dbx 286s Microphone Preamp and Processor

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast, Podcasting, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…

Performance and value. The dbx 286s delivers

[insert dramatic music] In a world where microphone preamps and processors could each set you back four-figures in US dollars, a loan competitor reigns supreme. [dim music]

Dramatic, but true. The dbx 286 line is well respected and hits a budget minded price point. A one rack-unit device, the 286s is the latest offering from dbx.

You’ll find a clean mic preamp, compressor, de-esser, noise gate and low/high frequency enhancement. What I liked most about the 286s overall is the responsiveness. From preamp to compressor and filters, the range is quite wide and more than adequate.

If I could single out the biggest difference between a high-dollar (four figures in US dollars) strip and the 286s, it would be the ‘sound’ of the pre-amp. While quiet and well behaved, I wanted a bit more character.
…a bit of that analog inspiration

Having said that, I found the 286s to be a pleasure. The affordable price point is stunning and the performance rises above expectations.

But, don’t let me bore you with words. Listen in as we plug in and power on for a hands (and ears) on demo.

Listen in and let me know what you think?

Drop me an email with your own MP3 file and we’ll do our best to put you ‘on-the-air’.
mark [at] newmediagear [dot] com

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Going to POTS

Sponsored by BSW. Radio, Television Broadcast and Production. The Gear is Here. NewMediaGear…

Kirk Harnack of Omnia/Axia highlights the new Telos Hx1.

Remember that clunky old box and headset wired to your wall? The telephone of the past isn’t quite a memory. Today, more than ever, home and business users turn to smart phones, Skype/VoIP and advanced CODEC algorithms for voice and digital communications.

Still, (texting aside) the human voice reigns supreme for effective communication. Mere text cannot intonate, inflect or bond a conversation. Some may give an LOL to that. In fact, both modes have become a binding part of our daily communications.

Back to this telephone (or ‘Plain Old Telephone Service’) technology. Twisted pair, copper or whatever moniker we tag to the analog telephone, it is still the quickest and amazingly easiest way to personalize communications to most parts of the world.

Radio talk shows are as popular as ever. Broadcast and media interviewers rely on POTS as a vital tool. Among the top tools that interface telephone to our audio boards is the hybrid. Having tried several brands, I remain biased by the simplicity and power of a single product; the Telos family.

The Telos One is a telephone gateway to your desktop workstation, interviews and recording voice on the fly. One button operation, advanced digital signal processing and leveling make the Telos One a ‘mount and forget’ workhorse.

From the Telos One, a new star has emerged. Enter the Telos Hx1. Sporting a new look with real time metering, the true beauty of the Hx1 lies in its advanced digital signal processing. Tweaked for todays myriad of phone audio and annoying delays, the Hx1 helps call after call sound consistent thanks to dynamic digital EQ. Adaptive automatic gain control and noise gating, based on Omnia technology uniquely position the Hx1 from the crowd. Front panel send and receive meters allow visual confidence monitoring. Above are just a few highlights of many new Hx1 features.

I would like to tell you an Hx1 is in the rack at this time. At Studio1A, we are working to make that happen. A comprehensive real world demo is headed your way, so stay tuned and keep talking!

@markjensen

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Shure SM-7B Microphone

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast, Podcasting, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…

The Shure SM-7B Dynamic Microphone. …a Classic Radio/Studio Performer

All business. Decades ago, that was my first impression of the Shure SM-7. Today, it remains unchanged. Arriving in a plain white box, the unassuming SM-7B waited for a test drive to come alive. Unique styling, solid performance and durability that should last a lifetime. That’s the SM-7 I know.

A cardioid dynamic, the SM7B requires a nice boost from the pre-amp. The back cover reveals two switches. A typical low cut switch sits next to a (not so typical) articulation switch. Most pro microphones include some type of articulation bump that slightly boosts the speech area. Very few microphones allow you to switch the mid-high boost on and off. …the SM7B does

You’ll also find two distinct foam wind screens. One wind screen covers most bases, but an industrial, heavy duty screen is also included. This mic loves to be close talked, and I took full advantage of that!

Listen in and let me know what you think?

Drop me an email with your own MP3 file and we’ll do our best to put you ‘on-the-air’.
mark [at] newmediagear [dot] com

The NewMediaGear YouTube Channel is back!

@markjensen

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Neumann U87ai Microphone

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast, Podcasting, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…



The Legendary Neumann U87ai.

This time, on NewMediaGear, listen in as we demonstrate an iconic microphone. In this Summers Neumann finale, the U87ai takes center stage.

Without even knowing it, many people have seen a U87. A multi-pattern large diaphagm condenser, this mic exudes quality and versatility. The Neumann name ensures immaculate quality. Combine these qualities and it becomes apparent why the U87 is one of the most prevalent studio microphones available.

This show starts with another classic; the Sennheiser MKH416. The 416 is one of the worlds most popular voiceover microphones, but its charge is completely different than the U87. A stark contrast you can hear.

