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November 12, 2007

Table of Contents

Review: VASST TrakPaks, Vol. 1-4
Studio Time: Jeff Natalie's ErieKIDS and J Michael Films
ProShow Producer3-Compatible Animations from ShowStoppersFX.com
Artbeats Debuts Under the Sea 3 and Babies at HD EXPO 2007
Mammoth HD - RED Spoken Here
"Goodman’s Guide" to Panasonic's AJ-HDX900 DVCPRO HD Camera Now Available
Verbatim Announces World's First Color-background LightScribe DVDRs
M-Audio Releases GForce Virtual String Machine
M-Audio Debuts Studiophile Q40 Headphones
PYRO AV Announces New HDMI2SDI Mini-Converter At Government Video & Technology Expo 2007

Review: VASST TrakPaks, Vol. 1-4

As we all know, there is a wide variety of royalty-free music available, much of it tailor-made for use in video projects. Unfortunately, a lot of it sounds like "canned music," is very expensive to license, is not flexible or customizable enough to meet our needs, or requires special software plugins that can be somewhat cumbersome or complicated to use.
At the time of this writing (late September), I’m currently working on a short promotional video for a repeat corporate client. They didn’t want the expensive licensed music that we sometimes use, and I felt like I was running out of options with what was in my royalty-free library for this particular piece. Along came a review copy of TrakPaks (Vol. 1–4), a new collection of royalty-free music selections VASST/Sundance Media Group designed specifically for video soundtrack production, and its arrival proved to be a very timely event!

Each TrakPak DVD has at least seven full arrangements along with segments of those selections, such as intros, endings, and all the stuff that goes in between. Each song is similar enough to the others on the disc that they can be pieced together seamlessly and can loop for as long as you need them to. This makes it easy to customize your track to fit your video.

Currently available TrakPak DVDs include Vol. 1, Pianos and Pads; Vol. 2, Guitars and Pads; the confusingly numbered Vol. 3, Static Impulse Vol. 1; and Vol. 4, Hall of Shadows. Each DVD is sold separately for $89, but you can currently buy all four volumes for $200. All selections on the discs are 16-bit/48KHz WAV files. VASST will be releasing four or five more volumes, including Vol. 5 & 6, Modern Incidentals Vol. 1 & 2 (shipping by the time this article goes to print); Vol. 7, Black Tie Piano; Vol. 8, Mellow Grooves; and Vol. 9, Static Impulse Vol. 2.

Working with TrakPaks To use a TrakPak, you literally copy each piece from the DVD onto your computer, then import what you want into your NLE. No plugin required. I currently use Premiere Pro CS3, and each piece of music I imported came into my Premiere Pro project just fine without requiring any sort of rendering. If you need to customize your piece, you just drop the segments onto the timeline and butt them up against each other. If you have Adobe Audition, there are markers every 2 seconds where you can cut or copy chunks of music for a really customized piece of music!

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VASST products have often been closely identified with Sony and particularly Sony Vegas, though the diversified product lines they’ve accumulated in recent years have made that close identification less relevant. VASST notes that there are some minor advantages to working with TrakPaks in Vegas (as well as SoundForge and Cinescore): Because each musical bar line is represented by an Event media marker, you can use those markers to make precise edits and pinpoint clip alignments. Each disc also includes sample Vegas project files (.veg) that illustrate how to use TrakPak selections effectively in Vegas projects.

Special perks for Vegas users aside (and you can get the same benefit when working in Audition), TrakPaks is very much an application-independent tool, and VASST says it will integrate easily with other NLEs, which was certainly my experience in using it with Premiere Pro.

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About the Traks and Paks
As for the specific volumes of TrakPaks currently on the market at press time (all of which I received for review), Volume One, Pianos and Pads, and Volume Two, Guitars and Pads, are full of what I would call heartwarming and sweet music tracks that are good for emotional videos and weddings. All the arrangements are available with either just the one (real) instrument alone or with a string or synth pad.

