Tag Archives: audio

Accusonus Releasing ERA-N Denoising Plugin



ERA-N pluginNobody likes noisy audio tracks. They can be particularly problematic in spoken-word productions. And while it’s obvious that the best way to solve a noise problem is to cut it off at the source, that’s not always an option. Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to audio producers for reducing or (hopefully!) removing unwanted noise from recordings. But even with the variety of these denoising tools available today, there’s still plenty of room left for improvement.

And making a better denoiser is exactly what Accusonus is aiming for with its new “single knob” ERA-N audio plugin:

Enhance your voice-overs, repair your music recordings and restore your damaged audio files. ERA-N is a single-knob high-quality denoise plugin that just works. Based on accusonus’ multi-patented noise removal algorithms, ERA-N offers a quick and efficient workflow and allows you to rescue audio recordings that you would have previously considered unusable.

ERA-N will be available for digital audio workstations that use AU, VST, and AAX plugins, ERA-N is expected to go on sale at a special early-bird price of $39, with a final retail price of $59 after that. Check out this video for more information on the Accusonus ERA-N denoising plugin.


Line 6 To Release Helix Native Audio Plugin



Helix PluginLine 6 has been innovating the audio hardware and effects space for decades. The company made a big splash with the release of its latest flagship guitar effects processor, Helix, in 2015. And while the hardware version of Helix has proven to be very popular with musicians, Line 6 identified a need for Helix’s effects outside of an all-in-one piece of gear. That’s why Helix will soon be released as an audio plugin, with native versions available for most popular digital audio workstations:

Helix Native is a world-class guitar processor plug-in that accurately recreates the dynamic sound and feel of vintage tube amps, cabs, mics and effects with award-winning HX modeling. It allows guitarists and engineers to accurately recreate the dynamic sound and feel of vintage tube amps, cabs, mics, and effects in professional DAW environments and they can now bring those exact tones to the stage by simply transferring their plug-in presets to their Helix hardware.

And:

Seamless workflow and broad compatibility. The Helix Native plug-in features broad compatibility with your DAW of choice, offering powerful 64-bit performance on AAX, AU and VST3 platforms. It also tightly integrates with Helix hardware so you can take your presets from studio to the stage—and back again.

Pricing is not yet available for the Helix native plugin. Line 6 has marked the plugin’s status as “coming soon,” with no further release details.


Take Control of Field Recordings with Zoom F-Control



Zoom F ControlZoom has been a leader in portable audio recording technology for over a decade. The company’s H series of recorders are particularly popular with podcasters and journalists. For remote productions that require more than what the H series can provide, Zoom has developed the F series, specifically the F8 and the F4. These devices provide a level of flexibility that can be extremely useful to those creating multitrack audio. Now, Zoom is taking its F series to a new level with the upcoming F-Control.

The name says it all when it comes to F-Control. This device isn’t a recorder itself. Instead, it’s a control surface that makes producing audio with either the F8 or the F4 much more fluid and dynamic. The F-Control provides a bank of sliders for controlling audio levels, along with other tactic controls that make it easier to handle the audio coming into an F series device:

F-Control works intuitively with the F8 and F4 to give you additional mastery over sound design and mixing, as well as broaden your creative possibilities. It connects to your F8 or F4 with a single USB cable, so you can keep your setup clutter-free and be ready to record in seconds.

F-Control makes recording and mixing easy with nine 60 mm faders (eight + Master) and hands-on input/output control for trim, pan, and track arming. Monitoring channel and output levels is simple with 12-segment LED meters, three user-programmable buttons, and a dedicated time code button.

To learn more about F-Control, click the link above. The device is currently available for preorder thru many online vendors, usually for $349.00.


Echo Pitch App Creates New Sonic Possibilities



Echo Pitch logoMusicians and audio producers are always looking for new ways to extend their sonic palettes. For years, creating new sound textures required racks full of hardware, or other effects processors that came in the forms of pedals or dedicated computer applications. But the mobile computing revolution that’s taken hold in recent years with the advent of smartphones and tablets has made it much easier to put powerful audio-processing applications in the palm of your hand. The latest example of this phenomenon comes courtesy of a new iOS app called Echo Pitch:

Echo Pitch pitch-shifting multi-delay for iPhone. Echo Pitch has 4 delays where each delayed signal can be pitched one octave up or down in 1/2 steps, and can function as a 4 voice harmonizer. Echo Pitch also has a built-in looper, amp simulator and reverb. Each of the four delays can be routed into the other for incredible, swirling, ambient washes and otherworldly sounds.

The developers of Echo Pitch recommend that the app be used on an iOS device with an external audio interface, such as the IK Multimedia iRig or Fender Slide. The app is available for download in the iOS App Store for $3.99.

This video provides a good demo of the Echo Pitch app.


Propellerhead Offers Holiday Deal on Purchase of Reason 9



Reason 9 Holiday OfferReason is a popular digital audio workstations used mostly by musicians. The software’s developer, Propellerhead, is offering a special holiday deal for purchasers of the latest version of Reason 9, the latest version of the program:

Holiday offer: Buy Reason 9 now and get over €/$430 worth of best selling instrument and effect Rack Extension plug-ins for free!

