New Gear, December 2013

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Reverb plug-in

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Highlights Decay Editor includes frequency-based spectrum-editing capabilities • tunable modulation • Mutate and Randomize functions • Freeze feature offers infinite decay • unique Preset Voyager displays presets arranged by category and similarity • supports AAX, RTAS, AU, MAS, and VST • 32- and 64- bit • no iLok required
Target Market Musicians, sound designers, and recording engineers
Analysis Designed to provide excellent sound quality while remaining highly efficient, with low CPU demand.

Nectar 2
Vocal processing plug-in

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Highlights Automatic and manual pitch correction • breath removal algorithm • modeled EMT 140-style plate reverb with saturation effect • automatic and manual harmonization features • new FX module includes seven new effects • works as VST, VST 3, Audio Units, RTAS/AudioSuite, and 64-bit AAX plug-in • more than 150 presets
Target Market Anyone who tracks and mixes vocals, whether that involves singing or dialog
Analysis The second generation of this respected plug-in makes it even easier to transparently shape vocal recordings.

8-channel audio/MIDI interface
8pre USB
$549 street

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Highlights 16x12 Hi-speed USB 2.0 audio interface • 8 mic preamps on XLR/TRS combo jacks with individual phantom power and –20dB pad buttons • 24-bit, 96kHz resolution • ADAT optical I/O • MIDI I/O
Target Market Recordists looking for an affordable way to expand their rigs
Analysis Previously a FireWire interface, the 8pre USB provides a cost-effective way to add 8 inputs to your system, whether direct to computer or with another audio interface using ADAT I/O.

Phantom-powered ribbon microphone
$899 street

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Highlights Bi-directional pattern • frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz • handles a maximum 141dB SPL above 200Hz • weighs only 12 ounces • comes with case, custom protective mic sleeve, and shockmounted mic clip • can be used onstage, thanks to its rugged construction and protected ribbon • Made in the USA • 8.8" x 1.6"
Target Market Singer-songwriters, musicians, engineers
Analysis The N22 is rugged, easy to use, surprisingly affordable, and designed for professional, home-studio, and stage use.

Native Instruments
Kinetic Metal
Sound library

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Highlights Sound design by Jeremiah Savage features unique and unusual metal objects • Kontakt 5 or Kontakt 5 Player (free) • more than 100 instruments, including pads, basses, and leads • customizable LFO • morph between sounds • built-in effects: color, distortion, movement, space • sample and effects presets can be linked and controlled simultaneously
Target Market Sound designers, composers, performers
Analysis Despite its seemingly experimental approach, this is a remarkably musical-sounding instrument that offers plenty of high-level, realtime control.

Prism Sound
Lyra 1
USB audio interface

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Highlights 2 analog inputs: instrument/line and mic/line with phantom power and –20dB pad • 2 analog outputs • S/PDIF digital I/O • master volume control • digital mixer for lowlatency monitoring • SNS noise shaping on digital outputs • sample rate conversion
Target Market Musicians and project-studio owners
Analysis With a signal path and clock circuitry based on its highend Orpheus, Prism Sound has created a desktop USB interface with pro-level specs and build quality.

Portable USB D/A converter

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Highlights 8 models to choose from • various I/O configurations, including XLR, 1/4", and TOSLINK connections • supports Mac/ Win, iDevices, and Android • 16-bit/44.1kHz to 24-bit/192kHz resolution depending on model • Class A headphone amplifier • rechargeable battery • switches for output impedance, bass, and treble
Target Market Producers, musicians, and audiophiles who desire portability
Analysis A soundcard and headphone amp together in a diminutive, battery-powered device that is designed to give you high-resolution playback anywhere.

Active studio monitor
$199/each street

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Highlights 5.25" woofer and 1/25" tweeter • Class A/B with 50 watts for LF driver and 40 watts for HF driver • XLR, balanced 1/4" TRS, and RCA audio inputs • frequency range 50Hz to 30kHz • isolation pad on cabinet bottom • HF, midrange, and LF controls
Target Market Personal studio, editing suites, educational facilities
Analysis With its Kevlar cone and highly reinforced cabinet, this monitor was built to compete with others in its price class.

Hal Leonard
The Bruce Swedien Recording Method
By Bruce Swedien

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Highlights Tips on mic selection and placement • explanations of his technical workflow as well as musical considerations • includes DVD with videos of Swedien recording and mixing • 334 pages
Target Market Professional and student engineers and musicians
Analysis Swedien is a legend for his uncanny ability to get classic sounds while remaining innovative. Here’s a chance to find out how he does it.

Active studio monitor
$325 each

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Highlights Bi-amped studio monitor with 8" woofer and 1" soft-dome tweeter • 56-watt Class D amps for each driver • 37Hz to 24kHz frequency range • includes Image Control Waveguide from the more expensive M2 system • XLR and balanced 1/4" TRS inputs • high-frequency and low-frequency trim controls • 5" version also available
Target Market Project studios, editing suites, educational institutions
Analysis JBL brings many of its innovative, high-end designs into the price range of the musician and personal-studio owner.

Pro Tools 101: An Introduction to Pro Tools 11
By Frank D. Cook

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Highlights Covers session setup and configuration for recording music in Pro Tools 11 • chapters on MIDI and virtual instrument tracks • detailed descriptions of automation, mixing, file backup, and burning songs to CD • includes DVD of hands-on projects, videos, and tutorials
Target Market Beginning and intermediate users
Analysis While Pro Tools is not difficult to learn on your own, you will get farther when you know the fundamentals covered in this book.

IK Multimedia
iRig Pro

Audio/MIDI interface

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Highlights Works with Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac computers • 24-bit resolution • battery powered • combo jack accepts 1/4" or XLR input • switchable phantom power • includes detachable iDevice (30-pin and Lightning) and USB cables • input gain control • bundled with numerous software apps
Target Market Instrumentalists and singers using an Apple
mobile device or Mac computer
Analysis A lightweight, portable interface that can be used with any audio source or external MIDI controller.