KRK Rokit 8 G4 White Noise Trust or Bust?

FluxWithit takes a serious look at the Rokit brand monitors.

KRK Rokit 8 Gen4 White Noise Edition

KRK Rokits evoke emotion in home studio enthusiasts no doubt about it. I wanna start this article off by saying, I know. I know the history, I know the past. I was there. I was in those home studios where Krk Rokits really became as prolific in homes studios, as those white coned monitors did in the studios of the 80’s… But the yellow coned booming sound gained its massive home studio adoption for arguably opposite reasons. KRK Rokits of old just made things sound good where as those white coned units were known for being so bad that if your mix sounded good on them, it would translate all over. they were affordable, had a great low end extension for the money and they were noticeable with that bright yellow cone. sounding good however is not always what you want from a studio monitor. What you might be after is truth. Sometimes those little lies that make us happy, can hurt us down the road in a mix. There in lies the controversy with KRK Rokits. known for being entry level monitor that delivered great sound, but at the cost of covering up some of our mistakes.

So here we are today, many generations of updates later with KRK Rokits now on their 4th generation. Are these Rokits the same as the old Rokits? Well thats my goal to find out. I went into this review with an open mind and a curiosity. The first thing I noticed about these new generation of monitors is that in built DSP is standard on the Gen4 Rokits. There is a nice graphic display panel round back that has a very easy to use control knob which doubles as the volume control (ok volume in this case is actually monitor input sensitivity but I digress.). This screen indicates a pretty significant shift. Krk is giving you 25 eq setting to better suit the acoustic environment that your monitors are placed into.

The volume knob to the right can be pushed in to confirm selections and is very easy to use.

I was a bit skeptical about this at first, however there is a really cool feature of these monitors when setting them up… KRK includes an app (that is actually use for any brand monitors not just these KRK monitors!). The app KRK Audio Tools available for ios and android assists you in everything from aligning your monitors at the correct angle to your listening position, room equalization (for use with the onboard DSP eq.), Delay time alignment, phase alignment, a signal generator as well as a FFT spectrum analyzer all with simple to understand instructions. Once you have used the app to set up and test your monitors it will give you recommendations on EQ settings for the onboard DSP which you can then double check against your FFT in app.

KRK Audio Tool APP has a host of easy to use tools to set up your monitors.

This onboard DSP and APP functionality is a bigger deal than you might think. It points to acknowledgment from KRK that there is flexibility to these monitors. Yes we want flat mixing monitors but the truth is, when producing sometimes you want your mix to be enjoyable BEFORE you get to that mixing stage. With these Gen4 monitors you get the best of both worlds. you can have that loud punchy sound associated with Rokits that makes producing banging beats so fun… and then when you want that flat mix, you can enable the onboard DSP and flatten the mix out. It’s not even a hassle to switch between the settings. Thats pretty cool in my book.

Back to the point of clarity and a true mix. I have noticed that these monitors are far more defined than their predecessors. I used to get annoyed with Gen2 because I felt the mids just were not as clear as I would like. With the Gen 4 I am not having any of those feelings at all. mid range clarity seems to be on point. I don’t know if this is due to the upgraded materials on the cone and tweeter. Now a very visible Kevlar® weave. This trickles down from KRK’s high end monitors the V series. the new wave guide and single piece design is touted to be a low resonance enclosure. To that point I made sure to test a wide range of frequencies to try and get some rattle or resonant peaking out of these monitors yet they stayed remarkably accurate. While working on sound design for a new synthesizer I found my self often moving between monitoring solutions to double check clarity. I was cautious with trusting a new monitor set especially considering I am also in a newly built studio that I have yet to become fully accustomed to yet. the Gen4’s consistently were providing me with a translatable sound that wasn’t over hyped yet didn’t leave me wanting for bass. No sub needed. With my JBL monitors I found my self really needing my sub in order to keep things flat. The KRK’s however seemed to not strain at the low end. Again I do suspect this has to do with the Kevlar cone and new drivers. Side to side movement is less a strong point on these monitors from the JBL monitors as I do notice the sweet spot is a little more direct but not nearly as pronounced as previous generations, certainly acceptable. vertically I feel the range of sweet spot is very good giving a rather wide range (I tend to sit and stand often when working so this is pretty important to me.)