Buy Reason 9 now – get all of this for free:

Synapse Antidote ($139/€139) FREE
The best selling Antidote synth is one of the most versatile and sweet-sounding instruments available for the Reason Rack.

Synapse GQ-7 Graphic Equaliser ($99/€99) FREE
The GQ7 is a professional mixing and mastering equalizer, offering five band of quality parametric and shelving EQs and realtime visual readout of your signal.

Propellerhead Radical Keys ($99/€99) FREE
Useful for all styles of music, Radical Keys is a collection of classic electric pianos in a great-sounding package.

Propellerhead Rotor ($49/€49) FREE
Rotor brings the sound of the classic rotary speaker design from the 1940’s to the Reason rack.

Propellerhead Synchronous ($49/€49) FREE
Animate your pad, wobble your bass or glitch up your samples. Synchronous is a creative effects modulator that will bring any sound to life.

The Reason 9 holiday deal can be purchased for $399. That price includes Reason, the above listed promotional offers and many other sounds/plugins already bundled with the application.


HOFA Akustik Mobile Wall Makes Temporary Soundproofing Easy



HOFA Akustik Mobile WallIt’s crucial to ensure the space where you’re producing audio is properly soundproofed. This type of treatment will ensure that the sounds your capturing and hearing are as accurate as possible. And while it’s easy to trust the soundproofing and acoustics in a static environment that’s specifically designed for audio production, it can be a different story in remote locations or places that just can’t be permanently soundproofed. So what’s to be done in these circumstances? You can press the record button and hope for the best. You can try DIY soundproofing techniques like hanging blankets. But why not use a product specifically designed for this purpose? That’s where HOFA Akustik’s Mobile Wall comes in:

The Mobile Wall can be fitted with HOFA Diffusors, Absorbers and Acrylic Glass modules and is – due to its 4 rolls – easily movable from one recording situation to the next. Available in 4 different sizes (with heights up to 2,45 m), it will be a perfect part of your daily studio work.

A Mobile Wall can be outfitted with the different sound treatments mentioned above and is built on a wooden frame with four casters underneath, so it’s easy to move between different locations.

HOFA Akustik Mobile Walls come in a range of sizes and options. Pricing begins at 199.90 EUR.


iZotope Offers Neutrino Spectral Shaping Plugin as Free Download



iZotope logoiZotope is well known in the media production space for its high-end processors and plugins. And while there are many iZotope fans who swear that the company’s products are worth every penny, it’s true that iZotope stuff doesn’t come cheap. That’s just one of the reasons it’s a newsworthy event when the company decides to give away a new plugin for free.

That’s exactly what iZotope is doing with Neutrino, a “spectral shaping” plugin:

Add that final polish to your mix with Neutrino, a free spectral shaping plug-in that offers a glimpse into iZotope’s newest mixing technology. Insert Neutrino on multiple tracks across your session to reveal a subtle amount of detail that can help elevate great mixes to a new level of refinement.

Neutrino is being released in VST, AU, AAX, and Audiosuite formats for both Windows and Mac. According to iZotope, the plugin is compatible with Logic Pro X.2, Ableton Live 9.5, Pro Tools 12.4, Pro Tools 11.3.1, Cubase Pro 8.5, REAPER 5.11, FL Studio 12.2, Studio One 3.1.1, and Pro Tools 10.3.1. It’s unclear if Neutrino is capable of running under other DAWs.

You’ll need to give up an e-mail address to get your free copy of Neutrino. It’s a small price to pay for what looks to be a pretty cool piece of software. Once you’ve filled out the download form, the iZotope website will give you your software serial number and automatically trigger the Neutrino download. You should also receive an e-mail from iZotope that contains your serial number along with a download link, just in case.


List of Multichannel USB 2.0 Audio Mixers/Interfaces



USB 2 logoFor years, Firewire was the reigning technology when it came to sending multichannel audio to/from an interface and a computer or other host device. While it’s still technically possible to use Firewire in many instances, the protocol is clearly giving way to other connection types like Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 (and probably down the line, USB 3.0). With that in mind, I was recently in search of a new USB 2.0 mixer. I wanted the ability to send multichannel audio to my computer for recording, and my current mixer, equipped with a USB 1.1 connection, could only send two audio channels. I began searching around for new gear options and was frustrated by just how difficult it was to find mixers and interfaces that met this requirement. After hours of searching and some suggestions I received on a couple of different podcasting-related forums, here’s the list of all USB 2.0 mixers and interfaces I could find that sell for less than $1000US.

  • Behringer X18 and XR18. Behringer’s fully digital “X” series of mixers are a bit confusing in that the X12 and X16 aren’t multichannel. But the X18 models are.
  • Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK. “The console is designed to deliver pristine recordings. Both have an ultra-low-latency USB interface that flawlessly captures every channel, which can then be mixed or transferred to a DAW for further mixdown and production.”
  • Behringer UFX1204. Another multichannel mixer from Behringer. Unlike the X series, this one is a traditional analog mixer with a USB interface.
  • Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX. I’ll admit, I was surprised to find something by Allen & Heath in this price range.
  • Presonus StudioLive AR8. This little mixer has some intriguing features, including a built-in SD card slot for recording.
  • Focusrite Scarlett. These interfaces aren’t actually mixers but they are multichannel and Focusrite offers a full range of options, depending on how many inputs you need.

