Welcome to Part 3 of our AES Buyer's Guide!
For the first time in maybe forever, the AES Show in NYC has been moved online due to COVID-19. It makes sense, but we’re going to miss seeing all of our friends in person at the show.
Make sure to check out the online AES show here: https://aesshow.com/
In lieu of walking the floor we thought it'd be fun to put together a virtual walkthough of the floor and what you would have seen from some of our advertisers who we meet with at the show. If you see something you like, please support our retail advertisers and know that when you purchase via links in this guide that you are helping Tape Op keep the lights on! Enjoy!
Soundtoys 5 brings together our entire range of audio effects into one ultimate collection. The bundle features all 21 Soundtoys plug-ins, including EchoBoy, Decapitator, Little AlterBoy, Little Plate, Crystallizer and Effect Rack. Each are powerful tools, trusted by professional mix engineers, musicians and sound designers everywhere.
Whether you’re a pro or just getting started in your home studio, Soundtoys 5 will help you work smarter. For example, Effect Rack integrates all of the individual Soundtoys effects into a single plug-in, which improves workflow by displaying an entire custom effect processing chain at once. You won’t need to juggle multiple plug-in windows to adjust parameters, add new effects, or change their routing. Effect Rack keeps everything right at your fingertips.
To help you get started, you’ll find thousands of carefully-curated presets within each plug-in. And, many of the individual Soundtoys effects offer special Tweak panels which expose deeper editing features, where you can find advanced options like a choice of saturation styles, fine control of an effect’s groove, or a selection of different delay algorithms. The modulation effects offer powerful shape and rhythm editors for creating complex motion. The overall result: an incredibly customizable set of sonic tools that you’ll want to use on every project.
Meet the most powerful tool in the Soundtoys arsenal. Effect Rack is a single, self-contained plug-in that comes preloaded with 14 premium Soundtoys effects that you can use within the Rack (not as individual plug-ins) to easily create multi-effect chains.
Effect Rack makes it easy to experiment with different combinations of effects and discover unique sounds. Get inspired with hundreds of carefully-crafted presets, or simply drag and drop to create your own custom effect chains. Lock rhythmic effects to a single tempo, or let them run free. Fine tune the input and output levels, use the global Mix control to blend your effect with the dry signal, and experiment with the powerful global Recycle control. You can also easily save a custom effect chain and add it as an insert or send effect in any supported DAW on Mac or PC.
Effect Rack includes Crystallizer, Decapitator, Devil-Loc Deluxe, EchoBoy, EchoBoy Jr., FilterFreak 1, FilterFreak 2, MicroShift, PanMan, PhaseMistress, PrimalTap, Radiator, Sie-Q, and Tremolator.
Get a huge range of vocal transformations from one simple plug-in with Little AlterBoy. With a few simple controls, you can dramatically alter the pitch of a voice, change the singer’s gender with formant shifting, and use the mix control to create instant vocal harmony. You can even lock vocals to a pitch for robot effects and easily create popular pitch-quantized hard-tune effects.
Once you’ve crafted your perfect vocal signature, use MIDI in your DAW to control the pitch for dramatic vocoder or harmony effects. It’s a hugely powerful way to find new directions and drive new ideas.
Designed to the same standard of excellence as the 1608, Legacy AXS and Vision consoles, API proudly announces the debut of the new 2448 Recording Console. The 2448 offers a powerful and impressive feature set including Dual Inputs on each channel, Stereo Returns and optionally, API's new cross-platform Final Touch Automation™ fader automation system. The 2448 expands API's powerful line of world-class analog recording consoles and continues API's nearly 50 year legacy of combining functionality and reliability with the unmistakable warmth of the API sound.
2448 Console Features:
- Available in 24, 32, and 40 Channel Frame sizes
- Each channel equipped with Mic Pre and Equalizer
- Accepts API 500 Series Equalizers
- Each Channel features Dual Inputs (small fader rotary pot, pan, solo, mute, safe and flip)
- 56 Channels available to the Mix Bus - in a 24 Channel Frame
- 8 Multitrack Buses
- 8 Auxiliary Buses
- 1 Stereo Bus
- 4 Stereo Returns, 100mm faders (manual or automated) with Multitrack and Stereo Bus assign
- Full Center Section Control
- Surround 5.1 Center Section Monitoring
- Classic Analog Metering
- Global 0dB Small Fader Bypass
- 529C Stereo Bus Compressor (optional)
- Comprehensive Rear Panel IO Connectivity
API successfully debuted THE BOX Console over five years ago, and its highly desirable large console sound in a compact footprint has become a favorite choice of audio pros worldwide — from commercial production facilities to home studio operations.