Volume 3, Static Impulse, features electronic/techno selections with strong beats and effects. This music is well-suited to high-energy videos such as sports and fast-paced promo pieces. Each piece has a slightly different beat, so there are tons of options for customizing these pieces. Volume 4, Hall of Shadows, is dramatic and mysterious. These tracks are available either with or without a backbeat. This music is suspenseful and a bit on the eerie side.

Playing by Ear
I’m not a musician by any stretch of the imagination; although I did play the clarinet in seventh grade (I was pretty bad, too). But being a videographer means I need to listen closely and edit effectively to a wide variety of music—and trust me, I’ve heard and worked with a lot.

To me, the quality of TrakPaks seems top-notch. You can hear real instruments in there, which is certainly not always the case with buyout music and loops, although even at this unusually high level of quality there is still, to my ears, a very slight "canned" feel to a few of the pieces.

That said, at $89 per DVD, or $200 for all four volumes, the cost seems very fair for what you get: high-quality music that is easy to customize and loop within your NLE, and will integrate well into your video productions.

Laura Randall (info at edit1media.com), an award-winning videographer, popular speaker at videography conventions, and 2006 EventDV 25 honoree, runs award-winning Seattl-area studio Edit1Media with her husband, Chris.

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Studio Time: Jeff Natalie's ErieKIDS and J Michael Films

Raised in a 100% Sicilian family, Jeff Natalie learned from a young age the importance of having strong family relationships and the effect those relationships have not only on the family itself, but the surrounding community as well. Natalie credits his parents with instilling in him traditional European values, which include the necessity to work through issues as they arise. He also credits his father for his heightened awareness of the sacrifices necessary to have a successful family life. "My father worked two jobs to provide the life he thought we deserved," Natalie recalls, "and he knew he did not have a choice in the matter. And there are some things in life you do not have a say in." And referring to the direction he’s taken in his own adult life, as a videographer and founder of a nonprofit organization called ErieKIDS, Natalie says, "I will never not have enough energy for helping kids."

The values Natalie learned from his parents led him to a career in psychotherapy focused on therapy for children and families. After going into private practice in 1998, Natalie found himself with the time to give presentations in the community covering common issues with children and families and how to deal with them successfully. But it was at the suggestion of his wife, Leslie, that he decided to go beyond the talks and give a name and structure to what he did. The result: ErieKIDS.

ErieKIDS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help families to change in response to children’s mental health issues, and to advocate change in the community. "ErieKIDS" stands for Emotional Resilience through Information and Entertainment with Knowledge, Involvement, Discipline, and Support. "There are families that do not know how to be a family," Natalie says. "There is a loss of parenting skills, there is a confusion of roles and whose responsibility it is to parent a child, and what children actually need in terms of direction."

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Natalie wants to use ErieKIDS as a means to reach out to the community and create a context for families to learn how to create a successful environment within the family unit. ErieKIDS uses many outlets as tools to achieve its goal, such as community education through its website, training sessions for both families and community counselors, and children’s mental health videos.

Natalie believes that the videos are the future and success of ErieKIDS. All of the videos are musically based and carry the same core cast of characters. Intended audiences are children in the pre-kindergarten to grade 6 age range—a fairly wide range for targeted educational material. "We were amazed at how much the younger children understood," Natalie says, "and that the older children notice the more subtle messages embedded in the videos."

The videos’ topics go back to his original community talks, introducing the importance of family structure, childhood anger, childhood depression, and childhood anxiety. Natalie has already completed videos covering the first two topics, Lost in Erie and Emily Gets Angry. A third video, In the Middle, is now in production. Natalie says, "There was no intention to go beyond the first movie, but the response spurred us to do the second, then the third, and to hopefully finish the whole series."

In the Middle
ErieKIDS’ latest video project, In the Middle, deals with the important topic of childhood depression caused by divorce. The opening scene depicts the parents of the main character, Ari, signing divorce papers. The story progresses through typical issues caused by the changes that arise in broken households. It also deals with concerns such as warring and self-absorbed parents that cause children to feel lost and isolated. Through its musical numbers and carefully worded dialogue, Ari, and hopefully viewers in similar situations, learn that they are not alone and that there is hope and help to be had.

figure 1"We are trying to show that high-conflict divorce is really the norm," Natalie says. "Kids that are going through tough fights between their parents often get lost in the turmoil. And while I will not give away the ending, it is not a ‘mom and dad get back together’ solution. We want to show what is real."

