US: The 125th AES Convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco has failed to disappoint, as ever, write Dave Robinson and David Davies. Among the major releases and revelations at the show were the latest version of Pro Tools and the first joint product merging Roland's hardware expertise with Cakewalk's software skills.
V-Studio 700 is the "next generation" of the successful V-Studio line. It combines the hardware of the VS-700C hardware controller (with nine 100mm moving faders and an interface designed around accessibility and professional functionality) and the power of Cakewalk's Sonar 8 DAW. There's an onboard Roland VS Fantom synth to boot.
Incorporating a stylish new user interface, more than 70 plug-ins and virtual instruments, fully-integrated MIDI and score editors, and an expanded selection of editing features, Pro Tools 8 software - due to be made available later this year - incorporates Pro Tools|HD, Pro Tools LE and Pro Tools M-Powered.
"Pro Tools 8 benefits from the valuable feedback we received from our dedicated Pro Tools creative community, along with Avid's passion for creating great audio and video tools that move technology forward," explained Dave Lebolt, Avid's senior vice-president and chief technology officer. "Our customers provide a comprehensive real-world knowledge base that we draw upon for inspiration and guidance. It's a synergy of size and scope unique to Pro Tools in the world of audio. We are very excited to deliver the latest results of this partnership back to our customers in the form of Pro Tools 8."
Meanwhile, a brace of new developments from Focusrite includes the announcement that, with effect from October 1st, it has assumed worldwide distribution of its Forte Suite EQ and Compressor plug-in. Formerly distributed worldwide by Digidesign, the Forte Suite channel strip is said to bring Focusrite's sonic signature to Pro Tools through sophisticated modelling of the ISA 110 EQ and ISA 130 dynamics processors - the key modules from the Focusrite Forte analogue console.
Focusrite has also utilised AES 125 to launch the latest addition to the Liquid range, Liquid Mix HD, which is designed to deliver the power of Liquid Mix exclusively to the Pro Tools HD market. Also new is multi-channel FireWire audio interface, the Focusrite Saffire PRO 40 (pictured), which includes eight Focusrite pre-amps, a host of i/o options, ten analogue outputs, ADAT i/o, stereo SPDIF i/o and two virtual 'loopback' inputs for routing digital audio between software applications. Saffire PRO 40 also arrives with a suite of Focusrite plug-ins.
TC Electronic has turned the spotlight on a new addition to the PowerCore platform, PowerCore 6000. Designed for serious studios and professional applications, PowerCore 6000 incorporates eight FreeScale DSP engines, the same DSPs used in System 6000, and an SRAM memory design that supports high performance reverbs and delays. It also features seven plug-in algorithms from System 6000, namely VSS3 Stereo Source Reverb, Nonlin2, DVR 2 Digital Vintage Reverb, MD3 Stereo Mastering, Brickwall Limiter, UnWrap stereo to 5.1 conversion, and TapFactory.
Universal Audio has announced the shipment of the LA-610 Mk II Classic Tube Recording Channel. Described as a feature-enhanced, second generation version of UA's most popular analogue product, the LA-610 Mk II incorporates a preamp and compressor that use the same signal path as the original LA-610. Other features include the 610 mic-pre and EQ section and an LA-2A style T4 opto-compressor, along with new enhancements including true compressor bypass, larger metering and improved output signal performance.
UA also showcased v5.1 of the UAD Powered Plug-Ins Software for the UAD DSP platform. Features include the new Moog Multimode Filter plug-in for UAD-1, exclusively endorsed and officially licensed by Moog Music Inc, and developed by UA. The Moog Multimode Filter will also be available for UAD-2 in a future software release.
Elsewhere at the show, JBL launched two lines of new-look EON speakers, the 300 and 500 series. JBL revealed it has sold over 800,000 EONs since the speaker was launched some 15 years ago. SSL showed new E Series EQ and dynamics units for its XLogic range, Lexicon showed off the PCM96 surround FX unit and Fairlight unveiled the Connie III DAW.