Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: January 2006

January 15, 2006

Yet another summing mixer...

by Chris Randall

SM Pro Audio is gonna drop the PM8 summing buss at NAMM. I thought we would start to see more low-cost summing mixers now that everyone realizes that DAWs can't sum for shit. And lo, and furthermore hark, here we have one. No price yet, but I can't see how it will be very much, as SM Pro is not a high-end company.

There are some questions, though. It says "passive" (which is what the "P" in "PM8" stands for.) That would imply that it was like the Folcrum or something, entirely passive, and you need to provide make-up gain via mic pres. However, it also plugs in; the Folcrum doesn't need any electricity because, well, it's passive. So, I think that the summing buss itself is passive, while there are line amps for makeup gain. Thus, the potential for shitty sound exists. We'll see, of course, but if this thing is any good at all, I'll guarantee that it's gonna be an excellent deal.

I wrote to SMP, and they wrote back the following: The Master Outputs do have a MAKE-UP gain stage to eliminate the loss of the input attenuation. So there's some potential for nastiness there, but it makes it a lot easier to deal with than having to use mic pres.

In response to my second query, they just wrote to tell me the MSRP is $399. Wow. They're gonna sell a quadjillion of these things.

January 15, 2006

First photos of Frac-Rack sized MOTM modules...

by Chris Randall

As those of you that care no doubt know, Paul Schreiber is releasing several of his MOTM modules in the popular Frac-Rack format used by Blacet, Metalbox, Wiard, and others. At left is the first photo he's released, of the GX VCF in Frac-Rack format. Click here for the full-sized image, or here for the insides. The main MOTM site is here. I guess Paul will be showing the complete line of Frac-sized MOTM modules at NAMM, in Analog Haven's Booth Of Heavenly Analog. I'm really looking forward to these modules. Paul has hinted at prices, but nothing concrete yet, so I'll save idle speculation and just go with "they'll be reasonable."

UPDATE: I don't believe this is the final panel design. Paul mentioned that he didn't have the screening done for the panels, so he roughed these for NAMM using FPE. I assume the real ones will have the MOTM crackle finish or some such.

January 14, 2006

Software rollin' out the door...

by Chris Randall

Adam Schabtach (my partner in Audio Damage) and I met when we were both working for another short-lived company, Creative Synth Development, on the design of the MODE package for Cycling '74; we both left that project before it was completed, because we weren't fond of being hobbled by the Max environment and Pluggo, and all that entails.

So we started Audio Damage, and the rest (of that, anyways) is history. But during the early days of AD, I did some contract work for C74, in the form of the user interface for the unfortunately-named Octirama 5.1 multi-band compressor. This is the only TDM plug I've worked on, and probably the only one I'll ever work on, but if you're a Chris Randall User Interface Completionist, you'll need to drop $495 to get it. For what it's worth, it's really good.

And now the news you've all been waiting for. Phase Two is done. The installers are made and tested, and it is 100% operational on both Windows and OSX. We're just writing the manual, and as soon as that's done, you'll want to go buy this bad boy. Can I say Monday? I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but Monday sounds good.

For those that have been living under a rock for the last four months, Phase Two is a pretty much exact copy of the Mutron Bi-Phase hardware unit. This is, by far, our most sophisticated model yet, and is perfect in all respects. We spent US$800 on aquiring a Bi-Phase to clone, but you'll only have to drop US$49 for the fruits of our labor. Monday. Probably.

UPDATE: The product page for Phase Two is now live at the AD site, with demos and some bullet points. (Can't have a product without bullet points!) Check it out.

January 13, 2006

Hey, Harmony Central! Someone hacked your RSS feed!

by Chris Randall

I was going through the Zicos Pro Audio aggregator just now, and unless someone at HC was actually attacked by wild dogs (not entirely out of the realm of possibilities, I suppose) their RSS feed has been taken over by Russian Skript Kiddiez.

January 13, 2006

Hard-Core Gear Porn Friday!!!

by Chris Randall

Okay, refresh monkeys. It's here, you can relax! This week, we take a visit to the venerable and omnipresent Rob Acid, and his incredibly cozy and inviting studio. This is what my studio looked like, back when I had a lot of gear. I don't know 'bout you guys, but I could make a record in a room like this. Trainspotting: Rob has some good kit, as you can plainly see. Neumann, Pultec, Sontec, and Filtek EQs, EMT, BKE, Urei, and API compressors, and an Orville for Eventide Cred, along with some nice Westlake monitors. I'm embarassed to say I can't tell what kind of console that is. Obviously some German broadcast sort, of the kind I normally like and know about, but I can't place it.

You want synths? Rob's got synths. An Andromeda, an MS20, and an SH-101 in this pic. Visit his site for more pictures, where you'll see his MonoMachine, MachineDrum, 303, 909, etc. Rob also does mastering and pre-mastering for reasonable rates (get your track whacked through that API 2-buss comp for 45 euro), and has released several records on various labels.


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