RØDE Introduced the NTG5 Shotgun Mic



RØDE introduced the NTG5, a brand-new addition to their best-selling range of shotgun microphones. The NTG5 sets a new standard for the range. With a groundbreaking acoustic port design, ultra-lightweight construction, and crystal clear, broadcast-grade sound, the NTG5 is a revolution in shotgun microphone design – the perfect location recording mic.

The NTG5 is the next step in the range’s evolution – the culmination of RØDE’s 28 years of research and development of high-quality microphones for broadcast and film applications.

Key Features of the NTG5:

  • Revolutionary acoustic design, delivering a natural, uncolored sound.
  • Extremely lightweight (just 76g), short shotgun microphone (just 203mm), making it far easier to handle on set than other shotgun mics, especially when used from a boom pole.
  • Tailored frequency response and very low self-noise of just 10dbA, making it ideal for location recording, professional filmmaking, and other critical recording situations.
  • Highly directional supercardioid polar pattern and smooth off-axis response.
  • RF-bias technology and conformal coating ensure superior performance in adverse weather conditions.
  • Comes in a complete location recording kit with windshield, pistol grip and other accessories – the NTG5 is ready to take into the field right out of the box.

The first thing you will notice about the NTG5 is the striking new body. The design has been completely overhauled, with circular acoustic ports replacing the linear slots found in other shotgun mics. The revolutionary design is the result of many months of specialized acoustic testing that began during the development of the TF5 – RØDE’s new premium small diaphragm condenser mic designed in collaboration with legendary engineer Tony Faulkner.

The result is a shotgun mic with unmatched acoustic transparency, and a natural, uncolored sound that will sound superb in a wide variety of applications. The annular line tube technology intrinsic to the NTG5’s design sets it apart from all the other microphones in its category, and will see this microphone take its place as a future industry standard.


Nikon Releases the DX-Format Nikon Z 50



Nikon is pleased to announce the release of the APS-C size (Nikon DX-format) Nikon Z 50 mirrorless camera, as well as NIKKOR Z DX lenses.

The Z 50 is Nikon’s first DX-format mirrorless camera. It inherits its design and operability, reliability, and future possibilities as a mirrorless system from the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6, further improving on those characteristics and condensing them into a compact, lightweight, and durable body capable of superior rendering capabilities and rich power of expression. It is equipped with the Z mount, which is compatible with both the NIKKOR Z DX and NIKKOR Z FX, ensuring support for all NIKKOR Z lenses and allowing users to enjoy great variety in imaging expression.

The Z 50 has an effective pixel count of 20.9 megapixels, and is the first Nikon DX-format camera to be equipped with a CMOS sensor that incorporates focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels. Adoption of this image sensor, along with the EXPEED 6 image-processing engine, has made a broad range of standard ISO sensitivities – ISO 100-51200 – possible for superior image quality with very little noise throughout the range.

The camera is also equipped with features such as mid-range sharpening and Creative Picture Control, enabling support for creative imaging expression equivalent to that offered by the Z 7 and Z 6. When NIKKOR Z lenses are used, the Z 50 demonstrates superior resolution and rendering capabilities with both recording of still images, and videos.

It has a 3.2-inch, approximately 1040k-dot tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD monitor that supports touch operation that enables recording of still images and videos from a variety of angles, and also supports selfies. The Z 50 also supports recording of 4K UHD movies without any crop. Further, the SnapBridge app can be used to transfer photos and videos recorded with the camera to a smart device, allowing users to easily share them with others via social media.

The Z 50 is compact and lightweight, high-performance mirrorless camera that combines the rich power of expression afforded by still images and videos exhibiting superior image and picture quality with simple and intuitive operation. It empowers users looking to express their own individuality through high-quality images. Releasing the Z 50 for a wide variety of users, including those advancing from smartphone photography, will help Nikon to expand its foothold in the Z mount system mirrorless camera market.


Canon Announced Two New RF L-Series Lenses



Completing the “trinity” of RF lenses for the EOS R Full-Frame mirrorless camera system, Canon U.S.A., Inc, a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced its first lens to feature Defocus Smoothing lens coating, the Canon RF 85 F1.2L DS. The ninth and tenth lenses in the RF family are both powerful tools for photographers using the EOS R or EOD RP cameras, in particular, those shooting sports or wildlife photography with the RF 70-200mm FL.8L or portrait photography with the RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS.

