Category Archives: Gear and Technology

Lectrosonics Debuts New D Squared Wireless Transmitter and Receiver

The Lectrosonics D Squared Family now includes the DPR Digital Plug-on Transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 Receiver.
The Lectrosonics D Squared Family now includes the DPR Digital Plug-on Transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 Receiver.

Rio Rancho, NM (May 8, 2020) — Lectrosonics has launched its new DPR digital plug-on transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 receiver for location sound recording, intended for use on a variety of applications including boom miking. Both products are part of the D Squared wireless family platform.

The DPR digital plug-on transmitter is fully compatible with the DSQD digital receiver and features a tuning range of 470 to 608 MHz (470 to 614 MHz for the export version). The new transmitter includes specially developed circuitry for extended operating time on two AA batteries, and offers RF power selections at 25 and 50 mW. AES 256-CTR encryption is provided for high level security applications, and the unit sports phantom power, selectable to off, 5v, 15v or 48v to accommodate a range of microphone types.

The Bachelor Hooks Up with Lectrosonics

The DPR features DSP-controlled analog limiting, and input gain is adjustable over a 55 dB range in 1 dB steps to allow an exact match to the input signal level, maximizing audio dynamic range and signal to noise ratio.

The DPR can be configured as either a transmitter or a recorder, with files stored on microSD card memory in the Broadcast Wave .wav (BWF) format at 24 bits, 48 kHz sample rate. A 3.5mm TRS jack on the side of the unit allows jam sync with timecode, and Lectrosonics says the unit’s timecode accuracy is better than 1PPM due to the temperature compensated crystal (TCXO) clock. The DPR also responds to remote “dweedle tone” commands, available via third-party apps such as New Endian’s LectroRM and PDRRemote, allowing users to change settings including frequency, audio level, lock/unlock, and also to start and stop recordings.

The machined aluminum DPR housing is the same size and shape as the previous generation plug-on units including the HM and HMa so that standard accessories are compatible with the new unit, including the PHTRAN3 pouch and the HMCVR silicone cover. The input wiring is also the same as previous generations, allowing the use of existing cable and barrel adapter accessories including the MCA5X and MCA-M30.

The DPR features an audio frequency response of 25 Hz to 20 kHz +0.0, – 3dB, a dynamic range of 110 dB before limiting and a flat in-band phase response, allowing it to be used as a wireless test and measurement link with calibrated microphones, for audio system alignment and monitoring.

The new DSQD/AES3 digital receiver is a four-channel, half-rack design with high-resolution color display, analog or AES digital outputs, and rear BNC antenna ports with “loop-thru” buffered BNC outputs to another receiver. The new receiver is compatible with the latest Lectrosonics all-digital transmitters. The DSQD/AES3 is also backward compatible with any Digital Hybrid Wireless transmitters. Three different receiver diversity schemes can be employed depending on the needs of the application, including switched (during packet headers for seamless audio), Digital Ratio Diversity, or Digital Frequency Diversity. The DSQD/AES3 includes digital talkback capability when used with any talkback-enabled transmitter.

A headphone jack is included on the DSQD/AES3 for audio monitoring per channel. Ethernet and USB ports allow the receiver to connect to Lectrosonics Wireless Designer software for programming and monitoring. Antenna bias power can be engaged in the menu, and front panel LEDs show the status. Each DSQD/AES3 ships with half the rack hardware needed to mount two units together, yielding 8 channels in 1RU.

The Lectrosonics DPR Digital Plug-on Transmitter and the DSQD/AES-3 Receiver will be available in Q3, 2020.

Lectrosonics •

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Amek EQ 200 Plug-In Announced

The Amek EQ 200 Plug-In.
The Amek EQ 200 Plug-In.

Santa Cruz, CA (May 8, 2020) — Aiming to recreate the sound of legendary parametric equalizers of the 1970s and 80s, Plugin Alliance and Brainworx Audio have introduced the Amek EQ 200 plug-in.

