Already time for AES again! Man, time flies. Unfortunately I won’t be attending it this year. The worst part about that isn’t necessarily that I can’t go around molesting the latest gear, but that I’ll miss all the kickass parties I’ve been invited to! Oh well. I’ll of course do my best to cover the news, and hopefully some friendly dude or dudette will supply me with some floor footage as well (if you’re going and is interested, let me know).

In the meantime, here are some of the AES news that have dropped into my mailbox over the last few weeks.

SPL will showcase their first line of plug-ins, which they call “Analog Code plug-ins”. The Transient Designer and a set of three EQs (Vox Ranger, Bass Ranger and Full Ranger, based on the passive graphic equalizers of the SPL RackPack) will be available as RTAS, VST and AU versions. TDM versions are soon to follow.

They will also show a new monitor controller called 2Control.

Elysia will show their new musical equalizer, Musiq. It’s still just a prototype but it could still be worth taking a peek at… Well, that’s of course if you’re the richest bastard on the block. I wouldn’t expect a new EQ from Elysia to go for cheap. But go ahead and look… You rich bastard 😉

TL Audio, the company passionate about tube, has choose to reveal a firewire interface for M1-F 8 and 12 channel consoles and Fat Track. It’s called the DO-F. Catchy name.

SSL will continue to expand their modular X-Rack/Mynx systems with two new additions. “Better stay on the safe side and recycle”, SSL might have thought to themselves as they decided the next two models would be SSL 4000 E Series EQ as well as the E Series Dynamics Module (featuring a Compressor/Limiter and an Expander/Gate).

But not so! Because a new plug-in for Duende will also make it’s way to the booth, namely Vocalstrip. It’s said to “Combining powerful EQ and dynamics sections with essential vocal processors, Vocalstrip is designed to bring power, character and clarity to vocal tracks”. Mhpfhfgn… We’ll see.

That’s it for the more humble studio, but SSL got something for the big boys as well. MadiXtreme is SSL’s new PCIe I/O interface. MadiXtreme will offer either 64 or 128 channels of digital I/O via MADI Optical connection and is intended for connecting the DAW with your console.

The AWS 900+ console has also been updated to AWS 900+ SE and now includes the MIDI over Ethernet system introduced this year with the SSL Matrix console. This, in SSL’s words, will remove the need for a separate MIDI interface. AWS 900+ SE will also include SSL’s Logictivity browser software, a DAW host computer based project management browser application. Logictivity facilitates TR and AWSomation data storage and streamlined offline configuration capabilities including scribble strip naming.

Auralex continues on creating environmentally friendly products with the introduction of EcoTech, their first green acoustical panel. Earlier this year, they announced the first green acoustical foam product on the market, Eco-Friendly StudioFoam. Gotta support that.

Another company that wants you to go green in McDSP. From what I understand they won’t show any new products, but will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary with desserts and schwag giveaways.

Back to hardware, Daking will show Mic Pre One, basically a single channel of the Mic Pre IV.

Tonelux is introducing their first product in an all new line of rack-mounted gear. First out is the EQUALUX EQ, the equivalent of EQ4P. Also to be introduced is the DYNALUX Compressor, a two-channel version of the TXC compressor, with many added linking and control features. A dual mic pre is also in the works.

If microphones are of interest then… Well, you’ll probably see a shitload new ones! One of the more expensive kind is “the Church microphone” from Pearlman, probably not named so because it fits best in churches, but because it’s a remake of the Stanley Church microphone from the 50’s.

If you want a slightly smaller frame on your microphone, the 3.3 mm Sennheiser MKE 1 clip-on microphone might be of interest.

If you’re a shallow bling-blinger, Neutrik has XLR’s decorated with Swarovski crystals called crystalCON.

Things are getting out of hand here with clip-ons and bling-ons. So let’s have a look at some more ordinary things, like monitors. FAR (a company I have never heard of, did I miss something?) will be demonstrating their XM range digitally controlled active monitors.

Perhaps a more known monitor company is PMC who will showcase a range of monitors, including the IB2S Three-way Midfield Cabinet, MB2S Medium-Format Cabinet and “ultimate-performance” BB5 XBD-A Large-Scale Reference Monitoring System. Besides making interesting monitors, they’re obviously dedicated to come up with names that nobody could ever remember as well.

Jazzmutant will release the public beta of the v2 firmware update for Lemur with the full version released Q4 2008. The full update will be free. I haven’t tried the Lemur, but it looks like V2 will have some rather interesting improvements.

Digidesign then. Most people, and me along with them, expect Pro Tools 8 to show at AES. I’m of course looking forward to see it. As usual it’s said to contain massive MIDI updates, which in my book really doesn’t mean squat since every major update of Pro Tools has said to contain that for since as long as I can remember (my memory stretches back to v.5). Not saying Digidesign hasn’t made improvements in this area, because they have, I’m just saying “don’t expect Logic”. I also hope for elastic pitch to show it’s face now to wipe the smirk off the elastic audio nay-sayers (ignorant people).

By the way, I definitely expect new hardware as well.