Antelope Audio MP32, 32 channel high end preamps in a 2U space.

Antelope have already had a very good 2014 with the launch of their successful audio interface, Zen, but, at the 137th AES show held this time in LA, they’ve shown they have more in store for the year with the Antelope Audio MP32.

At its heart the MP32 is a 32 channel mic pre featuring the same console-grade preamps as found in the Zen. All mic pres offer individual phantom power and can function as line inserts thanks to the combi inputs all found on the front of the unit. Four of the inputs can also be used as Hi-Z inputs, and all channels can give up to 68dB of transparent gain in 1dB steps.

A software control panel offers fine control over all the features giving easy access to mic/line/Hi-Z switching, gain controls and the per channel phantom power. Big VU style meters also afford quick-glance checking of levels, and complex routing scenarios can be saved and recalled in no time at all.

Antelope Audio say they’ve designed the MP32 with their highly regarded Orion unit in mind. The Orion is a 32 channel ADDA convertor with multiple I/O options (MADI/ADAT/analogue/USB/SPDIF) and they’ve managed to fit it all into a 1U box. With a combined rack space need of 3U, the MP32 and Orion combination should make an attractive proposition for engineers working in a wide range of disciplines.

Coming out in Q4 2014, the MP32 will have a street price of $2995 with a special discount for existing Orion owners. For full details head on over to the Antelope Audio MP32 product page.

Nugen Mastercheck

Nugen Audio release new Mastercheck meter aimed at the music industry and podcast community.

Nugen Audio, whose name has become synonymous with high end, professional, mission critical, tools have launched Mastercheck, a brand new meter that aims to help us find our way through the new “loudness normalisation” landscape that has opened up before us.

With loudness normalisation having become quickly adopted by nearly all of the major music streaming platforms and some media players it’s left a lot of people, professionals and enthusiasts alike, unsure of ideal levels and “how loud is now too loud?”. Mastercheck can help with it’s five primary applications:

  •  Audio Production To A Loudness Target

Now there’s no advantage in simply being louder than the rest, the unique “Offset To Match” feature will allow immediate referencing at the levels your listeners will be fed using all the major international standards in use today.

  • Measuring Dynamic Content / Dynamic Range

With a new standardised numerical measure of dynamic content/range, the Peak to Loudness Ratio (PLR), Mastercheck offers both a short-term and full program loudness dynamic content display.

  • Avoiding Downstream Clipping From Compression Codecs

Streaming services utilise compression codecs to deliver audio and they can cause nasty clipping if given too hot audio. Mastercheck allows for Inter-Sample True-Peak monitoring so you can see when your audio will get mangled by compression codecs.

  • Comparing Your Audio With Reference Material

Quickly feed in some reference material using the built in sidechain and quickly A/B between that and your audio.

  • “Removing” Loudness From The Signal Chain

Easily and conveniently switch between your processed and unprocessed audio with instant loudness matching. Mastercheck allows you to properly hear whether a louder master is better for your audio when loudness normalisation is in full effect.

While a reasonably simple concept, the practical implications of loudness normalisation have introduced some fairly complicated decisions into the mastering process so any tools that can make this area clearer will be very welcome indeed. If Nugen Audio can carry over their brilliantly simple design, workflows, and ease of use from their other products into Mastercheck then this will surely be a vital tool in your arsenal.

Available now for Mac and Windows PC, it’s priced at £80/$129 (plus VAT/taxes), and comes as a VST 2, VST 3, AAX, AU and Audiosuite in 32/64bit. RTAS is 32bit only. Go to the Mastercheck product page for full details.

iZotope have just announced that the latest version of their highly acclaimed audio repair and enhancement suite, iZotope RX 4, is available now.

Headline new features in the new regular edition include:

  • Dialogue Denoiser – Reduce unwanted hum and background noise from dialogue recordings, in real time and with zero latency
  • Adaptive Hum Removal – Remove fundamental hum frequencies from problem audio
  • Clip Gain – Non-destructively balance audio sources against each other
  • Updated UI – A cleaner and flatter look designed especially with ease of use and long sessions in mind

The Advanced edition rolls out with:

  • Leveler – Automatic balancing of vocals, dialogue and voiceovers.
  • Ambience Match – Match the environment noise of one clip and apply to another! You can also create long sections of ambient noise to apply under inconsistent recording
  • Loudness – Comprehensive loudness meters ensuring that all your work will comply with the new(ish) international loudness standards
  • EQ Match – The same thinking as Ambience Match, but with EQ! Quickly learn the EQ of one clip and apply it to another clip

Also included in both versions are exporting marker regions as files, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis codec export support. updated timeline ruler that displays original recorded source timecode, support for 24fps timecode, and the ability to display ID3 tags and Broadcast WAV metadata. For a full breakdown on what version has what features go here.

