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SoundBytes on T-RackS 5: “The results are … ahem … sweet!”

“T-RackS rocks – check it out”
20 March 2018

SoundBytes’ David Baer has put IK’s new T-RackS 5 mixing and mastering suite through its paces. Furthermore, he has also cast his expert eye on IK’s room correction system, ARC 2.5, which perfectly integrates with T-RackS.

Read some of his key comments here:

“I particularly like the four VU meters that simultaneously display left, right, mid and side levels.”

“Four new modules include a superb mastering EQ, an excellent compressor, and two other processors that cannot be described with a simple designation like “compressor”. Finally, there is a metering plug-in that significantly improves on its T-RackS 3 predecessor.”

“[The new compressor] sounds wonderful… It makes a splendid addition to the existing T-RackS compressor family.”

“I found immediate comfort when just playing around with ONE… As the user manual recommends: Just turn its knobs, experiment and hear the mojo.”

“Master Match does something the others don’t. It also learns and matches dynamic levels. Furthermore, it allows one to specify the extent to which both spectral (EQ) and dynamic matching is to be individually applied.”

“Enter ARC. It does not eliminate the benefits of acoustic room treatment, but it can definitely improve a less than ideal situation, sometimes to a substantial degree… Count me among the many ARC users who are firmly in the happy camper contingent (and there are more than just a few of us).”

“So, bottom line: consider using ARC, both for mixing and mastering. In fact, I would suggest that you consider it an essential part of a mastering rig in all but the most decked-out home-studio setups.”

“Can T-RackS get the job done? The answer is not only a resounding “yes”, but I think T-RackS can get the job done across a wide range of quality goals.”

“EQual, a part of the base T-RackS 5 package, is a great place to start for EQ and it might be all you need, but the lovely Master EQ 432 may be another great option to have at hand. Some experts will suggest that linear phase EQ is the way to go in mastering, and if you agree, you’ll need to have the T-RackS Linear Phase Equalizer at hand. Finally, for a sprinkling of vintage fairy dust, the EQP-1A Vintage Tube Program Equalizer is a great thing to have in your box of tools. The EQ-PB and EQ-81 might also be welcome additions. But for all of that, EQual by itself should get you a very long way down the EQ road.”

“Stealth is one of the most transparent, musical and downright gorgeous sounding limiters I have ever heard. I would assert that it’s mandatory here and I wouldn’t bother with anything else.”

“Lastly, there’s sometimes the need for adding a little warmth. ONE does have a function that accomplishes this, but there’s no control over the saturation type other than how much to add. For this, Saturator X is what’s really needed.”

David’s final verdict:

“T-RackS 5 is a marvellous evolution of what was already a solid piece of computer audio technology. I look forward to working with the new modules in the future, and getting to know some of the classics a little better as well… T-RackS rocks – check it out.”

MusicRadar on iRig Keys I/O 49: “A great success”

“It’s small enough to find a space on even the most hectic studio desks”
6 March 2018

MusicRadar and Computer Music have been taking a close look at iRig Keys I/O 49 and its associated software bundle, and they were highly impressed by the combination.

Here are some of their key comments:

“The unweighted keys are light and responsive, with satisfying travel and minimal lateral movement.”

“What we do dig, is that the unit can be powered via USB or four AA batteries, so you don’t have to invest in a separate power adaptor for use with your iPad. The included one-piece tablet stand is another very nice touch.”

“Complementing the keys are eight backlit, velocity-sensitive drum pads.”

“The onboard audio interface operates at up to 24-bit/96kHz, and sounds good doing it.”

“Plenty of customisation is possible, including reassignment of the touchstrips to output MIDI CCs; setting individual pads to output MIDI notes, CCs or Program Change messages; adjustment of velocity sensitivity for pads
 and keys; and keyboard transposition.”

“The iRig Keys I/O 49 is a great success.”

“In terms of value for money, the iRig Keys I/O is a pretty good deal on its own, but IK has sweetened the pot big time by throwing in €750 worth of software.”

