Neyrinck Audio Updates Soundcode Plug-Ins for ProTools, Adding DTS Surround Encode and Decode

Neyrinck Audio has begun delivering its new SoundCode for DTS plug-in suite for Digidesign® Pro Tools systems to pro audio dealers. List price is $995 (US).

SoundCode for DTS is the newest addition to the Neyrinck SoundCode product family of professional surround sound encoder/decoders. The line first appeared in 2005 with the release of the SoundCode for Dolby Digital plug-in.

The SoundCode for DTS plug-in suite is tightly integrated with Pro Tools software. It provides mastering-quality workflow tools that enable encoding and decoding of DTS Digital Surround, 96/24, and ES audio directly within Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools LE, and Pro Tools M-Powered systems.

“SoundCode for DTS is a must–have for post production professionals delivering high-quality audio for DVD-Video and DVD-Audio,” comments Paul Neyrinck.

Neyrinck Audio's SoundCode for DTS Encoder Plug-In

The SoundCode for DTS Encoder, which operates as an AudioSuite™ plug-in, offers a faster-than-real-time way to encode audio from a Pro Tools session – ready for use with DVD audio and video authoring applications. The time-saving Punch In/Out encoding feature allows users to punch in fixes to an existing DTS file. If the audio for a two-hour program has already been encoded, but a single line of dialog needs to be replaced, SoundCode can encode just that line, without having to re-encode the entire two-hour soundtrack. In addition to DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, DTS 6.1ES Discrete mode can be used to encode a rear center channel for increased surround localization and spatialization. DTS 96/24 mode can be used to encode 96 kHz, 24-bit audio up to 5.1 channels for applications requiring the highest fidelity possible.

The SoundCode for DTS Decoder functions as a real-time RTAS® plug-in or a non-real-time AudioSuite plug-in. The real-time decoder features Sample-Accurate Direct File Decode to decode a DTS file in real-time synchronized to the Pro Tools timeline and video. Simply point SoundCode to the DTS file and press play for mastering-quality confidence monitoring. The decoder also features a legacy monitor so a user can hear how 96/24, 5.1 ES, and 6.1 ES streams will decode on a legacy 5.1, 48 kHz system. Using the AudioSuite decoder, users can decode all or a portion of an audio file faster than real time, or view the metadata of a DTS file.

SoundCode for DTS is compatible with Pro Tools LE and M-Powered systems so that low-cost encoding/decoding workstations can be configured in post production and DVD authoring facilities. The fully functional encoder can encode a surround mix from a set of imported mono tracks. The decoder stereo can output a DTS bitstream over SPDIF to an external home theater decoder for surround monitoring.

Neyrinck Audio

Native Instruments and Stanton Team Up to Create Integrated Hardware/Software Bundle Around New Version of Traktor DJ Studio

Software instrument developer Native Instruments has announced a new version of its Traktor DJ Studio software, and plans to penetrate the professional DJ market through closer collaboration with Stanton Magnetics.

The version 2.6 update fuses two of the most advanced digital DJ platforms into one complete solution: Traktor DJ Studio is now fully compatible with the latest version of Stanton’s vinyl-controlled DJ system, FinalScratch 2.

The update to version 2.6 will be available in November 2004 as a free update for all registered users of TRAKTOR DJ STUDIO 2.5.

Stanton will bundle the FinalScratch 2 System, consisting of Traktor DJ Studio, the FinalScratch 2 controller, and a new Firewire sound card called ScratchAmp 2. Stanton will also ensure that the software is positioned right at the heart of the DJ market by taking over worldwide distribution of Traktor DJ Studio.

“Traktor DJ Studio’s integration with FinalScratch 2 makes for a complete Digital DJing package that is hard to beat,” says Daniel Haver, CEO of Native Instruments.

“Since both products have grown so close now, we are very happy to have Stanton leverage their longstanding experience in the DJ market to distribute Traktor DJ Studio and FinalScratch alongside each other in the future.”

Traktor DJ Studio 2.6 offers several new features: live broadcasting via Internet, live audio input with on-the-fly audio recording, a revised filter section, added support for WMA and AAC audio files, along with several other enhancements.