It appears that iZoptope have really gone all out on making RX 4 not just better on the audio side but also for workflow which is a massive deal for any professional.

Available for purchase now, iZotope is running a special early bird discount of $50 on the regular version bringing it down to $299 (from $349), and saving a whopping $200 on the Advanced version making it $999 (down from the usual price of $1199). Prices will go up to the regular points on September 25th so get in there before it’s too late. Special upgrade pricing is on offer but users will need to access their user accounts on the iZotope website to get their offer. Also, iZotope are offering a free upgrade to all registered users of iZotope RX 3 if they purchased it on or after 01 July 2014.

To buy, get full details and try out the full 10 day demo of both version go to the RX 4 home page. Also, if you’re going to IBC in Amsterdam over the next few days, check out the AVID Booth which can be found in Hall 7 | Stand 20 for a viewing of RX 4 in action.

Also available is the CPUG Amsterdam Supermeet on Sunday 14 September. Featuring a stellar line up of industry and professional speakers and special guests, for only €20/€15/€10 it looks like a Sunday well spent. And there’s free food! Cheaper than a meal out in Amsterdam, for sure…

ATC Monitors SCM20

ATC have announced the release of two new high- performance reference nearfield monitors — the active SCM20ASL Pro (V2) and passive SCM20PSL Pro.

As implied by name, the active model replaces the previous-generation SCM20ASL Pro, while the passive model is an all- new affair, providing an entry point into ATC studio monitoring at a lower price point than previously available. Both models feature ATC’s renowned drive units, hand built in its UK facility. Of particular note is the new SH-25-76S 25mm/ one-inch soft dome tweeter, the first to be designed and built by ATC, and the result of six years of research and development by Managing Director Billy Woodman and R&D Engineer Richard Newman:

“The tweeter is designed and built with the same no-compromise philosophy as all other ATC drive units. The design takes notes from the highly-regarded ATC midrange dome by utilising a dual-suspension design, negating the requirement for Ferro-fluid, and avoiding the detrimental effects of this drying out over time, a feature considered to be of utmost importance for longterm consistency.” 

The massive neodymium motor with heat-treated top plate is optimised to ensure an extended frequency response (-6dB @ 26kHz) and low non-linear distortion. The geometry of the waveguide is designed for optimum dispersion and made from a precision-machined alloy so that the entire structure is extremely rigid and free from resonances. The bass/mid driver used in both loudspeakers is ATC’s proprietary 150mm/six-inch Super Linear device. Constructed with a 75mm/three-inch voice coil and a short-coil, long-gap topology, it combines the high-power handling and low-power compression usually only found in large, high-efficiency systems with the fine resolution and balance of modern high- fidelity systems. Unique to the drive unit is ATC’s Super Linear technology, which, by employing specialist materials in the magnetic circuit, reduces third harmonic distortion in the lower midrange.

The electronics in the active design have also had considerable development time invested in them, resulting in reduced noise and distortion (a further -10dB @ 10kHz) and a reduced operating temperature for improved reliability. The amplifier design is a revised version of ATC’s discrete MOSFET Class A/B design with 200W and 50W continuous power available for the bass and high frequency sections, respectively. The user controls have also been improved over the previous generation with more flexible input sensitivity controls and a revised low frequency shelf control to help achieve good balance in difficult acoustic conditions. The amplifier includes protection circuits for both DC offset and thermal overload.

The cabinet has been restyled to more closely follow the larger monitors in ATC’s professional range and is constructed from heavily-braced MDF. Highly damped, elastometric panels are bonded and stapled to the cabinet’s inner walls to suppress cabinet panel resonances, while the enclosure’s front panel is heavily radiused to reduce cabinet diffraction, improving the frequency response and imaging.

ATC monitors and loudspeakers can be found in countless professional studios and environments so while it can be difficult at times to really appreciate the numbers and stats without actually listening to monitors any new items from ATC deserve consideration and a spot on your “Audition” list.

