US: Solid State Logic and Focusrite were among many manufacturers utilising the showcase afforded by this year's AES US Convention to draw attention to new or recent product. While SSL announced two new components for the X-Rack modular rack system, Focusrite undertook the worldwide launch of its new LIQUID4PRE four-channel microphone pre-amplifier, writes David Davies.
The new components for SSL's X-Rack modular rack system are the VHD Input Module and the Stereo Bus Compressor Module. The latter is said to respond to demand for the centre section compressor from the company's G-Series Consoles to be made available for the X-Rack system. Designed to make complete mixes sound bigger, "with more power, punch and drive," the Stereo Bus Compressor Module features an ultra high bandwidth, ultra low noise Super Analogue circuit design; Threshold, Attack, Ratio, Release and Make Up controls; and the accompaniment of True Stereo Side Chain Input by a 'link' feature that enables multiple units of the module to be combined for surround processing.
The VHD Input Module – based on the input section of the SSL E-Signature Channel 1U rack – is said to offer "a devilishly warm and dirty alternative" to the X-Rack Mic Amp Module. This new module combines five key elements: a high bandwidth mic amp stage that can handle mic, instrument or line inputs; SSL's Variable Harmonic Drive circuit; an additional line input/trim control section; a set of high- and low-pass filters, and the Listen Mic Compressor.
"The release of these new modules takes the evolution of the X-Rack system to a new level of versatility," said SSL marketing manager Dan Duffell. "X-Rack has caught the wave of understanding out there of the vital role of analogue depth in the often clinical modern DAW powered studio."
Focusrite used the stage provided by AES to unveil a new product that it considers to be "the most flexible four channel pre-amp in history". Utilising The Liquid Channel's Liquid technology, LIQUID4PRE combines a flexible analogue front end with dynamic convolution DSP to deliver the sounds of 40 vintage and classic microphone pre-amps across all four channels.
Specific features of the new device – which is augmented by fully digital controls and remote software control over Ethernet – include 99 unit set-up memories that can be managed via the hardware or dedicated control software LIQUID4CONTROL; The Liquid Channel's 'Harmonics' distortion circuit and 'Session Saver' automatic gain control circuit; 'Operator Lock', ensuring secure use in public arenas; AES and ADAT optical digital input and outputs as standard, and optional EtherSound eight-channel card.
To read about other new products highlighted at AES, click here