powered, latency-free monitoring • UR824 has eight Neutrik combo jack ins, 16 channels of ADAT I/O • additional DSP includes REV-X reverb and Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip (with sidechain-enabled compressor and 3-band parametric EQ) • bundled with Cubase AI 6
target market U28M: project studios; UR824: larger recording facilities
analysis The onboard DSP provides low-latency monitoring plus quality reverb, compression, and EQ; the channel strip is available for up to 8 mono (4 stereo) channels.
Steinberg UR28M and UR824 product pages

TASCAM DR-40
4-track portable recorder
$279.99
highlights
Condenser mics with adjustable positioning from X/Y to A/B • 4-track recording • balanced XLR or 1/4" line inputs with locking Neutrik Combo jacks • records to SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB (2GB card included) • 96kHz/24-bit resolution • USB 2.0 for computer transfers • variable-speed playback • built-in stereo reverb, chromatic tuner, speaker, and EQ • overdub with previous takes
target market Portable multitrack recording for musicians on the go
analysis While there''s no shortage of field recorders, TASCAM emphasizes musician-oriented features beyond 4-track recording capabilities.
TASCAM DR-40 product page

Radial Engineering PhaseQ
500 Series module
$350
highlights
Phase-adjustment tool works double-duty as a phase-canceling device and summing equalizer • phase-align two signals to improve stereo imaging (e.g., with X/Y stereo mic pair) • discrete Class A electronics • variable phase control shifts from 0º to 180º; a polarity-invert switch extends this range to 360º • variable lowpass filter
target market Recording studios, live performance setups for modifying phase response of paired or individual signals
analysis As a phase-adjustment tool, the PhaseQ would be interesting enough, but its secondary ability to apply novel EQ effects adds an original element.
Radial Engineering PhaseQ product page

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Rack
Vocal processor
$945
?highlights
Effects include µMod (modulation), Delay, Reverb, Harmony, HardTune and Correction, Doubling, Transducer (distortion and megaphone), Rhythmic (stutter, tremolo, etc.) and Tone (adaptive EQ, compression, de-esser, etc.) • includes TC-Helicon MP-75 mic with in-body effects control • can generate vocal harmonies based on realtime input from guitar, MIDI keyboard data, or setting key and scale • 400 preset slots
target market Vocalists working in studio and/or stage contexts
analysis TC-Helicon keeps raising the bar for vocal processing; VoiceLive rack presents multiple effects in a rugged, rackmount package with a touch interface.
TC-Helicon VoiceLive Rack product page

Universal Audio Version 6.0 Software
Native RTAS support
Free update
highlights
Native RTAS support no longer requires VST to RTAS adapter • plug-in category support • improved automation and plug-in preset handling • support for all Pro Tools-compatible control surfaces • Windows/Mac compatible (including Lion 10.7) • improvements for both UAD-1 and UAD-2 cards • reports effect latency to Pro Tools for Automatic Delay Compensation
target market Pro Tools and Universal Audio Powered Plug-Ins users
Universal Audio Version 6.0 Software product page

Plughugger Supercharg3r
Arturia Prophet V presets
€5.90 (approx. $8)
highlights
64 electro bass presets that use the Prophet VS engine in Arturia''s Prophet V soft-synth • sounds have a modern character, unlike stereotyped Prophet VS sounds • audio examples on Plughugger''s website • low prices, due to the company''s “app” model, inspired by the iPhone app store
target market Arturia Prophet V owners who want to expand their available sounds into a more electro vein
analysis Sample libraries and sounds are going in two directions: huge libraries, and inexpensive collections of limited, special-purpose loops, samples, or presets. Supercharg3r has only 64 presets, but offers originality.
Plughugger Supercharg3r product page

Yamaha i-MX1
iOS MIDI interface
$110
highlights
MIDI interface for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch • compatible with any Core MIDI-compliant iOS application • simple setup—connect the i-MX1 to a portable Apple device and any instrument with a MIDI port • can play the virtual instruments in the iPad GarageBand app with MIDI keyboard • extremely compact
target market Those using iOS devices as a portable music platform
analysis Although lots of programs are available for iOS devices, to get the most out of them, you often need hardware control; the i-MX1 bridges the iOS world to MIDI.
Yamaha i-MX1 product page

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