Neyrinck V-Control Pro – controller for your audio and video media applications

Every software eventually needs a facelift. During NAB 2013, we caught up with Paul Neyrinck to talk about the additional feature of the V-Control app for iPad or iPad mini.

I use the V-Control app on my iPad to control my Pro Tools system. It allows me to rest my hand from mousing around all day. It is more affordable solution instead of a hardware controller which can also take up some desktop space.

Of course, the main purpose of the V-Control to change volumes on my session. Thanks to the multi finger grab functionality which enables me to control more than one fader at a time. Definitely not possible when using the mouse.

I also love using the programmable softkeys which definitely speed things up recalling all my favorite functionality. Having a touch screen is definitely an advantage as it allows me to focus more on playing instead of fiddling around with key commands.

So with the addition of new software support like the Adobe Premiere, the V-Control Pro is a very powerful tool to have specially for users who has a dual role as an audio and video editor.

The V-Control Pro has interchangeable skins so familiarity with the environment should be a breeze. There is also not too much learning curve involved since you’re already familiar with your favorite application.

For lists of all available applications supported, visit

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+ Condenser Microphone

Everyday, there are tons of USB mic being released out in the market with podcasters in mind. Audio-Technica just released AT2020 USB+ that will appease some of the bedroom broadcasters out there.

The AT2020 USB+ Microphone is base on their critically acclaimed condenser mic, the AT2020. It is also an updated version from the previous AT2020 USB Mic. So what’s new in the plus model? The direct monitoring within the mic results in no latency which is ideal for musicians who needs to be in sync with their performance.

The AT2020 USB+ has a built-in headphone jack with volume control. It also has a Mix control that blends the mic signal and pre-recorded audio. Basically, the mic itself serves as a digital interface for your DAW. Really beneficial specially when recording music.

Another interesting feature is the fixed charge back plate which allows the capsule to be detached from the power source. This makes the AT2020 USB+ become superior for transient response. In addition, this mic also features extended frequency response & low self noise.

The AT2020 USB+ is literally a plug & play unit. This side-addressed microphone with USB output is compatible both on Windows & Mac using the native class compliant drivers.

Additioanl specs:

Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Bit Depth: 16
Sample Rate: 44.1/48 kHZ
Headphone Jack: 3.5mm or 1/8″ TRS (Stereo)

Find prices here for the AT2020 USB+ Mic

Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphone Review

The Tascam TH-02 Studio Headphones are seriously inexpensive cans that can be had for around $30. Perfect for bedroom musicians or music junkies who’s in a tight budget.

It surely doesn’t sound like its price tag. The frequency response are pretty even across the spectrum listening to different genre of music. The highs are pretty clear and the bass is full but not accentuated like some other brands.

The ear muffs and padded headbands are made of vinyl type material but they don’t look cheap and it feels durable. It is pretty comfortable wearing it as it can be resized for different head shapes. It comes with a non interlocking 3.5mm to 1/4″ adapter and is available in two different color (black or white).

The packaging is plain and simple so it doesn’t have any carrying pouch and other goodies but its understandable due to its price point. Lacking some of these extra stuff in lieu of the sonic quality is something most users would rather have. I would! No frills, just a good sounding headphone.

Additional Features:
Driver Diameter: 50mm
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 98 dB ± 3dB
Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 22 kHz
Max Input Power: 600 mW
Cable Length: 9.8ft (3m) when fully extended

Find prices here for the Tascam HT-02 Studio Headphone

MXL FET Genesis Microphone at NAB 2013

At the recent NAB 2013 event, we caught up with Adam Cameron of MXL to show us their new condenser MXL Genesis FET Microphone.

The MXL Genesis FET Condenser Microphone is designed to replicate the previous series of MXL Genesis Tube Condenser line but with the solid state electronics instead. The idea behind it is to benefit from the low noise of the FET circuitry while harnessing the warm sound character of a tube microphone.

