It's hard to think of a more 'digital' company than McDSP — frankly, the clue's in the name, and they were one of the earliest outfits to produce seriously covetable plug-ins. So it was something of a surprise to find them at NAMM launching a true analogue (not modelled) processor, full of premium 32-bit AKM converters, Burr-Brown op amps, THAT VCAs and so on. However, as you would expect from Colin McDowell and company, the new (and highly green) APB-16 has been carefully conceived to fit into a DAW-based recording environment. The Thunderbolt 2/3-compatible processor will allow 16 channels of digitally controlled, programmable (and therefore recallable) analogue processing to be run from within a Pro Tools session, using a plug-in interface to control and configure it.
If the word that springs to mind is 'why??', it seems the rather sweet answer is that McDSP thought it would sound extremely musical: as they put it, the APB-16 (or Analog Processing Box) offers "the flexibility of software with the fidelity of premium analog processing". Featuring tempting-sounding "multiple analog saturation options" and sample-accurate automation, it's scheduled to ship with a suite of control plug-ins for Pro Tools, including multi-band compressor/limiters and transient enhancers. Certainly, the APB-16 generated lots of interest from the show floor at NAMM, and that wasn't just because of the colour. In the video below, shot on the McDSP booth at NAMM, Colin McDowell tells SOS's Sam Inglis more about the APB-16.
We can't wait to hear it when it lands later in the Spring.
McDSP also announced a more traditional digital product, the 6060 Ultimate Module Collection, a development of McDSP's earlier 6050 collection. According to McDSP, the 6060 offers "the largest collection of processing options of any module-based plug-in available", with over 30 carefully modelled, low-latency processing modules for EQ, compression, saturation, distortion, specialized filtering, dynamic range expansion, gating, and more. Six modules may be operated at any one time, and the signal path through them can be flexibly redefined by dragging and dropping, or even split into two for parallel processing. Colin McDowell talked further to Sam Inglis here about the thinking behind the 6060, and why the collection contains an SOS module. Go Colin! For McDSP's brief video about the collection, see here.
Full details on all of the 34 currently announced modules in the 6060 Collection can be found here (and more are already planned). At the time of writing, the 6060 Collection was planned to retail for an introductory price of $199 in its Native version and $249 for the HD edition, although as Colin explained in his video above, this pricing is scheduled to become more expensive in mid-February, to the tune of "around 100 bucks", as he put it. We'll have updated news on the exact cost (and on the pricing of the APB-16) when available.