Test Drive: Source Elements Desktop and Source-Connect (The end of ISDN?)

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MANY FLAVORS OF SOURCE

The Source-Connect plugs come in a Pro version and a Standard version, and Source Elements Desktop program comes with a Standard version of the plug which is fine for small studios and voice talent who may be able to eliminate their ISDN connection altogether for $395. The Pro version plug, which runs $1495 (adding the APT-X option brings it up to $1995), is more suitable for studios with multiple rooms, VPNs, and does run at a higher bit rate. All Source-Connect plugs send and receive audio in AAC format, with the Standard version topping out at 192kpbs for stereo and the Pro version reaching 320kbps.

For studios, the Pro version plug-in is a pricey beast, although the standard version plug is a complete bargain compared to the cost of an ISDN codec. Both versions are available in ProTools RTAS format, VST format, and AU format, all of which means that they will run on a wide variety of digital audio editors. The company also makes a “broadcasting” product called Source-Live, whose primary use is to allow engineers to broadcast a mix to a group of clients and producers simultaneously (no, it’s not a built-in net radio product).

All products require an iLok USB dongle, which is the standard method of copy protection for Source-Connect. You’ll even need one if you just want to evaluate the program -- the demo license is good for 15 days at which point the iLok authorization expires.

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