The April 2014 Issue of audioXpress is Now Online

AX-2014-04This month’s audioXpress reviews the different approaches in microphone placement techniques for capturing and recording unamplified acoustic music, particularly classical music. A recent study and AES presentation has reignited this issue and our author Gary Galo decided an historical perspective was needed in his article “Stereophonic Recording: What Do Listeners Prefer?”

In our usual review section, we give a listen to the new Focal Spirit Professional Headphones, the first effort of this kind from the prestigious French manufacturer. Miguel Marques tested the Focal Spirit Pros in a quest to discover what this new model brings to an already crowded and very competitive headphone market.

Interested in high-resolution audio? Then you might want to check our Standards Review column, where we examine the recently announced HDMI 2.0 specification. HDMI 2.0 introduces bandwidth support for Ultra HD/4K televisions, adds up to 32 audio channels and 1,536-kHz audio sample frequency with simultaneous delivery of video and audio streams to multiple users.

In this edition, we interview Craig Bernabeu, founder and chief designer of SBS Designs. He created the company with a former colleague to explore “different approaches to record or play back music that would suit my needs” and realize his vision of “US-made high-end designs with a left-field approach available to users,” as he describes it.

Get ready to shake. Mike Klasco’s and Steve Tatarunis’s article discusses structure-borne vibrational energy with “Bass Shakers: Enhancing the Deep Bass Experience with Tactile Energy.”
This month’s Hollow-State Electronics column is dedicated to the “Effects Of Guitar-Amplifier Design On Distortion Sound.” Richard Honeycutt looks closely at one particular amplifier’s design to determine at what stages most of the distortion occurs.

For those interested in DIY projects, you will enjoy a great concept from Michael Rothacher with his LuminAria: A SIT Preamplifier. The author intended this preamplifier to be “compact enough to fit in a suitcase” and a “good-sounding, unusual preamplifier with a spiffy set of performance specifications.” He completed the project in two months, and it was one of the highlights at the Burning Amp Festival in San Francisco.

In our Audio Electronics column, we have Bill Reeve’s take on “An Alternative to Linear Regulators.” In the article, he searches for equivalent power-line ripple rejection with less power dissipation, because no one wants to listen to an audio amplifier that hums.

We also included a book review and this month we share what we can learn from a master by reading The Bruce Swedien Recording Method.

Your new issue of audioXpress is now available at www.gotomyxpress.com

Sennheiser’s New DJ Headphones Redefine Professional Performance

Sennheiser HD8-DJ

Sennheiser HD8-DJ

German audio specialist Sennheiser has led the professional audio market for more than two decades with its HD 25 headphones used by the world’s leading music producers and DJs. Sennheiser recently introduced at the CES 2014 in Las Vegas its new range of professional DJ and mixing headphones. Designed for the most demanding users and punishing pro environments, the HD8 DJ, the HD7 DJ, and the HD6 MIX have been developed in conjunction with some of the world’s top DJs—among them Bob Sinclar, Luciano, Andy Baxter, Missill, and Davina.

The three new headphones deliver excellent, dynamic sound reproduction with the highest levels of external noise attenuation, using durable materials and with exceptional build-quality.

The new headphones are inspired by the dynamic sound reproduction of the HD 25.

“Drawing on our success based around the HD 25 and extensive experience in high-end audio, the DJ range applies Sennheiser’s proprietary acoustic system to answer the needs of different performing and production applications,” says Ivan Kuan, head of Product Management, Sennheiser Consumer Electronics.

The HD8 DJ is dedicated to the needs of professional DJs with excellent sound reproduction, while the HD7 DJ offers an engaging, dynamic sound that’s perfect for playing live. Both delivering a mid-low end emphasis, the sound remains tight and never overwhelms, with clarity retained in the high frequencies. Meanwhile, the HD6 MIX, a model aimed primarily at studio-based music creation, delivers a balanced, accurate sound for mixing and monitoring work. “To hear every detail, the elliptical, circumaural ear cups were specially designed to ensure a perfect fit for more users. This provides excellent external noise attenuation that can cope with very high sound pressure levels for safer listening without turning up the volume excessively,” Kuan says.

