AES 2019: The best gear of Day 2
From multitrackers for podcasting to AI-powered mastering tools – we wrap up day 2 of the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York.
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 at AES
Zoom LiveTrak L-8
Zoom is aiming squarely for the burgeoning podcasting market with its LiveTrak L-8, the smallest standalone mixer and multitracker in its LiveTrak line-up. Not only does the new device offer six mic inputs – more than enough for any podcast – but it also sports six sound effects triggers, four headphone outputs and a mix-minus connection for phone interviews. The LiveTrak L-8 also runs off either AA batteries, mains or a USB power bank and can record to an SD card or your computer. What’s more, it only costs $399.
Roswell Pro Audio K87
Roswell Pro Audio made their name with the Mini K47, a miniature condenser mic with a characterful sound that punches well above its weight considering its price. Now, five years and many mics later, Roswell Pro Audio introduces the Mini K87, another miniature mic that is designed to have a much flatter frequency response for transparent tracking. It also sports a neat shockmount with the front cut out so you can get it really close to guitar cabs. The new cardioid condenser will retail for only $399 and if early reports are anything to go by, its sound is again rather impressive for its price.
iZotope Ozone 9
iZotope have tried to redefine the tools that are available in mastering with their latest Ozone software. Version 9 offers the impressive ability to rebalance vocals, drums and bass within a bounced stereo file – ideal if the bass has been mixed too loud in a bedroom, for instance. Also, the Low End Focus feature uses machine intelligence to help you find definition in your low end. That one’s a bit of a tricky one to wrap your head around, so watch our demo for more. The other feature that’s been majorly overhauled is Master Assistant, which analyses your mix and gets you to a starting position with the help of reference tracks. Ozone Advanced is out now for $499 and is currently available for the introductory price of $399.
If you don’t have the readies to get into an expensive studio or buy high-end outboard but you want the analogue sound, then Access Analog have the thing for you. The company lets you book in time on their analogue hardware and send your audio to them in real-time. For instance, you can send audio from your drum bus in your DAW to the cloud and have that processed by Access Analog’s Distressors, tweak settings via their plug-in UI and receive the results back into your DAW for before printing them. The hardware on Access Analog’s side is all robotically controlled, too. Pricing is $10 per hour per piece of gear. A secondary function is that you can demo high-end equipment before you buy using your own source material and listening in your own space.
Nugen Audio SigMod VST2 Update
If you’ve ever wanted to bring your (really) old plug-ins into your up-to-date DAW, then the latest update to SigMod will be of great interest. The software is not only an incredible utility for hosting plug-ins but it now also lets you insert VST 2 and AU plug-ins in VST 3-only DAWs and Pro Tools. For only $49, it’s an interesting way of breathing new life into those plug-ins that you thought were beyond redemption.
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