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AES 2010: Day Three and final thoughts

November 8, 2010

Sorry for the delay on this last AES entry, folks. The show closed a bit less than 24 hours ago, and from the closing bell I've been running: breaking down our booth, getting out of the Moscone Center, and making my way home in one piece. I finally have a few moments for some final shout-outs and a comment or two about the show in general.

BIAS was on hand with Peak Studio, its newest audio mastering and two-track editing product. This bundle combines Peak Pro 7, the newest version of Peak Pro, with a variety of complementary tools and cool new features, like multichannel editing, a new declipper tool, an LP/tape archiving utility called SoundSaver, and lots more.

Arturia showed Analog Laboratory, its latest hardware/software virtual instrument bundle. It combines a softsynth with a huge number of presets and new sound editing capabilities, drum loop triggering and phrase playback. 

Lynx Studio Technology showed the LT-USB daughtercard for the Aurora converter racks, which lets them be connected directly to a computer via USB 2.0 for up to 24/96 performance. 

Jonathan Little of Little Labs has updated his Redeye DI box/Reamp box to the new Redeye 3D Phantom, which offers simultaneous Di and reamping, daisy chaining, phantom powered active or passive operation, and more.

Great River Electronics debuted the MixMaster 20, a rackmount analog signal path for DAW users, with four sweet mic pre channels with inserts and aux outputs, 16 line-level inputs, a talkback circuit, analog passive summing, storable automation settings, and lots more. Very cool, very beautiful box.

Roll Music Systems wedged a real tube preamp into a single-space 500 series module, the Tubule. We think they used a shoe horn, but we're not sure; we'll let you know the details when we get one in for review.

And last but certainly not least, AnaMod premiered the XF Tube, a 500-Series module that models a tube amp! You can choose from among two models for the input transformer, two for the output transformer, and four each for the two tube stages (push-pull or single ended, pentode or triode). Like all AnaMod devices, the models you choose do NOT pull up digital emulations; they switch between all-analog signal paths. This stuff breaks my head, but I can't wait to hear what it sounds like.

Of course there were way more manufacturers at the show than I've mentioned in my reports, and we'll cover as many of them as we can in our upcoming show report. 

As the show wound down, I asked the same question of many manufacturers, and got the same answer from almost all of them. "How was the show for you guys?" "Great! Nowhere near as bad as we feared it might be, given the state of the economy earlier this year." Everyone seems to be looking at brighter tomorrows, and there's cautious confidence that things are going to get better in the audio world. I certainly hope so. In the meantime, a fond farewell to everyone who was so hospitable to this roaming editor at the AES Convention, and a quick trip home for a rest before returning to my duties here at RECORDING's offices.

Many of these products will be featured in reviews in our magazine in 2011. I can't wait; if the previews at AES were any indication, this is going to be a very bright year for new developments in audio recording technology!

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Kef America

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