The U87? I can sum it up in a few words (well, maybe a few sentences). The U87 is a chameleon. It’s not too much of anything. Transparency, smooth but with just enough ‘air’. Proximity effect is there, but it’s extremely gentle. The only surprise was bass boost in the figure-8 pattern, which you’ll hear. Patterns include cardioid, omni and figure-8. There is also a low cutoff and 10db pad, accessible from the back. Available as a standalone mic or a “Set”, I would highly recommend the set. As a substantial investment, the shock/spider mount is a better value when bought with the microphone. The set also includes a mic cable and foam windscreen. The U87 comes in a beautiful cherry, velvet lined box with the Neumann seal. I like high quality condensers to be open, so my demo was done using only a Stedman blast filter.

The debate about compression and processing is not new. How we handle our audio will always be in contention because it is a form of art and expression, regardless of the venue. I noted that the compressor barely touched this audio clip, which is fitting for a microphone like the U87. However, just as many people might like to hear this show with a bit more ‘bite’. I decided to run the exact same (linear PCM) file through a moderate amount of compression and save it as a different file. We end up with exactly the same content as pure as possible and another with a bit of jolt.

Neumann U87ai – Extremely Light Compression

Neumann U87ai – Slightly Compressed

Hope you enjoy. We have more gear that just can’t wait to get ‘on the air’.

Let me know what you think and stay tuned.

Drop me an email with your own MP3 file and we’ll do our best to put you ‘on-the-air’.
mark [at] newmediagear [dot] com

The NewMediaGear YouTube Channel is back!

@markjensen

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A Neumann for “U”

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast, Podcasting, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…


The TLM 103 with NEW EA4 shock mount, KH120A reference monitors, the TLM 49, U87ai and TLM 102.

It’s been a while. Behind the scenes at Studio1A, a new iMac and one of our prime video machines (better performance than our Mac Pro) took a dive from the desk. After a complete rebuild, we are back on the air with our series of Neumann studio microphone demos -this time in audio. The test pattern will soon be history and we’ll be back on YouTube for the next show.

Speaking of our next show -the legendary Neumann U87ai takes center stage. A YouTube vidcast too? This one deserves it. In short order, a unique audio demo will air. Stay tuned!

Drop me an email with your own MP3 file and we’ll do our best to put you ‘on-the-air’.
mark [at] newmediagear [dot] com

@markjensen

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Tiki Arrives from Blue Microphone

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast, Podcasting, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…


The new ultra small USB mic from Blue.

Affordable and fun, with built-in noise canceling. Leave it to Blue for innovation and style. The real question remains. How does it sound? Stay tuned.

Until it arrives, here is the Blue Press Release with details…

Two Modes, Two Experiences
For conference calls and chats, Tiki’s Intelligent Speech Mode uses voice isolation to bring your voice to the forefront while noise-canceling technology simultaneously reduces unwanted, competing background noise such as computer fans, keyboard typing and ambient sound. To capture the highest quality audio, Tiki uses front-and-back facing microphone capsules that actively locate your orientation to the mic for use with multiple speakers or as you move around the room. Tiki’s Intelligent Speech Mode also includes intelligent mute which can automatically soft-mute the mic when you are not speaking or when conversation is not detected. By muting your mic, intelligent mute eliminates any contribution of background and computer noises. When you resume speaking, Tiki instantly detects your voice and automatically un-mutes, bringing you back into the conversation.

Not limited to online communication, Tiki’s Natural Recording Mode captures a wide range of sources from vocals to acoustic guitar to podcasting. Using custom condenser capsules and professional-grade preamp circuitry, Tiki records high-quality audio with exceptional fidelity. Tiki’s two modes give any musician, podcaster or Skype user the versatility to quickly choose the best option for the situation.

Under the Hood
Tiki packs a significant amount of proprietary audio intelligence within its compact design. Engineered to listen with the intelligence of human hearing, Tiki employs a suite of patent-pending algorithms custom-designed in collaboration with iZotope, foremost experts in audio processing. Specifically tailored for Tiki’s functionality, iZotope’s Adaptive Noise Reduction (ANR) analyzes the incoming audio stream to detect and suppress undesired background noise, while Key Click Reduction (KCR) is specially developed to reduce typing noises by “grabbing” rapid rise sounds such as keyboard clicks.

In addition, Tiki’s dual facing capsules continuously monitor audio from both sides of the microphone, making a decision almost every second to differentiate between voice and unwanted noise. Powered by a Blackfin™ digital signal processor, Tiki runs approximately 400 million operations per second, detecting, counteracting and ultimately capturing and boosting your voice over background noise.

The Tiki requires no drivers and is plug-and-play with both PC and Mac.

MSRP is $59.95

Drop me an email with your own MP3 file and we’ll do our best to put you ‘on-the-air’.
mark [at] newmediagear [dot] com

@markjensen

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