Posted on: Wednesday 1st of June 2016
The Schertler Arthur Format48 is a new modular mixer which can be custom-specified by the user. Schertler Group CEO Stephan Schertler, who designed the mixer electronics, said: ‘While Arthur may not offer all the features of a large studio console – indeed it is not designed for that – its sound nevertheless outperforms many of the more established mixing consoles. Furthermore the mixer’s flexible configuration makes it a perfect tool for use in both professional and amateur capacities, for studio recording or live applications and with small or large groups of performers. The possibilities are practically endless.’
The mixer is created from a choice of eight different Class A input and output modules. These include a Mic Input unit, Yellow instrument input unit, Stereo Input unit and Spring Reverb unit, as well as L/R Master, EQ Master, Aux Master and external Power-In units. Arthur’s electronic design aims for high quality audio: there’s a complete absence of negative feedback (NFB) from input to output. This promises an ultra fast response and a natural attack, neither of which Schertler believe is achievable with NFB circuitry. All circuits are built using discrete components (in Class A) and pure high-voltage DC-amps (without any capacitors in the signal path), offering 30dB headroom and low noise, as well as a claimed ‘unparalleled stability, warmth and transparency’. Combining the various mixer modules is a straightforward process involving connecting rods and hexagonal screws. Users have total freedom to design their own personal channel sequence, the number of modules that can be included depend on the power supply used: For simpler combinations of 8 or 16 units, there is a choice of two compact PSUs. A further high-end power supply is also available for use with any combination of units up to as many as 60. Arthur is expected to ship during summer 2016.
Arouser: Twenty years after Empirical Labs carved a name for themselves with their hardware compressor the Distressor, they’ve finally released a digital plugin based on the popular rack-mount unit. Features of the plugin include “Classic Knee” compression, proprietary Empirical Labs detector modelling, controllable Broadband Saturator, an AtMod Control (changes the shape of the initial attack, and can lengthen attack times in a different manner than the Attack control), comprehensive sidechaining, and Rivet – a ‘brick wall ratio great on room mics, and for skimming peaks’. There’s also a Blend control, allowing a mix of the dry and compressed signals. An iLok 2 is required to license the plugin, which is available for $349, with an introductory offer of $299
The Focusrite Red 4Pre is a brand new 58-in, 64-out flagship audio interface that tips its hat to the company’s original Red series. It includes four newly-developed, digitally controlled ‘Red Evolution’ preamps, plus high-headroom instrument inputs, a new high-performance conversion system, and Thunderbolt 2, Pro Tools HD DigiLink and Dante network connectivity. The 4 Red Evolution preamps feature “clear, honest audio performance” say Focusrite, with –129 dB EIN and 63dB of gain. Software control allows recall of settings and stereo linking, plus configuration of HPF, polarity invert and individual phantom power.
The preamps include Focusrite’s ‘Air’ effect, recreating the sound of the older transformer-based mic preamps in the classic ISA range, known for bringing out the breath of a vocal or adding sparkle to instruments like piano or acoustic guitar. When ‘Air’ is enabled, the microphone impedance is set to 2.1kΩ and the frequency response curve is given a subtle mid-high boost – all in the analogue domain. The new conversion system features “parallel path summing”, where two matched converters run in parallel to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. They operate at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz sampling and are designed to offer a dynamic range of 118dB from the A-to-D convertors and 121dB for the D-to-A convertors.
Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports allow daisy-chaining of additional components such as hard drives and displays. Dual Ethernet ports provide for Dante audio-over-IP networking – expanding recording capability over Ethernet for up to 64 additional channels anywhere on the network, with low latency. This adds-up to what appears to be a very generous feature set for around £2100. www.focusrite.com
French tape manufacturer Mulann, will be aiming a new brand “Recording The Masters” at professional and semi-professional recording, mixing, mastering and archiving, and plans to expand its presence in the United States, Europe and other territories. ‘MULANN owns the original formulas of analogue recording, some of which date back to 1950, created by Agfa and BASF. These magnetic formulas deliver a very high sensitivity and dynamic sound quality. They also offer the capabilities to store data for several decades, far beyond what digital and optical media offer today’, says Jean-Luc Renou, Mulann CEO. Tapes planned for release under the Recording The Masters brand include formulations familiar to professionals such as (BASF) SM900, SM911, and the vintage “low print” (AGFA) SM468 formula, together with LPR90 (a long-playing version of the SM900, back-coated ¼ inch) and the LPR35, a long-playing version of the SM911.