Expected to be the first in a series of new plug-ins under the Amek brand name, the EQ 200, which is intended to provide the resolution, transparency, headroom and surgical precision of classic 70s and 80s mastering-grade EQs. Specifically, the Amek EQ 200 plug-in was inspired by the sound of Brainworx founder Dirk Ulrich’s own GML 8200 EQ, one of his all-time favorite pieces of analog outboard.

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The Amek EQ 200 is a seven-band EQ, featuring five wide, overlapping fully-parametric bands with 15 dB boost or cut for each band, additional high- and low-pass filters, and low and high shelving EQs.

While intended to evoke the original hardware, the plug-in also offers new features, including AUTO LISTEN, available on all five bands to audition each change in isolation; continuously-variable high-pass and low-pass filters with a 12 dB per octave slop; MID / SIDE processing to tweak the width and depth of the mix as a workflow enhancement; MONO MAKER, which sums low frequency content to mono; STEREO WIDTH, to expand the stereo width of tracks; and variable THD, for adding extra analog mojo and tone.

Other additions include TMT Inside, Brainworx’s patented Tolerance Modeling Technology that simulates channel-to-channel variances in electronic components, as well as correlation, balance, input and output meters, and more

The plug-in sports a scalable UI to adapt to the user’s screen size and workflow, and offers numerous presets to provide users with a starting point for finding their sound.

Set for release on May 19, 2020, it will be included in Plugin Alliance’s monthly Mega Bundle subscription and annual Mega Bundle subscription at no extra cost.

Plugin Alliance •

Brainworx Audio •

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Sescom Unveils Slew of New Products

Sescom has introduced a slew of new cabling and audio interface products for use in live sound, installation and house of worship settings.
Sescom has introduced a slew of new cabling and audio interface products for use in live sound, installation and house of worship settings.

Mt. Marion, NY (May 7, 2020)—Marking its 45th anniversary this year, cabling and audio interface manufacturer Sescom has introduced a plethora of new products for use in live sound, installation and house of worship settings.

The new SES-RCA-LVL-ST Stereo Single RCA Volume Control provides volume control for any device, with a passive design that provides a single level control for left & right RCA I/Os, all housed in an anodized aluminum casing. Similarly, the SES-RCA-LVL-LR Stereo Dual RCA Left / Right Volume Control does the same thing, except for dual RCA inputs to dual RCA outputs.

Sescom Bows Attenuating Line-to-Mic-Level Cables

The SES-TRRS-AB 3.5mm A/B Switch with Center Off Switch offers bidirectional, two-source audio switching or one-source audio splitting, based around three 3.5 mm female TRRS connections. The unit provides ground loop noise elimination and can be used to connect dual computers, smartphones or MP3 Players to a house system; switch line level inputs and/or outputs between amplifiers, mixers or PCs; and other uses.

Sescom’s SES-EZ-MIX-01 Two-Channel Stereo Audio Mixer with Separate Volume Control provides two 3.5 mm inputs and a single 3.5 mm output, allowing users to run multiple audio sources into one input.

Elsewhere, the SES-BUB-1206 Active 1-Channel Balanced XLR to Unbalanced RCA Audio Converter is self-explanatory, featuring an active design intended to reduce loss via its low noise, low distortion circuitry. The unit includes a power supply. For those going the other direction, there’s also the new SES-UBB-1646 Active 1-Channel Unbalanced RCA to Balanced XLR Audio Converter.

Lastly, there’s the company’s new SES-AUD-TRS-BAL Stereo Unbalanced Audio to Balanced Converter for 3.5mm TRS To Left & Right Male XLRs. The unit is not compatible with phantom powered devices.

Sescom •

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RØDE Debuts Free Ambisonic Sound Library

The SoundField by RØDE NT-SF1 ambisonic microphone in use.
The SoundField by RØDE NT-SF1 ambisonic microphone was used to record audio for the project.

Sydney, Australia (May 7, 2020)—Røde Microphones has unveiled its new Ambisonic Sound Library, a collection of 360° surround sound ambisonic recordings, free to download for license-free use in projects.

