All prices are manufacturers’ suggested retail price. Toolbox material is provided courtesy of Harmony Central, Inc., and is used with the express written permission of the publisher


Stereo handheld audio recorder for iPod

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iCAPTURE is designed for handheld recording of rehearsals, samples, meetings, or any other situation requiring quality audio recording. The recorder houses a user’s docked iPod, protecting it with a custom faceplate that provides access to all front-panel iPod controls. iCAPTURE includes built-in mics and while recording, users can listen live with a pair of headphones. Once recorded, the audio remains in the user’s iPod for mobile listening, and can be transferred to a computer or other device. The recorder runs on batteries or a plug-in power supply, and when wall-powered, can charge the docked iPod.


Microphone ménage a trois

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This small diaphragm condenser microphone comes with three different changeable capsules ($635 package cost), offering a wide choice of patterns—cardioid, omni, open cardioid and (optional for extra $130) open cardioid with –20dB pad. A stereo pair set is available for $1,349 to provide balanced stereo recordings. The main benefits of this new mic include easily changeable capsules based on magnetic connection, an all-metal body for high reliability, low self-noise, and detailed sound. As with previous models, this mic has a five year warranty from the date of purchase.


Loud and proud (very loud) speaker system

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The FAR XMG2.D is the largest digital active monitor built by ATD2, with 2000W analog class D amplifiers (2 x 800W for the woofers, 1 x 200W midrange and 1 x 200W high frequency); it boasts a frequency response of 15Hz to 35kHz. The XMG2.D frame is made of steel, reinforced by MDF with a special coating on the frame and in the box in order to damp vibrations. The front panel is covered by heavy foam with fabric to absorb any vibrations coming from the front panel, resulting in stable and wide stereo imaging. All of the drivers are timealigned by DSP and software to make the XM Range well-suited for studio control room monitoring and mastering.


Deep tech is indeed in the house

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House producer Andy Lee’s 24-bit/44.1kHz collection of multi-tempo edgy, dirty, and twisted samples draws a contemporary sonic line between Deep, Tech, and Minimal House. 1.2GB downloadable original content (3.5GB DVD to follow) featuring 1,332 ACIDized WAV files, 596 Apple Loops (DVD and download), 587 Rex2 samples, and 79 soft sampler patches (HALion, KONTAKT, EXS24, and SFZ formats). From $45 to $53 (depending on format); also available on DVD.


We are the robots

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Electro FX, containing samples of both analog and digital sounds, was made especially for the ever-growing electro scene. This sound FX pack is also useful for movie, advertisement, and radio jingle makers. The package includes 191 samples (155MB of WAV files).


Not left of center or right of center—center

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This processor separates phantom Center audio from side (L/R panned) content. Ideal for final mixes and mastering, Center lets users zero in on the phantom Center and bring out or bring down the vocals without affecting everything else. It’s also ideal for post-production engineers and DJs; Center allows repositioning, isolating, and even eliminating elements of a mix. Adjustable punch, high frequency, and low frequency controls let users enhance detail with maximum impact. $400 Native, $800 TDM; users of Waves Mercury and Waves Diamond bundles covered by Waves Update Plan receive Center at no additional charge.


Stuff your virtual instruments and effects into a physical box

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Receptor 2 Pro Max features a 3GHz dual core processing engine, 3GB RAM, 1000GB (1 TB) drive, and E-SATA port for connection to external drive arrays. It also features updated factory sounds, including hundreds of presets based on the Plugsound BOX collection of virtual instruments. This collection of keyboards, synths, GM sounds, Drums, and Urban sounds and Loops is now included with every standard Receptor for free. Receptor 2 Pro Max fits in a 2-rack space box and weighs only 18 pounds; additionally, its enhanced Ethernet performance benefits Muse Research’s Uni- Wire technology. This can offload processor-intensive tasks to the Receptor 2 Pro Max, reserving your main CPU for running your DAW software.


Are you ready for extreme compression?

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Rough Rider Pro is a more sophisticated version of the popular (and controversial) free Rough Rider compressor. Featuring three bands of compression, with full control over each band, Rough Rider Pro is designed for extreme compression— with ratios up to 1000:1, an extremely short attack time for distortion effects, and multiple routings. It also offers a series mode, routing three Rough Riders in a row. $49 (for Windows VST and OS X VST/AudioUnits).


Semi-modular analog synthesizer

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Aspect is a 32-note polyphonic software instrument. It combines a subtractive synth engine with a semi-modular architecture and simple interface that allows practically anything to be used as a modulation source and destination. It offers two analog-style oscillators, noise generator, two filters, three envelopes, and three syncable LFOs per voice. MIDI Learn mode provides easy integration with any MIDI hardware controller, and there are over 150 presets. Available for Mac OS X 10.4 and above (AU/VST/standalone), Windows XP and above (VS/standalone), and Linux (VST/standalone using JACK or ALSA). An RTAS version for Mac/Windows is forthcoming.


Alliance aims to protect the rights of artists through political action

The Recording Artists’ Coalition (RAC) announced an alliance with The Recording Academy that will allow it to continue its mission of vigorous advocacy for recording artists as a program of The Recording Academy, rather than as a separate nonprofit organization. RAC will become an integral program of The Academy’s “GRAMMYs on the Hill” initiative, which advances the rights of music creators through advocacy, education, and dialogue. The first objective of the GRAMMYs on the Hill/RAC program will be to educate new and returning policy makers about the critical issues facing music creators, and the need to ensure fair compensation for all music creators on all platforms.

RAC was founded in 2000 by Don Henley and Sheryl Crow to address legislative issues that affect the recording artist community. On behalf of its membership of more than 150 recording artists, RAC has addressed issues such as artist contract reform, media consolidation, and artist compensation.

The Academy opened its Washington, D.C., office in 1998 and has since launched numerous programs to advance music makers’ rights, including the music community’s only annual grassroots lobbying day in Washington, D.C. Academy leaders are frequently called upon to testify before Congress and to educate and advance critical music policy.