Resolution Awards Winners 2012

Resolution Awards Winners 2012
2 0 1 2
A W A R D S
W I N N E R S
S U P P L E M E N T
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Resolution Awards Winners 2012
Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec
DPA Reference Series
Merging Technologies Horus
Smart AV Tango 2
RCF Mytho 8
Neyrinck V-Control Pro
Presonus Studio One 2
Universal Audio 4-710d
Radial Workhorse
Maag Audio EQ4
Thermionic Culture Nightingale
The values of Quality and Innovation underpin our industry
and differentiate us from others. The quality aspect must be a
given in a product intended for professional applications not
just for longevity and resale value but also for its degree of
optimisation for a given function or application. Quality is as
palpable in a plug-in or piece of software as it is in a hardware
unit — it’s a matter of feel and response. The cost so often
associated with real quality is inherently connected with the
second of our values — innovation.
The research and development invested by a
manufacturer in a product is reflected in its price and it is
through innovation that our industry moves forward and we
are presented with solutions to problems or different ways
of looking at and challenging established workflows. There
is a massive difference between products that feed a need
at a price point to those that attempt to change appetites
and expectations. There are times when we have to remind
users that it is their workload, efficiency, creativity and
economic return that governs their success rather than their
accumulation of surprisingly affordable gear.
Perhaps innovation doesn’t speak to everyone as loudly
and obviously as quality does, yet when the two combine in
a product the result can be magnificent and game-changing.
The Resolution Awards recognise quality and innovation
in professional audio and the products highlighted here have
been judged to be outstanding in these respects by the best
informed readership in the industry.
Zenon Schoepe, Editorial Director
RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Monitoring
RCF Mytho 8
R
CF is better known
for its live sound
presence
but
its origins are
actually in the studio and
broadcast business. All
the parts in the Mytho
Series are custom-designed
specifically for each model
in the range. Mytho woofers
feature Impedance Control
Coil (ICC) technology in
which a secondary coil
wound on the speaker
yoke and driven in opposite
phase to the primary
coil has the function of
cancelling the primary
coil inductance, increasing
the speaker sensitivity
and reducing the speaker
distortion. A primary
effect of this technology
is the improvement of the
temporal behaviour of the
speaker, improving the
crossover transition from
the woofer to the tweeter and
resulting in midrange accuracy
and excellent phase linearity.
The woofers also feature a 51mm voice coil that
guarantees high energy for tight and controlled bass
reproduction and excellent thermal stability with
minimum power compression. The carbon fibre
reinforced natural cellulose cone and a high damped
rubber surround produce a well-behaved roll off and
avoid high Q resonances. A special air ventilation
system that includes the coil, magnet plate and
the basket reduces air compression, air noises and
minimises distortion in large excursion situations.
Mytho monitors have a metal dome tweeter with
a high excursion soft polymer surround. The dome
is large and considered by RCF to be state-of-theart for high frequency definition. The diaphragm is
moulded in an aluminium/magnesium alloy and in
combination with the waveguide profile it achieves
constant directivity dispersion above 10kHz.
The surround is designed for low resonance and
mechanical linearity. Voice coil windings, immersed in
magnetic fluid, increase the short-term power handling
capacity and reduce the compression at high power
levels. The optimally damped cavity in the pole piece
controls and slightly lowers the
fundamental resonance. The
chassis is moulded from glass
fibre reinforced nylon and
the diaphragm is protected
with a fine hexagonal metal
grille.
The diecast aluminium
cabinet is internally braced
and reinforced and the
shape of the cabinet is
designed to minimise edge
reflections. Special attention
has been dedicated to the
bass reflex air port design
and the cabinet’s vertical
angle can be adjusted to
optimise the orientation for
the listening position.
Mytho monitors are
active — two separate
amplifiers
power
the
transducers with 200W
for the low frequencies
and 100W for the treble.
The power transformer and
power capacitors are designed
and sized for maximum fidelity
of reproduction even at very high
listening levels. The power amplifier design is
classic analogue AB circuit.
Ultra low noise operational amplifiers and a dedicated
analogue-digital convertor take care of signal input
amplification and translation into the digital domain.
The signal processing is executed by a dedicated DSP
working at 96kHz with filters developed specially for
the Mytho.
