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Slate Digital – A Very Bad Idea for a Review Video

Slate Digital – A Very Bad Idea for a Review Video

The VRS8 Interface has received so many incredible reviews that we thought it would be a good idea to have our CEO, Steven Slate, read a few of them in this video.

Turns out it was a terrible idea, as you can see above.

For a limited time, you can get the VRS8 along with a FREE award-winning VMS ML-1 Modeling Microphone as well as a full year of the All Access Pass. That’s over $100,000 worth of virtual microphones, dozens of incredible virtual analog plugins, masterclasses, and more!

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Motu UltraLitemk4 18×22 USB Audio Interface with DSP, Mixing and Effects

SeparatorMotu UltraLitemk4 18×22 USB Audio Interface with DSP, Mixing and Effects

The latest in MOTU’s award-winning UltraLite series, the UltraLite-mk4 is a USB audio interface with 40 simultaneous I/O channels (18 in, 22 out). It also delivers exceptional sound quality, new ultra-low latency drivers and expanded DSP for studio-grade mobile audio recording.

Superb audio quality

New for 2018, the UltraLite-mk4 now includes renowned ESS Sabre32™ DAC technology, delivering 123dB dynamic range and the same proven, award-winning audio quality as MOTU’s flagship 1248. Renowned drivers deliver rock-solid performance and industry-leading low latency.

Ultra-low latency

New, optimized drivers for both Mac and PC deliver ultra-low latency performance. With a high-performance DAW such as Digital Performer, the UltraLite-mk4 delivers an astonishing round trip latency (RTL) of 1.83 ms (milliseconds) on OS X and 1.84 ms on Windows over USB (at 96 kHz with a 32-sample host buffer).

1.84 ms of latency

USB 2 audio class compliant
USB 3 and iOS compatible

Built for studio and stage

Housed in a compact, aluminum-alloy enclosure you can take anywhere, the UltraLite-mk4 is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or mixer, the UltraLite-mk4 provides 18 ins and 22 outs, for a total of 40 simultaneous I/O channels.

All the I/O you need
Connect all of your audio gear, including speakers, headphones, mics, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines, effects processors and even MIDI devices.
 I/O Diagram

Large console-style mixing

Record, monitor, route and process all live inputs using the on-board 48-channel, console-style mixer, with no latency and no processor strain on your computer.

Compressor and EQ

Modeled analog EQ and compression

Further sculpt your sound with 4-band parametric EQ featuring filter types carefully modeled after British analog console EQs. Choose between two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler™, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A™ optical compressor that provides vintage, musical automatic gain control.

Advanced Extras

Analyze and scope your audio with advanced diagnostic tools, including a full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram “waterfall” display, full- featured oscilloscope, X-Y plot and phase analyzer.

Mobile recording and mixing

After recording and mixing in the studio, take the UltraLite-mk4 on the road with your laptop for mobile recording and live mixing.

Web app control from any device

Control everything from your laptop, tablet and smartphone

The software that you use to control the UltraLite-mk4 doesn’t reside on your hard drive. It’s a web app served from the hardware itself. This means you can control the UltraLite-mk4 on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet or smartphone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network. Use any web client on any platform – Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android – as long as it shares the same network.

iPad and iPhone
iPad and iPhone

Touch Console

The art of the mix on your touchscreen

Designed specifically for touchscreen operation, Touch Console™ delivers a whole new mixing experience. Access Touch Console from your tablet or smartphone to effortlessly control the powerful 48-channel mixer and effects in the UltraLite-mk4. With large targets for your fingers, multi-touch operation and intuitive design, you can tap, swipe and pinch your way to a perfect mix, every time.

Solid Metal Chassis

The UltraLite-mk4 aluminum chassis is lightweight, yet incredibly sturdy and durable, and designed to withstand the rigors of the studio, stage, and tour bus. In a world awash with cheap plastic, the cool touch of the UltraLite-mk4’s metal exterior in your hands is a reassuring reminder that you are holding quality engineering and construction built to last.

Metal Chassis

Rack mounting brackets

Use included brackets and hex bolts to mount the UltraLite-mk4 on rack rails, as shown here with a companion MOTU micro lite MIDI interface.

Use the included jointer bracket to connect another MOTU half-rack interface (MIDI or audio). You can then mount them together in a standard 19-inch equipment rack.
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Introducing the new Apollo x4 and Apollo Twin X audio interfaces

Introducing the new Apollo x4 and Apollo Twin X audio interfaces

Bringing professional, Grammy-winning sound to your desktop, the new Apollo x4 and Twin X audio interfaces give you elite-class audio conversion and Realtime UAD Processing power to spare in a sleek, expandable Thunderbolt 3 package for Mac and Windows.