The DJ headphone range is built for user comfort for hours at the decks, in the studio, or performing. The elliptical shape of the ear cups also avoids pinching the ears and is enhanced by interchangeable ear pads for comfortable listening during long periods of use. For hassle-free one-ear monitoring, both DJ models feature swiveling ear cups with up to 210° of movement and three different wearing positions. With both coiled and straight 3-m high-performance cables included that can connect to either ear cup, these headphones can adapt to suit any individual preference. A bayonet twist lock makes for secure connection to the headphones.

All three models are built to withstand the rigors of daily studio work and a life on the road. Sennheiser has engineered the range from durable, high-quality materials to take even the roughest everyday professional use, proven through rigorous and extended quality tests. And when the life on the road pushes the limits too far, Sennheiser’s new headphones offer replaceable parts and a commitment to customer service offering at least a five-year parts availability guarantee, even after end-of-life, and global support for quick replacements.

Key features:

  • Excellent sound reproduction with Sennheiser’s proprietary acoustics system
  • Capable of very high SPLs, suitable for DJ performance environments
  • DJ models: impedance of 95 Ω for optimum compatibility with DJ equipment
  • Monitoring model: impedance of 150 Ω for optimum compatibility with studio and mixing equipment
  • Elliptical, circumaural design for maximum comfort and excellent noise isolation; both DJ models feature swiveling ear cups (up to 210°) with three wearing positions
  • Top-of-the-range HD8 DJ model features metal-crafted reinforcement parts with an metal pivot ring
  • Single-sided coiled cable attachable to either ear cup; additional straight cable included (both up to 3m); oxygen-free copper cable with gold-plated connectors; bayonet twist lock for secure connection
  • All models come with interchangeable sets of ear pads to choose from; one in soft velour, the other in leatherette material

 

www.sennheiser.com

Q&A: Dan Dugan – Audio Engineer, Inventor, and Nature Sounds Recordist

Dan Dugan

Dan Dugan was the first person in regional theater to be called a “sound designer.” He also developed the first effective automatic microphone mixer—the automixer. He is shown here with his museum rack of Dugan automatic mixers.

SHANNON BECKER: When and how did you first become interested in audio electronics?

DAN DUGAN: As a child! I was most interested in theater lighting. I was raised in San Diego, CA, and when my parents took me to the Old Globe Theatre or the summer musicals in the Ford Bowl, I always wanted to go backstage to see the light board. In grade school, I operated the projectors, the tape recorders (Wollensak and Revere), and the sound systems (Bogen).

SHANNON: When did you attempt your first audio project?

DAN: In grade school, I remember making up a program on tape. Something historical, but I can’t remember what it was about.

SHANNON: Describe some of the jobs you had prior to inventing the automatic microphone mixer.

DAN: After doing all the lighting for four years at the University of San Francisco (USF) College Players and for concerts in the USF Gym, I did sound for the Globe Theatre in 1964 and lighting and sound in 1965, and lighting for the first production of the San Diego Opera in 1965. In 1967, I switched to doing theater sound, working for the San Diego National Shakespeare Festival and the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
[The title “Sound Designer” was created in 1968 to describe what Dan was doing. He provided sound services for many seasons of the Mondavi Jazz Festival, and engineered several independent record albums, including Kate Wolf’s first two albums which are still in print, now as CDs].

1978 Globe studio

Dugan was raised in San Diego, CA, where his parents took him to the Old Globe Theatre. Here he is pictured editing sound in a dressing room at the Old Globe Theatre in 1978.

SHANNON: Describe what the term “sound designer” means to you.

DAN: In theaters a “sound designer”  supervises the sound from the microphones to the audience’s ears. In motion picture production there are two meanings. The first is the same as in theater, also called supervising sound editor, and the second usage is for a person who creates novel sounds like monsters.

