DK Technologies have revised several of their audio metering products since I last looked at them back in SOS May 2000. Of particular interest to SOS readers is the fact that the comparatively low-cost MSD100 series has benefited from a major makeover, including a software revision up to version 1.5.
This stereo meter is offered in three versions with differing interfaces. The unbalanced version (MSD100) employs phono connectors, while the balanced version (MSD100T/SA) has XLR inputs. The third version (MSD100AES/SA) accepts AES-EBU digital via XLR. All the units feature an improved 320 x 240-pixel LCD screen with better contrast, faster response, and a wider viewing angle. Power is via coaxial connector, and a wide range of low-voltage AC and DC supplies are accepted.
There are seven meter scales for the two bar graphs at the right of the screen: four quasi-PPMs (Nordic, BBC, EBU, and DIN), a VU meter, and two digital meter scales. There is a variety of meter ranges and reference levels to choose from. Integration time can be set to zero to show true peak level, with optional peak hold. A pair of LEDs indicate overloads.
A phase meter occupies the left side of the display, between that and the bar-graphs is an audio vectorscope display which provides a huge amount of information about panning, stereo image width and balance, mono compatibility, and even recording techniques. I won't record or mix without using a vectorscope now, because it's so useful.
The balanced analogue and digital versions of the meter also incorporate spectral analysis software. Two modes are provided, a new third-octave display joining the existing 1024-band FFT, and both share the level scaling and ballistics of the selected bar-graph meter. These are useful in achieving a spectrally balanced mix, as well as for isolating acoustic problems. The digital input version of the meter further provides the facility to examine the sample rate, resolution and status bits of the audio data stream.
Accurate audio metering is always important to help reference the ears, and certain audio errors and problems are easier to identify visually than aurally. The MSD100-series meters are superbly well equipped for this task, providing an awful lot for the money. The recent improvements make them even better value in the UK and well worth checking out — you'll wonder how you ever managed without one!
- Configurable and precise.
- Improved display hardware.
- Added third-octave spectrum analyser.
- None at the price.
DK Technologies' MSD100 series were already a good buy, and now offer even better value.
DK Technologies +45 4485 0255.
- OS v1.5