Studio

Friday, February 07, 2014

IsoAcoustics Introduces Custom Configurable Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands

New stands can be custom-designed to meet needs of sound designers, contractors and musicians, for small to large applications

IsoAcoustics has introduced a new line of Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands, which can be custom-configured to meet the needs of sound designers, contractors and musicians, for both small and large scale situations.

The stands will also be available at retail in standard sizes to complement popular brands of larger monitors, subwoofers and guitar/bass amplifiers.

The new Modular Stands provide a flexible and effective means to markedly enhance sound clarity and performance of guitar, bass and other musical instrument amplifiers, studio monitors, sound reinforcement loudspeakers and even subwoofers, using the company’s patented “floating design.”

Stands have all-aluminum construction and can be built to any size matrix configuration, incorporating any number of isolators required to meet the needs of the particular application at hand.

They’re available as a complete unit or can be integrated into floor stands, structures, millwork, soffits and other supporting surfaces. New and existing facilities will find the system provides a flexible approach to address their isolation issues.

Stands can be configured to any size for any application from 8 x 8 inches (23 x 23 mm) and larger, and can address the specific requirements of weight capacities which may exceed 200 psf.

Custom configurations for the IsoAcoustics’ Modular System will be proposed via the IsoAcoustics Design Calculator, which takes input parameters to create custom configurations based upon user requirements that consider size, weight and intended use, and provides the user with a specialized design solution. Custom orders can be processed by local retailers.

IsoAcoustics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/07 at 10:16 AM
Live SoundRecordingNewsProductLoudspeakerSignalStageStudioSubwooferPermalink

Thursday, February 06, 2014

In The Studio: Gain Structure And Recording/Mixing Paths

This article is provided by BAMaudioschool.com.

 
Signal path refers to the path that sound makes while being processed.

Recording signal paths include:

Sound Source > Capturing Device > Wire From Capturing Device To Console Channel Input > Channel Volume, EQ, Etc. > Channel Output To Recorder Track

Mixing signal paths include:

Recorder Track To Console Channel Input > Channel Processing, Volume, Pan, Etc. > Channel Output To Stereo Bus > Main Stereo Output Master Fader > Final Mix

In addition, mixing signal paths include:

Channel Output To Audio Bus Through Aux Sends > Aux Channel With The Send Feeding Into It > Processing > Aux Channel Output To Stereo Bus, Etc.

Gain (volume) refers to the way that the volume of a sound will increase and decrease as it goes through the different stages of a recording or mixing path.

Gain structure refers to the input and output levels of each stage of the path. While it’s possible to set gain/volume knobs to anything and at the very last knob turn things down if necessary, you’ll most likely have inefficient gain structure that can cause extra noise to be added in one stage, and even overloading in another.

Unity gain means that a path or even stage of the path has the same volume going out as it did coming in. Although setting a knob or fader at zero will usually provide unity gain, once you start to process a sound you end up changing the volume within that particular stage of the path. You’ll then most likely have to adjust a different stage of the path to compensate.

Many do not understand gain structure and end up overloading early stages, turning the sound down later and not knowing why their meter level is “in the green” but the sound is distorted.

Changing gain means decreasing it (which can be done passively but is usually done using electronics) or increasing it (using electronics to amplify it). Every process a sound goes through will change the tone of the sound, even if the process is a little bit of gain change. 

Imagine pouring water from glass to glass in a long row of different sized glasses, and you only have the first glass of pure water and a hose with dirty water. As you pour water from the first glass into the second and from the second into the third (and so on), some of the glasses will change the overall amount of water that is being transferred.

One glass may be wider so the water poured in from a narrower glass would not be enough to fill it, and then hose water would be needed to top it off. This would be the same as turning up a fader or knob on a channel to make a quiet sound louder. The amount of what you’re working with has increased to a desirable amount, but the purity of what you’re working with has been diluted by the dirty water or sound changes of the audio components.

Another glass may be filled with rocks and so the water it cannot hold spills out, reducing the amount of water you have. This is the same as using a fader or knob to make a loud sound quieter. Note that the purity of what you have is not changed. There are audio components that reduce sound (using passive resistors) without changing the sound, unlike active amplifiers that increase sound and noise.

Thus the volume will change throughout the chain, and so will the purity at different stages. Of course you want your first glass (the first volume control the sound source hits) to be as full as possible so you have a better chance or retaining sound purity through to the end of the chain.

However, be careful. All stages have maximum allowable volumes at their input (and within their processing) that will result in distortion that will be passed down the chain. Imagine overloading your second glass, which adds red dye to the water. No volume changes down the chain will ever get rid of the red dye.

Big processing (even volume) means big changes in sound. With a good gain structure, there’s usually not much need to add volume in the chain, helping to keep sound as “pure” as possible. And it’s important to start with a good-sounding first stage, which is where most of the volume increasing should be done.

Finally, always look out for distortion at every stage of the audio chain. You’re better off dealing with the extra noise on a quiet clean sound than the distortion on a good volume sound.

Bruce A. Miller is a veteran recording engineer who operates an independent recording studio and the BAM Audio School website.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/06 at 11:19 AM
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

In The Studio: My Top 10 Equalizers

This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

 
Much to my surprise, it seems that people actually care about my favorite gear, since the response to both my favorite mic preamps and compressors was so great.

As a result, I thought it was time for another “My Favorite” post, this time about my top 10 equalizers. These are hardware or plug-in EQs that I find myself reaching for during the course of most mixes.