The newest version of the award-winning BOX Console provides even more options and flexibility for modern studio workflow. Offering a total of eight input channels and eight 500 Series slots, the updated BOX Console also features LED metering for each of its 24 summing channels. The new BOX Console provides the same comprehensive rear panel connections, full center section and monitoring as its predecessor, as well as the 0dB bypass switch on each summing channel — a feature so popular it was included in the design of API's new 1608-II and 2448 consoles.
THE BOX is API's small-format solution for any studio where space or budget is limited. Using the same circuitry and components as all other API consoles (including the Vision and Legacy AXS), THE BOX provides the signature analog sound and performance users have come to expect from API.
- API's Classic 312 Microphone Preamp in a 500 Series module
- Vintage Style Analog VU Meter
- Maximum 69dB of gain
- Traditional API fully discrete circuit design with 2520 Op Amp
- Proprietary AP2516 Input Transformer
- 20 dB pad switch
- 3:1 Output Transformer Tap Selection
- Switchable 48V phantom power
- Peak LED
- API's Five Year Warranty
The 312 is one of API's most sought after and famous mic preamps. First introduced in the 1970s, it is well known and respected throughout the recording industry, and is the building block of the modern 3124 rack unit.
Based on API co-founder Saul Walker's original designs, the API 312 Mic Pre combines our 2520 op-amps and proprietary transformers. It delivers the analog warmth, massive headroom and unmistakable sound for which API is known, in a convenient 500 Series format.
Following the success of the hand wired 312 50th Anniversary Edition, this standard production version offers the classic API sound at an affordable price. Like all API products, the 312 is backed by API's unique Five Year Warranty.
The Neve 8424 console is designed to fit the needs of the modern hybrid studio, where the speed of in-the-box workflow is enhanced with the ultimate sound quality of analogue outboard gear. Designed to be straightforward and accessible to all, this versatile console provides a centralized platform with unparalleled connectivity, facilitating and ergonomic link between the linear analogue processing world of outboard gear, analogue synths and instruments,?to the digital world of DAW workflow, software plugins and?session recall. Capitalising on Neve's sixty years of technical heritage and highly revered analogue circuit design, the British-designed 8424 fits perfectly into many different applications. Whether you're a music producer or an artist with your own project studio, the owner of a small professional audio facility or the person in charge of an educational facility, this compact, budget-conscious desk delivers everything you need to record, mix, monitor and master music quickly, marrying Neve’s revered sonic excellence with the speed and flexibility for today's connected workflows. The 8424’s name alone references so much that is iconic about the Neve brand. There is the nod to the legendary Neve 80 series mix bus sound.
The AMS RMX16 was the world’s first microprocessor-controlled, full-bandwidth digital reverberator and characterized enormous numbers of seminal recordings from the 1980s onwards. It has remained an essential piece for any self-respecting studio ever since, and units sell today for a substantial proportion of their original cost due to great desirability.
Designed from the outset to be musical rather than simply implementing mathematical algorithms, each program was tuned and re-tuned to provide as wide a “sweet-spot” of settings as possible by means of “carpet graph” parameter tables, interactively linked control by control. It was designed by ear over an extended period of time and from first principles and this is what has made it a classic. Despite its longevity, there is little more any present-day design could better and its sound is unique and instantly recognisable.?Now available in a 500 series format, the sound once available only to premier studios is now on tap for a much wider user base. In addition to the 9 standard programs, there are 9 aftermarket programs available to RMX16 users via the unique and now elusive remote control. These 9 extra programs are included in the AMS RMX 16 500 Series Digital Reverb Module.
Through the last 50 years the 1073 has become the world’s most sought-after preamp. Designed and manufactured in the UK by AMS Neve, it’s tonal quality, warmth, low-mid punch and subtle harmonic distortion provides prestigious front-end for studios of all sizes.
The 1073® OPX continues the 1073® lineage, packing eight legendary preamps into a 2U 19” rack unit. Front mounted XLR/TRS connection and rear D-type give ultimate connectivity to any Studio/Live/Broadcast environment and its modern remote-control software gives two-way control over all parameters and full, automatic recall of settings.
