BFD celebrates New website with software update and more

BFD CELEBRATES LAUNCH OF NEW WEBSITE WITH SOFTWARE UPDATE, NEW USER PORTAL, AND EXPANSION PACK OFFER

Fort Lauderdale, FL US (April 19, 2021) – BFD, the recognized leader of virtual drum software products, today launched their new website, bfddrums.com. The new website will serve as the online hub for all things BFD, including an online store, inMusic Profile management, and more. This new website is BFD’s first major step towards solidifying a new brand image since being acquired by inMusic, the global leader in music production hardware, software, and consumer electronics.

Free Expansion Pack for Existing BFD3 Users

To celebrate the launch of the new site, BFD is offering a free Expansion Pack to all existing BFD3 users who migrate over to the new site. To begin the migration, BFD asks that all customers log into their existing accounts on fxpansion.com. Once logged in, users will see the option to automatically migrate their data to a new inMusic Profile on bfddrums.com. After following a few short steps, user information will be permanently moved to the new site and BFD3 users will have access to a free Expansion Pack among their existing BFD3 products. An inMusic Profile on bfddrums.com is required to continue receiving updates and support for BFD3 and its compatible Expansions and Groove Packs.

BFD3 (v3.4) Update

In addition to a new website and Expansion Pack offer, there is also an update to the core BFD3 software. BFD3 (v3.4) introduces a number of under-the-hood improvements as well as an all new per- voice Envelope Shaper and a suite of high-quality effects from AIR Music Technology. The brand new Envelope Shaper is one of the most versatile sound design tools ever included with a virtual drum instrument, empowering users to further shape the transients of each individual BFD3 kit piece to taste. For almost two decades, AIR Music Technology has been creating industry-standard effects plugins covering a vast assortment of dynamic and time-based use-cases. The BFD3 now has thirteen of the most popular AIR effects built-in:

  • AIR Compressor
  • AIR Lo-Fi (Decimator)
  • AIR Distortion
  • AIR Dyn3Compressor
  • AIR Economy Reverb
  • AIR Expander
  • AIR Maximizer
  • AIR Non-Linear Reverb
  • AIR Saturation Filter
  • AIR Spring Reverb
  • AIR Stereo Reverb
  • AIR Transient
  • AIR Tube Driver About BFD

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Since 2003, BFD has been the virtual drum software of choice for producers, mix engineers, songwriters, and electronic drummers around the world. The original BFD software pioneered a new way of approaching software drums by delivering expressive articulations, rich timbral detail, and in-depth mixing options. BFD has continued to release an ever-increasing library of expansions packs, cementing this software instrument as the world’s largest collection of acoustic drum samples and the most flexible and feature-packed software drum solution on the market.

About inMusic

inMusic is a family of 16 premier brands that includes AIR Music TechnologyTM, Akai Professional®, Alesis®, Alto Professional®, Denon® DJ, Denon® Professional, HeadRush®, ION® Audio, M-Audio®, Marantz® Professional, MARQ® Lighting, MixMeister®, Numark®, Rane®, SONiVOX® and SoundSwitch®.

Nembrini Audio sends shimmers down DAWs

Nembrini Audio sends shimmers down DAWs with out-of-this-world soundscapes- and spaces-creating Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine plug-in 


PAVIA, ITALY: analogue saturation circuits digital reproduction specialist Nembrini Audio is proud to announce availability of Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine — sending shimmers down DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) by combining reverb, pitch shifting, and feedback to create out-of-this-world soundscapes and spaces as a plug-in promoting getting lost in the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum, drawing deeply from creative techniques developed by early-Eighties studio engineers — as of April 19…

Prominently popularised by British musician Brian Eno — effectively responsible for naming the genre itself with his 1978- released Ambient 1: Music For Airports album (comprising compositions created by layering tape loops of differing lengths, designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation with the intent of defusing the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport), ambient music is typically thought of as a style of gentle, largely electronic instrumental music with no persistent beat, used to create or enhance a mood or atmosphere. No need (necessarily) to go anywhere near an airport terminal to work with Nembrini Audio’s self-styled ambient machine, although it is perfectly possible to achieve a truly ambient atmosphere almost anywhere since Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine is also available in an iOS-friendly form on the App Store (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shimmer-delay-ambient-machine/id1559249944).
No need (necessarily) to work without beats when working with Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine. After all, the plug-in promotes getting lost in the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum, drawing deeply from creative techniques developed by early-Eighties studio engineers. Equally adept at working with guitars, keyboards, synthesisers, and vocals, it combines reverb, pitch shifting, and feedback to create out-of-this-world soundscapes and spaces via an easy-to-use interface implemented as an equally easy-on-the-eye experience, emphasising user control and playability. Indeed, it is designed to be tweaked in real-time with no-nonsense controls clearly guiding the way with some self-explanatory sections acting as their helpful home — namely, IN (input level metering); SWELL (auto-volume swell commonly used with electric guitar, similar to the sound of a violin being bowed); DELAY (main delay); down OCTAVE (manages a down octave); SHIMMER (manages the shimmer effect); DRY/WET (manages the dry/wet signal blend); and OUT (output level metering). Moreover, all controls have a smoothed response to avoid clicks when changing settings or applying automation, while the highly-optimised main delay algorithm allows anyone to achieve huge delay sounds without straining their CPU (Central Processing Unit).
Ultimately, Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine more than lives up to its apt appellation — and all without straining the finances of anyone wishing to take a (purchasing) plunge into the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum! 

Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine is available for purchase (as an iLok-protected AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plug-in for macOS 10.9 or newer and Windows 7 or newer) at an attractive introductory price of only $29.00 USD until May 3, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $79.00 USD — from its dedicated webpage (https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/shimmer-delay-ambient-machine), which also includes more in-depth information.

Flexibility further abounds as Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine is also available in AuV3 format for iOS at an introductory price of $4.99 USD until May 3, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $8.99 USD — on the App Store from here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/shimmer-delay-ambient-machine/id1559249944
Get lost in the creative production and electronic music facets of the ambient spectrum while watching Nembrini Audio’s mellow mood-setting Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine trailer video here: https://youtu.be/xZFMkeqAIeA

Analog Solutions Leipzig v3 gets a facelift for desktop

Analogue Solutions stylishly reshapes discontinued design to release redesigned Leipzig v3 as advanced Analogue Synthesiser




KINGSWINFORD, UK: 
British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Leipzig v3 — an advanced Analogue Synthesiser stylishly reshaped as a desktop design drawing deeply from the DNA of the rack-mountable Leipzig-S analogue synth/sequencer, a discontinued design dating back to 2011 and effectively now made better by redesign to improve reliability, quality, and other manufacturing considerations, as well as adding several notable new features — as of April 5…


As a desktop device duly delivering a better fit, format-wise, for present-day production preference, Leipzig v3 takes its (re)design cues from Analogue Solutions’ 2019-introduced Impulse Command — critically acclaimed as a true stereo, semi-modular analogue synthesiser/sonic realiser conceivably capable of sounding like several synthesisers simultaneously playing, perfectly-packaged as a desktop device — yet readily retains the same angry, analogue sound as its rack-mountable (Leipzig-S) predecessor, popularised itself by bona fide synth-pop pioneer Vince Clarke, long-standing Gary Numan producer Ade Fenton, and Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor, all appreciative of the pure analogue voice and modulation circuitry — circuits based on superlative-sounding Seventies-vintage designs, so no quantisation for CPU (Central Processing Unit) reading required, in other words — with extensive routing possibilities, fat-sounding Moog-style filter, two VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators), and analogue step sequencer on offer to discerning disciples, distinguished or otherwise.
Obvious change of form factor duly dealt with, several notable features new to the resulting (non-rack-mountable) Leipzig v3 desktop design are well worth highlighting here from the get-go. Firstly, flexibility is increased when accessing a healthy number of self-explanatory CV (Control Voltage) patch points positioned directly on the top panel as Eurorack patch cable-compatible 3.5mm mini (mono) jack sockets, so Leipzig v3 can be both cross patched within itself and also to external Eurorack modular synthesisers.

Increased INPUT connectivity comes courtesy of MASTER PITCH MOD — modulates the pitch of both VCOs; VCO 2 PITCH MOD — modulates the pitch of VCO 2 only; CUTOFF MOD — modulates the VC LPF (Voltage-Controlled Low-Pass Filter) CUTOFF frequency; EG TRIG — triggers both (ENV 1 and ENV 2) envelope generators (upon receiving a trigger or gate signal); and EXT SIG (external signal) — an audio signal (routed to the MIXER via an associated EXT switch) or clock signal (used to clock the CV SEQUENCER from an external device when the SYNC SOURCE selector is turned to EXT). Equally accessible are the following OUTPUT-dedicated patch points: SEQ SYNC — similar to a through clock, copying the clock signal selected to clock the CV SEQUENCER, so it can be ‘thru-d’ to another device to synchronise them together; LFO triangle and square signal outputs; envelope generator and signal outputs; and SEQ CV — control voltage output from the CV SEQUENCER.