New features in Traktor DJ Studio 2.6 include:

* Compatible with FinalScratch 2 – Traktor DJ Studio now works together with Stanton’s FinalScratch 2 hardware, which makes the software fully controllable via turntables and DJ CD players
* Internet Broadcasting – your performance can be streamed live over the Internet, thanks to integrated support for the Icecast streaming server protocol
* Live Input / Live recording – an external audio signal can be integrated live into the mix via a third dedicated mixer channel, which allows for announcements, voice-overs, MCing and much more: the input signal can even be recorded on-the-fly, and the recordings can be dragged directly into the mix
* Mix Recording – the mix can now be directly recorded into an audio file on hard disc during the performance, as an alternative to the existing non-destructive mix recording method
* Enhanced Filter Section – Traktor DJ Studio now offers a revised filter section which is sonically optimized for the treatment of full audio tracks
* Support for AAC and WMA – Traktor DJ Studio now also plays tracks in AAC format (Apple iTunes, non-DRM files only) as well as in WMA format (Windows Media Player)
* Browser Favourites – the file browser now offers a special “favourites” section where up to 12 selected folders or playlists can be stored, which can then instantly be accessed via keyboard shortcuts
* Playlist History – a new history function gives a detailed overview about all recently played tracks, and the list can also be printed out or exported – especially useful for professional DJs who have to take care of license payments to copyright associations

Traktor DJ Studio is the most powerful and versatile software solution for professional DJ mixing, live remixing and mix recording using tracks in MP3, WAV, AIFF, and audio CD format. It exceeds the possibilities of traditional DJ equipment by implementing a vast range of mixing features that only software can provide. This includes graphic waveform displays, tempo recognition and automatic synchronization, real-time time stretching, up to 10 cue points and 10 tempo-precise loops per track, and a track database with ultra fast search function.

Key features of Traktor DJ Studio carried over from previous versions include:

The tracks are graphically shown as waveform displaying the sound in two frequency bands for visual control of beats, breaks and instrumentation. An additional display now shows the entire track for fast navigation.

Tempo Detection
TRAKTOR DJ Studio’s tempo detection uses complex algorithms for reliable beat alignment of two tracks on the fly. Tempo reading for complex beats can be improved by additional user tapping.

Tempo Correction
Pitch tracks +/- 100% or change their tempo in real-time using true-to-sound time stretching.

Precise Cue-Points and Loops
Up to ten available cue-points and loops per track open new dimensions for accurate cueing and live remixing. Cue points can be beat-quantized, loops can be set accurately on the bar, resized, moved, all without losing the groove.

Filters and Equalizers
High-end filters and equalizers radically transform the sound of the tracks.

Track Database
The easy-to-use track database provides a comfortable tree navigator, powerful quick search, MP3 browser, MP3 browser, automatic playlist icons keeping track of the set and direct pre-listening of tracks.

Automation and Mix Export
Full automation of functions and actions, recording of all user actions, seamlessly resuming mixing sessions, editing, overdubbing and exporting the entire mix as WAV or AIFF files.

Total Control
All of TRAKTOR’s over 400 functions and actions can be operated by mouse, user programmed keyboard shortcuts, MIDI controllers or MIDI note events. Comprehensive learning functions provide straightforward allocation of external equipment. In addition TRAKTOR DJ Studio 2.5 can be synced with other music programs via OSC or MIDI clock.

Native Instruments Web Site

Stanton Magnetics Web Site

Universal Audio Releases New Precision Limiter Mastering Plug-in for the UAD-1 DSP Card

Universal Audio, manufacturer of high-quality vintage audio hardware and DSP software plug-ins for digital audio workstations, has announced the new UA Precision Limiter plug-in for its UAD-1 DSP Card.

“We spent considerable time researching both the audio processing characteristics and metering/ballistics of the world’s best mastering limiters to ensure our own UA Precision Limiter was perfectly-tuned for maximum transparency and sonic integrity,” said Joe Bryan, VP of Engineering for Universal Audio.

“The UA Precision Limiter with its new, proprietary UA algorithm, leverages the floating-point, vector processing power of the UAD-1 DSP to allow up to 10 stereo instances at 44.1k, and of course, like all our other UAD-1 plug-ins, it performs its magic all the way up to 192k sample rates and is compatible with VST, AU, DX or MAS based software applications.”

Universal Audio's Precision Limiter allows mastering engineers to deliver the maximum hot levels demanded for many commercial CD releases, without introducing undesirable artifacts

The UA Precision Limiter is a single-band, look-ahead, brick wall limiter. It achieves 100% attack within a 1.5ms look-ahead window, which prevents clipping and guarantees zero overshoot performance. Both the attack and release curves are optimized for mastering.