Built to Collaborate

Elite-class audio conversion, four Unison mic preamps, and Realtime UAD QUAD processing for authentic analog tones.

Meet the New Twin

Elite-class audio conversion, two Unison mic preamps, Realtime UAD QUAD or DUO processing for authentic analog tones.

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New Lynx Promotional Video & Aurora(n)s on Post Malone Tour

New Lynx Promotional Video & Aurora(n)s on Post Malone Tour

Sear Sound’s Chief Engineer Chris Allen discusses what upgrading to the Aurora(n) means for this legendary studio and how transparency matters.

Aurora(n) on World Stadium Tour with Post Malone

Following his recent performance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the 2019 Grammy awards Post Malone has embarked on a world-wide stadium tour taking a pair of Aurora(n)s along for recording and live playback tracks. The Aurora(n) was chosen for the fidelity and reliability to be the centerpiece of the playback rig. Seen below, two Lynx Custom Shop 24 channel Aurora(n)s each with an LM-DIG digital I/O option installed.

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TapeOp Review: Lynx: Aurora(n) Interface

TapeOp Review: Lynx: Aurora(n) Interface

Good digital conversion has come a long way in a relatively short time. There are now so many great options, ranging from streamlined 2-channel desktop interfaces and modular systems all the way up to multichannel I/Os that serve the needs of large format professional studios. Lynx is not new to the game, consistently building top-of-the-line converters for audio tracking, mixing, playback, and mastering needs for over 20 years. The latest offering from Lynx is their Aurora(n). Lynx continues to use swappable LSlot cards with their Hilo [Tape Op #90] and original Aurora [#73] interfaces. They’ve carried on that LSlot technology to the Aurora(n) and have introduced several new modules that allow you to configure the interface to fit your workflow. These can be configured at the time of purchase ( or upgraded later. This modular system (when using the LSlot for computer connectivity, paired with firmware updating) makes the Aurora(n) essentially “future proof.” Currently swappable LSlot cards are available for USB, Thunderbolt, Pro Tools | HD, and Dante.

My single rack space review unit came configured with 32×32 I/O (also available in 8×8, 16×16 and 24×24 versions) with a Thunderbolt LSlot card. Because I planned on using the Aurora(n) with both with my newer Apple laptop and my older Mac Pro tower setup, Lynx also sent me an LT-HD LSlot card (for my Pro Tools | HD system) that I could swap out for the Thunderbolt card. The analog line inputs and outputs are connected via DB-25s on the back panel. The back panel also sports BNC connectors (1 in and 3 out) to an ultra-low jitter word clock. Different rear module configurations and combinations allow you to customize your entire I/O, within reason. Lynx currently offers a 4-channel mic pre with A/D (LM-PRE4), an 8-channel analog I/O (LM-AIO8), and a 16-channel AES/EBU digital I/O module (LM-DIG) with more options on the way. Setting up was “plug and play.” Simple changes to my DAW’s I/O configuration were all that I needed for use with laptop via the Thunderbolt LSlot card, and, when switching to the LT-HD LSlot to integrate with my older Mac Pro / Pro Tools 10 [#86] system with HD Accel cards, the converter appeared seamlessly as a compatible 192 device (more on this later)!

The real highlight of the Aurora(n) is its sound, due in part to the analog signal path for each channel that has been designed as a self-contained and shielded circuit. Plus, each channel pair has its own dedicated conversion device. This offers the sonic advantage of reducing crosstalk and distortion while significantly increasing dynamic range and performance, resulting in transparent imaging and detail. HCT (Hilo Converter Technology), which borrows the mastering grade conversion design of the Lynx Hilo, makes up the core of the Aurora(n).

But how does the Aurora(n) sound? In a word: awesome! It’s uncolored, and elements of my mixes were presented with what I perceived as more of their own “space.” After working on a mix for several hours, I found myself using less EQ and reverb. Maybe we had done such a fantastic job of recording it that it was unnecessary, but regardless, with this clarity I knew that I was making informed choices. Stereo imaging was solid and the sound stage expansive. With any conversion, my preference is to not hear it. I just want to be confident that what I am hearing is not being altered in the conversion process. If something needs grit, great! I can add it. If the low end of a track needs to be tidied up, I want to have a crystal clear idea of just how much. The Aurora(n) delivered on all fronts in this regard, and I worked more efficiently when using the Lynx.