Speaking of the latter, the capabilities of an already-capable eight-step analogue sequencer — surely wasted when only used to create simple- sounding (MIDI-transposable) melodies or percussive loops when it can also act as a musical modulation source to step through striking sound changes (courtesy of the output CV being routed to VCO 1 pitch, VCO 2 pitch, and VCF cutoff with associated adjustable DESTINATION levels) — have helpfully been extended to turn off VCO 2 (square wave only) on selected steps by activating the RHY(thm) toggle switch and manually stepping through the CV SEQUENCER using the STEP push button, then toggling VCO 2 on or off using the RHYTHM push button; consequently, VCO 2 will only sound when the RHYTHM button LED (Light Emitting Diode) is lit, which, when used in conjunction with VCO 1 still sounding on every step, creates the illusion of more than one synthesiser playing! But briefly stepping out of the wonderful world of analogue, Leipzig v3 also has a ‘hidden’ dynamic (digital) 16-step sequencer that constantly stores every note played in via MIDI into volatile memory as a 16-step loop. It is always locked in sync with the analogue sequencer and new notes can be entered into the 16-step loop while the sequencers are running, permitting patterns to be constantly changed on the fly. Straightforward synchronisation of the sequencer to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is perfectly possible by simply sending it MIDI Note 000; as such, it can be clocked at any tempo (and also divided down relative to the DAW’s tempo), stopped, started, and muted from the DAW itself — impossible with MIDI Sync, so something of an added bonus in itself for Leipzig v3 owners.
Other tweaks to the contemporary desktop design implemented in Leipzig v3 are comparatively subtle, such as a top panel-positioned (3.5mm mini jack) headphone output and rear panel-positioned power switch that is illuminated.
Illuminating additions aside, although Leipzig v3 clearly comprises some special features, fortunately its general architecture, signal flow — VC OSCILLATORS MIXER VC LPF MODULATION ENV 1 ENV 2 VCA, et al — and control nomenclature is still fairly standard, so the synthesiser itself is fairly straightforward to use.


Ultimately, Leipzig v3 sounds huge — especially evident when pressed into playing bass parts, at which it really reigns supreme. Sonic enrichments further abound as the MIXER and VC LPF sections can both be really overdriven, lending Leipzig v3 a really hard sound. Saying that, this of course can be toned down and softer synth sounds are also achievable — as, indeed, is everything in-between. Besides bass sounds, Leipzig v3 equally excels at creating electronic percussion — not just sounds, but also percussive loops, thanks to the flexibility of that onboard step sequencer. Percussive patterns can be quickly created and synchronised to — or recorded directly into — a DAW. As a semi-modular mainstay, Leipzig v3 can capably create leads, effects, modular-style sounds, and more, making it an ideal investment for anyone budgeting for only one analogue synthesiser since it covers so many basses… and bass sounds! 

Leipzig v3 is available to purchase — priced at £1,018.80 GBP (including VAT) — directly from Analogue Solutions via the dedicated Leipzig v3 webpage (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/leipzigv3), which also includes more in-depth information.


Please note that Analogue Solutions cannot ship to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, or the United States since those countries are serviced by dedicated distributors, but outside of those countries it is possible to order directly from Analogue Solutions’ growing global network of authorised dealers (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/dealers) with whom Leipzig v3 will be available at a European SSP (Suggested Selling Price) of €1,179.00 EUR (including VAT) and an a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $1,199.00 USD.
See and hear Leipzig v3 being put through its impressive paces in Analogue Solutions’ sonically-diverse demonstration video here:https://youtu.be/ktsfxTF5jx8 

Focal Adds to the affordable Alpha Evo monitor line with two new entries

Focal Releases Two New “Alpha Evo” MonitorsNew affordable Focal monitors offer 5-inch and 6.5-inch drivers


Montreal, Canada — March 25, 2021 — Today Focal has announced that it is shipping the new Alpha Evo monitors, Alpha 50 Evo, and Alpha 65 Evo. These replace the current Focal Alpha 50 and 65 models in that range, while the current Alpha 80 are still available. The two new Focal Alpha Evo products are available at retailers in the US and Canada on March 25, 2021, and have suggested retail prices of Alpha 50 Evo $349. USD each, and Alpha 65 Evo $449. USD each. 

Alpha Evo 6.5

Focal evolves its Alpha range with the newly unveiled Alpha Evo. New features, new technologies, new design: The Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 65 Evo studio monitors offer high performance at a price unrivaled in their market, providing ultra-powerful, professional tools to more people than ever. With these new products, the French brand showcases once again its sound expertise and its position as a global leader. 

Performance & Versatility
Dedicated to music creation and all reproduction, the Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 65 Evo offer excellent sound coherence, no matter where a user is listening. For renewed performance, Focal has chosen an aluminum inverted dome tweeter to ensure vast sound dispersion, as well as the Slatefiber cone. This recycled carbon cone, produced exclusively by the French brand at its Saint-Étienne workshops, has been chosen for its neutrality and dynamics. Focal is constantly renewing its offerings, drawing on its acoustics expertise of over 40-years and its innovation capacity. This is demonstrated by the new large laminar port, which limits distortion noise. 

New Features: Evo for Evolution. 
The Alpha Evo monitors boast a new ?-inch (6.35mm) TRS input jack, in addition to the XLR and RCA analog inputs, an automatic standby mode that can now be switched off by the user, and inserts for wall and ceiling fastening. All these new features make Alpha Evo a truly versatile monitor range for Mixing, Mastering, DJs, and Broadcast. In terms of amplification, the monitors are each equipped with two class D amplifiers. The high current capacity of these amplifiers allows full control of the signal dynamics. They also allow high volumes to be reached without distortion. Each of the loudspeakers picks up the smallest details in the mix, across all musical styles. 

