We’re delighted to announce a free webinar, suitable for all experience levels and finishing with a live Q&A with Sound On Sound Editor Paul White!
Lee Boylan (Presonus) & Andy Bensley (Source Distribution product specialist) will be presenting on the night, you’ll follow as guitarist Andy writes a riff, that turns into a song, creates a multitrack recording and then mixes and masters it before releasing it for sale and promoting it online – all in one information-packed evening!
This part is especially essential for anyone new to production and guitarists who want to get started in recording, as the guys will show you what is possible on very modestly priced equipment including PreSonus Audiobox Interfaces, Studio One, Eris Monitors and Nimbit.
Then we’ll up the ante and hand the floor over to (the legend that is) Paul White, to answer any of your recording & production questions.
As always, watch out for the special code word in the show, which if emailed back in, will get you some exclusive viewer-only offers on Presonus kit!
Please come and join us for what should be a very entertaining and informative evening! If you can’t make it onto the live stream, we will of course make the show available to view later on our archive channel.
Dorico the long awaited notation package from Steinberg, finally gets it’s roll out date announced as the 19th of October. On the 18th of October Steinberg will be hosting a live stream to highlight and show off all the great features features and tools that can be found within the package
Broadcasting from London at 7PM BST Daniel Spreadbury will be giving the public introduction to Dorico and the includes:
A presentation of Dorico itself
The premiere of a short work for string quartet and piano that we have commissioned from Thomas Hewitt Jones, which will be performed by the composer and members of renowned chamber music group Ensemble Perpetuo.
A talk with Thomas how he has found using Dorico to put it together.
The event will be streamed live on Steinbergs Facebook and YouTube pages as well as being available to watch after the event as well.
Abletons ever popular Live sequencer and performance tool gets it’s 9.7 release free update this morning to registered users.
The main new addition is an update to Simpler, adding new slicing modes (Beat, Region, Manual) to the instrument. Also noteworthy is the improvements that have been made when syncing using Ableton link as well as a whole slew of improvements to integration of both generations of the Push controller.
Full Ableton Live 9.7 Release Notes.
The performance above shows off some of these new features, with a guided walk through of how they were applied in the performance below.
9.7 Release Notes
Improvements and feature changes:
New Simpler Slicing modes (Beat, Region, Manual) are now available.
As a consequence of the new Simpler features, Live Sets created with this version cannot be opened with previous versions anymore.
The beat time of connected apps in a Link session will be aligned when starting Live’s playback with Tap Tempo or via Looper.
Updated manual, lessons and info text translations.
Live would crash when canceling a freeze action, if this was performed on a previously frozen and flattened Clip.
Live would crash at startup if the preferences were corrupted.
Fixed a crash that could occur when using the ‘x2’, ‘:2’, or “Warp As” controls in Simpler, if there was no sample present.
Fixed a crash which might occur when creating a time selection on Group tracks in Arrangement View.
Live would crash when exporting a MIDI file on Windows.
Live would crash when converting a Simpler to a Drum Rack if certain Control Surfaces were enabled.
When resizing the left edge of a frozen Clip to the left, audio would still begin playback from the Clip’s former start position.
When converting Simpler to Sampler, the Sample Start marker would be visually misplaced.
The signal of send for grouped tracks would be doubled (+6dB), if the track’s output was routed to Master and the respective Return track ‘Pre/Post’ toggle was set to Pre.
When dragging unwarped Clips over the section of a song where the tempo was automated from a low value to a higher one, Clips stored in the clipboard would appear after the dragged Clip.
When running Live as a ReWire slave on a Mac, it would consume 100% of the CPU load after launching Live as a slave for the second time.
Converting an Audio Clip from Looper to MIDI would cause the Clip to assume a grey color.
When resizing a Clip past its limit, the dragged edge would behave erratically when it was not on a grid position or when the grid was disabled with a modifier.
When resizing Live horizontally, the positioning of Max Device windows would not adjust correctly.
When exporting audio from Looper, the resulting Clips would inherit the wrong color.
Live might run into issues when writing files to disk on Windows, if the file path contained non standard unicode characters.
Using 3 APC 40 units in ‘Combination Mode’ would cause LEDs on the APCs to flash erratically.
Some audio clips from the Core Library would open in the wrong tempo.
Changes for Push:
The new Simpler Slicing modes are available on Push 1 and 2.
It is now possible to set the color for Tracks, Clips and Drum Rack pads from Push 2.
It is now possible to adjust the Input and Output routing and the Monitoring state from Push 2. This is accessible via Track Mix Mode, where a dedicated ‘Input & Output’ button is added.
