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Focusrite unveils VRM Box, headphone monitoring system

Focusrite has unveiled the VRM Box, a headphone monitoring system featuring the patent-pending VRM (Virtual Reference Monitoring) technology. With VRM Box, you can mix in your studio, wherever you are.

Focusrite VRM Box

VRM Box functions as a high-quality 24-bit/48kHz USB audio playback interface. So, whether you’re mixing, creating music or simply listening to tracks, VRM Box is perfect. What’s more, there’s no need for a power supply or batteries, because it gets all the power it needs, with full audio quality, from your computer’s USB port. VRM Box also features a digital (S/PDIF) input, which supports sample rates up to 192kHz. This allows you to run it in conjunction with your Pro Tools HD system, or any other interface with an S/PDIF output.

With VRM Box, you can mix any time, anywhere, using any monitoring headphones. The accompanying software lets you choose your mixing environment and the virtual speakers you wish to monitor on, then processes the audio before feeding it in real time to the hardware. Built into VRM technology are precise models of a variety of industry- standard studio monitors, including the Genelec 1031A, KRK’s VXT8, the Auratone 5C and the ubiquitous Yamaha NS10M. There are also models of speakers commonly found in domestic environments, so you can check your mixes on a variety of virtual systems. VRM processing can be bypassed; an LED on the hardware illuminates when it’s active.

VRM Box VRM Box delivers audio quality worthy of your headphones. Boasting a dynamic range of 108dB, its headphone amplifier provides a sound that’s more precise, with lower distortion, than other low- cost audio interfaces, and far superior to built-in laptop headphone outputs. A slick volume dial gives you accurate control over the output level.

VRM overcomes the major obstacles of mixing with headphones by giving you spatial cues to make informed mix decisions, and by providing multiple perspectives on your mix: just like with speakers. VRM also surmounts various practical issues, such as mixing at unsociable hours and in mobile situations.

VRM Box features

  • Mix In Your studio, Wherever You Are – Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) lets you audition your mix in different environments, through different speakers, just using headphones. It gets all the power it needs – with full audio quality guaranteed – from your computer’s USB port.
  • High-quality 24-bit/48kHz USB Audio Playback Interface – Whether you’re mixing, creating music or simply listening to tracks, VRM Box is the perfect playback interface for your digital audio software.
  • Got Pro Headphones? Get A Pro Box – With a dynamic range of 108dB (A-weighted), VRM Box provides a significant audio upgrade from low-grade laptop headphone outputs (which commonly only provide around 92 or 93dB), with an audio quality the equal of interfaces ten times its price.
  • Included Software Application – The VRM Box software application provides total control over speaker and room selection, with an attractive GUI that also features a bypass mode. VRM models are processed by the software on the host computer.
  • Flexible Digital Integration – VRM Box features an S/PDIF input that supports sampling rates up to 192kHz, allowing you to use it with any DAW system with S/PDIF connectivity, including Pro Tools HD.
  • Robust & Attractive Hardware – VRM Box hardware is built to a high specification. Featuring a high-gloss top surface, with VRM status LED and slick volume dial, it makes an attractive addition to your desktop, but is also durable enough for life on the road.

Operational note: In order for VRM processing to operate, a USB connection to a computer running the included VRM Box software is permanently required, even when using the S/PDIF input.

VRM Box will be shipping worldwide in February 2011, priced:

  • USA: $124.99 MSRP / $99.99 at dealers.
  • UK: £79.99 inc. VAT typical street price.
  • DE: €111.00 inc. Tax UVP (MSRP).

More information: Focusrite

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Focusrite introduces RedNet, Professional Audio Interface System for any DAW

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Focusrite has introduced RedNet, a professional audio networking system.

Focusrite RedNet

Launching with five brand new products and comprehensive control software, it delivers all the features required for a professional studio environment. Focusrite’s 25-year legacy ensures uncompromised sound quality, while its robust, cutting-edge networking technology makes RedNet the number-one choice for the modern recording studio.

RedNet At RedNet’s heart is the tried-and-tested digital audio networking technology Dante(TM) by Audinate, the leading developer of high-quality media networking. Dante uses conventional IP-based Ethernet switches to carry up to 256 channels (128 inputs and 128 outputs) of high-resolution digital audio over a single, standard Ethernet network. RedNet provides extremely low latency: under three milliseconds analogue-to-analogue at any sample rate when using the optional Focusrite RedNet PCIe card. Dante is reliable: it has been in use for some time in the live sound field where it’s deployed at major events, and live systems are routinely tested for up to a week without the loss of a single sample.

