Leica Introduces New Telephoto Lens for Leica M-System

Leica Camera AG has added a new telephoto lens to the portfolio of extremely fast prime lenses for the Leica M-System. The Summilux-M 90 mm f/1.5 ASPH provides photographers with a whole range of creative opportunities such as portraits with extremely shallow planes of focus – either as precisely isolated subjects or as transitions from perfect sharpness into wonderfully soft, out of focus backgrounds.

The optical design of the lens sets new standards and already delivers exceptional performance with the aperture wide open. In addition to the moderate telephoto length for portraiture, the high speed of the lens makes it idea for available light photography and, thanks to its short close focusing distance, also for uniquely detailed close-up compositions.

The optical design of the Summilux-M 90 mm f/1.5 ASPH is extremely complex and features eight elements arranged in six groups, two elements of which are asphericals made from special glasses. A floating element – only achievable with enormous effort in such compact lenses – ensures that the outstanding optical performance of the lens is maintained at all focusing distances.

The almost unavoidable effects such as vignetting and distortion generally encountered in such fast lenses play practically no role at all. The integrated lens hood of the Summilux-M 90 mm f/1.5 ASPH can be quickly and easily pulled out and locked with a twist to provide optimum protection against stray light and reflections.

A closest focusing distance of one metre and a reproduction ratio of 1:8:8 make the Summilux-M 90 mm f/1.5 ASPH an ideal lens for portrait photography. Its high speed for this focal length fully exploits the potentials of the M-Bayonet mount. It is a close relation of the Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH in terms of optical design and constriction and offers a similar, extremely shallow, depth of field that is only around half the depth of that of the Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH.

HOFA Announced their 11th Xmas Mix Contest

HOFA announced that they have organized their 11th Xmas Mix Contest. It is open to all who want to spend some quality time with Xmas mixing. The closing date for entering the contest is January 21, 2020.

This year, there is a prize money of 2 x 1000 € for the best mix and the best remix of our contest song. In addition, there are Special Awards for outstanding mixes, donated by Neumann, Sennheiser, Toontrack, Sommer Cable, ADAM Audio, Ableton, Konig & Meyer and HOFA. The public voting is also considered for some of the Special Awards – it definitely pays to get some likes.

HOFA says 100 max analyses are raffled from all uploaded songs. This analysis gives you a feedback to try your mix and points out strengths and weaknesses – that alone makes your work worthwhile!

The song for the 11th Xmas Mix Contest is “Let There Be Snow” by HOFA CEO Jochen Sachse. It is a modern a cappella song with the fantastic lead vocals by Stephanie Lenk and Milos Malesevic, supported by four more singers and an impressive beat of body percussion and vocal drums. The tempo of the song is 90 bpm, the tracks are on hand as 24 bit wav files in 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz.

To enter, you need to download the contest song. Create your own mix and upload it as a stereo track. For more details, please visit the HOFA website.

Accusonus Extends their Cyber Week Sale

Accusonus has extended their Cyber Week Sale. It will last through December 8, 2019. You can save on ERA 4 Bundle, ERA 4 Bundle Pro, Rhythmiq, Regroover, Drumatom 2, Beat Making Bundle 2, Drum Mixing Bundle, or “All Bundle” (which appears to include all of the above).

ERA 4 Bundle Standard is a collection of single knob audio cleaning plug-ins that are incredibly fast and easy to use. Get great results with minimal effort, even if you’ve never edited audio before. With the ERA Bundle, you don’t have to be a pro to sound like one.

ERA 4 Bundle Pro has multi-patented next-generation audio repair tools that offer both fast and high-quality processing. As a professional in post and music production, you deal with impossible deadlines. Accusonus’s smart tools will help save you tons of studio time by doing most of the work for you.

Rhythmiq 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 A.I. Beat Assistant and let Rhythmiq perform your beats in real-time like when you are jamming with a human band-mate.

Regroover lets you extract stems from your audio loops and enable new beat-making workflows. Use Regroover’s Artificial-intelligence engine to and get previously-unreachable sounds from inside your audio samples. Craft the isolated beat elements to create your personal drum kits. Instantly remix your loops and create your own loop variations.

