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.
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.
€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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.