Archive by Heather Davis

Sennheiser MD 421 Turns 50

md421.JPGPointe Claire, Quebec, Canada, May 2010: This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the classic Sennheiser MD 421-U large diaphragm, cardioid, dynamic microphone. The venerable MD 421, which is still in production as the MD 421 II, has been one of Sennheiser’s best-selling dynamic microphones for decades thanks to its durability, versatility, and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. Offering exemplary performance on voices, but equally effective on a wide range of acoustic and amplified instruments, the MD 421 continues to be an essential component of any microphone collection in the studio or on the road.

The MD 421 has been improved over the years with upgrades to the housing, output connector, basket, and capsule assembly. A limited-production MD 421 Special Edition that recaptured the full-bodied performance of the microphone’s original design was introduced in 2003 to commemorate the 90th birthday of Sennheiser founder, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fritz Sennheiser. The MD 421 II continues the tradition of the MD 421 while upgrading the original design in order to take advantage of improved production techniques and materials. more

Metric Halo Mobile I/O Software v.5.3 Now Available

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HOPEWELL JUNCTION, NEW YORK – APRIL 2010: Metric Halo announced the immediate availability of version 5.3 of MIO Console, Mobile I/O CoreAudio driver and Mobile I/O Firmware. The new version is available as a FREE update, and applies to all Metric Halo FireWire audio devices including the 2882, ULN-2, ULN-8 and the recently introduced LIO-8 multichannel A/D/A converter. more

Nescom to Add API Vision Surround Console

nescom.JPGBANGOR, MAINE – MARCH 2010: Graduates from the New England School of Communications (NESCOM) are highly sought-after in the pro audio trades for their balanced appreciation of theory, application, and technique. One of the ways NESCOM keeps current is by replacing one of the consoles in its seven fully-appointed control rooms every year, as well as by providing regular upgrades to its remote truck and its 500-seat theater complex. Last year’s pick was a 32-channel API 1608 with a 16-channel expander. The overwhelming enthusiasm for the 1608 contributed to this year’s decision. NESCOM will replace a control surface in one of its surround rooms – Studio D – with a 48-channel API Vision surround production console, providing a superb front-end and mixing environment that ably handles stereo and surround simultaneously with an intuitive and instructive topology.

“There are a variety of schools of thought about whether it is better to mix ‘in the box’ or ‘out of the box’,” said Dave MacLaughlin, executive director of audio for NESCOM. “There are even regional variations. Nashville engineers, for example, tend to treat their DAWs like tape recorders, relying on external gear and summing to complete their mixes. Of course, we think students need experience with both approaches, but we already have control surfaces in a few of our other rooms. For Studio D, we wanted to give students more experience recording on a high-end console and then mixing back through that same console.” more

German Sport Gets 5.1 Makeover with Soundfield UPM-1 Stereo-to-5.1 Upmix Processor

markus_bozzetti.JPGLAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 2010: For decades, German sport on television has been associated with one program above all others – Sportschau, the weekend sports roundup produced by West German Broadcasting (Westdeutsche Rundfunk, or WDR) and broadcast on the main German public-service terrestrial channel ARD. As the Winter Olympics opened in Vancouver and German public-service TV channels began their long-planned transition to high-definition broadcasting, the much-loved Sportschau moved to a new timeslot on Saturday nights, and, from February 13, 2010, began transmission in high-definition with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.

WDR needed to ensure that the whole of Sportschau could be broadcast with a 5.1 surround soundtrack every week, even when older or archive material with a stereo soundtrack was due to be included – a considerable technical challenge. Many viewers find it jarring when a stereo segment is broadcast in the midst of a modern high-definition transmission which otherwise features a full 5.1 soundtrack. The stereo parts seem extremely ‘flat’ by comparison. After an intense period of testing various ways of up-mixing stereo to surround, WDR turned to UK manufacturer SoundField and acquired one of its UPM-1 Stereo-to-5.1 processors to handle the job. more

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Taking Daking for a Song

micpreone.JPGLAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 2010: TransAudio Group, the worldwide distributor of Daking gear has announced a limited time rebate offer effective February 8, 2010 through April 8, 2010. This offer, of up to $100 off, is valid on select Daking high-end analog signal processors purchased from authorized U.S. resellers. There has never been a better time to upgrade your signal path with the unmistakable fidelity of Geoff Daking’s inventions, designed and manufactured in the tradition of the great analog console manufacturers like Trident, Neve and API. Together with Daking’s surprisingly reasonable price tag and excellent product support, there is no better value in the high-end pro audio industry today. more

Symetrix Now Shipping Airtools Multiband Processor 2m

at_multiband_2m.JPGSEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 2010: Symetrix, a leading provider of audio processing solutions for the commercial, broadcast, and pro audio markets, announces the availability of the AirTools Multiband Processor 2m, which marshals the power and innovation of the company’s DSP solutions to meet the very specific needs of broadcast professionals. The inclusion and easy configuration of every necessary DSP module optimizes broadcast audio for dramatic improvements in tone, intelligibility, and intensity. The Multiband Processor 2m hardware implementation is robust, allowing for multiple audio connections across all of the most widely-used interconnect protocols, with minimum latency, wide dynamic range, and extremely low distortion.

