Tag Archives: Gear and Technology

SPL Marc One Monitoring and Recording Controller – A Real-World Review

SPL Marc One Monitoring and Recording Controller
SPL Marc One Monitoring and Recording Controller
Fela Davis
Fela Davis is a 2019 Hall of Fame inductee at Full Sail University. She also owns 23dB Productions and One of One Productions Studio, which specializes in podcasting, video, and music production. Clients include the Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams podcast, Sirius XM, Atlantic Records, iHeart Radio and numerous Grammy award-winning musicians. www.oneofoneproductions.com

New York, NY (April 30, 2021)—The SPL Marc One Monitoring and Recording Controller is a beast, providing high-end quality whether you’re listening back or putting down tracks. It offers three monitoring modes, a 32-bit AD/DA converter and a smart, user-friendly design.

For this review, we connected it to our Kali IN-8s and Neumann KH 120s studio monitors via USB to the DAW, but it was impressing us before we even turned it on. First of all, its heavy-duty metal frame body and actual weight give you a hint of the quality you’re about to hear. All knobs and toggle switches are weighted, supporting the impression of a high-end product.

The first toggle switch on the left side of the device controls the two sets of studio monitors and has an off position in the middle. Position A on the toggle includes the subwoofer if you have one, while the off position is silent. There’s no bleed into your monitors in any switch position.

SPL Ships Control One, Marc One Monitor Controllers

Next is the volume knob. It takes up a lot of real estate but it’s ultimately the reason I love this controller. It provides lots of ways to tweak your outputs that we will get into later. You’ll use this knob the most, and the even volume response sounds amazing.

The second toggle switch gives you the option to listen in mono, stereo or channel swap, which reverses the stereo image so you can hear everything that’s going on with your mix. There are light indicators for left and right monitor distortion to help protect your monitors.

When the monitor knob is centered, all input signals are equally loud; turn to the left and the analog stereo inputs get louder while the USB input signal gets quieter. Turning from the center to the right does the opfeposite, all helping to tweak your system to deliver the perfect volume for mixing. There’s also a headphone volume knob and a cross-feed knob so you can blind-hear the studio monitors and headphones together for more listening options. The amount of depth from the headphone amp to our studio headphones, Sennheiser HD 800s, opened my ears to new things in our mixes.

Fela had more to say about the SPL Marc One on a recent episode of her podcast, The Art Of Music Tech.

Now to the back of the unit. First is a heavy-duty on/off switch that looks like it can stand up to years of use. Next to it are two dip switches: 1 provides a 10 dB pad on your studio monitor sources, while 2 is a Rec 1+2, which mixes together both line inputs and allows you to record them together via USB in mono. Both dip switches are easy to flip without requiring a tool or a long fingernail to use.

All of the TS and TRS inputs and outputs on the back of the unit stick out for better grounding. The USB connection is class-compliant, which means that all Mac computers and iOS devices like iPads and iPhones can use the full performance bandwidth of the 32-bit AD/DA converter without driver installation. (iOS devices will need the camera adapter to connect, however.) For Windows, you’ll only have to install a driver (downloadable on the SPL site) if you need higher sample rates. The USB connection will connect to your DAW for superb studio monitor playback at very high resolutions— for example, DSD4 and DSD256 (11.2 MHz) are supported.

Over the course of our review period, we found the amazing resolution and high-quality build combined perfectly in use as we toggled seamlessly between studio monitors and headphones to listen to mixes. Used as a monitor controller, SPL got the layout perfect for muscle-memory mixing, with the monitor toggle switch and volume knob ideally located for quick adjustments while listening. When you consider that it’s also an interface for recording, able to record high-resolution audio from 10 Hz to 200 kHz, the $799 price tag is worth it. The SPL Marc One is now a staple in our studio and workflow.

SPL Audio • www.spl.audio

Fela Davis is a 2019 Hall of Fame inductee at Full Sail University. She owns 23dB Productions and One of One Productions Studio, which specializes in podcasting, video, and music production. Clients include the Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams podcast, SiriusXM, Atlantic Records, iHeartRadio and numerous Grammy Award-winning musicians. www.oneofoneproductions.com.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Barix Launches Exstreamer M400 IP Audio Decoder

Barix has updated its Exstreamer IP audio decoder family with the release of the Exstreamer M400.
Barix has updated its Exstreamer IP audio decoder family with the release of the Exstreamer M400.

Zurich, Switzerland (April 30, 2021)—Barix has updated its Exstreamer IP audio decoder family with the release of the Exstreamer M400.

Based around Barix’s Linux-based IPAM 400 audio module, the Exstreamer M400 is said to have higher processing power than previous models and a more programmable, software-driven architecture to aid expansion, prototyping and customization. The new unit features a larger buffer size and updated buffer management technology to help prevent network performance disruptions. IT security standard support has been updated to include HTTPS: support for audio streams, and the unit also now uses encrypted SIP (voice-over-IP) communications using TLS and SRTP.