 

SHANNON: How did you come up with the idea for the automatic microphone mixer?

DAN: In 1968, I did sound design for the resident companies of Hair in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Toronto. There were 36 microphones and one operator working rotary-knob mixers in a rack. I thought there had to be a way to help. I experimented for about six years and hit on a solution.

SHANNON: Tell us about some of your other inventions. Which is the most popular? Are any currently in production?

Model Dugan MY16

One of Dugan’s most popular products is the Dugan-MY16, a 16-channel automatic mixing controller that plugs into a slot on Yamaha consoles. The controller enables sound engineers to manage multiple live microphones without continually riding individual faders. The Dugan-MY16 automatically detects the active microphones and makes fast, transparent cross-fades without the distracting sonic artifacts common to noise gates. It tracks unscripted dialogue and maintains consistent system gain for up to 16 open microphones.

DAN: The Dugan Speech System is my most popular invention. It is 40 years old and still finding new applications. There’s also the Dugan Music System, a distant second, and Dugan Gain Limiting. In limited use but with more coming soon is the Dugan Automatic Level Control. Unrealized as of yet but in the wings are Dugan Foldback Limiting and a Dugan Speech Equalizer.

 

SHANNON: Tell us about “A New Music and Sound Effects System for Theatrical Products,” which is the sound design paper you presented to the Audio Engineering Society (AES) at its 37th Convention. Did you realize its future implications when you wrote it?

DAN: In the paper, I described a system in which the signals from three stereo tape players were routed to 10 loudspeaker zones in the theater. Audio mixing boards generally combine a large number of inputs to a small number of outputs—that’s mixing. For playback of theater cues, the opposite was desired, routing a small number of channels over a large number of speakers. As there was nothing like that available, I designed and built a system from scratch. It was the first multi-scene preset board for theatrical cues playback, sending three stereo tape decks to ten speaker channels. And I described my work in that paper. Subsequently, Charles Richmond, of Richmond Sound Design, designed products developing the concept further.

SHANNON: Your patented equipment has been used in thousands of places, including the courtroom where Saddam Hussein’s trial took place and on the David Letterman Show. Can you share other locations where your equipment may be found?

DAN: My equipment is used in corporate meetings everywhere, from ESPN sports to PAC-12 sports to US Presidential debates and on several television set locations including Washington Week and PBS News Hour.

Model E Series

The Dugan Model E-2 automatic mixing controller is used with multiple live microphones. This updated unit replaces the Dugan Model D-2 as the company’s top-of-the-line automatic mixing controller with analog I/O and is useful for users who are working in tight spaces or who need portability in their analog Dugan system.

SHANNON: Your San Francisco, CA-based company Dan Dugan Sound Design (www.dandugan.com) produces automixing solutions. Are you currently developing any new  products?

DAN: We recently added the Model E-2 to complete the E-series (E-1A, E-2, E-3). We are also just about to ship the Dugan-VN16, an option board for Avid live sound mixers.
Next out for our company will be a new physical control panel for Dugan automixers. It can be used when you are working under pressure and real knobs and buttons are better than mouse clicks.

 

SHANNON: To what do your attribute your company’s continuing success?

DAN: Persistence, good luck.

SHANNON: You are known for your use of natural sound recordings. When and why did you first begin capturing the sounds of nature?

DAN: I was the Northern California service shop for Nagra Audio. Around 1987 or 1988 one of the founders of the Nature Sounds Society worked at the Oakland Museum and he brought a Nagra recorder in for service. He mentioned that every summer they had a camp in the Sierras and invited me to come. I started mentoring with the Nature Sounds Society, teaching people how to get the best sound from their equipment. I started recording for myself at the end of 2001 when I took a borrowed MiniDisc recorder for a trip to New Zealand and I recorded an album’s worth of good stuff.

SHANNON: Where do you conduct your outdoor recordings?