Another standout feature of this unit is that microSD recording is built-in. When you are tracking, and the band plays that magical idea during a run through of a song, you won’t miss it – even if your DAW wasn’t actively recording or, worse yet, crashes in the middle of a take! This is a great safety net and dummy check. Imagine the uses (and redundancy) for live show recordings…

Front panel function buttons control a menu that provides easy navigation of the LED display, which offers two main metering options: stereo or multichannel. Here the user has the option to route pairs of audio outputs to the SD recorder or to the two built-in, fantastic sounding, audiophile grade headphone outputs with individual level controls. Without referencing the manual, it was easy to understand and operate.

Due to the compact form factor for all this I/O, the Aurora(n) makes for a great mobile rig option that is a snap to throw into a manageable rack along with some preamps and select outboard gear. Because of the SD recorder onboard, you could skip the computer altogether and just record straight to the card, noting however you have no DAW control functions beyond record and stop. All tracks from the microSD card can be dragged right into your favorite DAW for editing later!

Swapping out the Thunderbolt LSlot card for the supplied LT-HD LSlot card was very easy; a screwdriver was all I needed. I especially wanted to audition this option because I am sure that not everyone that’s upgrading converters will want to completely replace their computer, software, etc. The thing that sucks about working in the digital realm is that a single update of a system component is almost never just that, but rather an extensive and expensive endeavor. Set up was straightforward, and, as mentioned earlier, with a few adjustments in Pro Tools, the system saw the Aurora(n) as a compatible 192 I/O. I ate up all my I/O options with analog connections, but, with the use of some mults and patchbay magic, I was working in the same way I had for years – only it sounded markedly better.

Gear at this level doesn’t come cheap. A maxed out 32×32 Aurora(n)configuration will run about $5600, which, in my opinion, is a more than fair price if you never have to think about buying another converter – well worth the cost for its high-quality and uncompromising audio. Comparing the Aurora(n) to other converters in its class is like comparing bad-ass sports cars. They look great and are fast as hell, so it’s just a matter of taste really. With that in mind, the Aurora(n)’s ability to integrate future forms of connectivity makes it a stand out amongst the others.

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Universal Audio Showcase New Apollo X Series

Universal Audio Showcase New Apollo X Series

Universal Audio has announced their new Apollo X models, now with hexacore processors as standard. The Apollo X is UA’s new flagship Thunderbolt 3 audio interfaces, “featuring elite-class A/D and D/A conversion, new HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing, Unison mic preamps, +24dBu operation, Surround Sound,* and more. All in a sleek, expandable Thunderbolt 3 package for Mac and PC.”

UAD Apollo X
According to the company, the base X6 model offers 6-core UAD power for plugins, andh comprehensive 5.1 surround monitoring support. Apollo x6 is a boon for engineers and producers working on audio and music for video games, television, and the web. In addition, Apollo x6 offers selectable +24 dBu operation for out-of-the-box compatibility with professional mixing consoles and other high-end pro audio equipment.

Apollo x6 offers 16 x 22 simultaneous inputs/outputs (6 x 6 analog I/O) and two built-in Thunderbolt 3 ports. This allows users of any Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo Twin or Apollo rackmount audio interfaces to easily combine up to four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices — adding fast, high-bandwidth I/O and DSP as your studio grows.

Additional models include:

* Apollo x8 — 18 x 24 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac and Windows; Elite-Class conversion with 129 dB D/A dynamic range; 4 Unison-enabled mic preamps; HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing; 7.1 Surround Sound monitoring.

* Apollo x8p — 18 x 22 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac and Windows; Elite-Class conversion with 129 dB D/A dynamic range; 8 Unison-enabled mic preamps; HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing; 7.1 Surround Sound monitoring.

* Apollo x16 — 18 x 20 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac and Windows; Flagship conversion with 133 dB D/A dynamic range; 16 channels of analog I/O via DB-25 connectors; HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing; 7.1 Surround Sound monitoring.

Watch this video on YouTube.
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Introducing The Slate Digital VRS8 Thunderbolt Interface

Introducing The Slate Digital VRS8 Thunderbolt Interface

The result of nearly three years of development, the new VRS8 Virtual Analog interface unifies Slate Digital’s software and hardware into a robust audio ecosystem called The Virtual Recording Studio. We used a “no compromise” design approach, resulting in a fantastic-sounding eight channel audio interface that leads the industry when it comes to components, specs, price and performance.


