San Francisco's AES conference hasn't even begun yet, and there's
already an overwhelming lineup of new products. Here's what's on tap in
a nutshell:

  • Applied Acoustics has released the Ultra Analog VA-1 virtual analog synth. Quick take: It's an overcrowded product category, but the $199 price and clean interface means this could be one to watch.
  • Available for download now, Cycling `74 has a new free utility for routing audio on Mac OS X, Soundflowerbed, which provides easy software audio routing options from the menu bar in conjunction with Soundflower. Quick take: A must-have for OS X users. It just replaced Rogue Amoeba's free SoundSource on my menu bar. One click sends audio from an app to another app or the interface of your choice.
  • Spectrasonics is now shipping its long-awaited Stylus RMX groovemaking instrument for Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) and Windows (VST). Quick take: I'm
    just waiting to get my hands on the Chaos Designer, which is supposed
    to inject chaos into a groove. Now you're talking — you can call me
    Professor Chaos.
  • Ultimate Sound Bank has a new virtual instrument for sound effects, foley, and atmospheric sound. Quick take: This, too, has been long in coming. Likely to make a huge splash for sound production.

The real test? Trying this software first-hand. We descend on the
Moscone Center tomorrow to see what other toys we can hunt down.