New Gear, September 2012

Highlights Drum and percussioninstruments used in traditionalChinese Opera • 3GB libraryincludes contemporary Chinesepercussion instruments • BestService Engine 2 provides aneasy-to-use interface and realtimecontrol over essential parameters• playable MIDI templates includethe intricate rhythm patterns oftraditional Chinese opera
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Best Service

Peking Opera Percussion
Sound library/instrument

Highlights Drum and percussion instruments used in traditional Chinese Opera • 3GB library includes contemporary Chinese percussion instruments • Best Service Engine 2 provides an easy-to-use interface and realtime control over essential parameters • playable MIDI templates include the intricate rhythm patterns of traditional Chinese opera
Target Market Recordists and songwriters seeking unusual percussion sounds
Analysis One way to differentiate recordings is to use novel sounds; while this library is useful for Chinese-related soundtracks, it can add exotic flavors to any type of music.

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Lauten Audio
FC-387 Atlantis
Large-diaphragm condenser

Highlights 31.25mm dual large diaphragm pressure-gradient transducer mic • multiple switches for functional versatility • polar pattern switch offers cardioid, omnidirectional, or figure-8 patterns • solid-state FET internal preamp • –10dB and +10dB switch • voicing switch provides three timbres (Gentle, Neutral, and Forward) • individually hand tuned capsule
Target Market Engineers who benefit from having a single mic suitable for multiple sound sources
Analysis It’s getting to the point where it’s not enough for a mic to offer a single “sound.” Atlantis’ configuration options place it in a new generation of versatile mics.

Native Instruments
The Giant
Virtual piano

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Highlights Virtual piano instrument based on the Klavins Piano Model 370i, the world’s biggest upright piano • compatible with Kontakt 5 and the free Kontakt Player • 40 production-ready presets • Includes two versions: “Day,” for multiple genres and styles, and “Night,” featuring unconventional samples suited for atmospheric scores, sound design, and avant garde productions
Target Market Keyboard players who want a huge piano sound for performance or recording
Analysis You could never own dozens of physical pianos, let alone one like “the Giant”—but sampling technology makes accessing these sounds possible.


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DJControl Instinct
Budget controller

Highlights Bright orange and red backlighting makes controls easy to identify, even in low-light conditions • two pressure detecting jog wheels allow scratching without latency, scrolling within tracks, and pitch-bend control • weighs less than 3 pounds • two RCA outs and one 3.5mm stereo mini-jack out • independent 3.5mm out for previewing tracks • DJUCED bundled DJ software • USB port for Mac/PC connection
Target Market Budding laptop DJs, particularly those requiring compact, low-cost setups
Analysis DJControl Instinct opens up the world of DJing to a much wider audience, yet it’s certainly no toy.


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Heil Sound

Pro Set 3

Highlights Unique drivermounting system provides high outside-noise rejection • 40mm neodymium magnets and voicecoils • lightweight, ergonomically-designed cushioned headband • detachable cable design; ships with three cables to accommodate an assortment of outputs • high SPL-handling capability • folds for compact transport • replaceable ear cushions
Target Market Touring pros, musicians, and broadcast/ recording studios
Analysis Heil Sound has built no-nonsense headsets for the amateur/ham-radio market for decades; the Pro Set 3 brings the same durability and articulation to pro-audio applications.

Source Audio
Dual Expression Pedal

Footpedal controller

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Highlights Durable cast-aluminum housing • dual TRS expression isolated outputs allow controlling two effects units simultaneously • compatible with any effect with a TRS expression input • range-adjust knob • 1/8-inch, 4-conductor output compatible with all Soundblox/2/ Pro pedals and Hot Hand • includes 1/4-inch TRS connector cable and 1/8-inch Sensor Output cable
Target Market Keyboard and effects control for stage or studio
Analysis An expression pedal is necessary to get the most out of effects and keyboards. Source Audio’s take differs from the norm, as it allows controlling two effects simultaneously.

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nvelope 500
Stereo dynamics processor

Highlights Provides direct control over a signal’s envelope by shaping the attack and sustain intensity • Dual Band mode offers individual frequency controls for attack and sustain • true dual-mono or linked stereo operation in Full Range, Dual-Band or EQ mode • 2-space 500 Series format
Target Market Recordists requiring a high-end, compact dynamics processor capable of handling various types of signal sources
Analysis The days of the traditional compressor with limited options are numbered, as companies like Elysia create hardware units with more transparency and variability, such as the nvelope 500’s impulse-shaping abilities.

Cascade Microphones
Fat Head II
Active/passive ribbon mic

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Highlights Internal switch chooses passive or active mode • active mode requires phantom power and adds up to 25dB gain • high-gain, low-noise differential amp circuit • ribbon is isolated from the mic preamp for less ribbon-loading coloration • handles 135dB SPL • passive mode supports high-gain preamps • low-impedance output allows long cable runs • ribbon element is resistant to phantompower damage
Target Market Those desiring a ribbon mic with two distinct identities
Analysis Fat Head II is part of a “ribbon resurgence” that encourages variations on standard designs.