Loudness of KRK’s has long been a feature for many a beat maker. These new Gen4 are no slouch in that category. These deliver a max spl rating of 111db (3 db higher than the previous generation) So I don’t think you will need to worry about filling your room with sound. At higher sound pressures I did not notice any case vibrations or looseness that would cause any sort of rattle. This was something I was initially concerned about considering the front panel is actually magnetically held in place (more on that later.) I was quite relieved to hear no odd rattles.

The LCD is easy to read and navigate

The big front port on these monitors means that you can optimize space in your studio. Unlike rear ported monitors these are less susceptible to rear walls intruding on your sound clarity. This can help maximize your monitor placement in smaller rooms. I highly recommend you give the manual a read (WHAT WHO EVER RTFM?!?!) It is actually filled with a bunch of very useful info and explains in detail things like how the amp works, how the grills work and tips on monitor placement as well as a better understanding of how the monitor design functions as a whole.

The Front baffle is actually held on magnetically. you can pull it off to install the filter grille covers to prevent damage to the cones. the grilles do not effect frequency response.

Ok so What is my overall feeling on the Rokit 8 Gen4 white noise? Well I think there are some pretty obvious improvements over the previous generations. The not so obvious improvements really are the stand outs for me though. KRK is taking the affordable lower cost monitor market and adding a ton of value. Monitors that are now able to retain midrange clarity while also extending down to an earth shaking 36hz is no small feat. The ability to easily tailor your monitors to your environment by way of the APP as well as the on board EQ is something that previously would have cost a few hundred dollars more at the minimum. Couple that with the fact that it is laid out in a way that those not accustomed to making these sorts of adjustments can understand… thats a big deal. You don’t need to be an acoustician to understand that you should have a properly treated room. However even with a treated room you still need to align your monitors correctly and compensate for room modes etc. KRK holds your hand rather nicely through this process. IMHO that adds a lot of value. I have to say, those big yellow cones used to be a sign of producing rather than mixing. Now I can confidently say that these are at home in both the mixing environment as well as the production environment. I plan on using these monitors for another good 6 months or so and revisiting this review. My opinion is that the only real way to review a monitor is with a long term review. lets see how these Kevlar® cones stand up over time (I suspect they should quite well.) I am feeling quite optimistic about the future of this series.

Erica synths preorder for syntrx analog synthesizer now open!

Erica Synths Opens Pre-Ordering for SYNTRX analog synthesizerCollaboration between Erica Synths and engineers from Riga Technical University results in a new kind of user interface that inspires users to explore the sonic universeRiga, Latvia, February 20, 2020 — Erica Synths announces that it has opened pre-ordering for its new SYNTRX all analog synthesizer.  SYNTRX, which features three highly accurate VCOs and a inspiring new digitally controlled analog patch/mixer matrix, will begin shipping to customers in April on a first-come, first served basis. Since the very beginning of the company, Erica Synths has promoted experimental electronic music, developing instruments that enable musicians to unleash their creativity. When it comes to standalone instruments, one of most encouraging instruments in experimental music was the Synthi AKS. In the spirit of innovative collaboration, Erica Synths teamed up with engineers from Riga Technical University to develop a synthesizer with a user interface that challenges conventional wisdom in a sound design. The result is an instrument that will inspire users to explore the sonic universe and travel to previously undiscovered audible realms. SYNTRX is an all analog synthesizer developed from scratch. Following are features and specifications: 3 highly accurate VCOs that track great over 8 octavesOctave switch for the VCO1Sync option for the VCO2Noise generator with “color” filterResonant VCFRing modulatorSpring reverbASR/AD looping envelope generatorJoystick controllerInput amplifier with adjustable gain3 VCAsSample & Hold circuit with an individual clockOutput signal filterMechanical CV/audio signal level indicatorMIDI In and MIDI ThruBuilt in speakersDimensions: 309mm x 457mm x 115mm (with the joystick in centre position)Weight: 4.05 kg
Erica Synths will make a user manual available on April 25th. To learn more about pre-orders on SYNTRX, which is priced at € 2,500.00, please visit the Erica Synths product page