The passive pair, SCM20PSL Pro, are £2083 plus VAT and the active pair, SCM20ASL Pro V2, are £3647 plus VAT. Both are available worldwide from any authorised ATC dealer. Full details can be found at the ATC website.

TC Electronic have just announced an addition to the TC System 6000 that will make life A LOT easier for a whole raft of users – the System 6000 Integrator.

Anybody familiar with the TC System 6000, or any of its predecessors, will know that using it as part of a DAW or NLE project demands saving your settings separately from the DAW or NLE project and or some crazy inconvenient midi . Now this inconvenience has been consigned to the past with the launch of the Integrator. Using an ethernet cable to connect the 6000 to your computer, Integrator allows your DAW or NLE to use the 6000 as a plugin within your internal processsing chain enabling saving and recalling 6000 parameters as part of your project. In addition to that, using automation allows for preset changes within a project meaning the 6000 system can be far more flexible than before. On top of everything else, using the ethernet protocol allows for multiple 6000 to be used in the same project.

Integration between the software and hardware worlds has been accelerating in the past few years and it’s really good to see TC Electronic get on board here.

The System 6000 Integrator can be used as either as a AAX, RTAS, VST, or AU plugin and users will need an iLok account and iLok dongle for the license although the license can then be stored either on the key or host computer. Currently available at an introductory price of $299 until September 01 2014 when it go up to its usual price of $499. A fully functional 14 day demo is available. For full details and for the demo download go the System 6000 Integrator product page.

AudioEase have released version 2.1 of their industry standard speaker and environment emulator Speakerphone. This update is strictly for Mac users adding support for Retina displays, it now works in PT 11 AAX format, and is now 64bit! Big stuff indeed.

If you work in production, sound design, or any kind of post facility and you’ve not tried Speakerphone 2 yet it really is worth checking out. Trent Reznor has said it’s his “goto plugin to instantly un-Steely Dan any track”, and Joe Barressi called it “the thing that does sound like ass”.

Included here are a couple of video demos. Up top is Audioease’s latest and made specifically for this update. In their words, “… we’d like to share with you what we believe to be the awesomest audio-only ‘close encounters of the third kind’ tribute ever made by central-dutch music software developers using a single plug-in. (correct us when we’re wrong)”. Below is a straight up demo video and the rest of the official Audioease Speakerphone playlist – well worth the minutes.

Speakerphone is available as a download from Audioease or as a boxed product. Price is €477.95 inc. taxes. Upgrading from V1 costs €119.

MOTU have announced a new line of audio interfaces with the 1248, the 8M and 16A. As well as offering USB2 connectivity they can run over Thunderbolt and, most excitingly, offer Ethernet expansion. More on that in a moment.

As you might expect when comparing the units against each other they all offer varying I/O options but all 3 interfaces feature the latest generation ESS Sabre32 Ultra convertors, very low analog I/O latency (32 samples/0.66 ms at 48kHz), full metering on all I/O via the front panel 324×28 LCD screen, and the latest TotalMix software. With 32-bit floating point precision, the mixer’s 48 inputs can take signal from the physical inputs on the interface itself, audio channels from host software on the computer, audio network streams and mixer outputs. The mixer provides 7 stereo aux busses, 3 groups, a reverb bus that can alternately serve as a 4th group, a Main Mix bus and a separate Monitor bus that doubles a solo bus. Effects include classic reverb, 4-band modeled analog EQ, modeled vintage compression and gating. A flexible matrix routing grid makes it easy for users to route audio to and from the mixer, the computer and audio network streams, including the ability to split a single input (or input pair) to multiple destinations.

Hang on a minute, “audio network streams”?

Yup, these are the first MOTU interfaces to offer networking over ethernet. While there are a few “standards” currently available (Focusrite’s RedNet ethernet audio networking range uses Dante) MOTU have chosen to go with the AVB, Audio Visual Broadcasting, as developed by the IEEE. For these interfaces, what this means is that you can create your own audio network using upto 5 AVB enabled MOTU interfaces! You can create a network of two simply by connecting them with a CAT-5E cable or you can create a network of up to 5 interfaces using an MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately, obviously). You can also daisychain Switches to add more interfaces which becomes especially useful when you factor in that ethernet can offer cable runs of upto 100m enabling  massive networks both in channel count and in physical distance. Any MOTU interface or Thundrebolt connected computer on an AVB network can send and receive 128 channels of network audio, with a maximum of 512 channels per network and all running at a fixed point to point latency of 30 samples (0.625 ms) when running at 48kHz. AVB allows network wide precision clocking and users can simply click the “Become Clock Master” button in the control software to immediately resolve all devices on the network to the chosen master device.