The Videography Dream Team
To fund ErieKIDS and the production of the videos, Natalie started an Erie County, Pennsylvania-based event videography business called J Michael Films. J Michael Films produces television, radio, and print ads, along with wedding and event videos. Currently, the studio produces about 15 events a year.

In his time spent producing videos for J Michael Films, Natalie continually looks to VideoUniversity.com for inspiration and assistance. Through VU, Natalie has connected with many successful videographers—many of whom he has turned to for help in making the ErieKIDS videos. Those who have lent a hand include Steve and Laura Moses of Vantage Point Productions, Mark and Trisha Von Lanken of Picture This Productions, Laura and Chris Randall of Edit 1 Media, and Jenn Moak of Images by Moak. All of these videographers, Natalie says, "have a finger on the pulse of what is beautiful in our society today, and they also get the mission of ErieKIDS and its importance in the community."

Each contributes to ErieKIDS videos in different ways, Natalie says. Steve Moses supplies sound and intelligent advice. Laura Moses helps with details, such as suggesting specific scene re-shoots. Similarly, Mark Von Lanken offers shooting suggestions and also helps with voiceovers and sound. Randall, says Natalie, "just knows things that make small changes, but a big difference."

Finally, there is Moak, who Natalie considers his mentor, saying, "She gives tough advice in a productive way." Overall, Natalie considers these videographers "a perfect team" and admits with no hesitation that their "range of responses has made the movies better."

The Technical Stuff
The shooting of Natalie’s event work differs from the ErieKIDS videos in that for the latter he is going for "the film look," as opposed to the "documentary feel" he shoots for with his event videography. He attributes the distinction between the two approaches to to the difference of shooting and editing styles and the equipment he uses. In his event work, Natalie uses two cameras, a Panasonic DVX100B and a Sony PD150, shooting in 60i. With ErieKIDS he uses the Panasonic DVX100B, but shoots in 24p to create a soft film look.

For audio at events, Natalie uses the less-invasive iRiver to capture all audio. For ErieKIDS, he uses a boom mic for capturing audio and is able to use a mixer and sound technician. With ErieKIDS he is also able to have more control over lighting. Another major difference between his shooting styles is his crew. With his events he has a full staff to help make everything perfect, and with ErieKIDS, the video side, he says, "Tends to be a one-man show, because it has to be done for free!"

Show me the Money!
Although Natalie and his wife put every penny from J Michael Films into ErieKIDS, it is not enough to reach their primary goal: distributing their videos to every elementary school in Pennsylvania. While they have nonprofit status, most people, Natalie says, are wary of giving them money and ask, "What’s in it for you?"

The responses in schools that ErieKIDS has reached have been overwhelmingly positive. Aside from the various grants they have applied for, Natalie is currently working with a county executive to secure funding with the hope of getting the Pennsylvania governor involved. And just recently, Natalie was nominated for Erie's Young Professional of the Year.

The Future of ErieKIDS
Natalie’s ultimate goal, aside from successfully distributing each of the children’s mental health videos, is to become a "nonprofit for nonprofits."He hopes to provide specific services for other nonprofits: branding, supporting them on technical issues, producing audio and video, and creating print and web advertisements. What’s more, Natalie says, "Our first-hand knowledge of creating and maintaining a nonprofit allows us a unique perspective on how to help new nonprofits."

So what does Natalie see in the future? Aside from continuing in his three full-time jobs (psychoanalyst, videographer, and president of ErieKIDS), this fall, Natalie started a teaching position at a local college. And if that weren’t enough, Natalie still takes the time to try and be the parent and husband that his father was.

Carly Mulliken is a freelance writer based in Chicago.

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ProShow Producer3-Compatible Animations from ShowStoppersFX.com

ShowStoppersFX announces versions optimized for use in ProShow Producer3 of their popular "Wedding Collection Special Edition", "Wedding Titles Collection", "CoolCuts" and "Editing Essentials Collection" video animation products.