The input boards have controls to accurately set
up the system: balanced XLR signal input; sensitivity
control to adjust the speaker sensitivity from –6dBu to
+6dBu; treble and bass mute — to mute and listen to
single transducers; treble tilt control in 1dB steps; bass
tilt control in 1dB steps; bass roll off control with four
different filters; and a desktop correction control to
correct for various speaker positioning.
‘The RCF Mytho 8 is an impressive speaker. It
manages to combine a very extended bass response
and low distortion without too much compromise in
transient response. Taking this into account, along with
the smooth, flat frequency response and controlled
dispersion, there is very little to dislike; is this one of
the greats?’ Resolution V11.3. n
Contact
RCF, Italy:
Website: www.rcf.it
Also NominateD: Unity Audio The Boulder;
Adam Audio A77X; SE Munro The Egg
October 2012
resolution
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Interconnect
Radial Workhorse
T
he Workhorse is a combination 500 series
frame and summing mixer designed to work
with today’s computer based workstations.
The design allows up to eight 500 series
modules to be combined in series or in parallel and
then ‘mixed’ to the master section for stereo recording.
Following the API VPR 500 series specification, the
Workhorse is designed to be backwards compatible
with current 500 series products. Each slot is outfitted
with XLR-M input and XLR-F output for direct
patching to the module. This is augmented by
TRS connectors to simplify interfacing with ¼-inch
balanced and unbalanced signals. Separate 25-pin
D-subs are wired to the Tascam standard for 8-channel
interfacing with workstations and recorders.
As the Workhorse is intended to interface with
as many different modules as possible, a special
TRS connector called Omniport allows the designer
to introduce a module-specific feature — such as a
key input on a gate, footswitch for a guitar interface,
or an extra output for a reamping module — as a
means of expanding functionality. Even and odd
numbered slots may also be linked together for stereo
by assigning the rear panel switch. To manage signal
flow, each card slot is equipped with a ‘feed’ function
that sends the output from the first module into the
next. This feature allows the engineer to create a
custom channel strip by combining a preamp with
an EQ, compressor and gate and feed the mix bus by
taking the signal from the last module in the series
chain or by combining their outputs in parallel via the
mix bus which drives the master mix section.
The Workhorse master section features a low noise
virtual earth mix bus and is equipped with individual
channel-on, level and pan controls for each of the
eight channel slots. This allows each channel to be
auditioned individually or mixed in stereo to the
master outputs, monitor outs or the headphones.
The master out is Jensen transformer-isolated to
deliver a more ‘vintage tone’; the Monitor Out is IC
balanced. A separate 25-pin D-sub allows 8-channel
summing. Dual headphone outputs with a mono
select makes the Workhorse suitable for live recording
environments and multiple Workhorse frames can be
used in tandem for 16, 24 or more channel mixing
using the expansion bus.
Like all Radial products, the Workhorse is made from
14-gauge steel and finished in rugged baked enamel.
The card slot bay has a removable tray equipped with
slide-in guides that make swapping modules easy. To
ensure optimum performance, each module receives
+/-16V with 130mA of current plus 48V phantom for
microphone preamps. The Workhorse derives its main
power from a custom-designed universal switching
supply. The external supply eliminates issues such as
hum caused by magnetic coupling. Careful attention
has been paid to power supply filtering and tracking
inside the Workhorse. This protects against module
failure caused by harmful voltage swings that could
otherwise affect other modules. Separate power
supply and phantom status LEDs illuminate when
power levels are normal.
‘The Workhorse certainly makes a terrific host for
modules — sturdily built with useful routing features
and extensive connectivity. The summing mixer
bus sounds great, and is a huge bonus; its choice of
monitoring features provide a useful and compact
system for many applications, whether you combine
the module racking with the summing mixer, or use
them independently of each other. Whichever 500
Series modules you choose, the Workhorse makes a
great home for them.’ Resolution 10.3. n
Contact
Radial, Canada:
Website: www.radialengineering.com
Also NominateD:
Dangerous Music Liaison; Riedel MediorNet Compact.
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Plug-in
Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec
T
he Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec is the first
plug-in to offer real-time auditioning of the mp3/
AAC encoding process. Traditionally this process
involved outputting a mix via an mp3 encoder,
listening to the result, making changes to the limited number
of options, outputting again, listening, etc.... Now users
have the ability to hear the encoded result and compare
against the original signal in real-time, identifying exactly
what’s being removed visually and aurally, monitoring
codec clipping, A/Bing different codecs, outputting multiple
codec simultaneously, and more. The layout is such that almost anyone can get
great results immediately, and the more technically inclined can dig a little deeper
and tweak a little further.
