Day three of the 139th AES Convention landed on Halloween, but the scariest thing about it has to be the lack of a good New York thin-crust slice within walking distance of the Javits Center. However, we soldiered on, fueled by inferior convention center grub and the promise of more stellar audio products. In that area, we were not disappointed. Here are our new picks for the penultimate day of AES 2015. (Want more gear? Read our Quick Hits from Day One, Day Two, and Day Four.)
Ocean Way Audio Pro2A monitors - $N/A – Shipping N/A
Ocean Way Audio RM1 ribbon mic - $2,699 MSRP – Shipping now
After a year without too much excitement in the near-field monitor department, it's refreshing to see that a company like Ocean Way Audio, known for high-bandwidth professional reference monitors, has entered the fray with its Pro2A near-field powered monitor. With the challenges of maintaining high-end professional studios and the explosion of project studios, we're not too surprised that Ocean Way would go in this direction, but we're glad they did. The two-way Pro2A has 250W/side and both analog and digital inputs, the latter which accepts up to 24-bit/192kHz streams. It has a frequency range of 38-22,000Hz and a 110dB peak SPL, but as always, the real story will be how it sounds.
You never judge a book by its cover, a wine by its bottle or a microphone by its design, do you? We emphatically deny doing any of the above, but a beautiful microphone sure does add a certain something doesn't it? However, there's a lot more than just looks behind the RM1 ribbon mic from Cliff Mics, a new brand distributed by Ocean Way that features designs from Ocean Way's Director of New Technology, Cliff Henrikson. The RM1 boasts of the most powerful magnetic force ever in a ribbon mic, which delivers 6dB more level than normal. Also, unlike most ribbons, the RM1 works with any modern preamp that supplies phantom power.
Millennia Media Gozowta - $500 – Shipping Q1 2016
Maybe AES should change its name to the Audio Ethernet Society, because the professional clientele the show caters to is rapidly adopting Ethernet standards. And when it comes to bridging the Ethernet/analog gap, we're ga-ga for Gozowta, the new 24/96 Dante D/A converter that connects Dante to legacy analog gear like powered amps and speakers. It has a -10dBV/+4dBu output reference level switch, accepts power over Ethernet and has a headphone amp with ¼" and 1/8" jacks. Small in price and in size, the 1/3 rack width unit can bolt to a Mid Atlantic rack tray.
Waves Audio Element 2.0 Virtual Analog Synth - $N/A – Shipping N/A
Waves Audio eMo D5 dynamics plug-in - $299 reg/$149 current sale - Shipping now
Hey, we love all this audio engineering gear, but after starting day three of a trade show without seeing any new instruments, our hands were starting to shake. Thank goodness Waves came along with its Element 2.0 virtual analog synth VST plug-in update to save us from hyperventilating. It features Waves' second-generation Virtual Voltage technology to up the lever of realism in recreating analog component behavior. Waves said this includes zero delay feedback filters, much improved anti-aliazing to eliminate digital artifacts and improve analog envelope emulation. Any original Element preset will work with Element 2.0, and the update also adds a redesigned reverb, a new Crusher effect and a new Unison algorithm with 2- and 4-voice modes.
Waves also announced that its eMo D5 plug-in is now shipping. This five-in-one multi-dynamics plug-in carries the distinction of being the first to use Waves' Parallel Detection technology, and it has agate, leveler, de-esser, compressor and limiter all in a single interface. Parallel Detection enables each of the five processors to respond to the original signal and to each of the other processed signals simultaneously. That means users can control the total dynamic change that the processors introduce, so the final sound can be as clear as possible without over-compression.
Radial Engineering/Jensen Twin-Servo 500 series mic preamp - $999 street – Shipping November 2015
The Jensen Twin-Servo 500 series preamp design starts out with two of the famouns 990 op-amps cascaded in series. To eliminate phase shift, Jensen replaced capacitors from the signal past with servos, providing an "unlimited bandwidth" to reproduced signals. The end result also incorporate two of Jensen's most robust transformers.
The company is touting an unprecedented smooth and natural low-end reproduction and an overall rendering from 0.2Hz-150kHz. That's just unbelievable enough to want to try it for ourselves. In any case, it's a high-quality, all-steel module with a fully enclosed back and delivers up to 60dB of gain.
Radial Engineering will distribute the Twin-Servo.
Audio-Technica System 10 Camera-Mount accessories – Shipping November 2015
Audio-Technica added two accessories to its line of System 10 wireless mic solutions. These two specifically address the System 10 Camer-Mount wireless system, which comes in three configurations, all with an ATW-R1700 wireless receiver. The new AT8691 Camera Shoe Dual Mount ($79 MSRP) lets you mount two ATW-R1700 receivers to a camera’s hot shoe, a tripod or other standard mounting device. Its cabling allows one receiver to capture left channel audio, the other to capture right channel audio and feeds both into the camera’s audio input.
Also, the new AT8350 19.7" TRS to XLR cable ($28 MSRP) with balanced output lets the System 10 output plug into an XLR input.