If, after stocking every room in your facility with interfaces and switches, you have a spare ethernet port left over on an interface or switch you can connect your WiFi router and access the all interfaces’ and network’s settings, routing options and TotalMix interface through a web browser on any web browser compatible device, and multiple can access these settings at the same time too!

While not the first manufacturer to bring ethernet capabilities to audio interfaces these extra controls definitely lend a unique spin to the interfaces. The main benefits of Ethernet audio technology really only cater to those with huge channel requirements or large spaces to cover but with the multi-user control possibilities offered by the web browsers MOTU might have found a further niche to explore.

Street price of all the interfaces are $1495USD or £1190UK with the Switch coming in at $295USD (UK price TBC). Full details can be found on the MOTU website.


It’s about to go off…!

After some very hard work over the past few months, Book Of Sound Issue 1 has been formally announced via an advert in our rather brilliant sister publication, Hungry Eye, and on our Twitter feed.

Our cover star is the “Godfather of Controllerism”, Moldover, and his collaboration with Livid Instruments, the Guitar Wing. Also interviewed is Paul Soulsby from Soulsby Synthesizers as he takes us on his journey from the Atmegatron’s inception right up to the present day, and we also speak to Jakob Erland from Gyraf Audio as we talk about his life, his passions, and his gear!

Martin Walker writes about his time as a soundtrack composer in the 8bit and 16bit era of videogames and the challenges of working with the chips of the time, and sound installation artist Esther Ainsworth tells us how she deals with working with audio in acoustically challenging environments.

Out very soon, Book Of Sound will be printed quarterly, is priced at the very reasonable sum of £6.99 GBP and is available from all good specialist magazine and bookstores and online here at 

NUGEN Audio have released the SEQ-S, a linear phase spline-match EQ.

As with other NUGEN products, SEQ-S appears to be a “no cut corners” approach offering mono, stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 support, stereo MS operation, automated spectrum analysis, curve smoothing and a direct-draw spline interface for corrective application. Jon Schorah, Creative Director for NUGEN Audio, adds,

“Unlike many digital EQs, SEQ-S features a phase profile that is linear across the frequency spectrum which results in natural sounding EQ changes and produces minimal phase artifacts. SEQ-S also includes a unique resolution setting that can be used with high precision in the low frequencies, allowing for highly transparent adjustments without muddying the mix.”

On top of these SEQ-S offers an “Invert” button making usual space saving techniques as literally simple as pressing a bunch. Perhaps most excitingly, the “match” in the “spline-match” description refers to the ability of cloning the EQ in a piece of audio and then transferring onto yours! While SEQ-S won’t be the first EQ to offer this there’s no doubt that NUGEN will offer one of the best applications of this concept so far.

Available now for $249, it comes in as VST, VST3, AAX and AU in 32 and 64bit formats. There is an RTAS version but that is only in a 32bit version. For full details visit the NUGEN Audio website.

Sennheiser UK has announced further dates for its UK Sound Academy courses, which have proved extremely popular with professional sound engineers, students and others working within the audio industry.

The ‘Basic Wireless Microphones and Monitoring’ course, aimed towards achieving practical setup of small RF systems, will run on 25th June, 20th August and 28th October 2014, whilst the ‘Wireless Mics and Monitoring – The Masterclass’, for experienced engineers, will be launched later in the year.

“Feedback from previous students has been very positive,” says Tim Sherratt, engineering & technical services manager at Sennheiser UK, who heads up the UK Sound Academy. “The combination of e-learning, tutoring and workshops seems to have worked well.” The Sound Academy’s RF training package is accredited by InfoComm and successful participants of the course earn RU credits towards the renewal of their CTS licence. A 20% discount is available for under 24 year olds and a 50% discount for ASD members.

Spaces are limited and are filling fast, so if you want to take advantage of the Sound Academy courses, please visit  the Sennheiser Sound Academy website.

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