Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kush Audio's Clariphonic Parallel Equalizer

Instantly & effortlessly add pristine analog focus, detail, clarity, and air to any sound

"The Clariphonic Parallel Equalizer is a mastering grade, parallel shelving EQ matrix with a new filter shape that allows a single band to lift both the top and the bottom, simultaneously but asymmetrically. To my ears the top gets lifted at about a 3:1 ratio compared to the bottom, but I have yet to test it to see what the proportions actually are.

The signal path is super minimal --- it's primarily a capacitance network made up of Wima and Panasonic caps --- but the switching architecture is extremely cool and allows for a lot of new possibilities. I wanted to create an eq that was artistic and right-brain in nature, to get you to think about sound in terms of textures and colors rather than numbers.

To that end, there are 2 engines per channel, the Focus Engine and the Clarity Engine, each of which can have 1 active band. I call them engines because they work on both ends of the spectrum despite being a single band. Anyway, there are 4 unique bands to choose from in each engine, each with its own slope and corner on top and bottom. So essentially it's a dual channel 2-band eq that behaves like a 4-band hi/low eq, with 8 available filter shapes per channel which, because of the switching network, can be configured in 16 possible combination's.

Sonically, the filters are insanely smooth up top and do crazy cool things to the bottom, but the general idea is tighten/define the lows and lift/open the top with minimal coloration or phase smear. Each engine does that in its own way.

Focus Engine is more of a broad push that totally clears the mud from sounds, lifts them up and forward, and can be aggressive at max boost but is always easy on the ears; combined with the tight-ass lows it brings a new level of detail and immediacy to the picture.

Clarity Engine works further out in the spectra, with the highest band's corners being somewhere in the 40hz area on the bottom and the 40k range up top (!). I've never heard air or shimmer like it. You have to be careful, the top on the Clarity Engine is like crack, it's highly addictive and really easy to do more than is wise because it always sounds good, it just takes the lid off the sound and opens it up. Use with caution!
But it gets better
When your signal comes into the Clarity Control, it is passed full bandwidth to the output. It is also multed to each of the bands, and you use the gain control of each engine to blend that band in parallel with your original signal via an internal mix buss. This is very different than your typical console and channel eq's, which pass your signal thru each band in series, with each band doing its thing on the phase-altered signal of the band before it.

The parallel mix architecture means the phase coherence of your signal remains completely intact, and the bands are blended in behind it. The effect is kinda holographic and super tight, no hash or harshness at all.

What's really cool is that the full range signal and each engine all have their own mute switches, so you can listen to just one or both filters in isolation and hear exactly what you're grabbing. You can also leave the full-range killed and bring the Clarity Control back in parallel on your own console, where you can compress, saturate, or otherwise play with the high and low freqs as their own entities. The creative possibilities here can't be overstated.

Tube Equipment Corporation Model SR-71 "Blackbird" Compressor/Limiter

Weighing in at 44 pounds, 
the Tube Equipment Corporation Model SR-71 Blackbird is a Dynamic Mu™ stereo compressor/limiter using the original Fairchild 670 design with modern components. It has compression character highly reminiscent of the 670 with flatter high frequency response owing to Sowter Mumetal-core input transformers, which we really like. It also employs faster release times for modern percussive material, output controls, the "DC Threshold" (Ratio) control relocated to the main panel and a true hardwire bypass. We think these enhancements provide a more versatile product.
With twin 15 watt tube amps driving the sidechains, much like both the venerable 670 and SR-71's renown Mach III aviation namesake, it's very fast.

Drobo - 4 Bay FW800 & USB 2.0 Storage Array

No Headache Data Redundancy

Drobo utilizes a revolutionary storage technology that makes it simple for anyone to use, yet is powerful enough for business. Once you experience the power of Drobo, the idea of keeping multiple external drives or a RAID 5 array will seem as antiquated as that 28.8Kbps modem in the back of your closet.

Incomparable Expandability

Your library of data grows every moment. Now, your storage solution expands in seconds, too. Drobo holds up to four hard drives, can expand at any time, and supports up to 16TB on a single volume as disk sizes increase. Choose how big you want your Drobo today with any combination of drives capacities.

Speed Demon: FireWire 800 & USB 2.0

Why compromise? Safety and accessibility now go hand in hand. Experience Drobo with both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0. It's the data protection and peace of mind you need with the performance and interface you want.

List $399

Amazon beats Apple, Google to music storage, streaming service

"There are plenty of cloud storage services to choose from, but there are few that are particularly good. Amazon hopes to become part of the latter group with the introduction of Amazon Cloud Drive, a consumer-oriented service that allows users to back up their local music libraries and play them remotely from anywhere via the Web or Android device.
According to Amazon, all US-based Amazon customers automatically get 5GB of Cloud Drive space where they can upload their music libraries. The files must be unencrypted AACs or MP3s, and they can be uploaded at their original bit rate. Those who purchase an album from Amazon's MP3 service get the sweetest deal, though—20GB of space—and all new MP3 purchases will be automatically copied to your Cloud Drive without counting against your storage quota (you can still download the MP3s, too)........"

