New UK Steinberg distributors Harman are providing two phone support services for end users. The Steinberg Helpline is open from Monday to Friday between 2-5pm, with Steinberg Technical Specialist Naji Simaan in the hot seat to answer all those pressing queries. At all other times, the Helpline is switched to a fax machine; in fact, Harman recommend that more involved queries should be faxed through so that Naji can sort out the problem and then phone back with a response.
So that you can keep up to date with all the latest Steinberg developments, Harman are also providing a 24-hour 'New Products And Latest Versions' taped information line.
And now for the all-important phone numbers: Harman Audio: (0753) 576911; Steinberg Helpline: (0753) 554550; Steinberg New Products Info: (0753) 552340.
Already well established as synth and sampler manufacturers, Ensoniq are now moving into stand-alone effects unit territory with the new DP/4 Parallel Effects Processor. At the heart of the DP/4 are four custom 24-bit effects processors capable of processing up to four sound sources simultaneously via four separate inputs and outputs, each one of which has its own level control. What's more, each processor can provide multi-effects processing such as EQ + Chorus + DDL.
The 45 effects algorithms include standard effects such as reverbs, delay (up to 3.3 seconds), flanging, chorus and pitch-shift, along with more unusual effects like keyed expander, vanderpol filter and vocoder.
The DP/4 holds 400 presets (200 RAM/200 ROM) which provide single-, dual- and four-processor effects voicings covering single-instrument processing to live sound reinforcement and studio mixing.
RRP on the DP/4 is £1175 including VAT.
For more information, contact distributor Sound Technology's Ensoniq product specialist Simon Stock on (Contact Details).
Atari-using Ensoniq SQ1/2 owners can now do all their sound editing from the computer using Argents' new SQ Patch Navigator software. All parameters are shown on one monitor page, making setting up of the SQ's sound, volume, panning and effect parameters quick and easy. As the software is fully MROS and Softlink compatible, you can rapidly switch between editor and sequencer.
Patch Navigator will work with all SQ1s and SQ2s including Plus and 32-voice versions, and is offered free of charge to all Argents SQ purchasers old and new. Existing owners can claim their free copy by showing their original Argents invoice/receipt, while new customers will automatically receive their copy with the instrument.
For more information, contact Argents on (Contact Details).
The first two products from dBm, a new company set up to provide MIDI interfaces for analogue monosynths and market a range of innovative MIDI-based products, are the MIDI Mono internal MIDI retrofit and the EXCV single channel MIDI-to-CV converter.
Described as being suitable for most 1V/octave monosynths, MIDI Mono can respond over a five-octave range on a selectable MIDI channel (1-16). Features will vary according to the synth and fitting price will depend on the number of features you decide to have. As an example: a retrofit for a Sequential Circuits Pro One provides +/- one octave of pitchbend, portamento control over MIDI, LFO control from the mod wheel, an independent LFO for the VCF, routing of aftertouch, mod wheel and velocity to the VCF/VCA, and MIDI control of up to four continuous and four switched parameters.
The EXCV, a compact unit powered from an external 12V psu (supplied), also responds over a five-octave range on a selectable MIDI channel (1-16) and provides a pitchbend range of +/- one octave. Other features include two Level outputs for controlling the VCF/VCA, each with selectable MIDI sources; pitch slide control from MIDI portamento and patch changes; an LFO which can run free between 0.1Hz and 20Hz or be locked to MIDI clock or note on data; LFO control from the mod wheel; and the ability to gate the Gate output using the arpeggiator clock or MIDI note on data. The EXCV will also convert MIDI clocks to Sync 24, allowing old Roland gear to be synced to MIDI.
The price of the MIDI Mono ranges from £120-200 including fitting, while the EXCV costs £139.
For more information, contact dBm on (Contact Details).
Thanks to a special bulk purchase, pro audio dealers HHB can now offer a limited number of Sony DTC1000ES DAT recorders at a new low price. The standard machine costs £749 + VAT, while a Pro version, modified by HHB to include balanced analogue inputs/outputs and a 19" rack-mounting kit, costs £849 + VAT.