Exstreamer M400 installation can now be tackled using the company’s System Configuration Tool, accessible through a web browser. The software’s dashboard enables installers to configure up to hundreds of Exstreamer M400 devices at once. It can be used to assign devices to grouped zones and specify up to five prioritized source streams for each unit, as well as the relative volume of each stream. Settings can be copied from one unit to multiple others simultaneously.

Barix Makes Executive Changes

The Exstreamer M400 features stereo, line-level, analog audio output with RCA-type connections and can decode streams in MP3, AAC-HE, FLAC, PCM, Opus, and Ogg Vorbis formats, as well as supporting SIP and secure SIP in peer-to-peer and server modes. Other new features relative to earlier Exstreamer models include IPV6 support; internal audio file storage with externally-triggered playback; and support for Singlewire Software’s InformaCast and Syn-Apps (now part of Intrado) emergency notification platforms with automatic endpoint registration.

The Exstreamer M400 initially targets IP audio applications in the professional AV market including background music, paging, SIP/VoIP integration, and emergency notifications. Direct support for Barix’s flagship IC Paging and Simple Paging solutions, scheduled for release later in Q2, will allow Exstreamer M400s to be added as endpoints.

Barix • www.barix.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Lawo Launches 48-Fader mc²36 Console

mc²36 Console
mc²36 Console

Rastatt, Germany (April 28, 2021)—Lawo has introduced a “second-generation” mc²36 audio production console based around a dual-fader operating bay featuring 48 faders in the same space as a 32-fader board. The update is seen as a move to broaden the console’s appeal for theater, houses of worship, corporate, live and broadcast audio applications.

With DSP more than doubled from its predecessor, the new mc²36 with built-in A__UHD Core functionality, so that all developments in the future will happen on a single, unified platform, and Lawo continues to provide production file compatibility between all mc² consoles. For instance, a production file from an mc²36 can be used on an mc²96 for post-production.

With the A__UHD Core, the new console offers 256 processing channels, available at both 48 and 96 kHz, and natively supports ST2110, AES67, RAVENNA, and Ember+. It provides an I/O capacity of 864 channels, with local connections that include three redundant IP network interfaces, 16 Lawo-grade mic/line inputs, 16 line outputs, eight AES3 inputs and outputs, eight GPIO connections, and an SFP MADI port.

Lawo Unveils Home IP Management Platform

Operating and visualizing features include Button-Glow and touch-sensitive rotary controls, color TFT fader-strip displays, LiveView video thumbnails, and 21.5” full HD touchscreen controls. Its built-in full loudness control is compliant with the ITU 1770 (EBU/R128 or ATSC/A85) standard, featuring peak and loudness metering which can measure individual channels as well as summing busses. The new mc²36 offers integration with a variety of third-party solutions including Waves SuperRack SoundGrid without the need for additional screens or control devices required.

The new mc²36 makes use of Lawo’s IP Easy functionality, which in turn is based around the company’s proprietary HOME management platform for IP-based media infrastructures. With IP Easy, the console automatically detects new devices and makes them available at the touch of a button. It also manages IP addresses, multicast ranges and VLANs, and includes security features like access control and quarantining of unknown devices to protect a network.

Lawo • www.lawo.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Lawo Unveils Home IP Management Platform

Lawo Home IP Management Platform
Lawo Home IP Management Platform

Rastatt, Germany (April 26, 2021)—Lawo has unveiled Home, the company’s new management platform for IP-based media infrastructures, which is based on open standards and follows LUX, Lawo’s unified experience design principles, providing a consistent workflow across all Lawo IP products.

Home is natively built on a cloud-ready microservices architecture, enabling users to connect, manage and secure networked production setups from the ground up. Furthermore, it provides centralized access and control for all Lawo gear within a setup. According to the company, Home helps broadcast professionals address requirements of modern IP infrastructures, including automated discovery and registration of devices, connection management, flow control, software and firmware management, scalability and security.

“In today’s IP project implementations, the physical build and cabling is only half of the way. The other half consists of configuration. HOME significantly increases efficiency in setting up IP system installs,” says Axel Kern, Lawo’s senior product manager media infrastructure control.

Lawo Launches New mc²36 Console

“Broadcasters and service providers are faced with constantly changing production demands, and setups need to adapt, no matter if on-premise or off-premise, local or remote, or even cloud. This new management platform provides the architecture for our customers to scale with their agile business requirements.”

Lawo’s Home platform is based on open standards such as ST2110, NMOS, IEEE802.1x and RADIUS.

