PreSonus just dropped a spanner in the FW interface market with the INSPIRE 1394, which has mic pres, instrument inputs, and phono (!) inputs 'round the back. The big news is that it retails for less than $200. Why am I posting this here? Well, the INSPIRE is the first PreSonus product to include their new Propak, which is a software package containing the usual suspects. However, it is the first mass-produced product to contain Audio Damage plug-ins. The Propak includes FuzzPlus2 (which is already free, of course) and the Filterpod plug-in from the Mayhem package.
Now, we don't normally cotton to this sort of thing, as my faithful readers well know, but two factors weighed on our decision. First, PreSonus is cool. They make good products for low prices. Second, we get some totally animal exposure out of the deal, because this INSPIRE jobby is gonna move some units, being the first FW audio interface worth a shit under two bangers.
The Princeton Digital Stereo Room Reverb is my favorite native reverb plug, hands down. I use it on everything. It is a VST implementation of one of the three reverb types in the 2016 hardware unit they sell through Eventide. (The original Eventide 2016 is the most flyest of all 'verbs, IMO. In my dream rack of black 80s signal processors with red LEDs, it has a place of pride right at the top.) They've just announced that they'll be releasing a VST version of the plate program from the same unit. It will be $99, PC only currently.
Now, if they'd only do a native version of their Ursa Major TDM/RTAS plug, I'd be a happy camper.
SSL just dropped this bad boy, a free VST/AU clone of their famous listen-mic compressor. You can grab it here. Mac only, sorry to say.
I know, I know. "Chris," you say, "how the fuck are you gonna top last week's Zimmerfest?" Well, the truth is, I can't. You'll have to go through life knowing that it will never get better than that. Our friend Don over at soundarc.net turned me on to James Whit (I guess that's his name), who can certainly hold his own against the destructive power that is Zimmerland in sheer quantity, anyways. The above photo is but one angle of his studio, which is stuffed to the gils with a pretty fucking nice collection of synths.
There is an album on his AOL Homesite page which shows off his collection, a couple hundred grand worth. (Two Synthis and a VCS3? That's just plain ostentatious.) Here's what I don't get, though. I regularly sift through piles of pictures of these guys studios, and to a person, they all have thousands of dollars invested in the highest of the high end of the synth world, and they all run their gear through shitty $250 Mackie boards. That makes no sense to me at all. Metaphor? No problem. Say you go and buy a brand new Aston Martin DB7. It is hand-built for you in England, as only the English can do. You then take that DB7 to Costco and have them put the $50 set of tires on it. Seriously, guys. The mixer is where the rubber meets the road. If you're gonna invest all that money in synths, you should pay attention to your signal chain and A/D converters at least as much.
I don't normally like to cop material from other music blogs. I figure that you're all just like me and read all of them. However, Matrixsynth, the final arbiter of all things Analog, just hipped me to this site, a "fan" site for the Sequential Circuits Pro-FX system.
Now, I ran in to one of these complete systems in a pawn shop once, around '95 or so. It was $150 and I didn't buy it. I've been kicking myself for nigh on a decade about this, to the point where I have a permanent bruise. (It's right next to the one I have from passing up a NIB Prophet 5 Rev 3.2 for a grand). A lot of people don't know that SCI, along with Moog, made outboard.
Anyways, the site itself is on the thin side, and hasn't been updated in several years, but it has info on each module in the system, and some really nice pr0n. The Pro-FX was designed by Dave Smith, and is thus permanently placed in the Cool file. If any of you are aware of one of these systems for sale, even the 3U one, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.