 

Dan Dugan recording

Dugan records ice falls at Upper Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Falls National Park, Mariposa, CA.

DAN: One of my favorite locations is Muir Woods [National Monument in Mill Valley, CA] because it’s so accessible. I also enjoy recording in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park because it is sublime and at Joshua Tree National Park [in southeastern California].

SHANNON: What do you see as some of the greatest audio innovations of your time?

DAN: “Of my time” meaning in my career? I think there are several including solid-state electronics, integrated circuits, electret condenser microphones, and digital audio.

SHANNON: Would you recommend any promising technologies to audioXpress readers?

DAN: Audio over Ethernet.

One More Take

“One more take.”

Remember that joke? The producer in the recording studio says to the band: “Not bad, fellas. Let’s do one more take, this time with more emphasis on tone, harmony, melody, rhythm, composition, lyrics, musicianship, tempo, and originality.”

Maybe it’s time for the audio industry to try “one more take.”

During last year’s 135th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in New York, it was apparent that the audio engineering community unites several generations. Also, the younger but much more technically perceptive generation is fascinated by the achievements of those who had the “privilege” of working in the big studios and doing audio production for live concerts, or during great broadcast moments from the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s.

The younger generations have learned to value the tools and what they can do with them. They even value the “good old analog” electronics, essentially by using plug-in emulations of the real things inside Pro Tools or Logic. Yet, this generation also encodes studio recordings to MP3s.

From one content format to another, the music industry continually re-released its content in physical media until the Super Audio CD (SACD) and the Blu-ray disc (on video) formats appeared. And that was it. Suddenly, the Internet, mobile devices, and digital files changed everything. With that change came the MP3, the iPod, iTunes, and mobile networks. This accelerated the demise of physical media, on which the entire music industry had become over-dependent.

Meanwhile, technology continues to evolve. Even though SACD is dead and gone, the key developments remain valid and high-resolution audio is still a logical proposition. But is it well understood by the “plug-in” generation? A very faint sign of hope emits from the enthusiasm detected at events such as the AES conventions and the NAMM shows.

With new 64-bit processors and OSes becoming the norm, large bandwith networks available everywhere, and memory and storage increasing faster than consumers’ actual needs, it seems the industry is ripe for another go at quality.

As our contributing author Gary Galo noted in his impressions of the 135th AES Convention, it seems consumers are rediscovering the virtues of high-resolution sound and finding compressed formats such as MP3 unacceptable. But at the same time, mobile platforms and wireless networks have created new consumer behaviors. People are increasingly listening to music via headphones, soundbars, and portable wireless loudspeakers. Therefore, we need a new approach to address that changing landscape, and it’s not going to be with $20,000 home stereo (or multichannel) systems.

If downloading high-resolution audio files is practical and inspires a new group of record companies to reinvest in high-quality content production, it is clear that 1-bit DSD recordings could also breathe new life into studios, the pro audio industry in general, and even many high-end audio brands.

And it is at forums such as the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA—where those same generations again meet with producers and musicians—that the conscience needs to be raised. Not at the Venetian Hotel demo rooms in Las Vegas, NV. The signs are still fragile, the economic environment remains unstable, and the market trends are uncertain, but it all seems to be aligning for a “new take” in the audio industry.

João Martins
Editor-in-Chief

Industry Watch: January 2014

2013 CEA Technology Winners

Charlie Hughes

Photo 1: Charlie Hughes earned the 2013 Consumer Electronics
Association’s (CEA) Technology & Standards Award for his work on CEA-2034.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently announced the winners of the sixth annual Technology & Standards Awards. Nominees were judged on their commitment to excellence as evidenced by the extent and consistency of their overall ongoing contributions to the CEA’s Technology & Standards program.

“This year’s award recipients have demonstrated industry leadership through active participation in the CEA’s Technology & Standards program both over the long term and with recent projects,” according to Brian Markwalter, the CEA’s senior vice president for research and standards. “All of our honorees have dedicated countless hours to creating standards that launch new product categories and make existing products easier to use.”

