SoundCloud, now Vimeo of Sound, instead of YouTube of Sound?

SoundCloud’s do-or-die moment came Friday – and it seems it’s do, not die. The company now takes on new executives, and a new direction. First, it’s important to understand just what happened yesterday. Despite some unhinged and misleading blog reports, the situation didn’t involve the site suddenly switching off – following the layoffs, the company […]

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Moog’s Minitaur bass synth just got a lot more interesting

It’s just called “2.2,” which sounds like a minor update. And with all the Minimoog remake hype, you probably weren’t even thinking about the Minitaur. But this little synth deserves a big second look. There’s a reality no one really talks about much in synth writing, which is that people often get bored of a […]

The post Moog’s Minitaur bass synth just got a lot more interesting appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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Review: ADAM Audio S3H

Review: ADAM Audio S3H

Brad Watts tries out this new monitor that aims to build on the success of the firm’s most popular models.

I’ve not auditioned many ADAM monitors, however I’ve experienced the ADAM designs in various spaces, primarily in rooms where EDM is the order of business. Most often this would be the now discontinued A7 – a monitor that broke cost-versus-performance ratios and wedged ADAM’s technology firmly into the prosumer and budget markets.

The A7 became a minor classic with its detailed and unfatiguing high frequency performance. Responsible for that high-end is ADAM’s tweeter design. Often referred to as ‘ribbon’ tweeters, the concept is correctly known as an air motion transformer. Air motion transformers, or AMTs, use a light material folded into an accordion pattern. This is bonded with aluminium strips and suspended within a magnetic field. Once an audio signal is applied to the aluminium the accordion structure expands and contracts, expelling air forward.

The advantages are twofold: the surface area of the accordion structure is approximately four times that of a dome driver, so a large amount of air can be moved; plus, the speed at which the structure moves is extremely fast – around five times that of a conventional dome driver. The design offers extreme high frequencies, along with less distortion and breakup of the signal and resulting dynamic limiting.

ADAM has applied its own twist to the AMT, releasing various iterations under the ‘Accelerating Ribbon Technology’ moniker. This led to the X-ART series of tweeters, and has been the company’s mainstay for high frequency drivers since inception.

What’s new?

ADAM recently announced the third-generation S Series, comprising five near- to mid-field designs. For appraisal I’ve been bestowed with the S3H, which incorporates two 7in woofers, a 4in dome/cone hybrid mid-range driver, and ADAM’s latest S-ART high-frequency driver. This S-ART designation is courtesy of greater precision manufacturing and more rigorous quality control.

Cone composition of the 7in woofers is proprietary, and designed for extended excursion and low weight using ADAM’s ‘HexaCone’ material. The results are impressive, with the S3H delivering clear, punchy and alarmingly precise low-end.

The 100mm mid-range unit is also proprietary. It’s a part-cone/part-dome configuration, offering the linear frequency response of a dome driver with the extended excursion of a cone driver. The single-piece cone/dome is manufactured with a laminated carbon-composite material and reportedly doesn’t induce driver wobble.

The high frequency driver is mounted within a waveguide designed for a broad horizontal axis yet tightly focused vertical plane. Placed directly above the mid-driver (again with waveguide), I can attest the result is a gorgeously solid stereo image. Crossover points come in at 250Hz and 3kHz. Overall frequency reproduction from the S3H starts at 32Hz and winds out to 50kHz – such are the highs possible from S-ART tweeters.

The S3H cabinet uses a bass-reflex design, with two ports emanating from the front baffle beneath the two low-end drivers – soffit mounting is possible, with corners radiused to aid avoidance of edge-diffraction. A peek inside reveals a work of art. All internal surfaces are finished and sealed, with the rear of the ports curved to avoid internal turbulence along with pyramid cut foam for damping. All construction is 32mm fibreboard, with the two low-end driver compartments sealed from each other – two separate cabinets in essence. ADAM has reassuringly gone to town with the engineering.

There’s an assortment of amplification systems throughout the S Series. Low and midrange drivers use class-D amps. The low-end drivers are individually amplified at 500W, with the midrange using a 300W amp. For the S-ART tweeter ADAM uses a 50W class-A/B design for its lower distortion and linear response up to 300kHz. That’s 1350W per monitor spewing a staggering 126dB from a pair at one metre.

ADAM’s S Series utilise DSP for crossover, equalisation, and connection to the monitors via AES/EBU. Digital connection is a matter of connecting AES/EBU to the first monitor, daisy-chaining to the next monitor and setting each to reproduce left or right.

How does the selection happen? On the rear of an S Series monitor is an OLED display with a variable potentiometer/push button. This also accesses input level and EQ adjustment. EQ-wise there are two presets: ‘Pure’ for straight-up flat response, and ADAM’s ‘UDR’ curve (Uniform Natural Response). Then there’s two parametric shelving filters (one for low-end and the other for highs) as well as six full-parametric EQs. Alterations can be stored into three memories. Slightly different is the S3H, which offers an additional preset EQ curve emulating the sold-by-the-truckload ADAM S3A.