Remember, gear choices are very personal, so what I like might not work for you, or in web gear parlance, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Even though the following are numbered, the order will change for me all the time. Here we go:

1. API 560. This is the most musical graphic equalizer ever built, in my opinion. If you can’t make something sound good with another choice, this one always seems to work for me. It just has a sound. I love it on bass especially, but it works great on snare as well.

2. Maag EQ4. It you need sparkle and/or girth on a track or even the entire mix, the Maag is the way to go. Even in the midrange, it can help define a mix element in a way that you might not expect. This is the one I go to if the bottom end needs some help.

3. Manley Massive Passive. This is my go-to plug-in for vocals. It can add sparkle and heft to a vocal done even on an SM58 in a way that few others can. It’s perfect for carving out space in the mix for a track.

4. Pro Tools Digirack EQ III. If I can’t get the sound with any other EQ, I know that I can always come back to the Digirack and make it work. Plus, if your computer starts to run out of horsepower and you can’t add any other plug-ins, there’s always room for a few more EQ III’s. I find that I use this one on guitars and things that live in the mid-range because it’s perfect for carving out space where multiple tracks have to live together. I also use this all the time on effects to make them sit in the track better, and for the filters, which I use on almost every track.

5. Harrison 32C. I was never a big fan of the console, but I sure do like the plug-in. Once again, I find that I use this on instruments with a lot of mid-range or top end information. The only drawback is that it works a little too much like the real thing in that the control increments aren’t detented.

6. PSP McQ. I love PSP plugins in general, but this one really works for me when juggling frequencies in the mix. If two instruments are clashing, chances are that the McQ can keep them out of each other’s way. You don’t need to add or subtract much for it to work.

7. Pro Tools Digirack EQ III single band. I use filters a lot, and I mean on almost every track. If a track is working in the mix without any EQ, the first thing I’ll reach for is this handy filter to get rid of any unneeded low or high frequencies that just clog up the mix.

8. API 550A. A number of companies make this plugin and they all have basically the same flavor. I grew up with API consoles so I’m partial after using it for so long, but this equalizer is definitely unique and can be surprisingly precise. I love it on the drums, especially toms.

9. Trident A Range. I worked on an A Range on a number of projects so I know what it’s supposed to sound like, and while the feel of the UA model is a little different, I do like the sound of it. Once again, this is something that has a definite sound that won’t work on all types of music (at least for me), but there’s an aggression that I love, especially on drums again, and bass.

10. Little Labs VOG. The VOG is meant to either add girth or help define the bottom end of instruments that live in that frequency area like kick and bass. It’s not something I use all the time, but it’s really helpful when you need it.

There are a number of others worthy of the list, but I’ll stop here for now. Let me say that I haven’t tried everything out there, as I don’t collect plug-ins or try new ones as long as I have ones that work well for me, so I’ve probably overlooked many fine units/plug-ins.

Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. He’s the author of numerous books on a wide range of recording and music topics. Check them out here.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 04:00 PM
RecordingFeatureBlogDigital Audio WorkstationsProcessorSoftwareStudioPermalink

Audinate Announces Support For AES67 Standard

Audinate has announced plans to incorporate AES67 transport in its Dante media networking solution.

Audinate has announced plans to incorporate AES67 transport in its Dante media networking solution. 

The new AES67 standard provides interoperability recommendations for professional quality audio networking in the areas of synchronization, media clock identification, network transport, encoding and streaming and session description. The AES67 standard was published by the Audio Engineering Society in September 2013.

Dante is a complete media networking solution designed for high quality AV streaming. The A/V industry has embraced Dante because it is easy to set-up, delivers a broad and robust feature set and is the most interoperable networking solution available.

“Audinate does not see networking protocols as competing technologies but more like tools in a media networking toolbox. From the beginning Audinate has incorporated and built upon standards to develop the Dante solution,” stated Aidan Williams CTO Audinate. “AES67 will provide another option for interoperable Layer-3/IP-based audio networks in the future.”

Dante already implements a Layer-3/IP-based transport but AES67 will provide an alternative open standard using the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

To achieve interoperability, AES67 mandates a specific RTP payload format for delivering audio over IP networks as well as methods for exchanging information about audio streams. RTP is already used extensively in communication and entertainment systems that involve streaming media such as VoIP telephony, video conferencing, and IP television. 

As Dante can do today, RTP is also a routable L3 transport, so it is possible to send synchronized audio over multiple subnets for routed campus networked applications.

Dante is primarily built on standards.  AES67 will meet customer’s desire to use an open IP based transport option as part of the Dante solution. AES67 can take advantage of Ethernet switches with IEEE-1588 precision time protocol support, but unlike some other network standards, does not depend on specialized switches in order to operate.

Audinate’s announcement already is endorsed by an extensive group of major pro-audio OEMs.

Bosch has selected Dante for it networking technology in its OMNEO networked products.

“Bosch Communications Systems has always been strong supporter of open media networking standards,” says Bill Scott, Vice President of Engineering and Technology. “We are pleased Dante will incorporate AES67 as a transport option in the future, to meet our customer desire to have an open IP Layer 3, based solution.”

Yamaha has selected Dante for several products as the default networking solution due to its automatic discovery of devices, descriptive text-based labeling, audio channel routing, control & monitoring and its high proven and scalable networking, stated Terry Holton General Manager at Yamaha R&D Centre from Yamaha Commercial Audio. “By adding AES67 support, this re-affirms our decision that Dante was the right networking choice for future-proofing media networks.”

Focusrite, a leader in recording solution and audio distribution platforms, has created Focusrite/Rednet with Dante as it flagship modular Ethernet networked audio interface. Focusrite/Rednet is designed with multiple audio applications in mind, from live sound rigs, to multi-room recording studios, houses of worship, audio distribution installation and post-productions.