The MXL Genesis FET is ideal for vocal application or any source that has a very fast transient. Sporting a metal finish red body and a gold grill, it comes with a shockmount, a metal mesh pop filter, microfiber cleaning cloth & a wooden box case.

Slated to ship later this year, the MXL Genesis FET is definitely something I need to get my hands on to see what the fuzz is all about. Stay tune for some audio samples.

Additional specs:

Type: Pressure gradient 32mm capsule
Diaphragm: Gold-sputtered, 6 micron diaphragm
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Polar pattern: Cardioid
Impedance: 150 ohms
Max SPL:140 dB
S/N Ratio: 81 dB (Ref. 1 Pa A weighted)
Dynamic Range: 127 dB
Power Requirements: Phantom Power 48V +/- 4V
Weight: 0.95lbs/431g
Size: 47mm x 225mm / 1.85 inches x 8.86 inches

MXL Genesis Tube Microphone

MH510 Session Headphones by CAD Audio

Searching for a pair of quality cans with exceptional isolation and want something stylish at the same time, check out the Session MH510 Headphones by CAD Audio. With its sonic quality & accessories, it rivals other headphones that are in much higher price range.

The MH510 headphones comes with two sets of cables (straight & coiled), extra pair of ear pads in addition to the default leather set, a leather carrying pouch and a 3.5mm to 1/4 inch stereo gold-plated adapter. There are 4 color choices: black, white/red, black/orange & black/chrome.

Additional specs:

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 24,000Hz
SPL: 103dB
Impedance: 26Ω
Maximum Input: 300mW
Driver Size: 50mm Neodymium
Cable Length: 10 feet (straight) 3.5+ (coiled)

CAD Audio MH510 Sessions Headphones

Audio-Technica AT5040 Condenser Microphone

Looking to dish out some dough for a fine piece of gear, check out the AT5040 Condenser Microphone by Audio-Technica. The AT5040 is the ultimate studio vocal microphone offering remarkably high-fidelity performance, extremely smooth highs and pure sound. With its debut at the AES 2012, Gary Boss showed us the why this microphone belongs in the elite class.

Key features of the AT5040:

-Large condenser side address microphone with cardiod pattern

-Four exquisitely matched ultra-thin diaphragms function together (with outputs proprietarily summed)

-Every single AT5040 is hand built and individually inspected for 100% quality control.

-An advanced internal shock mount that decouples the capsule from the microphone body.

-It comes with the Audio-Technica’s new AT8480 shock mount for additional isolation.

-High-SPL capability and extended frequency response

-Extremely low noise floor

Frequency response:

AT5040 Condenser Microphone by Audio-Technica

JPC Stereo PC DI Box by Radial

Lately, I’ve been encountering a lot musicians that uses their laptops, DJ gear or any IOS devices as part of their setup either to trigger sounds or some kind of virtual instruments. Using the headphones outputs causes all kinds of havoc when connected to a balanced system. Plus, the physical connection is always a concern having to find the right adaptor.

Radial’s JPC Stereo PC DI Box is perfect for this kind of setup. It is robustly constructed just like their other J series DI boxes. The JPC is an active box with isolated input transformers that prevents noise, like those pesky 60 cycle hum, while allowing impedance conversion and long cable runs.

For inputs, it has a pair of unbalanced 1/4 inch jacks, 2 pairs of RCA phono, one for input and another one for a thru put, and a stereo 3.5mm mini jack socket. There’s a -10 db pad to attenuate incoming hot signal from overloading your input.

For outputs, there’s a pair of XLR sockets which require a phantom power. A pair of LEDs serve as an indicator when phantom power is present. So next time you encounter a laptop or an iPhone as a playback device during a gig, the JPC Stereo PC DI Box is something you need to have in your arsenal of DI boxes for buzz free connection.