Now users of ProShow Producer3 can easily set themselves apart from the competition by adding a "touch of magic" to their slide show productions with ShowStoppersFX motion backgrounds, animated Picture-in-Picture overlays, animated lower thirds, particle and pyro special effect animations and our popular and unique write-on animated titles.

These animations are ready for instant use in ProShow Producer 3 and do not require the user to learn a complicated conversion program.

Alpha channel (transparency) information is built into our "optimized for ProShow Producer3" animations yielding superior results as compared to the chroma keying method suggested by some other suppliers of animations.

The 8 bit alpha channel (256 possible levels of transparency) makes possible smooth partial transparency in ProShow Producer3 on a pixel by pixel and frame by frame basis. This allows the animations to have variable transparency, soft edges, partly transparent drop shadows, smooth curves on text and smooth outlines on Picture-in-Picture effects.

An easy to follow "Tips Guide" in printable Acrobat pdf format that shows how to use the animations in ProShow Producer3 is included.

Finally there is a built in "Viewer System" on all of our "Optimized for ProShow Producer3" products. This "viewer" allows you to browse all the supplied animations in a movie window, perfect for choosing which animations you want to use at any given time.

For more information, demo movies and preview movies of all the animations optimized for use in ProShow Producer3 visit http://www.showstoppersfx.com/proshow.htm.

For more information about the entire line of Wedding, Event and Corporate video animations offered by ShowStoppersFX.com visit: http://www.showstoppersfx.com/index.htm.

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Artbeats Debuts Under the Sea 3 and Babies at HD EXPO 2007

Artbeats, the industry’s leading provider of HD royalty-free stock footage, today announced the immediate availability of two new collections, Under the Sea 3 and Babies. Shown for the first time at HD Expo 2007, Under the Sea 3 and Babies features the same pristine, high-quality footage that has made Artbeats a favorite among industry professionals, and can be used for a variety of applications, including broadcast, feature film, commercial, concerts, live events, game development, independent production, multimedia and more. Artbeats will also give away free royalty-free HD footage valued at USD $900 during HD Expo. For more information please visit Artbeats during the show at booth number 516.

Under the Sea 3 captures the abundant life that lies beneath the sea. The latest addition to Artbeats’ V-Line series offers an array of brilliantly colored creatures of all shapes and sizes. From schools of jellyfish and sea turtles, to clown fish and so much more, this collection is packed with a variety of underwater footage.

Babies features adorable and charming footage of slumbering newborns, flailing arms and legs of infants, enthusiastic toddlers learning to crawl, and babbling and gesturing of older tots as they perform for the camera. Artbeats caught these little tykes in typical behavior set against clean and crisp backgrounds for added versatility.

Artbeats also offers a wide range of helpful tutorials and other training materials that will help customers make the most of their stock footage. To access free and informative advice from some of the industry’s leading experts, please visit the ‘Tips N Tricks’ section online at www.artbeats.com/community/tips.php.

Pricing and Availability
Artbeats' footage is available in HD-1920x1080, D1 NTSC-720 x 486 or D1 PAL-720 x 576 resolutions. Under the Sea 3 HD includes 43 clips and is USD $799; the SD collection includes 44 clips and is USD $399. Artbeats’ Babies HD includes 37 clips and is USD $1099; the SD collection includes 44 clips and is USD $599. Individual HD clips start at $300 and NTSC/PAL clips start at $199. For more information please visit Artbeats website at www.artbeats.com.

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Mammoth HD - RED Spoken Here

Now that RED Digital Cinema has started the delivery of the REDOne camera, the Mammoth HD RED team has been in production - shooting the 4K material for Mammoth HD RED Library. Shooting on RED at 4K offers the ability to delivery in several format resolutions from 4K to 2K, HD 1080, HD 720, Standard Def and Vertical HD - covering the markets from Feature Film, Indie Films, Broadcast, Corporate Marketing, Advertising and Digital Signage and Display.

The Mammoth HD RED team covers the bases for style and expertise. Our initial shoots have covered Underwater shooting, Wildlife, Sports, Scenics and more.