The main window of the plug-in features a helpful FFT display, with five slots
below to select the desired codecs to audition along with a monitor select button
and LED to indicate codec clipping. Any combination of
codecs can be output simultaneously. This is a massive time
saver. There are also options for offline encoding as well as
offline decode back to WAV or AIFF. Trim allows the user
to monitor the bitstream levels and reduce the input to the
codec while Comp displays the bitstream compression factor.
An A/B tab offers extensive options to compare different
codecs. The FFT is unique in that in addition to being able
to display the left/right and sum of the input signal users
can also see the difference between the input and the output
signals. You can also listen to the audio that is being removed by the codec.
‘Mastering engineers are going to love the ability to determine the best
settings for the job at hand. Ultimately, the goal is to strike the right balance
between audio fidelity and file size. Nothing else allows you to accomplish this
task as well as the Pro-Codec.’ (Resolution V10.5). n
Contact
Sonnox, UK:
Website: www.sonnoxplugins.com
Also NominateD: Waves Kramer Master Tape;
Sound Toys Devil-Loc; Universal Audio Ampex ATR-102;
McDSP 6030 Ultimate Compressor
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Interface
October 2012
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Visual Controller
Neyrinck V-Control Pro
V
-Control Pro is a fader
controller that can be used
with most major DAWs
— Pro Tools 7 upwards,
Logic 9, Cubase, Digital Performer, FL
Studio, Ableton Live, Reaper, Reason,
Sonar, Studio One and Tracktion. It
uses the multitouch capabilities of
the iPad allowing multiple faders to
be controlled at the same time, which is a definite
improvement over trying to use a mouse on each
fader. Another fundamental benefit is the ability to
connect to the DAW wirelessly allowing control from
anywhere in the studio.
While mixing on a piece of glass has its limitations
the one overriding attraction is the potential to control
many different applications from one controller with
limitless user interface possibilities.
The nice thing about the Ney-Fi wireless driver is
that it is the same driver for all DAWs so there is no
need to launch different versions. Once the Ney-Fi
software is installed you just need to run it before
starting your DAW and then configure the V-Control
Pro in your DAW. Essentially it acts as a Mackie
controller, hence the universal support for many
leading DAWs.
Using V-Control Pro with Pro Tools 9 LE, the track
names all show on the V-Control channel strips and the
faders become live. In terms of controllable features you
get transport (including record and the online button),
8 faders with audio metering, solo/mute, channel Rec
enable, an assignable pan/send rotary controller and
a channel insert control to allow plug-in instantiation
and control. Individual channel automation mode
switches are a really useful addition. On the right
hand side there are global controls for edit/mix
window switching, input switching
for recording, group suspension and
automation suspension. In other
words all the useful bits from Avid’s
hardware controllers. There’s even
a button that gives you a numeric
keypad replica with all the Pro Tools
shortcut keys marked and an extra
application-specific edit window with
many useful functions. Banking through mixes larger
than 8 faders wide is achieved with bank buttons or
finger swipes.
The best feature by far of V-Control is what
Neyrinck calls the V Window; this should make
hardware DAW controller manufacturers extremely
nervous. The V Window is opened by a single button
tap and allows access to any open window on your
Mac, which means that any plug-in window you
have open will be rendered on your iPad with all the
controls editable by your fingers! You can take the
V Window full screen on the iPad and even zoom
into the plug-in using pinch. This is the ultimate in
plug-in control for any DAW as you are interacting
directly with the plug-in — anyone who has tried
to change EQ settings on a hardware controller will
appreciate this feature. Another side benefit of the
V Window is that you can select any open window,
so you can view any other apps running on your
Mac. The V Window is unique and fantastic to use.
Again the performance is excellent as it bypasses
the antiquated and limited HUI protocol and acts like
a remote control screen sharing app within a DAW
controller. Brilliant design.
‘If you don’t have an iPad then here’s the perfect
excuse to get one especially if you need a DAW
controller.’ Resolution V11.4. n
Contact
Neyrinck, USA:
Website: www.vcontrolpro.com
Also NominateD: RTW TM3 TouchMonitor;
DK-Technologies DK1; Waves WLM.