Now, Focusrite brings Dante to the studio as part of a complete, scalable system with a range of extremely high quality digital audio interfaces and components. These provide a diversity of input and output options, with the simplicity and practicalities of Ethernet connectivity. What’s more, RedNet is non-proprietary, meaning it will work with any ASIO- or Core Audio-compliant DAW, including Pro Tools 9, Logic and Nuendo.

RedNet interfaces can operate alongside any supported PC or Mac with an Ethernet port (including laptops), using Audinate’s Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) driver, meaning portable RedNet rigs can be configured. However, Focusrite’s RedNet PCIe card, which features its own, single Ethernet socket, is dedicated to communicating with the RedNet network. It’s the technology on this card that yields the extremely low latencies that make RedNet the ultimate studio upgrade.

Each RedNet I/O device includes JetPLL(TM) jitter-elimination technology, and delivers dynamic range of 120dB, with 24-bit resolution at sample rates up to 192kHz. RedNet is the embodiment of the traditional Focusrite ethos: providing the high performance of today’s most advanced digital conversion designs alongside pristine analogue circuitry and implementation, with exceptional value for money and stunning styling.

RedNet features

  • 24-bit operation at up to 192kHz sampling rates.
  • Very low latency: under 3ms at any sample rate (when using RedNet PCIe card).
  • Up to 128 inputs and 128 outputs.
  • Superb audio quality with a dynamic range of 120dB.
  • Reliable and robust: Dante technology uses standard networking components.
  • JetPLL technology provides ultra-low jitter in all RedNet I/O devices.
  • Units are hot-swappable, detected and configured automatically on plug-in.
  • Included RedNet software provides easy system configuration and control.
Focusrite RedNet4

The RedNet range will initially comprise five products:

  • RedNet 1: Eight-channel A-D/D-A Interface
    • Provides eight analogue inputs and outputs.
    • Front-panel status and signal LED indicators.
    • Analogue I/O on DB25 connectors.
  • RedNet 2: 16-channel A-D/D-A Interface
    • Provides 16 analogue inputs and outputs.
    • Front-panel status and signal LED indicators.
    • Analogue I/O on DB25 connectors.
  • RedNet 3: Digital I/O Interface
    • Provides 32 digital inputs and outputs.
    • Up to 32 channels of ADAT I/O at up to 96kHz (up to 16 channels at 192kHz).
    • Up to 8 channels of AES/EBU I/O (replaces one ADAT interface).
    • Stereo S/PDIF I/O (replaces one AES/EBU interface).
  • RedNet 4: Eight-channel Mic/Line Input Interface
    • Eight Mic/Line inputs for RedNet (XLRs for Mic inputs, DB25 for Line inputs).
    • Eight professional, remote-controllable Focusrite microphone preamps.
    • Hi-Z instrument inputs on channels 1+2.
    • Gain Range: 63dB (0 to 63dB with -8dB pad; 1dB steps from +8dB to +63dB).
    • Front-panel controls plus comprehensive software for remote operation.
  • RedNet PCIe Card
    • Required for lowest latency performance, such as tracking.
    • Delivers 128 inputs and 128 outputs with less than 3ms latency.
    • Supports sample rates up to 192kHz.
    • Fits into any PC or Mac with a PCI Express card slot.

More information: Focusrite

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Focusrite Midnight, effects plug-in suite now available

Focusrite Midnight (Compressor)

Focusrite has announced the release of Midnight, a plug-in suite based on the legendary Forté Console.

The brand new Midnight plug-in brings Focusrite’s sonic signature to your music production software through sophisticated modelling of the ISA110 EQ and ISA130 compressor. Originally created for the legendary Forté console, the ISA110 EQ and ISA130 compressor modules have contributed to the signature sound of countless hit records over the past 25 years. Highly regarded by audio professionals around the world, Focusrite’s original consoles and analogue modules are still very much in demand, but are hard to come by. The Midnight software suite gives you classic ISA EQ and compression in two separate VST, Audio Units and RTAS plug-ins at an affordable price.

Both Midnight plug-ins faithfully reproduce the pristine clarity and warmth of the original ISA modules. These elegantly crafted plug-ins are easy to use and pleasing on the eye. Midnight is designed to make mixing effortless, giving your most important tracks the ‘VIP’ treatment.
The smooth and transparent quality of the Midnight compressor enables your tracks to sit perfectly in the mix. While some compressors add unwanted coloration, the Midnight compressor brings a balance to your mix while maintaining the integrity of your sound. The Midnight EQ helps you to expertly tune your tracks, with clear controls and excellent sonic quality. It enables you to build mixes naturally with a rich low-end, defined mid-range and sparkling highs.