It’s not the company’s first venture into ambisonics, having released its SoundField by Røde NT-SF1 ambisonic microphone in 2018 and the accompanying SoundField by Røde Plug-in, which allows users to manipulate the mic’s recordings in post-production, changing the mic directivity, position and rotation, allowing users to create everything from a 7.1.4 surround mix to a fully head-tracked 360° soundscape for immersive video.

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The library, then, highlights recordings made with the mic and plug-in over the last 18 months by numerous engineers, including composer/field recordist Watson Wu and musician/sound designer Richard Devine. The Library contains hundreds of royalty-free ambisonic recordings, ranging from atmospheric soundscapes to specific sound effects, all available for use in films, podcasts and more.

Users can preview and download the ambisonic files and load them into the free SoundField by Røde Plug-in in any DAW.

Røde Ambisonic Sound Library •

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Eventide Launches MicroPitch Plug-in

Eventide's MicroPitch dual-voice pitch shifter
Eventide’s MicroPitch dual-voice pitch shifter

Little Ferry, NJ (May 5, 2020)—An effect staple since Eventide introduced it in the 1970s, Eventide’s MicroPitch dual-voice pitch shifter has been introduced as a plug-in for use on a Mac or PC.

MicroPitch is a fine-resolution pitch shifter providing effects that range from subtle tone fattening to dramatic slap-back effects via longer delays. In addition to stereo spread effects, the plug-in also allows users to mix in detuned and delayed versions of a source, and expanded controls make possible deep pitch dives, echoes and chorus effects.

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MicroPitch features two voices of pitch shifting, one from unison to -50 cents, the other from unison to +50 cents, each with up to 2 seconds of delay. The plug-in can produce a classic stereo-spreading effect, a chorusing effect on each voice by means of Modulation Depth and Rate controls, and slapback effects by means of longer delay times, and it can create pitch dive or rise effects by Feedback adjustment. The Mix Lock toggle lets users maintain a wet-dry mix constant while scrolling through the rich complement of presets, while the Pitch Mix allows for layering the two voices by setting the balance between each shifted delay. The Tempo function allows for synchronized and unique delay effects.

The plug-in also provides a Ribbon control, letting users set sweeping movements between two completely different settings of any combination of controls, such as turning sweetening shifts into a delay-throw and back, or changing delays from dark to bright for transitional effects. Desktop users can plug in a MIDI keyboard and gain control of the Ribbon via the mod wheel for tactile control as well.

Enhanced for experimentation and live performance and with a UI designed for desktop, laptop or iPad, MicroPitch includes a host of presets based on iconic uses of the effect over the years. Tone, Modulation and Feedback controls cover the ground for many uses, while deeper parameters let users discover repeating delays, modulations and Tempo-sync’ed special effects.

Joining the iOS version of the app (which works as a standalone app, AudioUnit v3 plug-in, or Inter-App Audio effect), MicroPitch for Mac and PC supports VST, AAX, and AU plug-in protocols for compatibility with every DAW.

The MicroPitch plug-in runs $99, but currently has an introductory price of $39 through May 31, 2020.

Eventide •

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Reason Rack Comes to Pro Tools

With the release of Reason 11.3, Reason Rack is now available as both an AAX plug-in and standalone DAW.
With the release of Reason 11.3, Reason Rack is now available as both an AAX plug-in and standalone DAW.

Stockholm, Sweden (May 5, 2020)—Reason Studios has launched Reason 11.3, bringing its Reason Rack to Avid Pro Tools as a native AAX plug-in. The long-running recording software also continues as a standalone digital audio workstation.

With the advent of the new plug-in, Pro Tools users can make use of Reason’s lineup of effects and MIDI processors (called Players). Reason’s free routing of devices through its cabling system enables unusual and sometimes physically impossible signal flows, and provides a sound bank of tens of thousands of patches, sounds, samples and loops.

Reason Studios Launches Reason 11

“It’s amazing to be back in Pro Tools,” said Reason product manager Mattias Häggström Gerdt. “With a vast rack of inspiring instruments and effects, Reason is a perfect fit for the industry standard recording software that is Pro Tools. I can’t wait to hear all the great music that will come out of this.”

