Category Archives: Recording

HHB CDR-882 DualBurn CD recorder

large-CDR882_CDR74_Gold.JPGHHB has released the HHB CDR-882 DualBurn CD recorder.

Compatible with CD-R and CD-RW media of all speed ratings, recordings made on HHB‘s own reference quality CDR74 Gold media exhibit an average Block Error Rate as low as 0.09.

The CDR-882 is designed from the ground up for high-end performance in a range of professional audio and broadcast applications. Full 24-bit A/D and D/A converters with dither onto CD, combine with a high-quality quartz crystal-derived internal clock and audiophile-grade analogue circuitry to deliver superior sonic performance.

Build quality is similarly uncompromised, with the CDR-882 weighing in at 6.7kg / 14.7lbs. Unlike adapted consumer devices, the CDR-882 uses all-new high-quality IDE CD-R drives mounted in a massive steel 2U rack-mounting chassis to ensure reliable, glitch-free recording, even in unfavorable environments such as live concerts.

Comprehensive professional connectivity includes balanced XLR analogue I/O, unbalanced phono analogue I/O, balanced XLR AES/EBU digital I/O, coaxial and optical S/PDIF digital I/O, external word clock input, RS232 remote control and parallel control interface. An on-board sample rate converter accepts digital signals from 32-96kHz, and the CDR-882 ships with an infrared remote control.

With genuine dual record drive configuration, the CDR-882 resolves the inherent limitations of previous generation CD recorders by supporting seamless extended recording time across two or more discs, as well as simultaneous recording of two discs, high-speed duplication and intelligent disc management.

More information about the recorder: HHB

Tascam HS-P82 recorder

large-hsp82_leftTascam has announced the HS-P82 – a high-quality, 8-track field recorder for music, television and film production.

Eight high-quality microphone preamps use standard XLR inputs to record up to 96kHz/24-bit audio with timecode. Dual Compact Flash slots provide recording with backup and no moving parts for rugged reliability. A stereo mix can be recorded in addition to the 8 individual channels, for a total of 10-channel capture. The recorder is housed in an aluminum chassis with a TFT color touchscreen.

Recording Features:

  • Dual Compact Flash recording media supports backup, mirroring and seamless A/B recording*
  • Long battery life through low power usage
  • Easy to read and operate using pivoting TFT Color Touch Panel interface
  • All-aluminum chassis is rugged yet lightweight
  • 8 -track recording plus stereo mix for a total of 10-track recording
  • 8-track recording at up to 96kHz/24-bit
  • 4-track recording at 192kHz/24-bit
  • Broadcast WAV (BWF) support with iXML metadata
  • Various power options include AA batteries (x10), NP type, AC adaptor, external DC input and optional V-mount adaptor for ENDURA batteries
  • Up to 5-second prerecord buffer
  • Internal microphone for slate recording
  • Limiter and low cut filter per track
  • Auto or manual cue points
  • Alert signal to headphone output
  • Retake function
  • Panel lockout function to prevent accidental transport switching

Inputs/Outputs:

  • 8 high-quality microphone preamps and A/D converters with independent +48V phantom power for each (standard XLR connectors)
  • 8 AES/EBU inputs and outputs (DB-25 connector)
  • Sampling rate converter on each AES/EBU input
  • 2 balanced analog outputs (XLR connector)

The HS-P82 recorder will be available in December 2009 with an estimated street price of $4,999.

More information: Tascam

TASCAM PT-7 – a tuner, metronome and recorder all in one device

large-pt7_leftTASCAM is launching the PT-7, a unique tool for musicians, educators and students combining a tuner, metronome and recorder.

The PT-7 starts with a high-speed chromatic tuner, adjustable to 7 alternate scales, with a display ideal for students to practice finding their pitch on wind and string instruments. The metronome plays from the speaker or headphone out at rates form 30 to 300bpm in six time signatures. A mono recorder employs the internal mic to capture song ideas, listen back to a phrase or slow down a tricky passage to play along. Though designed for the acoustic instrument player and educator, the PT-7 is the ideal companion for any instrument player – from student wind instruments to electric guitar.

The new PT-7 will be available from TASCAM dealers in October 2009 at an estimated street price of $99.

The unique Chromatic tuner/trainer combines many features into an attractive, compact, easy-to-use package:

Tuner Features:

  • High-speed chromatic tuner
  • Calibration option
  • Oscillator out function
  • 8 musical scales (12-note equal temperament, Pythagorean, Mean Tone, Werckmeister III, Kirnberger III, Kellner, Vallotti, Young)
  • On-screen display ideal for students’ “Pitch Training”

Metronome Features:

  • 30-300 bpm metronome
  • Internal speaker or headphone output
  • Six time signatures (0-7 beats, duplets, triplets, shuffle, quadplets, quadplets without center beats)

Recorder Features:

  • Record practice through built-in microphone
  • Loop and slow down playback without changing the pitch
  • Audio playback with pitch correction
  • Quickly capture song ideas or phrases
  • 20 minute recording time

General Specifications

  • Internal speaker
  • Headphone Output
  • Custom Backlit LCD display
  • Powered by AA battery or optional PS-P520 adapter
  • Flip stand on rear panel
  • 5.9″ W x 2.5″ D x 1.0″ H
  • 0.33lbs/150g without battery
  • Battery life approx. 10 hours (without backlight) / 4 hours (with backlight)

More information at Tascam.