Microphone sources benefit from the Marinair® transformer-coupled input stage and Instrument sources can be connected to the front-mounted Class-A D.I input for recording directly in the studio control-room. The 1073® OPX’s unique Analogue and Digital monitor signal path allow for use as a complete standalone I/O interface or as a live room remote preamp with full latency-free monitoring cue mix signal path.
Its new, powerful digital card gives up to 192kHz/24-Bit A/D conversion over USB connection to any connected DAW-enabled computer as well as Primary and Secondary Dante™ connectivity for a multitude of Audio-over-IP applications. The 1073® OPX modern, elegant hardware and software design takes the classic Neve sound into the future.
With eight channels of our signature transparent microphone preamplifier, latest generation A/D conversion, the m108 is the MVP for any modern recording environment. Its audio performance is unmatched in its power to resolve complex sonic waveforms, allowing your recordings to have amazing clarity and realism.
The m108 is ready to go as a stand alone preamplifier, or connected to an ethernet network can be controlled from your desktop with our standalone control app, or over Wi-Fi from your iOS or Android device. You can even connect it to your AVID® hardware for control directly from your Pro Tools session.
A built in USB interface and reference DAC allow it to function as a simple 8x2 audio interface, making it a perfect choice for an ultra-high quality mobile laptop recording rig. The onboard low-latency mixer feeds the headphone amplifier so you can mix and monitor the mic preamp channels along with a stereo mix from your workstation, and an optional Control Room output card allows you to connect directly to a stereo monitor system. Finally, the m108 can be equipped with optional Dante™ or DigiLink Option Module Cards.
Our newly redesigned m201mk2 provides a full serving of our signature transparent audio performance - with massive headroom, ultra-wide bandwidth and a very open, musical character. The fully balanced signal path has been refined, resulting in amazing clarity and dynamic range, and a new power supply design provides the lowest noise performance we have ever achieved. This all means the new m201mk2 will translate a sonic picture of astonishing detail, which captures the essential character of the music being recorded.
The m201mk2 will bring out the very best in your entire microphone collection. Favorite large diaphragm mics will sound like they were intended, with detail and texture in extra measure. Dynamics mics will come alive with newfound clarity. Ribbons mics will perform their best with our exclusive ribbon mic mode, which shifts the gain range up 10dB while deactivating 48V phantom power, bypassing the decoupling capacitors and optimizing the input impedance.
The new m908 Monitor Controller is designed for speaker systems up to 24 channels, from stereo to Dolby Atmos™ 22.2 and all formats in between. Built on our legacy of reference audio design, the m908’s audio performance delivers impeccable clarity and detail. Our latest generation AD/DA converters provide incredible dynamic range and resolution, while all new analog circuitry is designed to be effortlessly transparent and musical.
The m908 is a fully self contained plug and play monitor controller, with a full complement of monitoring features including cue channels, built in talkback mic, mono, mute and dim controls, and an exhaustive list of functions relating to surround and immersive playback systems. It is designed to enable professionals and facilities to update their workflows for immersive audio playback with a minimum of effort and cost.
Record, produce, mix, master, and perform all from a single, intuitive application. Designed with ease of use at its core, Studio One® 5 is your creative partner from studio to stage. Ten years in the making, Studio One 5 Professional features a completely redesigned Native Effects suite; new mix tools like Clip Gain Envelopes and a dedicated Listen Bus; a brand new Score view based on award-winning Notion notation software; and a new Show Page that lets you easily perform with plug-ins, virtual instruments, and backing tracks, all from Studio One. The standard for end-to-end production, only Studio One 5 seamlessly moves with you from initial inspiration to full production, final mix to mastered album, digital release to stage or stream production… and lets you truly create without boundaries.
PreSonus Sphere celebrates sonic creativity by providing a complete suite of powerful tools to fuel your imagination and bring your inspiration to life. PreSonus Sphere membership benefits include licenses for the complete collection of PreSonus’ award-winning software solutions for recording, mixing, scoring, and producing, including Studio One® Professional and Notion, plus over 100 libraries of samples, effects, and loops. In addition to these creative tools, PreSonus Sphere members are also given Cloud collaboration tools and storage, chat with Studio One experts from around the globe, access to exclusive promotions, training, and events, with much more being added continuously—all for a low monthly or annual membership.
Your creative expression has no boundaries—and neither does PreSonus Sphere.
