New Gear, July 2012

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Highlights Cardioid handheld dynamic mic with both USB and XLR connections • metal construction • low-mass diaphragm • headphone output with volume control for monitoring directly from the mic • Windows/Mac-compatible • comes with USB and XLR-to- XLR cables, tripod desk stand, and threaded mic stand clamp
Target Market Vocal/instrument miking for live performance or laptop-based recording
Analysis USB mics have been popular for a while, but their quality has improved to the point where they can be your “main” mic. Including USB and XLR connectors simplifies transitioning a mic between stage and laptop studio.


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Stompbox Updates
New firmware
Free for current users

Highlights TimeFactor includes presets from Roger Waters’ The Wall Live tour, provided by lead guitarist Dave Kilminster • the Space stompbox can now freeze reverb, and users can continue to play on top of sustained reverb • new sounds and system enhancements are available for the ModFactor and PitchFactor effects • all updates are included in new units shipped from Eventide
Target Market Owners of the various Eventide studio/stage stompboxes
Analysis Software updates aren’t new, but they’re becoming more common in stompboxes and effects. The TimeFactor update also underscores the increasing use of “celebrity” presets.


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Chorus plug-in
€59 (approx. $75)

Highlights Emulates analog BBD (Bucket-Brigade Delay) chorus effects • three different emulations • stereo dynamic spatializer • includes compander emulation to re-create inherent artifacts accurately • the Dry tool can add chorus to the tail end of a sound but not the attack to preserve transients
Target Market Musicians seeking a different, funkier delay effect compared to today’s digital delays
Analysis BBD-based delays, like the original E-H Memory Man, had a unique, gritty sound that used compression/expansion— which contributed its own artifacts—to help overcome noise. This specialized plug-in resurrects a rare, vintage effect.


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Pandora Mini
Personal multi-effects

Highlights 200 preset programs • 200 user programs • 158 types of amps and effects • use up to seven effects simultaneously • 100 rhythm patterns • built-in metronome • aux input for jamming with CD or MP3 players; can change aux input pitch by ± one octave • battery/ USB power
Target Market Guitar and bass players who want to have a highly portable effects setup for performance, practicing, or composing
Analysis The first Pandora was released in 1995, and the latest model represents another incremental improvement in functionality, size, and cost.


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Sample Logic

Synergy X
Virtual instrument

Highlights 20GB library with samples, 600 instruments, temposynced loops, and multis • Kontakt Player host • instruments and multis organized by genre to make it easier to find presets • sequencer, multiple LFO options, and arpeggiator for tempo sync • $60 update for Synergy owners
Target Audience Sound designers, composers, audiofor- video creators, and virtual instrumentalists for live performance
Analysis Virtual instruments continue to get bigger, broader, and with increasingly expanded libraries. Synergy X provides a global perspective on environments, soundscapes, and textures that fills in some of the holes left by other libraries.


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Analog mixer

Highlights 16 channels with 10 discrete Class A mic pres and phantom power • 4 buses • Xpressive EQ based on VCM (Virtual Circuit Modeling) • dual digital effects (SPX block and REV-X reverb) • USB port • digital iPod/iPhone I/O • ducker and tap tempo
Target Market Its light weight and tabletop or rack-mount use make the MGP16X well-suited for mobile solo acts, bands, smallto medium-sized nightclubs, presentations, and theaters
Analysis The MGP16X is designed for multiple applications and various operating conditions. It has what bands need, but can also fulfill other functions.


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Vienna MIR Pro 24
Mixing and reverb software

Highlights Entry-level version of VSL’s Multi Impulse Response mixing/reverb software • places up to 24 instruments, ensembles, or audio signals in virtual stages • provides precise control over every instrument’s position, direction, and character • comes with 11,000 impulse responses • requires Vienna Ensemble PRO 5 mixing host ($595 bundle price for both applications), whose mix engine accepts your DAW’s audio signals
Target Market High-end, softwarebased mix engineers who require precise sonic spatialization
Analysis Space is the final frontier; VSL uses convolution technology to go beyond reverb, and allow uncannily accurate spatialization in mixes.


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Wash lighting effect

Highlights Linear LED fixtures with individual pixel control • powered by twelve 3W tri-colored LEDs • weighs less than nine pounds • can generate pixel-mapping effects • works with ShowXpress Pixels (a software lighting console program for computers) • includes multiple DMX personalities • automated, prebuilt programs are accessible with or without DMX • onboard three- and five-pin DMX connectors
Target Market DJs, bands, solo acts who want to add cost-effective lighting effects
Analysis Lighting continues to get less expensive, lighter, and more capable; being able to power link with other COLORbands also saves time running cables.