May 2, 2024

It’s all about the camera angle (and a few other things)

The DynaCaster microphones allow for obstruction-free camera angles by eliminating the need for an external shockmount & pop filter – they are smaller and more unobtrusive than other brands of broadcast-style microphones, so making videos will feature the person speaking rather than their audio equipment.

Another important factor in microphone choice is the matter of how close the microphone needs to be to pick up the speaker’s voice – the DCM8 features a boost button (for 30dB of Dynamite boost), based on the popular DM1 Dynamite in-line booster, to improve the pickup quality from further away, once again clearing the space in front of the speaker for better video opportunities. Plus the recessed EQ switches give you the ability to tailor the sound to suit anyone’s voice.

Brianna from Bamby Media talks about the DCM8 for podcasting and vocals

Immediate plosive protection against the most powerful of wind blasts thanks to an integrated 3-layer pop filter. Easily disassembled and sanitised, the DCM8 has quick-drying components that don’t soak up liquid. Experience a clean, germ-free studio environment and obstruction-free camera angles since there is no need for a bulky external shockmount or pop filter.

Finally, the cost factor – competitor’s microphones are more expensive, and most need an external booster, such as sE’s own DM1 Dynamite or DM2 TNT in-line preamplifiers, making them even more costly.

March 14, 2024

Tube warmth for your audio interface

If you’re a singer or instrumentalist working in a small project studio with a standard interface or USB mixer, and you are looking to enhance your instrument of choice, ART’s Tube MP Studio V3, with it’s in-built 12AX7a valve, could be just the right addition to give your sound that extra something.

The Studio V3 has a variety of presets utilising the warmth of the 12AX7a valve and some careful EQing, and these presets were created and fine-tuned by some of the industry’s top studio and live-sound engineers and allow instant access to a multitude of preamp settings designed for guitars (electric and acoustic), keyboards, bass guitars, drums, vocals and more.

As Paul White from Sound On Sound magazine said in his review: “I think the Tube MP Studio V3 would make a great companion for a digital desktop studio, where its high output drive capability and tonal versatility should help the user inject a little welcome character into the recorded sound.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/art-tube-mp-studio-v3

The Tube MP Studio V3 offers exceptional sound quality and superior performance to what’s typically found in “on-board” preamps found in today’s low-cost mixers, multi-track recorders and audio cards making it an ideal tone-shaping tool for any application.

The Tube MP range also includes the Tube MP/C, with a built-in opto-compressor/limiter, the USB Tube MP, which can function as a standalone interface, and the ‘original’ Tube MP, with +20dB gain switch, phantom power, phase reverse and output protection limiter (OPL).

March 4, 2024

A cost-effective way to record quality guitar at home

IK Multimedia’s Axe I/O One is a cost-effective solution for recording your axe at home! It works as a 24-bit/192 kHz audio interface, specifically designed to shape the tone of your guitar or bass, with the Z-Tone instrument input, allowing you to customise with an active or passive pickup sound, or change the input tone from tighter and sharper, to thicker and bolder, to record into your favourite DAW software.

IK have included AmpliTube 5 and ToneX software downloads for further processing and shaping of your sound, giving you a perfect platform for tracking your guitars over your band recordings.

The Axe I/O One features a microphone preamp with phantom power for recording vocals with your favourite condenser microphone, the instrument input with the Z-Tone processing mentioned above, balanced stereo outs for your active monitors (plus a headphone out for quiet recording), two pedal switch inputs for controlling volume, wah, and other software effects, and MIDI IN/OUT jacks for accessing your software with foot controllers or playing devices with MIDI DAW control.

There’s also an AMP Out for connecting your guitar amp, or for reamping your ‘dry’ recorded guitar tracks!

IK’s Axe I/O Oneeverything you need to record quality tracks at home (apart from a guitar and some talent)!

November 9, 2023

Looking for the Ideal Keyboard Controller (with a FREE software bundle)?

Nektar’s LX+ Series controllers are easy to set up and integrate with your favourite DAW, with complete transport control and pre-mapped controls for any DAW native plugins. Inexpensive and comprehensive, they quickly become an essential part of your work flow.

The Panorama T-Series are a more advanced alternative for more in-depth control, with Nektarine hosting software and live performance capability (with MIDI out socket).

The GXP Series USB MIDI controller keyboards are designed for players: Experience 49, 61 or 88 semi-weighted keys, with velocity and aftertouch to deliver a nice, firm touch and great playability, plus instant access to performance controls including a real-time repeat engine, powerful Nektarine plugin patch management and Nektar DAW Integration.