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM features include:

  • Customize control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO
  • 17 lens elements in 13 groups including two aspherical lenses, one super UD lens and four UD lenses, that help to reduce chromatic aberration
  • CIPA standard five stops of image stabilization (IS) including three IS modes with dual-sensing and combination IS
  • 12-pin communication system
  • L-Series dust and weather resistant build with fluorine coating
  • Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) helps minimize lens flare and ghosting

Canon RF 85mm Fl.2L USM DS features include:

  • Minimum focusing distance of 2.79 feet/0.85 meters
  • Customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO
  • One Aspheric lens and one UD Lens, along with BR optics that help to reduce chromatic aberration
  • 12-pin communication system
  • L-Series dust and weather resistant build with fluorine coating
  • Air Sphere Coating (ASC) that helps minimize lens flare and ghosting

The Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS lenses are scheduled to be available late November 2019 and December 2019, respectively, for an estimated retail price of $2,699.00 and $2,999.00 respectively.


Line 6 Introduced Spider V 20 MkII Guitar Practice Amplifier



Line 6 introduced the Spider V 20 MkII amplifier for practicing guitarists. Whether just starting their guitar journey, or seasoned professionals, guitarist want the same things from a practice amp; authentic amp tones, no-hassle operation, and inspiring presets that make practicing fun. Spider V 20 MkII has them all covered.

Designed to sound great right out of the box, the Spider V 20 MkII amp features an intuitive interface with color-coded controls and dedicated front-panel buttons that make it easier to plug in and begin practicing. Sixteen new tonally diverse presets deliver sounds with all the character and vibe players demand, while the new Classic Speaker mode provides exceptionally organic feel. Each preset contains three new effects that can be switched in and out stompbox-style using the dedicated FX buttons on the front panel.

Spider V 20 MKII also includes specific features that make practicing easier and more fun. A dedicated Reverb control adds atmosphere and depth, while a Tap/Tuner button enables guitarists to tap in delay times and modulation rates to match songs they are playing along with. Guitarists can hold the Tap/Tuner button to access the onboard tuner and quickly tune their instrument.

Standing less than a foot tall and weighing only 11 pounds (5 kg), Spider V 20 MkII is the ideal practice amp for guitarists on the go. But despite its small size, Spider V 20 MkII delivers 20 watts of power through a custom 8” speaker and can get loud. Spider V 20 MkII also includes a 1/8” stereo headphone jack, for practicing quietly.

Connect Spider V 20 MkII to a Mac, PC, or mobile device via the Micro USB port, and use the free Spider V Remote application to access additional amps and effects, edit presets, and create custom presets that are compatible with all the amps in the Spider V MkII Series. Guitarists can also record, edit, and mix performances using Steinberg’s Cubase LE application, a free download with registration of Spider V 20 MkII amp.

Spider V 20 Mk II MSRP is $179.99 USD.


Fujifilm Introduces the Mirrorless Digital Camera FUJIFILM X-Pro3



Fujifilm Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (X-Pro3) in late November 2019, as the latest flagship model for the X-Series lineup of compact and lightweight mirrorless digital cameras that deliver outstanding image quality with Fujifilm’s proprietary color reproduction technology.

The X-Pro3 is the first Fujifilm camera to use strong yet lightweight titanium to achieve advanced portability and durability, making it easier than ever to enjoy photography with premium image quality.

The X-Pro3 comes in “Black”, which features premium-quality coating for dignified appearance, as well as “DR Black” and “DR Silver,” which have the Duratect coating applied to deliver strong resistance against scratches while achieving highly refined exterior appearance, thereby expanding the appeal of the X-Pro3.

The new X-Pro3 is an exceptionally portable and durable mirrorless digital camera that has a magnesium-alloy interior, which is covered with lightweight, robust and corrosion-resistant titanium on the exterior to achieve premium quality design, bringing out the beautiful tone and texture of titanium to the maximum.

