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4 Interesting Products You Might Have Missed at AES 139

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I had the opportunity to attend the 139th AES Conference in New York City from October 29th – November 1st. As with any industry trade show, there were a lot of interesting products on display.

Here are four cool products I saw at AES that may have flown under the radar for many people:

1. NYRV

From the demonstration I saw at AES, the NYRV plug-in is the ultimate utility tool for the Digital Audio Workstation. It’s a single plug-in that can host other AU/VST plug-ins to create custom channel strips. This is helpful for Pro Tools users because the AAX version of NYRV can host AU/VST plug-ins in Pro Tools.

User presets can be saved of instances of NYRV allowing an engineer to instantly recall combinations of plug-ins and settings. More and more developers are including this kind of functionality with their own plug-ins (Waves Studio Rack, Soundtoys Effects Rack, Slate VMR), but it is cool to see a plug-in that can do the same type of thing across many developers.

Besides just allowing one engineer to save their favorite “channel strip” presets, NYRV may be really helpful for collaborating engineers who use different DAWs. This is because the NYRV presets can be created and loaded in any DAW, allowing processing chains to be imported into Logic, Pro Tools, Live, etc.

Furthermore, NYRV allows you to customize the interface of the channel strip to only include the parameters that you want to tweak. I can only imagine how helpful this could be for speeding up workflow and removing distracting clutter on the screen.

Lastly, NYRV can be controlled externally using a hardware controller. If you are looking for tactile control for any of your favorite plug-ins, NYRV may be the simplest way to get there.

2. Zynaptiq Morph 2

I saw a demonstration of two separate Zynaptiq plug-ins: Morph and Unmix Drums. Both of these products have already been released and are currently available for sale.

Morph is a plug-in that allows the signal characteristics of two separate sound sources to be morphed. One example demonstrated to me was the blending of two different complete mixes. The plug-in accomplished something much more advanced and interesting than simple amplitude blending. I couldn’t help but think of DJs, and all the creative possibilities a tool like this would open up.

I also heard a demonstration of a man’s voice morphed with a dog’s growl. The result was a cinematic evil voice that made me smile when the presenter switched back and forth between the original sounds and the processed sound. If you’re a sound effects guy or girl, this plug-in seems like a no-brainer.

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Besides just these specific situations, there seemed to be unlimited creative potential for musicians, producers, and engineers to experiment and create cool sounds.

3. Zynaptiq Unmix Drums

Unmix Drums is a plug-in that processed an incoming signal and isolated the transient, drum information. The demonstration I observed was where a full mix was fed into the plug-in. Then the engineer could isolate the drums from the rest of the mix. One use for this would be to remove the drums. A different use would be to turn up the drum’s amplitude relative to the rest of the mix.

If you are an engineer that regular receives printed stems of music and vocals from your clients, then this plug-in will be a lifesaver. This plug-in will allow you to isolate key components of your music stem for separate processing (compressing/equalization/etc).

Before the conference, I was not very familiar with the Zynaptiq product line. The product demonstrations for Morph and Unmix Drums were very impressive. It’s excited to see developers creating completely new types of plug-ins that take advantage of new advances in digital signal processing.

4. Zylia AudioImmersion

Zylia was demonstrating a single recording device with 32 microphone capsules in a small, spherical ball. By simultaneously recording 32 different signals from this single device, there many potential benefits to music production process.

One use is the ability to isolate various sounds that are captured from different directions by the device. Therefore, a group of acoustic instruments could be performing together in the same room, at the same time, and post-processing could be used to isolate each of the instruments into separate stems for mixing.

If you like the idea of musicians being able to feed off each other during recording, this microphone device could give you the best of both worlds: clean, separate performances for mixing without iso-rooms during tracking.

Conceptually, this microphone device may bring back the old-school, single-microphone-in-a-room technique for recording.

Although I imagine this product is pretty complicated (and expensive) to start using, I could see the creative potential and power of such a device. I have seen a similar type of device used previously for acoustic measurement, but I am excited to see what can happen if this device is applied for new music recording/production techniques.

Eric Tarr

Eric Tarr

Eric Tarr is a musician, audio engineer, and producer based in Nashville, TN. Currently, he is a Professor of Audio Engineering Technology at Belmont University.

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