The ioStation 24c audio interface and production controller provides the tools you need to record and mix with the ease of hands-on, tactile control—all in a single device that doesn’t clutter your creative space. Record your audio through two pristine XMAX mic preamps and high-definition 24-bit, 192 kHz analog-to-digital converters. Navigate your recordings with easy-to-use transport controls. Edit your production and automate parameters in your favorite DAW with the powerful Session Navigator and mix it all with a 100 mm touch-sensitive motorized fader. The ioStation 24c audio interface and production controller gives you clear, clean, ultra-high-def sound with professional mixing control in a streamlined, ergonomic desktop design.
The idea behind the Hornet is simple: give people an affordable, portable preamp/DI that can go toe to toe with any of the $1000+ preamps on the market. After years of development, it’s here. An ultra low-noise front end that gives signal the bite and power that the built-in pres on interfaces just don’t deliver like dedicated preamps. Need an even thicker, more powerful sound? Just dial in the Color control, and the personality of the signal is enhanced without the need for compression or EQ. The Hornet features discrete gain cell topology, a custom Cinemag input transformer, and JFET DI. Even at 60 dB of gain, it’s insanely quiet. The Hornet is tiny, but don’t let that fool you - it’s perfectly capable of serving as the front end of choice even in the best studios.
The BF-S is the big brother of the BF-1, a high impedance instrument preamp/DI/EQ that has become the favorite of Stanley Clarke, Charlie Hunter, Brendan Morawski and Jerry Barnes, to name a few. This box not only generates an incredible tone for recording, but will simultaneously drive an amp making the tone available on stage, at FOH and in the studio. The BF-S is a true all-tube design featuring a studio grade linear power supply for the lowest possible noise.
The TEC-nominated SFP-30 is an all-tube mic pre with variable second harmonic content. Featuring a pentode front end and triode back end, the SFP-30 uses an inductively loaded output stage (like the Telefunken V series) to enhance transient response and capture the sense of space in the room. The Color control gives a single box multiple different personalities, from polite and sterile to edgy and saturated — without clipping.
B80-BMB4-32x16 (Live Sound Solution)
Combining the best of digital and analog technology, the B80 Mothership can be found in top studios around the world and is widely regarded as the ultimate audio interface.
Built on an all class-A, discrete design and a no-compromise philosophy, the Mothership delivers unrivaled depth, clarity, and detail not previously found in digital interfaces. Live production and recording studios have been moving towards the digital realm for years and show no signs of going back.
With the release of the Burl B4 Mic Pre and A/D daughter card, the Mothership can now be used for live sound applications, bringing studio-quality sound to the stage. Bringing the best of both analog and digital together in one box, the B80 Mothership is the ideal solution for bringing richness and clarity to live digital sound production.
B16-BMB6-4x4 (Professional Mastering Solution)
This B16 Mothership Solution is an example of a BURL Professional Mastering configuration featuring the BAD4M for 4-channels of analog input and a BDA4M for 4-channels of analog output with switchable transformers and adjustable analog attenuation. This solution utilizes the BMB6 Motherboard with AES/EBU connectivity.
The BAD4M daughter card utilizes BURL Audio’s NextGen Analog technology with the same BX1 transformer-coupled circuit path as the BAD8 (no op-amps) and a transformerless analog front end using BOPA14. The BAD4M allows you to switch between the BAD8 style analog front end and the newly developed, BOPA14 based, transformerless analog front end.
The BDA4M, switchable transformer coupled, 4-channel digital-to-analog converter Daughter Card for the B80 and B16 MOTHERSHIP is the result of over 25 years of R&D experience in pro audio digital and analog design. Following on the success of the B2 BOMBER DAC and the BDA8 for the MOTHERSHIP, the BDA4M utilizes the newly developed BOPA14 with BURL Audio’s NextGen Analog. The BOPA14 is followed by the renowned BX5 output transformer used in the B32 VANCOUVER MIX BUS.
B16-BMB3-4x4 (Home Recording Solution)
This B16 Mothership Solution is designed for high-end home recording. It features the B4 MIC / LINE ADC Daughter Card with 4 analog inputs, and the B22 ORCA Daughter Card with 2-channels for mixing/mastering and a 2-channel monitor section. This solution utilizes the BMB3 with Dante audio-over-Ethernet connectivity.
The B22 ORCA employs 4 DAC channels. The first two are mix/mastering grade DAC channels with switchable BX5 output transformers. These channels can be used to feed a separate headphone amp or a mix/mastering chain. You can also use these channels to send out tracks for analog processing. The second two DAC channels feed the main monitor section which features two stereo speaker outputs and one stereo headphone output.
