Monday, March 28, 2011

BeesNeez Microphones Producer Series Lily

"BeesNeez Microphones is proud to introduce officially at the Musikmesse 2011, the first instalment in our range of ribbon microphones; the Lily. 

Nearly all ribbon microphones manufactured today have adopted the small body and ribbon concept. Our Lily is different, we have adopted the larger body and larger ribbon styling and we feel that this styling and build have greatly added to the sonic and physical beauty of the Lily, so much so that we could not be happier with the end result.

Our internal ribbon element is the source of the lily’s beauty. We have settled on a very large ribbon with low self resonance (5.1mm wide and 40mm long) with no dampening and a 60 degree crimping style. The frequencies captured by the lily range from below 30hz through to 20k+ and are reproduced with a smooth elegance that is very forgiving with a unique tone that flatters any source.

You will notice when you see the Lily for the first time that it is truly unique, there is no plating above the base, just 3 different shades of metal that finished to a glistening lustre. This is not just for beauty’s sake. Ribbon microphones rely on a strong magnetic vortex in which the ribbon vibrates to create the small amount of electricity that is then amplified by the transformer. If another ferromagnetic surface ie; a nickel or chrome plate is introduced within the near vicinity of this magnetic field, it can and will create a polar disturbance that will affect the sonic reproduction of the microphone.

Our many hours of research and development will bring to you many years of amazing sounds.

The BeesNeez Lily ships with suspension mount and waterproof case.

The BeesNeez Lily is priced at 1299."

Cloudlifter CL-2 Mic Activator

Introducing the Cloudlifter CL-2 Mic Activator! Now you can interface any low output passive microphone with any other phantom powered preamp. This inital boost of up to 25 db will lift your signal well above the noise floor. Regardless of the secondary preamp you are using, the Cloudlifter will make your track stand out, as if done with an expensive high-gain ribbon mic pre. The 2 channel box Cloudlifter will deliver beautiful world class intial preamplification on the go, with any phantom powered audio interface.
MSRP: $329

SUGAR BYTES - Artillery2 Effect Keyboard

Artillery2 Effect Keyboard 

 The Artillery concept is as simple as effective: Effects are assigned to keyzones and can be triggered with MIDI notes in an intuitive and extremely flexible way. This way you are able to perform hair-raising sequences, and playfully put the effects you want in the places you want, whenever you want. 

 Artillery 2 now provides 28 innovative effects and unlimited creative possibilities: turn an EQ into a multiband comp with a set of envelope followers, let a looper scratch its buffer using a stepseq, play pitched delaytimes on the keyboard, or let ringmodulator´s pitches jam along the
transients of your audio signals. Even a vocoder with internal synth is included.
 Use Artillery 2 to do magic with your tracks or live signals on stage, in your VST/AU compatible DJ software or in your studio setup.

 Artillery 2 received the 'Innovation-Award’ by Computer Music.

The Overstayer Stereo VCA compressor

The Overstayer Stereo VCA compressor is meant for creative use on the ‘way in' while tracking, and on the ‘way out’ while mixing, and anywhere in between. It has wide ranging timing controls, as well as blend and high and low frequency shelf eq boost controls, all continuously variable for quick and fluid shaping of dynamics and tone. The behavior of the compression is shapeable from gentle mix bus compression to aggressive pumping and extreme ambient and transient effects. 
RATIO - With the BEHAVIOR control set to minimum, the ratio settings are as follows:
LOW 2:1 with a gentle knee
MED 4:1
LIMIT (both switches engaged) greater than 10:1
THRESHOLD - Sets the level at which compression occurs.
GRAB - Expands the frequency range of the detector to react to the full signal bandwidth. With GRAB disengaged the signal feeding the detector is high pass filtered to react less to low frequency information.
BEHAVIOR - Alters the hardness, slope and envelope of the compression action. Increase the control from its minimum to lower settings for ‘more’ compression action and push, higher settings can produce rhythmic and creative pumping effects and can take the sound from virtually all ambience to all transients. As this control interacts with the other compression controls, it creates a large array of envelope shaping and sonic possibilities depending on the selected ratio and attack/release settings. This control is hard to explain, fun to use...
ATTACK - Continuously variable from 0.1 msec. to ~50 msec., 1 being fastest, 10 being slowest.*
RELEASE - Continuously variable from less than 0.1 sec. to ~1.1 sec, 1 being fastest, 10 being slowest.*
 *Attack and Release times vary depending on RATIO and BEHAVIOR settings
AUTO REL - (Auto Release) engages a slow release time constant for sustained program material in addition to the time constant set by the Release control. Typically when Auto Release is engaged the Release control would be set very fast to respond to shorter transient signals. 
MAKEUP - Controls the amount of gain added to make up for the compression action, continuously variable from 0 dB to +21 dB. This level is pre BLEND.
BLEND - Controls the balance between the compressed (WET) and uncompressed signal (DRY).
LF BOOST - Controls a boosting low frequency shelving equalizer, continuously variable from 0 to +15 dB at 50 Hz (or 100 Hz if LFx2 is engaged).
HF BOOST - Controls a boosting high frequency shelving equalizer, continuously variable from 0 to +12 dB at 10 kHz.
EQ OUT - Removes the EQ circuitry from the signal path
RANGE - When engaged this sets the range of the compression meter to 12 dB in 3 dB steps. When disengaged the meter range is 4 dB in 1 dB steps
IN - Engages the unit, when disengaged the unit is bypassed
AUDIO CONNECTIONS - XLR inputs and outputs, balanced pin 2 hot
Power is via an included 12VDC supply
Introductory Price $799.00 + $30 Shipping and Handling (US, Canada, Australia)