The Mammoth HD/RED 'Sneak Peek' Preview Reel was shot by Steve Gibby, Ken Corben, Steve Tammi and Clark Dunbar... more of the MHD Red team contributors will be coming on board as their RED Cameras are delivered.

The Mammoth HD/RED Library and Store will open in Mid-December with 4K and 2K Originals with delivery options for HD formats available. For more information - visit the Mammoth HD website or contact us by phone or email.

For more information on the collections and the Mammoth HD Hi Definition Footage Library, and to see the previews of all the Mammoth HD collections and clips, please visit the Mammoth HD website at http://www.mammothhd.com.

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"Goodman’s Guide" to Panasonic's AJ-HDX900 DVCPRO HD Camera Now Available

Panasonic announced the immediate availability of a comprehensive field guide to the many features and functionality of its AJ-HDX900 2/3"" multi-format DVCPRO HD camcorder. "Goodman’s Guide to the Panasonic AJ-HDX900" is an easy-to-use manual written from an operator’s perspective by veteran cinematographer Robert Goodman.

The Guide is designed to help operators of the HDX900 camera quickly master its four modes of operation and the unique workflows that it offers. Like all of the Goodman's Guides in the series, the new HDX900 manual helps users maximize camera performance and make their productions more efficient and higher quality, saving them time and money.

The 252-page manual details the unique feature sets and menu options of the HDX900 camera, complete with full color still images captured with the camera, color-coded icons for easy subject identification, and fold-out menu trees that explain all of the operational settings and options in detail. All images are also included on the CD ROM that is packaged with the Guide.

In addition to specific postproduction workflow options for working with the HDX900 camera, other highly detailed sections in the manual include: "What’s That?", Camera Controls, Imaging, Recording Options, Lenses, Monitoring, and Audio Controls. The Guide also discusses new technologies available in the HDX900 such as dynamic range stretch, built-in down conversion and the RC10 remote control unit.

One "Goodman’s Guide to the Panasonic AJ-HDX900" is offered free of charge to all current and future HDX900 customers. To obtain a manual, a HDX900 customer can simply fill out the registration form available here (under the "Support & Resources" section).

Additional manuals are available at a suggested list price of $125, inclusive of the CD-ROM.


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Verbatim Announces World's First Color-background LightScribe DVDRs

Verbatim® Corporation, the storage media producer known for offering the widest range of premium-quality LightScribe® media, announced today the world’s first Color-background LightScribe 16x DVD-R and DVD+R media. The new 4.7GB LightScribe DVDRs are available in vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, blue and green in addition to the original gold color. Verbatim has begun shipping them in the US market in 25-packs which include five discs of each color.

The richly colored DVDRs are produced using LightScribe Media Version 1.2 coating technology on the label side for enhanced image contrast and faster label printing. The data side of the discs incorporates the innovative technologies that deliver the premium quality features consumers have come to expect from the Verbatim brand-- high reliability, stability and longevity with high performance and broad compatibility.

With a rainbow of background colors to choose from, consumers and businesses can burn customized LightScribe labels for their videos and multimedia presentations that will give them a professional look.

Verbatim’s new colored LightScribe DVDRs were specifically designed for LightScribe-compatible drives and the latest software licensed by Hewlett-Packard Company (HP). According to HP, approximately 50M LightScribe-enabled drives are currently installed and that number is growing at 4 to 5 million per month. Drives with the direct-disc labeling technology now account for approximately 25 percent of all half-height and 12.7mm DVD writers being manufactured*. By combining Verbatim’s LightScribe DVDRs with these drives, consumers can use the same optical disc drive laser to burn content on the data side of the disc and to produce silkscreen-quality black text and graphics labels on the label side of the discs.

In addition to making the recorded discs more memorable, the various colors of the media can be used to sort and display a collection.

Colored LightScribe DVDR discs are label-compatible with all LightScribe-enabled drives. For optimized labeling, Verbatim recommends that users always upgrade their LightScribe system software to the latest version. Software and label gallery downloads are available at www.lightscribe.com.

To ensure that the discs LightScribe users produce can be played by the broadest number of CD/DVD playback devices, Verbatim’s complete family of LightScribe media is fully compatible with all current CD-R, DVD-R and DVD+R standards.