“Avid is thrilled to see the seamless support for Reason Studios in Pro Tools offered through AAX,” said Ed Gray, Director, Partnering Programs at Avid. “Reason has always opened up new worlds for music creation for Pro Tools users, and with this tight integration, it deserves to be an automatic purchase.”

Reason 11.3 is available via Reason Studios website and authorized resellers worldwide. The software, which includes additional improvements and bug fixes, is also available for free download by registered Reason 11 users and at upgrade prices to owners of previous Reason versions.

Reason •

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Radial Engineering Ships HDI Box

Radial’s flagship HDI direct box.
Radial’s flagship HDI direct box.

Vancouver, Canada (May 5, 2020)—Radial Engineering has shipped its new Radial HDI direct box and preamp intended for studio recording or live touring applications.

The HDI offers a variety of features, primary among them being its Color control, which allows blending of the signal from ultra-clean operation on one side to amp-like distortion and warm transformer saturation on the other. Also onboard are Level and Presence controls, each featuring extra-large chrome knobs for precise adjustment. The Level control allows the HDI to accommodate a variety of input sources, while also providing the means to drive the internal circuitry harder for more exaggerated coloration. The Presence control provides an emphasis on the high and high-mid frequencies, useful, for instance, if needing a signal to cut through a mix.

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Aside from the three main controls, the Radial HDI also includes a Hi-Z switch that approximates the Hi and Lo inputs on a vintage amplifier, and a single-control Opto compressor which allows for peak reduction of the input signal. A 3-position high-pass filter can be used to roll off low end created when pushing the HDI into distortion, and a ground lift switch helps eliminate hum and buzz.

Inputs for the HDI are provided on front and rear panel ¼” jacks along with a Thru connection for an amplifier. A 3.5 mm mono Synth Input is included for connection to modular synthesizers. Transformer-isolated mic and line-level XLR outputs are provided for direct connection to mic preamps and recording interfaces, along with a ¼-inch Processed Output for feeding the affected signal to a guitar amp or instrument effects units.

The HDI features a ¼” milled gunmetal-anodized faceplate, ships with an included rack mounting kit for installation in a 2RU rack space, and can be mounted side-by-side with a second HDI for stereo applications.

Radial Engineering •

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QSC Ships New Installation Speakers

QSC's new AD-P.HALO and AC-C2T-LPspeakersCosta Mesa, CA (May 4, 2020)—QSC has shipped two new loudspeakers in its AcousticDesign and AcousticCoverage lines, respectively: the AD-P.HALO, an integrated SUB/SAT pendant loudspeaker system, and the AC-C2T-LP, a low-profile ceiling-mount full range loudspeaker.

The AD-P.HALO features an integrated 6.5” subwoofer and four 2.75” transducers in a single pendant-mount enclosure, and is intended for atmospheric use, such as in high-end retail or hospitality. At 200 watts RMS, the AD-P.HALO shares sonic characteristics with the rest of the AcousticDesign Series, allowing integrators to seamlessly mix-and-match enclosures types, including ceiling-mount, pendant-mount and surface-mount form factors, within in the same installation.

Meanwhile, the AC-C2T-LP is a low-profile, ceiling-mounted 2.75″ full-range loudspeaker, designed for installations with tighter space requirements or where lower ceiling heights are more common. Featuring a 95 mm installation depth, it is intended for uses where voice-reinforced coverage is a primary concern, including conference rooms and background music (BGM) applications.

QSC Ships Axon AES67 Audio I/O Endpoints

The diameter of the AC-C2T-LP matches the AC-C6T, a 6.5″ 2-way system loudspeaker, and it also offers a 170° conical coverage, reducing the number of loudspeakers required for consistent coverage in low-ceiling applications.

When combined with Q-SYS network amplifiers, QSC processing amplifiers or MP-M Series mixers, both the AD-P.HALO and AC-C2T-LP loudspeakers are said to take full advantage of Intrinsic Correction, a QSC proprietary voicing algorithm that helps reduce the set up time and tuning process.