Focal SM9 $3995 ea. (available June 2011)

The SM9 monitoring speaker establishes itself as a reference thanks to the precision of the stereo image, its capacity to reproduce each of the micro details of the audio signal , as well as unconditional respect of the original dynamics.
One of the major SM9 innovations lies in the fact of offering 2 monitoring speakers in only one and unique cabinet. The SM9 is thus composed of 2 monitors: a 3 way monitor and a 2 way monitor.


Frequency response :3-way mode : 30Hz - 40kHz (+/- 3dB) / 40Hz - 20kHz (+/- 1dB) - 2-way mode (Focus) : 90Hz - 20kHz (+/- 3dB)
Maximum SPL :3-way mode : 116dB SPL (peak @ 1m) / 2-way mode (Focus) : 106dB SPL (peak @ 1m)
Input :Type / Impedance : Electronically balanced / 10 kOhms / Connector : XLR / Sensitivity : Adjustable, +4dBu or -10dBV
Bass :400W, class AB
Midrange :100W, class AB
Treble :100W, class AB
Power supplies :Local supply : 230V (3.15A fuse), 115V (6.3A) - Connection: IEC inlet and detachable power cord
Indicators :
Rear panel
Input sensitivity selector (+4dBu / -10dBV)
High-pass crossover (full range, 45, 60, 90Hz @ -6dB)
Low frequency shelving
(+/- 3dB from 30 to 250Hz per step of 0.5dB)
High frequency shelving
(+/- 3dB from 4.5 to 40kHz per step of 0.5dB)
Low frequency EQ
(+/- 3dB per step of 0.5dB @ 50Hz, Q factor = 2)
Low-mid frequency EQ
(+/- 3dB per step of 0.5dB @ 160Hz, Q factor = 1)
Mid frequency EQ
(+/- 3dB per step of 0.5dB @ 1kHz, Q factor = 0.6)
Side panel
Stand By / On switch
Direct switch
Focus switch
warning light :Power On, clipping and default on front panel LED
Passive radiator :11WPP52, 11” (27cm) Focal “W” composite sandwich cone piston, extra wide inverted surround radiator
Subwoofer :
8W7571, 8” (20cm) Focal “W” composite sandwich cone driver
Midrange :6W0452, 6.5” (16.5cm) Focal “W” composite sandwich cone driver
Tweeter :TB872, 1” pure Beryllium inverted dome tweeter
Construction :0.88”(22mm) and 1.2” (30mm) panels with internal braces
Finish :
Black natural veneering top and bottom panels, black body
Dimensions :12.8” x 19.6” x 15.6” (320mm x 490mm x 390mm)
Net weight :77lb (35kg

Music is a Beautiful thing with the Benchmark ADC16

Benchmark ADC16
16 Channel 24-bit 192kHz A/D Audio Converter

Benchmark’s philosophy is very clear: digital converters should preserve all of the glorious nuances of the source so that the listener can simply engage with the music. Benchmark’s converters are world-renowned for fulfilling this mandate.

Benchmark’s ADC16 is, yet again, another successful actualization of this philosophy. With the ADC16, Benchmark’s storied sonic purity can span across an entire multi-track recording session. This 16-channel A/D converter conquers the digital demons that plague so many converters on the market.