Their final verdict is:

“It’s small enough to find a space on even the most hectic of studio desks, equipped to handle basic recording duties and general purpose MIDI control on stage and in the studio, and comparatively good value, particularly if the excellent bundled software appeals.”

Key Plusses

+ For MIDI control and audio I/O in one
+ Mac, PC and iOS compatibility
+ Impressive bundled software
+ Tablet stand included

Final score: 4/5 stars

Read the full review on MusicRadar

Nektar Integration update for Reason 9.5 and 10 with VST-instrument access and control

New features for all Panorama and Impact users: Our last Reason DAW Integration update brought you maps for virtually all Rack Extensions (details here), now we are adding VST-instrument control support!

New Maps for +100 VST-instruments included
We have pre-mapped over 100 popular VST-instruments from Arturia, Rob Papen, Korg, Kontakt, U-He and many more. The instant you open a pre-mapped Plug-In in Reason, the most important parameters such as filter cutoff, resonance and envelopes can be accessed immediately. Following a predefined layout, controls are mapped to the same parameters across VST–instruments and Rack Extensions, making it easy to control devices when changing tracks. Here’s a list of the currently pre-mapped VST-Instruments.

Access to any automatable instrument parameter with GRAB
GRAB is a temporary override for any control, with instant access to parameters on the active instrument. No need for complicated MIDI assignments and programming. Simply hold ‘shift’ on your Panorama or LX+, move the parameter you want to automate in the VST’s graphical user interface, move the hardware control – done. So in a matter of seconds you can change a map completely. And the best: If you switch to a track with a different VST or Rack Extension and come back, the assignment is still active until you shut down Reason. Upon reload, all assignments default back to the original map settings.

Reason 10 Ready: New devices supported!
Grain, Europa, Layers, Klang, Pangea and Humana are already supported and pre-mapped. The Nektar integration update works with version 9.5 and the brand-new version 10.

The Reason Integration update is available for free to registered owners of Panorama and Impact immediately.

Head over to your account on the Nektar site!

DiGiGrid MGB for MADI

Coaxial MADI Interface

Compact and portable, the DiGiGrid MGB interface lets you plug any coaxial MADI-enabled device into the power of the Waves SoundGrid networking and processing platform. Record, process and playback up to 128 audio channels, using literally hundreds of Waves and third-party plugins, with super-low latency, clocking in at only 0.8 milliseconds! You can even record to two computers simultaneously: One for virtual soundcheck, the other for backup. So if you’re on the tour bus, in your hotel room, at the airport – wherever – you can quickly and conveniently setup your next show, using only your laptop.

With a DiGiGrid MGB MADI-to-SoundGrid interface, real-time low-latency networking and processing is only an Ethernet cable away.

Plug the MGB straight into your computer to record up to 128 channels with simultaneous playback of 128 channels. Add a SoundGrid DSP server and DiGiGrid SWI network switch plus Waves MultiRack SoundGrid host application, and your MADI-compatible live or broadcast console now has real-time low-latency processing capabilities. And if you require a higher level of audio quality, a simple configuration change switches the MGB to 96kHz, for 64 channels of recording and 64 channels of simultaneous playback.

Specifications

MADI Coaxial I/O (BNC)
Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
112/128 channel I/O @ 48kHz
56/64 channel I/O @ 96kHz
56 and 64 channel mode support
Supports double wire (48k frame) and single wire (96k frame) @ 96kHz
Clock Synchronization via Word Clock input, MADI (Port 1 or 2), SoundGrid (Sync over Ethernet), Internal
1 SoundGrid RJ45 Ethernet port
Reset switch
DiGiCo Stage Rack channel 57 support

Weight and Dimensions

    Height: 148.2mm
    Width: 106mm
    Depth: 29mm
    Weight: 0.4Kg

DiGiGrid MGO for MADI

Optical MADI Interface

The DiGiGrid MGO interface gives you the ability to connect any optical MADI-enabled device to Waves SoundGrid, for networking and processing. Use hundreds of Waves and third-party plugins to record, process and playback up to 128 audio channels, with super-low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds. This compact and portable MADI interface even lets you record to two computers at the same time, so you can use one for virtual soundcheck, the other for backup. Whether you’re in a hotel room, on the tour bus or between flights, you can get to work setting up your next show – on your laptop.

