News - P.A./Recording
Following last month's IT review of the Akai MG1212 recorder package comes news of a major expansion in Akai's range of products designed to interface with this, and other, recording systems.
First off look out for the SG-200 Studio monitor, a compact unit designed to fit with the MG-1212 itself and offering an unusual system whereby you have two sound modes - 'Monitor Mode' and 'Tone Character Mode'. According to Akai, the 'Monitor' mode delivers the accurate sound from your instrument/equipment source, whereas the 'Tone Character Mode' allows you to choose what tone 'colour' you desire. Yes, welL..
Meanwhile the Akai system grows apace. Also new is the ME-15F MIDI digital fader which features one channel input and 5 channel output fader functions. MIDI dynamics data can be controlled on each channel by use of the fader volume control. The unit offers an easy to follow LED display and it can, Akai claim, also be used as a MIDI channel checker.
Yet more new goodies from Akai include the MM-99 Sound controller. This device combines a pitch changer, octave doubler and digital delay. The key control functions are said to allow users to alter pitch on any input signal in half-step increments without changing the pitch of the original signal (useful!). You can also replay any signal and add harmonics or special effects at will. With the octave doubler feature you can have up to ± 2 octaves added to or subtracted from the original sound. The MM-99 also offers either stereo or mono digital delay.
On the 'straight' digital front Akai's contribution to this genre is the ME-10D, claimed to be the world's first MIDI delay unit which offers digital sound without the need for analogue conversion. This unit is said to create delay effects by applying up to 1000 ms. delay between MIDI reception and transmission signals, thus enabling users to perform sound-on-sound effects by blending together the original and delayed signals. Price of this last unit (when it appears, which may not be till around June this year) should be about £1,100 RRP.
More details on the whole Akai system can be obtained by contacting Akai (U.K.) Ltd at (Contact Details).
Under £25 is a remarkably low price to be asked for a genuine Shure mike - but that's the starting point of three new models, just launched under the 'Shure Prologue' banner.
Unlike their existing range of mikes, Shure Prologues are made to this renowned U.S. make's own design in Japan, but are claimed to perform with traditional Shure qualities; rugged reliable and field serviceable. Aimed at the beginner and semi-pro market (not as replacements for the legendary U.S.G- produced SM57 and 58!), all three Prologues are available in high and low impedance versions.
The three new Shures are the Prologue 10, 12 and 14. The 10 offers a low-profile look frequency response from 80-10,000 Hz and a unidirectional pickup pattern. It even has an on/off switch, and all at this low price of £25.
The Prologue 12 features the traditional Shure 'ball head' look and offers, Shure say, more ruggedness and added protection against 'pop' effects (no, not Duran Duran - we mean that nasty breath noise - or, on the other hand..!). It's apparently better suited to hand held use than the 10 and features a frequency response, again, of 80-10,000 Hz.
The top Prologue is the 14, another ball headed mike but with improved performance over the 12, coupled with a non-glare finish. Frequency response on this model is stated as being 40-13,000Hz.
All three new mikes have cast metal bodies are unidirectional (i.e., both background noise and feedback resistant), feature on/off switches and come with a stand adaptor. All models are available as either high or low impedance types.
Shure's move in introducing this new range is an obvious challenge to existing lower-cost Japanese mikes. In the face of a rising U.S. dollar, these newcomers look like keeping Shure's name very prominent - even in the lower price ranges.
More information from Shure's U.K importers, HW. International Ltd, (Contact Details) - or just tick this month's free info box.
Roland, as was widely expected, have launched an attack on the high-quality P.A. and recording digital effects markets with a range of new products, including their first digital reverb - the SRV-2000.
The SRV-2000 can store up to 24 kinds of settings of all the controls from the front panel (excepting the input attenuator) and can then modify the programmed data in real-time. The pre-delay tone, reverb time, high frequency damping, room size, gate time and output level can apparently, be set and confirmed via an LED readout on the front panel.
With twin digital equalisers (LF. control and 2-band parametric), the equaliser stages too read out on the LED panel, giving you a clear indication of what you're doing. Of course, the Roland can store both equaliser and reverb settings in its memory. The makers claim that this unit will simulate any kind of reverb, from small to large rooms. Bang up to date in specs, the SRV-2000 is MIDI compatible so that stored settings can be utilised from MIDI programme change data.
At the same time, Roland have launched a new digital delay - the SDE-25000, which is also MIDI capable. Like the existing Roland SDE-3000 and the SDE-2500, this unit features their digital compounding PCM system which delivers a dynamic range of some 96 dB. Total Harmonic Distortion rates as low as 0.05% and the SDE-2500 has a signal to noise ratio of some 84 dB - in other words, it should be whistle-clean!
Most importantly, the SDE-2500 can store up to 64 kinds of settings of all front panel controls (except, again, that from the input attenuator) and the stored data can be modified in real time. A maximum delay of 750 ms. with a frequency response from 10Hz-17kHz up to 375 ms. is offered, delay time being set in increments of 0.1 ms. from 0-10 ms. and in steps of 1 ms. over 10 ms. Effects available include flanging chorus, ADT, and echo etc.
As with the SRV-2000, the new Roland digital delay will accept MIDI program change data on its stored programmes.
On the Boss side, soon to come is a range of small rack-mountable units including digital delay, compressor/limiter, flanger, graphic equaliser and phaser. Look out for low prices and high specs from this range. More info from Roland (U.K) Ltd., (Contact Details).
Among many new products from Roland to appear in coming months is the new SPM-120 powered mixer. Offering 8 inputs with stereo outputs, the mixer is said to be suited to many applications from keyboards through home recording and audio/video work. Every input channel features a slider volume control, pan pot effect send, two independent (bass and treble) tone controls, gain control and overload indicator. Output channels feature volume controls and LED bar meters for output level.
An effects return control headphone jack with vol, and two pre-out main-in jacks are also provided in the package, which offers a built-in power amp delivering 60 watts a side in stereo at 8 ohms or, in mono, as a 120 watt unit.
More info direct from Roland (U.K) Ltd at the address given elsewhere on this page.
Hot news from the Frankfurt Trade Fair is that Yamaha are uprating their MT44 4-track cassette home recording system. Called the MT44D, the new recorder should sell for an RRP of £399. The recorder has a revised control layout transport logic; punch in/out facilities and overall improved specs. Going with it is the equally new RB35B Rack system (£249) with a new (simplified) patchbay. A new mixer (much needed we reckon) is also on the way, called the RM602 (6 into 2; 4 tape, 2 phono for RRP £249). It has monitor busses, 2-band Eq., effects send/return and generally improved specs.
Watch out too, for a new Yamaha 1x31 band graphic (the GQ1031 at RRP£199), a 2x31 band version (the RRP £399 GQ2031), a stereo compressor/limiter (the GC2020, RRP £229) plus high power compact monitor speakers.
More info, from Yamaha Musical Instruments Ltd, (Contact Details).
West Germany's Beyer have just announced a new ribbon-type headset mike, claimed to be ideal for performing musicians who use such devices.
Called the HM 560, the new Beyer is said to offer studio quality, with a frequency response quoted as being 20-20,000Hz. A 'figure of eight' response pattern is designed to minimise sound spill from surrounding sound sources and the mike can be attached to either the left or right side of the head-band. It's also continuously adjustable for both distance and angle towards the mouth.
More info on all Beyer products from Beyer Dynamic (U.K.) Ltd, (Contact Details).
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