MOTU TRAVELER MK3
MOTU (motu.com) has updated its Traveler series of mobile FireWire audio interfaces with the mk3 (Mac/Win, $895 [MSRP]). Weighing in at 3.8 pounds, the 14.75-inch-wide Traveler fits nicely into a backpack and under a 15-inch laptop. Its 28 inputs and 30 outputs include 4 combo XLR/TRS mic and high-impedance instrument inputs, each with mic preamps, phantom power, and pads; 4 additional 24-bit, 192 kHz analog inputs and 8 analog outputs on TRS jacks; 2 banks of optical I/O; AES/EBU and S/PDIF I/O; and a headphone output. You also get a sample-accurate MIDI interface and word-clock support. The unit ships with MOTU CueMix FX software for 28-input, 16-bus mixing and effects processing.
IK MULTIMEDIA T-RACKS 3
IK Multimedia (ikmultimedia.com) has resurrected its mixing and mastering suite of EQs, compressors, and limiters. The standard version of T-RackS 3 (Mac/Win, $149.99) includes the four T-RackS classic effects: Compressor, Multi-band Limiter, Clipper, and Equalizer. The deluxe version ($399.99) adds two digital processors — a brickwall limiter and a linear-phase EQ — along with emulations of the Fairchild 670 compressor/limiter, the Pultec EQP-1A, and an optical compressor tailored for stereo and mid-side operation. Twelve plug-in slots allow flexible parallel/serial configurations, and the user interface features extensive spectrum, phase, and level metering. The software comes standalone and in the usual plug-in formats (AU, VST, and RTAS).
JZ MICROPHONES BT-201
OUT OF THE BLACK HOLE
JZ Microphones (jzmic.com) extends its line of mics beyond the Black Hole studio series with the introduction of the BT-201 small-diaphragm condenser mic ($545). Designed to accommodate all common studio and live applications, the unit ships with three capsules: cardioid, omni, and open cardioid. An open cardioid with -20 dB pad is available for an additional $109. The mic sports an all-metal body and a magnetic-connection system that makes changing capsules easy. Each capsule is tested in an anechoic chamber, and you can purchase a matched stereo pair for $1,139.
Symphobia (Mac/Win, $1,399 [MSRP]) from ProjectSAM (projectsam.com) takes orchestral sample libraries to the next level by sampling the full orchestra along with various orchestral ensembles. Almost half of this 18 GB, 24-bit, 44.1 kHz Kontakt Player 2 library is devoted to cinematic effects such as violin glissandos, orchestra rips and stabs, clusters, and so on, and these are provided in a variety of orchestrations. The recordings were made in a large concert hall, with both close- and concert-stage miking. Sample mapping, programming, and Kontakt scripting are all unlocked for editing by those who have the full version of Kontakt.
FROM STAGE TO STUDIO
Roland (rolandus.com) updates its Juno line of synthesizers with the Juno-Stage ($1,599 [MSRP]). The 76-key unit is custom tailored for live performance, but instantly transforms into a full-featured MIDI master keyboard for use with your favorite DAW (Cakewalk Sonar LE is provided). You can expand its extensive sound set with two Roland SRX Wave Expansion boards. Sounds are easy to access with Favorite buttons and hands-free, dual-footswitch patch recall. Added goodies include an XLR phantom-powered mic input with reverb and a vocoder; accompaniment-track playback of MP3, WAV, AIFF, and Standard MIDI Files from USB flash memory; and editor-librarian software (Mac/Win).
Toontrack (toontrack.com) Drumtracker software (Mac/Win, $129) is a standalone, multitrack audio-to-MIDI converter designed to translate drum recordings into MIDI files for drum-replacement purposes. Start with a selection of factory filters that detect the majority of common drum instruments (or create your own), dial in Velocity thresholds, audition Drumtracker's MIDI conversion with its built-in sample library, and, when you like the results, export using the MIDI mapping that matches your drum sampler. Drumtracker is designed for all-out manual operation — as Toontrack founder Andreas Sundgren puts it, “Tweak 'til you drop.”
ARSENAL AUDIO BY API MP-R20 MIC PREAMP
The MP-R20 dual-channel mic preamp ($1,195 [MSRP]) launches API's new Arsenal Audio (arsenalaudio.com) line of hand-built analog signal processors. The 2U rackmount unit hosts two high-quality mic/DI preamps with switchable phantom power, phase, and pad. You get front-panel unbalanced ¼-inch inputs along with rear-panel XLR balanced inputs and XLR and ¼-inch balanced outputs. Company specs assure mic-input bandwidth of 20 Hz to 50 kHz and instrument-input bandwidth of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with signal-to-noise ratios of -90 dB and -80 dB, respectively.