The recorder features HHB's own 44.1/48kHz switchable record modification along with twin 16-bit 2x oversampling D/A conversion, a single 16-bit 4x oversampling A/D, digital inputs and outputs in S/PDIF format, manual and remote control operation, and a full array of sub-code indexing routines including Start ID and Skip ID. Supplied officially to HHB by Sony, the DTC1000ES is backed by full spare parts availability and HHB's own 12-month guarantee.
For more information contact HHB on (Contact Details).
MIDI Song File specialists Hands On MIDI Software are expanding their range of products in a variety of areas.
Onstage, the MIDI file player for the Atari ST, has already undergone its first major upgrade in the form of version 1.1, which now supports global parameter changes, programmable time delays between auto-play songs, and the ability to access up to 32 MIDI channels for playback. Price is £99.95.
The company are also providing an extremely cheap way of adding a further 16 MIDI channels to the existing 16 available via the ST's own MIDI Out port. The £29.95 '16+ Cartridge', which plugs directly into the ST's modem port, works not only with Onstage but also Creator, Notator, Cubase, Cubeat (utilising the Export driver through MROS), Trackman 2, Virtuoso and Sequencer One Plus.
Hands On are now supporting Roland's Sound Canvas GS and Yamaha's TG100 General MIDI sound modules with two new editor packages, modestly priced at £39.95 each. As well as allowing you to edit parameters for each multitimbral part, they each provide a full drum editor; edited parameters can be saved as a Standard MIDI File and imported into any sequencer which supports the SMF format. Both programs work within MROS and Softlink, allowing you to switch quickly between sequencer and editor. Plans are in the pipeline to support Korg's 03R/W module, which has a General MIDI mode.
Through a tie-in with New York-based MIDI sequence data company Tran Tracks, the American company's library of 500 titles is available through Hands On and all customers will be entitled to use the Hands On helpline. Tran Tracks sequences use a polyphony base of 64 notes, offering the user full and complete arrangements which all have arranged endings; comprehensive track sheets and a wide variety of sequencer formats are supported.
Creative Sounds' Improviser software for the ST, also available from Hands On, has recently been upgraded to V1.3. Written by jazz saxophonist Paul Hodgson, the software sets out to help musicians explore improvisation in a variety of styles. Standard MIDI Files can be loaded into the program, which will produce melodies from the music which can then be resaved in SMF format and imported into any SMF-compatible sequencer package. Price is £99.95.
Hands On are also expanding into the educational market with the introduction of 'Masterclass' sequences, which have been designed as an aid to studying examination pieces set by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Each disk retails at £9.95, while if you just want to listen to recorded versions of the pieces you can buy audio playback versions of the disk data on cassette tape for £4.95; DAT versions similar in content to the cassette tapes are also available at £12.50 each.
Song file programmers take note that Hands On are still recruiting freelance programmers to help keep pace with their UK and international demands.
The relevant phone numbers for further information are (Contact Details).
Overseas readers might like to know that Hands On products are now also available in America from Tran Tracks Inc (Contact Details), in Germany from MCS (Contact Details), in Australia from Bava's Music Scene (Contact Details) and in Scandinavia from G Major Music AB (Contact Details).
MIDI songfile purveyors, Heavenly Music have descended into the depths of madness with their latest project, the complete filmscore to Alfred Hitchcock's horror classic deprogrammed in MIDI songfile form to a copy of the original film cue sheet. Priced at £24.95 including p&p, the soundtrack gives you over 40 minutes of music available in a variety of formats, including ST, PC, Sound Brush, Datadisk and MDF2; cassette and DAT versions will be available soon.
For more information, contact the angels at Heavenly Music on (Contact Details).
With so many sample CDs emanating from and focusing on the dance market at present, a new CD from The Music Suite comes as a pleasant change. The Ethnic Percussion Sound Collection CD contains more than 400 original samples, all digitally edited, representing the culmination of over three years' work with percussionist Dave Starkie. Sounds include gazelle, Singhalese, thunder, talking and barrel drums, djembe, dumbek, tablas, congas, batterphones, rattles, bones, spoons, shakers, bowls, anvils, gongs, cuica, berimbau and didgeridoo.