The ADC16 delivers the industry’s ‘Benchmark’ for performance in a package that is simultaneously full-featured, functionally flexible, intuitive, aesthetically alluring, and surprisingly affordable.
Flexibility across DAW's

The ADC16 has a slot for an optional Firewire card. With a Firewire connection to the computer, the ADC16 can operate as the sole interface to native DAW’s, including Pro Tools 9, without the need for any other hardware. Moreover, The ADC16 is completely compatible with the digital I/O interfaces of the Avid/Digidesign interfaces and other interfaces with AES, coaxial, and/or optical inputs.

The ADAT mode of the optical outputs makes the ADC16 a perfect companion for older Pro Tools LE interfaces, as well as other digital interfaces with ADAT and coaxial inputs, as it can fulfill the entire digital-input capability of the interface with state-of-the-art A/D performance.

This type of flexibility means the ADC16 can work perfectly with DAW setups from the past and the future.
Flexibility at the I/O ports

The ADC16 features 16-channels of transformerless balanced analog inputs. The analog front-end continues Benchmark’s tradition of exceptionally pristine, award-winning analog circuitry – a 27 year legacy.

Each channel of analog input has a gain control (via a trim-pot) that has a 20 dB range. At 0 dB of gain, it can accept 28 dBu at the input without clipping. At max-gain, an 8 dB input-signal will drive the converters to full-scale.

The ADC16 features very fl exible I/O routing solutions. The control panel allows the user to dictate the source (A/D or DAW) for each of the AES, coaxial, and optical digital outputs. This is very useful when the ADC16 is used in a studio with an analog console. The digital audio from the A/D chips can be sent directly to the digital outputs to a multichannel D/A to feed the console – completely bypassing the DAW. This reduces latency and DAW artifacts in real-time monitoring.

The eight optical outputs on the ADC16 can be operated in SPDIF or ADAT mode at sample-rates up to 192 kHz (ADAT has SMUX2 and SMUX4 functionality)

Precise, detailed metering

The ADC16 features 9-segment meters for each channel. These meters are single-sample accurate, so that even the shortest peaks are registered. The meters can be set to display in 6 dB increments (48 dB range) or 1 dB increments (20 dB range). In both cases, the meters can be put in ‘peak-hold’ mode, which will hold the highest-valued sample until the ‘peak-hold’ mode is reset.

New York's best hookup bars

The rainbow-hued, see-through bathroom doors at this sleek bar become opaque when locked—which of course encourages patrons to get up to all sorts of randy shenanigans. Bar manager Christopher Ferrante has seen two (and more) people exiting the unisex stalls together, and empathizes: “It’s a neat place to meet.” Loosen up at the long, curvaceous bar with a jumbo cocktail (like the $15 Tartini)—believe us, you’ll need it before tackling those Star Trek–ish love toilets. 89 Mercer St between Broome and Spring Sts (212-274-0989,
This go-to gay dive opened in 1996, and rumor has it the boys are easy (well, as easy as Chelsea gets these days). Proof of its slutdom comes in the form of homoerotic video screenings, $1 kamikaze shots every Wednesday, select two-for-one specials on weekdays and red-light-district-style lamps on the tables. But, says assistant manager David Serrano, “after a few of our strong drinks, everyone’s easy!” 275 W 22nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-645-8613,
Henrietta Hudson
With its stripper pole, dance cage and bar top doubling as a stage, most patrons at this lez bar at least reach second base. “These girls are sluts,” jokes owner Lisa Graziano. “Future ex-girlfriends is what you create here—and that’s a fact.” The $7 house drinks and two-for-one specials (weekdays 4–7pm, weekends 2–5pm) don’t encourage faithfulness either.438 Hudson St between at Morton St (212-924-3347,
Joshua Tree
This Murray Hill bar has been kicking around for 12 years and still attracts a predominantly young, postgraduate, ass-seeking crowd. With daily happy hours from noon to 8pm, ’80s music blasting from every speaker, 23 beers on draft and—oh, yeah!—singles making out everywhere, there’s a good chance you’ll end up leaving with a new friend. Confirms manager Gareth Fagan, “The success rate of people hooking up here is pretty high.” Score.513 Third Ave between 34th and 35th Sts (212-689-0058,
Miss Favela
Bem vindo a sesta! (That’s “Welcome to the party!” in Portuguese.) This cheery Brazilian bar combines seriously strong drinks (like ever-so-sweet caipirinhas, $8) with bumpin’ forromusic, ensuring that the dance floor stays sweaty and packed till the 4am closing time. 57 South 5th St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-230-4040,
A perennial spot for horny hipsters, this bar boasts all the tools necessary for an easy hookup: an upstairs lounge, a downstairs bar, a showroom with live bands and performers, and a 2–7pm happy-hour special with $4 frozen margaritas to warm you up. 158 Ludlow St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-505-3733,
R Bar
“R Bar just oozes sex,” says manager Michelle Tanhoff; it’s hard to argue with gold-topped bars, glittering chandeliers, holograms of scantily clad women, walls covered in red and black leather mixed with velvet, and four stripper poles. Drinks are $1 off every Thursday and Friday from 7 to 11pm; Wednesday is lesbian night (8pm–3am); and there’s a gay-themed party with go-go boys in the works. 218 Bowery between Prince and Spring Sts (212-334-0484,
Village Pourhouse
Shoot and score in more ways than one at this frattastic hang spot, featuring sports on the telly, 25 beers on tap, and many a rowdy game of flip cup or beer pong. With any luck, you’ll leave here the same way you left every college party: in a drunken blur, and not at all caring about tomorrow’s walk of shame. 64 Third Ave at 11th St (212-979-2337,