Easily-configurable floating-point DSP modules include: programmable filters, phase rotator, de-esser, downward expander, broadband automatic gain control (AGC), eight-band parametric equalizer, four-way programmable crossover, four-band multiband compressor and limiter, stereo image enhancer, acoustic environment simulator, clipper, and alignment delay, among others. Inputs and outputs consist of dual-balanced analog lines or AES3 digital lines configurable for stereo, mono, MS encode, or MS decode operating modes. Word clock input, Ethernet, RS-485, and user-configurable audio input failover complete the back panel array. more

API Now Shipping 527 Compressor

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 2009: API is now shipping the 527 compressor, a single channel module based on API’s 225L discreet channel compressor. The 527 features comprehensive controls including variable attack, release, ratio, and output gain controls. The unit also includes API’s patented ‘Thrust’ circuit, first offered on the 2500 stereo bus compressor. A ten segment LED meter is switchable between gain reduction and output level.

“Anyone who has used the 225L compressor found in API consoles has expressed a longing for the same kind of flexibility and control in the 500 Series for some time,” said Larry Droppa, president of API. “We’re delighted to now offer the 527 to complement our vintage 525 compressor, which has been many engineers’ favorite compressor over the years.” MSRP: $995.00. more

API’s JDK Audio Introduces R22 Compressor

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JESSUP, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 2009: JDK Audio, the new brand developed and engineered by legendary analog innovator API, announces the fourth product in its line of robust signal processing equipment. The R22 is a two-channel, rack-mount compressor with linkable stereo operation that uses true RMS power summing, a patented Thrust circuit for chest-hitting low-end, and easy to use, refreshingly musical control of all parameters. JDK Audio will formally introduce the R22 compressor at the 2010 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California at API Booth #6411. Visitors will have the opportunity to listen to multitrack material through the new R22 and other JDK gear at the JDK listening station.

The R22 interconnects with both balanced XLR and quarter-inch inputs and outputs. Because the R22 has LED indicators and switchable analog metering of the output level and gain reduction, it’s easy to optimize gain structure. Switchable hard- or soft-knee compression, combined with variable threshold, ratio, and make-up gain controls deliver a wide range of compression textures for an equally wide range of source material. Equally at home in a project studio or commercial recording facility, the R22 shines with a ruler-flat frequency response out to 50 kHz. more

Win a Free JDK R22 Compressor at API’S Booth #6411

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JESSUP, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 2009: API is pleased to invite all NAMM attendees to stop by Booth #6411 and enter a drawing to win a free JDK Audio R22 Compressor. Winners will be chosen by random drawing at the end of the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A total of three lucky winners will each receive a JDK Audio R22 Compressor. Winners need not be present to win. JDK Audio is an entirely new brand developed, engineered and made in America by API (Automated Processes, Inc.) that captures the essence of vintage electronic design.

The new R22 is a two-channel rack-mount compressor with linkable stereo operation that uses true RMS power summing, API’s patented Thrust circuit for chest-hitting low-end, and easy to use, refreshingly musical control of all parameters. Visitors to the booth will have the opportunity to listen to multitrack material through the new R22 and other JDK gear at the JDK listening station. The R22 Compressor is the fourth product in the JDK line of robust analog signal processing equipment. Previously introduced products include the R20 two-channel mic pre, the R24 two-channel four-band EQ, and the V14 four-band VPR 500 format equalizer. more

Tonelux Tilts NAMM

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 2009: Tonelux rack-mounted gear, which is exclusively distributed worldwide by TransAudio Group, will introduce its new TILT eight-channel tone control at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2010. The innovative TILT control, designed by Tonelux founder Paul Wolff, rebalances a channel’s high- and low-frequency content via a single knob, and was first featured on the company’s MP1a discrete mic preamp module.

Centered on approximately 700 Hz, the TILT control knob boosts high frequencies from 0 dB to 6 dB while simultaneously cutting low frequencies by the same amount when turned fully to the right. When turned to the left, low frequencies are boosted by up to 6 dB while high frequencies are similarly cut. This allows a user to conveniently alter the EQ of a track to better fit into the mix using a single rotary control. more

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