Design and Cabinet-Making 
The monitors feature a 5/8-inch (15mm)-thick MDF cabinet and incorporate internal braces to ensure it is highly robust, even at the highest levels of acoustic pressure. The bass-reflex design has been used to ensure easy acoustic integration in even the most cramped spaces. In terms of aesthetics, the traditional cube monitor shape makes way for rounded contours. The side panels create a sophisticated, robust, and modern design which contributes to excellent acoustics and a unique and harmonious signature style across the collections. 

Key features of Focal Alpha Evo monitors: 
* Excellent dynamics 
* Wide dispersion enabling the same sound to be maintained throughout the entire room 
* Slatefiber cone manufactured in France 
* Identical tonal balance at both low and high volume 
* Connect up to 3 audio sources 
* Inserts for wall fastening 
* Automatic standby mode can now be switched off by the user
* Protective grills included 

The new Focal Alpha Evo products are available at retailers in the US and Canada on March 25, 2021, and have suggested retail prices of Alpha 50 Evo $349. USD each, and Alpha 65 Evo $449. USD each. 

Discover Alpha Evohttps://www.focal.com/en/pro-audio/monitoring-speakers/alpha-evo

For more information on Focal Professionalhttps://www.focal.com/en/pro-audio

About Focal Naim America
Focal Naim America (formerly Audio Plus Services) is a leading North American importer and distributor of premium consumer and professional electronics brands including Focal Professional, SPL of Germany, IsoAcoustics, Zaor Studio Furniture, Vicoustic, and EarSonics. Based in Montreal with U.S. shipping facilities in Champlain, NY, the company has sales personnel located throughout the United States and Canada to professionally service their active roster of more than 350 specialty A/V and Pro Audio dealers. The company specializes in products and services for the professional audio and performing musician markets, as well as the home theater and custom integration (CI) market – both residential and commercial – for North America. 

For more information about Focal Naim America visit their website at https://www.focalnaimamerica.com or call (800) 663-9352.

All trademarks are the property of their respective holders.###
Many more Focal Alpha Evo photos available & high-resolution available, email: pauljdb@gmail.com

New Focal Alpha 50 Evo and Alpha 50 Evo: 

Nembrini Audio announces vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb-emulating Voice DC30 plug-in

Nembrini Audio announces availability of vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb-emulating Voice DC30 plug-in par excellence


PAVIA, ITALY: 
analogue saturation circuits digital reproduction specialist Nembrini Audio is proud to announce availability of its Voice DC30 plug-in — meticulously modelled on a vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb, the iconic British-built 30W 2×12 combo guitar amplifier that defined a generation of sound, to bring its incredible tone (traversing from chiming, clean qualities with a brilliance bordering on grittiness to darker, more overdriven timbres) to today’s DAW-driven world while extending the possibilities of the original hardware with new features — as of March 15…
Iconic in both name and tone, the vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb — produced from 1979 through to 1984 — is readily recognised by British musicians (and, indeed, beyond those shores) for its ‘jangly’ high-end sound, something that Nembrini Audio has truly tapped in to with its meticulously-modelled Voice DC30 plug-in. Put it this way: thanks toNembrini Audio’s acclaimed analogue saturation circuits digital reproduction specialism, Voice DC30 allows anyone access to the signature sound of the hardware original by bringing both enchantingly clean and raucously overdriven tones to their chosen computer platform — or iOS.

Indeed, Voice DC30 pairs perfectly with the intricacies of anyone’s playing style, resulting in a sound that is truly their own.
On the face of it, then, Voice DC30 could well be viewed as a vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb-emulating plug-in par excellence. Working with software has, however, allowed its creator to take things to another level by bringing a host of new features to the present-day production table.
It is perfectly possible, therefore, to select between six different guitar CABINET emulations and four MIC emulations with on/OFF AXIS position switches and continuous POSITION and DISTANCE knobs. Additionally, a complete MIXER section — with multiple PHASESOLOMUTE, and PAN controls — allows users to blend MIC 1MIC 2, and AMBIENT levels. Above and beyond that, the IMPULSES LOADER lets users load up to three third-party impulse responses that can also be blended with dedicated PHASESOLOMUTE, and PAN controls. Additionally, a useful IMPULSES browser window is included so that users can easily search through their third party impulse response files. Finally, there is also a NOISE GATE section with THRESHOLD and RANGE controls alongside a meticulously-modelled CLEANER circuit with HARSH– and RUMBLING-reduction controls.
Clearly anyone lusting after that readily-recognisable, generation-defining vintage Vox AC30 Top Boost Reverb tone needs look no further than Nembrini Audio’s authentic-sounding Voice DC30 plug-in, pushing further forward in today’s DAW-driven world. 