Drumatom 2 reduces or completely eliminates drum bleed. Not only during pauses, but on exact drum hits as well. Control Hi-Hat bleed on your Snare track, tighten up your close mics and free up headroom for the rest of your tracks. Fix poorly recorded drums and experiment with your mixing tools (EQs, Compressors, etc) without drum bleed.

Line 6 has a Cyber Week of Software Savings

Line 6 is offering savings on software not only on Cyber Monday, but all week long. This offer is good from December 2, 2019, through December 8, 2019. You can save up to 50% on guitar and studio software like Helix Native, Amp Farm, Echo Farm, POD Farm, Helix, Native, and POD HD and Standard model packs.

Helix Native offers the authentic sounds of vintage and modern amps, cabs, mics, and effects – plus extensive signal routing functionality and an easy-to-use interface. Whether you’re a guitarist, producer, engineer, sound designer, film/TV/game composer, or electronic musician, the Helix Native plug-in is perfect for creating new and exciting sounds.

Helix Native is available at a reduced cost for registered customers of Helix hardware and existing POD Farm users.

Amp Farm 4.0 64-Bit Native Plug-in For Any DAW Bring a virtual warehouse of amps and speaker cabs to every session with the Amp Farm 4.0 Native plug-in. Now supporting 64-bit AU, VST, and AAX formats, the Amp Farm plug-in works with any DAW. Featuring models based on classic amplifiers from Marshall, Fender, Vox, Mesa/Boogie, Soldano, and many more, it delivers the same tones used on countless hit records to your projects.

POD Farm 2.5 Premium guitar tone plug-in features vintage and modern amps, cabs, classic stompboxes, colorful preamps, and more.

Echo Farm 3.0 64-Bit Native Plug-In For Any DAW Bring legendary collection of vintage delay and echo effects to your studio with Echo Farm 3.0. Now supporting 64-bit AU and VST plug-in formats in addition to AAX, Echo Farm works with any DAW. Echo Farm 3.0 features models based on vintage hardware units such as the Roland RE-101 Space Echo, Boss DM-2, Electro-Harmonix Memory Man, TC Electronic 2290, and Maestro Echoplexes, plus Line 6 originals.

Behringer Introduces SL 84C Cardioid Microphone

Behringer has introduced that SL 84C dynamic cardioid microphone. Dynamic mics have several advantages that make them ideal for live applications or recording amplified instruments. They’re robust, resistant to moisture and can achieve high gain before feedback. These microphones’ cardioid pickup pattern is designed to capture the source signal, such as a guitar amplifier or vocalist, while shunning off-axis sound.

Few things are more essential to recording or live dynamic performance than dynamic microphones. Ask any sound engineer and they will tell you to keep as many as possible on hand. Behringer brings you great-sounding SL 84C dynamic microphone with impact-resistant case, with stand adapters and mic clips so you’ll be ready to capture your sound in brilliant resolution.

GearNews reported that the new Behringer SL 84C is priced at USD $11.00.

Features of the SL 84C include:

  •  Dynamic vocal microphone with smooth mid-frequency presence rises for excellent voice projection
  •  Ultra-wide frequency response for brilliant and transparent sound
  •  Extremely high signal output lets your voice cut through
  •  Cardioid characteristic minimizes background noise and feedback
  •  Integrated spherical wind and pop noise filter
  •  Shock mount system to cut down handling noise
  •  3-pin XLR connector for highest signal integrity
  •  Microphone stand adapter and carrying case included
  •  3-Year Warranty Program
  •  +Designed and engineered in Germany

Steinberg Introduces Padshop 2

Steinberg introduced a new version of its granular synthesizer, Padshop. Padshop 2 is included in Cubase Pro 10.5, Cubase Artist 10.5 and Absolute 4, but it’s also available as standalone instrument through their online store.

