All Your Base Belongs to TC Electronic…

A few posts back I talked about the TC Electronics DVR250-DT Software reverb with a hardware controller. Again it’s an interesting concept, although one I find a bit pointless in today’s desktop production workflow.

Apparently TC Electronics wants to take up all your precious desktop real estate because they’ve released two more hybrid devices – the TC1210-DT Spacial Expander and the TC8210-DT ‘Classic Mixing Reverb’

TC1210 DT P0DE6 Right XL

TC8210 DT P0DCS Right XL

 

Look pretty similar, don’t they?

The DVR250-DT had a bit of character in that it at least tried to model the original hardware somewhat, and I guess these do resemble the old TC hardware, but I’m still wondering why they think that having a bunch of different controllers scattered on your workspace is a good idea. Wouldn’t it be better to make a ‘generic’ effects controller that would operate many TC plugins both current and future? Maybe come up with a clever way to use an iPad as the control surface? Maybe just concentrate on the software?

(And to repeat part of my last post on this, what these control are not things that you automate very often and when you do they are very easy to work with in a DAW.)

I’m not knocking TC here. I have a couple of their older firewire audio interfaces and I think they work and sound great. I have a few of their plugins that I will happily say the same thing about. But this kind of thinking is just idiotic. Not all of us have consoles. Most of us have small setups to do our production and tracking and mixing. 

The era of the ‘big studio with lots of twinkly lights and twisty knobs’ has been replaced by systems we can fit in a backpack and work just about anywhere for over a decade now, so these are not marketed at the big studios – they are being pushed to the masses. I don’t have (or want) a bunch of controllers at my desk. Your mileage may vary, but this concept is cool and forward-thinking in a twisted way and apparently with no end…

C’mon TC – give me a great DAW controller that will handle channels and effects in an ‘all-in-one’ small package. And since you’re now owned by Behringer, aim it around their X-Touch One – I have one and it’s about the perfect size for a small setup – and doesn’t need a 50-port USB hub.

Moog One

Moog going Apple?

Just think about that for a minute…

The new Moog One looks amazing, and has the specs to back it up. For a $6000 starting price, it had better!

This is a high-end machine for players who can afford it.

It’s the 512 Gigabyte iPhone XS Max or the iMac Pro for the hardcore analog synthesis set.

It’s the updated Memorymoog – hopefully without all the hardware issues.

Nothing wrong with that.

But the rest of us will make due with our virtual analog VST’s or our Euroracks or our Behringer Model D’s.

And maybe perhaps one day we’ll be able to pick one of these up on the used market for a decent price.

Only to realize that it didn’t make our music any better or the hit come any quicker.

And there’s nothing wrong with that either.

I’d love to have one, but I can buy a lot of things with six grand.

Gearnews has the skinny here.

TC Electronic DVR-250DT

So a few days ago, TC Electronic dropped their version of the EMT250 Digital Reverb unit. It’s software-based and comes with a clever little USB controller:

DVR250 DT P0DCR Top XL

Released in 1976, the original 250 was a behemoth of a thing with server-sized circuitry (as well as a server-class weight approaching 100 pounds) with incredibly cool shifter-like controls to change reverb times, predelay, and output levels. TC’s version emulates these with ‘lollipop’ bedecked up/down toggle switches and a compliment of buttons for the main effect types and led graphs for reverb input and output levels.

I’ve never used one personally, but have worked on sessions with one and it’s still a useful unit with a ‘classic’ sound that still commands several thousand dollars in the used market (remember, it is *vintage*) 🙂Iu

For a street price of around $350, the TC DVR-250DT is a pretty nice little system, but ultimately leads me to the question of ‘Why?’

Reverbs are abundant in the DAW-sphere. Every one of them includes at least one if not a handful of very usable ones, and you can find hundreds more in every color and flavor either for free or much cheaper than this (granted without a dedicated controller). If you’re part of the Universal Audio ecosystem, they make a stunning replica of the 250 for around $100 less or even cheaper depending on what sale they have running (of which they have a lot over a year).

But this still doesn’t answer the ‘Why?’ question.

If this was an EQ, or a compressor, or some kind of Modulation (Chorus/Flange/Phase/etc.) processor I would understand having a controller box to access the controls. If this was a rack processor (or my computer was not close to a mixer or control surface – and who does that these days?) then I could see wanting a controller box to access the controls.

But truth be told a reverb is not something that is difficult to set up or automate on a computer screen. 

Yeah, you might tweak around a bit when creating or mixing, but reverbs are pretty simple processors. You find a time that works with the material you want reverberated, pick a type like Plate or Hall or Room, and maybe poke around with some Predelay or tonality. These are not really parameters that a separate control surface will make easier to use for most modern producers. It’s handy, but ultimately another device fighting for space on your desktop and a spot in the USB Hub.

I might grab one if the prices go down a bit, but if they make one for a great EQ or Multiband Compressor they can have my money yesterday.

Sound Designing for Modern Things®

Just caught this over at Create Digital Music:

http://cdm.link/2018/09/jaguar-richard-devine/

I half-jokingly predicted this over a decade ago that as silent (i.e.: Electric) transportation becomes more and more prevalent Sonic Artistes could ply their wares by providing different ‘soundtracks’ and ‘sonic signatures’ for the drivers and passengers. Richard Devine to the vanguard. 

(But Srsly Richard? A Flash-based website? In 2018?)

I’m personally holding out for laser and or particle-beam devices to come of age. That’s my Sonic Specialty. 🙂

Anywho, always good to read about, and something to think about for the Modern Sound Designer.

Izotope RX 7

Izotope dropped RX 7 today, adding Music Rebalancing, Vocal Removal/Isolation, and a new Repair Assistant to its suite of audio correction tools.

RX is one of those pieces of software that I don’t use often, but is a lifesaver when you need it for fixing dialog issues or removing anomalies like extraneous sounds or clicks or pops (Audiocasters should look into this if you haven’t already just for the Breath Control feature alone). It’s a nice update to a solid audio repair and enhancement toolkit, with tiers available from the casual user to the professional audio, movie, or television Post-Production engineer.

All the info you need here.

What really intrigues me is though is the latest update to their Insight metering program, which is unparalleled for measuring Loudness (LU), Sound Field, Spectrogram, and other audio analysis functions. Insight is not something for everyone (although the new version is less than half the price of the original), but for those of us who need accurate reporting of audio spectra it’s money well spent.

These updates are happening yearly from the Isotope crew, and it’s great to see consistent for all all of their products. 🙂

Roland Boutique TR-08: The Missing Manual

Having owned four of the original TR-808’s, I can tell you that the original manual was packed with information and explanation. Today’s trend of poster-sized, multi-fold, multi-lingual instruction sheets pales by comparison. Even a downloadable PDF from the website is better than what comes in the box (usually…) 🙂

Sure, you can head over to the Tube of You’s and dig for some visual info and tips and tricks (and twelve gazillion unboxing videos), but having a well-crafted quick and handy guide to look if you get stuck or don’t understand something is an absolute necessity with a lot of music (and tech) gear.

I love my little TR-08, and although it operates very much like it’s older brother it does have some new tricks up its sleeve so I have to dig out that poster to remember what they do and how to get them to function. This will become my new go-to for that – thanks Sunshine Jones!

Go here for the manual, and you can also click the ‘non-fiction’ tab in his Nav Bar to find more Missing Manuals and other goodies. What great gifts to the community.

Kudos to Matrixsynth for the find.