Verbatim LightScribe Color-background 16X DVD-R and DVD+R media in 25-packs will be available in the US through leading retailers, Internet resellers and distributors in Q4 2007. Verbatim also offers the original gold-background LightScribe 16X DVD+R media in 10, 20 and 30-packs, as well as LightScribe 16X DVD-R media in 30-packs and 52x LightScribe CD-R media in a variety of spindles and slim cases.


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M-Audio Releases GForce Virtual String Machine

M-Audio®, a leading manufacturer of creative tools for computer-centric musicians, is proud to announce shipment of the new Virtual String Machine software instrument developed by partner GForce. This virtual instrument for Macs and PCs emulates the evocative tones of over a dozen of the finest vintage string synthesizers.

The Virtual String Machine emulates string synthesizers both ubiquitous and rare, including emulations of the Freeman String Symphonizer, Eminent 310, ARP Omni II, ARP Quartet, Crumar Multiman, Polymoog, Elka Rhapsody, Korg PE2000, Logan String Melody, Eminent Solina, Roland RS202, Yamaha SS30 and more*. These are the same instruments that changed the face of music in the hands of Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, The Cure, Parliament, Herbie Hancock, Air, Joy Division, Jean Michel Jarre, Thomas Dolby, Genesis, Lonnie Liston Smith and many others. More recently, these vintage sounds have seen resurgence with artists like Kasabian and Goldfrapp.

M-Audio development partner GForce created the Virtual String Machine using techniques that have garnered critical acclaim from reviewers, artists and even the original instrument inventors. As such, it follows in the footsteps of GForce’s popular Minimonsta: Melohman, The Oddity, impOSCar and M-Tron. Users of the Virtual String Machine will find the same attention to detail and accuracy in every aspect of this incredible creative instrument. For example, the software manifests in over 60 different Sample Sets spanning the many different settings of these venerable instruments—over 3,200 meticulous samples in all.

Far more than a preset device, the Virtual String Machine does not stop at simply emulating the best string machines of all time. It allows users to layer any two Sample Sets and apply synthesizer parameters to each layer—creating different envelopes, filter settings, pitch LFO, pan positions, fine-tune amounts and more. The master output stage then provides a vintage-style phaser and/or ensemble to the final patch. While fully programmable, this exciting software instrument also ships with over 500 factory presets.

The Virtual String Machine can function as a stand-alone instrument in conjunction with a MIDI controller. It is also a plug-in compatible with most popular host applications including Pro Tools LE®, Pro Tools|HD®, Pro Tools M-Powered™, Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, GarageBand, SONAR, Digital Performer, and ACID. Compatible formats include VST 2.0 (Mac/PC including VSTi), RTAS® (Mac/PC) and Audio Units (Mac).

"GForce software has given the industry incredibly realistic emulations and enhancements of vintage instruments," says Adam Castillo, marketing director at M-Audio. "The Virtual String Machine goes beyond merely bringing the seminal sounds of the 1970’s back to life—it combines them into new sonic treats the world has never heard before. M-Audio is proud to be the worldwide distributor for the Virtual String Machine and other great software instruments from GForce."

The Virtual String Machine is currently available and carries an MSRP of $149.95 US.


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M-Audio Debuts Studiophile Q40 Headphones

M-Audio, a leading provider of creative tools for computer-centric musicians, is proud to announce the Studiophile™ Q40 closed-back dynamic headphones. This new product offering represents the Company’s entrée into the headphone market following years of success with studio reference monitors like the popular BX and EX series.

The Studiophile Q40 headphones utilize professional-grade dynamic drivers that deliver full-range specs and stunning sonic detail. The extra-large drivers measure 40 millimeters in diameter, exceeding the size of most other headphones to offer superior low-frequency extension. The combination of vented diaphragms made of low-mass treated mylar, neodymium magnets and copper-clad aluminum voice coils delivers efficient performance for enhanced bass. These elements come together in M-Audio’s custom enclosure, which has been specially tuned to further extend low frequencies.