Midnight plug-ins are designed to be uncluttered yet precise. Accurate metering and a clear layout make Midnight a joy to use, letting you focus on your mix.

Midnight features

  • Sophisticated modeling of the ISA110 EQ and ISA130 compressor – Accurately recreates the sonic qualities of vintage Focusrite ISA hardware, using sophisticated modelling technology.
  • Two separate multi-format plug-ins – Classic EQ and compression in two separate VST, Audio Units and RTAS plug-ins for Mac and PC.
  • Focusrite’s renowned audio quality – Midnight brings the truly professional sonic quality of the Focusrite Forté console to your software studio, with the signature sound of countless hit records.
  • Beautifully designed GUI – Large VU meters are beautiful and easy to read. Clear and accurate controls make dialing-in your settings a breeze.

The Midnight Plugin Suite is available to purchase now, priced at $129.99 MSRP ($99.99 at dealers) / £79.99 inc. VAT Suggested street price / €109 inc. Tax UVP (MSRP).

More information: Focusrite / Midnight

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Focusrite announces RTAS MixControl, Saffire MixControl monitoring in Pro Tools 9

Focusrite RTAS MixControl

Focusrite has announced the RTAS MixControl, a plug-in for flexible monitoring of Saffire MixControl in Pro Tools 9.

In 2000, Digidesign chose Focusrite as their hardware partner to deliver what was to become the most successful Pro Tools interface ever – the original Mbox.

Now, with the introduction of Pro Tools 9, Focusrite interfaces are once again the best choice for Pro Tools users.

Our unique RTAS MixControl plug-in will bring the flexible monitoring of Saffire MixControl, right inside the Pro Tools 9 environment.

At Focusrite, we believe that sound quality is everything. That’s why every interface we make combines our award- winning mic pres with best-in-class digital conversion and clocking to ensure you capture your sound – entirely.

Combining an uncompromised sound philosophy with our unique Pro Tools integration, Focusrite’s Saffire Range is the best choice of interface for Pro Tools 9.

More information: Focusrite

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Focusrite Midnight Plug-in Suite, ISA110 equaliser and ISA130 compressor

Focusrite Midnight Plug-in Suite

Focusrite has introduced the Midnight Plug-in Suite, a bundle of two effect plug-ins for Windows and Mac.

Focusrite’s new Midnight plug-in suite takes two of the most iconic Focusrite modules of all time – the ISA110 equaliser and ISA130 compressor; models their sound exactly with powerful DSP technology; and gives them elegant, functional on-screen front panels that make them simplicity itself to use. Now you can add that authentic, classic Focusrite sound to your own tracks at a price you can afford. Your productions have never sounded so good.

Midnight Plug-in Suite features

  • Powerful DSP modelling – Exactly recreates the sound of two classic Focusrite modules renowned for their sound, versatility and hit-making heritage. Brings that exact sound into your digital studio and puts it at your fingertips.
  • Legendary audio quality – Focusrite’s reputation was built on sound principles. From the original analogue consoles of the 1980s to today’s digital studio, Focusrite quality is second to none. In fact, it’s so good you can take it for granted.
  • Exquisite high-definition graphic user interface – We did more than exactly model two incredible analogue modules, incredibly accurately. We gave them gorgeous graphic front panels, too. We didn’t do that just to look pretty: we did it to make them simple to use and easy to learn – just like their analogue predecessors. Controls are intuitive; meters tell you what you need to know, clearly and instantly. You get what you want, and fast.
  • The sound at the heart of the digital studio – If there are two parts of the studio signal chain that make the most difference when it comes to defining your sound, they are compression and EQ. Midnight combines a powerful, versatile, easy to use compressor with a clear, warm and flexible equaliser. They’re just the tools you need to give you the edge and take you to the next level.
  • A step up you can afford – Until now, tools like these were often beyond reach, especially if you’re just starting out. Midnight changes all that. Now you no longer have to rely on the basic channel modules that came with your system, or cheap alternatives that ruin your sound. Nor do you have to blow your entire budget on the plug-ins of the past. Midnight gives you quality tools you can afford – quality tools you can’t do without.

The Midnight Plug-in Suite for PC and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) is priced at MSRP $129.99 USD. It is currently available to pre-order from selected distributors for $99 USD.

