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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

AES 2012 Report - Part 3: Software

Here's the last part of my 2012 AES report, this time built around recording software and hardware.

The first thing I saw at the show was something that I liked the best. It's the Forte interface by Focusrite. Not only does it have a couple of Red mic amps on board, but it has a number of nifty software control features as well. And it sounds great, with a lot of attention given to the audio signal path. I'll cover this more in an upcoming post.

Focusrite also showed their new iTrac Solo interface, one of the first designed just for the iPad, although it can be used as a normal USB interface as well. What I liked best is that it came with regular Apple-style connector for a direct connection to the iPad or iPhone without any messy adaptors.

Eventide showed its H3000 Harmonizer Factory plugin. For those of us who grew up with this hardware piece, it's nice to finally have the software version.

Speaking of plugins, Soundtoys had a couple of cool ones. Instead of following the leader on all the typical ones, they went for emulating some devices with lots of color but mostly overlooked by other plugin manufacturers: the Shure Level-Loc compressor and a copy of the the Altec 1567 mixer, with it's own distinct color. At $129 each, very inexpensive as well.

Publisher Hal Leonard had a nice display of my books front and center. Thanks guys!

Surround sound was back in the news at AES. Here's the ISOSTEM, one of the best surround upmixers and downmixers that I've seen from Nugen Audio. I believe this was a prototype of the hardware and software, but it has great promise.

Speaking of surround, Auro 3D had an interesting new surround encoder/decoder where the surround signal sits on top of a normal PCM signal. It seemed to sound pretty good, from what I could tell on the floor. I think they'll face an up-hill battle getting adoption though.

Nugen Audio also showed their excellent mastering plugins for broadcast, complete with an intersample multichannel peak limiter, a cool dialog analyzer, and a broadcast level controller. These are musts if you're doing audio for broadcast where staying within a network spec is imperative.

iZ showed the latest version of the 24 channel Radar dedicated recorder, which now retails for about $10k, as well as their stand-along A/D and D/A convertor.

Finally, here's a bit of the future of analog hardware, distributed by Trans Audio Group. It's basically a digitally controlled analog version of a Tube-Tech Pultec.

Here's the software control. Very cool.

That's it for this years AES report. The next one is 2013 NAMM.


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Jef Knight said...

Thanks for the great pix, Bobby!

I'm not a gear hog, but I still love the stuff.


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