In this slightly delayed video from NAMM 2017 technical Editor and Last Man Standing James Ivey gives you his rundown of what's great and not to be missed on the show floor at NAMM 2017.
- Tascam Track Factory This is partnership between Tascam and Intel and features a customised Intel NUC mini-computer equipped with a speedy 2.7 GHz Intel Core™ i5-5250U processor with 3 MB of cache, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB M.2 solid-state drive, four USB 3.0 ports, a Mini Display Port 1.2, a MINI-HDMI 1.4a port, gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB mouse and keyboard and Bluetooth™ 4.2. It runs a version of Microsoft Windows 10 Home Edition that has been streamlined and optimised by PC Audio Labs for digital multitrack recording and editing.
Cakewalk's Sonar Professional DAW comes pre-installed and configured for the bundle's Tascam US-2x2 USB 2.0 audio/MIDI interface, which has two combo mic/line/instrument inputs, two balanced TRS line outputs, and records at up to 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution. The US-2x2 offers direct zero-latency monitoring, and MIDI I/O as well.
Next there is a Tascam TM-80 medium-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone comes with a shock-mount desktop stand, microphone clip, and cable.
Finally the bundle comes with Tascam's closed-back TH-02 headphones which have a foldable design and padded headband
But Tascam doesn't stop there they also supplement the preconfigured Track Factory system with tutorial videos and a Quick Start Guide. To top it off, you get a 20-minute personal online training and configuration session with the tech wizards at OBEDIA. An $1,850 value, the Track Factory bundle is available at Tascam dealers for a MAP/street price of only $1,299.99.
- Mercury G810 Rack Systems This has been designed to solve perhaps the biggest complaint for users of other '500 racks' in the marketplace - Lack of Power, especially when using products that are not built to the specifications of the '500' Standard.
The power specification for Mercury D Series G810 Rack System is much higher than the spec of the '500' Standard. The Mercury Power Regulation Circuit is not only in the rack, it is on every channel of the rack offering individual regulation per channel and this allows each channel to be isolated from the channel next to it or any other channel in the rack, which will protect from faults or emissions from problematic modules. No module in the Mercury D Series G810 Rack System shares DC power with another module in the rack.
- Townsend Sphere Microphone System - We have reviewed this and Townsend Labs tell us that they now have stock of their microphone modelling system. The Sphere L22 Microphone is a high precision, dual-capsule, large-diaphragm condenser studio microphone, which can be used with or without modeling and comes with a 10 Foot (3 Meter) Breakout Cable, Shock Mount, Hard Mount, Hard Carrying Case, Plush Dust Cover and Sphere Plug-in.
The Sphere DSP algorithms are designed to accurately model a wide range of the most sought-after microphones in the world. The Re-Mic technology allows the user to change the mic type and polar pattern even after tracking. There are many new and patented features including Off-Axis Correction (which can produce more accurate polar patterns for reduced bleed, room coloration, and feedback). The plugin supports a wide range of plug-in formats – including UAD, VST2, VST3, Audio Unit, and AAX Native on Mac and Windows.
- Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mk II The Twin MKII has joined the rest of the Apollo family and turned to the dark side in this rather lovely matte black finish that I am sure will feel just as good as it looks. Universal Audio have upgraded the onboard processing to allow the Twin MKII to come in three UAD-2 flavours: Solo, Twin, and new Quad processor versions. The big news is that the Twin MKII is an officially supported Thunderbolt compatible interface for both Windows and Mac OS. The Apollo Twin MKII is still a 2x6 audio interface running up to 24-bit/192KHz audio conversion with two microphone pre-amps with Unison Technology allowing the user to process in real time through models of some of the most amazing vintage mic pres and guitar amp simulations.
Even though Twin MKII keeps the same 8 button layout Universal Audio have managed to cram even more features in. There is now a built-in talkback mic making it much easier to communicate with your vocal or instrumental talent and much-improved monitor controls including Mono, Mute, DIM and Alternative Monitor outputs. There are still 2 digitally controlled sets of monitor outs via 2 TRS Jacks for full audio resolution at all listening levels.