Rob Jenkins, Technical Director at Focusrite Audio Engineering added “Dante can interoperate with the largest ecosystem of pro-audio equipment, and having AES67 will extend that capability even further.”

Solid State Logic recently launched its first Dante networked product at IBC 2013.

“Solid Stale Logic fully support Audinate’s plan to provide an AES67 option for Dante devices.” states Niall Feldman, SSL Director of New Products. “Interoperability was a primary decision in SSL adopting Dante for Network I/O products and we are pleased the addition of AES67 will add further devices to the 100’s of compatible products already available.”

Audinate will deliver the AES67 support as firmware update to OEMs in initial Dante products within 12 months. Dante is now the market leader adopted by over 130 OEMs, as it is the most interoperable, easy to use audio networking platform.

Audinate

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Posted by Julie Clark on 02/05 at 02:06 PM
AVLive SoundRecordingNewsAVBusinessManufacturerNetworkingSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

ADAM Audio Debuts New Sub15 Studio Subwoofer

Combines exceptional transient response with efficient low-frequency performance

The new Sub15 studio subwoofer from ADAM Audio is capable of extending the frequency range of main and midfield monitors down to 20 Hz.

The 15-inch woofer is made of an exceptionally rigid aluminum membrane, driven by two powerful magnets and a 100 mm voice coil.

The Sub15 combines exceptional transient response with efficient low-frequency performance. It is rated to provide 112 dB maximum SPL (at 1 meter), making it a good choice for mid-sized and larger control rooms.

The Sub 15’s PWM amplifier delivers 1,000 watts of power (RMS) and has an efficiency factor of nearly 90%, which allow it to handle critical musical passages with sudden peaks without distortion or overheating. The downward firing bass port has been specially designed with generous dimensions and rounded edges to cancel port noise.

The Sub15 is equipped with a volume control (-60 dB to +6 dB) and crossover frequency control (50-150 Hz) to adjust the sound for different room situations and individual tastes.

Satellite speakers can either be driven full-range or high-pass filtered at 8 5Hz. A phase reverse switch is provided to deal with unfavorable phase relationships between the satellites and the subwoofer, particularly in the crossover frequency range.

To ensure maximum connectivity, the Sub15 includes both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) input/output connectors on the rear control panel.

ADAM Audio USA

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 01:20 PM
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Vintage King Awarded Avid Pro Audio America Dealer Of The Year For 2013

Awards were presented to those resellers evaluated and deemed to have achieved the highest level of results

Vintage King Audio earned top honors at the 2014 Avid Global Sales Conference, receiving the Avid Pro Audio America Dealer of the Year award for 2013.

The Top Channel Partner Awards were presented to those resellers evaluated and deemed to have achieved the highest level of results based on performance against 2013 Quota, 2013 Year Over Year (YoY) Growth, and Total Book of Business Closed in 2013.

Chris Karn, sales representative at Vintage King’s Los Angeles headquarters, states, “The team at Vintage King Audio worked tirelessly this past year to surpass our previous success and achieve sales that are very gratifying. It couldn’t have been done, though, without the superior products that have made Avid the worldwide leader in advance pro audio technology.”

Jeff Rosica, Avid SVP of Worldwide Field Operations, adds, “It’s a great pleasure to see the team at Vintage King achieving such surprising numbers and earning this distinguished honor. It is really a partnership such as this that makes the world of pro audio go ‘round.”

Vintage King and Avid are teaming up for a two-city event to launch the new S6 control surface in Los Angeles and Nashville on Thursday, February 13, hosted at Vintage King’s facilities. Register to attend here.

Vintage King Audio
Avid

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 01:11 PM
RecordingNewsBusinessDigital Audio WorkstationsManufacturerStudioPermalink

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Yamaha Debuts Next-Generation MG Series Small-Format Mixing Consoles

Offer D-PRE preamps, DSP, solid construction and much more

The newly re-designed MG Series of small-format mixing consoles from Yamaha Corporation of America provides compact, cost-effective and high sonic quality solutions for install, recording and live settings.

Ten models in the series incorporate technologies originally developed for high-end professional mixers, including studio-quality preamps, powerful digital signal processing and rugged, reliable construction.

All MG models come with Yamaha state-of-the-art discrete Class-A D-PRE microphone preamps. By using an inverted Darlington circuit topography, these preamps feature multiple circuitry elements designed to provide more power, deliver lower impedance and supply a wide frequency range that can handle signal from any source without coloration while faithfully retaining the original sound.

With varying input/output and processing capabilities, the new MG Series includes four XU models that feature an upgraded version of the renowned Yamaha SPX effects processor, including a comprehensive suite of 24 different effects that add professional polish to any mix (upgraded from the 16-effect version in the previous MG series).

SPX processors have become the industry standard for both recording and sound reinforcement applications since being introduced 20 years ago.

The MG06X also comes with six non-editable SPX effects (but does not include USB integration, found on the XU models). Five standard models range from 6 to 20 channels.

“These D-PRE preamps are featured on Yamaha’s high-end professional mixers, so they meet the requirements of the most demanding professional sound engineers and deliver fat, natural sounding bass, rich mids and smooth highs with very low distortion—qualities not usually found in portable mixers,” said John Schauer, product manager, Live Sound, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Yamaha also has had a long history of success with our SPX effects and we have carefully created programs that are perfect for integration into these mixers.”