Tonebone Plexitube

toneboneplexitube

Valve power married with preamp circuitry, it’s been done before but the Tonebone Plexitube’s features make this a versatile, pioneering beast…

Canada’s Radial Engineering has been producing Tonebone effects pedals and switching boxes since 2002 and can boast a number of high-profile users, including Toto’s Steve Lukather and Mettalica’s Kirk Hammett. This pedal’s aim? To deliver ‘four generations of Marshall Plexi tones.’ Along with this monumental claim also comes the equally substantial price tag. It’s got a lot to prove, let’s see what it’s got…

First of all, the construction is sound. Made of very sturdy solid sheet steel gives it the ruggedness to be worthy of a good thrash on stage. Whereas the boasted features are personified through various knobs and switches. The two main footswitches, one to bypass the effect and the other toggling between two sets of settings that effectively act like separate amp channels, work well but mean there are a lot of other knobs to fiddle around with as a result.

Amidst the 12AX7 all-valve heart of this pedal beats a tin soul of circuitry genius. The EQ provides a hugely wide tone-shape. The shared low and high EQ controls mean that you can manipulate this Marshall JCM800-esque sound into anything from reserved crunch to a more bowel-moving fuzz. The excellent creamy tones of the Tonebone Plexitube make this an expensive, but equally good contender against Electro Harmonix’s Black Face.

The Tonebone Plexitube retails at £353.36.

Zoom H4N review

zoom-h4-in-hand

Raising the standard again… Zoom’s H4N (H4 pictured) proves to be an amazingly useful little device.

Not only does the H4N have integral X/Y stereo condenser microphones but it also can double up as a multitracking recorder. With it’s four track recording base giving the portable recorder the qualities of a professional studio, the integrated effects can be used to buff out the individual tracks to give a huge sense of space.

You can also use the rubberised, shock resistant device in relation with the two microphones, giving a fantastic stereo spread. Even when the phantom power is switched on you will still be able to get a good ten out of the two AA batteries.

One of the first thing that I noticed watches the lack of input controls on the face of the recorder itself. Instead, the only thing that you get is a few switches – low, mid and high – via switches. It baffles me why there aren’t any easier switches that allow you to immediately alter the recording mix, without having to go through the tiny menus and miniscule icons to set things straight.

There is some good news in all this though. There is a fantastic function on the H4N where the MP3 or WAV setting can be changed in an instant by one button. What’s more is that the device will remember the last sample rate that you used making this device small and clever too.

The Zoom H4N retails at around £329.99.

Warwick Jonas Hellborg amp system

Warwick amp setup

Bass players will know that Warwick have always been at the top of their game. But is this newest installment too big for its boots; sporting higher functioning features than ever before…

The Warwick Jonas Hellborg amp set-up comprises of a lethal 2×250 watt power amp and the user-friendly, knob-galore preamp. When taking a look at it for the first time, it’s got a sense of urgency about it, despite its clean-cut looks. This is sure to be talked about in the same reverent breath as Trace Elliot’s pro equipment or even Eden’s hardware.

Whether it be in your recording rack at home or gigging, the Hellborg system’s preamp knobs and levels are all backlit for easy navigation. More clever design features are abundant with this reserved professional preamp. The input is XLR, there are bypass switches, mute switches, a fantasticly clear XLR DI output with a pre/post EQ/effects switch and even a tuner output.

Given that this set-up is very high end hardware, you can see that there has been no expensive spared to keep the tone paramount and unparalled. Warwick’s sublime EQ is one of the best features of this system. While being very comprehensive, this can shave whatever you need off the dry tone of your bass.

As for the treatment of tone, especially when bring the preamp’s gain knob into the equation, there are no holds bared. It certainly sounds a lot louder, mainly because it is down to the tremendous stereo or bridged Warwick power amp. However, when really going for it and wanting heavier stuff, use a pedal. While versatile, this preamp doesn’t have a thrash setting.

While arguably over-engineered, Warwick have shown that there can be no compromise when talking their language. This is what they do and if you want the best you’ll have to pay for it!

The Warwick Hellborg Preamp retails at £1,679

The Warwick Stereo Power Amp retails at £1,739.

Duesenberg Pomona 6 pedal steel

dsc_3403

Not like any other guitar you’ll see out there, granted, but playability-wise the Duesenberg Pomona 6 is a gem…Whether it be Hawaiian, blues, blue-grass, Western swing or even rock and pop, the lap steel is a hugely versatile instrument. Tuned to open chords, most guitarists will be able to bang out a few blinders with a bottle neck.

The Pomona’s build quality is top rate.  A great slab of mahogany is used for the neck/body and shaped to fit the time period when Art-Deco was around. Regardless of however long ago it was, it looks timeless today.