Broadcast from anywhere with Luci Live for the Mac

Homegrown broadcast journalism just got a little easier. Software company Technica Del Arte has brought its popular iOS broadcasting software, Luci Live,to the Mac.
Luci Live turns mobile devices, like laptops or smartphones, into portable recording studios. Using the software, journalists can record, edit, and then stream HD video or audio content from anyplace with a Internet connection, to their studios back home. The reporters can also use Luci Live to do live broadcasts, where they can simultaneously stream recorded content along with their live commentary.
In recent weeks, various television and radio reporters have flocked to cover the events in Egypt, Japan, and Libya. Due to the current technological problems in those countries, reporters have been using their laptops and smartphones to broadcast field reports. Software like Luci Live is what makes such broadcasts possible.
Like its iPhone and Windows counterparts, the Mac Version of Luci Live supports two-way RTD and UDP low-level streaming, as well as one-way Shoutcast/Icecast streaming. It also supports AAC, AAC-HE, AAC-HEV2, G711, G722 and ULC output codecs.
The Mac version of Luci Live costs $450, and requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

Golden Age COMP 54

The COMP-54 is a one-channel vintage style Compressor. The signal path uses only discrete components like resistors, capacitors and transistors. The line input and output are transformer balanced and the unit also has a third interstage transformer.

The class-A circuit used in the COMP-54 is similar to the one in the classic 2254 compressor that was designed in 1969. It quickly became a legend due to it´s totally unique sound character that is warm, smooth, sweet and musical. These characteristics have been heard on countless recordings through the years and it is a versatile sound that works very well on most sound sources and in most genres. The essence of this sound is now available at a surprisingly low cost, making it available to nearly everyone.

The COMP-54 uses a diode bridge as the gain control element, a method that is revered for its smooth way of operation. Some of the most sought after vintage compressor designs, like the 2254, 2264, 33609, Siemens™ and EMI™ used the same basic design.

The controls in the COMP-54 are very flexible covering broad ranges of Ratio, Attack and Release times, including two Auto positions. All controls except the Gain make-up one are stepped for easy resetting and stereo matching.
There are three selectable sidechain high pass filter frequencies available to handle special situations.

The Bypass switch is a true bypass where a relay switches the complete circuitry in or out. The IN/OUT switch makes it possible to switch the compression on and off while retaining the coloring from the transformers and the electronic circuitry.

The meter can show output level or gain reduction. It is also possible to link two units for stereo operation.

API 527 Compressor/Limiter

The API 527 takes it's place alongside the family of API VCA based compressors, the 225L and the 2500 Stereo Bus Compressor. Anyone familiar with those units will immediately be at home with the 527. Features common to the line like "feed forward" (NEW) and "feed back" (OLD) gain reduction methods selectable on the front panel, provide a choice of "that old way", or "the new way" of compression, for the highest level of flexibility in signal gain control. The "old way" or Feed-Back method is what most of the classic compressors used for the gain control circuit. The "new way" gain reduction is more typical of the newer VCA type compressors that rely on RMS detectors for the gain control voltage.
There is a "SOFT"/"HARD" switch for an "over-easy" type compression resulting in a very natural, uncompressed sound or a typical sharp knee type that lends itself to a much more severe limiting effect.
The Threshold control sets the initial operating parameter. The 527 can be operated with signal input levels from +10 dBu to -20 dBu.
The 527 features an Output fader control that ranges from minus infinity to +10dB, and output capability is +28 dBu through our 2520 discrete amplifier and a large API output transformer. The output level remains fairly constant regardless of the threshold or ratio control, much like the "more/less" Ceiling control on the API 525 compressor. This allows for live adjustments without any noticeable gain changes in the program level.
The patented THRUST function can be switched in and out via the front panel as well, applying a high pass filter before the RMS detector circuit that preserves that punchy bottom end.
Attack and Release are fully adjustable on the 527. Release time can be adjusted by rotating the inner concentric RELEASE knob. Release time constants: .3 sec to 3 sec. Attack time is adjusted on the outer concentric ATTACK knob, which ranges from 1 millisecond to 25 milliseconds.
The 527 is designed for individual channel use or, through the use of the LINK switch, two units can be combined for Stereo applications via a motherboard bus connection.
The 527 Compressor/Limiter makes use of the 2510 and 2520 Discrete Op-amps and exhibits the reliability, long life, and signature sound which are characteristic of API products.

  • Audio circuit uses the 2510 and 2520 Discrete Op Amps with transformer output
  • Continuously variable detented Threshold control
  • Continuously variable detented Attack and Release controls
  • Continuously variable detented Ratio control
  • Output Fader level control
  • 10 segment VU/Gain Reduction meter with selector switch
  • Overload LED
  • "Link" switch for multiple unit interdependent compression linking
  • "New"/"Old" switch for feed-forward or feed-back compression
  • "Hard"/"Soft" compression curve knee switch
  • Patented THRUST® switch for frequency dependent side chain control
  • "IN" switch with hard relay bypass when in the "Out" position

ProAc Studio 100 near-field monitors

"The ProAc Studio 100 is consistently selected by top recording engineers for near-field monitoring in major studios - ample testimony to its overall sound quality and neutrality at monitor reference levels......"


Foote Control Systems P33S stereo compressor

The features are as follows;

> RMS or Adaptive NL timings
> 100Hz sidechain HPF
> Feedback mode
> True Power or Algebraic summing mode

Algebraic summing differs from true power summing in that the voltages of the 2 channels are summed into one detector, as opposed to True Power sum, which sums the power of the 2 channels after detection using two detectors.

Sonically, Algerbraic sum mode or ALG, has the effect of widening the stereo image by favoring compression of correlated signal.
This is because more of the mono component is compressed than the stereo image information.

The P33S has the trademark FCS sound at an expected street price of around $1,150.00 USD

Waves One Knob plugins