The Precision Limiter also features comprehensive, high-resolution metering and conforms to Bob Katz’s “K-system” metering specs. This metering allows the user to see what is happening to audio with a great deal of accuracy, with simultaneous RMS and Peak metering and adjustable Peak Hold; the plug-in can also be bypassed and used strictly as a high-resolution meter.

Other features include options for a user-adjustable Release or intelligent Auto Release, which allows for fast recovery–minimizing distortion and pumping. The unique Contour Mode switch offers two different methods to tailor the attack shape and can affect overall “presentation” or perception of how “up front” a track feels. Switching the Contour Mode can be useful on minimal and/or acoustic program material, yielding a more subtle touch.

“Don’t let the $199 price tag fool you,” said Mike Barnes, UA’s Director of Marketing.

“The Precision Limiter is truly pro quality and will get you the maximum “hot” levels you find on commercial CD releases today but with absolutely minimum artifacts. Make no mistake, we are expanding UA’s legacy of no-compromise sonic quality into the area of mastering tools. We are confident that the UA Precision Limiter will stand proudly against any Limiter, hardware or software costing hundreds or thousands more.”

The UA Precision Limiter is designed as a colorless, transparent mastering limiter and therefore no up-sampling is used, nor does the UA Precision Limiter pass audio through any filters. Audio remains pristine and untouched unless the compressor is working, in which case, only gain is affected.

The Precision Limiter plug-in is available immediately at the Universal Audio Web site, along with the new v3.6 software for the UAD-1 card. Registered UAD-1 customers (at can purchase a fully-authorized version of the Precision Limiter for $199 (US). A fully-functional 14-day demo version is available as part of the free v3.6 software upgrade.

Universal Audio Web Site

New Royer SF-24 Phantom-Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone Offers High Output Level and Low Noise Floor

Royer Labs is now shipping its SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone. The new mic, priced at $3,795 (US), is a a phantom powered version of Royer’s popular SF-12 stereo ribbon microphone.

Royer says the SF-24 combines the SF-12’s high quality audio performance, outstanding stereo separation and imaging, with Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones.

Designed as a premium instrument for stereo and distance miking applications, the SF-24 provides extremely natural, uncolored recordings of choirs, pianos, harp, stringed instruments, and is particularly well-suited to miking large ensembles such as an orchestra or the various sections within—including brass and woodwinds.

The SF-24 is also perfect as a single-point stereo overhead drum and percussion mic.

The SF-24 represents a significant improvement over the SF12 for many ambient and critical applications, due to the inclusion of Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones.

Featuring two fully balanced, discrete head amplifier systems utilizing ultra-low noise FET’s, each delivering an output sensitivity rating of –38 dB, the SF-24’s sensitivity is on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones—facilitating use with any preamplifier with average gain characteristics.

The impedance matching circuitry provides optimum impedance to the ribbon elements, preventing overdamping of the elements and assuring consistent performance. This capability translates to ultra-quiet operation with self-noise lower than 18 dB, making the SF-24 ideal for recording quiet sound sources with enough gain to drive any recording medium.

Housed in an ingot iron case that forms part of the magnetic return circuit, the SF-24 consists of two matched ribbon microphones placed one above the other, each aimed 45 degrees from center in the classic Blumlein configuration. The magnet/polepiece structure of each ribbon transducer allows a wide, uniform frequency range with no substantial peaks or dips, and the two 1.8-micron pure aluminum ribbons produce superb transient response. Frequency response is excellent, regardless of the angle of sound striking the ribbons, with negligible off-axis coloration. The SF-24’s cable incorporates a Y adapter that splits into separate 3-pin male XLR connectors labeled “Upper” and “Lower” for the instrument’s upper and lower capsules. The SF-24’s package also includes a shock mount, a mic sock, and an elegant protective case.

“The SF-24 represents an unheard of level in ribbon microphone performance,” says John Jennings, Royer’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “With its ability to accurately capture the most subtle performance nuances from a distance, the SF-24 is perfectly suited for orchestral and small ensemble recording. With the gain and impedance matching issues out of the way, the SF-24 greatly expands on the SF-12’s stereo recording capabilities and becomes a drop-dead gorgeous mic for critical, lower SPL applications. And it’s smoking on drums and percussion.”

The SF-24’s output of -38 dB is a full 14 dB more sensitive than Royer’s non-powered SF-12, putting its sensitivity on par with that of phantom powered condenser microphones. The unique electronics and custom designed FET’s used in the SF-24 allow for ultra-quiet operation, with self-noise of lower than 18 dB.