ABOUT ERICA SYNTHS
Erica Synths team of visionaries, engineers and musicians have been working hard to bring you modules and instruments that will set your modular system apart from mass in terms of how it sounds, looks and functions

Fuse Audio Labs looks back towards rare Fifties-vintage, all tube pre for VPRE-2C plugin

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY: DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) plugin and audio DSP (Digital Signal Processing) developer Fuse Audio Labs is proud to announce availability of VPRE-2C — its latest plugin par excellence, based on a rare all-tube, transformer-based booster amp whose basic circuit design has been used in countless tube consoles for broadcast and recording during the late-Fifties and early-Sixties — as of February 7…

VPRE-2C enriches any recording with an authentic-sounding tube vibe in the most intuitive way. While lower GAIN settings produce a well-defined, balanced sound with an accentuated midrange, turning up this level-compensated control also significantly increases the perception of warmth, weight, and smoothness.
Saying that, the plugin also emulates its inspirational hardware forerunner’s two triode-strapped 6J7 pentodes for a rich THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) spectrum as well as the original transformer configuration to bring back its signature low-end mojo, while also adding a selectable pre-/deemphasis filter and a MIX control for a greater variety of tones. Another exclusive feature is its BOOST mode — for kicking in more solid drive and coloration.
“Creating VPRE-2C was a fun project,” proclaims Fuse Audio Labs CEO Reimund Dratwa“Rebuilding and modeling the original circuit was a rather straightforward affair, but tweaking this classic amplifier into a versatile and easy-to-use tone box in the digital domain required some thought for sure! The result really is a ticket back in time to deliver that wonderful vintage sound whenever anyone hears it calling out to them.” 

VPRE-2C is available at an introductory promo price of 24.50 EUR until March 7, 2020 — rising thereafter to its regular price of 49.00 EUR — directly from Fuse Audio Labs’ website here: https://fuseaudiolabs.com (All prices include VAT, where applicable.)

Note that a 14-day trial version of VPRE-2C without any limitations is also available.
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated VPRE-2C webpage here: https://fuseaudiolabs.com/vpre2c.html


AKAI Wants you on an MPC NOW… MPC ONE announced!

AKAI PROFESSIONAL® INTRODUCES MPC ONE, A POWERFUL, COMPACT ADDITION TO THE LEGENDARY MPC LINEUP

New MPC One features Akai Professional’s premier multi-core processor and delivers the ultimate in standalone performance to a new generation of beatmakers.

Fort Lauderdale, FL USA (January 15, 2020) — Akai Professional, a leading manufacturer of music equipment for performers and producers, today announced the newest addition to its industry-leading family of music production centers, the powerful standalone MPC One.

MPC One offers a world-class creative producer experience, powered by the most powerful processor found in any standalone production device. Controlled by a 7-inch multi-touch interface and an intuitive touch-key layout, it creates the best MPC experience for all producers and music makers, in a compact form factor. Because of its remarkably comprehensive feature set and small footprint, this is the perfect companion for everyone’s studio. With its unprecedented combination of sheer production power, compact size and incredible price point, the MPC One establishes an unmatched standard for capability and value.

Included as standard are network connectivity, Splice integration and CV/Gate connectors, so producers can effortlessly access the sounds they need. MPC One comes loaded with 2GB of new drum sample & loop collections, curated specifically for this new hardware, delivering a library full of hard-hitting, dynamic drum sounds, sure to impress the most demanding creators.

The MPC One features the signature synth engines Electric, Tubesynth and Bassline as well as the world-class AIR FX for mixing & mastering. With MPC One, artists have everything they need to deliver impressive, professional productions and streaming-ready records.