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resolution October 2012
RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Interface
Merging Technologies Horus
T
he Horus Networked Audio Interface is a
comprehensive
audio
router
and
format
convertor, a benchmark
in transparent A-D conversion, a
‘pristine’ microphone preamplifier
and an input and output
connection node to Ravenna IP
Audio Networks. Horus is the new
primary I-O interface for Merging’s audio
software and Merging users can take advantage of connection to
the Horus unit, over Ravenna Networks, using the MassCore Audio Engine.
But to enable the use of the unit with other systems there are ASIO and
CoreAudio drivers that will allow for connection into the Ravenna network and
the Horus interface as a front end.
Horus is capable of handling 182 inputs, 202
outputs, works from 44.1kHz
to 192kHz, permits signal
routing from any input to
any combination of outputs
and works as standard as
a MADI/AES A-D/D-A.
There’s a touchscreen for
local access and a browserbased remote using a web enabled
device in a unit that can have dual
redundant power supplies, adopts a modular
design for analogue and digital I-O configuration and boasts a latency from
input to output of less than 1ms.
Available modules include an A-DC with mic/line input and a D-AC. n
Contact
Merging Technologies, Switzerland:
Website: www.merging.com
Also NominateD:
RME Fireface UCX; Lynx Studio Technologies Hilo
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
EQ
October 2012
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
EQ
Maag Audio EQ4
T
he Maag Audio EQ4
is a single channel
6-band equaliser
compatible
with
500-series rack systems. It
features an Air Band shelf
boost from 2.5-40kHz of the
type that was first introduced
in NTI and Nightpro gear.
Maag Audio was founded
by recording engineer Cliff
Maag, who is an inventor
of the NTI EQ3 and the
Nightpro PreQ3 and EQ3D.
He was also the president
of research and development
during the early years of
NTI and Nightpro. The Air
Band was a well-respected
element of the original NTI
and Nightpro equipment and
it is now available in the
EQ4 and PREQ4 500-series
modules from Maag Audio.
The EQ4 is known for
its transparency and top end
presence — EQ adjustments
are obtained with minimal
phase shift and detent
controls allow for easy
recallable settings.
The EQ4 cannot be
described as an ‘ordinary’ EQ
and the way the bands are arranged
and interact causes you to employ EQ and approach
EQing in a slightly different manner. The EQ4’s band
passes all interact with each other and increasing
the Air Band gain will
also increase the overall
gain to a small extent.
This is normal and is a
by-product of the design
and happens because
of the summing of the
AIR Band with all of the
other bands. This boost
can be compensated for,
if desired, by clicking
down on the other
five bands by equal
amounts.
The control layout
is straightforward yet
controls powerful tonal
shaping. The AIR Band
is a +15dB boost-only
shelf at 2.5, 5, 10,
20, and 40kHz with
the frequencies below
the shelf peaks also
being affected due to
the transitional slope.
There’s also a +15dB
boost and -4dB cut 2.5kHz
shelf and +15dB/-4.5dB bell bands
at 650Hz, 160Hz, 40Hz and 10Hz.
These are complemented by an EQ bypass
switch and LED indicators for signal present and
peak activity.
It’s worth mentioning that the PREQ4 also
boasts an Air Band section which in this case is
matched to a microphone preamp offering 65dB of
adjustable gain, phase reverse, a 70Hz high pass
filter, +48V phantom power, and a -20dB pad. n
Contact
Maag Audio, USA:
Website: www.maagaudio.com
Also NominateD:
Dave Hill Designs Europa 1; MCAudioLab SHD2ch.
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Microphone
DPA Reference Standard
T
he new DPA range marks a significant
shift for the company, as it’s modular in
nature, featuring a range of preamplifiers
and capsules that can be freely interchanged
and combined. While some of these components
have a certain familiarity about them, there are also
some less familiar additions. DPA has made a clear
decision that the output stages of the new reference
standard series should be transformerless.
Starting with the preamplifiers, the ‘A’ variant is a
familiar pencil design with a -20dB pad. The MMP-C
preamplifier is the most compact of the three and
while it loses the -20dB pad there are changes internally. The MMP-A and
MMP-C employ ‘Active Drive’ — essentially an impedance balanced (not
symmetrical signal balanced) output stage. The MMP-B looks just like half of
the old 4017 shotgun and has two rotating rings that switch a low cut filter
and high frequency shelving boost.