Introduced a third layout for Drum Racks and Simpler’s Slicing mode, which enables triggering the currently selected pad / Slice with 16 pre-defined velocities. This is a Push 2 only feature.
When transport is active, a progress bar on the Push 2 display indicates the playback phase for each of the currently playing Clips.
Added a visual feedback for the count-in on the Push 2 display.
The Push Record button now takes into account Live’s focus on Arrangement and Session View. If the focus is on Arrangement View, the Session Record button will trigger Global Recording, while the Shift + Record button will trigger / stop Session Recording. The logic is reversed when focused on Session View.
Session Record and Arrangement Record are now independent from each other.
By default, Fixed Length now respects the Launch Quantization setting. Its previous behavior can be toggled on via the ‘Phrase Sync’ option in the Fixed Length menu. This works with Push 1 and 2.
Different sensitivities are in place for the Push 2 pad matrix, depending on the function of the pads in the current layout. This is specifically aimed at avoiding inadvertently changing the loop selector while playing Drum Rack pads.
It is now possible to delete the currently selected Clip in Arrangement via Push.
It is now possible to duplicate Clips in Arrangement from Push.
When the focus is set to Arrangement View, ‘New’ is not available on Push anymore.
Improved the matching between pad and display colors on Push 2.
Improved the matching between Live and Push 2 colors.
On Push 2, the color white in Live is translated as yellow, since white is used to indicate selection.
The intensity of the LEDs on in the lower display buttons has been dimmed for Push 2, to create more contrast against the currently selected track.
Improved the performance when moving the Session Ring horizontally with Push.
Minor visual improvement for the ‘Cancel’ button in the ‘Convert’ menu or when entering the browser via ‘Add Track’. Additionally, the ‘Close’ button has been removed from the ‘Scales’ menu. Push 2 only.
On Push 2 display, Simpler’s playhead and loop markers are now the same height as the loop indicator.
Flag markers for Simpler and Audio Clips are now properly outlined on the Push 2 display.
The fade-in and fade-out visuals on Simpler are now represented differently from Loops on Push 2.
Page Left/Right buttons are now available in the Step Sequencer for Simpler in Slice mode.
The Push 2 firmware has been updated to 1.0.60. This version allows to automatically adjusts the LED white balance for units produced in the factory from November 2015. Also, this delivers a new pad algorithm that improves the sensitivity of Push pads when playing with wrist pressure. It also contains a fix for cases where Push 2 buttons might double-trigger, and improves the stability of the MIDI data sent from the Push encoders.
When recording multiple clips at the same time, triggering one clip would cause also the other ones to stop recording.
Live would crash when enabling the Push 2 Control Surface script on some systems. As a result of the fix, some display functions of Push 2 still won’t work. Improved the error logging to find out more about this issue.
The Push 2 display process would not start on Windows, if non-standard unicode characters were contained in the user profile name.
When muting or unmuting a track while in Mix Mode with Push 2, the state color of the track’s meters would only update if its peak level changed.
Pressing Record on Push would stop a Clip if the Clip Launch Mode was set to “Toggle”.
When changing Layout, the Step Sequencer page would reset.
The step sequencers might malfunction when odd time signatures were in use.
When step-sequencing a Clip in Arrangement View, the playhead would not be shown on Push 2.
When a Drum Rack or Instrument Rack was frozen, it was still possible to edit the Chain’s mix parameters.
If the selected Clip was in Arrangement View, Push 2 would not display its content in Clip View.
The Clip length would not be displayed in Clip View, when performing a recording with Fixed Length.
In our first benchmark update of the year, we take a look at the Broadwell-E range, taking over as the new flagship Intel CPU range. Intel’s Enthusiast range has always proven to be a popular choice for audio systems, based around a more established and ultimately stable server chipset, whilst still letting you get away with the overclocking benefits founds on the mid-range solutions, making this range very popular in studios up and down the country.
The previous round of benchmarks can be found here and whilst handy to have to hand, you’ll notice that results that appear on the older chart when compared with newer results obtained found on our 2016 results chart show a marked improvement when the same chips are compared side by side.
A number of things have lead to this and can be explained by the various changes enacted since our last round up. Windows 10 is now the testing platform of choice, offering a marginal improvement over the older Windows 7 build, this along with new drivers and firmware for our Native Instruments KA6 which remains our testing tool of choice as well as a newly updated DAWBench suite, designed to allow us to be able to test these new chips as the first round of testing exceeded the older version of the test!
If you do wish to compare with the scores on the older chart, we’re seeing a roughly additional 20 tracks when comparing like for like chips across both set of results, so it’s possible that if you have a chip that is on the old chart and not the new, then you may be able to establish a rough comparison by simply adding 20 tracks on top of the old chip result to give you a very rough estimate to allow some degree of comparison.
