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Resolution Awards Voting 2021

Despite the ongoing challenges of global pandemic, 2021 has continued to see the development of new and innovative products, which we are pleased to recognise in our 2021 Awards nominations.

The selections include high-tech AoIP equipment, digital and analogue processing, artisanal custom-builds, and reinvigorated DAW and plug-in software. They represent the (sometimes esoteric) recommendations of our writing team, trusted colleagues and peers, and now we’d like you to vote for your favourites to decide the winners.

Since the 2019 Awards, we have opened the voting process to our digital community — audio pros who receive our email newsletter, issuu.com readers and our wider Facebook and social media audience; simply enter an email address, make your choices on the voting form, and click ‘Submit’. We maintain fairness by only allowing one vote per IP address (the numerical label assigned to a device or local network connected to the internet).

Voting for our 12th annual Resolution Awards will close at the end of November, and the winners will be announced in a special digital Winners Supplement, and in the Winter edition of Resolution.

Resolution Awards Voting 2021
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DAW/Software Suite

Of the four nominees this year, two of the titles are well known and two are newcomers. Both Pro Tools 2021.6 and Nuendo 11 added a significant raft of features to well known DAW platforms, while UAD's Luna stepped into the ring to compete with the established DAWs by taking an analogue-inspired approach. L'Acoustic's L-ISA Studio is something very different, a software suite dedicated to emulating immersive audio environments for headphone mixing.

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Mixer/Controller (Analogue or Digital)

Calrec enhancements to its Brio console includes the Medley package, which adds a Dante or MADI expansion card and a Br.IO I/O box to form a powerful integrated system. Lawo's MC236 48-fader delivers extra controllability options to the firm's most compact desk option along with inbuilt A-UHD Core. Rupert Neve Design's 5057 orbit offers an ultra-stripped back quality summing option for DAW-based studios looking to add analogue flavour, while Solid State Logic's UF-8 provides a modular, expandable controller option for the same audience - marrying functionality to SSL's build quality and experience. 

 

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Analogue Outboard

The API Select T25 is a classic two-channel tube compressor that has caught many an eye as part of the company's new outboard line, while Little Labs' LL2A  is a diminutive, seemingly simple compressor/limiter with a lot of interesting electronics going on within its half-rack-sized enclosure, and a new way of doing things. The Audio Digital Technology Olympic 500 EQ, reviewed in this issue, is an impressive attempt to recreate the magic of the Olympic Studios Helios desks of yore, recreating the circuitry of the units used in Studio One. Solid State Logic's UV EQ unit pulls out the popular Ultraviolet circuitry of the Fusion unit into a compact 500 series format. 

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Interface (A-D/D-A)

The Antelope Galaxy 32 Synergy Core further develop's company's bespoke chipset ecosystem and makes a powerful platform for its low-latency plug-in range with Dante, HDX and Thunderbolt connectivity, while Avid's Pro Tools | Carbon pairs wonderfully with its changes to the Pro Tools with the Hybrid Engine for those looking to move towards HDX. The Focusrite Red8Line is a powerhouse interface with a wide gamut of connectivity options along with mic pres, while the Prism Sound Dream ADA-128 represents five years of research from the company, and operates as a modular, expandable, high-performance A/D that can accommodate up to 128 channels.

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Microphone

With its highly directional supercardioid pattern, the 4097 CORE Micro Shotgun proved to be a rugged performer in our test, capable of handling high-SPLs and great for discreet placements, while we loved the JZ BB29 Signature not only for its eye-catching design, but also for its excellent handling of vocals and acoustic instruments. The Scope Labs Periscope came right out of left-field to impress with its looks and unique, unusual sonic palette while the TF11 FET scratches a retro itch by melding a CK12-style capsule design with modern circuitry, build and style. 

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Monitoring

As the bigger option in an updated Alpha range, the two-way, bi-amped Alpha 65 EVO active nearfield monitors serve to bring Focal's notable sonic panache - which we have rewarded with Resolution Awards nominations in the past - to a very competitive price point. Genelec's GLM4.1 software completely overhauls its extremely user-friendly room optimisation system with a new room analysis engine and a whole host of new options. Grace Designs' M908 proved to be an extremely capable, super-flexible monitor controller in our tests, while Trinnov's D-Mon has now matured into an even more attractive option for controlling and perfecting the sound of your room thanks to the addition of the smart, stylish La Remote.  

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Plug-in

As a perfect plug-in representation of a very powerful piece of outboard Mastering EQ hardware, we couldn't really have been more impressed by Bettermaker's EQ232D, while the spirit of his impeccable taste and light touch in the control room is perfectly captured by Leapwing's Al Schmitt Signature plugin, while still delivering a good range sounds and options. SynchroArts' VocAlign Ultra is a wonderful no-frills tool for aligning audio and performing basic pitch correction that represents a real time-saver for those that will need it, while UAD's API Vision Console Emulation for Luna fundamentally re-jigs the software into an end-to-end API emulation providing a unique change of character for the DAW in a way we've not really seen before.  

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Preamp

As a perfect partner to the 8424 desk, or a great addition to almost any rig, the 1073OPX melds eight-channels of AMS Neve's much-appreciated 1073 pre-amp circuitry with a flexible, network controllable, rackmount enclosure, while API's T12 brings a classic 2-channel, all-tube, Class-A mic pre to a 2U rack as part of its new line leveraging its AP2516 transformer in the input stage and a custom API transformer on the output stage. The Cranborne Camden EC1 interface offers a diminutive 1/2 rack option for musicians and podcasters while still delivering excellent quality pre-amp circuitry in multiple flavours, headphone monitoring and access to the company's C.A.S.T. audio distribution system. Finally, the RME 12Mic is a network controllable, reliable, great-sounding workhorse set of mic pres that with MADI and AVB connections that greatly impressed during our tests. 

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Processor

While at its heart, Flock Audio's Patch system is a software-controlled patchbay, the range of integration and routing options it provides - the LT has 16 ins and 16 outs - and the simplicity of its operation via the Patch App software can be a revelatory way to integrate analogue outboard for the uninitiated. The Lawo A_UHD CORE represents a new heart for the company's MC2 mixers, with up 1,024 channels of flexible DSP processing that can be shared between consoles, as well as extensive IP Audio capabilities, while the LAWO Home system provides a cloud-based portal for management and connection of IP-based media infrastructure. Finally, the Studio Technologies Model 5422A Dante Intercom Audio Engine builds on and expands the 5422's reputation for providing IP-based Intercom facilities and broadcast-related mixing.  

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Recorder

The SPDR is Lectrosonics’ small, lightweight, dual-channel recorder to capture the full stereo audio where a wireless system cannot be used, or as the perfect compact backup option, while the Tascam DR-10L is also a compact discreet recorder - but this time twinned with a lavalier mic and ideal for videographers or reporters. iZotope's Spire Studio is a wireless, portable, musician-friendly recording system that twins an internal mic with additional connectivity, app-driven effects and AI cloud processing to create a powerful, portable musical notepad for ideas and collaboration. The PodTrack P8 delivers an easy-to-use, portable and powerful option for podcasters with six mic inputs and a multitude of other connection options. 

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