Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strymon Lex -Rotary Speaker Simulator $299

"Lex provides you with a complete, accurately reproduced rotary system: the low-frequency bass rotor, the rotating treble horn, the tube-driven amplifier, finely tuned microphone placement, and all the complex sonic interactions between these elements. Utilizing a ridiculously powerful SHARC DSP, every drop of processing power is harnessed to authentically represent these details.

You get eight parameters to tweak, allowing extensive control over the tonality and mechanics of the rotating speaker system. You can manipulate each element, from rotor speed, horn level, acceleration time, microphone distance, tube drive and saturation, and volume level. Go from a maelstrom of dramatic, up-close, sweeping and swirling sounds, all the way to mellow, tranquil and calming undulations. All of this without a giant cabinet, microphone setup, and costly motor maintenance."

Visit Strymon's website for more info:

Little Labs Red Eye 3D Phantom

"The Red Eye 3D phantom is the new improved major revision of the popular Little Labs Redeye direct box / re-amp box."
"For easy accurate re-amping the Redeye 3D lets you listen thru your whole recording chain, from Redeye 3D direct box, to mic pre to DAW (or tape machine), to Redeye 3D Re-amp, to your guitar amp. In DI (direct box) mode the instrument / re-amp out on the front of the Redeye 3D works as a thru signal so you can simultaneously feed your guitar amp while supplying a signal from the rear xlr to your mic pre and DAW or tape machine. In re-amp mode the instrument / re-amp out on the front of the Redeye 3D signal comes from the line level output of the DAW or tape machine (converted to HI z guitar level signal) to feed your guitar
amp. This simple way of listening thru the chain (re-amp mode) and being able to bypass the mic pre and DAW or tape machine in the chain (DI mode) makes level adjustments a snap. This also assures you a re-amped guitar sound that will be exactly what was heard when laying down the track."

Avalon Designs AD2055 Dual Mono Parametric Equalizer

The AD2055 is one of my favorite hardware equalizers. The words open, detailed, transparent, surgical and sheen come to mind when describing the AD2055. I've used this on various sounds on many mixes over the years but my favorite application is vocals. For example, I used the AD2055 on Estelle's vocals for various songs on her "Shine" album including her song "Come Over" featuring Sean Paul (produced by Supa Dups). I also used it (the Salaam Remi produced songs) on both Amy Winehouse "Frank" and "Back To Black" albums.

The AD2055 is a Class A dual mono four band equalizer with both passive and active filters. The low and high bands - Low F1 and High F4 (which can be used as shelving or parametric) are a passive filter design with 10 switchable frequencies and fully variable boost/cut of +/- 32db. The F1 selectable frequencies are 18Hz, 25, 30, 50, 72, 100, 150, 215, 300, 450Hz and the F2 frequencies are 1k5Hz, 2k5, 3k5, 5k, 7k2, 10k, 12k5, 15k, 20k, 25kHz.
The 2 mid bands - MID F2 and MID F3 are fully variable parametrics with active filters and a boost/cut range of +/- 16db with a x10 frequency multiplier. The Mid F2 covers 35hz to 450hz (350 - 4500hz with the x10 button activated. The MID F3 covers 160hz to 2khz (1.6k - 20khz with x10 activated). Both F2 and F3 bands have a Q (bandwidth) range of 0.3 to 3.0. This makes the AD2055 incredibly flexible and capable of some serious sonic surgery.
Even at extreme settings the sound of the AD2055 is extremely transparent and can easily be used for stereo/2buss applications.
For mastering I recommend the AD2077 which has additional features such as super accurate custom gold rotary switches in 0.5dB, 1dB and 2dB steps. It also has 104 switched frequencies per channel with X I0 range selectors that provide frequency selections from 12Hz to 25kHz at 1/4 octave intervals.

For more info on the AD2055:

The AD2055 can be purchased at various dealers including B&H Pro Audio dept. for $3,960.

and here's links to the albums on iTunes:

U2 to Snatch 'Biggest Tour Ever' Title This Weekend

hen the doors open Sunday night for U2's second show at Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the band's 360 tour will become the highest grossing tour in history.

