Thunderbolt audio interface for Mac OS
HIGHLIGHTS Two-channel, buspowered 24-bit/192kHz interface with XLR/TRS combo inputs and balanced 1/4" TRS outputs • front-panel headphone jack and instrument input • MixEfx software offers reverb and echo effects and control functionality (48V phantom power, lowcut, polarity switch) • supports Mac OS X 10.6.8 and later • includes Thunderbolt cable
TARGET MARKET Musicians, DJs, producers, home-studio owners
ANALYSIS The lowest-priced Thunderbolt interface available, and it doesn’t require an AC adapter: a new alternative for mobile recording.
Thunderbolt audio interface
HIGHLIGHTS 24-bit, 192kHz Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 connectivity with word clock • 4 mic, 2 instrument, and 8 TRS line-level inputs • 32 inputs, 34 outputs at 1x sample rates • 48-channel digital mixer • two 8-channel ADAT I/Os • AVB Ethernet networking with MOTU 8M and 16A interfaces ($1,495 each) • standalone mixing via wireless and web-app control
TARGET MARKET Pro and personal studios
ANALYSIS A fully redesigned interface and software package for high-quality audio recording.
The Loop Loft
Matt Chamberlin Drums
Audio and MIDI loop library
$49 (48kHz stereo loops); $79 Deluxe Edition (96kHz multitrack loops)
HIGHLIGHTS Three drum kits and 76 samples • 9 tempo/styles that provide 387 grooves, fills, breaks • WAV, REX2, Stylus RMX, and Apple Loops file formats • includes mallet and brushes • high-res Deluxe Edition provides up to 15 tracks • recorded at Sound City, Van Nuys, California
TARGET MARKET Songwriters, composers
ANALYSIS A pro-level collection of samples and loops in a broad range of styles and with a wide palette of colors.
Sony Creative Software
Sound Forge Pro Mac 2
Waveform editor for Mac OS X
HIGHLIGHTS Supports 24-bit/192kHz-resolution recording up to 32 channels • 64-bit AU/VST processing • WaveHammer compressor/limiter • CALM metering • batch processing • FLAC support • includes iZotope plug-ins: Nectar Elements, 64-bit SRC, Denoiser, Declicker, Declipper, and six mastering processors • renders more than a dozen popular audio file formats including AAC, AIF, MP3, MP4, OGG, W64, and WAV • available from the Apple App Store
TARGET MARKET Recording engineers, sound designers, musicians
ANALYSIS Provides a broadcastquality toolset and interoperability with SpectraLayers Pro 2.
Dave Clarke EMP Toolbox
Native plug-in bundle
HIGHLIGHTS Electronic Music Production bundle, chosen by producer/remixer Dave Clarke, including seven plug-ins: Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, API 560 Graphic EQ, Dorrough Meters, LoAir Subharmonic Generator, Kramer Master Tape, MetaFlanger, and Scheps 73 EQ/Preamp • works with Waves MultiRack Native and StudioRack Native plug-in hosts
TARGET MARKET Producers, DJs, and musicians working in dance genres
ANALYSIS A selection of top-notch Waves products for styles that lean toward techno and electro.
HIGHLIGHTS Controls for Detection Freq and Reduction • intended to be easy to use as a dynamics processor • dual signal path with sections to alter Voiced EQ and Sibilant EQ using frequency, resonance, and gain parameters • plosive detection • 32- and 64-bit versions available • AAX/RTAS/AU/VST
TARGET MARKET Musicians and engineers
ANALYSIS Designed to provide transparent dynamics control for vocal tracks as well as instrumental tracks with high-frequency content.
Digital audio workstation
HIGHLIGHTS Updated GUI with new toolbar and transport controller • new browser and search windows • drag-and-drop functionality for instruments and content • new amp and speaker models from Softube • noteediting improvements • Reason Essentials 8 ($129)
TARGET MARKET Musicians, DJs, and producers
ANALYSIS The added browser/search functions, along with the drag-and-drop facilities, are major workflow enhancements to an already mature and powerful product.
Universal synchronization hub
HIGHLIGHTS USB and standard MIDI connectors as well as DIN Sync and CV/gate jacks • can distribute clock signals or serve as clock source • Tempo, Fine, Shuffle, and Tap • MIDI-to-CV/gate conversion • generates LFO and trigger signals • designed to work with Aira TR-8, TB- 3, System-1 synth, and older instruments
TARGET MARKET Musicians, DJs, composers
ANALYSIS In addition to interfacing modern and vintage synths, the SBX-1 can act as a signal source when you need one.
RX 4 Advanced
Audio restoration software
HIGHLIGHTS Full-featured version that features four new modules: Leveler with target RMS settings; EQ Match with Learn functionality; Ambience Match for dialogue editing; and Loudness for broadcast applications • updated GUI • RX Connect plug-in to improve workflow • nondestructive clip gain • Dereverb • RX 4 standard ($349) now includes Dialog Denoiser module
TARGET MARKET Recording studios, post-production, broadcast, mastering
ANALYSIS In addition to getting an updated look and new modules, RX 4’s algorithms have been enhanced.
HIGHLIGHTS Stereo, mono, and mute settings • 1/4" headphone jack • XLR and RCA inputs selected on the front panel • Crossfeed and Angle controls for simulating speaker position • Matrix switch • 120V rails • weighs 4.5 lbs.
TARGET MARKET Personal studios, mobile recording
ANALYSIS SPL put much of the high-quality audio technology of its Phonitor 2 into a portable version that has simplified settings and is more affordable.
iOS recording app
HIGHLIGHTS New Studio section (available as an in-app purchase) provides editing tools and ability to view audio waveforms on a timeline • regions can snap to grid • handles 4 tracks on iPhone, 8 tracks on iPad • five vocal effects: pitch correction, 3-part harmonization, doubler, de-esser, and pitch/formant shifter
TARGET MARKET Singers, musicians, and producers who use iDevices
ANALYSIS Geared toward vocalists using iRig microphones, the app provides DAW-like flexibility with a simple GUI.
HIGHLIGHTS Includes London Symphony Orchestra sample library • onscreen keyboard, fretboard, and percussion-pad input • MIDI recorder and editor • supports standard audio formats, VST instruments and ReWire • video window with timecode view • runs in 32- or 64-bit mode • optimized for Windows 8 touchscreens
TARGET MARKET Musicians, songwriters, composers, arrangers
ANALYSIS The score files from this full-featured, cross-platform program can be opened in Notion for iPad ($14.99), making this a suitable program for touring artists.