US: Former SADiE man Joe Bull's new venture, JoeCo, and CharterOak are among companies to have announced their plans, writes David Davies. McDSP, PreSonus and Radial Engineering have also revealed their intentions for the 2009 NAMM Show, which takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 15th to 18th.
One year after departing SADiE, the company he founded two decades ago, Joe Bull has resurfaced with a new venture, JoeCo Limited, and a debut product. The BLACKBOX RECORDER (pictured) is aimed primarily at the live music market and can record 24 channels of high-resolution audio straight to a USB2 drive. Housed in a 1U rack-mounted box, the BLACKBOX RECORDER can be plugged directly into the insert points on any console and can also provide Virtual Sound Checking facilities.
"I personally wanted to get more into the live market rather than the studio and mastering market, which is what SADiE had always been concentrated on," Bull tells PSN-e of his new venture. "The BLACKBOX RECORDER offers a simplified way of capturing the output from a mixing console so that you can then plug the drive, take it back to your studio and immediately plug it into your workstation, allowing you to do all the tweaking and mixing in the studio environment."
Bull is hoping to place several units for testing by the end of January, ahead of expected availability in April.
CharterOak Acoustic Devices will also make its NAMM debut this year, and plans to demonstrate the new SLC-1 discrete stereo compressor/limiter. The subject of considerable excitement when it was previewed at AES 125, the unit employs all discrete electronics and is said to be capable of providing a constant output level regardless of input level or frequency - without 'pumping'.
McDSP, meanwhile, will present its new vintage Retro Pack plug-in line. The Retro Pack bundle includes the 4020 Retro EQ, the 4030 Retro Compressor and the 4040 Retro Limiter. Other items to be showcased include the Channel G Surround compressor/limiter optimised for 5.1, and the Channel G Compact plug-in.
PreSonus has not revealed specific details of its NAMM plans, but does say that it will be revealing "exciting new product news and personnel additions, including the hiring of a major contributor to the music industry press for the past 15 years." The company recently issued new software drivers for its AudioBox USB 2x2 audio interface. The new drivers are designed to improved performance stability with Windows Vista and can be downloaded free here.
Radial Engineering, meanwhile, will be promoting the launch of Forest Audio, a new division focusing on high-end audio devices for studio and live touring. The first product to be released is the Forest F15 instrument preamplifier, which is a Class-A device with a feed-forward design that is said to totally eliminate the use of circuit stabilising negative feedback in the DI section. The Forest Q6 Counter-coil EQ will also be on show at NAMM, and more products are in the pipeline.
Universal Audio will be celebrating the recent news that it is to receive a Technical GRAMMY Award on February 7th at the Recording Academy's Special Merits Awards Ceremony. The award acknowledges UA's technical contributions to the recording industry, and follows an earlier Technical GRAMMY Award for UA's original founder, Bill Putnam Sr.
"Universal Audio was started by my dad to make music sound better," said Bill Putnam Jr. "To have UA honoured with a Technical GRAMMY Award is a wonderful vote of confidence that UA is carrying on my father's tradition and legacy."
Finally, the run-up period to the NAMM show saw power management solution provider Furman announce that it had signed on with a new distribution centre in Moerdijk, The Netherlands. Located approximately 60km south-west of Amsterdam and within close proximity of Rotterdam, the new facility is designed to "better serve" Furman's European customers.