iZotope Ozone 5 Advanced
$999, standard version $249
?highlights Revamped interface • maximizer now switches seamlessly among three limiters to use the best option for the audio being processed • dynamics module with enhanced visualization • improved reverb with initial convolution and synthesized reverb “tail” • “meter bridge” monitors the various modules
target market Mastering, mixing, and analysis
analysis iZotope doesn''t release a lot of updates, because they tend to get things right the first time around. While Ozone 4 is a great tool, Ozone 5 Advanced takes digital audio processing to today''s state-of-the-art.
iZotope Ozone 5 Advanced product page
iOS audio interface
highlights Audio interface for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch • compatible with Core Audio-compliant iOS applications • Combo XLR+1/4" jack accepts mic or instrument • provides phantom power for condenser mics • headphone jack for monitoring • input level control
target market Those using iOS devices as a portable music platform
analysis While there are many iOS audio interfaces, the iXZ is very musician-friendly, thanks to its ability to handle a mic (including those requiring phantom power) or musical instrument. At about 3 ounces, it''s also compact and highly portable.
TASCAM iXZ product page
Celemony Melodyne 2.0
highlights The True Scale & Tuning function offers tuning options beyond the usual even-tempered scale • Scale Detective can analyze any music and transfer the scale and tuning of one recording to another • ReWire compatible • Attack Speed tool allows transient editing • Time Handles can reshape time progressions, even within individual notes
target market Recording engineers who require non-realtime pitch processing, particularly on vocals
analysis Melodyne is an extremely flexible pitch processor, and its ability to use alternate tunings is unique. ReWire allows integrating Melodyne with some programs that were previously incompatible.
Celemony Melodyne 2.0 product page
Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter Z
highlights Phantom-powered preamp suitable for ribbon, dynamic, and condenser mics • direct-coupled, discrete JFET circuitry • input impedances range from 150–15k ohms • variable highpass filtering from below 20Hz up to approximately 250Hz • adjustable output level (+12, +25dB) • steel enclosure
target market Ideal for ribbon mic owners who need extra gain and protection from accidental patching with phantom power enabled; also useful for those who need to drive long mic lines
analysis This clever preamp expands on the Cloudlifter line, adding variable impedance options for extra functionality with dynamic and other mic types.
Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter Z product page
$150 native, $300 TDM
highlights Seven EQ bands; seven filter types per band • asymmetrical bell filter • realtime spectrum analyzer • TDM, RTAS, Audio Suite, VST, AU • MS matrix mode can apply different EQ to Mid and Side content • choose frequencies by clicking on virtual keyboard notes • can introduce harmonic distortion
target audience Recordists requiring a versatile EQ with multiple filter types
analysis Some EQ plug-ins aim for a modern sound, while some aim for a more vintage sound. The H-EQ (“H” as in hybrid) includes both types, as well as analysis tools.
Waves H-EQ product page
Radial Engineering MC3
highlights Selects between two monitors passively to avoid audio coloration • each has individual level controls • subwoofer in/out button with level control and phase adjust • mono and dim switches • headphone amp with 1/8" and two 1/4" outs
target market Smaller studios that need simple monitor switching without coloration, and the option to add a subwoofer to see how it affects a mix
analysis While many monitor controller boxes are available, the MC3 is a compact model that won''t BREAK the bank. The mono button is particularly helpful.
Radial Engineering Site
Avid Pro Tools 10
$699, $299 upgrade from v9
highlights Clip gain is independent from, but works with, standard mix automation • 32-bit floating point audio engine • can use multiple file formats (including interleaved) and mixed bit depths in the same project without conversion • real-time fades • includes Avid System 5 EQ/compressor channel strip
target market Existing Pro Tools owners, and those who use other DAWs but want Pro Tools project compatibility
analysis Pro Tools 10 isn''t just about what''s on the surface, but what''s under the surface—a reworked audio engine and new AAX plug-in format that''s forward-looking to 64-bit operating systems.
Avid Pro Tools 10 product page
Moog Music The Ladder
500 Series filter
highlights Brings Bob Moog''s original ladder filter design—the source of the famous Moog filter sound—to a 500 Series module • includes both highpass and lowpass filters • built-in envelope with Attack and Release controls • drive control adds “grit”
target market For live use or studio processing, the Moog ladder filter adds a different type of sonic filtering mojo to 500 Series signal chains
analysis Moog''s original filter design defined the sound of the Moog modular synthesizer, and the records made from it. The Ladder brings this venerable design into a 21st-century context.
Moog Music The Ladder product page