This allows you to use almost any mic preamplifier or board pre (even those of nominal characteristics). Conventional ribbon microphones average 15 to 20 dB lower sensitivity than condenser mics, necessitating the use of high-quality, high-gain microphone preamplifiers for recording softer sound sources like acoustic instruments, vocals and room ambiance.

The electronics in the SF-24 provide a perfect load to the ribbon elements at all times, allowing the microphone to deliver 100% of its full sonic potential regardless of the input characteristics of the following mic-pre. Due to its low-impedance output, SF-24’s can also be used on extremely long cable runs with minimal signal loss.

A good impedance match is critical to ribbon microphones. Impedance mis-matching loads a ribbon improperly, resulting in loss of low end, diminished body, lowered sensitivity and an overall compromised performance. With our Active Series ribbon mics, the ribbon element lives in a perfect world. It sees an optimum impedance match at all times regardless of the following equipment, so its performance will never be compromised by the effects of improper loading. In addition, the ribbon element cannot be damaged by phantom power, electrical glitches or miswired cables.

Royer Labs Web Site

‘The Ribbon’ Line-Array Modules by Alcons Audio Provide High-Performance Sound Reinforcement for Audio One and Toto

The “Tallships Festival” in Larvik, Norway, saw the inauguration of the first Alcons “The Ribbon” line-array system in Norway.

Rental company Audio One took delivery of a large rig of Alcons line-array modules, bass systems, sub systems, amplification and processing and put it into action immediately on rock band Toto’s Norwegian tour stop.

With more than 10.000 fans on hand, the system underwent its inaugural performance, with 48 LR16 line-array modules, 12 LR16B bass systems, 12 sub systems and ALC controller-amps.

Audio One is a national PA rental and sales company with offices in three cities. The company was established only three years ago and in this short time has already secured the position of one of the top audio rental companies in the country.

Stuart Mørch-Kerrison, head of the Oslo department and sales at AudioOne and veteran FOH engineer for artists such as INXS, Allison Moyet, Erasure, Kim Wilde, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Paul Weller; “The main reason for the success is that we are a company of sound guys rather than businessmen. We have extensive experience in our field and we are proud of the service we provide. Audio quality is the number one reason for us to use a product and that is why I became so interested in the Alcons system after hearing it in Frankfurt in April. Considering there was absolutely no EQ whatsoever on that demo system, it was probably the most natural-sounding PA I had ever heard. With our intention to change our rental inventory, it was clear there was only one direction to go; Buy The Ribbon line-array!”

Alcons Audio Line-Array Modules frame the stage as Toto performs at the "Tallships Festival" in Larvik, Norway

Mørch-Kerrison continues: “The system at the Toto concert was a bit overspec’d, but because it was the first time we used this system, we wanted to find out the limits of the system. During the show, the average level at the FOH position (@ 30m/90ft.) was around 116 – 117db (C-weighted), but during set-up, the peak reading was 127 db without any clip indication.”

“The throw of the system was phenomenal. We had a flat SPL response up to 80metres/240ft. and then a slight roll-off in SPL down to 150mtr./450ft, but the sound was still very much intelligible!. We could never have done this gig properly with our old system without additional large delay systems.”

Colin Norfield, the FOH engineer of Toto (as well as Pink Floyd and others) was very pleased with the system as well: “I was knocked-out by the crystal clear response. The vocals were absolutely “in the face” and the overall sound was very crisp and natural sounding. If I couldn’t make a good mix on this system, I’d better go home! Only after the show I heard the system works with ribbon transducers. It’s an amazing system”.

Mørch-Kerrison adds: “Much to our surprise, the Alcons system also seemed to be very efficient power-wise. The current draw was at least 35 to 40% less than with our “old” system. I can truly say that I have never been so impressed with the combination of audio quality, output and coverage from a PA system. Alcons sets definitely new standards in the world of live sound reinforcement.”

Tom Back, MD of Alcons: “It’s fantastic to get this reaction, which is typical for the response we have been receiving on our The Ribbon line-array since its launch 7 months ago. Because of this, the Ribbon Network is expanding globally every month.”

“We’re very proud to have Audio One on board as latest Ribbon Network member. It is surprising to see the similarities between Alcons and Audio One: Recently established and experiencing success because of quality, teamwork and dedication. We talk the same audio language and this will strongly support the development of both companies.”

Alcons Audio Web Site