More information: Focusrite / Midnight Plug-in Suite

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Focusrite Saffire PRO 14, firewire audio interface

Related: , , , , , , Posted in news on Aug 11, 2010 - comment 1 comment
Focusrite Saffire PRO 14

Focusrite has announced the Saffire PRO 14, a new firewire audio interface.

The Focusrite Saffire PRO 14 is an 8 in / 6 out FireWire audio interface designed for the modern home studio environment. An unparalleled preamp legacy forms the foundation, with two award-winning Focusrite preamps.

Legendary sonic performance and both digital and analogue I/O combine with Focusrite’s established MixControl software to deliver seamless integration, excellent routing flexibility and rock-solid driver stability.

Saffire PRO 14 key features

  • Two high-quality award-winning Focusrite preamps — The best sounding interface in its class. Focusrite’s 25-year legacy forms the foundation of this new interface, with two award-winning preamps.
  • High-quality 24-bit/96kHz FireWire interface — Features professional conversion and JetPLL™ jitter elimination technology, guaranteeing pristine audio quality and reliable synchronization.
  • Total I/O count of 8 inputs and 6 outputs — A host of I/O options are provided, including a unique Loopback facility for routing audio between software applications via Saffire MixControl.
  • Saffire MixControl ultra-low-latency DSP mixer/router — Provides an 18 x 6 DSP mixer with excellent routing flexibility, intuitive one-click configurations, and lower than 1.4ms latency (less than the time it takes sound to travel two feet through air!).
  • Focusrite VST/AU Plug-in Suite, for use in the mix — Upgrade your standard sequencer effects and bring a touch of class to your session with Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins.
  • Xcite+ Software Bundle — Featuring a host of royalty-free loops and samples, a full-fledged soft-synth and Ableton Live Lite 8, providing an affordable upgrade path to Ableton Live.

The Saffire PRO 14 is expected to ship in August 2010, priced at $299.99 MSRP ($249.99 street) / £199.99 inc. VAT (suggested street price) / €279.99 inc. Tax MSRP.

More information: Focusrite / Saffire PRO 14

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Focusrite ISA428 MkII, four-channel mic preamp announced

Related: , , , Posted in news on Jul 30, 2010 - comment 0 comments

Focusrite has announced the ISA428 MkII, a premium four-channel mic preamp supporting an optional eight-channel A-D converter.

The ISA428 MkII features four of Focusrite’s classic ISA preamps, originally developed for the legendary Forté console. It supports the same professional eight-channel A-D converter option used with the ISA828. The A-D converter accepts four line inputs in addition to the signals passing through the main channels of the ISA428 MkII, creating eight high-quality digital streams with a superb 122dB dynamic range. Thanks to its convenient 25-pin D-Type connector, the A-D converter option integrates seamlessly with most digital workstations, including Pro Tools HD.

Mirroring the feature set of the original, each ISA428 MkII channel has a variable impedance circuit allowing you to perfectly match the preamp with any microphone, or to use different settings creatively to shape the sound of the microphone. Adjustable high-pass filters as well as phantom power and phase reverse controls are easily accessible on the front panel.

When designing the ISA428 MkII, the Focusrite R&D team were determined to maintain the pristine sound quality of its predecessor, but introduce it at a new level of affordability. To that end, the exact same analogue circuit board can be found in both the original and MkII derivations of the ISA428.

Focusrite ISA428 MkII

ISA428 MkII key features

  • Four ISA series transformer-based preamps – ISA series mic preamps have been the producers’ choice on countless hit records over the last two decades.
  • Eight-channel optional A-D converter – Four additional A-D converter inputs allow eight channels of high-quality conversion, with a dynamic range of 122dB and jitter performance below 250 picoseconds.
  • Selectable impedance – Ideal for mic matching or extended microphone creativity. Settings include the ‘Vintage ISA110’ setting, providing the original Focusrite signature sound.
  • Four front panel instrument inputs – Instant access on the front fascia – no separate DI box required.
  • Dedicated analogue insert points – Switchable insert points are featured on every channel, allowing routing (between pre-amp and output) through additional external processing.
  • Variable high pass Focusrite filter – Provided on every channel, this is the same filter as featured on the original ISA428.
  • Accurate LED meters for every channel – Clear metering designed to catch even the fastest and most elusive of transients.

The ISA428 MkII is expected to be available worldwide in late 2010.

More information: Focusrite / ISA428 MkII

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