New XU models offer digital connectivity and software that streamlines the recording process, including Steinberg Cubase AI. A USB 2.0 audio interface capable of 24-bit/192kHz sound quality allows for playback of digital content from a PC and recording of the mixer output using DAW software. USB Audio Class 2.0 is also supported so that compliant tablets and other devices can be used without installing drivers.

All models in the XU line are compatible with Apple’s camera connection kit or lighting-to-USB camera adapter for seamless recording and playback of digital audio content to and from an iPad or iPhone.

MG mixers also feature 3-band channel EQ and high pass filters; models with more than 10 inputs are equipped with newly-upgraded, 1-knob compressors that add optimized compression to a wide variety of input sources with the touch of a single control.

Up to four Aux sends can incorporate additional effects, access external devices or feed stage-monitoring systems. Master send controls are also included, along with Return level controls for the Aux and Stereo buses, which provide seamless integration with external gear. Easy-to-read LED level metering allows output levels to be monitored accurately in darkness or daylight.

The entire MG line has been redesigned with an emphasis on durability to withstand the rigors of the road or rough handling. A powder-coated steel chassis provides improved structural strength, while the placement of the knobs above the chassis surface protects internal components by absorbing any impact or pressure on the knobs themselves.

Yamaha MG Mixers (MSRP: $129 to $929) will ship in the first quarter of 2014.

image

 


Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA)

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 02:41 PM
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In The Studio: How To Increase Your Versatility

This article is provided by the Pro Audio Files.

 
Becoming a producer is a very daunting task. A big part of the job is directing musicians and artists, steering them towards a desired sound and performance. You may even be directing yourself.

The more you know about the instruments in your chosen style, the more you gain better control of where to steer the project.

Carriage For Two
Let’s talk for a second about some of the differences between engineering and producing. They not only get mistaken for one another, but sometimes are considered the same thing.

The engineer is the person setting up mics, making sure all signals are clean and running the tape deck. They’re making sure the phase is correct on the drums and the session is backed up properly.

The producer is imagining the sounds that the engineer should be setting up for. They’re listening to the performance of the song and thinking about how the arrangement will work in mixing. Although producers often know a lot about engineering, their focus is on the actual song and sound. This is one of the reasons it’s a joy to have an engineer. It allows you to focus on the music.

I Can Only Imagine
When imagining the blend of sounds that make up recording, it’s helpful to have a good understanding of the elements you’re recording. That means not only having an idea of how a ribbon mic sounds different from a condenser mic, but also how different guitar amps and drum heads affect vibe.

The greatest producers I’ve worked with in my career have great general knowledge of every element involved in recording. And how those elements will all fit together in the end.

Lesson Learned
A good way to advance your understanding of different instruments is to take lessons. The goal here is not to be become a master virtuoso, but simply gain knowledge of the inner workings of each instrument.

Learn a little bit of the language and explore the vast variations of sound capable from the instrument relevant to the style you are working with. This will allow you to make better decisions while recording which, ultimately, makes mixing so much easier.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend years playing an instrument. A handful of lessons can help you to gain a wealth of information.
Knowledge Room

It’s good to know how guitar picks affect the tonality of a guitar as opposed to finger-style or thumb-picking. Ask your teacher to demonstrate different guitars and amp combinations and to explain signal flow from pedals to an amp.

If you’ve spent time on your own with the guitar and you are not getting the performance you want out of the musician or artist, you can sift through your memories of lessons and see if you can isolate the problem or search for a solution with ideas.

For Example
Occasionally, guitarists come into the studio with giant pedal boards. When they plug into the amp, everything sounds lifeless. Because of my knowledge and experience, I knew that they were plugged into too many pedals. I suggested they disconnect all the pedals they weren’t using.

Cliff Notes
Don’t forget to take good notes. It will be hard for everything to stick in such short time. You’re going to want to have reference for the future.

At first, I strongly suggest gearing yourself toward styles of music you’re into. It’s a big sea out there. Although learning things about jazz tone is great, it’s not an immediate necessity if you play straight-up rock. This means you have to find the right teacher. Make sure the teacher is a specialist in the style you’re researching.

Think about the bands you like. Inquire of your teacher some of the basic ingredients that music requires. Again, it’s not about you becoming an amazing musician. You’re not going to perform.

Bang On
Drums have so many variations in sound, way more than most people are aware of. They are very sensitive to the area in which you hit them. In the center? Off to the left a little? Off center a lot? Velocity also greatly varies the sound of the drum.

You should also learn some basics about drum tuning. The days of big budgets where a drum tech would be hired for a session are long gone. You’re on your own now. If something isn’t sounding good, you need to be the one to fix it. Drums too ringy? There are ways to dampen them. Sitting down with a drum instructor can give you a lot of the insight you will need.

Whether you “butt” the hi hats or “tip” them makes a huge difference in vibe. For instance, you’re not going to get that amazing Al Jackson Jr. tone butting the hats and hitting hard in the center of the drum.

See how this knowledge can help you to direct musicians in a session? You’re basically giving the co-ordinates on a map. They can follow the guidelines to the destination. You’re just telling them where the landmarks are.

Big Bottom
What kind of strings you use is a common discussion for bass. Bassists who like a more modern sound use roundwounds. People who like old Motown, New Orleans funk and the Beatles love flatwounds. There is a huge difference in tone.

Where you strike the bass string is also (you guessed it) — IMPORTANT! I can write a book on all these variations, but the point is not to know everything. Just have enough direction to help get you to your destination. Think of it as having just enough bus fare to get you to there.

Some bassists place foam beneath the strings to deaden the sound a bit. How much and where do you place it? Ask your doctor, er… teacher. In your next session, you’ll not only be able to diagnose bright bass syndrome, but write a prescription for the cure.

