What’s in a cable? If you believe the audiophile, there’s an awful lot going on in an audio cable. Audiophiles are happy to shell out well over €1000 for an RCA interconnect. They claim to hear a difference with any lead that’s cheaper. But none of these chaps has ever succeeded to pick the expensive cable out of a bunch of cheap ones without knowing which is which.
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual features two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen. 1 port and all of the cables you need to start using it immediately. You can set this small-footprint unit to RAID 0, RAID 1, disk spanning and JBOD modes. It has a black minimal design and you can buy it as a bare enclosure or with disks already installed. I got the chance to test the 2TB version.
German manufacturer Delock makes cables, switches, splitters and adapters for all kinds of usages, including video and audio. I was intrigued by their inexpensive ultra-slim HDMI cable that has the same specifications as Atomos’ coiled HDMI 2.0a cables. A month of a lot of trying out this cable with different monitors and recorders later I’m pretty certain this Delock cable is a great cable if you want to record in 4K/60fps.
Thunderbolt 3 docks are being released at a fast pace. The CalDigit TS3 Thunderbolt Station has been around for a month now and it has an edge. Not only does it provide 85W charging power on one of its ports to Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 MacBook, but it’s also tiny compared to others. And it can be positioned upright, saving space on your desk.
Verbatim is the only manufacturer of optical media that makes dependable media. Even as they’re well over a decade old, their Archival Grade recordable DVDs and their recordable Blu-ray discs can still be burned and read without a glitch. I tested their M-DISC Blu-Ray disc that can hold a whopping 100GB.
Ever since the late Steve Jobs declared war on optical discs for distributing music and movies, the industry and media have been telling us the optical disc is dead. Far from it, I’d say, especially if you think about whether you’re comfortable with entrusting your precious data with cloud service providers. There isn’t a month going by without a hack or a security breach, ransomware being demanded and other such alarming events. Backing up to optical media has its benefits. And with the right equipment and the media to match, your risk of data loss is considerably lower. The OWC Mercury Pro Optical Drive might fit the bill.
If you need a clock counting up or down, or you would like to add a graphic to a video that gives some sense of timing or progress, look no further than Time Pop, distributed by FxFactory. It’s a title generator with some free clocks, but when you pay you’ll get a bunch of designs that offer more possibilities and more nicely designed progress “meters”.
Europe is home to some pretty innovative developers. In Slovenia, Lumulabs is a small operation that developed the Lumu Power light meter, a Kickstarter success that started well over a year ago and which successfully ended in June with the first shipment of the finished devices. The Lumu Power light meter is a hardware sensor combined with an iOS app. It has both a fast-response silicon photo diode and true colour sensor in a package the size of a big marble.
Another year, another release of Corel Painter. The new version is packed with new features that guarantee jaw dropping awesomeness. There just seems no limit to Corel’s ambition to develop an application that is meant to create digital art that looks like the real thing. Combined with the newest Wacom Intuos Pro and its amazing natural feel, Painter 2018 is for digital artists to drool over.
The iRig Pro I/O is the successor of the iRig Pro. It’s slightly bigger but offers higher specs and more professional capabilities, including headphones monitoring and a dedicated power supply that charges your iPad while recording.