PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2
Compact digital mixer
highlights 8 mono, 4 stereo channels • 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O • “Fat Channel” processing on all channels and buses • scene and effects preset save/recall • 16 in/16 out FireWire recording interface (24-bit, 44.1/48kHz) • “Capture” live recording software included • onboard 32-bit digital effects processor
target market Live performance and smaller recording studios
analysis The larger-format StudioLive mixers have been extremely popular, so it''s not surprising that Presonus has extended the line to a larger potential audience. Yet the 16.0.2 includes the same kind of feature set, and excellent mic preamps, as its bigger brothers.
PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 product page
Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler
Digital signal processor
highlights 100+ effects in a single box • six dedicated knobs for tweaking • 19 delays, 23 modulation effects, 17 distortions, 12 compressors and EQs, 26 filters, 12 reverbs • 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O • stereo I/O • tap tempo • expression pedal 1/4" input
target market Live performance or studios, for augmenting an existing roster of effects
analysis The M5 does only one effect at a time, but if you''re looking for an effect, it''s probably in here. Stage applications are obvious, but it''s also a useful hardware insert effect for DAWs.
Line 6 M5 product page
Yamaha Vintage Plug-In Collection
Three effects plug-in bundles
highlights Channel Strip offers two compressors and one EQ • Open Deck emulates four different tape recorders • Vintage Stomp has three phasers, flanger, and wah • VST 2.4, VST 3, and AU formats
target market Those who want to add vintage, ''70s-type analog sound qualities to DAWs.
analysis These were originally offered as add-on effects for the DM2000 and 02R96 mixers; with Yamaha now the steward of Steinberg''s Cubase, making these processors available as plug-ins for DAWs is a logical next step—particularly with the ongoing interest in “vintage” sound.
Yamaha Vintage Plug-In Collection product page
USB 2.0 audio interface
highlights 2 in, 4 out • redesigned breakout cable with two balanced combo ins and two balanced outputs • soft limit • 24-bit resolution; up to 192kHz sample rate • configurable touch pads • full-color OLED display • mic pres have a gain range of 0 to 75dB • Maestro 2 control software
target market Macintosh owners with small recording setups or who do portable recording; particularly well-suited to GarageBand and Logic
analysis This is a major update of the original Duet interface, and despite the diminutive size, offers unusually high-quality preamplification and conversion.
Apogee Duet2 product page
HK Audio Soundcaddy One
Portable PA system
highlights Vertical array with six 3.5", wide-range speakers • 70-degree audio dispersion • subwoofer with three 6-inch woofers • 600W class D power amp • integrated four-channel mixer • XLR line output for cascading additional systems
target market Musicians playing live concerts in smaller venues, particularly when wide audience coverage and very quick setup are important
analysis Compact array systems continue to proliferate, and why not? They provide solid coverage, at reasonable volume levels, in a portable, relatively lightweight format that fits in a compact car and sets up in minutes.
HK Audio Soundcaddy One product page
USB 2.0 audio interface
highlights Two combo XLR/TRS inputs • VS-series mic preamps • Auto-Sens for automated level-setting • extremely low-latency drivers • 24-bit resolution; supports sample rates up to 192kHz • cross-platform • can be bus-powered • durable construction • 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O • phantom power • hi-Z instrument input • bundled with Sonar X1 LE
target market Recording enthusiasts who don''t need a lot of I/O, but want high audio quality
analysis Despite being its first full-function USB 2.0 interface, Roland''s Octa-Capture has been a surprise hit for the company. The Quad-Capture capitalizes on that success with a compact, less-expensive interface for smaller studios.
Roland Quad-Capture product page
Pelonis Sound and Acoustics Model 42
highlights Active, bi-amplified system • controlled/powered externally by four 100W amplifiers and 96kHz DSP, with five-band parametric EQ • two-way dual concentric speaker • 0.75" (19mm) titanium dome with neodymium magnet system • rated maximum SPL 106dB • rhomboid shape allows multiple mounting options while still listening to the sweet spot
target market Recording and post-production studios desiring a compact system that''s scalable to surround and other multi-channel formats
analysis Chris Pelonis is acknowledged as one of the world''s top studio designers, and now his speakers are available to the general public.
Pelonis Sound and Acoustics Model 42 product page
Radial Engineering Q3
500 Series EQ module
highlights Design based on passive inductors • features four controls: top-end boost, midrange cut, bass boost, and gain makeup (to offset losses caused by passive circuitry) • each band has a 12-position switch with a different preset curve at each position • fits 500 Series racks (when used with Radial''s Workhorse, Q3 can include an effects loop)
target market Recording and live performance rigs where EQ is more about adding “character” than applying surgical precision
analysis Inductor-based EQs offer a different kind of sound quality compared to traditional resistor-capacitor designs, and the Q3 provides this type of processor in a compact, “lunchbox” format.
Radial Engineering Q3 product page