You would think coming just mere months after NAMM that the 2022 AES Show might not slap quite as hard as usual. That assessment would be wrong. After a two-year hiatus, the Audio Engineering Society’s tribute to all things pro audio has returned to New York City, and all of your favorite brands are coming correct. 

This year’s new arrivals put any prior Best of AES list to shame. We’ve got heavy-hitting releases from legends like API, Avid, and Solid State Logic, and must-haves from Soyuz Microphones and Chandler Limited. That’s just for starters; there’s a whole lot more!

It’s time to start breaking down our favorite releases from the show. Here’s what you missed if you weren’t on the convention floor or paying attention to your social media feed:

Solid State Logic Origin 16-Channel Recording Console ($39,999)

Solid State Logic is known for its analog consoles, but with the industry trending towards digital, the desk maker started to consider something with DAWs in mind. At the AES Show in 2019, the brand introduced the 32-channel Origin console, and this year they are debuting a smaller 16-channel version.

The new 16-channel inline console is analog in design with PureDrive microphone preamps, E-Series EQs, and SSL’s classic Bus Compressor. These features make the Origin perfect for doing things the old-school way, but there is more to the desk that makes it extremely flexible when working in your DAW.

Mix engineers will love the Origin, as it offers balanced insert points on each channel path, dedicated channel direct outputs, and stem-ready 0dB fader bypass switches. The console’s center section is modular, which makes it very easy to configure the desk to your workflow. There is room for a 500 Series rack, a DAW controller like the SSL UF8, a keyboard, or alternate meters.

Avid MBox Studio Audio Interface ($899)

If you were making music at home in the early 2000s, the name “MBox” might ring a bell. Avid is now reviving its personal audio interface with a completely new look, functionality, and connectivity for 2022. 

This stunning interface and production package delivers a lot of I/O power (21x22 simultaneous I/O, to be exact). The MBox Studio features four onboard microphone preamps and two instrument inputs (with Variable Z technology), four line-level inputs, and an extra eight channels over ADAT and two S/PDIF channels.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Variable Z concept, Avid introduced the latest version of this technology with the Pro Tools | Carbon. Variable Z lets you change the impedance of the input depending on what you are running through that mic preamp. There are five different settings (1MΩ, 230k Ω, 90k Ω, 72k Ω, 32k Ω), which you can experiment with your signal chain going into the interface and find the best fit for your source.

The MBox Studio offers two stereo monitor outputs for traditional monitor control, two headphone outputs with independent cues, and an integrated talkback system. A new innovation for the MBox Studio is its built-in stereo Bluetooth system. This feature makes listening to your current project on any connectable device extremely easy. We’re talking about previewing your track in your car, on your iPhone, or anywhere else you can connect.

The Avid MBOX Studio will be an ideal interface for those breaking into recording, and veteran engineers and musicians looking for a simple home studio solution. The interface boasts substantial I/O, effective monitoring options, and several unique features that will help you streamline your workflow.

Avid Pro Tools | Carbon Pre Eight-Channel Microphone Preamp ($2,999)

If the MBox Studio feels limited in terms of I/O count, then you probably already know about the Pro Tools | Carbon. Avid’s hybrid audio interface was introduced in November 2020 and has won over tons of fans with its brilliant sound quality, seamless Pro Tools integration, and impressive I/O count.

While the interface’s 25x35 I/O count will be just fine for some, others may still be craving more. Enter the Avid Pro Tools | Carbon Pre. This new expander unit enables Carbon owners to add up to 24 channels of mic/line inputs and AD converters to their rig. Now, you can get even more of the same world-class audio performance and microphone preamps you already love.

The Carbon Pre closely follows the form factor of the Carbon interface. The 19” rackmount unit features front panel channel selection and monitoring options. Your new I/O power comes courtesy of eight microphone/line preamps (three preamps featuring Variable Z technology), two Hi-Z instrument inputs, 8x8 line i/O (DB25), and 16 channels of ADAT 1/O.   

If you’re ready to supercharge your Carbon, adding a Carbon Pre to the equation will have you prepared for any recording session that comes your way.    

Universal Audio Bock 187 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($1249), Universal Audio Bock 167 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($2999), & Universal Audio Bock 251 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($5999)

Universal Audio wasn’t content with just releasing the Volt 4 and Volt 476P interfaces and being done for the rest of the year. The Scotts Valley, California-based company has teamed up with famed microphone maker David Bock to release a new line of tube and FET condenser microphones. Here’s a breakdown of the first three releases:

Universal Audio Bock 187 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone: Universal Audio’s reputation for recreating classics now extends to the world of microphones. The brand’s first FET mic offering is a recreation of the U87, and this new version features a fixed cardioid polar pattern, rumble filter, and built-in Fat Mode for beefing up your tracks. 

Universal Audio Bock 167 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone: There's no question what microphone the 167 is channeling! Universal Audio’s version of the iconic U67 features a K67-style brass capsule, variable polar patterns including cardioid and omnidirectional, a pad, and onboard Fat Mode.  

Universal Audio Bock 251 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone: David Bock’s genius is on full display with another fabulous microphone design in the 251. This version of the historic mic features a re-engineered transformer, C12-style capsule, and switchable polar patterns. The mic can be used in cardioid, omnidirectional, or bidirectional.

API Select SV12 500 Series Compressor ($565.25) & SV14 500 Series Parametric EQ ($565.25)

When you have a legacy of creating incredible gear like API Audio, why wouldn’t you continue to revive your classic designs? The brand is releasing two new 500 Series modules under the API Select banner that will introduce a new generation of engineers to its historic EQ and compressors.

