AF’s Weblog

April 19, 2009

Video Demo: Vintage Tools VT-Trakker Mixer

Vintage Tools presents their new VT-Trakker which they say is the sum of everything they’ve developed up to now.

To see more exclusive video demos visit Audiofanzine Videos.

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September 27, 2008

Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM review

Olympus LS-10: The Test
When Olympus, famous for their clout in the photography world, takes on the audio market, we get the LS-10, a portable digital recorder determined to stake its claim in new territory …

LS-10

Many manufacturers specialized in audio have recently released portable digital recorders, among them renowned experts like Marantz or Nagra, but also more accessible brands like M-Audio, Edirol and Zoom. There’s something for everyone and especially for all budgets. Olympus has therefore ventured into a field already populated by brands well known to audio lovers. Despite this, Olympus hopes to take advantage of its photography experience and expertise in order to find its niche in the audio world.

At first glance, the LS-10 has very interesting specs, judge for yourself – two electret microphones, a large backlit display, 2GB built-in flash memory, an SD SDHC card reader, encoding on the fly in MP3 or WMA , recording in 96 kHz wav … Add to that a nice but serious look, and construction that breathes quality, and you get a very attractive recorder … Right off the bat you’ll get the feeling of solidity and robustness: Olympus’s know-how seems undeniable here. This is clearly a notch above what some brands like Edirol or Zoom have to offer: you won’t be afraid to take the LS-10 along with you wherever you go. It’s weight, slightly more than some of its competitors, (165 grams including batteries) probably contributes to this feeling of ruggedness.

But let’s see if the little guy delivers the goods…

 

he LS-10 lets you record in three different formats: linear PCM (WAV files without loss of audio information, but relatively space consuming), MP3 (compressed format) and WMA (also a compressed format made by Microsoft). The first format allows a sampling rate of 96 kHz 24-bit, which would be suitable for ‘def’ recordings but would be totally overkill as a ‘notepad’. Mp3 format (128 Kbps to 320 Kbps) will save a lot of space, and WMA (from 64 Kbps to 160 Kbps) will be even lighter. With an integrated memory of 2 GB, the LS-01 will let you save up to 3h10mins in WAV 44.1 kHz/16 bits 17h45mins in Mp3s 256 kb/s or 69h35mins WMA 64 kb/s! That’s quite a bit of recording time, especially if you add a SD HC card (up to 8 GB) which will multiply the above times by 5!

As for autonomy, the LS-10 claims 16h recording 44.1 kHz WAV/16bits and 35h playback. Knowing that the device takes 2 AA batteries, it will be easy to take along a couple of spare batteries in your pocket … This small recorder, therefore, lets you make long recordings without having to empty the memory onto the computer or change the batteries, a good point!

In terms of inputs and outputs, there’s a mini headphone jack, a mini-jack mic input (with ‘plug-in power’ and an impedance of 2 Ohms) and a mini line input jack. It would have been nice to have one or two XLR inputs (like on the Zoom H4) to broaden the scope of the LS-10, but only MiniDisc type microphones can be used, unfortunately. Here are some examples of compatible microphones: ME30W, ME51S, ME-15, ME-52W, ME-12.

Olympus has made a nice entry into the professional audio recorder arena. One will greatly appreciate its quality of construction, its overall sound quality, its autonomy, and generous integrated memory. Of course, in certain situations, the LS-10 will be showing it limitations, for example, recording an instrument with very low frequencies. But we forgive this quite easily in view of its compactness and its numerous strengths.

Quality of construction
Sound quality
Autonomy
2GB + integrated SD card reader HC
Windscreens supplied
Integrated reverb
Looping feature
Big backlit screen
Cubase 4 LE included

No adapter for mic stands
Bass Frequency less pronounced
Volume Knob not easily adjustable
Unable to rename Files
No XLR Connections

Read the full  Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM review on Audiofanzine.

 

 

August 27, 2008

E-MU Tracker Pre USB 2 review

E-MU TRACKER PRE-USB 2.0 - AudioFanzineIn a world of myriad low-cost audio interfaces, E-MU has made a bold move with it’s new Tracker Pre USB 2.0. Though somewhat similar to it’s predecessor, the 0202 USB 2.0, the Tracker Pre has created a stir due to E-MU’s new CurrentMorph circuit design, which allows the Tracker Pre to offer +48V phantom power and the use of its converters (24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A ) while using only USB bus power! Is this the answer to the nomadic recording artist’s prayers? Here is the pros and cons

Value for the Money
Software Bundle
Preamps – value for the money
Completely USB Powered – including Phantom Power!
Drivers – Low Latency
Direct Monitoring
Inserts
Ground-Lift Switches
Versatility – Can also be used as an autonomous Preamp

Phantom Power Pop – when turned on and off
The GUI (or lack of it)
Level Indicators – could have used at least one more
Continuous Direct Monitoring Knob

Read the detailed E-MU Tracker Pre USB 2 review.

Line 6 Micro Spider review

Filed under: Guitar reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — audiofanzine @ 12:55 pm

Determined not to let Roland’s Micro Cube and Vox’s DA5 be the only contenders for portable-amp champ, Line 6 has entered the ring with its Micro Spider.

Micro Spider

Traveling with your electric guitar is not an easy task, especially if you have a heavy tube amp and no roadie. Of course, certain solutions like the POD exist, but you won’t be able to play your last song for your entourage unless you take turns with the headphones or plug the device into a hi-fi system. So you need a good sounding portable amp. That’s where battery powered mini-amps come in.

While Roland has been the undisputed champ with its Cube, Line 6 has completed its line of amps with the Micro Spider, a small 6 watt amp with a 6.5″ speaker. In order to work, it needs either a DC adapter (included), or six C batteries. With its 5 electric guitar amp models, acoustic guitar model, six effects and built-in tuner, the Micro Spider hopes to get a piece of the portable-amp pie.

Clean and Crunch sounds
Price
Integrated Tuner
Integrated Effects
Mic input
Size and Weight
Sound Power

Metal & Insane sounds
Line Out Quality
Battery cover/Rear panel
Strap

Read the full Line 6 Micro Spider review.

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