Knowing these subtleties will save you time down the line. You will need less plug-ins and not feel the need to fiddle as much. It’s near impossible to get those sounds back once you’ve recorded them.

Strings Attached
Are you going to be recording a lot of strings? Study with a violinist or cellist.

One thing it’s good to know when working with string players is that they play sharps and flats a little bit differently. Since it’s not a fretted instrument, the mind takes over intonation. Sharp is usually a little higher then a flat (hence the rem sharp).

For instance, C# and Db are not the same note. This is important in a session when you are either making a chart or communicating out loud.

Taking lessons can be a quick or cheap investment, but it’s one that can really help you in the future. Reading about the differences are just not enough. Seeing it an hearing it in front of you are more valuable then I could ever explain.

 
Mark Marshall is a producer, songwriter, session musician and instructor based in NYC.

Be sure to visit The Pro Audio Files for more great recording content. To comment or ask questions about this article, go here.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 02:05 PM
RecordingFeatureBlogStudy HallDigital Audio WorkstationsEducationEngineerStudioTechnicianPermalink

Sunday, February 02, 2014

New Products & News Highlights From 2014 NAMM

The music product industry returns to businesses in every corner of the globe following the 2014 NAMM Show held in Anaheim, January 23-26. Expanding product categories such as technology-driven music products and emerging brands pushed the show to its one of its largest and most diverse editions yet.

“As the global platform for the music products industry, the NAMM Show is an annual checkup for what is happening in the music marketplace worldwide,” says Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “A focus on doing business reflected confidence among buyers and manufacturers alike. Fortified with NAMM U education, networking and fun opportunities that only occur at the NAMM Show, NAMM Members expressed to me a renewed spirit for the year ahead. I believe that the stage is set for growth in 2014.”

Emerging brands, growth in pro audio and the music technology category, and an increase in international exhibitors, converged for the second-highest exhibiting company number ever. There were 1,533 exhibiting companies representing 5,010 brands.

Meeting those brands was a 2 percent increase in buyers over 2013. Buyers arrived in Anaheim focused on rebuilding inventory after a strong school music season, and on building up categories currently experiencing strong consumer demand. In total, 96,129 members of the music product industry registered for the 2014 NAMM Show.

New entrepreneurs and categories entering the music market brought 303 new exhibiting companies to the show. NAMM membership and in turn the NAMM Show is increasingly global, as reflected in the 6 percent increase in international attendees.

Here’s the new pro audio (and related) product and news from the “big show.”

Take our Photo Gallery Tour of the 2014 NAMM Show

Consoles & Mixers
Yamaha Next-Generation MG Series Small-Format Mixing Consoles
QSC TouchMix Series Compact Digital Mixers
Soundcraft Si Performer 1 Digital Console
Allen & Heath Qu-24 Compact Digital Mixer
Roland Systems Group “All-In-One” VR-3EX AV Mixer
Midas M32 Digital Mixing Console
Soundcraft VI Console Integration With Universal Audio UAD Plug-Ins
Midas Mixtender 2 iPad App
Behringer X18 Digital Mixer For iPad, Other Tablet Devices
Aviom D800 and D800-Dante A-Net Distributors
Soundcraft Vi Version 4.8 Software For Vi2, Vi4 & Vi6 Consoles
Midas DL150 Series I/O Boxes
Waves Audio Dugan Automixer Plug-In
Allen & Heath Xone:23 DJ Mixer
SSL Matrix2 Studio Console

Line Arrays & Loudspeakers
JBL Professional VTX V20 Line Array And S25 Subwoofer
Electro-Voice ETX Portable Powered Loudspeakers
D.A.S. Audio Event Series Self-Powered Line Array
Turbosound Revamped Milan Series Loudspeakers
One Systems OPALine Vertical Line Array
Grund Audio Design GP Series Loudspeakers
Yorkville Returns Production Of YX Series Loudspeakers To Canada
Turbosound iQ Loudspeaker Systems With “Acoustic Integration”
HK Audio Elements Powered Subwoofer
Behringer B110D & B108D Active Loudspeakers
JBL VTX F Series For Accompanying VTX Line Arrays
Behringer Unveils Europort PPA Series Portable PA Systems
Yorkville Sound Parasource Series Powered Subwoofers
Turbosound TLX Compact Series Line Arrays
JBL Professional VRX Line Array Calculator

Microphones & Wireless Systems
Shure GLXD6 Guitar Pedal Receiver With Integrated Tuner
AKG WMS420 Wireless Microphone System
DPA Microphones d:fine 66 And 88 Miniature Headset Mics
Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Guitar Stompbox
CAD Audio CADLive Microphones For Percussion & Guitar Cabinets
DPA Microphones Facelift For d:facto Vocal Mic
Behringer Expands ULM Series Wireless Systems
IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD
Morton Microphone Systems KickTone Bass Drum Microphone
Bock iFet Condenser Microphone From TransAudio Group
DPA Microphones d:vote Rock Touring Kits
CAD Audio 1600 Series UHF Wireless System
DPA Microphones d:dicate Series MMP-F Modular Active Boom

Networking & Interfaces
Audinate Dante Controller Version 3.5
Klark Teknik DN9680 With 192 Channels And 1,000-Meter Range
Behringer Expands Network Options For X32 Console
Aphex IN2 Desktop Audio Interface
Radial Engineering StageBug SB-7 EarMuff Headphone Interface
Apogee JAM 96k Professional Guitar Interface For iPad, iPhone & Mac
Universal Audio Announces Unison Technology
Behringer New Family Of Universal Control Surfaces
Steinberg UR44 Audio Interface
Universal Audio Apollo Twin High-Resolution Desktop Interface
Aviom D800 and D800-Dante A-Net Distributors
Focusrite iTrack Dock For iPad
Aphex D 500 Duo 2-Slot Rack Unit For 500 Series
Gepco Live Music Venue Solutions

