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In-depth Feature:  T.C. Electronic PowerCore FireWire
Hollin Jones writes: .

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In Use

The PowerCore party pack!
The ease of setting up is reflected in the ease of use of the plugins. Looking a little like the Waves series, with a metallic grey feel, they are fairly self-explanatory. Loaded in like normal VSTs or Audio Units, there are several to choose from. The Megaverb offers a very high level of control over its reverb, and is very versatile, suiting mastering, vocals, drums or instruments equally. The Classicverb emulates 16 types of classic reverb, and has simpler controls. The Chorus / Delay features a great analogue style chorus which, applied in moderation, will sweeten up any sound, as well as a tempo synced delay section. There are five dynamics plugins – the VoiceStrip combines gate, EQ, de-esser and compressor in one unit and works very well on any type of vocal, providing an easy improvement to vocal sounds. The Limiting Amplifier can add a great deal of punch to tracks with its very hard limiting compression, The CL features analogue controls and softer compression, and is a good all-round compressor. The Master X3 is a software version of TC’s hardware finalizer, and has expander, compressor and limiter controls. It really helps to add punch and level out tracks during mastering, and given that the hardware finalizer costs about the same as this entire package, is something of a bargain. Finally there is the EQsat – a very sweet-sounding five-point paragraphic EQ with some very useful presets for both instruments, entire mixes and tasks such as removing ambient computer noise.

The PowerCore 01 Synth
Thrown in for good measure is the PowerCore 1 - a virtual analogue synth. Leaning more towards techno-style sounds, it is perfectly serviceable, if not totally groundbreaking. As it runs off the PowerCore, using multiple instances as MIDI is less of a problem than it would normally be. There were a few latency problems until we played with Cubases' buffer settings, so be prepared to do a little tweaking at first. The minimum spec is a G4 400, and curiously this was one of the machines we tested it with. On a slower machine the extra processor load imposed by using the PowerCore - just having it plugged in, that is - was noticeable but not crippling. It was certainly refreshing to be able to whack a few quality reverbs in without experiencing stuttering playback. On a PowerBook G4 1.25ghz running Cubase SX2 the PowerCore seemed happier, and although there were a few stutters when using it on a heavy audio track, this was probably more to do with the speed of the hard drive.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • PCI PowerCore 1.8 Review
  • TC Electronic WWW
  • More detailed info on included Plug-ins
  • PowerCore @

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