The start of any signal chain is extremely important, which is why the VRS8 features EIGHT high bandwidth Ultra Linear microphone preamps. These are the same ‘blank canvas’ design as the VMS-One preamp from our award-winning Virtual Microphone System, enabling you to use our modeling software to recreate the authentic sound of famous microphones and preamps. Each preamp has its own high-quality metal knob, so you can easily set levels like a regular analog preamp – instead of using single logic controller knobs and menus, as some of our competitors have chosen to do.

The next step in the signal chain is the converter itself. Instead of using budget components, the VRS8 offers mastering-quality conversion by incorporating the newest AKM AK5578 converter chips – offering a whopping industry-best 124db of dynamic range on all 8 inputs!

The sound of an audio interface relies on much more than the converter chip itself – all of the components in the audio circuit have a direct result on the audio quality. Keeping to our “no compromise” design aesthetic, the VRS8 utilizes high-quality WIMA capacitors for the entire audio path.

Part of the goal behind creating the Virtual Recording Studio was to provide a near-realtime experience when using our analog modeled plugins while tracking. In order to achieve that goal, we created a new technology called LLN, which stands for “Low Latency Native”. LLN utilizes a custom hard-wired converter chipset, which reduces managed components in the audio path and allows an incredible .7 milliseconds of latency at 96K (with a 32 sample buffer). This latency spec allows you to monitor through mic and preamp emulations while tracking, giving you the ability to hear your audio in context while still allowing you to change your mind later.

The audio clock is the heart of any recording interface, which is why it was important that the VRS8 had a killer clocking system onboard. We use satellite-grade XTC clocking technology, utilizing four temperature-compensated crystal oscillators for ultra-stable audio performance, keeping your audio jitter and distortion free.

Most engineers listen to music on headphones when working in the studio, but headphone amplifiers are the first place that manufacturers usually look to cut costs when building an interface. Instead of using typical designs that cost mere pennies, we use discrete amplifiers to ensure that your headphones sound robust and clear for all of your monitoring tasks. Not only that, we also added in two separate monitor mixes and the ability to use the VRS8 as a speaker switcher.

The world of audio interfaces is rarely cross-platform when it comes to performance, meaning that Mac devices (using Thunderbolt) usually far outperform PC interfaces (using USB). While USB can be effective for two-channel designs, it requires more CPU overhead to manage, resulting in higher CPU usage and latency versus Thunderbolt – and the problem just gets worse as you add more channels. Unlike any other interface on the market, the VRS8 offers both Thunderbolt and PCIe connectivity for maximum cross-platform compatibility. The PCIe performance is the same as Thunderbolt. You can also link up to 6 VRS8’s via Thunderbolt to achieve 48 inputs and outputs.

Our “no compromise” design goal extended well into areas that other manufacturers simply ignore, which is evidenced by the VRS8’s native MIDI IO. Unlike USB MIDI interfaces (where MIDI information has to fight with your mouse, keyboard, and other USB traffic) MIDI IO on the VRS8 never touches the USB bus. You can count on hyper-accurate MIDI timing, and stuck sustain pedals when tracking keyboards and synths should become a thing of the past.


The Slate Digital Virtual Recording Studio Ships With A Year License Of The Everything Bundle. The Everything Bundle includes all of the award-winning Slate plugins, worth thousands of dollars. Using the VRS8 and VMS Microphones, you’ll be able to track through world-class microphones, preamps, equalizers, and more in real time.

Now you can experience the Slate Virtual Recording Studio including all of our microphone models. Click below to go to the VRS Experience page where you can download all the Slate plugins including demos of our VMS microphone plugins, as well as a multitrack session recorded with VMS mics through our VRS8 interface. When you download the plugins and the session, you can load up a track, and experiment with different world-class virtual microphones from the mic locker. Hear the vintage FET47F, 414, and ribbon 121. Try the vocals through the vintage tube 67s, 251, 47s and more.

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Family Guy Composer Walter Murphy Shares His Process

Family Guy Composer Walter Murphy Shares His Process

In this Youtube feature from Sound On Sound magazine, composer Walter Murphy shares the process he goes through to score an episode of Family Guy, the hit Fox series Walter has been scoring since the show’s very first episode in 1999. Walter also details how he collaborated with the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, to conceive, write and record the show’s opening music theme before they even had a budget for the show. Walter’s original recording of that theme is still used to this day. Walter uses Digital Performer extensively in his daily workflow, both in the studio and on the sound stage.