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electronic MUSICIAN

DSP-assisted audio effects Wailuku HI

A card eliminates FireWire fickleness, and also gives somewhat better performance—but FireWire is easily transportable among machines. If FireWire is a requirement, then it's TC or SSL.

Bounty Music
(808) 871-1141
Kahului, HI
 
Bounty Music
(808) 871-1141
111 Hana Hwy
Kahului, HI
 
Piano Antonio & Judith
(808) 244-8723
1004 Kuhio Pl
Wailuku, HI
 
A Cash for Gold
(808) 244-6666
46 N Market St
Wailuku, HI
 
Piano Center of Hawaii
(808) 893-0707
275 W Kaahumanu Ave
Kahului, HI
 
Bounty Music
(808) 871-1141
111 Hana Hwy #105
Kahului, HI
 
Lahaina Custom Guitars & Repairs
(808) 662-0220
222 Papalaua St Ste 110
Lahaina, HI
 
Mele Ukulele
(808) 244-3938
1750 Kaahumanu Ave
Wailuku, HI
 
Piano Julia
(808) 244-0015
2003 Kahekili Hwy
Wailuku, HI
 
Bounty Music
(808) 871-1141
111 Hana Hwy Suite 105
Kahului, HI
 

How About Some Hardware Helper?

http://www.eqmag.com/uploadedImages/eqmagazine/Gearhead/TC_PowerCore.jpg

TC ELECTRONIC POWERCORE
(PCIe CARD $1,495, FIREWIRE OUTBOARD VERSIONS
FROM $995; WWW.TCELECTRONIC.COM )

http://www.eqmag.com/uploadedImages/eqmagazine/Gearhead/SSL_Duende Mini.jpg

SSL DUENDE MINI
(PCIe CARD $1,495, FIREWIRE MINI OUTBOARD
VERSION $995; WWW.SOLIDSTATELOGIC.COM )

http://www.eqmag.com/uploadedImages/eqmagazine/Gearhead/UniversalAudio_UAD2.jpg

UNIVERSAL AUDIO UAD-2
(EXPRESSCARD OR PCIe SOLO
CARD STARTING FROM $649;
WWW.UAUDIO.COM )

So you want more processing power: These companies are happy to oblige with hardware DSP, either on a card that goes into your motherboard or laptop, as a separate FireWire box that lives outside your computer, or both.

But which is best for you? Although you can’t download demo hardware, you can narrow down your options until you find the right fit. And, the company websites will help explain the oft-confusing collection of bundles, upgrades, specials, and third-party support.

Format.

A card eliminates FireWire fickleness, and also gives somewhat better performance—but FireWire is easily transportable among machines. If FireWire is a requirement, then it’s TC or SSL. With a laptop, Universal Audio’s ExpressCard is the most efficient choice (FireWire is still in the running, but a separate box and power supply works against the laptop’s portable nature). All handle VST, AU, and RTAS except TC PowerCore, which is VST/AU only.

What comes with the package.

Duende provides a very nice SSL channel strip with EQ, dynamics, and sidechaining, and up to 16 mono instances. PowerCore’s Compact FireWire model includes 12 plug-ins; the “standard” versions come with 14, and there are more expensive versions that include more plugs. UA’s cards have their “Mix Essential” plug-ins—a great deal (1176SE Compressor/Limiter, Pultec EQP-1A EQ, RealVerb Pro Room Modeler, and CS-1 Channel Strip).

Hardware expansion options.

All systems can be expanded via either hardware, software, or both. Expanding Duende Mini to 32 mono (16 stereo) instances runs $399; more plug-ins are optional at extra cost. To expand the number of devices you can run on the UAD-2, you can add more cards, or buy a more powerful card initially— choices are 1, 2, or 4 DSP chips ($649, $1,149, and $1,899 respectively). With PowerCore, the hardware upgrade path is buying another PowerCore.

Software expansion options.

TC Electronic has the broadest range of optional-at-extra-cost plug-ins, including virtual instruments, amp sims, third-party options, and their own range of plugs. UA also has a wide variety of plug-ins, including significant third-party support. Duende is the new kid on the block; SSL offers five additional plug-ins, but there’s no thirdparty support yet. For all three, costs vary considerably among plug-ins— check the web. Typically, they’re considerably less than what you would pay for the hardware equivalent.

Sound and character.

This is of course subjective—generalizations are risky, and as the old saying goes, “comparisons are odious.” However, having worked with and used all three extensively, I feel there are some differentiating characteristics.

TC PowerCo...

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