Lawo • www.lawo.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Cranborne Audio Launches N22H Headphone Amplifier

Cranborne Audio N22H Headphone Amplifier
Cranborne Audio N22H Headphone Amplifier

London, UK  (April 23, 2021) – Cranborne Audio has shipped its new N22H Reference-Grade Headphone Amplifier, designed for tracking, mixing or mastering.

According to the company, the headphone amplifier takes much of its design from the Cranborne Audio 500R8 interface, in an effort to similarly provide a flat frequency response and low distortion. The new unit offers both high and low power modes, which can be applied via a switch. A custom, logarithmic level control allows performers to control the headphone output.

Cranborne Audio Debuts EC1 Preamp

To provide flexibility, Cranborne designed the N22H to be powered in multiple ways. Users can power the N22H unit with the included 9V DC power supply, a typical guitar pedal power supply, variously available pedalboard power supplies or a 9V battery that provides up to 10 hours of operation.

The Cranborne Audio unit can be also be positioned anywhere using a single, shielded Cat 5e, Cat 6 or Cat 7 cable using Cranborne Audio’s C.A.S.T. system. With a range of 330 feet, N22H can be used as a solution for headphone distribution or as a connectivity hub for mic/line sources as an all-analog, Cat 5e snake.

Cranborne Audio Ltd. • www.cranborne-audio.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Focal Alpha Evo Studio Monitors Launched

Focal Alpha Evo studio monitors
Focal Alpha 65 Evo studio monitors

Montreal, Canada (March 26, 2021)—Focal has updated its Alpha range with the launch of its new Focal Alpha Evo monitors—the Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 65 Evo, intended for use in mixing, mastering, DJ work and broadcast.

The Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 65 Evo each use an aluminum inverted dome tweeter to provide sound dispersion, as well as the Slatefiber cone. This recycled carbon cone, produced exclusively by the French brand at its Saint-Étienne workshops, has a new large laminar port, intended to help limit distortion noise.

The Alpha Evo monitors boast a new quarter-inch (6.35mm) TRS input jack, in addition to the XLR and RCA analog inputs, an automatic standby mode that can now be switched off by the user, and inserts for wall and ceiling fastening. The monitors are each equipped with two class D amplifiers.

Focal Elegia Closed-Back Reference Headphones—A Real-World Review

The monitors feature a 5/8-inch (15mm)-thick MDF cabinet and incorporate internal braces. The bass-reflex design has been used to ensure acoustic integration in cramped spaces. They replace the existing Focal Alpha 50 and 65 models, though the current Alpha 80 are still available.

The new monitors have MSRPs of the Alpha 50 Evo at $349 each and Alpha 65 Evo at $449 each.

Focal Professional • https://www.focal.com/en/pro-audio

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Celestion Debuts AN2075 Compact Array Driver

Celestion AN2075 Compact Array Driver
Celestion AN2075 Compact Array Driver

Ipswich, UK (March 26, 2021)—Celestion has unveiled a new 32-ohm version of the AN2075, a low-profile 2-inch compact array driver intended for use for large-scale mini-array applications that require multiple drivers connected together.

The new 32ohm AN2075 driver, in common with the rest of the Celestion AN range of neodymium loudspeakers, utilizes an efficient neodymium magnet assembly and features a stiff, light aluminum cone that remains rigid to higher frequencies aiming to deliver a smoother response.

Celestion Launches SpeakerMix Pro Plug-in V1.1.0

All the drivers in the AN Series have been built using a glass-reinforced ABS chassis, designed for maximum free air movement, with a square mounting frame to facilitate close coupling of multiple units. Each of the series’ drivers has also been optimized using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques to give a wide dispersion characteristic.

The driver’s square mounting frame facilitates close coupling of multiple units, and its half roll elastomer surround provides damping for unwanted resonances and sustained centering control at extremes of excursion. The driver is also weather resistant for outdoor applications.

Celestion • www.celestion.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Studio Technologies Launches 5422A Dante Audio Engine

Studio Technologies 5422A Dante Audio Engine
Studio Technologies 5422A Dante Audio Engine

Skokie, IL (March 22, 2021)—Studio Technologies has released its new enhanced Model 5422A Dante Intercom Audio Engine.

Positioned as a solution for creating party-line (PL) intercom circuits when used with Dante-compatible products, the new “A” version offers an Auto Mix function for enhanced party-line and audio mixing applications. The unit also includes expanded network connectivity with three Gigabit Ethernet ports, aiming to meet the needs of larger, multi-network installations. Additionally, the unit’s main and programmable logic firmware can now be updated using a standard USB flash drive.

The Model 5422A uses Dante audio-over-Ethernet technology to support a variety of broadcast, production and related applications. In addition to creating “virtual” PL intercom circuits, the unit can provide other Dante-based on-air, talent cueing (IFB), audio mixing, and specialized interfacing resources. The Model 5422A features low-latency 32-bit digital processing and is available in two versions – one with 32 input and output channels, and the other with 64 input and output channels.