The capsules are split into two categories —
derivations of the familiar 4000 series and the new
2000 series. The MMC4017 capsule is a shotgun
design while the MMC4006 omni is a conventional,
single diaphragm pressure design, and ships
with three different grids to modify the on-axis
and diffuse field HF response. Other capsule
options are the MMC4011 cardioid and the
MMC4015 wide cardioid.
The 2000 series, the MMC2006 omni and
MMC2011 cardioid, differ as they leverage the
capsule technology employed in the DPA miniature microphone ranges.
‘Reinventing and refreshing what some would regard as classic
microphones was always going to be a challenge but I think that DPA has
managed this extremely capably.’ Resolution V11.1 n
Contact
DPA, Denmark:
Website: www.dpamicrophones.com
Also NominateD: Microtech-Gefell M 930 Ts;
AEA KU4; SE Electronics RN17; Sennheiser MKH8070.
Pro-Codec Version 2
Real Time Codec Auditioning
Master directly for iTunes
The Fraunhofer Pro-Codec from Sonnox has changed the way
we encode audio for online distribution, enabling audio codecs
such as MP3 and AAC to be auditioned in real-time!
Now, with Version 2, Apple’s iTunes Plus codec is included, so
you can mix directly for iTunes, saving time and ensuring high
quality output during the mixing process.
For a list of other new features in Version 2 visit:
www.sonnox.com/procodec
www.sonnox.com
October 2012
resolution
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
DAW
Presonus Studio One 2
T
here are three versions of Studio One:
Artist, Producer and Professional.
Professional adds 64-bit processing, the
Project (mastering) section, QuickTime and
SoundCloud support, further native effects and a
Melodyne licence.
The biggest boast is the integration of Melodyne.
Selecting an audio clip and selecting the contextmenu item Edit With Melodyne causes Melodyne
to open in the lower window area and begin the
detection process. A feature missed in the earlier
version was transient detection and this has been implemented incorporating
an ‘Audio Bend’ function and integrating audio quantisation and groove
extraction using Studio One’s straightforward drag-and-drop methodology.
Another new feature is Track Comping — looped takes each create a new
hidden Layer and you can then unpack them to see all the takes onscreen.
Swiping sections and promoting them to the main
track can be achieved easily with mouse dragging
and shortcuts.
Another excellent improvement is that the audio
and MIDI editors are now detachable from the main
window, so for multiple monitor setups or just simply
maximising the editing area this is a great boon. The
File Browser has been improved so that you can
search within particular locations, and SoundCloud
is now integrated directly with the browser. The
extensive included plug-ins have been further
enhanced and there is comprehensive control surface support and automation.
The clean design seems to present familiar concepts learned in other DAWs
to experienced users but a beginner will find this the easiest DAW to learn.
‘The version 2 upgrade is significant and enhances the experience in a
number of ways. Do take a look.’ (Resolution V11.1). n
Contact
Presonus, USA:
Website: www.presonus.com
Also NominateD: Avid Pro Tools 10
The Nightingale the magic number is 3
See us at
AES
Stand 1038
27-29 Oct.
San Francisco
See us Stand 8
The Emirates
Stadium, London
9-10th Nov. 2012
ing
est
A n pair !
2 mic. amps/
equalisers and
compressor in one!
Perhaps the most innovative studio product to date.
Intuitive and easy to use. The latest and most advanced development of Phoenix style
vari-mu compressor. Mic/line amps feature our Varislope eqs, phase reverse and Dl
inputs and can be combined internally into the compressor or used separately. Small
and portable making it valuable for stage use. ie. 2 vocal mics into 1 compressor (use
phase reverse on 1). Rack with a Freebird eq., or a 2nd Nightingale to give a stereo mix
buss compressor and 4 valve equalisers!
“The Nightingale is a superb triumph of British Design”
George Shilling review RESOLUTION September 2012
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Dynamic
66
resolution www.thermionicculture.com
Handcrafted in Harlow, Essex, UK
October 2012
RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
RECORDING
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Dynamic
to the origin of sound
Thermionic Culture
Nightingale
T
hermionic Culture’s range has never followed convention but
instead seems always to come from a slightly lateral way of
thinking. Following the Freebird, which housed three bands
of EQ in a half rack 4U case, comes this, the Nightingale, in
a similar case but providing instead two valve recording channels plus
a mono valve compressor. It manages to achieve dual microphone,
line and DI preamplification, dual EQ and filter channels, along with
summing and valve compression based on Thermionic’s enduring
classic Phoenix model, although with a little more ‘bite’.