The B4 boasts the new BX6 input transformer designed for true MIC/LINE input impedance. The B4 maintains a no-compromise, class-A analog circuit, followed by the same ADC we use in the BAD8.
Audiophile sound meets portability. Planar is the culmination of Avantone's experience in creating reference-grade monitoring products, and the demands of modern, professional end-users.
Featuring planar drivers for extreme detail, and supreme comfort for long sessions, Avantone’s Planars are a perfect solution for mix engineers, musicians, podcasters, live-streamers, and hi-fi enthusiasts.
Planar drivers offer an incredible set of advantages over traditional moving coil drivers. Amazing accuracy, high-end detail, clarity, natural bass and response time.
- Style: Over-ear, open-back
- Transducer Type: Planar Magnetic
- Magnet Type: Neodymium N50SH
- Diaphragm Type: 21 Micron PET
- Transducer size: 70 x 95 mm
- Maximum power handling: 5W RMS
- Frequency response: 30Hz - 30kHz
- THD: <0.1% @ 100dB
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Sensitivity: 104 dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point)
- Minimum power: >100mW
- Recommended power: >250mW
- Included Accessories: 1.5m; 5ft 3.5mm audio cable, 3.5mm to 1/4” adapter and Eco-friendly carrying bag
Meet the Black Lion Audio B173 mkII — the most portable 1073 British-sound around! The B173 mkII uses the same Cinemag input and output transformers as our B173 Quad for a whopping 70dB of gain, a revamped gain stage, and a lower noise floor for cleaner, lower distortion sound. A front panel D.I. delivers a harmonically rich tone to guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers, and stepped input gain and variable output attenuation allows for perfect control over transformer saturation.
- Big 1073-style gain
- Cinemag input and output transformers
- Variable output attenuation for control over transformer saturation
- Front panel D.I.
- Stepped input gain
- 48V phantom power and phase inverse controls
- Convenient half-rack sizing for mixing-and-matching
Meet the Black Lion Audio B12A mkIII — the most portable 312A American-sound around! The B12A mkIII uses the same Cinemag input and output transformers as our B12A Quad for a whopping 70dB of gain. A front panel D.I. delivers a harmonically rich tone to guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers, and stepped input gain allows for perfect recall.
- Big 312A-style gain
- Cinemag input and output transformers
- Front panel D.I.
- Stepped input gain
- 48V phantom power, 18dB pad, and phase inverse controls
- Convenient half-rack sizing for mixing-and-matching
A simple design paying homage to our #1 tool in the studio and on the stage!
The perfect T-shirt for those who love being the master behind the mix.
Dress to compress and compress to impress! This T’ is made for those who aren’t afraid to let it pump just a tad bit.
What do A-list producers & engineers like Cassidy Turbin, Joe Chiccarelli, Antonio Dixon, and Chris Baseford have in common? They all trust the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone to give them the flexibility and sonic character they need to produce top-selling records.
Since its debut in 2016, the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 has established itself as the best microphone modeling solution. Its pioneering multi-dimensional modeling technology and unique dual-channel design take microphone modeling far beyond merely mimicking the static on-axis response of the original microphones.
It consists of a dedicated, dual-channel microphone and its software counterpart, the Sphere plug-in. The exacting models incorporate transient response, harmonics, proximity effect, and multi-dimensional polar response. Thanks to Townsend Labs' exhaustive and curated study of classic microphones, the Sphere system currently brings the soul of 30 of the world's most revered microphones to life.
With yet another TEC Award nomination (following this year’s TEC Award win) and a brand new patent to be applied in a forthcoming software release, Townsend Labs keeps pushing the envelope for innovative microphone technology.
The Sphere L22 Microphone Modeling System is available from most pro audio dealers worldwide for $1499 USD, excluding tax. You’re invited to download various sound examples recorded with Sphere L22 microphones and try the free, fully-featured Sphere plug-in on your audio system. Visit https://www.townsendlabs.com/reimagine/
The MD7 is an all-discrete, single op-amp design with Jensen transformers at the input and output stages, finished off with a Class A buffer amp used to feed the Send output jack. Unlike most preamps, the variable Trim knob attenuates the incoming signal directly after the input transformer (not at the output stage). This eliminates the need for an input pad, meaning hotter incoming levels can saturate the input transformer. Transient response is very fast with an incredibly low noise floor. This preamp also provides a built-in effects loop for instrument level devices (guitar pedals) or professional line level equipment. Learn more about the MD7 on the Avedis website. Read Dave Cerminara’s Tape Op review here.