MPC One Hardware Features:

  • Brilliant 7-inch multi-touch display
  • 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads
  • 2GB RAM, 4GB onboard storage
  • MIDI In/Out
  • 4 TRS CV/Gate Jacks, 8 Outputs Total
  • USB Flash & SD Card storage Additionally, MPC One incorporates control surface workflow for PC & Mac and includes a full version of MPC2 Desktop Software. Dan Gill, Senior Product Manager for Akai Professional said, “We broke new ground with the MPC X and MPC Live, the most powerful standalone music production devices ever. We’re proud to say we’ve been able to deliver that exact same power in an efficient form factor that will

be at home in any music production studio suite. This is a truly remarkable day for music creatives everywhere.”

MPC One will be available in February 2020 and will ship with a retail price of $699. For more information on MPC One, visit akaipro.com.

Plugin Alliance presents BrainWorx enhanced Shadow Hills Mastering compressor Class A as a VST


Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A


The Pinnacle Of The Shadow Hills Sound

“I love my customized Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor; not only did Brainworx match it, but, I have to admit, I wish it had all those extra cool features like the mono-maker, stereo width and the parallel mix to name a few.”

– Michael Brauer — Multiple Grammy awarded Mix Engineer (Coldplay, John Mayer)

Los Angeles, CA, January 14th 2020 
– Plugin Alliance is proud to announce the availability of the new Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A.
Available exclusively via Plugin Alliance, and enhanced by Brainworx with patent-pending TMT and more, we are happy to add this plugin to the growing line of Shadow Hills plugins. The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A Limited Edition is one of the most exclusive and powerful compressors ever built. Vintage King released the Class A in 2012, limiting production to only 50 units!
The VCA section is much punchier on this version. Brainworx added even more features to the emulation of the already modded hardware version. The RED version is punchier, faster, and more versatile than the GREEN.
With the limited edition, Shadow Hills Industries included an updated Class A discrete compressor section utilizing Lundahl input transformers as well as hand wiring each compressor with Mogami Cable, an important factor when Brainworx Audio modeled one of these limited units as it gave the limited edition version a different character to the original.
During rigorous shoot-out tests against the Shadow Hills Industries Mastering Compressor, our pro audio engineers observed time and time again that the Class A features a smoother compression sound, punchier VCA, a more pronounced sonic dimension, and overall larger size and perceived depth. Another interesting difference between the Shadow Hills Industries Mastering Compressor and the Class A version is that with the gain set to identical values on both units the Class A version clocks in roughly 1 to 3 dBs higher, matching the emulated hardware, and, as a result, delivers a thicker and richer tone to whatever is running through it.
For this limited edition, Brainworx included its well-known retractable Extra Unit. The BX Extra Unit provides the following features: Brainworx’s TMT (patent-pending Tolerance Modeling Technology), M/S processing, Mono-Maker, Stereo Width, Parallel Mix, Sidechain Filter, continuously variable 12 dB per octave high pass filter, and a Headroom parameter.
Visually, this version can also be distinguished by red LEDs on the front panel versus the green ones found on the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor — GREEN for the Drum Buss, RED for the Master!
Added to the MEGA Bundle at no extra cost. 

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A 
is available for purchase (as an AAX AudioSuite-, AAX DSP-, AAX Native-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plugin for MacOS 10.9 through 10.14 and Windows 7 through 10) at an attractive introductory price of $199.99 USD — rising thereafter to an MSRPof $329.00 USD — from here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/shadow_hills_class_a_mastering_comp.html (Upgrade for GREEN version owners: If you already own the green Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, you’ll get the new RED edition for $99.99 USD.)
A fully-functional, 14-day trial of Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A is available to anyone registering for a free Plugin Alliance account here: http://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/registration.html

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A is included in Plugin Alliance’s monthly MEGA Bundle subscription (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mega-bundle-monthly.html) and annual MEGA Bundle subscription (https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/pa-mega-bundle.html) at no extra cost!
Note that the proprietary Plugin Alliance Installation Manager means users can select, download, and install only the products and formats needed for their system. For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit Plugin Alliance’s dedicatedShadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A webpage here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/shadow_hills_class_a_mastering_comp.html
Watch Plugin Alliance’s Overview and Demo video for Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A here: https://youtu.be/JTXpwq2Cq6s
Watch Plugin Alliance’s Trailer video for Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Class A here: https://youtu.be/BBf10TeCa9g 