Software
PreSonus Add-Ons For New Studio One 2.6.2
ADX TRAX Audio Separation Software
Waves Audio Scheps 73 Plug-In
New Midas PRO Series Software
Soundcraft VI Console Integration With Universal Audio UAD Plug-Ins
Waves Audio Morgan Page EMP Plug-In Toolbox

Recording Gear
Waves Audio SoundGrid Studio System
Radial Space Heater Tube Drive & Summing Mixer Combo
Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ
API 500-8 Lunchbox For 500 Series
Waves Audio Morgan Page EMP Plug-In Toolbox
Chandler Limited TG2-500 Preamp For 500 Series Racks
Manley Labs CORE Reference Channel Strip
Aphex D 500 Duo 2-Slot Rack Unit For 500 Series
Sonodyne SRP Series Studio Monitors
API 505 DI And The 565 Ban 500 Series Modules
Genelec 8010 Active Studio Monitors
Waves Audio Scheps 73 Plug-In
Massenburg DesignWorks Parametric EQ 5 Plug-In Compatible With Pro Tools 11
Radial Engineering StageBug SB-7 EarMuff Headphone Interface
Audio-Technica Next-Generation M-Series Headphones
Aphex 500 Series Modules: CX 500 & Project 500
Blue Sky Star System One 2.1 Studio Monitors
Cerwin-Vega! Expands XD Desktop Loudspeaker Series
PreSonus Temblor T10 Studio Subwoofer
SSL Matrix2 Studio Console
Equator Audio FB/E Sound Abatement Panels
Focusrite iTrack Dock For iPad
Aphex IN2 Desktop Audio Interface
iZotope BreakTweaker Drum Sculpting & Beat Sequencing

Audio Tools
Audio-Technica Next-Generation M-Series Headphones
IsoAcoustics Custom Configurable Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands
JBL Professional VRX Line Array Calculator
CAD Audio Expands Acousti-Shield Line With AS22 & AS16
Radial Engineering Headload Guitar Amplifier Attenuator
Sensaphonics 3D AARO In-Ear Monitoring System
New Sennheiser DJ Headphones
Hosa Technology Edge Series Microphone, Loudspeaker & Guitar Cables
“Musical iPad: Performing, Creating & Learning Music On Your iPad” From Hal Leonard
Waves Audio Dugan Automixer Plug-In
Equator Audio FB/E Sound Abatement Panels

Show News
Meet The Winners Of The Fifth Annual Readers Choice Best Product Awards
Yorkville Returns Production Of YX Series Loudspeakers To Canada
Mr. Bonzai Hosts Bold “Producers” Panel At 2014 NAMM Show
Winners Of The 29th Annual TEC Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards
Harman Pro Components Make Up Concert System For Grand Plaza Main Stage
Furman Celebrates 40th Anniversary
SSL Establishes Live Console Distribution In Austria And Hungary
AM&S Names Evan MacKenzie To Lead Marketing Communications
Pivitec Appoints John Garbutt National Sales Manager
MUSIC Group Appoints Greg McLagan AVP, Business Development Professional Division
Furman Rejoins D-Tools Manufacturer Vantage Point (MVP) Program
More Than 100 Live Music Performances At 2014 NAMM Show
NAMM Foundation Inducts Breakthrough Inventions At TECnology Hall Of Fame Ceremony

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Posted by Keith Clark on 02/02 at 03:10 PM
Live SoundRecordingFeatureNewsProductSlideshowAnalogBusinessDigitalEducationSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Friday, January 31, 2014

Composer Daniel Figueiredo Ups His Game With Studio One From PreSonus

A recent upgrade to his existing DAW system inspired him to make a change to a PreSonus Studio One.

Brazilian composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Figueiredo’s lengthy list of credits includes a veritable Who’s Who of leading Brazilian artists, such as Beth Caravalho, Daniela Mercury, and Gilberto Gil, as well as international artists like Jamie Glaser, Roman Miroshnichenko, David Cohen, John Pollard, and Stevie B.

The two-time Latin Grammy winner’s music has been the driving force behind dozens of Brazil’s most popular TV shows and movies, and he is co-founder, along with renowned American percussionist Frank Colón, of the Musical Nation Project, a creative collaboration that endeavors to mix instruments, musical styles, and musicians worldwide.

Like many professional artists, Figueiredo had established a long history of working with a well-known DAW program. But as he explains, a recent upgrade to that DAW inspired him to make a change to PreSonus Studio One.

“I worked with that particular DAW hardware and software for many years and was well known as a user, an advisor, and an enthusiast,” he says. “But over time, I found that the system did not keep up with my needs as a composer and producer.

“It seemed I was spending a lot of time and money keeping the system working. Finally, with the most recent upgrade, I realized I had reached my limits and decided it was time to switch.”

Figueiredo spent many days testing out each of the leading DAWs.

“I tried about six or seven programs on the Mac,” he recalls. “Some of them are very powerful, with a lot of features, but very convoluted and hard to get my head around. I was really impressed to see that Studio One already had dozens of the most-used features of my previous DAW, along with other features I was sure I would have to wait several years to see.”

“With Studio One I found stability, full compatibility with AU and VST plug-ins, and most important, an easy and intuitive workflow,” he adds. “The learning curve was truly almost nonexistent.”