In Sao Paulo, U2 360 will pass the $558 million gross mark set by the Rolling Stones for their A Bigger Bang tour of 2005-2007. U2 will go on to shatter the record at about $700 million by the time it wraps in North America July 30 at Magnetic Hill in Moncton, N.B., and when all the numbers come in be recorded in Billboard Boxscore as the biggest trek ever. The tour returns to North America May 21 in Denver.

360 will also have moved more than 7 million tickets to 110 shows, enough to capture the "highest attended tour ever" mantle, as well. The Stones are also the band to vacate that title, as their Voodoo Lounge tour of 1994-1995 had held the attendance record at 6.4 million tickets, according to Boxscore.

Video: U2 performs "Beautiful Day" in Gothenberg in 2009

Owning the "biggest tour ever" record is "something we're very proud of having set," band manager Paul McGuinness tells Billboard. "And to set it with a further 20-plus shows to go on the tour is kind of mind-blowing. It means that it's a record that will probably never be outstripped."

ichael Cohl, producer of Rolling Stones tours from 1989 through A Bigger Bang (and currently lead producer on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), called U2 capturing the title "an incredible achievement, a great group, [360 is] an amazing tour. Congrats." 

Topping all previous tours at the box office is the culmination of a career effort by a band that built its foundation around live performance. "We were always very conscious that we had two parallel careers, as recording artists and as live performers, and each was absolutely vitally important," McGuinness says. "In our own kind of quiet way we were all somewhat military about it. We would talk about territories and conquering them, and if there was somewhere that was slower to come along, we would go back there and work it again. Bono is kind of a closet General Patton. So, for us, this is a real victory."

This time around, no areas were slow for U2. On the average, both gross and attendance are staggering numbers at about $6.4 million and 63,600 per show, respectively, surely in itself a record, though as-of-yet unquantified by Boxscore.

For tour producer Arthur Fogel, chairman of Live Nation Global Touring, and his Toronto-based team, there is still work to be done. "It's great to break the record, but after that there are still 26 shows left," Fogel says. Even so, breaking the gross record is "an amazing accomplishment," Fogel says. "I don't think the average person can really relate to the whole thing, it's hard enough for us to come to terms with it. More than the dollars, when you think in terms of when this thing does wrap it will be over 7 million tickets on 110 shows, it's just mind-blowing on an average per show."

The success of 360 is more a statement about the band's global popularity and the unique 360-degree staging and its resulting capacity increases of 15%-20% than it is about ticket prices, which ranged from as low as $30 to a top end of $250. The attendance mark is "absolutely the bigger accomplishment," Fogel says. "There are so many factors that play into it: the unique nature of the production, the ticket pricing model, the strategy of where to play and how many tickets are in the market," he says. "It all comes in to play, and when it actually unfolds as you would want it to, then I guess it's the perfect storm."

Launching the most expensive touring production in history with huge capacities in an uncertain global economy was ambitious, to say the least. Staged as it is, 360 risked looking ridiculous if it played to half-houses. "It was a bold move on behalf of everybody, because the reality is, with this production, you're kind of naked out there, there's nowhere to hide," Fogel says. "So when you undertake that kind of production, sightlines and staging, you better be pretty confident you can pull it off."

360 was the first tour under a 10-year multirights agreement between the band and Live Nation, and beyond the staging configuration the tour's "360" banner is a sly reference to that deal, according to McGuinness, who calls the tour name "a little private joke to amuse myself at one point." When it's all said and done, U2 360 will have visited more than 30 countries, dating back nearly two years ago to the opening show in Barcelona, Spain on June 30, 2009. Sidelined last summer by back surgery for the band's Bono, 360 never missed a beat when it resumed. The tour visited Australia/New Zealand, South Africa, South America, Europe, North America, and Mexico.

Going forward, there is a new champ in the Billboard Boxscore records. "Frankly, if anyone else said it was the biggest tour in history it wouldn't count," says McGuinness. "You guys are the journal of record."

Given the unique capacities that the 360 production allows and the band's massive popularity all over the world (as well as the uncertainty of the Rolling Stones' touring future and the fragmented nature of music today) this is a record that will likely stand for many years if not forever. "This is one of those things that is so special and unique that, in this form, it probably only comes around once," says Fogel, who has now produced four of the top five highest grossing tours of all time. "And I think that's OK. It accomplished everything that everyone set out to accomplish, and I think that's the way it should end."