The X-Pro 3 has the “Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder,” the world’s only viewfinder that can be switched between optical viewfinder (OVF) and electronic viewfinder (EVF). The EVF uses a bright and high-resolution 3.69-million-dot organic EL panel for enhanced visibility. The camera also features the back-illuminated 26.1MP “X-Trans CMOS 4” sensor and the “X-Processor 4” high-speed processing engine.

Also, evolved algorithm enables the camera to realize fast and accurate phase-detection AF at the minimum luminance of -6EV, which is close to pitch darkness. Fujifilm’s Simulation function has been added with the new “CLASSIC Neg” mode, simulating color negative film traditionally chosen for snapshots of day-to-day scenes, so that users can enjoy high-quality photo with versatile tonal variations.


Open Labs Announced Roland Corporation Acquired Stagelight



Open Labs announced that Stagelight and Stagelight team have been acquired by Roland Corporation. Under Roland, development has proceeded at a rapid pace, and the company has announced immediate availability of the next version of Stagelight, now known as Roland Zenbeats.

As a part of Roland’s historic family of products, Zenbeats features genuine Roland sounds as well as a sleek new interface. Zenbeats includes expressive on-screen instruments, 3rd party plugin integration including drag and drop support, collaborative jamming via Ableton Link, streamlined cloud support, and enhanced exporting options.

Open Labs says that all Stagelight credits will be honored through December 31, 2019. Users must spend their remaining credits in Stagelight before making the transition to Zenbeats. You may continue to use Stagelight after this date, however, downloads and support services will be discontinued as of January 1st 2020.

Open Labs also wants you to know that Roland Zenbeats is not available in all countries at this time. They recommend that you follow Roland Zenbeats on social media for future announcements concerning expanded availability. Roland has big plans going forward, and Open Labs encourages all Stagelight customers to upgrade to Zenbeats today.

It is also worth noting that Zenbeats requires a free Roland Backstage account.


Accusonus Introduced Rhythmiq



Accusonus introduced Rhythmiq. It allows you to instantly jam with your beats. Get unlimited beat variations with the turn of a single knob. Generate and save new Rhythmiq patterns and instantly create fills and build-ups. Enable your AI Beat Assistant and let Rhythmiq perform your beats in real-time like when you are jamming with a human band-mate.

At the time I am writing this blog post, Rhythmiq is on sale for $99 (an introductory price). The regular price is $149. This sale is valid until October 31, 2019.

Features include:

Instantly jam with your stems. Jam with your beats like never before. Get unlimited beat variations with the turn of a single knob. Generate and save new Rhythmiq patterns and create breaks and build-ups. Enable your A.I. Beat Assistant and let Rhythmiq perform your beats in real-time.

Meet your Beat Assistant. Your new “virtual electronic drummer” analyzes your beats and introduces nuanced micro-variations or musical, evolving changes. This will allow to focus on other parts of your music while your beat is organically evolving.

Fine-tune Rhythmiq’s AI in real-time. Although it uses ground-breaking AI technology, Rhythmiq is still controlled by you. Decide how much density, space, and variation you need. Experience the new way to perform your beats and find inspiration.

Save and Launch beat variations, always in sync. Generate breaks, fills and build-ups from your beats or layered stems and save them without stopping the music. Stay in the flow while you transform your beats into a performance. Use your hardware controller to shape your sequences and manipulate your beats. Use Rhythmiq’s arrange, reverse and silence functions to perform your stems live or to jam in the studio.


Zoom Introduces LiveTrak L-8



Zoom has introduced the LiveTrak L-8. It is for podcasting, music, and beyond! Zoom LiveTrak L-8 makes it easier than ever to mix, monitor, and record professional-sounding podcasts and music performances in one portable, affordable, package.

One of the cool things podcasters can do with the LiveTrak L-8 is do remote interviews. Connect your phone via the provided TRRS cable. The Mix-Minus function automatically prevents echo and feedback to and from the caller. Or use the USB connection to route audio from Skype, Facetime, Hangouts, Slack, and more.

Doing a podcast with several participants who are all at the same location? The L-8 is equipped with four headphone outputs so that each participant can clearly hear what is going on. The L-8 records everyone on their own separate tracks directly to your SD card, enabling you to edit them later.