And all of these controller series, plus the LX Mini, are even better value now, with a FREE Cherry Audio plugin bundle containing PS-20, Mercury-6, Octave Cat, DreamSynth DS-1 synths and Stardust 201 delay plugins

Find out more about this fantastic free collection:

https://nektartech.com/nektar-software-bundle

Nektar DAW Integration supports Bitwig Studio 8-Track (included with LX+ and Panorama T-series), so using Nektar products and Bitwig Studio 8-Track together is a fantastic combination: If you are just starting out, this is a great way to take your first steps in the world of digital music creation. And if you’re already familiar with using DAW software you’ll be amazed at what this combination has to offer!

DAW Integration Support
June 26, 2023

Mixdown Magazine’s Review: Nektar LX Mini

WORDS BY GREG LONG

Sound and Music | Price: $269.99

When I was approached to review the Nektar Impact LX Mini, I’m not going to lie, I was like, meh. Yet another backpack keyboard controller. At the risk of sounding cynical, I was thinking, “Let me guess, you can play drum pads, some transport controls, and the ability to launch clips in Ableton!” So, with some considerable surprise, I’m now looking to retire a couple of said keyboard controllers and embrace the new kid on the block. The question I’m sure you’re all asking is “why?” So, let’s dig deep and see what the Impact LX Mini offers.

Nektar is an American-based company with a unique go-to-market strategy. From their website, Nektar’s aim is to, “Bridge the gap between powerful music software and controller hardware”. Don’t expect a host of software instruments and plugins that often shift with similar products. In addition to the keyboard controller and a driver installer, the only other inclusion is an eight-channel version of Bitwig Studio. The Nektar Impact LX Mini is a class-compliant USB device but if you are looking to use it with Ableton Live, the driver is required for both Windows and Mac OS X. In my testing, I used an M1 Mac and Ableton Live Suite 11, but support is provided for all of the major DAW players. (I’m very interested to check out the Avid Pro Tools integration but at the time of writing, am yet to do so).

Set up is relatively simple and the documentation is clear and concise. I tried to jump straight in, but didn’t get far. You definitely need to reference and read through and follow through the documents. It’s pretty simple so don’t worry too much. A Max for Live device offers further control functionality, but this is only compatible with Ableton Suite 11 with Max for Live installed. For full compatibility, check the product site.

One strange and glaring omission in Ableton Live, and by extension Push, is dedicated fast forward and rewind buttons. For most uses this isn’t an issue, however, if you are editing a long looping section with more than one clip selected, you have to listen to the entire loop from start to finish, even if you’re just tweaking notes at the end of the loop. There’s no way of fast forwarding or rewinding without using the mouse to click into the interface and doing so will deselect the clips in the process. This may seem small, but it has been a constant frustration of many for a long time. This, paired with FFW and REW buttons, makes the unit very attractive. On the topic of looping, the Impact LX Mini allows you to set start and end points and turn looping mode on and off, all without needing to touch the mouse. 

All of this barely scratches the surface of the functionality of Nektar Impact LX Mini. There is so much more on offer. The actual keys have secondary functions that can be accessed by holding one of the Part Two buttons. Doing so can change MIDI channels, layer an octave on top, or below, shift octaves up and down. The price is a little over $250 so it offers excellent value and adds significant workflow improvements. So, if you are in the market for a pint-sized powerhouse, it’s well worth a look. 

May 16, 2023

Immersive Recording Simplified

Spatial Mic lets you focus on recording immersive audio for VR, ATMOS, spatial music, concert recording, live broadcasts and much more. Want to use it in traditional stereo session? No Problem – the included software makes it easy to decode to stereo and aim virtual mics around the soundfield. No need for expensive multi-microphone & preamp setups – just plug-in and record with either Dante audio networking or USB/ADAT models.

Spatial Mic is now in two formats

Spatial Mic is crafted to bring your recordings to life in the most realistic way possible. More than simply a microphone – analog and digital electronics work together with software components to create incredibly engaging audio.

Find out more: https://sound-music.com/product/voyage-audio-spatial-microphone-dante/

The Spatial Mic Converter plugin (AAX, Audio Unit & VST3) transforms the raw audio signals from Spatial Mic to Virtual Mics and first or second order ambisonics in AmbiX or Fuma formats. To accomplish this, Spatial Mic Converter uses an internal 64-channel filter matrix and measurements from an anechoic chamber.