Flock Audio propagates PATCH digitally-controlled, 100%-analog patch bay routing system selection with LT and XT hardware


Flock Audio propagates PATCH digitally-controlled, 100%-analog patch bay routing system selection with LT and XT hardware



KELOWNA, BC, CANADA: having revolutionized recording studio setups worldwide with its innovative PATCH system’s killer combination of (PATCH APP) software and 64-point connection-providing (PATCH) hardware working together in perfect harmony as the world’s most advanced digitally-controlled, 100%-analog patch bay routing system allowing anyone to easily control analog audio routings without having to resort to the use of manual patch cables, pro audio manufacturer Flock Audio is proud to introduce its (impending) PATCH LT and PATCH XT hardware releases — respectively representing ‘light’ (condensed) and ‘extra’ (expanded) selections anchored around the same award- winning architecture as the original, offering reduced and increased I/O count — at The 2020 NAMM Show, January 16-19, Anaheim, CA, USA…
Revolutionary as it incontrovertibly was when turning heads and opening musical minds with a show-stopping showcase at The 2019 NAMM Show, subsequently being adopted by hundreds of audio engineers worldwide with workflows benefitting from a design that just makes sense, today the original PATCH hardware remains revolutionary, beautifully built but simple and sleek in operation. On the face of it, becoming the hub of any studio setup is at its creative core, thanks to 64-point (32-input/32-output) connections via eight standard 25-pin D-SUB connectors allowing analog routing control courtesy of the accompanying MacOS- and Windows-compatible PATCH APP routing software, so users can create, store, and recall complex routings in seconds as well as create complex multing combinations with no impedance issues and no AD/DA conversion with a 100%-analog signal path using Flock Audio’s patented Matrix Technology. Simply speaking, the USB 2.0-equipped hardware works with the software in perfect harmony. Furthermore, Flock Audio sensibly saw fit to also include 32 independent channels of 48V phantom power — and allows or denies the ability to enable 48V on any input connected to the PATCH system, so accidental damage to any costly microphone investment is thankfully avoidable. Additionally, two front panel-positioned TRS/XLR Combo inputs and two XLR outputs for quick hardware, microphone, or instrument integration into the routing system are always available — and all without having to unplug anything already connected to the rear of the rack-mounted unit itself. Moreover, multiple PATCH expansion is perfectly possible for those needing more connections.
Conversely, perhaps, PATCH’s 64-point connection capability could conceivably be deemed overpriced overkill for those whose studio setups are a little lighter on the analog audio hardware front. Fortunately, Flock Audio always aims to accommodate, as evidenced by the timely introduction of its (impending) PATCH LT hardware at The 2020 NAMM Show. Small but mighty sums up PATCH’s perfectly-formed simple, sleek, and spectacular sibling, with just enough I/O to create a musical masterpiece. This time, however, Flock Audio allows access to the analog routing matrix of anyone’s dreams as a 32- point (16-input/16-output) connections-adorned affair featuring four standard 25-pin D-SUB connectors, 16 independent channels of 48V phantom power, and one front panel-positioned TRS/XLR Combo input and one XLR output. Out of sight, out of mind, the same reliable connections that seriously cemented PATCH’s recording reputation so speedily are also built into PATCH LT. Indeed, it includes the same external five-pin 24V DC power supply with IEC cable and 10-foot USB 2.0 (USB-A to USB-B) cable. Conveniently, it also works with the same PATCH APP routing software — relatively recently upgraded to instantly identify the connected PATCH hardware model, meaning quick creation, storage, and recall of complex routings as well as creating complex multing combinations with no impedance issues and no AD/DA conversion with a 100%-analog signal path using Flock Audio’s patented Matrix Technology remains the same. Should that smaller studio setup grow, then multiple unit expansion with any PATCH model is perfectly possible, so no need (necessarily) to trade up!
Ultimately, of course, more serious studio setups more often than not have more serious patch bay routing requirements. Really representing everything that is great about PATCH… expanded, PATCH XT packs 192-point (96-input/96-output) connections via 24 standard 25-pin D-SUB connectors into a 3U eye-catching casing that means business but also acts as a reminder that analog routing need not be be the ugly part of audio production! Put it this way: with 96 independent channels of 48V phantom power, lockable USB 2.0 connector with included 10-foot USB 2.0 (USB-A to USB-B) cable, more room to house an internal power supply with included IEC cable, cooling-without-compromise redesigned airflow, and (optional) CAT5 Ethernet host control for bridging longer distances between the hardware unit itself and the PATCH APP routing software host, PATCH XT is extra extraordinary! And as if this is not enough to keep the most serious studio owner seriously satisfied with Flock Audio’s ultimate development of the world’s most advanced digitally- controlled, 100%-analog patch bay routing system allowing anyone to easily control analog audio routings without having to resort to the use of manual patch cables, multiple unit expansion with any PATCH model is also available.
As company founder and Flock Audio CEO Darren Nakonechny notes: “We believe every audio engineer, whether developing their craft in the basement or award-winning professional studio, deserves superior recording tools.” Thanks to the timely introduction of PATCH LT and PATCH XT at The 2020 NAMM Show — uniting over 115,000 registrants from 130 countries and regions at the global crossroads of music, sound, and entertainment technology, the trailblazing Canadian pro audio manufacturer has taken two selective steps towards making that happen for even more audio engineers worldwide with workflows benefitting from ‘light’ (condensed) and ‘extra’ (expanded) designs that make more sense than ever! 

