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Empress Effects Introduces Heavy Menace Pedal

Empress Effects introduced the Heavy Menace distortion pedal. It is their most versatile distortion pedal, ever. Get any high-gain tone from crunch to crushing, with advanced EQ and gaiting for total control over sound and silence.

The Heavy Menace is the most versatile distortion pedal we’ve ever created. It’s an evolution of our original Heavy with new features and a compact enclosure. In addition to the original Heavy and Heavier modes, the Heavy Menace adds a new Lite(ish) mode, covering any high-gain sound from classic hard rock to searing modern metal.

Key Features:

  • Three versatile distortion modes – Light(ish), Heavy, and Heavier
  • Footswitchable noise gate
  • Three-band EQ with sweepable mid frequency
  • Weight control to sculpt low frequency response
  • Linked or independent switching of the distortion and gate
  • Gate key input (1/8” TS or TRS)
  • True bypass or buffered bypass
  • All-analog signal path

Enhanced EQ

We’re obsessed with EQ, and the 3-band circuit on Heavy Menace is one of our best.

Our Weight control adjusts a high-pass filter in the distortion circuit to shape low-end character. Turn it up for a thick, full sound, or turn counterclockwise for a tight response that’s perfect for palm muting and extended-range guitars.

Midrange is a key element of a great distorted sound, so the mid frequency is sweepable from 200 Hz to 2.5 kHz to dial in the sweet spot for your guitar and amp. Scoop for a tight, aggressive sound, or push to add definition and cut through a mix.

True Or Buffered Bypass

The Heavy Menace offers both tru bypass for maximum transparency, and buffered bypass to protect against signal loss over long cable runs.

Adaptive Gate

Players loved the gate on the original Heavy. Envelope followers in the circuit respond to your playing, letting sustained notes decay naturally but clamping down quickly during fast stops.

On the Heavy Menace, this gate is now footswitchable, with two available modes of operation. In normal bypass mode, the gate doesn’t affect the signal if the distortion is off, while independent bypass mode is like having separate distortion and gate pedals.

We’ve also added a key input so you can operationally trigger the gate with an external signal. This is particularly useful if you have added additional pedals before the Heavy Menace in your signal chain, such as a low-gain pedal for stacking. Split a clean signal with a pedal like our Buffer+ and connect it to the Gate Key Input, and the gate will behave consistently regardless of changes at the main input.

The Heavy Menace Pedal is priced at $249.99 USD.

Wirecast 7.7 Supports NDI Broadcasting

telestream-logoWirecast, the popular video production application produced by Telestream, added input support for Newtek’s NDI protocol in its previous update, version 7.6. Wirecast 7.7 is now on the street and the latest version of the program also allows Wirecast to send video signals over NDI. From a recent Telestream e-mail blast:

Last month we released the first support for NDI sources with Wirecast 7.6. This release made it possible for Wirecast to automatically detect and receive any video or audio that was broadcast via Newtek’s high-quality, low-latency NDI protocol.

Now, let’s go the other direction with Wirecast 7.7! We’ve just made it possible to broadcast your Wirecast program output across your Local Area Network, using Newtek’s NDI protocol.

Send your broadcast to other Wirecast systems on your network to share the workload, or pass your signal to other switchers, monitors, and NDI-enabled apps!

We’ve written a lot about Newtek’s NDI protocol here at Pro Gear Guru. NDI allows for the transfer of high-quality video over computer networks. Now that Wirecast is supporting both NDI input and output, any production machine running Wirecast will be able to ingest video from any other NDI-enabled device on its network, and also send that video to any other NDI-enabled device. This new addition will make Wirecast a very powerful tool for any production that requires multiple video sources.

Wirecast 7.7 is a free upgrade for anyone currently using a previous 7.x version of Wirecast.

Sphere L22 is a Precision Microphone Modeling System

Sphere L22 microphoneTownsend Labs, Inc. has created the Sphere L22 microphone. It is a precision microphone modeling system that can unlock the Real 3D sounds of the finest microphones in recording history. The Sphere L22 has been fully funding on Indiegogo and, at the time I am writing this blog, has 14 days left.

