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A facelift for Argents plus some interesting new software launches at the budget end of the market

The State of Things to Come

As Argents came into its tenth year, Chris Sherwin the Managing Director, has decided that it was time for a facelift. This plan finds Argents transformed, including a complete interior refurbishment, but not losing the dedicated and knowledgable staff.

On half of the Ground Floor, a bright custom designed interior has replaced the dark hessian wallcovering and PolyMoog posters. It is equipped with an accessory bar, shelving, purpose-built display cabinets, and two demonstration studios. Each of these studios has its own particular theme, so that, as an example, one can be dedicated to entry level computer music systems, while the other is given over to the equipment of one single manufacturer. This floor is relaxed, informal but that is only the beginning!

The other half of the ground floor, is taken up by Key West, specialising in domestic keyboards. This section has its own entrance at 16, Denmark Place, and is to intents and purposes, a self contained unit.

The Middle Level of Argents is where the staff do extensive demonstrations of hardware and software on a one-to-one basis. The Argents servicing lab also resides on this level and offers an range of repair services, ranging from fault diagnosis and software upgrading to entire electronic overhauls.

The Top Level of Argents is, in association with Quadrant, one of Britain's leading specialist Macintosh suppliers and together they present a unique music suite. Admission is strictly appointment only and is manned by both Quadrant and Argent staff using equipment supplied by both companies. The ambiance of this floor is even quieter than the others, simply for the fact that it is necessary for clients to assess if their intended purchase suits the job, note for note and frame for frame.

The Quadrant facility is the jewel in the crown of this new Argents and represents the culmination of many years of commitment and hard work.

Contact: Argents (Contact Details)

The Deluxe Recorder

Electronic Arts have announced the release of the Deluxe Recorder, a home MIDI recording studio package for the Apple Macintosh. The Deluxe recorder offers real time recording of MIDI instruments, over 16 channels including programmable quantisation and syncronisation with external devices. It has a user friendly graphic interface for easy editing of your recorded MIDI data, both chromatic and diatonic transposition, a non destructive UNDO command, keyboard shortcuts and the ability to merge MIDI tracks together. The program allows the user to import and export standard MIDI and Deluxe Music Construction Set files for use with other Mac music programs.

The Deluxe Recorder requires a Mac SE, Plus or II (1mb of RAM), a MIDI interface and, at least, one MIDI instrument. The Deluxe recorder is a companion to the Deluxe Music Construction Set, as the Deluxe Recorder files can be printed and edited as sheet music in Deluxe Music Construction Set.

Contact: Electronic Arts Ltd (Contact Details)

Sequencer One

Relative newcomer to the field of music software - Gajits Software are about to release a new budget priced sequencer for all Atari STs.

Sequencer One has a creditable 32 tracks, 192 ppq rate, real time and step time editing modes, song arrangement page and will support standard MIDI files and desk accessories such as the patch editors they have planned. Something like 40,000 events are available on a standard 520 ST Gajits plan to have the program ready during the next month and should retail for £80.

The battle in the budget sequencer market is certainly hotting up!

Contact: Gajits Music Software (Contact Details)

Drake Research Seminar

The Drake Research Project are holding a one day seminar on Microtechnology and Music on Saturday the 25th of November at the Maria Assumpta Centre 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HN. This charity was set up by Adele Drake to help disabled children communicate via the medium of music. These kids - who might only be able to move one finger can be shown how to use the full range of MIDI hardware and software which is useful in both a creative and a very practical way.

The seminar will cost £15 for the day and includes everything bar lunch and should prove interesting to everyone concerned with this worthwhile area of computer music.

Contact: Drake Research Project (Contact Details)

UK Electronica Postponement

You may recall last issue we told you about the UK Electronica concerts. Well, regrettably the show was cancelled after we went to press due, largely to the rather poor turnout by the John Godfrey Fan Club.

However the show will go on. The date will be sometime in December. If you sent of your discount Micro Music coupon last ish then you will be receiving revised details shortly. If you didn't apply then fear not! Just get hold of the last issue and use the coupon in the News section.

Atari introduces Stacy and the TT to the world

The PC Show saw the introduction of two new products to the Atari MIDI range, the Stacy and the TT.

The Stacy

A truly portable version of a one meg ST should be of particular interest to all micro musicians who either need to journey great distances for their recording sessions or perform live. The important features it has include compatibility with Mega or ST software, it has one, two or four megabytes of RAM, an integrated 3.5' disk drive and 20 Mb hard drive. The Atari mouse is replaced by a trackerball and there is a high resolution backlit monochrome liquid crystal display. The Stacy is also compatible with several SMPTE time code systems,this enables musicians to perform real time applications.

As well as use for music purposes, the Stacy can also be used for normal computer applications such as spread sheets, wordprocessing, games and business applications. This means it is extremely versatile. Someone could be a business man by day and an aspiring musician by night. The Stacy, could be used on the road, at home, or in the studio.