The front panel has Bakelite-style knobs, some acting as switches
and that square meter. The three sections are arranged as two mic
channels (designated A and B) and their associated EQ, with the
compressor in-between. The rear panel signal connectors are three
inputs and three outputs on good quality XLRs.
The Compressor section is a simplified design based on the Phoenix.
Using a rotary switch, its input can be sourced in four different ways:
Line selects the dedicated rear XLR input; A and B select the outputs
from the respective mic channels; and A+B sums both channels
together at the compressor input. The Threshold rotary switch has
off and three numbered positions (running the opposite way to the
Phoenix.) Here, 3 is the equivalent of 1 on the Phoenix (maximum
compression). Attack is fixed at around 60ms, where 4 would be
on the Phoenix’s scale of 1-11. This gives a plectrum bass guitar
some extra attack, and sounds natural on vocals. Release has three
positions, Fast being 60ms, Medium is 150ms and Slow is 500ms.
On fast release the compressor sounds big, glowing and magical,
yet still fairly invisible, even with 6 or 9dB reduction. The slower
settings tend to make the compression more apparent, which is not
always a bad thing, and Medium was best for smoothing bass guitar.
The Compressor Gain knob is an input level, and this provides up to
28dB of gain on the way in. The Nightingale’s compressor section and
simple but effective EQ give the unit a uniquely useful combination.
‘The Nightingale is a superb triumph of British design. It has a
unique combination of features and you will wonder why nothing
quite like this has ever existed before.’ Resolution V11.6. n
sound culture
www.rcf.it
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Monitoring
MYTHO 8 ACTIVE TWO-WAY 8” DSP MONITORING SYSTEM
ICC TECHNOLOGY
The Mytho woofers feature a unique “Impedance Control Coil” technology. A
secondary coil wound on the speaker yoke and driven in opposite phase to the
primary coil has the function of cancelling the primary coil inductance, increasing
the speaker sensitivity and reducing the speaker distortion. A primary effect of
this technology is the improvement of the temporal behaviour of the speaker,
improving the crossover transition from the woofer to the tweeter and resulting in
incredible midrange accuracy and perfect phase linearity.
Contact
Thermionic Culture, UK:
Website: www.thermionicculture.com
* True active 200 W + 100 W class AB design * Die cast aluminium
cabinet * Reflection free cabinet design
Also NominateD: Dave Hill Designs Titan;
Elysia Xpressor; Inward Connections TSL-4.
October 2012
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RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
Winner
Preamp
Universal Audio 4-710D
U
A’s Twin-Finity design allows
continuously variable, phase-aligned
blending between a solid-state
and valve-based signal path and
the 4-710D provides four channels of such
preamplification in a 2U. Analogue I-O on the rear of the unit gives, per
channel, mic and line level inputs, a balanced output and a switchable insert
send and return. There are also high impedance DI inputs for each of the four
channels on the front panel. The ‘D’ suffix indicates that the unit is equipped, as
standard, with an 8-channel A-D convertor. A toggle sets the bit depth to 24 or
16 bits and output is in AES-EBU as four pairs on a DB25, or in ADAT Optical.
Front panel controls are an input gain and output level pot for each channel
that sandwich a smaller pot that sets the ‘blend’ between the solid-state and
valve circuits. Technically, the input amp is a pure solid-state transimpedance
design, which simultaneously feeds a solid-state and a single-ended class-A
triode gain stage. The blend control simply balances the proportion of each of
these stages fed to the summed output.
Other controls provided are phantom power,
a -15dB pad, mic/line selector switch, polarity
reverse, insert in, and a 75Hz high pass filter.
The remaining controls select what the channel
meters show, and engage the hidden gem of this box -– an 1176-type
compressor built into each channel. The only parameters you get with the
compressor are Off, Fast or Slow — threshold is fixed at -10dbU and ratio at
4:1. Located post the initial input gain, but pre the valve and solid-state stages
and associated output level controls, you can hit the fixed threshold as hard or
gently as you like — perfectly natural to 1176 users.
‘UA has created a unit whose sum is far greater than its individual parts. Four
channels of preamplification/compression is a good balance between channel
count and ultimate flexibility, and the tonal variation on offer here means that
there will be few occasions when you wished you’d packed something else.’
Resolution V10.6. n
Contact
Universal Audio, USA:
Website: www.uaudio.com
Also NominateD: Dave Hill Designs Europa 1;
Radial EXTC Reamp; Cartec PRE-Q5; RND 5017.
