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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bobby O's Top 5 Audio Products Of 2014

There are always a number of new audio products that stand out from crowd, at least for me, and I'd like to solute some of them in my first annual Top 5 Products list. I'm going to list the pieces in no particular order and tell you why I thought they were cool.

SSL XL-Desk - A new console featuring 500 series slots. How cool is that? Of course this concept was no big deal in the 60s and 70s when a number of console manufacturers operated using cartridge modules, but few modules were interchangeable between manufacturers then. Now they are, making the XL-Desk very flexible.


Sample Magic Magic AB plugin - Anyone thats mixing knows that it can be a pain to easily A/B you mix against another. Magic AB makes this easy, since it's a plugin that goes across your stereo buss and allows you to compare up to 9 different songs, as well as loop them at just the right points, and precisely match levels.

PreSonus StudioLive RM - The PreSonus StudioLive console provides a tremendous bang for the buck, but one of the cooler features is how it can be remotely controlled from a laptop or iPad. PreSonus takes this concept one step further with the StudioLIve RM by providing just the I/O and leaving the control to your laptop or a specially built touch sensitive surface. The fewer controls, the less you pay, and it's so cool to use something so futuristic as well.

UAD AMS RMX16 - You might say that the RMX16 was the sound of the 80s in that it was part of the drum sound on so many hit records, especially those coming out of England. Universal Audio released a plugin version of the reverb a few months ago (coded by the original designer of the RMX16) and it sounds so much like the hardware version that it's scary. Just dial in the Nonlinear or Ambience setting and you'll know what I mean.
Blue Mo-Fi Headphones - The world of monitor speakers changed for the better when powered monitors became the norm, and now the same thing may be on the horizon for headphones as well, thanks to the Blue Mo-Fi's. It has three selections - using the built-in amp in the headphones, bass boost, or bypassed so it works like a normal headset. This is another one under the category of, "Why didn't anyone think of this before."

Special Mention: Audionamix ADX Trax - This is the software that so many of us have wanted for so long. It allows you to precisely isolate a vocal from a finished stereo mix, then raise and lower the level as needed. I don't know how they do it, but it's very cool indeed.

These products really caught my attention this year, but there are lots of others that are worthy of inclusion as well. I'm sure you have your own top 5 and I'd love to hear them. What did I miss that was cool?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you, or do you know anyone who has tried the Mo-Fi headphones? How are they?
(I'm looking for accurate phones for mixing)
Bob,
Vancouver

Bobby Owsinski said...

I don't know anyone who's using them regularly yet, Bob. You might want to look into Audio Technica M50's, which some people feel they can mix on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bobby. I'll do that.
Have a great holiday.
Bob
Vancouver


Scott said...

I can't speak to other headphones for mixing, but if you can find an old pair of Denon AH-D2000 headphones (discontinued a couple of years ago) I'd recommend them. I got turned on to them by someone that recommended I check them out at Headphone.com. Very flat response compared to others. Personally, the fact that I heard things I'd never heard before on tracks I've been listening to for 20 years convinced me. I don't mix with them as a rule, but only when testing things out and wanting to keep it quiet in the house.

John C Luna said...

Indeed, this list is the cat's pajamas. Oh and for the sake of transparency I switched all my DAW to PreSonus Studio One a few years ago and never looked back. The addition of the RM mixer is just greatness overkill. For the record I also do some mixing on ATH-40&50 headphones. Not quite as good as a q-ed room and monitors but very good with low fatigue.

John C Luna said...

Indeed, this list is the cat's pajamas. Oh and for the sake of transparency I switched all my DAW to PreSonus Studio One a few years ago and never looked back. The addition of the RM mixer is just greatness overkill. For the record I also do some mixing on ATH-40&50 headphones. Not quite as good as a q-ed room and monitors but very good with low fatigue.

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