PATCH LT is scheduled to ship in Summer 2020 with an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $1,499.00 USD — pricing subject to change without notice — through Flock Audio’s growing global network of authorized dealers (https://www.flockaudio.com/dealers) or online directly from Flock Audio itself (https://www.flockaudio.com/buynow).

For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated PATCH LT webpage here: https://www.flockaudio.com/patchlt
PATCH XT is scheduled to ship in Winter 2020 with an MSRP of $9,999.00 USD — pricing subject to change without notice — through Flock Audio’s growing global network of authorized dealers (https://www.flockaudio.com/dealers)
or online directly from Flock Audio itself (
https://www.flockaudio.com/buynow).
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated PATCH XT webpage here: https://www.flockaudio.com/patchxt 





Arturia announces KEYSTEP PRO for namm 2020

Arturia reveal KeyStep Pro at NAMM 2020
The newest, and most hotly anticipated member of the Arturia Step family is to be revealed at NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, California. 

The sequencer the world has been waiting for. KeyStep Pro gives keyboard players incredible sequencing and performance power in a compact, versatile controller. 

KeyStep Pro is a 37-key MIDI controller and multi-channel polyphonic sequencer all in one. It will allow musicians to take full control of their modular rigs, outboard synths, and software studio all at the same time. The 4 independent polyphonic sequencer tracks give you full control over your instruments, and Track 1 can also function as a 16-part integrated drum sequencer. It’s incredibly intuitive, has unparalleled connectivity, and promises to make even complex performances a breeze. 

If you prefer keys to pads, you’ll love KeyStep Pro. It sports a great-feeling 3 octave keyboard with velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. Letting you fully articulate your musical ideas, this expressive little sequencer truly puts your whole music-making ecosystem at your fingertips. Arturia’s designers studied the way musicians actually used their Step controllers, and created KeyStep Pro to remove the barriers between you and the music you want to create.
4 independent polyphonic sequencer lanes
TRACKS4 independent sequencers, controlling whatever synth, module, or drum machine you want.PATTERNS16 patterns per track. Each sequencer pattern can be up to 64 steps long, and contain 16 notes per step.CHAINSLink up to 16 patterns together to create whole songs or sections of your set.SCENESSnapshots of all the sequences within a pattern, letting you instantly switch between sets of sequences.PROJECTSEverything in one place. Load, duplicate, tweak, edit, and save for later in its onboard memory.
LEARN MORE
16 part drum sequencer
To get hands on with KeyStep Pro, look out for Arturia at NAMM 2020. 

Meet the Arturia team in Hall A, booth 11910. This new member of the Step family will begin shipping worldwide in Spring 2020.