Connect Control Create
to your Mac or PC
your favourite apps
a masterpiece
V-Control Pro
Supported DAWs:
Audition • Cubase • Digital Performer
Final Cut Pro 7 • FL Studio • Live
Logic Pro • MIO Console • Pro Tools
Media Composer • Reaper • Reason
Studio One • SONAR • Tracktion
vcontrolpro.com
68
resolution October 2012
RESOLUTION AWARDS
QUALITY & INNOVATION
AWARDS 2012
QUALITY & INNOVATION
Smart AV Tango 2
AWARDS
Winner
Desk-Controller
HALL OF FAME
2011
Resolution
Awards Winners
DAW
Avid Pro Tools 9
Desk-Controller
T
he Smart Console introduced the concept of the ‘ARC’ touchsensitive display that offers rapid access to a large number
of channels and enables parameters to be applied to multiple
channels quickly. The first Tango took the concept further by
applying it to the top of a large touchscreen where a wipe across the
top enables you to scroll across 240 channels and gives almost instant
access to any channel. Tango 2 takes the game to another level with
its enhanced user interface.
From the layout to the OLED displays and the clear and positive
buttons this console surface is a tactile delight. Control from the Tango
jog wheel is excellent, which is a big deal for those who grew up
taking superb jog/shuttle performance for granted. Up to four 12-fader
extension units can be added and assembled in any physical order to
create a larger console.
The success or failure of a DAW controller is all about workflow and
this is the first that could approach the productivity levels of dedicated
workstations and mixing consoles. While it is perfectly possible to sit
down at a Tango 2 and enjoy some of what it offers in minutes, this is
a controller that merits study in depth. Just as the best of the previous
generation hardware workstations required a lot of learning to achieve
really slick operation and maximum productivity so the Tango 2 will
repay your efforts.
After a while it is easy to forget that Tango 2 is a ‘mere’ controller
because it feels like an expensive console. This can be a little deceptive
at first but if the workstation mixer can do it, you can almost certainly
control it from Tango. Furthermore, Tango 2 has a DVI input that can
be used to display one of the DAW screen outputs. Better still, the
touchscreen control works with the DAW.
If you are a Pyramix, Nuendo or Logic user you are well served by
Tango 2 with comprehensive native or near native support. For Final
Cut Pro the Mackie Control protocol applies while Pro Tools users are
restricted to the HUI protocol.
‘Once you get away from the idea that it is a “mixing console” in
the conventional sense and appreciate that it is a carefully targeted
workstation controller, its power becomes apparent. With the Tango
2, Smart AV has perhaps produced the missing link between the old
paradigms and something far more revolutionary.’ (Resolution V11.1) n
DAW
Presonus Studio
One Pro
2009
Resolution
Awards Winners
DAW
Merging
Pyramix 6
MassCore
Solid State Logic
Nucleus
Audient Zen
Dynamics
Dynamics
Euphonix
Artist MC
EQ
Tube-Tech
RM8/CM 1A
Anamod
AM670
EQ
Elysia
Museq
Interface
Solid State Logic
MADI-X8
Microphone
Schoeps
SuperCMIT
Monitoring
Neumann
KH 120
Plug-in
Flux IRCAM
SPAT
DPA
5100
Desk-Controller
Dynamic
EQ
Thermionic
Culture
The Rooster
Interface
Prism Sound
Orpheus
Microphone
Monitoring
Schoeps
CCM 22, MK22
Plug-in
Primacoustic
Recoil Stabilizer
Preamp
UAD/SPL
Transient
Designer
Genelec
8260A
CEDAR
DNS One
Processor
Penteo /RT
Recorder
JoeCo BBR1
Black Box
Endless
Analog CLASP
resolution
Microphone
Schoeps
VSR 5 U
Universal Audio
UAD-2 Satellite
Also NominateD: Digico SD11B; Roland M-480
Interface
Riedel
MediorNet
Preamp
Grace Design
M103
Contact
Desk-Controller
API
The Channel
Strip
Dangerous
Music BAX EQ
Smart AV, Australia:
Website: www.smartav.net
October 2012
2010
Resolution
Awards Winners
Processor
Recorder
Monitoring
Plug-in
Preamp
Focusrite
Liquid 4PRE
Processor
Bricasti M7
Recorder
Sound Devices
788T
69
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