Charlie Hughes received one of this year’s awards for standards pertaining to loudspeaker development (see Photo 1). Hughes is president of Excelsior Audio Design & Services (www.excelsior-audio.com) and the co-chairman of CEA’s Sound Measurement Working Group. He received this prestigious award for spearheading the publication of CEA-2034, Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers. Hughes is also a contributing Voice Coil author. Congratulations Charlie!

 


2014 CES Best of Innovations Awardees

The CEA also announced its list of 2014 International Consumer Economic Show (CES) Best of Innovations Design and Engineering award honorees. The CES Innovations Awards honor outstanding design and engineering advancements across 28 consumer electronics product categories, including two new categories this year: 3-D Printing and Additive Manufacturing and Wearable Technologies.

The Best of Innovations designation is awarded to products with the highest judges’ scores and will be honored during the 2014 International CES, January 7–10, 2014, in Las Vegas, NV. The award winners will be featured in the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Showcase in the Venetian Hotel. Award winners with products related to the loudspeaker industry include:

  • Headphones: Plantronics, the BackBeat Go 2 + Charging Case
  • High-Performance Home Audio: Bang & Olufsen, BeoLab 18
  • Home Theater Speakers: Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Philips Fidelio E5 Wireless Surround Cinema Speakers

 

 


HTSA 2013 Awards

The Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) presented its 2013 HTSA Vendor Awards to those who have demonstrated commitment to member growth through the development of cutting-edge products and technologies, exemplary business practices, and unyielding service and support for HTSA members. Each year the HTSA Vendor Awards go to industry professionals who have had an overwhelming impact on the success and business growth of HTSA members.

For 2013, HTSA announced the return of its Lifetime Achievement Award, one of its most coveted honors. Sandy Gross, founder and president of GoldenEar Technology, received the 2013 award. Gross’s previous company was Definitive Technology.

Other loudspeaker companies that received awards include:

  • Technology Innovation: Lenbrook Industries, the BlueSound line of wireless loudspeakers
  • Best Audio Product: Paradigm Electronics, Soundtrack home theater system

 

 


Harman Opens First US Store

HARMAN International opened its first US store on November 21, 2013, to demonstrate the company’s home, car, and pro audio products and to sell select home audio gear to consumers. The two-level, 8,500-ft2 store on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, NY, also serves as a key showroom and experience center for the company’s channel and technology partners. It will also serve as a space for its automotive OEM customers to receive a full-brand experience. Harman also plans to use the venue to host music performances and DJ sets and offer seminars to educate consumers. HARMAN will leverage its “brand ambassadors” and celebrity friends to help bring unique and memorable events to the store for Manhattan consumers.

This new HARMAN store is only the world’s second.  The first HARMAN store opened in Shanghai in 2010. A third showroom is set to open in Moscow in 2014. HARMAN has tentative plans for future stores in Los Angeles, CA, or Detroit, MI, to be close to its entertainment and auto partners.

The Manhattan store features home-theater and two-channel audio rooms, which the company’s luxury-audio dealers and channel partners can use to demonstrate equipment. The store also contains a professional DJ mixing board and interactive kiosk-style displays customers can use to learn about the company’s OEM car audio and infotainment technologies.

Multiple interactive experience areas include an interactive table display and headphone rack so shoppers can test Harman headphones by listening to provided music or by plugging in their own music players. A soundproof chamber enables customers to compare their existing headphones or select products from competing brands with HARMAN products.

The stage area features HARMAN’s professional concert and music studio equipment and will host musical performances and special events. Customers can experience large-venue premium sound in a store environment.

The store sells products for home audio enthusiasts and audiophiles. However, it does not sell products for professional sound engineers or musicians. Pro products (e.g., studio and stage microphones, headphones, and musician accessories) will occasionally be showcased, but the store won’t be a full-line showroom for pro gear.