That’s all of the multichannel USB interfaces/mixers I could find for under a grand. Did I miss any? If so, leave the information in the comment section below.


Tascam’s MiNiSTUDIO Interfaces Are Made for Podcasters



MiNiSTUDIOPodcasting has been around for over a decade. During that time, podcasters have had to rely on a plethora of tools that were really designed for other uses. Sure, you can create a podcast with gear that was created for music or live sound production. But it can lead to complex workarounds or other hassles that keep you from the important thing: Creating your podcast. With that in mind, Tascam has released two new MiNiSTUDIO interfaces made with podcasters in mind.

First up is the Tascam US-32:

Central to the MiNiSTUDIO Personal is an XLR/combo mic/line connector and a professional quality micropone preamp. Built-in phantom power allows you to quickly and easily connect your favorite dynamic or conderser microphone…or not… For the ultimate in plug and play convenience, the MiNiSTUDIO Personal features a built-in microphone, so you’re ready to talk the talk right out of the box. Simply press the ON AIR button and go to town. And to top it all off, the MiNiSTUDIO Personal features a 4-band parametric EQ, adjustable on-board compression and a digital reverb effect with a convenient front panel depth control.

The US-32 also comes with built-in clip playback and sound effects. You can use the stock clips that come with the US-32 or you can customize them with your own sounds. Then there’s the built-in vocal effects:

Di(s)guise your voice, fool your fans! Perhaps the most extreme feature of the MiNiSTUDIO Personal is the Voice Effects option. Simply pressing this innocent little button will instantly transform your voice in any one of a number of amazing and amusing ways. Pitch your voice up into cartoon mouse territory or pitch it down like you’ve joined the Dark Side. Add a spacey Echo, wobbly Chopper or go old school with the Walki-talkie-approved Radio effect. Voice Effects: crazy, wacky and a whole lot of fun.

Next up is the US-42. This model has all of the features of the US-32 as well as an additional microphone input. It also comes with a Creator/Broadcast switch:

Unique to the MiNiSTUDIO Creator is a powerful Creator / Broadcast selector switch on the front panel of the device. When set to Broadcast mode, the audience will hear exactly what you hear as all audio generated my the MiNiSTUDIO and/or your computer will be mixed together in a single stereo stream. Talk, play guitar, play games or play MP3 files. If you hear it, they hear it. But flick the switch to Creator and you’re in full production mode. When set to Creator, the MiNiSTUDIO transforms into a professionally specced two-channel USB Audio Interface. Perfectly suited for any DAW or video editing software, the combination of dual HDDA mic preamps, Hi-z inputs, EQ, compression and reverb deliver a powerful and flexible front end for any media production task.

Both versions of the Tascam MiNiSTUDIO are available for purchase now. The US-32 is expected to retail for $129.00 and the US-32 should sell for $179.00.


iZotope Offers Limited-Time Deals on Plugins



iZotope logoiZotope, the developer of popular high-end audio plugins like RX and Nectar, is running a special on some of its standalone products. The sale was launched as a way for iZotope to celebrate its Facebook page receiving 100,000 likes. The company is offering up to an 80% discount on some items. All of the plugins are priced at $100 each. Here’s a list of what’s available thru this special offer:

Insight Metering Suite: “Insight provides an extensive set of audio analysis and metering tools, perfect for visualizing changes made during mixing and mastering, troubleshooting problematic mixes, and ensuring compliance with broadcast loudness standards. Fully customizable and scalable, Insight allows you to visually monitor all relevant information from your mono, stereo or surround mix in a convenient floating window.”

BreakTweaker Expanded: “Make beats you’ve never heard before with BreakTweaker, a drum sculpting and beat sequencing instrument that blurs the line between rhythm and melody. Give your beats an ever-evolving depth that gets better the longer they play. Use rhythmic slicing to drive everything from pitched melodic lines to sweeping rhythmic overtures. BreakTweaker Expanded includes 4 Expansions including Modern Grooves by Black Octopus and Kicks & Snares by Beatport Sounds.”

Nectar 2 Standard: “Bring your vocal tracks to life with Nectar 2. Explore 11 powerful vocal production tools in one plug-in: Plate Reverb, FX, Pitch, Delay, De-Esser, Saturation, Compressors, Gate, Harmony, EQ, and Limiter. Whether you’re tracking or you’re mixing, Nectar 2 delivers professional vocals in an instant.”

Iris 2: “An inspiring sample-based synthesizer, Iris 2 combines the power of a sampler, the flexibility of a modular synth, and the fun of spectral filtering. Get started with 350+ expertly crafted Bass, Keys, Leads, Pads, and Rhythmic patches. Iris 2 comes with an 11 GB library of audio samples, a modern modulation system, classic filters, evocative effects, and more.”

The plugin sale can be found here. It currently has 9 days to go before it expires.