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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2017 » January » 30


Washington Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand at the FCC

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 30 Jan 2017 6:10 pm

There is a new FCC under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, which now has to deal with the many legal issues facing broadcasters. While we try on this Blog to keep on top of these issues, we can’t always address everything that is happening. But we try to hit the highlights. Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. That list of issues is published by TVNewsCheck and is available on their website, here. Our latest update was published today, and provides a summary of the status of legal and regulatory issues ranging from the adoption of the ATSC 3.0 standard at one end of the alphabet to White Spaces and Wireless Microphones on the other – with summaries of other issues including the Incentive Auction, EEO compliance, Political Advertising and Sponsorship Identification, along with dozens of other topics, many with links to our more detailed discussions here on the Blog. Of course, these issues change almost daily, as on Friday, after we completed this article, the FCC made two announcements on the Incentive Auction, setting the process for the post-Auction repacking of the TV spectrum, and outlining what happens next for TV broadcasters. While we will try to summarize those actions soon, their release demonstrates how quickly things change. Also, on Friday, the FCC’s list of matters on circulation before the Commissioners (the orders drafted by the Commission’s staff, pending for consideration and votes by the Commissioners) removed a number of orders from the list of pending items, including those dealing with retransmission consent and video description – presumably as these will not be acted on by the new FCC. If you are trying to keep on top of all the other legal and regulatory issues TV broadcasters should be considering, or if you are looking for the current status of specific proceedings potentially impacting TV broadcasters, check out our most recent updated summary, here. And watch for our predictions of what will be coming from Washington in the coming year for both radio and TV broadcasters in the next few days.

The $499 Softube Console 1 now looks like a great buy for producers

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 30 Jan 2017 3:58 pm

Softube’s Console 1 was an intriguing offering when it came out, but I suspect some people balked at the price – and simply didn’t know what it was or what it was for. Now, at five hundred bucks, the audience should be bigger. And Softube are working on making the “what is this anyway?” story clearer.

So, what is it? Let’s back up.

First, imagine a big mixing desk – like a big Solid State console.

Now imagine what that console would look like a computer accessory. Obviously, you’d want it to be a whole heck of a lot smaller, and you’d want it to work with software. The need for lots of physical faders is eliminated by making things work in software form, and then having them in software would let you use the console functionality seamlessly in your DAW.

What you’d want to keep, of course, is the sound of the console, and the feeling of being able to control things with your hands.

console1_software

Well, that’s the Console 1. It isn’t an audio interface. It isn’t a DSP platform like Universal Audio’s – everything runs on your computer CPU, natively. It’s physically just a big box with knobs and LEDs and such. But the package combines a bunch of software models of console sound with that high-end control surface. Then you use your existing computer hardware and interface to complete the studio.

The control surface itself is high-end, made of steel, literally. It feels terrific in my brief hands-on sessions; I do want to review this thing (now more than before, but more on that below). And it looks nice enough (thank you, Sweden).

softube_console1_mk2_back_extreme_left_xw5a1404

You also get a model of the Solid State Logic SL 4000 E console and everything that entails – so the bundled software includes its onboard compressors, EQ, and so on – as produced in combination with SSL themselves. And maybe that’s all you need – SSL model, control surface, done.

The new list price: US$499. This is nowhere near as affordable as something like Harrison MixBus, but that doesn’t include controller hardware.

More likely, though, you’ll mix and match your own plug-ins. Softube provide their own software which you can use with any DAW, and there’s integrated support both for Cakewalk SONAR and and the up-and-coming Presonus Studio One. (Anyone considering the Windows switch, here’s an ecosystem that might make you not look back – with apologies to Apple’s Touch Bar, the Console 1 looks more like what I’d want to mix on.)

Softube also supports their own ecosystem of models, all of them running natively on the CPU – including Chandler Limited, Fairchild, Teletronix, Tube-Tech, and Abbey Road Studios.

I want to see more full DAW integration – Cubase and Logic being obvious options, though Studio 1 and SONAR are a good start. But since it’s the plug-ins your controlling, that’s really key to making the Console 1 worth it.

And apart from the price break, the deal maker I suspect is the addition of UAD powered plug-in support. That’s a perfect combination: what holds the Console 1 back is plug-in support, and what holds the UA solution back is the lack of hands-on control.

softube_console1_mk2_closeup3_xw5a1425

softube_console1_mk2_front_extreme_left_xw5a1363

Softube doesn’t support everything of UAD’s, but there’s a lot – including crucial channel strips, the Fairchild and Harrison models, the Pultec (you got me there), Teletronix, and 1176 and 610 lines.

So now, pairing an Apollo Twin with a Console 1 makes for a pretty complete home mixing solution, one that sounds and behaves like a high-end studio but has a cost in reach of a lot of individual producers.

In fact, the hands-on Console 1 mapping of the UA 610-B, plus the Unison modeling of the 610-B on the Apollo Twin means you can plug in these two pieces of gear and have a complete experience. The complete list is now in an updated Q&A (ignore that 2013 date — the UAD stuff was announced just last week).

So, I’m eager to test this, absolutely. What I love about this is that it lets you recreate an entire console workflow in a totally different context. And that in turn means you can apply that sound and behavior to music and musical genres that never got into those studios.

softube_console1_mk2_closeup4_xw5a1460

Softube has more work to do here. The value of the Console 1 is totally dependent on expanding compatibility and integration. And I also think they’ve more to do to tell the story to a broader audience of producers beyond the usual studio pros and press.

But it looks really promising with these updates. Maybe you think I’m crazy and you’ll stick to your native plug-ins and mouse. But stay tuned for that review.