The Ethnic Percussion Sound Collection CD is available for £39.95 including VAT and p&p directly from The Music Suite on (Contact Details).
The Multimedia '92 show at London's Olympia provided the platform for Commodore to launch their new Amiga CDTV-based Multimedia Home Computer Pack. This new bundle adds a 96-key QWERTY keyboard, a two-button mouse and a 3.5" floppy disk drive to the CDTV, allowing it to run the extensive range of Amiga games and home productivity software, as well as nearly 90 other software titles. The Pack is available for £599 including VAT.
For further information contact Commodore Business Machines on (Contact Details).
Effective from July 1st, E-mu Systems' Pro series of sound modules has undergone across-the-board price reductions of 20-34%, apparently a move which signals a new company focus on the 'hobbyist' musician market. The reductions have been made possible by E-mu's adoption of G1.5 SoundEngine technology, a proprietary method of sound generation which is far more cost-effective than its predecessor, the G1.0 SoundEngine, without compromising on functionality or audio quality. For details of your nearest dealer contact (Contact Details).
LA Analogue, a Los Angeles-based company which specialises in sourcing old analogue modular systems, boldly claim that they can find anything (almost) within a few weeks. Systems currently in stock include the Buchla 200 series, Buchla 400, ARP 2500 and 2600, Serge modular system, EMS Putney, and Roland 100 and 100M, together with various Moog modules.
Anyone wanting to find out more can contact LA Analogue on: (Contact Details).
New from Hinton Instruments are two 1U 19" rack-mounting MIDI merger units built for professional use. MIDIY1 provides three MIDI Inputs merged to one MIDI Output, while MIDIY2 provides dual two MIDI Inputs merged to separate MIDI Outputs. Features include individual filtering of every MIDI status type on each Input, LED indication of status, user-definable Clear Event and Panic Sequence functions activated by pressing large front-panel pushbuttons or a remote footswitch, and an RS232 port for setting up, computer control and configuration dumps.
MIDIY1 is available at £575, MIDIY2 at £650; both prices exclude VAT and delivery.
Incidentally, MIDIY is only part of a range of professional MIDI management devices from Hinton Instruments which includes high density routing matrices, long-haul converters and analogue and digital interfaces.
For further information on products and custom services, contact Graham Hinton on (Contact Details).
After a series of not entirely successful attempts to produce a follow up machine to the ST, Atari finally seem to have come up with the goods. Indeed, the new Falcon 030 looks set to break as much new ground for the company in the 90s as the ST did in the 80s.
In appearance, little has changed: the Falcon looks like a 1040 STE - though a darker coloured casing is being considered. Internally, however, things could hardly be more different. The CPU is a 68030 running at 16 MHz, in keeping with the current low end range of Macs (Classic II and LC-20 II) with a 68882 floating maths co-processor (FPU) as an optional extra. FPUs are normally used for operations which involve hefty numbercrunching such as the editing of graphics.
The machine's RAM comes in three configurations - 1, 4, or 14 megabytes - and there appears to be 512 Kilobytes of ROM and a 128 Kilobyte cartridge port. Monitors for the Falcon can conform to the Super VGA standard; 640 x 480 pixels with 256 colours on-screen chosen from a palette of 65,536 colours (16-bit).
Other details on the visual side are still a little sketchy, but a 15-bit overlay mode for video titling has been mentioned, as has programmable overscan and hardware assisted horizontal fine scrolling. And the sound? Well there appears to be eight channels of 16-bit digital audio DMA record and playback with a sampling rate of up to 50 KHz. In practice, this is likely to allow four stereo channels of CD-quality audio and it appears that 1-bit technology with 80 times oversampling is being used.
Also incorporated is MultiTOS, a professional version of MiNT which has been available for the ST for some time as shareware. How effective the multi-tasking facility will be remains to be seen (it is doubtful whether it will be useable on the MIDI side), but it is a welcome addition nonetheless.
As regards ports, the news is that the onboard 56001 Digital Signal Processor (DSP) running at 32 MHz will allow direct-to-disk recording systems to be built without the need for any extra hardware. With an SCSI 2 port, hard drives can be connected directly without the need for SCSI-DMA host adaptors (a DMA port is also included for current Atari hardware). Such a port should also allow the use of CD-ROM players and the like.