The Studiophile Q40 headphones feature sealed backings and comfortable ear cups that completely surround the ears, resulting in excellent isolation from outside noise. This enables users to hear more detail at lower volumes, which protects their hearing while tracking, mixing or listening in any noisy environment.

The Studiophile Q40 headphones are designed to closely emulate the experience of listening to full-sized reference monitors in a professional studio environment. The headphones provide exceptional imaging and a wide sound stage for accurate mixing—without the hassle of worrying about speaker placement or room acoustics.

M-Audio’s new headphones are built for durability and extended wear. In addition to lightweight construction, comfortable earpads provide hours of listening ease. The sturdy frame is also collapsible for easy travel and mobile studio use. The included storage bag protects them from dust and damage.

The Studiophile Q40 headphones feature a detachable 3-meter cable with 1/8" plugs on each end. The ability to replace this cable helps protect users’ overall investment in the event of cable failure. A 1/4"-to-1/8" adapter is also included.

In addition to the 10Hz - 20kHz frequency response, the Studiophile Q40 headphones feature a sensitivity of 116dB SPL (1mW IEC318) and rated impedance of 64 ohms. Weight without cable is .5 lbs. (.25 kg).

"With the Studiophile Q40, we’ve taken everything we’ve learned from building our popular reference monitors and created exactly what people expect from M-Audio—top quality and easy mobility," says Adam Castillo, marketing director at M-Audio. "The Q40 headphones are ideal for tracking and mixing, as well as simply enjoying music."

The Studiophile Q40 headphones are currently shipping with an MSRP of US$179.95.


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PYRO AV Announces New HDMI2SDI Mini-Converter At Government Video & Technology Expo 2007

PYRO AV, a leading-edge conversion and capture solution provider, today announced the HDMI2SDI, a portable mini-converter that bridges any HDMI video/audio source to HD-SDI devices with true 10- bit conversion for professional video post and broadcast environments. HDMI2SDI connects camcorders and decks with HDMI output and converts the stream to HD-SDI video with embedded audio. By converting and directly inputting into the video editing workflow, time-intensive proxy files, software conversion and long GOP MPEG-2 editing issues are eliminated.

HDMI2SDI supports up to eight channels of audio embedded in the SDI stream and simultaneously outputs up to 4 channels of AES/EBU digital audio. It detects audio in the HDMI stream and converts L-PCM at any sample rate to 48 kHz and passes through 48 kHz compressed audio in formats such as MPEG-1 Layer 2, Dolby and DTS embedded in the SDI stream.

HDMI2SDI provides all-encompassing audio support with superior computer graphic display compatibility. HDMI2SDI accepts all SD and HDTV resolutions (EIA/CEA-861-B) as well as computer graphics displays from VGA to UXGA (1600 x 1200) (25 MHz to 165MHz pixel rates). Automatic detection and integrated color space converter with 4:4:4 to 4:2:2 down converter to meet SDI specifications.

An extended cable distance interface is incorporated and allows input of standard HDMI cable up to 20 m (65 ft.) at 165 MHz (UXGA), 30 m ( 98 ft.) at 148.5 MHz (1080p), and 40 m (131 ft. ) at 74.25 MHz (1080i/720p). With "Long Reach" HDMI cable support , there is no requirement to mount the converter on the camera providing flexibility and mobility.

Measuring only about 4"x3"x1", the PYRO AV mini-converter is housed in a rugged yet lightweight case designed for portability. From the steel locking power connector and the cast aluminum enclosure with steel end plates to the solid-state circuitry inside, PYRO AV HDMI2SDI is designed to last a lifetime in the studio but can also withstand the rigors of mobile events.

Available December 2007, ADS Tech’s PYRO AV HDMI2SDI is distributed by OneSource www.1sourcedist.com in the U.S. and EMJ Data Systems in Canada. PYRO AV products are also available from B & H Photo, ProMax, Tekserve, Markertec and other specialty video dealers. MSRP is $799. Offered as complete a ready-to-use solutions, it includes the HDMI2SDI mini-Converter, 5 VDC Power Supply with Locking Connector, Velcro Strips for easy mounting, 2 each 4-40 standard rack mounting screws and user guide. All PYRO AV mini-converters are backed by a 5-year warranty.


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