In fact, one of the first compositions Figueiredo created after switching to Studio One was a 90-second track representing Brazil in this year’s FIFA World Cup Games. The segment was the first of a series of tracks heard by millions across the globe.

Studio One is particularly well suited to the unique demands of instrumental and soundtrack work, says Figueiredo.

“My compositions typically call for a lot of virtual instruments and a lot of tracks,” he observes. “The same MacBook Pro I used with my previous DAW can handle literally three times as many tracks and instruments with Studio One. And to my ears, Studio One actually sounds better.”

In addition to a wide assortment of virtual instruments, Figueiredo favors a number of Studio One’s built-in Native Effects™ plug-ins, including Pro EQ, Tricomp, Mixverb, and Groove Delay. He is especially pleased at just how easy it is to perform complex tasks in Studio One.

“Features like Freeze and Transform virtual instrument tracks, and creating keyboard shortcuts and macros-for me, it saves me so much time when I can do these things with just one or two mouse clicks,” he says. “The Studio One guys really do think ‘out of the box’ and that’s great.”

PreSonus

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Posted by Julie Clark on 01/31 at 03:20 PM
RecordingNewsConsolesDigitalSoftwareStudioPermalink

Studio Compression: When, Why To Use Slow & Fast Attack Times

When you’re first dating a compressor, it’s important to take things slow...

 
When you first started using a compressor, you were happy to just have a basic understanding of what the threshold and ratio do, right? At some point, though, you need to learn how to deal with the attack setting.

I’ll give you a starting point today.

The attack setting simply tells the compressor how quickly it should compress the signal once it crosses the threshold. Note: Don’t confuse attack with ratio. Ratio tells the compressor how much to compress once it crosses the threshold.

Start Slow
When you’re dating a compressor, it’s important to take things slow. grin

My buddy Ian has been known to say that fast attack times kill music. For the most part, he’s right. Music is all about rhythm and emotion. If your attack times are too short, you’re chopping off the transients on your tracks… losing that punch you’re trying to get.

While I’ll admit it’s fun to use a fast attack and watch the gain reduction meter bounce all over the place, it’s best to try to get into the habit of using slow attack times. The compression will be more subtle, and you’ll be less likely to over-compress the track.

Rather than starting at 5 or 10 ms…dial that puppy back to something like 50-75 ms. Let those transients through! Then let the compression shape the tone of the instrument AFTER the transient.

Missing The “Punch”
People talk all the time about wanting their mixes to “punch.” So they talk about using analog summing, or buying fancy plug-ins.

I’m not against either of those, but before you go there, try increasing your attack times on your compressors. You may just re-discover that punch you were looking for.

When To Go Fast
Of course, there are times to use fast attack times, too. Whenever the transients of a given signal are too loud or need to be “tamed” a bit, you should try using a faster attack time.

The best way to do this is to set your ratio and threshold where you want them, then slowly dial back the attack knob. As the attack time shortens, the underlying audio will slowly become more and more “dull.”

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it might be just the thing you’re looking for for a particular track. Here are a few examples of when it makes sense to use a fast attack time:

Too much “thump” in the bass. Perhaps your bass player digs in really hard when he plays bass, so all his notes have a really loud transient, but it’s hard to hear the sustain.

Or perhaps you can’t get a good overall bass level in your mix without the transients overtaking the mix. Use a faster attack time to clamp down on these transients before they get out of control.

Snare drum cuts through the mix too much. Sometimes you just can’t get the snare drum to sit in the mix. You turn it up, it cuts through too much. you turn it down, you can’t hear it. 

A faster attack will let you turn it up without it chopping your ears off at the beginning of each hit.

Lead vocals. Sometimes a slow attack on vocals can make it sound a bit odd.

If you’ve ever listened to a talk radio show where every phrase the announcer says has too much “punch” at the beginning? Yeah, that’s probably due to over-compression and a slow attack time.

Joe Gilder is a Nashville-based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.Note that Joe also offers highly effective training courses, including Understanding Compression and Understanding EQ.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/31 at 03:18 PM
RecordingFeatureBlogStudy HallDigital Audio WorkstationsProcessorSoftwareStudioPermalink

Behringer Introduces New Family Of Universal Control Surfaces

Trio of controllers consisting of the X-Touch Universal Control Surface and its siblings, the Compact and Mini

Behringer has introduced a new family of universal control surfaces, a trio of controllers consisting of the X-Touch Universal Control Surface and its siblings, the Compact and Mini.

The X-Touch offers 9 high-quality and touch-sensitive motor faders, 8 LCD scribble strips for instant overview of track names and parameters plus 8 rotary controls with LED-collars for on-the-fly parameter adjustments.

Built-in Ethernet, USB and MIDI interfaces provide direct access to PC or Mac computers, a MIDI device and future X32 remote control.

Equipped with the same motorized fader count as its bigger brother, plus16 rotary controls and a Dual-Layer Mode, the X-Touch Compact is ideal for making fast transitions between DAW and instrument applications. All control elements come preconfigured, so the unit is ready for use right out of the box.

“These all-powerful control surfaces really let you get your hands on your software,” says product manager Bert Niedermeyer. “You’ll love the tactile feedback you get from the controller surface, and you’ll wonder why you ever relied on a mouse. They really feel that good.”

The X-Touch Mini Ultra-Compact Universal USB Control Surface includes a long-lasting 60 mm master fader and a Dual Layer Mode for quick changes, such as switching between DAW and instrument control. The Minis 8 rotary knobs with LED-collars and 16 dedicated illuminated buttons (including transport control) provide on-the-fly adjustment of parameters.

