Toolbox, November 2010
by David Albin
Avid Pro Tools HD Series Interfaces
What New line of HD interfaces designed specifically for Pro Tools
Why Next-generation A/D and D/A conversion, filtering, and clocking provide a significant increase in
sound quality compared to the previous generation of interfaces.
How The HD I/O, HD OMNI, and HD MADI offer different functionality, and are optimized for different
recording and post-production scenarios. HD I/O is available in three configurations: 16 x 16 analog,
16 x 16 digital and 8 x 8 x 8 analog/digital in a 2 RU rack-mountable interface. HD OMNI integrates the
functionality of numerous outboard components (dual mic preamps, headphone outs, surround monitor
section, 14 x 26 channel mixer, etc.) into an all-in-one solution. HD MADI allows connecting Pro Tools|HD
systems to industry-standard MADI infrastructures via a 1U rack-mountable interface, without the need for
Price HD I/O starting at $3,995; HD OMNI $2,995; HD MADI $4,995
Josephson C715 Microphone
What Large, single diaphragm, made-in-USA condenser mic with adjustable
Why An adjustable vent allows cardioid or omni operation to accommodate
various miking scenarios.
How The backplate has an adjustable vent, reached through an opening in the
back of the grille, that allows adjusting the pickup pattern. Furthermore, the
C715 includes a patent-pending metal foam housing that eliminates many
internal reflecting surfaces, thus minimizing acoustic coloration. The internal
circuitry uses a class-A cascode FET front end, driving a large nickel core
Lundahl output transformer for compatibility with a wide range of preamps and
consoles. The internal high voltage linear supply generates capsule polarization
voltage without a switching oscillator, thus reducing noise.
What Plug-in bundle for Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6 with three signal processors
Why Originally developed for Digital Performer, these plug-ins are now
available for any host that supports the RTAS/AU/VST3 plug-in formats.
How The MasterWorks EQ models British analog console EQ with five
bands of filtering, each with four EQ types. Two mid bands include shelf
filtering, and two outside bands provide variable slope low- and high-pass
filtering. A graphic display allows clicking on the filter control points to create
EQ curves, while a realtime FFT display shows the effects of EQing on
the audio being processed. The MasterWorks Leveler is an LA-2A-style
optical leveling amplifier with four different models: slow vintage, fast vintage,
slow modern, and fast modern. ProVerb is a CPU-efficient convolution
reverb that delivers the ambience of realistic acoustic spaces, but also
provides realtime parameter adjustment. ProVerb supports six different channel format variations.
Royer Labs R-101 Ribbon Microphone
What Ribbon mic with high SPL capabilities and extremely low residual noise
Why Because you want a Royer R-121, can’t afford it, but still want something with exemplary
performance and the Royer pedigree.
How Multi-layered wind screening protects against air blasts and plosives, while reducing the
proximity effect to facilitate close miking. The patented offset-ribbon design positions the ribbon
element toward the front of the mic’s body, allowing for higher SPL handling (up to
135dB SPL @ 30Hz) on the front (logo) side of the microphone or a brighter response
when recording lower SPL sound sources on the mic’s back side. What’s more, the ribbon
element is unaffected by heat or humidity. The R-101 ships with a protective carrying case,
suspension-type shock mount, and mic sock.
Waves W43 Noise-
Why Reduce ambient noise
such as hiss, hum, traffic
noise, wind, and air conditioning
on dialog and other
types of audio.
How Inspired by the classic, long-out-of-production Cat. 43
hardware noise-reduction tool, the W43 delivers the original
hardware’s high-quality, minimal-artifact multiband noisereduction
while adding the advantages of software. The
easy-to-use four-band noise suppression is controlled by
four faders, a global threshold, and an engage button. The
cross-platform W43 supports multiple simultaneous
instances and features true Pro Tools integration, full recall,
zero latency, automation, up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution,
and TDM/RTAS/Audio Suite/VST/AU support.
Price $300 Native/$600 TDM. Mercury V7 owners covered by
the Waves Update Plan receive the W43 at no additional charge.
Buzz Audio QSP-20 Quad
What Quad mic preamp with Class A operation
Why Provides multiple mic preamps as well as high-Z instrument inputs.
How Each channel uses two Class A amplifiers at the input, a Lundahl audio transformer at the output to
add subtle coloration while preserving transient response, and a hi-Z/lo-Z switch to vary microphone loading.
Direct-coupled inputs contribute to low noise, as well as a 92dB dynamic range at the full 70dB of
gain. The output headroom is +28dBu.
Propellerhead Reason 5
and Record 1.5 Duo
What Virtual MIDI studio/virtual instrument collection and fullfeatured
Why Reason and Record make a phenomenal combination for
How Reason 5 provides (among other things) virtual instruments and
processors, while Record integrates with Reason to provide a multitracking
environment for audio and MIDI tracks. This latest upgrade
introduces the Kong Drum Designer, Dr. Octo Rex loop player,
redesigned sequencing paradigm, pitch correction for vocals and
voice synthesis, realtime sampling, expanded Factory Sound Bank,
signature patches, multicore computer optimization, interface improvements,
and more. Each program is available separately, as a bundle, or
as upgrades from previous versions.
Price $449 (bundle of both programs)