ANTARES AUDIO TECHNOLOGIES AVOX EVO
OUTSIDE THE VOX
Antares (antarestech.com) has unleashed the next evolution of its vocal toolkit, Avox. Avox Evo (Mac/Win; $399, upgrades from $59) incorporates Antares' new Voice Processing Technology introduced in Auto-Tune Evo (reviewed on page 64). At the tame end you get four vocal-enhancement and -repair plug-ins: Punch, Aspire, Warm and Sybil. For thickening and voice multiplication, you'll find Duo and Choir, as well as Harmony Engine Evo (available separately for $199) for generating five-part vocal harmony. When you need to take it to the extreme, apply physical modeling to your singer's vocal tract with Throat, pitch-shift and ring-modulate it to oblivion with Mutator or create talkbox-like effects with Articulator.
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS AUDIO 2 DJ
IN THE POCKET
Audio 2 DJ (Mac/Win, $119 MSRP) from Native Instruments (native-instruments.com) delivers the acclaimed sound quality of its Audio DJ line of audio interfaces to your shirt pocket and recession budget. The deck-of-cards-sized, bus-powered USB 2 device features the same studio-grade 24-bit, 96kHz Cirrus Logic converters and offers high-powered amplifiers capable of delivering 9.7dBu output. Dual stereo outputs let you route two decks to an external DJ mixer or output independent master and cue signals when mixing in software. Purchase includes Traktor Pro Demo and Kore Player software, along with 600 MB of production-ready sounds.
PEDAL TO THE METAL
If you use Logic Pro 9, MainStage 2 (see Logic Studio review on page 44) or GarageBand '09, Apogee (apogeedigital.com) will get your feet into the act with its new USB-powered hardware controller and audio interface, GiO ($395 MSRP). Plug your guitar into the ¼-inch instrument input for clean recording through Apogee's preamps and converters. Control the software transport with its top-row buttons and switch plug-in presets with its bottom-corner footswitches. Use the five Effects Stomp buttons to manage stompbox effects like Logic's Amp Designer and Pedalboard, MainStage's Playback and Loopback, and GarageBand's built-in amps and stompboxes. For unparalleled monitoring through Apogee converters, hook up headphones, powered monitors or your instrument amp to the ¼-inch stereo output.
U&I SOFTWARE METASYNTH 5
With the release of MetaSynth 5 (Mac; $599 MSRP, upgrade pricing available), U&I Software (uisoftware.com) adds full Mac OS X Leopard compatibility and multiprocessor support to its image-based audio processing software. MetaSynth features six “rooms”: effects processing, image synthesis, image filtering, spectrum analysis and resynthesis, piano-roll-style sequencing, and multitrack sequencing and mixing. The image rooms feature 14 new graphics tools and 11 new instruments. Each room provides access to MetaSynth's sample editor, and you can now record audio into both the sample editor and the multitrack sequencer. Most aspects of the program have been streamlined.
FXPANSION DCAM SYNTH SQUAD
ON THE JOB
FXpansion (fxpansion.com) puts the analog back in your sound with three modeled virtual instrument plug-ins in DCAM Synth Squad (Mac/Win, $249). Strobe is a classic, easy-to-program, one-oscillator subtractive synth. Cypher's three-oscillator design with audio-rate modulation routings, dual filters and waveshaping takes you to the next level. For vintage string machine sounds, Amber's divide-down architecture has you covered. A fourth plug-in, Fusor, puts it all together by letting you host up to three synths and add step sequencing, keyboard mapping and global modulation. All synths feature the flexible TransMod modulation routing system and allow processing of external audio (see Web Clip 1).