Studio Technologies Launches 5421 Dante Intercom Engine

Auto Mix is an audio level control function that’s implemented in high-speed programmable (FPGA) logic. Not a compressor/limiter or noise gate, the Auto Mix function helps to ensure that all party-line users contribute an equal audio level to an intercom channel. Auto Mix can also be used when using the unit’s audio mixing (summing) mode. The Model 5422A also features an audio control mode that allows multi-channel switching functions to be implemented. High-frequency audio tones provide control of Dante audio input channels that are routed to normally-active and normally-inactive audio output channels.

The Model 5422A offers three Ethernet network connections as compared to the two provided by the Model 5422. Providing three independent “GigE” ports allows two to be designated for Dante redundancy while the third is used to access the Model 5422A’s management port. This allows independent networks to support dual Dante audio paths and the unit’s monitoring and configuration web pages.

Studio Technologies • www.studio-tech.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

PK Sound Launches Trinity Install Line Array

PK Sound Trinity Install Line Array
PK Sound Trinity Install Line Array Element

Canada (March 19, 2021)—PK Sound has released Trinity Install line array elements—an installation-focused version of its flagship Trinity large-format line array.

Intended for performance installations and live event spaces, and available in all-black enclosures, Trinity Install’s SPL and clarity can be controlled with variable coverage in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Intelligibility is dramatically improved by directing the system’s energy away from reflective surfaces as coverage is adjusted to meet the architectural design of the venue.

The vertical angles are set during installation using a fixed rigging system, while horizontal angles are locked into one of 22 symmetric or asymmetric configurations throughout a line source. A combination of FIR and IIR filters are applied to aid frequency response in the listening area.

Horn-loaded 12” transducers manage low-frequency response. The mid-frequency band is supported by four 6.5” midrange transducers affixed to the patented Coherent Midrange Integrator (CMI). Two dual-diaphragm high-frequency transducers, coupled directly to an integrated planar waveguide, are said to reduce distortion across the high-frequency band. A 6,000 W Class D amplifier powers the elements.

PK Sound Kontrol Software Gets 2.5 Update

The CMI waveguide combines mid and high frequencies, working in tandem with precisely spaced low-frequency apertures, allowing for variable adjustability from 60-120° both symmetrically and asymmetrically so that designers can vary the radial directivity of individual modules within the array.

“Trinity Install delivers the impact and operational advantages of our flagship array family to high-performance installs in a fixed position, with our sleek, clean, and uncompromising new all-black design,” comments Darryl Ross, Senior Applications Support for PK Sound. “The response from our network and clients so far has been very encouraging, as partners can now offer a solution for concert venues, theatres, nightclubs, houses of worship, and other live event spaces that want the full PK experience for their performers and patrons.

PK Sound • https://www.pksound.ca

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Renkus-Heinz Debuts CA/CX121M Stage Monitor

Renkus-Heinz CA/CX121M Stage Monitor
Renkus-Heinz CA/CX121M Stage Monitor

Foothill Ranch, CA (March 19, 2021)—Renkus-Heinz has unveiled its new C Series CA/CX121M compact stage monitor.

Available in both passive (CX121M) and powered (CA121M) models, the single 12” stage monitor/multipurpose loudspeaker reportedly features identical horizontal and vertical off axis performance, aiming to provide greater freedom of movement for artists without changes in frequency response.

The CA/CX121M can also be used as a pole-mounted side fill – using the optional pole adapter – or sound reinforcement system without the need to rotate or reconfigure the drive unit. Also, the UBRKT/CT121M mounting yoke is available to facilitate permanent installation configurations.

The CA/CX121M utilizes a 12” (300 mm) coaxial transducer mounted in a compact, black or white durable plywood cabinet. The low-profile design includes discreet recessed handles – along with the optional pole adapter. The unit’s robust perforated steel grill is designed to withstand the rigors of the road and provide driver protection.

60 Seconds with Dudley McLaughlin of Renkus-Heinz

The optional SA625 power amplifier matches the power needs of the CA121M, providing optimized processing for performance and protection. The integral amp eliminates the need for additional rack space and speaker cable runs. Controlled via RHAON II, the SA625’s built-in DSP has eight parametric EQ filters, high and low shelf and high and low pass filters, and up to 358 ms. of delay. All options are accessed via a Windows computer running RHAON II. In addition, a single CA121M can power one additional CX121M with Bi-Amplified, processed output via an NL4 output. The CA121M-RD adds Dante digital signal distribution capability, including AES67 compatibility and network redundancy.

Renkus-Heinz • www.renkus-heinz.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com