For musicians, LiveTrak L-8 features six high performance preamps each with phantom power, a low noise floor (-121dBU EIN), and a maximum input gain of +54dB. There are two Hi-Z, line level, and USB inputs. You can also fine-tune each channel with EQ and onboard effects.

L-8 lets musicians record up to 10 discrete tracks plus a stereo mix directly to an SD card at resolutions up to 24-bit/96kHz. You can punch-in and overdub with ease, then transfer your work to your favorite DAW for tuning.

Features include:

  • 8-channel mixer (6 combo, plus 2 TS)
  • 12-track simultaneous recording, 10-track playback
  • Mix-Minus function preventing audio feedback from dial-in guests.
  • TRRS connection and included TRRS cable for phone connectivity
  • 6 assignable Sound Pads, with 13 preset sounds
  • 4 headphone outputs, consisting of 3 custom monitor mixes, plus one main mix
  • 3-band EQ and a low-cut function
  • 7 scene memories for storing mixes
  • 12-in / 4-out USB audio interface
  • Class-compliant mode (for iOS compatibility)
  • Battery operated with four AA batteries or a USB power supply
  • Record up to 24-bit/96kHz, record up to 48kHZ to computer and SD card simultaneously

The box includes a LiveTrak L-8 Mixer/Recorder, a TRRS cable, a USB cable, an AD-17 AC adapter, and a Quick Guide.


Antlion Audio Presents ModMic USB and ModMic Uni



Antlion Audio presents the ModMic USB and the ModMic Uni. They are part of the new ModMic line (which also includes ModMic Wireless.)

The ModMic USB is the culmination of all the things we learned from ModMic 4, ModMic Wireless, and Antlion USB Sound Card in one.

ModMic USB Components include:

Microphone Capsules
Antlion Audio upgraded the ModMic USB with the new, premium, uni-directional mic they use in the ModMic Wireless. This noise-canceling mic sounds better than their previous generation mic, and that says a lot given their previous mics are known for their outstanding quality. They also kept the dual mic modes from ModMic 5 design, reusing the same incredible omni-directional capsule for that extra oomph of quality if you want to full broadcast mode.

Microphone Preamplifier
Antlion Audio built an amp into the tip of the ModMic USB to ensure a loud and high-quality signal with no distortion. This is one of the key components that ensures the ModMic Wireless sounds so good, and is only possible thanks to the USB power source.

Premium ADC
Antlion Audio believes their USB sound card is a step beyond the curve, but there was still room for improvement. So they took what they learned from their USB Sound Card to create a new and incredible analog to digital conversion (ADC) featuring a premium ADC chipset. Between this ADC and our premium mic capsule, we create a really impressive dynamic range for the mic with nothing left behind.

Digital Mute
Once again borrowing from their ModMic Wireless, they used what they learned to create an in-line digital mute switch. Easy to reach, absolutely silent.

ModMic Uni Components include:

Microphone Capsule
It has the same incredible noise-canceling mic capsule found in the USB and ModMic Wireless.

New Insides
Antlion Audio overhauled the new internal components and shielding to ensure the best signal to noise ratio of any analog 3.5mm ModMic.

Analog Mute
The new mute switch design is built tough.


Eventide has a Flash Sale on Instant Phaser and Instant Flanger



Eventide announced a flash sale on two classic Eventide effects – Instant Phaser Mk II and Instant Flanger Mk II. It is unclear how long the flash sale will last, so if this is something you are interested in, you may want to move quickly.

Instant Phaser Mk II features the same legendary sound with all the analog personality of the original hardware from 1971. Plugin offers three different flavors of phasing and innovative Age knob. The regular price is $129. It is 75% off during the flash sale.

Instant Flanger Mk II brings vintage take flanging to your plug-in toolbox. A truly versatile tool, you can use it for stereo sweetening, subtle modulations, double tracking and extreme flanging effects. The regular price is $129. It is 75% off during the flash sale.

Right now, it is possible to request a Plug-in Demo for several of Eventide’s plug-ins. The list includes both Instant Phaser Mk II and Instant Flanger Mk II. You must have an iLok account to request an Eventide demo.