Sphere L22 is a high-precision side-address large diaphragm condenser from Townsend Labs. It captures the characteristics of the most sought-after microphones. It lets you experiment with selection of different mics and patterns even after tracking.

The Sphere system consists of a high-precision dual channel microphone, which when paired with the included Sphere DSP plug-in (UAD, VST, AU, AAX Native) accurately models the response of a wide range of mics, including transient response, harmonics, proximity effect and three-dimensional polar response.

Sphere L22 lets you audition the sound of different microphones without tiring the vocalist. It reduces bleed, undesirable room coloration, and other common issues using Off-Axis Correction. It also lets you record in stereo from a single microphone.

Dual Mode in the Sphere plug-in makes possible phase-coherent mixing of multiple virtual mic models from the same physical microphone, before or after tracking. It’s also possible to adjust the relative phase alignment of two mics with the Align control.

The Sphere L22 high-precision, dual-capsule, large-diaphragm condenser studio microphone comes with a 10 foot (3 meter) breakout cable, shock mount, hard mount, hard carrying case, and a velvet mic bag.

JVC Will Bring Updated News Gathering Camcorders to NAB

JVC CameraJVC Professional Video recently announced two new upgrades to its 600 series of ProHD camcorders. Both of these cameras, the GY-HM660 and the GY-HM620 will be on display at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

The GY-HM660 is the industry’s first streaming camcorder with an integrated IFB return audio channel. Both the GY-HM660 and the GY-HM620 also feature new CMOS image sensors for greater sensitivity and a brighter LCD display for improved daylight viewing. The GY-HM660’s integrated IFB function will make it easier for remote camera operators to communicate directly with the news room during a shoot. This camcorder also has SMPTE 2022 forward error correction for increased stream reliability.

The GY-HM660’s built-in video-over-IP technology delivers high-quality streaming with a choice of resolutions, bit rates, and formats. The camcorder can be paired with a 4G LTE modem in order to stream live. No backpack transmission system or other portable gear is necessary. The camera also includes support for Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), which allows for direct connectivity to a number of content distribution networks (CDNs) including Ustream and YouTube.

Both of these cameras feature three new 12-bit CMOS sensors with improved F12 (60Hz) sensitivity for superior low-light performance. The cameras also come with an upgraded 3.5-inch LCD display, which can be swiveled for use as a talent monitor, as well as a 1.22 MP LCOS color viewfinder.  The two cameras can record HD and SD footage in a variety of file formats – including 1080p/60 and XHQ with virtually lossless 50 Mbps H.264 (.MOV) – to SDHC or SDXC media cards. With two card slots, both cameras support relay mode for uninterrupted recording or simultaneously recording to both cards for instant backup or client copy.

The GY-HM660 will be available in April 2016 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $5,495, and the GY-HM620 is expected to ship in June 2016 at an MSRP of $3,195. JVC will have the cameras on display at Booth C4314 during the 2016 NAB Show.

Broadcast Pix Roadie is a Powerful Integrated Mobile Switcher at NAB

Broadcast Pix logoIn the world of modern video production, having a powerful switcher is essential. Especially for producers who are dealing with mobile and/or remote situations. Broadcast Pix brought its latest mobile integrated switcher, the Roadie, to NAB to show off its many features.

Don Baine sat down with Lee Griffin from Broadcast Pix. Lee gave more information about the Roadie than I could keep track of! But here are some important points:

  • Integrates with live streaming services like Ustream, Livestream and YouTube live
  • Integrates with social media sites like Twitter, making it easy to interact with an audience in real time
  • Support for HDMI, SDI and IP inputs
  • Support for native Apple and Avid video and graphics codecs
  • Save “virtual sets” for setups that are used frequently, virtual sets can also be easily shared between multiple Roadies
  • Scratch resistant screen
  • Roadie comes with a protective case
  • Weighs 20 pounds for easy portability, may fit into some overhead bins on airlines
  • Uses dual band Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity
  • Can be used with an optional iPad controller app

This barely scratches the surface of the Roadie’s feature set. It’s an incredibly versatile piece of gear and it normally retails for around $12,500.00.