JPC Stereo PC DI Box

Nano Patch Volume Attenuator by SM Pro

The Nano Patch is a volume attenuator for any analog signal coming from your DAW interface, soundcards or mixers. It connects in between your source and your powered monitors. This device alleviates you from changing your master volume within the software and if your interface is rack mounted and not within reach, the Nano Patch can sit on top of your desktop where you don’t need to leave the sweet spot during mixdown.

The Nano Patch is a passive unit so it doesn’t have any circuitry, transistors or any buffering stage and it also doesn’t need a power supply or battery to operate it. It uses a high quality potentiometer which means it’ll pass the signal more accurately and it is much better than most built-in volume control found on most DAW interfaces.

It has balanced XLR/TRS combo for input jacks and TRS 1/4″ for outputs. It has a mute switch right next to a good sized rotary volume knob which travels pretty smoothly. The unit excepts line level but you can also use it with your iPhone or iPad. The Nano Patch is a simple & transparent unit for monitoring your analog signal without compromising the audio resolution.

Nano Patch Volume Attenuator

AKG D1000E as an alternative to Shure SM57 for snare mic.

A lot of us engineers are always trying to find different ways on how to capture audio. Mic selections are always a key ingredient when it comes to that. The Shure SM57 is for sure the go to microphone when it comes to snare drum. Others just simply avoid using it just because of the fact that it has become the universal snare mic. There are definitely other contenders out there.

So I throw to you the AKG D1000. Some says it should’ve gotten more notice than its counterpart but the truth is, its just been forgotten. So I decided to put the AKG D1000 head to head with the Shure SM57 to hear it for myself. I’ll keep my opinion to myself and let you guys be the judge to see if the AKG D1000 can truly be a substitute for the king of the snare mic, the Shure SM57.

Both the Shure SM57 and the AKG D1000 have a cardioid pattern but the AKG D1000 have different modes: B, M and S. B with low frequency boost, M with more mid range & S for a brighter & sharper tone.

The AKG D1000 is no longer in production but there’s plenty of them on eBay that can be had for as low as $20. I’ve recorded a snare drum using the SM57 and the AKG D1000 in 3 modes for comparison. I have my preference but your ears will be the ultimate deciding factor as always.

Shure SM57

AKG D1000 on B mode

AKG D1000 on M mode

AKG D1000 on S mode

AKG D1000

Shure SM57

Review of the Rode iXY Stereo Microphone

Rode released a stereo microphone for your IOS device earlier this year. It is simply called iXY, which the name implies, a stereo microphone in X/Y configuration. The Rode iXY Microphone is compatible with iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch.

It is a great product if you don’t want to carry another recording device because you can easily turn any of your “i” device as a portable audio recorder. It comes with a windscreen & having a protective case makes it really easy to carry around. It connects via the 30 pin docking connector and there’s a green LED as an indicator that the mic is activated.

Having an X/Y configuration, two 1/2 inch cardioid microphone are permanently angled in 90 degrees for phase coherency and a true stereo depth of field recording. The iXY has a built in high quality A/D converter and can record up to 24 bit/96kHz sample rate. You will need the Rec HD app, available from iTunes, to get up to 96kHz & the option for 48kHz which is standard for video. There’s also free Rec LE app available and it has plenty enough of features to do your basic recording.

One thing that is great about having an app in your IOS device is the option to upload files in the cloud in a snap. The Rec LE has the option for uploading to Soundcloud & iTunes but the Rec HD version has additional options like Dropbox & other web browsing goodies. In addition, the Rec HD app also has a lot more file export options, it has a built in signal processing by Izotope, timeline markers, variable playback speeds, EQ, Dynamics and the ability to edit the files within the app and more.

For a price tag of $199, one can simply say that there are other audio solution in the market that is worth having instead. However, if you need a stereo microphone with high fidelity A/D converter, file sharing options in an instant & one less gadget to carry around, the iXY might just be right for you.

Rode iXY Stereo Microphone