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New Audio-Technica mics and more at AES

Audio-Technica’s new quad-element studio condenser was among further product launches made at AES last weekend, as was gear from Universal Audio, RTW and iZ Technology.

Audio-Technica has launched its new line of 50 Series studio microphones with the AT5040 cardioid condenser at the AES Convention in San Francisco last week. As its premiere studio microphone, Audio-Technica is reporting that the AT5040 offers ‘remarkably musical high-fidelity performance, with profound realism and depth, presence and purity of sound.’ The microphone’s design features a proprietary element design, with four ultra-thin (two micron) rectangular elements that function together as one, providing twice the surface area as a standard one-inch circular diaphragm – the largest element the company has ever made. The AT5040’s internal shock mounting effectively decouples the capsule from the microphone body. For additional isolation, each mic is also provided with Audio-Technica’s new AT8480 shock mount, engineered to rid the apparatus itself of any unwanted audio or resonance that could be transmitted to the microphone. The AT5040 will be available from January 2013. In further AES news, Canadian digital recorder and A-D/D-A converter manufacturer iZ Technology launched two new products: Radar 6, an update to the company’s flagship flagship multi-track recorder and ADA II converters for standalone DAWs.

From Vancouver, Radial Engineering presented a raft of new devices at this AES, including: the Gold Digger Passive Mic Selector, which enables the studio engineer to quickly compare and select the best sounding microphone to suit the character of a particular voice; the Powerhouse, a 10-slot rack delivering 1,600 milliamps of current for serving 500 Series outboard units; and the intriguingly named Tossover Variable Frequency Divider, a 500 Series module that enables the user to divide the frequency bands of an audio signal to separately process lows and highs or combine the two in series to create a band-pass filter.
Universal Audio announced the impending release of a couple of new mastering plugins: the Shadow Hills mastering compressor plug-in created by UAD Direct Development partner Brainworx and Shadow Hills Industries founder Peter Reardon, and the Precision K-Stereo Ambience Recovery plug-in created by Universal Audio in collaboration with famed mastering engineer Bob Katz. Both plugins will be available as part of the upcoming UAD Software v6.3.2 release, scheduled for early November.
In addition to debuting their recently released DNS 8 Live in America, Cedar Audio released an AAX version of its DNS One plug-in that combines the DNS One process with the DNS CS remote control for the DNS2000 and DNS3000.

As previously reported, Nugen Audio also had new AAX plug-ins launching in San Francisco. In addition, the company demonstrated a prototype of a plug-in offering upmixing/downmixing between stereo and 5.1 surround. The plug-in uses the patented ISOSTEM technology, which is believed to be the only upmix engine that is fully compatible with stereo. Finally, RTW introduced new options and functional enhancements for its SurroundControl 31900/31960 and SurroundMonitor 11900 ranges. The SD device versions of these products are shipping with a new 3G-enabled SDI de-embedder and Dolby E, DD+ and AC-3 decoders. The current device firmware now supports the 7.1 DD+ format, ensuring compliance with current 7.1 surround formats for Blu-ray discs and other applications. The 7.1 DD+ format has been implemented alongside the existing 7.1 cinema format on the SurroundControl and SurroundMonitor systems.