NAMM: Lexicon Shows it’s Omega Desktop Recording Studio

The end in desktop DAW’s?      19/01/04

NAMM: Lexicon Shows it’s Omega Desktop Recording Studio
Small, cute but powerful

Seems like bite sized audio interfaces are all the rage these days, especially ones that sit on your desktop next to your plants or can be easily carried to remote locations and used with laptops. Digidesign started this craze, and now there a number of offerings from different companies, each with their own feature set. The Lexicon Omega is physically a bit wider than the MBox or Mackie’s Spike, and there’s a reason for that: the Omega sports eight inputs, not the stereo pair as in the others. There are two mic preamp inputs on XLR, four balanced line inputs on 1/4” connectors, and SPDIF I/O. The mic inputs have inserts, -20 dB pads, and 48v phantom power. The sales rep pointed out that the 48v phantom is true 48volt, as the Omega has a wall-wart power supply, not just USB buss power. The unit also sports main outputs on 1/4” connectors, midi I/O, and a USB connector. The front of the Omega features individual level controls for the mic and line inputs, as well as monitor mix and output level knobs. There are also metering and SPDIF assign controls, an instrument input, and headphone output on the front. The Omega comes with software for both Mac and PC. Pro Tracks Plus is multi-track recording software for the PC that features up to thirty-two 24 bit stereo tracks, unlimited midi tracks and sequencer, VST and DX1 support, and the ability to burn CD’s from the software. Pro Tracks Plus also supports multiple file formats including, AIFF, MP3, MP2, AU, ASF, MPG, WAV, and SND. For the Mac, Omega ships with Bias Deck 3.5 SE, which features 32 stereo or 64 mono tracks, up to 999 virtual tracks, VST plugin support, monitor previous tracks while recording new ones, non-destructive punch in/out, master fader for stereo effects bus, unlimited storage and recall of location points, and support for AIFF, SDII, WAV, SND, and QuickTime file formats. Also included is Lexicon’s Pantheon reverb plugin, which has 35 factory presets, 6 reverb types, 16 editable parameters per reverb type, mono and stereo operation, floating point DSP processing, and is 16 and 24 bit compatible. Unfortunately, I hit the Lexicon booth right as the show was shutting down on Sunday, so I wasn’t able to get a demo of the unit, or even hear it in operation. Omega is compatible with Windows 2000/XP on the PC, and Mac OSX 10.2.8 or later. Street price on the Omega will be around $349. Albert

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