With a DiGiGrid MGO MADI-to-SoundGrid interface and an Ethernet cable, real-time low-latency networking and processing is at your fingertips.

In its most basic mode, connect the MGO straight to your laptop or desktop: You can now record up to 128 channels through your computer’s 1GB Ethernet port, with simultaneous playback of 128 channels.

Add a SoundGrid DSP server and SWI plus Waves MultiRack SoundGrid host application, and now any MADI-compatible live or broadcast console has instant access to real-time low-latency processing.

Does your application demand a higher level of audio quality? A simple configuration change switches the unit over to 96kHz, with 64 channels of recording and 64 channels of simultaneous playback.

And if longer distance optical fiber cable runs are required, simply upgrade either or both of the MGO’s standard multimode transceivers to optional single mode transceivers.

Specifications

MADI Optical I/O (SFP)
Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
112/128 channel I/O @ 48kHz
56/64 channel I/O @ 96kHz
56 and 64 channel mode support
Double wire (48k frame) and single wire (96k frame) @ 96kHz support
Clock synchronization via Word Clock input, MADI (port A), SoundGrid (Sync over Ethernet), Internal
1 SoundGrid RJ45 Ethernet port
Reset switch
DiGiCo Stage Rack channel 57 support

Weight and Dimensions

    Height: 148.2mm
    Width: 106mm
    Depth: 29mm
    Weight: 0.4Kg

DiGiGrid DLI for Pro Tools

Audio Interface for Pro Tools™ Systems

DiGiGrid DLI is a networking hub that bridges Pro Tools and SoundGrid. With two DigiLink ports giving you as many as 64 digital inputs and outputs, DiGiGrid DLI helps you get the most out of your existing Pro Tools system.

Add a SoundGrid DSP server to your DLI, and you will enjoy unequaled processing power, with more options for recording, monitoring and mixing in real time. With full plugin integration inside your DAW, DLI lets you run hundreds of Waves and third-party SoundGrid-compatible plugins with near-zero latency of only 0.8 milliseconds.

DiGiGrid DLI has two modes, I/O and SGP:

In I/O mode, DLI bridges your Pro Tools system with DiGiGrid I/Os and SoundGrid DSP servers. The Pro Tools system (HD/HDX or HD Native) continues to be your playback engine, while DLI appears as individual I/Os from which you can expand your studio: just connect additional DiGiGrid I/Os and offload your plugin processing to additional SoundGrid servers.

In SGP mode, DLI bridges the DAW of your choice (Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton, Pro Tools Native, etc.) with SoundGrid applications and ASIO/Core Audio drivers, lets you control various DigiLink-compatible I/Os, and enables you to use a SoundGrid server to which you can offload your plugin processing.

In both modes, a single Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable will enable you to connect your system to additional DiGiGrid I/Os.

Specifications

2 DigiLink ports; 64 channels in either SGP or I/O mode (32 channels per port). Compatible with the following DigiLink-enabled I/Os: Digi192, Digi96, HD Omni, HD I/O, Apogee Symphony I/O, Lynx Aurora 8, Lynx Aurora 16.
I/O mode: DLI acts as an interface connected to HD Core, HD Accel, HDX or HD Native cards; supports Pro Tools TDM 10.x and 11.x

SGP mode: DLI acts as a controller for DigiLink-enabled I/Os

2 SoundGrid RJ45 Ethernet ports
1 AC input
1 Word Clock/Loop Sync I/O
1 USB port
1U rackmount
Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz (176.4 and 192 kHz will be supported in the future)
Recovery switch
Clocking options: Word Clock/Loop Sync, SoundGrid (SoE), or DigiLink

