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Tool Box

Elemental Audio Systems Finalis Limiter plug-in Finalis ($159) is a cross-platform (RTAS, VST, AU) brick wall limiter that has three distinct limiting algorithms, a user-configurable ceiling, and built-in gain control. Highlights include input and output peak meters with integrated RMS and peak hold readings, alon
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Elemental Audio Systems Finalis
Limiter plug-in
Finalis ($159)
is a cross-platform (RTAS, VST, AU) brick wall limiter that has three distinct limiting algorithms, a user-configurable ceiling, and built-in gain control. Highlights include input and output peak meters with integrated RMS and peak hold readings, along with the company’s new I/O Crest Factor meter, which gives a quantifiable indication of how a signal’s dynamics are being affected by the limiter settings. Sweet.

Electronisounds DnB Void
Sample CD
DnB Void ($19.99
) features more than 650MB of original sounds and loops in 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV format that are meant to “explore the darker side of dark drum and bass.” The dark CD includes an extensive, and dark, collection of basses, drums, effects, chords, pads, synths, and vocoded drums. Dark.

Sage Electronics SE-BB1 “Bova Ball”
Electret condenser microphone
Although it conjures uncomfortable memories of the brain-sucking security device from the 1979 film Phantasm, the SE-BB1 ($579) is actually a mic that sports a spherically mounted, high-intensity, small diaphragm electret condenser capsule. The mics — also called “Bova Balls” after designer/record producer/Sage founder Phillip Victor Bova — are created on a one-off basis and feature all discrete class-A transformer-less electronics, active balanced outputs, brass hardware, and a precision Manfrotto ball-and-socket mechanism for versatile positioning.

Alienware MJ-12m 7700
Mobile workstation
Stretching the definition of the word “laptop” is the highly configurable MJ-12m 7700 ($2,400 and up). Basic features include Pentium 4 desktop processors, Intel 915 PCI-Express technology, DDR2 memory support, dual hard drives with RAID support, dual optical drive slots, a 7-in-1 media card reader, a 17” widescreen LCD, four built-in speakers (with subwoofer), Bluetooth support, a user-removable GFX module, and more.

SFX Machine SFX Machine RT 1.04
Effects plug-in
SFX Machine RT ($99.99)
is a multieffects plug-in (VST for Windows and OS 8/9/X, AU for OS X) that comes with hundreds of presets ranging from conventional effects (such as choruses and flangers) to more out-there options like “Munchkin Chorus” and “Freeze Boing Discrete.” Cool features include automated parameter control via a MIDI learn interface, and a Randomize button that lets users explore the preset possibilities. Version 1.04 claims improved Audio Unit functionality and enhanced stability.

Grace m902
Headphone amplifier
Designed to accommodate both analog and digital sources, the m902 stereo reference headphone amp ($1,695) features high-current, trans-impedance output amplifiers that are optimized for driving like a mule team even the lowest impedance headphones. Other features include rear-panel USB, S/PDIF, TOSLINK, AES3, XLR, and RCA connectors; a pair of front-panel, parallel-wired 1/4” outputs; and a front-panel rotary switch that lets you choose between balanced, unbalanced, AES, S/PDIF, TOSLINK, and USB sources.

Manytone ManyStation
Sample-based workstation
Manystation ($99)
is a VSTi sample-based workstation that ships with 1.5 GB of multi-sampled acoustic and electric guitars, basses, cellos, vintage hardware synths, drums and percussion, pads, and effects. All soundsets — some of which are made up of between 20 and 60 multisamples — were hand edited with attention to fidelity, usability, and noise levels. PC only.

CAD GXL Studio Packs
Microphone bundles
CAD rolled out four new mic packs for personal and project recordists. The GXL2200 Studio Pack ($239) contains one GXL2200 large diaphragm condenser mic, one GXL1200 cardioid condenser mic, and one EPF 15A pop filter, while the GXL 2200 Stereo Studio Pack ($299) comes with an additional GXL1200. The GXL3000 Studio Pack ($339) includes a GXL3000 large diaphragm multi-pattern condenser mic, one GXL1200, and one EPF 15A pop filter; the GXL3000 Stereo Studio Pack ($399) adds another GXL1200.

MXL Desktop Recording Kit
Home recording bundle
The affordable DRK ($99.95 street) comes with a self-powered MXL cardioid condenser mic and all the accessories you need to integrate it into a variety of recording environments: a desktop mic stand and clip, an XLR cable, a couple of adapters (XLR to 3.5mm mini-plug, and mini-plug to 1/4”), and a power source.

Bela D Media Project 6
Sampled guitar library
For Project 6 ($149.99), Bela D Media sampled “four variations of every note for every articulation” of a Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 guitar plugged into a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier amp. The patches feature multiple release triggers for added realism, and include single-note picking, single-note hammer-ons, power-chords, palm-mutes, and more. Project 6 was programmed in Kontakt 1.5.3 and can be played from any MIDI controller.

Ilio S.A.G.E Xpanders
Sound libraries
Ilio released four of its Groove Control collections as S.A.G.E. Xpanders ($99 each) for Spectrasonics’ Stylus RMX virtual instrument. Each title — Stark Raving Beats, Ethnic Techno, Skippy’s Noizbox, and Skippy’s Big Bad Beats — comes with a complete sound library, a “Bonus Ilio” section, and a host of new multi-patches designed to broaden the potential of Stylus RMX.

Digital Music Doctor Acid Pro 5 Know It All!
Instructional CD-ROM
Acid Pro 5 Know It All! ($29.95) is an interactive course that contains nearly two hours of videos and sample projects covering audio and MIDI loop-based composing, recording, editing, and mixing using Sony Acid Pro 5. The course is organized into five sections, including one that gives an introductory tour of the Acid workspace and talks turkey about new Acid Pro 5 features.

Coyote R&D Two-Can64
64-bit-ready PC
The Two-Can64 ($1,695 and up) is a full-featured PC that boasts faster speeds, more storage—up to 800GB of internal RAIDable memory—and lower noise than its predecessor, the Two-Can. The two-rackspace 64 ships with Coyote’s NetMIDI drivers, which support up to 256 individual MIDI output ports, plus high-speed remote control software that eliminates the need for a separate mouse, monitor, and keyboard.