Console 1: Q&A

Softube Console 1

The post The $499 Softube Console 1 now looks like a great buy for producers appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

One of the best premium audio interfaces now claims to be better

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 30 Jan 2017 3:09 pm

How much time do producers spend just handling one or two inputs and stereo output (plus monitoring)? My guess is — a lot. Once you’re out of the studio, that amount goes up. But generally speaking, premium interfaces have tended to assume you need more I/O – even though a lot of electronic production now occurs in the box.

So part of the reason the Universal Audio Apollo Twin has been important is that it changes the value equation. It doesn’t do a whole lot of I/O – this is really about recording one thing at a time, listening, and monitoring. But by focusing on that, UA lavished all the expense on that I/O and adding DSP power for its modeled plug-in line. And per jack this is a no-expense-spared proposition.

And it can be perfect for recording one thing at a time, while also outputting up to four discrete channels (meaning live four-channel applications work).

I thought it was a significant entry when it came out for this reason, and that suspicion has been born out by two things – one, I personally can’t live without it in my own productions and my colleagues, and more importantly, I see a heck of a lot of these things popping up.

4_apollo_twin_mkii_ortho_top_large

2_apollo-twin-mkii-back

Let’s be honest: UA most certainly hope this thing is a gateway drug to get you hooked on their plug-in line. And those plug-ins, while terrific, don’t come cheap – they’re at least in line with a handful of other high-end software makers. But I might even go as far as recommending the model with the low-end DSP, because I think the driver and hardware quality of this box is unparalleled.

Or, that is to say, it was already unparalleled, and UA now promise it’s gotten better. The MkII is a “ground up” hardware redesign that promises greater audio quality, much-needed monitoring additions, and the option of getting QUAD processing if you need the DSP horsepower.

UA already addressed one of my biggest complaints – one that had us occasionally shouting expletives at Universal Audio. There’s now a unified driver model, so that you can swap different UA interfaces. That was essential to me and a colleague of mine, as we wanted to use a multi-port interface in the studio and the Twin on the go. That’s sorted, so now swapping is easy.

Being operating system agnostic is also totally possible – whereas Windows users were initially left out entirely, and then Windows and Mac required different drivers and interfaces, now you can swap hardware and OS as you please. That’s also I think a big deal, as some of us have (cough) decided to take the plunge and add a PC to our arsenal.

The MkII looks basically like the earlier model, apart from a Space Gray-styled darker color. The big change are in the innards:

Better audio quality. Universal Audio says the A/D and D/A converters have been “completely” redesigned for better audio performance and dynamic range.

More monitoring, talkback. These offerings were a little basic on the first generation. Now, you get mute, DIM, mono, and ALT speaker switching. That’s clearly useful for studio and recording applications, but I think it has probably a too-often ignored utility in live situations.

Now there’s a quad option. If you don’t care much about DSP or just need an occasional UA plug-in, there’s still the US$699 SOLO model. If you use DSP, though, you really want the $899 DUO. I’ve found that was more than enough for my needs most of the time, personally, but I have spent some time bouncing out tracks as a result. If you’re really into the UA ecosystem, there’s now also the QUAD model with extra DSP.

Mac, Windows. This is now true of the whole Apollo range (with the exception of the Windows-only Apollo Twin USB), but worth mentioning again – you don’t have to choose different hardware just to use both operating systems. You need Thunderbolt, but that’s becoming standard on serious current-generation Windows machines.

QUAD version of the Apollo Twin - those things labeled SHARC are the chips doing the heavy DSP lifting.

QUAD version of the Apollo Twin – those things labeled SHARC are the chips doing the heavy DSP lifting.

Unless you really want the QUAD, I think this mostly sweetens the pot for would-be new adopters rather than makes a must-have upgrade for existing users. That also means you might keep an eye out for used first-gen units. (That said, though, you can chain units together with Thunderbolt.)

But as before, UA justify their use of DSP hardware with tight software/hardware integration and high performance. The includes their Unison technology, which coordinates the preamps and gain with software models, so that the modeled preamps, guitar amps, stompboxes and whatnot can behave like the original in terms of impedance, gain stage behavior, and sound. The big deal, though, is that you can use these software models with near-zero latency, giving you the feeling of having the actual hardware when you’re recording or playing live. And that for me is what justifies using DSP hardware and not just native plug-ins.

These also still come with a set of entry-level plug-ins in a bundle, including some nice Softube amps and distortion, an excellent tube preamp model, and then some still-pretty-darned-good “legacy” models from their back catalog.

Yeah, there are some other options in this price range, like the RME. But at the moment, I can’t quite top the UA, at least for macOS and Windows, if you want the best possible box with this I/O configuration.

The software bundle.

The software bundle.

The other good news this month for fans of the Universal Audio ecosystem is the announcement of support from Softube on their Console 1 hardware. The Console 1’s price was also dropped to US$499, which is a lot more in the league of what we think of when we think control surface. And that really fills in a missing piece. It’s great to have this UAD software, but it’s slightly miserable to have to dig into software with the mouse just to turn a knob. It doesn’t matter how good the sound experience of the original hardware is if you can’t get control in your hands.

The Console 1 and Apollo Twin as a combination, though, make a pretty ideal studio and mobile setup. Not all the UAD stuff is covered – and this requires using Softube’s software host, not the UA Console. But most of the stuff you’d likely use is covered, and I suspect not having to go into the UA Console makes more sense for workflow, anyway.

Watch for more on these solutions – and we’ll see if I can defend my enthusiasm for them.

http://www.uaudio.com/audio-interfaces/apollo-twin-mkii.html

The post One of the best premium audio interfaces now claims to be better appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The 10 Best Clubs In Germany That Aren’t In Berlin

Delivered... By EB Team | Scene | Mon 30 Jan 2017 11:35 am

The post The 10 Best Clubs In Germany That Aren’t In Berlin appeared first on Electronic Beats.

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