Vox AC30 is a registered trademark of Vox Amplification Ltd. Voice DC30 was developed by Nembrini Audio SRL based on its own modelling techniques. Vox Amplification Ltd has not endorsed nor sponsored Voice DC30 in any manner, nor licensed any intellectual property for use in this product.


Voice DC30 is available for purchase (as an iLok-protected AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plug-in for macOS 10.9 or newer and Windows 7 or newer) at an attractive introductory price of only $39.00 USD until March 31, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $137.00 USD — from here: https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/voice-dc30-guitar-amplifier

Flexibility further abounds as Voice DC30 is also available in AuV3 format for iOS at an introductory price of $9.99 USD until March 31, 2021 — rising thereafter to a regular price of $19.99 USD — on the App Store from here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voice-dc30-custom-valve/id1556268876
For more in-depth information, including several superb-sounding audio demos, please visit the dedicated Voice DC30 webpage here: https://www.nembriniaudio.com/products/voice-dc30-guitar-amplifier
See and hear Nimbrini Audio’s authentic-sounding Voice DC30 plug-in being put through its musical paces in this must-see, guitar-showcasing trailer video: https://youtu.be/KR58oVzum1o 

My thoughts on the SPL Marc One Monitor and Recording Controller

In a home studio setting there are a few things to consider when working on a mix, sound designing , or generally exploring sound that will be eventually played back in other listening environments. One of the major factors is of course how a mix will translate across different audio monitors.

Because of this necessity for mix translation, it is not uncommon to have more than one set of monitors in your set up. Often times this can pose an issue for home producers on how to accurately switch between monitors and gauge how a mix is translating between monitors.

I tend to handle a lot of preset design, and testing of gear pre and post release. This means I am often trying to evaluate sound for a variety of environments and use cases. Often I need to be critical of strange unexpected behavior in audio gear. Listening on more than one set of monitors and with a variety of options can be critical for this task.

This is where the SPL Marc One comes into play. The obvious actions are of course the ability to simply flip a switch and flick between two sets of monitors. This sounds trivial but there is more to it than that.

The first is that there are two sets of monitor inputs, one with a sub and one without, I tend not to use the sub output as my monitors sub has a built in cross over so the stereo out routes through the sub. Between the A/B monitor switch is the OFF position. This is a handy quick mute function to turn off both monitors.

The volume control is a large knob with analog control. This is important to me. It means monitoring at lower volumes will not reduce audio quality of playback as some digitally controlled devices may do. It also means that I always have direct hands on control of my audio level, no glitches or hang ups will prevent control.

The Marc One Front and back

Next to the volume is our Stereo controls. This allows us to quickly flip between mono, stereo and Flipped monitor configurations (flipping the left channel to come out the right speaker and visa versa.) I have to admit while I am used to using a mono control for mixing , the left right flip was a bit of an eye opener to me. Many people have a dominant ear and its been proven that we perceive music differently in one ear and speech in the other. I found myself using this switch more often than I expected and it really helped me trouble shoot some strange audio issues.

Next up are two small LED that indicate if the converters are being overloaded. This can not be understated. I have become very aware of the sound of modern day converters overloading and how they can alter your sound. in the modern age this can be slightly more complicated than in the past due to converters having soft clipping built right into them. Often times this soft clipping isn’t the harsh digital clipping we have grown accustomed to spotting so easily. Having a quick overload LED indicator is quite nice to just confirm that you are within the limits before any sort of distortion can occur.

Now before moving on lets just talk a bit about those converters. These days converter tech has really exploded and we have some fantastic chips out there. the SPL Marc One takes advantage of this by using the AK4490 converter chip for the USB audio which enables sampling frequencies up to 768kHz. Those numbers are rather astounding and delivering a 10Hz–200kHz frequency range, 121dBu of dynamic range, -99dBu of self-noise, and 0.002% total harmonic distortion. These are literally top shelf numbers.

These Analog audio inputs can be blended with USB digital audio inputs utilizing the convert mentioned above. there is a smooth control to blend between these inputs.

Next up with have the Headphone controls. Here you will notice a familiar volume control but then you are presented with a “Crossfeed” control. This is the Phonitor Matrix headphone controls. What this does is essentially allows your headphone output to have a bleed across left and right channels while also simulating speaker angle of 30 degrees and a center level of -1db. All controlled through one Crossfeed knob to adjust to taste and your headphones no longer sound like static left right cans on your head. They feel like speakers in a physical space. What I like about this is that it didn’t feel like an effect slapped onto a mix. listening to familiar material it simply made my headphones melt away and I felt like I had a pair of monitors at a proper listening positioning in front of me. There is still proper channel separation going on but it doesn’t feel hard line like headphones usually feel. I found my self enjoying music with headphones on and preferring the crossfeed turned up about 3/4 of the way up.

