Tascam and Antares Audio Technologies have collaborated on the TA-1VP ($449.99 MSRP), a hardware-based vocal processor that combines a microphone
preamp, a compressor, a 2-band EQ, and a de-esser with
real-time pitch correction and doubling in one rack space. The
device features the Evo version of Auto-Tune as well as Antares''
mic and tube modeling. The TA-1VP has a front-panel XLR input,
as well as balanced 1/4-inch analog I/O and MIDI and S/PDIF
connections on the back panel.
Eventide has expanded its effects pedal line with Space
($579 MSRP; $499 street), which offers 12 types of reverb based on algorithms
from the company''s Eclipse V4 and H8000FW hardware processors.
The presets, which range from spring and hall programs to ModEchoVerb
and Shimer, include spatial and delay effects. The stomp box has stereo
1/4-inch I/O and is controllable via an expression pedal or MIDI (including
MIDI sync). A USB 2.0 port is included for installing upgrades.
BLUE MICROPHONES YETI PRO
The Blue Microphones Yeti Pro (Mac/Win; $249 MSRP) sets the
bar high for USB mics by combing professional features with 24-bit, 192 kHz direct-to-computer recording. The mic''s triple-array capsule offers four pickup patterns—
cardioid, figure-8, omnidirectional, and stereo. Zero-latency monitoring is available
from the headphone jack, and the onboard controls include gain, output level, and
mute. The Yeti Pro, which comes with a stereo XLR connector and breakout cable,
can also be mounted on a conventional mic stand.
Styled after the classic RE20, the Electro-Voice RE320
($499.95 MSRP) dynamic mic was created for vocals as well as amplified and
acoustic instruments. The company''s Variable D technology keeps the frequency
response of the cardioid element uniform when sources are off-axis. Although
its nominal frequency response is 45Hz to 18kHz, the RE320 has a switchable
EQ curve designed for kick drums that extends the low end to 30Hz.
Leave it to Pigtronix to come up with the most sought-after
device of the year. Keymaster ($299 MSRP) begins with a pair of
true-bypass effects loops, which you can run parallel and crossfade
between manually or with a pedal. Add to that an active A/B/Y box and
the ability to handle DI and reamping chores, and you''re set for stage
or studio. The I/O is on XLR and balanced 1/4-inch jacks.
PSP AUDIOWARE PSP N2O
Going a step further than Nitro, the PSP Audioware PSP N2O (Mac/Win; $149, $99 upgrade)
is a semi-modular multi-effects plug-in (RTAS/AU/VST)
that includes a 16-row modulation matrix and 8 assignable
controls. There are three types of filters—SVF, Biquad,
and Moog, a virtual 4-pole lowpass filter—and a number of new effects, including pitch shifter, stereo delay, stereo enhancement,
and formant filter. Other enhancements include latency-matching delay for the dry signal and a sidechain input.
DOEPFER DARK TIME
Doepfer designed the Dark Time
($675 red LEDS; $700 blue LEDS) 16-step
analog sequencer to accompany its monophonic
synth module, Dark Energy. It can run
as two parallel 8-step sequencers—forward,
backward, or randomized—with skip and jump settings for each step. Dark Time has three octave ranges and can be clocked
internally or via MIDI or voltages. Standard MIDI I/O and a USB port are included. CV and gate connections are on 3.5mm jacks,
making Dark Time compatible with Eurorack modular systems.
Ueberschall/Big Fish Audio Jazz Colors
Jazz Colors ($99)
is a 3.8GB collection of 20 jazz constructions
kits for Ueberschall Elastik Player
2 (free and included). Producers Uwe
Kinast and Hakan TürkoÅNzü assembled a
team of professional jazz musicians to
record these sessions, which cover a
variety of jazz idioms including swing,
bebop, Latin, and fusion. Each kit contains
four folders: Intro & Outro, A (main
theme), B (alternative phrases), and C
(variation on the main theme). Instrumentation
includes drums (with separate
kit-piece loops), electric and acoustic
bass, guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond
B3, sax, trumpet, and flute (see
Web Clip 1). The kits range from 50 bpm
to 150 bpm in a variety of major and
Elastik Player 2 is a significant
upgrade by developer Zplane Technologies.
It features graphic XY control of
parameter pairs such as volume and
pan, pitch and formant, and filter cutoff
and resonance. You can also adjust individual
parameters graphically on a perslice
basis. The loops are tasty, and
creative loop-munging is great fun with
Tonehammer Montclarion Hall Piano
At an undisclosed location in the
Montclair district of Oakland, California,
a half-century-old A-frame
chapel is home to an equally mysterious
grand piano. The folks at Tonehammer describe this piano
a "nothing special" but a perfect match
for the remarkable acoustics of the room.
They further note, "If you're looking for
a clinical, tame, or perfectly clean piano,
Montclarion Hall Piano ($99, download)
is a sampler library for Native Instruments
Kontakt 3.5 or later. It starts with
three versions of the basic piano (light,
medium, and high memory), miked from
close, mid, and far.
are augmented by six
custom versions featuring
and sliding string
techniques; hand percussion
on the body
of the instrument; and
sound effects such as
bench creaks, lid opening, sheet-music
shuffling, and so on (see Web Clip 2).
Seven additional presets use effects processing
and convolution reverb. Custom
scripted panel controls let you further
sculpt the sounds to suit your project.
The basic piano is charming, and the variety
of sounds available from the preparations
and effects is astounding.
Loopmasters Minimal Tech Vox, 5Pin Progressive Tech Beats
Minimal Tech Vox ($48) and 5Pin Progressive Tech Beats ($32) are extensive
collections of dance and techno-oriented
loops and one-shots. Although sold separately,
they complement each other
nicely (see Web Clip 3). Both are available
as downloads from Loopmasters.
Minimal Tech Vox delivers 337 female,
male, and mixed vocal loops, 67 of which
are heavily processed. Most major and
minor keys are represented and tempos
range from 126 to 128 bpm.
Beyond that you'll find 401 vocal hits
along with 121 bass, percussion, and
synth loops. The 850MB collection
includes eight sampler patches in Kontakt,
Halion, NNXT, EXS24, and SFZ
formats. An Apple Loops library is available
Progressive Tech Beats is the first
in 5Pin Media's MIDI
Focus series. It starts
with 10 drum kits in
Live Drum Rack, Kontakt,
Halion, SFZ, and MPC
formats. Those are
accompanied by MIDI
loops broken down by
verses, choruses, fills,
and percussion. All loops come in full
and no-kick versions. Being GM-Standard
MIDI, the loops accommodate a
wide range of tempos, are easy to customize,
and fit all standard drum kits.
Cinematique Instruments Boxed Version
Cinematique Instruments specializes in sampling
weird, odd, and rare instruments. The
Boxed Version ($228) includes all their
offerings through early 2010. It is available
from Best Service,
and it includes their proprietary sample
developed by Yellow
many free players,
freedom in editing
Boxed Version library comprises 16 collections.
Stringed instruments include a