BUILD TO SCALE
SOLID STATE LOGIC X-DESK
Solid State Logic makes its SuperAnalogue technology scalable with the introduction of the X-Desk ($2,899), a 16-channel compact mixer. The unit, which fills a 7U rackspace (rack ears included) or fits snugly on your desktop, sports 100mm faders, comprehensive monitoring with Dim and Cut buttons, stereo or mono aux sends, channel and master insert buses, main and alternate monitoring and talkback, as well as bar graph-level metering. The X-Desk is hand-built in the UK with top-quality components and an all-metal chassis. You can cascade as many as eight X-Desks and X-Racks for up to 160 inputs on mixdown, in whatever combination meets your needs.
SUBMERSIBLE MUSIC DRUMCORE 3
DOWN TO THE CORE
Submersible Music takes a big user-friendly step forward with the release of DrumCore 3 (Mac/Win; $249, $59 upgrade, $599 Deluxe). In addition to the stand-alone program, now called DrumCore Toolkit, you get plug-ins in Audio Units, VSTi and RTAS formats. The Toolkit is still necessary for importing DrummerPacks and for full access to Gabrielizer settings. The plug-ins offer everything else without the bother of ReWire. DrumCore 3 has more than twice the content of the previous version, adding grooves and kit sounds for jazz and basic beats for songwriters. KitCore's LiveDrummer feature has been added, and KitCore users can import their libraries into DrumCore 3 or continue to use KitCore as a separate plug-in.
ZPLANE DEVELOPMENT ELASTIQUE PITCH
IT'S A STRETCH
German audio research firm zplane Development brings its real-time pitch-shifting technology to Pro Tools with the new RTAS plug-in Elastique (Mac/Win, $399). Elastique supports simultaneous phase-coherent processing of up to eight audio channels without any offline pre-analysis. Its algorithms can shift-pitch as much as one octave and can apply equally well to speech and monophonic classical and popular instruments. Formant shifting is independent of pitch shifting, and you can use incoming MIDI for pitch control. The pitch-correction plug-in is geared for sound design, real-time recording and rehearsal, and film and video conversion.
SONIVOX DVI 2
With the upgrade to Version 2, Sonivox's collection of 59 downloadable virtual instruments (Win and Intel Macs, from $19.95) gets a leg up with new DSP and effects processing, including a new EQ section and a reverb and amp simulator from iZotope. The instruments in the collection share a common interface, and come in Audio Units, VSTi, RTAS and stand-alone formats. You'll find a wide variety of both acoustic and synthesized percussion, plucked and bowed stringed instruments, wind instruments and keyboards. Need a Chinese Guqin for your next trance gig? DVI 2 has you covered. Check out the audio demos, trial downloads and the latest additions to the series at the Sonivox Website.
YAMAHA CORPORATION TYROS3
BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
Yamaha Corporation claims that playing the redesigned Tyros3 ($3,999) arranger workstation is like controlling a virtuoso musician who happens to play hundreds of instruments. One reason is that it performs complete arrangements in 450 styles. Super-Articulation 2 modeling lets you emulate human playing techniques like note-on and note-off pitch-bend and glissando, correct guitar-chord voicing and strategically placed breaths. The 44.9×5.6×17.7-inch, 33.5-pound Tyros3 houses a 7.5-inch color display, full-sized 61-key keyboard, high-end DSP effects, one-touch hard disk recording to 3.2MB internal Flash storage and USB connectivity to your computer for data transfer.
German plug-in developer Brainworx puts mid/side (M/S) processing at your fingertips by building bidirectional conversion between M/S and stereo into its plug-ins. Its dynamic EQ bundle, bx_dynEQ (Mac/Win, $350), comprises four task-specific plug-ins: mono, stereo, M/S and bx_boom!, the last of which is customized for bass drum. M/S processing is a staple of audio engineers, but its application to stereo-recorded audio usually requires manual conversion to and from M/S format. Brainworx puts that under the hood, letting you get on with the task at hand. The plug-ins are fully automatable and incorporate ergonomic features like mouse-over scroll-wheel parameter control and a variety of solo modes.
NOVATION SL MK II
Novation takes its ReMOTE SL Series of USB MIDI control surfaces to the next level with the SL Mk II Series (Mac/Win, $TBA). The unit comes in 25, 49 and 61-key models, as well as the keyboardless ZeRO SL Mk II control surface. All units ship with Automap 3, 1.5 GB of sample content, Ableton Live 7 Lite and the Novation Bass Station virtual instrument plug-in. Enhancements of the ReMOTE SL Series include touch-sensitive dials and faders, illuminated buttons and LED-ringed dials, soft-feel drum pads, a single 144-character LCD augmented by the Automap Heads-Up GUI, and user-assignable Transport buttons.