Leaving behind the old results and in order to establish a level playing field, I’ve set out to retest some of the older chips under the new conditions in order to ensure these results are fair and to allow for easier comparison, so without any more delay, let’s check out those results.
As normal we’ll dive into this from the bottom upwards. At the low end of the testing round up we see the current i5 flagship, the 4 core 6600K both at stock and overclocked. A modest chip and certainly where we’d suggest the absolute lowest point of entry is when considering an audio setup. Offering enough power for multi-tracking and editing, and whilst we wouldn’t suggest that it would be the ideal solution for anyone working fully in the box as this CPU would be likely to be easily maxed out by high performance synths, the is certainly enough power here to achieve basic studio recording and editing tasks whilst not breaking the bank.
Next up are the mid-range i7’s and the 6700T is first up, offering 4 cores and 8 threads this is the low power i7 option this time around and sits as you would expect between the i5 6600K and the full power 6700K. It’s performance isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it’s certainly hitting performance levels that we would have expected from a mid-range class leading 2600K a few years back, but with a far lower power usage profile. This is a chip that certainly has its place and we expect it to be well received in our passive silent specs and other small form factor systems.
The other 6700 variant we have here is the all singing, all dancing 6700K which is the current consumer flagship offering a unlocked and overclockable 4 core / 8 thread configuration. Popular in home recording setups and certainly a reasonable all-rounder its price to performance makes it a great fit for anyone looking to edit, process and mix audio, whilst not relying upon extremely CPU intensive plugins and other tools.
But what if you are? What if Diva and Serum and their ilk are your tools of choice, and CPU’s are regularly chewed up and spat out for breakfast?
Well then, the enthusiast range is the choice for you. Popular for just this reason, the chart outlines the amount of extra overhead these CPU’s can offer you above and beyond the performance found in the mid-range.
The 5820K and 5960X scores you see are the previous generations 6 core and 8 core flagship solutions respectively and certainly the ones to beat by our new entries.
The 6800K is another 6 core CPU along with the 6850K which isn’t shown here which directly replaces the last generation 5930K. As with the last generation, the key difference between the 6800K and 6850K other than the few hundred more MHz which don’t really offer much of an improvement as far as benchmarks go, is the additional PCIe lanes on offer with the more expensive chip. For roughly 50% more over the 28 lane 6800K edition, the 6850K offers up a total of PCIe lanes making it ideal for systems running multiple graphics cards, which may require up to 16 lanes each. For audio systems that only have a single graphics card however, the 28 lane chip will be more than adequate for most users and is certainly one place you can afford to cut corners an save money in the event that you’re not working with multiple graphics cards. All this as well as the keen price when considered against the performance found in the 6700K below it, perhaps makes the 6800K the best bang per buck option at this time.
The 6900K is a 8 core / 16 thread direct replacement for the last generation flagship 5960X chip and offers a sizable performance increase over the older CPU for roughly the same price. Not ground breaking but certainly an improvement for any outlay if you were considering the options around this price point.
Topping off the chart is the new high-end flagship 6950X which offers previously unseen levels of performance from the enthusiast class CPU’s and certainly offers reasonable performance for your money when compared against the dual Xeon setups that compete with it. With a £1400 UK street price at the time of writing it may appear to offer poor value when put up against the £500 cheaper 6900K, the is little else to touch this CPU for its price if you find yourself in need of the performance it is capable of offering.
Looking to the future the next high-end refresh will be Skylake-E although that isn’t due to be with us until sometime around the middle of 2017. KabyLake around the same time next year in the midrange promises some interesting features, namely X-point and the advances it’ll bring for storage which may even appear (we hope!) in the Skylake-E chipset around the same time. Either way you look at it, Broadwell-E is looking to be the high performance option of choice for the rest of 2016 and we’re sure will find itself powering many new studio systems over the coming year.
Many of you will remember our Pro Audio Webcasts which ran until the back end of last year. For those of you that didn’t manage to catch one, many of them are still archived on our Scan Pro Audio channel.
Well, this year we launch the new look, Scan Pro Audio show, in which we build on the webcast idea, to produce a full blown magazine type TV show featuring, news, items of interest and demonstrations from the world of Pro Audio.
Last week we aired the very first “Preview” episode, featuring Luke Edwards from Korg talking us through the new Korg Minilogue Synth and an item featuring Ben from TMS ( The UK’s most prolific Hit Producers ) talking us through how they use the Universal Audio Apollo console application and break down in detail the vocal monitoring effect chain that they use when recording acts such as Little Mix, Professor Green, Emeli Sande, One Direction, Jess Glynne, The Vamps & Rita Ora
You can catch the show here…
and you should also remember each show features the “codeword”, where viewers can email in for some exclusive offers of the week.