As a plug-in, Padshop 2 is VST, AU and AAX compatible and runs virtually in all DAWs. This beautifully designed and unique-sounding granular/spectral synthesizer comes with more than 570 presets and 570 pre-produced samples, and allows you to import and redesign your own samples.

It may be important to note that the available update to Padshop 2 is incompatible with the Padshop included in Cubase. For all of you running Cubase Pro and Artist: Steinberg recommends updating to the Cubase 10.5 to use Padshop 2.

New features include:

  •  Second synth engine: Spectral Oscillator
  • More than 100 new presets and samples
  • New arpeggiator, filters and effects
  • New enhanced modulation section
  • Refreshed design

Positive Grid Introduces Spark, the Smart Guitar Amplifier and App

Positive Grid introduced Spark, a technologically enhanced amp and corresponding app from Positive Grid.

Spark is an intelligent guitar amplifier and proprietary voice-activated app that generates real-time virtual practice tools and backing accompaniment.

As a guitar amp, Spark features a deep, loud, and immersive design with two custom-designed speakers and a tuned bass-reflex port that are engineered to provide full-sounding basses and crystal-clear highs for every style of music. The accompanying iOS/Android app is driven by intelligent technology and offers real-time Smart Jam accompaniment, Auto Chord detection and intuitive practice features for players of all levels.

Spark also functions as a full-range, 40-Watt combo amp, and features a variety of tone-shaping options plus amp and FX modeling with access to over 10,000 tones built upon the company’s award-winning BIAS engine.

At the most basic level, plug in your electric, acoustic or bass guitar and get instant amp and effect tones from Positive Grid’s BIAS software catalog. With the Spark app, you can access millions of songs on popular streaming platforms like YouTube, Spotify or Apple Music, or your phone’s music library. Spark automatically analyzes and displays the chords in real time, allowing you to learn any song you desire.

Benefits of Spark include:

Auto Chord Recognition: The Spark app automatically connects with platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music to analyze and display chords for millions of songs in real time. Its easy-to-use controls let the player slow down the song’s tempo or loop a difficult section to practice.

Award-Winning BIAS Tone Engine: Dial-in pristine melodies, crunchy chords, or souring leads for electric guitar through the fill amp modeling and multi-effects that provide realistic virtual tube amps and effects.

Smart Jam Technology: The Spark amp and app work together to learn the player’s style and feel, and then automatically generate a bass and drum track to accompany you.

Positive Grid’s ToneCloud Community: Connect the Spark app to your iOS or Android mobile device and get access to Positive Grid’s ToneCloud where you can find over 10,000 more tones.

Voice-Controlled: The Spark App responds to a variety of voice commands to stream a rock song or a blues backing track, ask for a virtual band to follow the user’s playing, and more.

Versatility: Spark can be used with electric guitar, bass and acoustic guitar.

Leica Camera Introduces New Leica SL2

Building on the foundation established in 2015 with the visionary Leica SL-System, Leica Camera proudly introduces the Leica SL2, the storied brand’s new icon and next evolutionary step towards building the perfect all-purpose camera. In addition to a technical marvel of pure performance and unmatched build quality, the Leica SL2 is also a joyous experience to use with improved ergonomics and more comfortable grip married to the well established, simplified three-button control layout, further unifying the Leica design language across multiple product lines.

While cutting-edge new features such as in-body image stabilization unlocks newfound potential from legendary Leica M-Lenses, it simultaneously augments the growing selection of SL-Lenses which are some of the finest optics Leica has ever produced. The Leica SL2 is the natural evolution of the innovative Leica SL, serving as a groundbreaking embrace of the future of digital photography and videography while paying homage to its respected history and lineage.

The Leica SL2 offers an innovative user interface whose efficient design allows photographers to focus their attention on the creative process. The design alignment with the existing M and Q systems makes the adjustment even easier for existing Leica photographers.

The main recording parameters can be viewed on the rear display and adjusted quickly and easily with a simple finger tap. A click wheel, a joystick and three strategically placed, individually configurable buttons also contribute to a straightforward operation. Thanks to two dedicated status menus for stills and video recording, the parameters for either shooting mode can be adjusted entirely separately from each other.