You’ll recall my mentioning of soffit mounting the S3H monitors, and the fact DSP adjustment is rearward. There are access issues if the monitors find themselves soffit mounted, but the S Series will negate this dilemma by way of software. S Series monitors house a rear USB-B port to enable software upgrades to the DSP and adjustment of EQ and presets via computer, yet the software is so far unavailable.

Equally as vaporous is the ‘Network’ slot. It’s marked ‘optional’. The manual states the Network slot “...will hold two RJ45 connectors for future expansion...” Two things spring to mind: will the network card cost as much as previous digital cards, and will it possess AES67 smarts? With AES67 you could route digital 96kHz audio straight from your computer – sans interface.


So what’s to dislike about the ADAM S3H? Nothing, I’m convinced. ADAM has pulled no punches with the S Series. The stereo imaging is simply immaculate, the three-way model seamlessly transitions between frequencies, and low-end is tight, predictable, and detailed. I’d gladly sit in front of these for a day – unlike anything with a metal dome tweeter. I’m no fan of metal tweeters, yet they offer advantages such as finessing infinitesimal effect details. The S-ART high-end drivers are a best-of-both-worlds option – unfatiguing, yet brilliantly detailed.

However, the S3H isn’t for the feint of pocket. At £4,800 a pair they’re a sizeable investment. Yet, in an age where audio production requires translation to umpteen streaming formats, iTunes, gaming, virtual and augmented reality, vinyl and good ol’ compact disc, you could advocate this figure to be a prudent expenditure.

Key Features

  • Handmade S-ART tweeter with HPS waveguide
  • 2 x 7” Hexacone woofers 
  • Frequency response: 32Hz – 50kHz
  • Cumulated amplification power RMS: 1,350W
  • AES3 digital inputs and various expansion options


RRP: £4,800 a pair

Brad Watts has been a freelance writer for numerous audio mags, has mastered and mixed various bands, and was deputy editor of AudioTechnology in Australia. He is now digital content manager for Content and Technology.

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DPA Microphones bring clarity to South Korea’s largest church

DPA Microphones bring clarity to South Korea's largest church

The home of the largest Pentecostal Christian congregation in South Korea is using a range of DPA Microphones to amplify the pastors, musicians and choir who take part in numerous church services each week.

In total, the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul has invested in eight d:vote 4099 instrument microphones, one d:fine 4088 cardioid headset microphone, four d:dicate 4011 cardioid recording microphones and two d:facto vocal microphones.

The church, which now has nearly half a million members, is located on Yoi, an island in the middle of the Han River. It was founded by David Yonggi Cho in 1958 and is presently led by Young Hoon Lee, while its main building was inaugurated in 1973.

“The biggest reason for choosing DPA was the solid yet clean tone its microphones deliver,” said Jung Kim, the church’s sound director. “Other brands also have various adaptors and options, but for us DPA microphones were the best.

“I have previously used DPA for live events and in other churches, so I was aware of the quality of the brand,” Kim added. “When the time came to upgrade our microphones, I chose DPA because they deliver great results and offer the reliability we need in terms of installation, microphone characteristics and minimal interference between microphones that are being used near to each other.”

For the main part of the church where most services take place, Yoido chose the DPA 4011F d:dicate gooseneck mic, which features the MMC4011 cardioid capsule. The 4011F podium microphone has been installed via a DPA TSM4001 table shock mount, an ideal configuration for pastors due to its ‘exceptional’ speech intelligibility via its linear on-and off-axis response. Pastors and visiting lecturers also have the option of using the d:fine headset microphone.

A selection of d:vote instrument mics are used by the orchestra to amplify piano, string and brass instruments, while the church’s choir is amplified with d:dicate 4011A cardioid microphones.

“We also use our d:vote instrument microphones for bands and for other purposes, depending on the occasion,” Kim concluded. “We are now looking to replace the microphones we use for satellite broadcasting and radio production and once again DPA will be our first choice.”

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SynthScaper updated – Igor Vasiliev tweaks his excellent iOS synth-based sound design instrument

I’ve reviewed a number of Igor Vasiliev’s iOS music apps here on the blog including Audio Mastering, AltiSpace, Master FX, Master Record and SoundScaper  All these apps are excellent and deliver excellent performance combined with equally excellent value for money in a straightforward, no fuss, fashion. As I reported a few weeks ago, Igor’s latest release is SynthScaper. As the title […]

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Tinnitus Treatments + Therapies: 2017 Update

Far too many DJs and musicians suffer from chronic hearing loss. It's a big risk in our industry, when exposure to loud noise at regular intervals is often regarded as "part of the job." Many with hearing loss also develop tinnitus - a chronic ringing in the ears. In this article, guest contributor Peter Phua shares some of the latest studies, treatments, and therapies for tinnitus. 

The post Tinnitus Treatments + Therapies: 2017 Update appeared first on DJ TechTools.

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Radical electronics on a grand scale: Berlin Atonal in its fifth reboot year

Berlin’s idea of a summer holiday is a bit different: shroud yourself in black, retreat into a giant concrete bunker, and prepare for an onslaught of experimental sound and light. But that’s Berlin Atonal Festival in a nutshell. It’s what Tresor entrepreneur Dimitri Hegemann calls “a platform for radical ways in electronic music … in […]

The post Radical electronics on a grand scale: Berlin Atonal in its fifth reboot year appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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