My Use case might be a tad different from others. One of the recommended methods of operation is of course to send your DAW output direct to the USB input on the Marc One. For me I was primarily using the Analog inputs and I would use an Ipad input into the Marc one for sound designing presets on the ipad. I like to work stand alone from my computer quite a bit and my audio interface often acts as a patch bay without forcing me to use a DAW. This method was seamless with the Marc one and VERY helpful. It essentially means you have the highest quality iOS audio output available… whats not to like?

So lets get to the cons… I had tho really think about this and honestly I think the only thing I would have liked to see included on this would be a way to disengage the sub on channel A with a footswitch while still sending audio out channel A (this is often a separate device though and understandable.) I also would have really liked a Dim as well.

Overall I really enjoy it. much of the design is over the top with quality. Thats something I can always get behind. Who do I think really benefits from a controller like this? I think especially people with audio interfaces that do not already have monitor controlling built in certainly. However I currently use a MOTU 828es as my main interface and it has monitor controlling built in already. Thing is the MOTU has a Mute and mono but it does not have the immediate analog volume control, the channel swap, the Crossfeed Phonitor headphone mix nor the ability to add in the USB audio of an external source without having to dive into my software.

SPL Marc One Monitor and Recording Controller Features:

  • Monitor and recording controller built with top-drawer components
  • Switchable outputs for 2 pairs of speakers
  • Subwoofer output switches on and off with speaker pair A
  • 2 analog stereo inputs and 1 digital input — enough to hear your mix and reference tracks
  • 3 monitoring modes: Stereo, Mono, and Channel Swap
  • AK4490 converter chip enables sampling frequencies up to 768kHz
  • Class AB output stage with ample power for a wide range of popular headphone models
  • Phonitor Matrix with Speaker Angle, Center Level, and Crossfeed parameters for a speaker-like monitoring experience
  • Supplied 12V plug-in power supply
  • Secondary internal power supply generates +/-17V for the analog audio sections for pro levels up to +22.5dB

Price $799 USD

If you don’t want the USB capabilities. you can opt for the SPL Control one which offers the same features minus the USB input and monitor blend for $599

Focal new Clear Mg Professional headphones get upgrade

Focal Releases New “Clear Mg Professional” HeadphonesNew updated model of popular Focal headphone now uses magnesium cone for even greater dynamics

Montreal, Canada – February 16, 2021 – Today Focal has announced that it is shipping the new Focal Clear Mg Professional headphones (“Clear Magnesium Professional”), a new model of their popular Clear Professional headphones but with the addition of a magnesium (Mg) cone for even greater dynamics with a remarkable tonal balance across the full audio spectrum. The new product is available at retailers in the US and Canada on February 16, 202,  and has a suggested retail price of $1,490. USD.

The global leader in acoustics, Focal continues to innovate and presents a new work tool for sound engineers and producers: Clear Mg Professional. The French brand has gone even further than it did for its first Clear Professional headphones, offering even more impressive performance. Clear Mg Professional has ambitions to become the leading professional headphones. 

Focal’s Innovation Makes All the Difference
The Clear Mg Professional circumaural, open-back headphones are designed for music creators looking for a reliable tool in terms of quality and transfer speed. While the first Clear Professional headphones incorporated 15/8” (40mm) full- range speaker drivers with Aluminum/Magnesium ‘M’-shaped inverted domes, Clear Mg Professional has these same speaker drivers, but in Magnesium. After four years of research and development, the engineers at Focal have designed this new material to obtain an even more optimized combination of the key criteria for speaker drivers of lightness, rigidity, and damping. The St. Étienne brand first positioned itself on the global market of Hi-Fi headphones in 2016. This unique expertise, combined with French manufacturing mastered in its own workshops, allows the brand to guarantee uncompromising quality. 

Precision, Dynamic, and Speed
Thanks to this new cone, combined with the frameless 1″ (25mm)-diameter and 1/4″ (5.5mm)- high copper voice coil, the sound experience is made even more precise, delivering impressive detail across the full spectrum while preserving excellent tonal balance. The flexibility of the surround offers lightness, therefore more dynamics and impact across the full frequency spectrum. The open grille inside the earcup extends the high frequencies and follows the ‘M’ profile of the cone more closely to further reduce adverse effects. With a 24kHz breakup, the high frequencies are extremely linear and the transient signals are respected. 

Comfortable Work and Luxury Finishes
Everything is designed for work comfort, as well as aesthetics. The design of the headband displays a constant curve and the weight of the headphones is distributed evenly across the head. The solid aluminum yoke is covered with a structured black paint, for sleek design and scratch resistance. Instead of the traditional vertically rotating mechanics, these have been moved within the headband for even greater comfort. This allows for excellent sealing, while the red & black blends classic and modern looks. The thermoformed carrying case shaped to fit the Clear Mg Professional, and with smaller dimensions, is woven in colors to match the headphones. Finally, two low-resistivity OFC 24 AWG copper cables are supplied. 