Apart from the shape of this horizontal-sound, delve a little further to check out the features; the most impressive being the capo system. Changing the key of what you want to play in could never be simpler; undo the capo bar and move up to where you need it. Much like the of the capo system, user-friendliness is echoed in the bending leavers. You can easily get two semitones out of this. All in all, simple – less to go wrong.

Duesenberg’s Little Toaster pickups are so called because they cry Rickenbacker. To be more specific; the 1950’s ‘toaster top’ humbuckers. Response is similar to that of a standard guitar because of the surprisingly similar scale. The tonal response follows suit, it is clear, from trying it out working with a clean channel, that there is a slightly less fat and chewy overall sound in the mids. The higher frequencies prove to show no sign of decay and compromise to sustain.

While the volume pots leave something to be desired when performing swells, this little nit-pick is only a nit-pick. I’ve had to think hard to come up with something bad to say about it!

The Duesenberg Pomona 6 retails at £889.

Tyler Mongoose Special

tyler-mongoose-special1-460-80

Don’t be fooled by the classic good looks, Tyler’s Mongoose Special proves to be a bit of an animal…

Echoing curves of a Melody Maker joined at the neck by a Telecaster the Mongoose’s shape has been honed and fiddled with since the mid 90’s. With a seemingly simplistic all-mahogany construction housing exquisite soap-bar single coil pickups, the Mongoose looks as if it took its soul from a Les Paul Special.

But, rest assured, this is no copy. The base bouts are rounder than a Telecaster giving a larger perception of space in the cutaway. The edges are rounder so that it fits a bit better into the player when standing to play. These subtle comfort contour tweaks give better upper-fret access. However that access was granted but playing above the 15th fret was difficult. Sustain had been compromised somehow, but after a few adjustments to bridge teeth we were screaming!

Electrical hardware selection has been thought about carefully in this guitar. The resonant one-piece-meets-hollow mahogany body and the marriage of the P-90-like pickups are the key to this guitar’s superlative appeal. Spacing of the Tyler pickups is evidence that there is no compromise, in Tyler’s eyes, in tone, for the sake of style. There is a contrasting thick, Tele-tone when playing clean through the back pickup whereas when the neck pickup is a bit softer and quite fluid.

This is a guitar geared up for funksters. With its brilliant string spacing and fast action this is a guitar Les Paul Special fans should seek out.

The Tyler Mongoose Special retails at £2,599.

Taylor T3/B Guitar Review

t3b_front

Taylor has really made huge splash in the water here. A first for them in this area of the market too – with a Bigsby vibrato too…

I say a first for them, there was the T5 but there’s no point on drawing parallels to that from this. Sure, when taking a look at it for the first time, you get the impression that it is straight out of the fifties. The Bigsby Vibrato is a big giveaway to what the purpose and meaning behind this guitar is all about.

The T3/B is very ES-335-esque with its single-cutaway style, huge lashings of maple and all the while sporting a semi-solid body. As you can imagine, this does loads for tonal credibility. It isn’t particularly loud acoustically but does have a more than pleasant, lively resonance.

With a clean setting on a TSL602 Marshall combo it was clear that that there is huge promise for country players; offering big, bright and instantly twangy tones. There really is great clarity due to the fantastic single coil pickups – which are very White Falcon-like. They are well positioned and therefore, playing in the middle selector position, it is a bit softer and hollowed than the bridge pickup position.

Things get a bit more lively with more gain, obviously; but in a way that Jack White could probably explain, it delivers with verve and attack. The Bigsby really comes into its own when you get into using fuzz effects of heavy distortion. There are miles of sustain and even when properly pushed, strings hold their pitch.

This is a fantastic marriage of 50’s style meeting quality modern hardware. It is a bit pricey but you get what you pay for. Get yourself to a dealer and try it out!

The Taylor T3/B retails at £2,869.

Farida D-32N

farida_d321

This dread-cut dream is Farida’s new flagship, in tone, quality and sounds that emulate its good looks.

Farida are a brand that not a lot of people know about. Since retail chain Dawsons Music began importing Farida’s guitars four years ago they have been going from strength to strength. The smaller body M2 was pretty good with its fast, enthusiastic neck – perhaps meant for funk wannabes. But this new D-32N is a fantastic all rounder for the price.

The build quality is fantastic simply because Farida have sourced materials very well and treated them to perfection. Topped with a solid red cedar front it draws the player’s attention to other aspects of the guitar one might not expect to notice. The back, for instance, is a true lamination of mahogany. Accompanying all this is a tasteful dash of multi-ply wood purflings, edged in walnut.

All of these lush materials won’t go unnoticed when you start playing. The fastness of the 43mm neck makes the guitar feel more accessible and very comfortable all the way up to the body. Fret buzz has been totally erradicated, surprising since the neck has a serious camber. It really shows that as well as the build quality the set up of this guitar was a top priority.

This truly is one of the best dreadnought acoustics I have ever played. The handsome looks, warm whole-hearted tone and subtle exuberance are rarely found in a guitar in this price range. To top all this off, it comes with a Farida hard case.

The Farida D-32N retails at £479.