API Select SV12 500 Series Compressor: Throughout the decades, API and its parent company ATI have become synonymous with console design. In the case of ATI, the company was responsible for the Paragon desk created specifically for live sound mixing. The new API Select SV12 brings the original compressor circuit of the console to the 500 Series realm. It’s an easy-to-use compressor with Variable Threshold, Ratio, and Make-Up Gain controls, in addition to a hard or soft need compression switch. 

API Select SV14 500 Series Parametric EQ: Another seldom-heard name from API’s past is APSI, a small company sold through the brand in the 70s and 80s. The SV14 is a recreation of APSI’s 562 EQ in the 500 Series format and features a four-band EQ design with 12 dB of boost/cut per band controlled via dual concentric knobs.  

Soyuz 1973 FET Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($799) Black Finish & Silver Finish

Soyuz is known for its impeccable handbuilt microphones ranging in price from $699 (013 FET Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone) up to $4599 (017 TUBE Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone). For its latest release, the brand designed a budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on its trademark build quality and sound.    

The 1973 is a stunning large diaphragm condenser mic that utilizes the same capsule as the brand’s 023 Bomblet. This transformerless FET design offers the lowest self-noise of any microphone from Soyuz and features a pad switch with -10 dB and -20 dB options. Perfect for any source, the 1973 will shine with present lows, forward midrange, and open high end.

Neumann TLM 103 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone - 25 Year Anniversary Edition ($1449)

The term“vintage” is typically meant for items that are 25 years old, but the word “legendary” could be applied to the Neumann TLM 103 right from the get-go. Now that the TLM 103 has officially hit its silver anniversary, the storied brand is celebrating with a limited edition version of the microphone. 

Neumann’s 25-year TLM 103 is limited to 500 units worldwide (each stamped with a unique serial number on the front) and has a new titanium appearance. Like the original, this TLM 103 features the signature K 103 capsule. Its design is based on the classic capsule used for the U67 and U87 microphones. Want that U87 sound in a smaller form factor? This will do the trick!

Black Lion Audio PBR-XLR 16-Point Patch Bay ($169), PBR-TRS 48-Point Patch Bay ($199), and PBR-TRS 46-Point Patch Bay ($249)  

When you already create magnificent mic preamps, compressors, and interfaces like Black Lion Audio, you might as well get in the patch bay game to bring them all together. For the 2022 AES Show, Black Lion has released not one, not two, but three new patch bays for streamlined connectivity in your studio. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:

PBR-XLR 16-Point Patch Bay: This model features 16 points for patching with gold-plated XLR connectors. The front faceplate has 12 male XLR connectors and four female XLR connectors making patching to other devices easier as you don’t have to dive behind your rack.

PBR-TRS 48-Point Patch Bay: Let’s up the ante with a TRS patch bay that offers 96 connection points featuring gold-plated ¼” TRS connectors. Mode-switching buttons are featured on the back for configuring Normal and Half-normal operation.

PBR-TRS 46-Point Patch Bay: Alright, there may be two less connectors on this unit, but make way for Bluetooth connectivity! Black Lion is making it possible to bring in audio from your devices through lossless audio connectivity.

Chandler Limited RS660 Compressor ($3599)

It’s undeniable. Chandler Limited creates the world's most authentic EMI/Abbey Road gear reproductions. But after eight years of channeling all that British magic, owner/designer Wade Goeke has decided to do something unique with his latest creation. Instead of recreating a specific piece of gear, the RS660 compressor brings together two classics.

For his new design, Wade has created a mash-up of the fabled Fairchild 660 and RS124. While the Fairchild isn't an EMI engineering creation like the brand's other releases, the compressor was a staple at Abbey Road. Famed engineer Geoff Emerick heavily used the compressor on every Beatles release from Revolver forward. And as for the RS124, most of you will be familiar with the tried and true Chandler Limited version released in 2015.

The new RS660 combines the classic sounds of both units with 6386 vacuum tubes and three different modes, including THD, Comp, and Limit. There are controls for Input, Output, and Time Constant on the front faceplate, and the back features XLR input and outputs, along with a selectable Output Impedance feature. Two RS660s can be linked together by way of a ¼” jack on the back, and there is a small switch to engage stereo linking on the front.  

Sony C-80 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($499)

The Sony C800G is one of the most coveted modern microphones on the planet, and you can’t have one! Just kidding, you can, but you’ll have to pony up $10,700 and wait until they are available again. If you’re looking for a much more inexpensive option that gets you some of the same vibes, the new Sony C-80 will make you happy.

Several years ago, Sony released the C-100, which combined the same technology and housing as the C800G with a new dual capsule design. Sony is again employing these concepts with the C-80, as the microphone features the C800G’s “Noise Elimination Construction” and the bottom capsule from the C-100. Sony promises a “powerful and rich mid-low frequency range” with the new microphone. 

Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 FET Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($349), Lauten Audio LA-120 V2 Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphones ($499), Lauten Audio LA-320 V2 Tube Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone ($699)

Last but not least, Lauten Audio has introduced V2 versions of its award-winning Series Black microphones. This series, which includes the LA-120, LA-220, and LA-320, still deliver the same sound but with a few new frills. Each microphone now features a polished and engraved nickel head basket, and the LA-320 has an all-new exterior. The LA-220 and LA-320 have new shockmounts with open-face designs for better isolation and flexibility.