The SL2’s IP54 certification ensures an elevated weather sealing for more rugged situations, while a new option to turn off noise reduction during long exposures allows for more hands-free shooting.

The unprecedented resolution of the SL2’s CMOS image sensor in full-frame format results in an unparalleled level of detail rendition and image quality. Enormous dynamic range, a color depth of 14 bits per RGB channel and a sensitivity of up to ISO 50,000 enable outstanding image quality in all lighting conditions.

The new Leica Object Detention AF ensures a fast and reliable AF. In addition to an array of modes and features, including face recognition, the SL2’s high-performance AF system also automatically detects whether a subject is stationary or in motion, and subsequently switches between motion and focus priority.

Steinberg Announced Release of Cubase 10.5

With the 30th anniversary of Cubase, Steinberg announced the release of Cubase 10.5. It is the latest version of the award-winning music production system that combines sophisticated audio/MIDI tools with pristine audio quality. There’s a lot to discover, with many new, powerful additions and an array of improvements to existing features.

Cubase 10.5 follows up the highly anticipated landmark release with many significant improvements, additional and inspiring tools and major workflow refinements. Whether you’re looking for creative inspiration or new ways to speed up your professional workflow, the new features in Cubase 10.5 specifically cater to your needs.

New Features include:

  •  Spectral Comparison EQ: Clean up your mix more accurately.
  •  Video Expert Render: Render videos as MP4 (H.264) with 16-bit stereo audio.
  • MultiTap Delay: Made for musicians with a range of inspiring creative options.
  •  Padshop 2: Even more creative tools and sonic inspiration.
  •  Colorized Mixer Channels: Instantly find the channels you are looking for.
  •  Import Tracks from Projects: Exchange data between projects or create new project templates, more easily.
  •  Combine Select Tools: Work faster with objects and ranges using one powerful tool.
  • Retrospective MIDI Record: Capture your MIDI input, even when you have not started recording.
  • The Score Editor: Powerful new features and improvements.
  • The Macro creation: Create Macros faster with new improved functionality.
  • LUFS Normalize: Choose to normalize by either dB Loudness Unit (EBU R128) or by setting dBFS Max.
  • Safe Start Mode: Initiate Cubase without any third-party plug-ins loaded.
  • Stereo Delay, De-Esser and Roomworks: New plug-ins for Cubase Elements.
  • Graphical Performance: Zooming and scrolling in large projects has been improved.
  • Workflow improvements: Many more significant workflow improvements are also included.

Blue Microphones has a Winter Sale

Blue Microphones is having a Winter Sale. For a limited time, save 20% off select Blue Microphones including their best-selling Spark SL, Bluebird SL, and Baby Bottle SL mics. Visit participating dealers listed on the Blue Microphones website and take advantage of Blue’s 2019 Winter Sale.

Spark SL brings legendary Blue studio sound and versatility to your recording space. Produce stunning recordings for vocals, guitars, drums, pianos and more with Spark SL’s detailed transparent sound and versatile high-pass filter and -20dB pad. Whether starting a new studio or expanding your mic locker, Spark SL is ready to ignite your creativity.

The retail price is $199.99. The Winter Sale price is $159.99. It comes in red and blackout and includes a shockmount.

Bluebird SL delivers pristine, highly versatile sound that makes every detail of your performance come to life. With a high-pass filter and -20dB pad, Bluebird SL is ideal for capturing standout vocal performances, expressing the true tone of guitars, piano, and more with extended upper clarity, smooth mids and rich lows.

The retail price is $299.99. The Winter Sale price is $239.99. It comes with a shockmount.

Baby Bottle SL is a cardioid condenser microphone that delivers classic sound and incredible versatility. With a richly present midrange, smooth top end, and neutral bottom, Baby Bottle SL is reminiscent of the world’s finest vintage microphones. Featuring a high-pass filter and -20dB pad, Baby Bottle SL excels at adding a rich, classic vibe to nearly any sound source.

The retail price is $399.99. The Winter Sale price is $319.99. It comes with a shockmount.