Costing £1,299 excl VAT, the Stacy sounds an interesting prospect.

The Atari TT

The Atari TT is the first of a family of machines that, when expanded, provide single and multi-user UNIX workstations at a low price. It has a 16 Mhz Motorola 68030 processor, with stereo 8 bit PCM sound, 2Mb RAM (standard) and 8 Mb expandability. Also featured is a 30 MB hard disk, 4096 colours, 320 x 200, 640 x 200 and 640 x 400 monitor resolutions and 3 additional graphics modes including 1280 x 960 hi res mono. All this for £1,999.99 excl VAT, but including a colour monitor.

Contact: SDL (Contact Details)

Introducing The MIDI Music Show

Westminster Exhibitions announced The MIDI Music Show recently. Designed to attract professionals and enthusiasts in electronically produced and stored music, the show will be held on the 8th and 9th of April. Exhibitors and publications have received the plans well and the event will offer exhibitors the chance to sell and demonstrate their products and services.

Products on display will include everything from Keyboards to software and peripherals to consumables. The show will be split into two sections, one for manufacturers who are there to demonstrate and display to their trade, and the other for retailers wishing to sell to existing customers.

Westminster Exhibitions have also announced details of the 16 Bit Computer Show to be held in January. The event is designed for much the same reasons as the Music Show but it is hoped that many new users, who received computers for Christmas, will be interested, as well as existing and educational users.

Contact: Timothy Collins (01) 549 3444

New Address

Tonic Audio, as well as having a new address, are now fully open to the public without having to make an appointment. They will be continuing the mail order side of things and tell us that their new premises are bigger and sexier! and that they have a very nice, relaxed MIDI demonstration area for visitors, with free coffee, of course! Tonic Audio are open from 10 am to 7 pm Mon-Sat. If you»re in the area, why not take a look, for yourself!

Contact: Tonic Audio, (Contact Details)

The Music Network

If you have communications software and a modem you can dial into TMN with almost any personal computer and find out about the latest developments in high-technology music, exchange news, sounds and samples with other musicians, and share public domain and shareware computer programs.

Access is, in the UK, via British Telecom Public Data Network, with a reverse billed Network User identity (you do not need your own). There are three levels to the network, the open area which is open to everyone who uses the network, the closed user area open to only those allowed access by the Area Director, and the unlisted area accessed only by those allowed by the Area Director and system administration.

For details of the cost of the service and any additional information, contact The Music Network directly.

Contact: The Music Network (Contact Details)

The Musicpak from Voyetra

Musicpak runs on any IBM PC or clone, including Amstrad PC1512/1640. Musicpak contains a V-4001 MPU-compatible interface with built in tape sync, Sequencer Plus MK 1 ver.3.0 500 track software, Upgrade Path to seq Plus MK11 and MK III, Demo discs for test driving music software, Sign-up fee waiver to the Music Network bulletin board.

These items retail for £300 separately, so Musicpak, costing £199.95, is a great way of getting started in the world of computer music.

Contact: Voyetra (Contact Details)

Lift off for Space Logic with Japanese Roland Corporation

The Roland Pad-5 Handy pad, is the first product to be launched by the Japanese Roland Corporation that has had been styled by a British design company. Space Logic product design consultants have been specialising in work for the music industry for some time. The Pad-5 is their first product for Roland but they are working on some others that they hope will be in production soon.

Contact: Space Logic (Contact Details)

New Products from Peavey

Peavey have a number of new products on offer at the moment.

The MDB 2x4 MIDI distribution box helps to stop the distortion that can arise when instruments are plugged together in a chain, it features LED indicators, optical isolation between input and output, a low-battery condition indicator (the LEDs will not light if the battery is low). The compact MIDI distribution box will retail for £65 (all prices include VAT).

The DSR 1000 digital stereo reverb with MIDI. It is a true digital stereo multi-effects processor, but has significant advantages. Six new powerful digital algorithms allow user-control of all parameters, all of its factory pre-sets can be refiled in different location numbers with only five keystrokes. You can replace any of the factory pre-sets with your own effects, or you can even rewrite all of the 100 pre-sets. These six special digital libraries allow you to choose the exact shape and degree that the reverb is to take. Full MIDI access is provided for the synthesist, MIDI guitarist MIDI-driven PA system. The DSR 1000 will retail at £359.

The last product announced is the LM 8 rack mount line mixer is a high quality, rack mounted line mixer with exclusive features such as individual channel muting. It has 8 line level inputs, each with its own mute button, level and pan control and 2 Aux sends in a dual concentric format (each of these has its own level and pan control). The master left and right outputs have their own level controls and a discrete transistor headphone amplifier with its own volume control. The LM 8 should cost £199.

Contact: Peavey Electronics UK Ltd (Contact Details)

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Micro Music - Copyright: Argus Specialist Publications


Micro Music - Dec 1989

Donated by: Colin Potter


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