Key features of Clear Mg Professional: 
• A brand-new magnesium cone for even greater dynamics 
• A remarkable tonal balance across the full spectrum
• The bass is articulated right down to the low frequencies 
• The level of detail in the high frequencies 
• Comfortable and ergonomic
• Low impedance (55 Ohms)
• Two OFC 24 AWG copper cables supplied: 
       16.5ft (5m) spiral cable with 1/4″ – (6.35mm) TRS jack
         3.9ft (1.2m) cable with 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo jack connector with 1/8″ (3.5mm) jack and 1/4″ (6.35mm) jack adapter 
• Rigid carrying case supplied 

The new Clear Mg Professional product is available at retailers in the US and Canada on February 16, 202, and has a suggested retail price of $1,490. USD.

Analog solutions now on fourth run of the Colossus synth

Analogue Solutions announces forthcoming fourth run of Colossus supersized synth that trips back to the future of analogue


KINGSWINFORD, UK: following a showstopping showcase during its introduction at SynthFest UK 2019 in Sheffield, British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce a forthcoming fourth run of Colossus — its supersized synth that trips back to the future of analogue, albeit symbolising so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators) beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best by taking its design cues from the colossal classic that is the EMS Synthi 100, although no Synthi circuit was cloned or copied in making the destined-to-be-classic Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners — as of February 15…
Despite design cues harking back to the dawn of analogue synthesisers with a knowing nod of appreciation to one of the largest and — at almost £100K in today’s money! — most expensive examples ever built anywhere, let alone by British trailblazing entity EMS, encompassing no fewer than 12 VCOs and eight VCFs (Voltage- Controlled Filters) and much more besides in the colossal classic that is the Seventies-vintage Synthi 100, with the 30 or so units produced in its decade-long lifespan mainly ending up in university research departments or national broadcaster’s in-house composition studios (such as The BBC Radiophonic Workshop) before becoming lost in the sands of time to almost all but serious synth collectors and restorers (including, ironically, Analogue Solutions founder Tom Carpenter himself), British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions’ suitably-named Colossus — courtesy of its imposing 1700mm (W), 700mm (D), and 650mm (H) dimensions, while weighing in at… too big to fit on the scales! — symbolises so much more than a powerful analogue ‘workstation’ with no fewer than 12 VCOs beating at its monumental musical heart, rather representing art, architecture, and superlative studio furniture at its hand-built best.
But better still, Synthi circuits were neither cloned nor copied in making Colossus fit for a new generation of high-flying owners while fortunately fitting through a standard-sized doorway — unlike a Synthi 100, of course; Colossus’ creator prefers to come up with designs of its own musical making. Moreover, Analogue Solutions has chosen to make use of original circuits tried and tested in favourites from its acclaimed analogue synthesiser products, past and present, including Polymath (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/polymath-paraphonic-modular-synth) — a self-contained four-VCO PARAPHONIC ANALOGUE SYNTHESISER with ANALOGUE SEQUENCER and SPRING REVERBTelemark (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/telemark-patchable-rack-synth) — a semi-modular analogue monosynth, much loved by bona fide synth pop pioneer Philip Oakey of Sheffield-based The Human League, a colossus connoisseur of synthesisers in his own right, thanks to owning one of the largest collections in the UK; and, more recently, Vostok2020 (https://www.analoguesolutions.com/vostok2020) — the latest (fourth) incarnation of Tom Carpenter’s semi-modular masterpiece taking some of the best parts of its iconic Vostok V2 and V3 Deluxe predecessors and bringing them together as an augmented ANALOGUE POWER SYNTH fit for a new decade. All are united by their ALL ANALOGUE VOICE & MODULATION CIRCUITS — as boldly blazoned across the former’s front panel. Analogue as in really analogue. After all, as implied by its apt appellation, Analogue Solutions truly trades on real transistors and op-amps — no CPU (Central Processing Unit) stabilised and quantised circuits, no DCOs (Digitally-Controlled Oscillators), and no digital EGs (Envelope Generators), as are often found on other so-called analogue synthesisers. Since such circuitry is based on designs dating back to the Seventies, all Analogue Solutions synthesisers proudly possess a truly vintage sound — as does, of course, Colossus, albeit taking things to a whole new level, literally so as an analogue heavyweight to be reckoned with.
With 12 VCOs and eight VCFs to its own notable name, Colossus musically matches the aforesaid extensive and expensive Synthi 100, yet comes complete with a whole lot more besides. Indeed, its oscillator panel is well specified in its own right. There, the FREQ (frequency) — pitch — range of OSCILLATOR 1 through toOSCILLATOR 12 is extremely wide, and each can also be used as an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator); each features four waveforms, plus pulse width, oscillator sync, and sub oscillator abilities. All are complimented by a SAMPLE AND HOLD generator, RANDOM VOLTAGE GENERATOR, and two pink/white noise generators — namely, NOISE GENERATOR 1 and NOISE GENERATOR 2.