Weight and Dimensions

    Height: 1U / 43.6mm
    Width: 19″ / 482.60 mm
    Depth: 236
    Weight: .5Kg

DiGiGrid DLS for Pro Tools

Pro Tools™ I/O with SoundGrid DSP Server

DiGiGrid DLS is an all-in-one processing and networking hub that bridges Pro Tools and SoundGrid. With its built-in SoundGrid DSP server, network switch, and two DigiLink ports providing as many as 64 digital inputs and outputs, DiGiGrid DLS gives you more processing power and lets you take full advantage of your existing Pro Tools system.

DLS’s built-in SoundGrid DSP server gives you unequaled processing power. And since you have full plugin integration inside your DAW, you can track, monitor and mix while running hundreds of SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plugins in real time – all with an incredibly low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds.

DiGiGrid DLS has two modes, I/O and SGP:

In I/O mode, DLS bridges your Pro Tools system with the device’s built-in DSP server. The Pro Tools system (HD/HDX or HD Native) continues to be your playback engine, while DLS appears as individual I/Os from which you can expand your studio: just connect additional DiGiGrid I/Os and use additional SoundGrid servers to process your plugins.
In SGP mode, DLS bridges the DAW of your choice (Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton, Pro Tools Native, etc.) with SoundGrid applications and ASIO/Core Audio drivers and lets you control various DigiLink-compatible I/Os. In addition, you can offload your plugin processing to the device’s built-in DSP server.
In both modes, a single Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable will enable you to connect your system to additional DiGiGrid I/Os.

Specifications

Internal SoundGrid DSP server (SoundGrid Server One equivalent)
2 DigiLink ports; 64 channels in either SGP or I/O mode (32 channels per port). Compatible with the following DigiLink-enabled I/Os: Digi192, Digi96, HD Omni, HD I/O, Apogee Symphony I/O, Lynx Aurora 8, Lynx Aurora 16.
I/O mode: DLS acts as an interface connected to HD Core, HD Accel, HDX or HD Native cards; supports Pro Tools TDM 10.x and 11.x
SGP mode: DLS acts as a controller for DigiLink-enabled I/Os
2 SoundGrid RJ45 Ethernet ports
1 AC input
1 Word Clock/Loop Sync I/O
1 USB port
2U rackmount
Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz (176.4 and 192 kHz will be supported in the future)
Recovery switch
Clocking options: Word Clock/Loop Sync, SoundGrid (SoE), or DigiLink

Weight and Dimensions

    Height: 2U / 88.1mm
    Width: 19″ / 482.60 mm
    Depth: 356
    Weight: 5Kg

DiGiGrid IOC for Native

Control Room I/O for SoundGrid® Systems

Custom-designed with the control room in mind, the DiGiGrid IOC audio interface features a variety of connectivity options: 2 mic/line inputs with broadcast-grade preamps, 8 line inputs/outputs, 16 AES inputs/outputs, an ADAT input/output, plus two powerful headphone outputs. Plug into the SoundGrid network using a single Ethernet cable, and the IOC will open up a world of real-time tracking, mixing and monitoring, with super-low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds. With the DiGiGrid IOC and a SoundGrid DSP server, you can run hundreds of SoundGrid-compatible plugins from Waves and other developers, all fully integrated within your DAW.

