REVIEWED: THE APOGEE ELEMENT 46 THUNDERBOLT AUDIO INTERFACE
I think it is safe to say that you’ve all either used or heard of Apogee interfaces at some point. These guys have been delivering quality audio interfacing for some time now and with their current Mac and Thunderbolt focus, Apogee are releasing some very flavoursome pieces of kit indeed. Whether it is a fully-fledged user interface, or a simple design with no bells or whistles, Apogee is sure to have something that suits your needs. For those looking for a little more than the standard two-in and two-out configuration, the Element 46 is going to be of interest. It has plenty going on, and at the same time, there is seemingly very little happening on the surface. Intrigued? Then read on.
REVIEWED: SE ELECTRONICS REFLEXION FILTER PRO
I have spoken at length about isolating your microphone when recording at home to reduce unwanted frequencies and standing waves within your room. This can be especially difficult when working in a home recording environment when the room isn’t ideal for recording to begin with. It is essential that you give your microphone the chance to properly capture the direct signal and not all the noise that bounces around the room. That is why the sE Electronics Reflexion Filter Pro is such an important tool in the as well as in and professional recoding setup. When your room is not acoustically ideal for recording, the smart option is to just treat the area around the microphone, rather than changing the entire room.
PRESONUS FADERPORT 8 MIX PRODUCTION CONTROLLER
I first started using one of the original PreSonus FaderPorts about eight years ago and was immediately drawn to just how much it improved my workflow. Right away I used the computer’s mouse a lot less and didn’t have to remember as many keyboard shortcuts. For a ProTools user, it’s always a good thing to be able to drop a few shortcuts from the memory bank to make way for the other eight dozen that you need to use, so the FaderPort was a real blessing. But that was the humble, compact device that eight years ago kept me happy, nestled in amongst the mix bus of my analogue console. Things have changed since then and I rarely sit at the large console now, working mostly form a couple of other computers, more in the box, yet I still need that ‘hands on’ workflow. I got to run my hands over the newest member of the PreSonus family at NAMM this year, but luckily I was able to spend some more time with the FaderPort 8 upon my return.
ICON PLATFORM M DAW CONTROLLER & PLATFORM D DISPLAY
Many of you may have used an Icon controller in the past, with their iControl and Qcon series proving to be very popular, and both offering a great range of features at a very competitive price point. Until recently I was only aware of these DAW controllers from Icon. At least, that was until some boxes landed on my desk featuring a couple of units from their Platform system. This is like a compact version of the Qcon, in that it can act as a standalone, fully fledged controller in its own right, but can also be upgraded with other peripherals from the range to expand the size and capabilities of the unit. I was lucky enough to be able to test the Platform M DAW controller and Platform D LCD display.
PRESONUS STUDIO 192 MOBILE USB 3 AUDIO INTERFACE
It only took a very brief glance for me to know that this was a PreSonus device, with the now all too familiar grey/blue housing and fixtures standing for quality. As suggested by its size, the Presonus Studio 192 Mobile is not just your ordinary two input home recording interface. Whilst not as large as some other rack units, it still has a little more bulk to the casing than many compact USB audio interfaces, and that is due to what is going on around at the rear, as well as what is happening under the hood. This unit delivers four physical analogue inputs and six physical analogue outputs on the casing, but that’s only just the beginning.
Steinberg UR22 MkII Recording Pack
There once was a time when Steinberg offered real competition to some of the biggest names in high end digital audio workstations. But not all is fair in business and while other DAWs were embraced by the industry, Steinberg’s flagship product Cubase fell to the wayside. However, as the UR22 Mk II Recording Pack shows, this didn’t mean that the company ceased making high quality products.
Radial Engineering MC3 Monitor Control
I think it is safe to say that most modern home studio setups are lacking in the monitoring department.
DiGiGriD Desktop Series D Interface
Most of you will have heard of DiGiCo, one of the leading manufacturers of digital mixing consoles for live and studio use. And I am sure many of you will have not only heard of, but also used, Waves plug-ins in your recording and mixing processes. But, what many of you may not be aware of is that a recent joining of these two stalwarts of the audio industry has seen the development of a new company and a very special range of new products. Introducing DiGiGrid, one of the most forward thinking audio interface design companies that we have ever come across. This is not just another solution for recording vocals and guitar at home, this is a serious solution for the musician and engineer who want to hear a difference and take control of the recording process. Of course, you would expect nothing less for the pairing of hardware and software companies of this calibre.