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350

The Mercedes-Benz SLK's problem is diminution. It's a strange old word, so I'll explain. Diminution refers to the quality or process of being reduced in size, extent or importance. It comes from the same Latin root as "diminutive" and "diminished," and neither notion does the SLK any favors. For to be diminutive is to be small and preciously sized, wee and wondrous, like a dwarf pony, or Mick Jagger. Cute, in other words.
And despite the fact that the new, third-generation SLK—the "K" stands for kurtz, German for "short"—is potent and hugely entertaining to drive, it must contend with the fact that this class of car tends to be received as, you know, adorable. Small, luxurious roadsters with a lot of style seem feminine, even a little prissy, the white tees on life's golf course. I'll use that most dreaded and impolitic of phrases: The SLK is a chick car.
It's in excellent company. Mazda's MX-5 and Porsche's Boxster register as chick cars, even though they are both insanely good driving machines. Indeed, these facts are related since a smaller car typically is also lighter, quicker and more nimble. But little comfort that is when you wheel your sky-blue SLK up to the American Legion hall and your buddies inquire about the state of your ovaries.
I know this is all monstrously sexist, except it isn't. Human beings are sexually dimorphic and our apprehension of the designed world corresponds to the difference. Men are bigger. Women's clothes and shoes are so much smaller than men's that they require a different sizing system. If for no other reason than as an artifact of evolutionary psychology, smaller things tend to strike us as more feminine and larger things seem more masculine (with the exception of RuPaul).
Mercedes's designers know all this and they have, in the years since the SLK's introduction in 1996, gradually attempted to butch it up: pronounced hood bulge, F1-inspired front fascia, more aggressive rear fascia. Hmm. Nope, still cute. With the new 2012 redesign (on sale Saturday), the designers went in a very different direction, developing a car that echoes most of the cues, the proportions, and the ratios of Mercedes's bigger (around 180 inches vs. 162.7), more expensive, and inexpressibly more masculine convertible, the SL.

Photos: Where Aggressive Meets Adorable

Small, luxurious roadsters with a lot of style seem feminine, even a little prissy, says Mr. Neil.
Now, to be clear, the next-generation SL, due in 2012, hasn't broken cover yet so I'm relying on spy shots of the car. But it seems apparent the SLK and SL will look pretty similar. Partly due to new pedestrian-safety standards, the SLK's grille is taller, more upright and collared forward past the plane of the headlamps. Ditto the SL. In both cars a single strake of brightwork divides the grille and midlines the prominent, enamel-like Mercedes star. The headlamps, the beaded LED foglamps, and the geometry of the upper and lower grille openings—what's known as the down-the-road graphics—look to be nearly identical.
Roofline, tail lamps, light contours, door height…I won't drag you through it. Suffice to say the SLK is a preview of coming SL attractions, printed on a postcard.
What could be wrong with this twinning? Isn't brand character important, especially when your brand is as august as Mercedes-Benz? Yes, but it's also a bit of a lost opportunity. Look at Audi's A4, A6 and A8, the classic one-sausage, three-lengths product strategy. They are handsome cars, true, but by now the handsomeness feels rote.
And roadsters are not sedans. They are totally optional cars, expressive of the driver, pure self-definition. And so the SLK's writ-small resemblance to the larger car will amount to a kind of status land mine. Hey, Bill bought a new SLK. Niiiice. Boy, it looks a lot like the SL. Wonder why he didn't get that? Oh yeah. Because he can't afford it!
Now tell me that's not how people think. See Bill. See Bill drive the SLK. See Bill diminished.
Is the new SLK is a good car? Yes. Actually, it's wonderful, but there's no surprise and little sport in that, is there? The car will initially be offered with three engines: two 1.8-liter turbo fours (not yet available in the U.S.); and a 3.5-liter, direct-injection V6, the SLK 350 BlueEfficiency ("BlueEfficiency" refers primarily to the company's new fuel-saving stop-start system). I spent the day bombing around Tenerife in the 302-horsepower SLK 350 and it was one of the best driving days of my life.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 BlueEfficiency