A built-in USB/MIDI interface allows direct connection to Mac/PC computers and for future add-ons of other controllers, with no drivers required.

The X-Touch, X-Touch Compact and X-Touch Mini are available at a suggested U.S. MAP of $599.99, $399.99 and $99.99, respectively, and are covered by MUSIC Group’s 3-Year Limited Warranty Program.

Behringer
MUSIC Group

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/31 at 01:56 PM
Live SoundRecordingNewsProductConsolesInterconnectMixerNetworkingRemoteSignalSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Thursday, January 30, 2014

RCF Adds Compact Arya Four To Nearfield Monitor Range

RCF has introduced the new ultra-compact Ayra Four to the Ayra range of active nearfield and personal monitors.

RCFhas introduced the new ultra-compact Ayra Four to the Ayra range of active nearfield and personal monitors.

The Ayra Four follows the same design template as the popular Ayra Five, Ayra Six and Ayra Eight — but in a smaller package.

The Ayra series is optimized to deliver the best quality for a variety of applications where a clear and loud sound is required.

This also includes personal use for multimedia gaming and as a computer satellite system. Where more punch is required, the Ayra Ten (10”) subwoofer can be added.

Available in black and white lacquer versions, the new Ayra Four houses a 4” composite fiberglass woofer and the same 1” soft dome tweeter that appears in all models. Other characteristics include: precision directivity tweeter waveguide; fully-featured input board; reflection free front cabinet design and low distortion reflex port.

The Ayra Four is an active monitor, powered by true active 35-watt and 20-watt Class AB design amplifiers. Frequency response measures 60 Hz-20 kHz.

From an aesthetic viewpoint much thought has gone into the styling, the sleek look of the monitors contrasting the dark front baffle with the white cone woofer

At the same time, to keep the range looking fresh and in response to customer feedback RCF has taken the opportunity to add a white version of the Ayra Five, to its catalog.

RCF

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Posted by Julie Clark on 01/30 at 01:51 PM
RecordingNewsProductLoudspeakerMonitoringStudioPermalink

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tech Tip Of The Day: Getting That Great Kick Drum Sound

Provided by Sweetwater.

 
Q: I’ve been recording and mixing a Christian band the past few months and everyone is really happy with the results except for one thing: the kick drum.

Is there anything I can do? Or, if there isn’t, what should I know so I don’t have this problem ever again?

A: While there are a limited number of solutions to your problem once the instruments has been tracked, lets run through our top six tips for recording and then mixing a great kick drum.

First, and probably most obvious is to experiment with mic placement during tracking. Try to get as close to the sound you want with the mic before you add any EQ.

Take a look at where the drum beater is contacting the head, and mic to capture that attack. How far in or out of the drum you place the mic will have a large effect on the tone you capture. Further out will give you a more “resonant” or “woody” tone, while closer up should give you more attack, with less of the drum’s shell.

Second, try miking from the beater side of the drum in addition to your normal kick drum mic placement (assuming you are currently miking from in front of or inside the drum). This should give you more attack.

A few caveats: Watch for phase problems, be careful with mic placement and pickup pattern to avoid getting too much of the underside of the snare, and be sure that the kick pedal is squeak free!

Third, try using a different beater. One made of a harder material may give you more slap. We’ve even heard of drummers and engineers taping hard materials to the kick drum head where the beater strikes it to emphasize the “click” and beater attack.

Fourth, take a look at your musical arrangement. Are there other instruments in the kick drum’s frequency range that are masking it, diminishing its punch? Getting a kick drum and a bass guitar or bass synth to “sit” together in a mix is a real art. Maybe the problem is not in your kick, but in the bass EQ?

Fifth, try adding a little EQ. A parametric (or console EQ with sweepable mids) works well for this application, but a graphic can work fine. Boost the gain on the EQ, listen to the kick, and slowly sweep the EQ frequency until you find the frequency you want to bring out.

Next, adjust the EQ gain to your taste. In addition to boosting some frequencies, you might want to experiment with cutting some of the boomier frequencies out to clear the top end a bit.

And finally (or, some might say sixth) as you are trying various things, work at low volume levels. If the kick drum sounds good to you at low volume, it will probably sound even better when the level is wound up a bit.

For more tech tips go to Sweetwater.com

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Posted by Keith Clark on 01/29 at 05:03 PM
RecordingFeatureBlogStudy HallConsolesDigital Audio WorkstationsEngineerMicrophoneMixerProcessorSignalStudioPermalink

Audient iD22 Now Compatible With OSX Mavericks

The Audient ID22 is not compatible with Apple's OSX Mavericks.

Audient is happy to announce that the iD22 is compatible with Apple’s new operating system OSX Mavericks.

Transforming the DAW into a world-class recording system by connecting directly to mics, computer and monitors the iD22 is ideal for record producer/mixer Romesh Dodangoda, (Motorhead, Kids in Glass Houses, Funeral for a Friend) who is always jetting off somewhere with his kit.

“As an ASP8024 console user, the iD22 is everything I wanted in a portable interface,” says Romesh, who uses his unit as the centerpiece of his Mac-based mobile rig, and will definitely find the OSX Mavericks makes things easier whilst he’s on the road.

Describing Audient’s audio interface as “a well-built piece of hardware, matched with the excellent audio quality you expect from Audient,” Romesh appreciates the console-style monitor controller functionality of the iD22: dim, cut, mono and talkback. “This interface is great for me when I’m away from my console,” he adds.

Now at its new lower price, there’s even more reason to make iD22 the centre of your desktop studio.

Audient

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Posted by Julie Clark on 01/29 at 02:30 PM
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