The full line of Harman Kardon, JBL, AKG, and Infinity products is available for sale. High-performance products from the Revel and Mark Levinson brands are also displayed, but the store refers consumers to those brands’ retailers for sales. The store also offers shoppers exclusive products available only through the Madison Avenue location.

 


Bang & Olufsen Launches Industry’s First WiSA-Certified Wireless Speakers

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has launched the loudspeaker industry’s first wireless speakers that were certified by the Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association. Additional companies are expected to launch their first WiSA-certified products at the 2014 International CES in January. WiSA technology certification includes the delivery of interference-free, wired-quality wireless audio in the 5.2–5.8 GHz U-NII band to stereo and home-theater speakers within a room up to 29.5’ × 29.5’.

B&O’s three active WiSA-certified speakers include the compact two-way aluminum BeoLab 17 ($3,990 per pair), the 12-sided BeoLab 19 subwoofer ($3,395 per pair), and the BeoLab 18 ($6,590 per pair). The BeoLab 18 speaker features a narrow, cylindrical extruded-aluminum enclosure with a spike-shaped pedestal that appears to balance the speaker on a flat, square base. This speaker can also be wall mounted. (The BeoLab 18 is actually an update of the BeoLab 8000 speaker’s iconic design, which features a tall narrow floor-standing speaker with a spike-type pedestal resting on a flat base. It was first introduced in 1992.)

In addition to the new style base, the BeoLab 18 also adds a top-mounted acoustic lens tweeter, which delivers 180° high-frequency sound to widen the stereo sweet spot. The speaker also has a front grille consisting of narrow horizontal slats arrayed in a way that maintains the speaker’s cylindrical shape. The composite-material slats are available in black or white, and an optional natural-color solid-oak grille is available ($1,350 per pair).

The BeoLab18 delivers up to 7.1 channels of 24-bit/96-kHz uncompressed audio. Using WiSA technology to eliminate cable clutter, it enables a more flexible speaker placement and overcomes sound-quality interference, latency, and cost challenges associated with other wireless technologies designed for multichannel home theaters. B&O’s implementation delivers 24-bit, 48-kHz audio over wireless and it is less prone to interference with the lower throughputs. The company maintains the sound quality is better than CD. Other B&O news includes its recent expansion of the “Play” sub brand into 32 Magnolia Design Centers inside Best Buy stores.

Promise Technology Announces Availability of Pegasus2 Storage Solution

Promise Technology's Pegasus2 RAID Storage Solution

Promise Technology’s Pegasus2 RAID Storage Solution

Pegasus2, the world’s first RAID 5 storage solution with Thunderbolt 2 is an ideal solution for any recording studio preparing to upgrade to the new Apple Mac Pro. The new Pegasus2 storage family with Thunderbolt 2 delivers 20Gbps of bandwidth, supporting enterprise-class RAID protection and massive capacity, from 8TB to 32TB.

The Pegasus2 Series is now available as a 4-bay, 6-bay or 8-bay RAID enclosure.

www.promise.com/pegasus2

Apple’s New Mac Pro Goes On Sale December 19th

Finally, it’s here! Studios, prepare your upgrades during the holidays… With six Thunderbolt 2 ports and four USB 3 ports the new Mac Pro will connect to any of the best-in-class audio I/O devices in the market. And with a PCI expansion chassis connected via Thunderbolt, its possible to work with the existing DSP and audio I/O PCI Express cards. The new Mac Pro delivers up to 12 processing cores (up to 24 virtual cores) and up to 60GB/s memory bandwidth – twice the bandwidth of the previous-generation model. Now we can work with even more tracks of virtual instruments, plug-ins, and effects than previously possible. And the ultrafast PCIe-based flash storage loads all those instruments, samples, and loops almost instantly…

And it’s the quietest computer ever designed. Perfect for audio!

www.apple.com/mac-pro/

PreSonus Ships Ultra-Compact E4.5 Studio Reference Monitor

PreSonus E4.5 Ultra-Compact Studio Reference Monitor

PreSonus E4.5 Ultra-Compact Studio Reference Monitor

PreSonus is shipping the ultra-compact Eris E4.5 studio reference monitor, the third model in the Eris series of two-way monitor speakers announced one year ago, at the NAMM 2013. As with the Eris E5 and E8, the E4.5 can be user-adjusted to the acoustic space, allowing to create a more accurate listening environment or to simulate different common listening environments.