Focusrite have announced their new flagship Red 4Pre, a 58-in, 64-out audio interface that offers a whole wealth of connectivity making it ideal to sit at the center of any high-end studio, or indeed many larger scale applications including many live audio scenarios.
Key headline features include four newly-developed, digitally controlled ‘Red Evolution’ pre-amps offering a clean 63dB of ultra clean gain and high-headroom instrument inputs all routed through the newly developed high-performance conversion system, that in itself offers 121dB of dynamic range to work with.
Software control allows recall of settings and stereo linking, plus configuration of HPF, polarity invert and individual phantom power. The pre-amps include Focusrite’s unique ‘Air’ effect, recreating in the analogue domain the sound of the transformer-based mic pre-amps in the classic ISA range — suitable for bringing out the breathy quality of a vocal or adding presence to an acoustic guitar. Red 4Pre also includes high-headroom instrument inputs, instantly accessible from the front panel.
The Red 4Pre’s new high-performance conversion system features ‘parallel path summing’, where two matched converters are run in parallel to increase the signal to noise ratio. They operate at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz sampling — ideal for high-resolution audio — with a dynamic range of 118dB(A-D)/121dB (D-A). The Red 4Pre delivers ≤0.0009% THD+Noise and a stated frequency response flat from 20Hz to 35kHz ±0.25 dB or better.
Rounding off the package the are dual Thunderbolt 2 ports to connect to any DAW while allowing daisy-chaining of drives and displays. Dual DigiLink ports connect the Red 4Pre directly to any Pro Tools | HD system and in addition the Red 4Pre features built-in Dante network audio connectivity: use the dual Ethernet ports to connect any Dante-compatible product such as units from Focusrite’s own RedNet range, adding up to 64 channels via audio over Ethernet.
The Focusrite Red4Pre should be shipping around the end of March 2016.
Arturias latest synth is another stunner to look at if your a synth programmer and more than lives up to its name. With so many options, its going to be hard to know where to start, but we bet anyone with a passing interest in sound design is going to love getting their hands on one of these.
The MatrixBrute features a 100% analog signal path generated by its three oscillator + sub oscillator style design. It features a Steiner-Parker filter along with its ladder filter setup, which are capable of being arranges in series or parallel configurations. Routing is handled by a 16×16 modulation matrix that allows you to assign any of the 16 modulation sources to any of the 16 modulation destinations, offering a staggering amount of control over your patches, the sort of which you’d rarely see outside a full modular setup.
Those patches can also be saved for later use, so whilst the MaxtrixBrute might not qualify as a modular function wise at least you get the best of both worlds with control more in depth than most other synths, whilst still maintaining the ability to instantly recall a patch when your performing.
Speaking of performing, it has a 49 note controller keyboard with a full compliment of additional sequencer and arpeggiator controls. A USB connection allows you to connect it to the editor and patch libraian software for easy managment, its also fully MIDI controllable and impressively it includes 12 CV inputs and 12 CV outs for connection and control of any modular gear you wish to connect up alongside it.
This really is an amazing looking synth, one we’re sure will end up on many a wishlist this year.
Analog Matrix Synthesizer
256 Preset memory locations
2 Analog Exponential VCO’s:
Saw + UltraSaw, Square +Pulse width, Triangle + Metalizer, Sub
1 Analog Linear VCO/LFO
Saw, Square, Triangle, Sine waveforms; LFO time divisions; Key track
In the decade or so since the the first reflection filter was released, they have become common place not only with home enthusiasts, but also with pro studios and producers who turn to them as a convenient way of recording in a single room with vocalists, to facilitate a more natural form of recording whilst songwriting.
Fresh from the critically acclaimed release of their Microphone range, Aston unleash the mother (if your mother is rather large, as its 40% larger than the current industry leading competitor) of all mic reflection filters, its ridged design almost doubles the surface area and help to redirect any waves that do exist in the reflector away from bouncing back into the microphone. The spherical design increases the angles that the filter protects from reflected sound when recording, instead of working solely on the horizontal axis, as almost all the competition does.
Aston claim that all these factors produce a much linear frequency response than conventional filters and these guys should know, as the Aston management spent years working with SE Electronics in the UK, so are very familiar with the performance of the competition and have really gone back to basics to radically re-engineer the reflection filter concept.
The filter is due to start shipping in early 2016 at a UK RRP of £199.