  • Base price: $65,000 (est.)
  • Price as tested: $75,000 (est.)
  • Powertrain: Naturally aspirated direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 with variable valve timing; seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters; rear-wheel drive with torque vectoring.
  • Horsepower/torque: 302 hp at 6,500 rpm/273 pound-feet at 3,500-5,250 rpm
  • Length/weight: 162.7 inches/3,397 pounds
  • Wheelbase: 95.6 inches
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds (est.)
  • EPA fuel economy: 20/29 mpg, city/highway
  • Cargo capacity: 10.1 cubic feet (top up); 6.4 cubic feet (top down)
As is its habit with new-product introductions, Mercedes debuts a cool new technology with the SLK: a tinted glass roof panel that becomes transparent at the touch of a button. A small electrical charge aligns microscopic "light valves" embedded in the glass to let in light. Mercedes calls it the "panoramic vario-roof with 'Magic Sky Control.' " Great name. And they say Germans have no sense of humor.
Small on the outside (162.7 inches long, 4.3 inches shorter than a BMW Z4), the SLK feels quite spacious once you land in the driver's seat. Stuttgart's seamstresses are working overtime on this car, double-stitching door gussets, seats (optional two-tone) and the upper dash in creamy leather. Brushed aluminum or a selection of figured wood trim finish the interior. The SLK also gets a really great, flat-bottomed steering wheel with perforated-leather grips at the 3-and-9 positions, and quadrant-style buttons for phone and car functions.
The only misstep in the SLK's interior—and this is huge—is that the two alloy air outlets in the center console, on each side of the LCD nav display, don't line up with the center stack, throwing off the entire symmetry of the dash and instruments. It was like having to walk by a crooked painting and not being able to straighten it. Unforgivable.
The SLK also debuts a system called "Airguide." To block wind tumbling into the car from behind, two roughly triangular Perspex panels pivot out from behind the headrests. And you can still get the "Windscarf" headrests that blow warm air on your neck, a system that raises the question: Is my car coming on to me?
Never mind deflecting the wind. What about deflecting the "chick car" label? The SLK has it covered. For starters, the car sounds great, with big open-throttle noises and thick overruns as throaty as a Tibetan lullaby. The SLK stock box is a seven-speed automatic with paddle-shifters, and these work quite well for manual shifting. Otherwise you can just pull the shift lever into Drive and toggle the car into Sport mode. Now the transmission anticipates corner-entry downshifts (it's watching your speed, braking and steering angle) and holds gears on long, sweeping corners, of which there are plenty on Tenerife.
Mercedes estimates 0-62-mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds and I'd be amazed if the SLK wasn't a couple ticks quicker. It certainly felt it.
My test car was equipped with the Dynamic Handling package, which includes: adaptive suspension damping; dramatically quicker steering; and torque vectoring on the rear axle. And all of it orchestrated by the car's profoundly clever suite of dynamic safety systems. The SLK has excellent bite in the front tires, massive braking, surprising lateral grip, and when you open the throttle to kick out the rear end coming out of a hairpin—there's plenty of those, too, on Tenerife—the car will oblige safely and progressively.
And then it just stops…rotating…suspended in midfishtail by the stability-control system, which has decided you've had enough fun. The car wiggles a bit, straightens out and off you go.
The only car that has managed to transcend this segment's typology of cuteness is the mean-looking BMW Z4, which you'll remember started out life as the completely precious Z3, the rainbow unicorn of German roadsters. The Z4 proves it can be done. Will the SLK do it? I don't know. It's still pretty adorable.