“These two new loudspeakers answer some real pain points integrators experience with excessive loudspeaker assembly time and flexibility to accommodate the needs of virtually any installation,” says Travis Nie, product manager, Installed Loudspeakers, QSC. “Both the AD-P.HALO and AC-C2T-LP are unique loudspeaker options in their class and deliver the overall musicality to produce the rich sonic timbre needed for background music or voice-reinforced atmospheres.”


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MasterSounds Updates Radius Club Installation Mixers

MasterSounds' New Radius Club Installation Mixers
MasterSounds’ New Radius Club Installation Mixers

Stockport, UK (May 4, 2020)—Boutique UK mixer brand, MasterSounds launched its original Radius club installation/high-end rotary DJ mixers in 2016, and has now reinvented the line, taking a new approach to make them more affordable while continuing the engineering and audio approaches used of the first two generations of the line.

Originally launched in 2016, the two-channel Radius 2 rotary DJ mixer was followed by the introduction of the four-channel Radius 4 mixer, two valve-based versions (the Radius Two and Four Valve), an FX unit and dedicated LinearPOWER supply accessory.

“Four years on, and the brand has seen remarkable growth but the higher production costs of a premium rotary mixer rule them out for DJs on a tighter budget,” explains MasterSounds’ founder, Ryan Shaw. “Designer Andy Rigby-Jones, and I decided to do something about it, by redesigning the compact Radius 2 and Radius 4 to make them more affordable but without compromising any of the features, the feel or the audio fidelity of the original model.”

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The new generation two-channel Radius 2 rotary and four-channel Radius 4 offer LINE and RIAA inputs, clear analog VU meters, a Master EQ/Isolator, a hi-pass filter on each channel, and an AUX send/Return system with insert button for integration of external effects. Radius 4 also includes two mic inputs, selectable via the rear panel.

According to the line’s designer, Union Audio’s Andy Rigby-Jones, “the Split Composite Passive RIAA stage remains identical to the previous generation, but we have simplified the post-fader circuitry. The biggest change was to the internal construction and PCB board shapes, where we have optimized them for maximum efficiency through our in-house fabrication plant which has made them a lot easier to manufacture.  What we haven’t compromised on is the quality of the components used, and the third-generation mixers all feature Alps pots/switches, close tolerance resistors/capacitors and Panasonic electrolytics.”

Union Audio has undergone radical changes since Radius 2’s inception four years ago, which has enabled the team to implement the new design changes. Moving into a new unit in 2017, Rigby-Jones has developed a design and production facility, coupling traditional analog engineering with high specification manufacturing.

MasterSounds’ founder, Ryan Shaw, remarked, “The Radius 2 and 4 hold a special place in my heart, it’s the mixer Andy and I began our audio journey with, and one that gives the user a really unique way of blending records. Both Radius 2 and 4 are desktop products, with a small footprint, which makes them perfect for home, touring, and club use, or all three.”

The Radius 2 is priced at $844 and Radius 4 at $1,150.

MasterSounds •

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Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In—A Real-World Review

Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In
Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In

While I’ve had this plug-in for years, it has become such a valuable ally in my productions that I made sure to use it on this trip. The Sonnox Oxford Inflator is a multipurpose tool that I used to handle several different tasks. There are only a few controls on it. To begin with, I set the output level to just below 0 dB, which prevents clipping of the track. By engaging the Clip 0 dB button, the input level meter will not rise above 0 dB. From there, I literally assign an Inflator across every single track in the mix (minus the auxes). Think of it like a console strip. I then apply processing or input volume as needed. If I do need some gain on a track, I often turn to the Inflator first in my “console,” and it can provide up to 12 dB of gain.

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The magic sauce for me is inside the Effect slider. Since I tend to use a lot of strings and percussion in my work, I’ve found that by pushing up the Effect slider, there is a perceived increase in harmonic brightness and clarity without volume or EQ. I would note that the amount of effect seems to be program-dependent, and that strings and percussive hits benefit the most. Overall, the Inflator continues to be a go-to production tool for me and was quite valuable in the islands for its flexibility and sonic prowess.

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