Archive for the ‘Audio Gear’ Category

Waves has added a new plug-in to the Tony Maserati Signature Collection. It’s called GRP and is a group processor, intended for the drum bus, backing vocals and so on. Almost looks a little Softubish.

This is what Tony Maserati himself says about the new plug-in (via Waves):

The Maserati GRP plugin is meant to help that final blend jump out a bit. It’s got a nice bit of equalization involved but no effects, no shredders, none of that kind of thing. In fact, the compression that I’m using in the network there is very, very subtle, because generally I don’t do major compression over my groups. It’s meant to add a nice sheen on a great blend of background vocals or compress a drum kit together, make it really feel like it’s got some nice air to it.

Waves has also taken the time to update the other plug-ins in the bundle so they all include both Insert and Send modes. A bunch of new presets has also been added. [read]


The dream of creating full productions on our mobile devices is gradually becoming reality, as exemplified by the much-anticipated NanoStudio. With six tracks of sequencing in the familiar piano-roll style, a sampling (and resampling!) drum machine and four instances of a superb synthesiser, it really is a (basic) virtual studio in the palm of your hand.

To start things off, there’s the TRG-16. You get 16 pads into which you can load the factory sounds or your own WAV files, which can be imported using the free desktop NanoSync app. Stereo and mono samples are supported, there’s a sample editor, and you can record from the iPhone’s (mono) mic. Oh, and you can resample NanoStudio’s output. Very slick.

Blip Interactive NanoStudio | Music tech reviews |

Because the only permanent solution is to actually change the levels and save out a new version of your audio and video, we’ll take a look at that first. This process can involve re-compressing your already compressed audio, which means quality loss is inevitable, so unless you’re working from high quality sources you may want to avoid this option. To do this, you need something that can process audio and boost the levels. Free software like Audacity can easily normalize your levels, but if normalization isn’t cutting it and you need to compress the dynamic range you’ll need something that can apply a compressor or limiter. Audacity has a compressor and, chances are, you have other software that has somewhat more complex options as well. [read]

Reason has been a firm favourite of ours since its original release a decade ago. Not just a virtual studio in concept, it offers a literal representation of a traditional MIDI studio, revolving around a simulated rack to which a huge range of devices can be added.

Effects, synths, samplers, drum machines, mixers – all can be dropped into the rack and connected as you see fit by flipping around to the rear of the units and plugging virtual cables into their I/O ports. Sequencing is pretty much the only part of Reason that’s not tied to the rack.

“Ultimately, Reason’s restricted nature is also its strength.”

Unlike almost all modern music applications, there’s no third-party plug-in support – and there likely never will be, although you can connect Reason to other apps via the ReWire protocol. [read]

Royer Labs has introduced the new R-101 Ribbon Microphone. A new design with high SPL (sound pressure level) capabilities and extremely low residual noise, the R-101 is ideal for both studio and live sound reinforcement applications.
According to Royer, the R-101 offers numerous technological advancements including a multi-layered wind screening to provide protection from air blasts and plosives as well as proximity effect reduction. The R-101 incorporates Royer’s patented offset-ribbon technology and a low mass, 2.5-micron aluminum (99.9% pure) ribbon element. The ribbon transducer’s flux-frame and rare earth Neodymium magnets create a powerful magnetic field which increases sensitivity while reducing stray magnetic radiation. [read]

It’s a good time to be a tech-savy guitarist. Recently, the App Store has seen the release of packages allowing you to turn your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into a full-blown guitar amp simulator. Apps like Frontier Design Group’s iShred Live and IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube offer a large assortment of effects pedals, amplifiers, speakers. and even microphones that you can mix and match to come up with custom tones that are all your own. [read]

recently switched from Windows XP to Windows 7 64 bit. The install went surprisingly well considering my usual bad luck with this sort of thing. While there was a lot of reinstalling of software the experience overall was very positive and far less stressful than I feared. Win7 looks and feels and works a lot nicer than XP did with the same hardware so I’m really satisfied. Windows 7 64 bit is strongly recommended. Whether you need more RAM now or not, this is the way forward and will be the standard.

Note – I also updated my MacBook Pro to Snow Leopard, which was even easier but leaves very little to talk about as everything works perfectly as is. If you have questions feel free to ask.

I know some people are hesitant to upgrade, so here are my tips for making the transition. [read]


Also, check out – Pro Tools 8 Installation Journey: Look Before You Leap