What is it?
The AES Convention, which took place from 9 to 12 October at New York’s Jacob K Javits Convention Centre (pictured above), is traditionally a show for professional producers and engineers rather than ‘bedroom musicians’. However, this year’s event did see several products being launched that you may well be interested in. Let’s take a look at them…
Tascam has updated both its US-144 and US-122 (pictured) interfaces, which each now having the mkII suffix after its name. Appropriately, they’ve been redesigned, and audio performance is said to have been improved, too. The US-144mkII also benefits from S/PDIF I/O. Another interface, the 16-in/4-out US-2000 ($500), has also been announced.
Tascam DP-008 Portastudio
If you’re looking for a self-contained recording solution, consider this 8-track digital Portastudio. It boasts two XLR microphone inputs with phantom power, a guitar level input and built-in stereo mics. Storage is on SD or SDHC cards of up to 32GB. It can be battery-powered for total portability, while the inclusion of a USB 2.0 port means you can easily back up your data once you get home.
Waves Vocal Rider
So new that it’s not even on the Waves website yet, Vocal Rider is “designed to match your vocal tracks to the rest of the mix and then keep the relative volume throughout the song. All you do is instantiate it on your vocal track, bus a summed instrumental mix to the side-chain, and hit play.” Sounds like it could be a big time-saver if it works – it’s expected to be released in November. Check out a video demo here.
Sonnox Restore Suite
Sonnox has expanded its range of Oxford plug-ins with the Restore Suite. This contains the DeBuzzer, DeClicker and DeNoiser processors – the names should tell you what they do. While these aren’t the first restoration plug-ins come to market, Sonnox reckons that they represent a “quantum leap” forward. At this price, we’d certainly hope so.
SoundToys Decapitator/ PanMan
Two new plug-ins from SoundToys: the first, Decapitator, models the saturation and distortion that’s created when driving classic analogue studio equipment (gear by the likes of Neve, API, Ampex EMI and Thermionic Culture was analysed for the project). PanMan, meanwhile is an auto-panner with a groove control. Both products will be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.
We reported on Lexicon’s PCM Native Reverb Plug-in Bundle earlier in the week, but the high-rollers among you may also like to consider this stereo reverb/effects processor. It contains 28 “new and legendary” Lexicon reverbs, delays and modulation effects, and comes with 700 presets. It’ll be here in November.
AKG Perception 120
AKG has opened its USB mic account with the Perception 120: a condenser model that comes with its own tripod table, swivel mount and cable. Naturally enough, AKG believes it to be a cut above when it comes to recording quality, citing its 24-bit analogue-to-digital converter with 128x oversampling as a reason why.
Soundcraft Notepad mixers
Most recording musicians have come into contact with a Soundcraft Notepad mixer at some point in their lives, and there are now three new models: the 102, 124 and 124FX. The 102 has two mono mic/line inputs while both 124 mixers have four. All three models have four stereo line outputs. As its name suggests, the 124FX also benefits from the inclusion of an integrated effects processor.