The equally well-specified filter panel features four multi-mode (hi-, band-, and low-pass) 12dB filters — FILTER 1 through to FILTER 4, the circuit for which was originally based on the filter found in the classic dual-oscillator Oberheim SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module®) created by legendary American synth designer Tom Oberheim back in 1974, albeit Analogue Solutions skilfully applied some heavy-duty modifications of its own. On top of that, there are also four low-pass 24dB transistor ladder filters — FILTER 5 through to FILTER 8 — featuring a ‘Moog’ style sound. Saying that, all eight VCFs have serial VCAs (Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers), so there are actually eight VCF/VCA combinations in total! That’s not all as this panel also houses two mechanical spring reverbs — REVERBERATIONS 1 and REVERBERATIONS 2, each featuring a triple spring tank; two RING MODULATORS; two voltage SLEW LIMITERS; and four envelopes — ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4 — with ATTACKDECAYSUSTAIN, and RELEASE controls, alongside hold repeat and gated repeat trig (trigger) MODE functions.
Furthermore, the so-called ‘scope’ panel — so named as it includes an oscilloscope — pushes things to an even higher level, specification-wise, since it includes four VCAs — VCA 1 through to VCA 4 — in addition to those found in the filter panel, plus two LFOs — LFO 1 and LFO 2 — in addition to those found in the oscillator panel, as well as four A S D/R envelopes — ENVELOPE SHAPER 1 through to ENVELOPE SHAPER 4. So since the aforesaid VCOs can be used as LFOs, Colossus can, in fact, be potentially pressed into playing a total of 14 LFOs! Likewise, since each of the eight VCFs have VCAs hardwired inline, these plus the individual VCAs means that there is actually a total of 12 VCAs available to any adventurous user!
Ultimately, Colossus comes complete with yet more populated panels for setting the controls for the heart of the synth, as it were, with a ‘digital intervention’ of sorts showing through the touch panel housing two touch keyboards with digital note sequencers — TOUCH KEYBOARD CONTROL / SEQUENCERS, although analogue control readily resumes with the two JOYSTICK CONTROLLERS above and six-channel STEREO AUDIO MIXER above them. The sequencer panel is dominated by a SERIAL 1-64 SPLIT 2x 1-32 step SEQUENCER with CLOCK generator, GLIDEJUMPRESETCV OUTGATE OUT, and other control features. Four large 10V backlit SIGNAL METERS — CHANNEL 1 through to CHANNEL 4 — up the analogue ante alongside the SEQUENCER. Then there are two broadcast-quality CV and audio pin matrix panels — inspired in no small part by the British-built EMS VCS3, which made musical history upon its introduction in 1969 by being the first commercially portable synthesiser available anywhere in the world, thanks to its innovative modular matrix-based patchboard dispensing with the telephone exchange-like cabling of other (much larger) modular systems in favour of making space-saving connections with (removable) pins — and last, but by no means least, there are also four minijack patch panels providing I/O from all Colossus’ circuits.
Clearly an obvious question was raised at the outset: why? “Well, because I can,” countered Tom Carpenter at SynthFest UK 2019, before later adding: “I’ve sold way more than I expected.” On the strength of that, then, clearly Colossus has gone from strength to strength, as evidenced by Analogue Solutions’ spirited announcement of a forthcoming fourth run. Regretting missing out on previous builds becomes a thing of the past, obviously, though those collectively breathing a sigh of relief are advised to add themselves to the Colossus waiting list (here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/contact). And Analogue Solutions is already working on some upgrade options, which will be announced later this year and available to buy as add-ons — proof positive that this colossal synthesiser success story has clearly far from run its course! 

The fourth Colossus run is in production and available to order for purchase — priced at £25,000.00 GBP (excluding tax and delivery) directly from Analogue Solutions here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/buy — with shipment direct to the customer’s door, while wait time is around two to four weeks after Analogue Solutions’ receipt of a £6,500.00 GBP deposit (excluding tax and delivery), payable here: https://www.analoguesolutions.com/colossus-1 — with balance and shipping costs required shortly before despatch. (Please note that if shipping is required then the crate and packing is estimatedat £300.00 GBP, while shipping will range from around £300.00 GBP for Western Europe to around £1,500.00 GBP for the USA.)
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Colossus webpage here: https://www.colossus-synth.com/colossus
Watch Analogue Solutions’ aspirational and awe-inspiring trailer video for Colossus here: https://youtu.be/yp4Y3s9KJiY
See and hear Colossus in action while watching Analogue Solutions’ suggested video playlist from here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLq-KgzIcyyGFGY42EzrTWHsm2OO-8zIL9&v=Doa_O_FiZEY&feature=emb_logo