A four-position Acoustic Space switch controls a second-order shelving filter, centered at 1 kHz, providing three attenuation points (no attenuation, -2 dB, and -4 dB), allowing control of the bass response relative to the wall proximity. A High Pass switch sets the low-frequency cutoff (second-order slope, -12 dB/octave) to be flat, 80 Hz, or 100 Hz, with a continuously adjustable (±6 dB) High Frequency and Midrange controls, allowing a linear response for accurate monitoring.

This affordable new monitor speaker features balanced ¼” TRS, unbalanced RCA and unbalanced 1/8” inputs, being ideal for bedroom studios, school music programs, and as a high-quality replacement for computer speakers.

The Eris E4.5 features a 4.5-inch, Kevlar low-frequency transducer, a 1-inch (25 mm), silk-dome, high-frequency tweeter, and a rear bass-reflect port. A 25W Class AB amplifier powers each speaker, SPL is rated at 100 dB and frequency response is from 70 Hz up to 20 kHz.

The Eris E4.5 anticipated MAP/street price is $199.95/pair.

www.presonus.com/products/Eris

Mackie Adds The MRmk3 Series

MackieMRmk3SeriesThe new MRmk3 Series Studio Monitors were among the highlights when Mackie recently refreshed the line. The MRmk3 Series includes three affordable, professional monitors with optimized electronics and custom-matched amplifiers/drivers, complemented by a powerful subwoofer (MR10Smk3). Featuring custom-tuned ports and rugged all-wood MDF cabinets packed with acoustic absorption material, the new Mackie MRmk3 full-range monitors include the 5.25” MR5mk3, the 6.5” MR6mk3, and the 8” MR8mk3.

The Mackie MRmk3 are active monitors specifically designed to reveal the full frequency range in music recording and mixing, optimized with a minimum-diffraction waveguide system and different sized polypropylene woofers together with a 1” silk dome tweeter and Class-A/B amplifiers rated from 50 to 120 WRMS.

All the units feature high- and low-frequency level adjustments with 100-Hz and 3.25-kHz shelving in the rear panels, featuring XLR, TRS, and RCA input connectors.

Mackie
www.mackie.com

Drawmer Ships Its MC2.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller

The new Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller combines the complexity of several mix-checking features with the fidelity and transparency of the highest quality monitoring circuit. This versatile and intuitive unit offers multiple inputs and outputs, including a dedicated mono output, speaker-level matching, two headphone amplifiers, mix-checking controls, and talkback, resulting in a complete studio tool.

The MC2.1 uses an ultra-low noise and transparent circuit design with a linear power supply, low-hum toroidal transformer, and internal voltage selector switch with timed relay protection on all three stereo-balanced speaker outputs. It also offers a dedicated mono speaker/subwoofer output, to prevent power up/down bangs. The unit features comprehensive mix-checking facilities including Left/Right Cut, Phase Reverse, Mono, Dim, and Mute. The controller provides paralleled custom quad potentiometers on main and headphone level controls for excellent channel matching and a smooth feel.

The four inputs use balanced Neutrik XLR connectors, with a balanced Neutrik XLR/jack combination input and shared auxiliary phono or 3.5-mm jack. The unit is packaged in a rugged steel 2U chassis with a stylish brushed aluminum cover.

Drawmer is Yorkshire-UK-based company, founded in the 1980s by Ivor Drawmer, whose passion was designing audio circuits.

Drawmer Electronics, Ltd.
www.drawmer.com