Spatial Mic Converter offers the capability to change the microphone’s aim at the point in space where the audio was recorded. This is useful when aligning audio position with 360 video, or aiming the mic at a specific sound that should be in front of the listener.

May 15, 2023

ToneX on the Go

TONEX offers the most hyper-realistic guitar and bass tones ever thanks to IK’s advanced AI Machine Modeling™. Feel the warmth and dynamic response of real amps and pedals right on your iPhone or iPad as never before.

Connect one of our mobile interfaces to practice and jam along with your favourite songs or record guitar and bass tracks with ease when inspiration strikes.

  • Play, practice and record anywhere with your TONEX Tone Models on iPhone and iPad
  • Standalone universal app and plug-in compatible with AUv3 host apps 
  • Enjoy the exact same tone and sound-shaping tools as on Mac/PC
  • Seamless integration – all your Premium Tone Models sync automatically on all your devices
  • Browse, search and download additional Tone Models from TONEX in ToneNET
  • Edit and save presets on your iPhone or iPad
  • Free to download with 20 premium must-have and 20 à-la-carte Tone Models
  • Connect to one of our iRig interfaces (iRig HD 2 , iRig 2 and the newly announced iRig HD X) for the ultimate mobile experience
Powerful tone shaping 

Tweak your tone to perfection using a built-in compressor, pre- and post-amp EQ, noise gate and a beautiful stereo reverb using IK’s latest, award-winning algorithms.

Built-in VIR™ cabinet technology lets you place and adjust microphones with stunning accuracy, and all your edits with TONEX can be saved as presets.

Get the app:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/amplitube-tonex/id1613359930

April 19, 2023

Microphone Care

We’ve been receiving a lot of enquiries from customers about their condenser microphones getting muffly or distorted, or making humming noises after four or five years of use, and in most cases this is because of environmental conditions polluting the capsule: too much moisture, sea air, smoke, etc.

The main trick is how you store it when you’re not using it!

How should I store my microphone?

We generally recommend keeping your microphone in its case or original packaging when it is not in use for more than a few hours. If your studio is very clean and safe, it could be OK to leave out on its mic stand when not in use, but if a mic is out of its case, it could potentially be exposed to dust, smoke, moisture, or humidity – which can damage the sensitive parts of the mic – so we recommend avoiding those things at all cost.

How do I clean a microphone that has been effected by spillage and dirt?

If your microphone has come in contact with dirt or another removable substance, we recommend cleaning it with a very soft, slightly damp cotton cloth. Do not open the microphone up to clean the inside, and make sure you NEVER touch the capsule itself. Cleaning a capsule should only be done by highly trained professionals in a “clean room” environment. If you suspect your capsule needs to be cleaned, please contact info@sound-music.com so we can recommend an authorised local technician.

These tips are from our friends at sE Electronics

April 11, 2023

The T6 and Reason

Nektar’s T-Series controller keyboards are pre-mapped for all native plugins in most popular DAWs, making setup and creation quick and stress free. Bitwig, Cubase, GarageBand, Logic, Reaper, Reason, Studio One and Pro Tools are pretty much ready to go as soon as you download and install the appropriate software for your own setup.

As an example, Reason 12 working with the T-Series controllers allows functionality and control that will renew your relationship with the basic native plugins that you’ve grown bored with, for reasons you’ll soon forget: Thor, ReDrum, Kong, SubTractor, Dr. OctoRex, Monotone, Europa and the others are pre-mapped to allow the most useful controls to be accessed in real-time and also automated in your tracks, adding movement and tone changes that will give your tunes new energy.

Below, you’ll see the T6 screen and controls being utilised to create a ReDrum track with all important functions available for automation. To select the drum you want to work on, simply tap the pad that triggers the sound and you’re ready to start tweaking – pitch, length, start point, level, pan and even effect send are all on screen, and now easy to control and record on their own track lanes, giving unprecedented power to your track (this level of individual drum control is also available with Kong):

Even the Combinator Mk II is pre-mapped for controls and buttons, so if you want quick access to your favourite VST’s parameters, you can ‘combine’ it and assign vital tone changers easily.

And we haven’t even mentioned the extra parameter control and VST stacking you can do with Nektarine 2.5

Whether you’re using the top of the range Panoramas, the LX+, GXP, or the tiny GX and LX Minis, the mapped parameter and transport control functions will smooth the way for your important creative processes.

To find out more about what’s available for Nektar’s controllers and your DAW-of-choice, check out the support documents on our website.

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