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New Gear, March 2013

February 21, 2013
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1
Sonnet
Echo Express II
Thunderbolt expansion
$699

HIGHLIGHTS Two-slot chassis connects PCIe cards to Thunderbolt-enabled computers lacking expansion slots • supports half-length, full-height, single-width PCIe 2.0 x16 cards • dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining devices • includes three variable-speed fans for cooling the cards and the chassis’ components • built-in universal 100W power supply
TARGET MARKET People who want to add PCIe cards to computers that have a Thunderbolt interface but no card slots
ANALYSIS Thunderbolt has tremendous potential as a high-speed interface; one of its attributes is backward compatibility with a variety of protocols, including PCIe cards.
sonnettech.com

 

2
Sound Magic
Imperial Grand V2.7
Virtual piano instrument
$139

HIGHLIGHTS Reproduces the sound of a 1948 Bösendorfer 290SE, including the nine additional bass notes below bottom • uses patented NEO Hybrid Modeling Technology • includes Audience Perspective Sound • extensive customization options • HD Velocity Layers technique extends the usual 127 velocity layers to 65,536 velocity layers • for Windows VST, Mac AU/VST
TARGET MARKET Recording and live performance
ANALYSIS Although there’s no shortage of piano-based virtual instruments, the Imperial Grand aims for authenticity and playability by combining sampling and modeling.
supremepiano.com

 

3
Avantone Pro
BV12
Hybrid tube/condenser mic
$899

HIGHLIGHTS Combines the Avantone CV12’s high end with the BV1’s smooth upper mids and bottom end • custom 34mm dual capsule with 6072A tube • nine selectable polar patterns, switchable from the power supply • comes with wooden mic box, power supply, retro-style shock mount, Mogami mic cable, stand adapter insert, and carrying case
TARGET MARKET Engineers seeking a tube-based condenser mic
ANALYSIS More mics are combining characteristics of various mics, and even various technologies, in a single mic; the BV12 is an example of this trend.
avantonepro.com

 

4
Hal Leonard
The Power in Digital Performer
Instructional “Quick Pro Guide”
$16.99

HIGHLIGHTS Covers MOTU Digital Performer 8, the first Mac/Windows cross-platform version of DP • written by David E. Roberts, who has been directly involved with DP’s development since 1993 and handles artist/ VIP support at MOTU • accompanying DVD-ROM with video tutorials • combines concise, practical text with screenshots • 178 pages
TARGET MARKET Those who are new to Digital Performer and want to get up to speed quickly
ANALYSIS As Digital Performer branches out to Windows, new DP users will find this book a helpful introduction to the program’s capabilities and features.
halleonardbooks.com

 

5
Radial Engineering
Tossover Variable Frequency Divider
500 Series module
$400

HIGHLIGHTS Divide an audio signal into two bands to process lows and highs separately, or combine the two in series to create a bandpass filter • one set of controls focuses on the mid and high frequencies, while another set separates the mids and bass • each frequency divider can have a 12, 18, or 24dB/octave slope
TARGET MARKET 500 Series users who want to exploit multiband processing
ANALYSIS 500 Series modules are progressing beyond EQs and preamps to incorporate more exotic functions, such as Tossover’s frequency-splitting options.
radialeng.com

 
 
 
 
6
Nektar
Panorama P6
Reason controller/keyboard
$659.99

HIGHLIGHTS 61-note USB MIDI controller with semi-weighted keyboard, aftertouch, and deep Reason integration • 4 modes allow switching between Mixer, Instrument, and Transport mode; a fourth Internal mode offers 20 configurable user presets for external hardware control, ReWired DAWs, or other software • motorized fader, solo and mute buttons give channel control in every mode • updated regularly to support new Reason Rack Extensions
TARGET MARKET Reasons users who desire dedicated hardware control
ANALYSIS Reason’s instruments benefit greatly from hands-on control, which the P6 provides.
nektartech.com

 

7
Waves Audio
REDD Console Plug-Ins
Console-modeling software
$349

HIGHLIGHTS Models Abbey Road Studios’ REDD consoles— custom-designed, built by, and named after Abbey Road’s in-house Record Engineering Development Department • includes both “Classic” and “Pop” EQ types • Native- and SoundGrid-compatible • Drive control to introduce subtle amounts of saturation
TARGET MARKET “In-the-box” engineers who want to impart the sound of a mythical analog console and live performance processing
ANALYSIS Console emulation is a hot topic; Waves teaming up with Abbey Road Studios to model the REDD series is an attention-getting combination.
waves.com

 

8
PreSonus
Studio One V2.5
Updated DAW
Free to V2 owners

HIGHLIGHTS Adds nearly 100 enhancements and features • updates all versions (Artist, Producer, Professional, and Free) • major improvements in comping, folder track editing, track transform, automation, audio export, and Ampire XT • re-recording from buses feature uses virtual instrument or bus channel outputs as an audio track input
TARGET MARKET Existing Studio One users, and users who want to switch from other DAWs
ANALYSIS Studio One has been quite a success story in a crowded field; V2.5 shows PreSonus’ commitment to adding features and fixing bugs.
presonus.com

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