General

8x line inputs (25-pin DB25)
8x line outputs (25-pin DB25)
16x AES/EBU I/O (25-pin DB25)
1x ADAT I/O (8 channels @ 48kHz). (4 channels @ 96 kHz and 2 channels @ 192 kHz will be supported in the future)
2x Mic inputs (XLR/TRS combo)
2x SoundGrid RJ45 Ethernet ports
1x Word clock I/O
1x AC input
2x headphone outputs with analog level knobs
1U rack-mounted
Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz (176.4 and 192 kHz will be supported in the future)
Clock Synchronization via Word Clock input, AES/EBU, SoundGrid (SoE), Internal
Reset switch
Multiple broadcast level format settings (jumpers on all analog I/Os)

Inputs

Mic input impedance: 2K5 Ohms
Phantom power: 48V
Line input impedance: 8K0 Ohms
Mic gain range: 0 dB to +52.5 dB in 7.5-dB steps. Fine control provides an additional 0dB to 7dB in 0.5-dB steps
Mic maximum input level: +26dB
Line maximum input level: +36dB
Mic equivalent input noise: >-126dB (150 Ohm source, Gain +59.5dB)
Frequency response: +/-0.5dB 20Hz to 20kHz
Channel separation: Better than 90dB (40Hz to 15kHz)

Outputs

Maximum line output level: +22dBu
Residual line output noise:<90dB (20Hz to 20kHz)
Frequency Response: +/-0.5dB (20Hz to 20kHz)
Line output impedance: 50 Ohms
Channel separation: Better than 90dB (40Hz to 15kHz)
Harmonic Distortion: Typically <0.01% @ unity gain, -10dB input @ 1kHz

Weight and Dimensions

    Height: 1U / 43.6mm
    Width: 19″ / 482.60 mm
    Depth: 356
    Weight: 4.5Kg

DiGiGrid S for Desktops

Power over Ethernet for Audio Networks

The DiGiGrid [S] is the ultimate in fixed power sources. Sleek and compact, in line with the series’ style, it features one upstream (non-PoE) port, and four downstream PoE ports, which allows connection to four further DiGiGrid devices. [S] is also Dante compatible, so it’s the perfect complement to your growing networked audio system both now, and in the future.

Key Features

    Height: 94.5
    Width: 90
    Depth: 90
    Weight: 0.55Kg

DiGiGrid D for Desktops

Desktop Interface

Designed in much the same way as M & Q, the DiGiGrid D is the more expansive option, allowing the user to get even more creative with this clever little desktop interface.

With four inputs rather than two, and six outputs, D provides great flexibility in all applications. Inputs 1 & 2 are mic/line, and 3 & 4 are line/instrument. There are two outputs with level control ideal for monitoring, and two further fixed level line outputs.

At home, in the studio or out on location, monitor with headphones or speakers, and enhance your favourite DAW to expand your recording capabilities.

As with the entire range, further expansion is simple: D integrates seamlessly with other DiGiGrid products, to provide the user with mountains of extra I/O, and overall functionality.

D is powered by a twist-lock 12V DC power supply (provided as standard), and Power over Ethernet (PoE) for maximum flexibility or ease of set-up, anywhere you want it.

Dynamic. Powerful. Practical.

D is easy to set-up and use in any studio application; whatever is ahead of you, be confident of achieving consistent results born from our exacting standards. Gain the professional edge when combining your writing and composing with recording and monitoring, and embrace the DiGiGrid sonic purity every time you get creative.

D delivers style on every level, enhanced by its multi-layer metallic paint finish, custom soft touch controls and polycarbonate overlay; design, quality and precision at every stage.

With just one simple Ethernet connection to your MAC or PC, running any DAW, you have a simple stand-alone high quality audio interface. The D can even be connected to multiple computers and DAW’s at the same time.

If used in conjunction with the DiGiGrid S, you can easily network up to four DiGiGrid devices up to 75 Metres apart. And as your system grows you can connect up more I/O and DSP from the rack-mounted series.

Key Features

    Compact format 4 Input, 6 Output 96 KHz advanced audio interface
    Use as a stand-alone device or as an interface to a larger DiGiGrid system
    Analogue controls for pure sonic performance
    Designed for all applications: Studio, Educational, Home Studio and Live use.
    Enhance your DAW and expand your recording capabilities
    Professional quality network audio interface for PC and MAC
    High resolution input and output meters
    Connects to the SoundGrid network via a single Ethernet cable (Cat 5e/Cat 6)