Universal Audio are once again webcasting their producer seminars from the Namm show this week over in Anaheim, with special guest sessions from Christian “Leggy” Langdon (The Pierces, Ed Sheeran), Mick Guzauski (Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams), Derek Ali (Kendrick Lamar, Top Dawg Ent), Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton) and UA stalwart Fab Dupont (Jennifer Lopez, Mark Ronson).
Sessions start at 3PM (11PM GMT) Thursday and 1PM (9PM GMT ) at the weekend.
Session times are as follows.
Daily 4.30pm PST (GMT-8)
Tracking and Mixing with Next-Generation Apollos (Daily)
Watch producer/engineer Fab demonstrate the next evolution of the Apollo interface and how it can expand your studio and your sound. Featuring the Dede track, “Sun Kissed Lover.”
Christian “Leggy” Langdon - Live Tracking with Apollo Twin
Daily 3.30 / 5.00pm PST
Showcase Apollo Twin and the latest UAD plug-ins.
Featuring the Jasmine Ash track, “Talking.”
Mick Guzauski – Recording with Apollo
Thursday 3pm, Friday & Saturday 1pm
Showcase Track with Big Data.
Derek Ali Mixing with Apollo and UAD
Friday & Saturday 3pm
Showcase Track with Kendrick Lamar.
Vance Powell Mixing with Apollo and UAD
Sunday 1pm & 3pm
Showcase Track with Chris Stapleton.
With the now well established Eurorack standard continuing to prove ever popular amongst synth enthusiasts, we’ve seen a number of new units appearing at NAMM in possibly what could be the year of the Eurorack format.
Waldorf who are ever at the forefront when it comes to synths have decided to put a new spin on things by introducing the KB37 chasis. This unit is based around a high quality Fatar TB9 keyboard, which can host a total 100 HP worth of modules (around 4 in total) in its angled front panel.
What this means, is that Walforf is come up with a design based around a great keybed, allowing you to build your own synth using the modules of your choice. The base keyboard itself provides extremely flexible control for any of those mounted modules thanks to its high-resolution, temperature-stable 16-bit CV interface and the additional MIDI control offers fully programmable MIDI channels and velocity curves, making the kb37 the perfect partner both in the studio and for taking your modules out on stage.
Alongside the base KB37 keyboard, Waldorf has a number of new modules to tempt you even futher.
The NW1 is based on an advanced wavetable engine, which historically has always been a strong point for Waldorf, so we’d expect good things here. This is backed up by the fact that the NW1 uses the classic wavetable banks from the Microwave & Wave synths of yesteryear. Not only that but the NW1 also lets you easily create your own wavetables right from the front panel via time domain multiple foldover analysis. All you need to do is connect any sound source to the NW1 to transfer audio into a wavetable, or you can even use the integrated speech synthesizer to translate typed text into wavetables!
The MOD1 unit gives you three different modulation sources in one module make the MOD1 the control center of your modular patch. From simple envelopes and LFOs to complex looped multi-stage curves, the MOD1 delivers rich and endless modulation options, from gently undulating LFOs to ultra-precise hard cuts, you get it all based on innovative analogue circuits for a truly musical touch.
Built around two VCAs with a wide range of options including the most important one: the ability to musically colour the signal. Starting in dry mode, you get high-precision analogue amplification. But then when you turn the Colour knob, you add a warmer and more colourful timbre to the signal based on a finely-crafted state variable filtering circuit. Additionally positive gain control makes the dvca1 a true “amplifier,” and flexible link modes let you create modulated panning.
A true high-end analogue compressor not only adds punch to your signal, but it also can be modulated in intriguing and unconventional ways including side-chaining with a adjustable balance control that will open up a huge set of modular possibilities.
The Kompaktklavier otherwise known as the Zarenbourg Module, offers the sound engine of the Zarenbourg Piano in a rack unit. Just like its larger cousin, three different sound generators deliver uncompromising quality where physical modeling recreates the classic E-Piano sounds with staggering authenticity. The direct streaming sample playback engine with 4 GB of sample memory provides a selection of fantastic grand, upright and electric pianos. The third sound generation system is a 6-operator FM synthesizer, perfect for classic DX pianos and a variety of other trademark FM sounds.
Along with the sound generation capabilites it also provides a huge selection of high-quality effects, such as
Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Echo, Auto Wah, Equalizer and Overdrive, as well as many effect combinations. Each sound can be freely combined with an effect / effects combination and stored in the internal memory. New sounds and effects can also be added via the integrated SD Card slot.
It’s an interesting setup that makes your module collection a little bit more portable than before. If you have the need to take them on stage with you, the KB37 should certainly be seen as an option.