Obvious connectors such as MIDI In and Out, stereo output, two joystick ports and an RS-232C serial port are included - as is a stereo microphone input, two 15-pin enhanced digital/analogue controller connectors and a high speed Localtalk compatible LAN (Local Area Network) port.
The disk drive is high density (1.44 Megabytes) and there is an optional internal hard drive (apparently 2.5") and an internal direct processor slot for 386 SX emulation or other processors. The price? To be successful, the bottom of the range model must come in at around £500 - though "under £1000" is the figure that is being bandied around. If this is correct, then the Falcon 030 looks set to do serious damage to Amiga sales. Having said that, the success of the machine is likely to depend on the compatibility of ST software, its reliability, how available it will-be and how well supported it will be by the software writers. Though that last point is probably something of a foregone conclusion.
When? It is expected that the Falcon will be launched at the Dusseldorf Show in August and available in Germany in late Autumn. As far as the UK is concerned, who knows? If Atari UK do, they are certainly not letting on.
Though you have every right to expect up to the minute, accurate news on these pages of the magazine, I have to say I would have preferred to have waited another month before writing this - if only to confirm all the facts. But notwithstanding the non-disclosure form which is currently awaiting my signature, this is the most accurate information I could come up with at the time of writing - 4th July 1992. Until it actually arrives the only thing that seems certain is that the machine will be surrounded by a considerable amount of speculation - not least of which will be that Atari themselves regard this as the 'low end' model of a new family of Atari computers...
New from E-mu Systems is a Plus version of the company's Proteus Master Performance System keyboard (reviewed MT March '92) which adds 4Mb of orchestral sounds to the standard 4Mb of pop/rock sounds and increases the onboard preset capacity to an amazing 500 locations (300 ROM, 100 RAM, 100 card). Existing MPS owners will be able to upgrade their keyboard to the full Plus spec.
The number of sample CDs on the market just I keeps on growing, due in no small part to the efforts of AMG. Latest disc in the company's Producer Series is the first offering from Beats International's Norman Cook, engagingly titled Skip To My Loops and featuring over 70 minutes of breaks and hooks; price is £49. Also new are two CDs from Masterbits: Orchestra Library is the second disc in the Special Edition Series, while Grooves is the fourth Climax Collection disc.
The Orchestra Library's collection of samples, which was originally recorded for the Synclavier, provides not only orchestral multisamples at different velocities but also hits, runs and swells that are impossible to recreate accurately using standard string samples. Due to the expense of actually having to hire musicians in order to get the sounds, the Orchestra Library disc is more expensive than many sample CDs currently on the market, costing £65.
As its name suggests, the Grooves CD is fairly and squarely in the dance category. A total of 280 new drum machine grooves in house, dance, rap, funk and techno styles are provided. Every groove is BPMed, and a few include basslines, while in virtually all cases several versions of the same groove have been provided. Grooves by itself costs £45, or alternatively you can buy all four Climax Collection CDs (Vocals, Classic, Guitar and Grooves) as a set for £160.
AMG have also taken the compilation album concept into the realm of sample CDs with a compilation cheekily titled Now That's What I Call Sampling! This features samples from all the Producer Series artists, including the Art of Noise's JJ Jeczalik, Pascal Gabriel, Coldcut, Ian Curnow and Pete Gleadall - and it's yours for absolutely nothing if you buy any sample CD from AMG. Now that's what we call a bargain!
Finally, the company have recently completed a new catalogue, 'SoundCheck', which is available on request and covers their full range of sample CDs, sound cards, software and expansions. For a copy and any further information, contact AMG on (Contact Details).
Okay, so our tennis players get trashed at Wimbledon each year, our national cricket team has a habit of failing abysmally - but recently, our electro-acoustic composers have met with considerable success at the 1992 International Electroacoustic Music Competition of Bourges.
To celebrate 20 years of the Bourges Competition, a special jury gathered to select 20 of the 124 compositions which have won prizes in recent years. Britain, which has always had a large share of prize-winners, took a quarter of the prizes awarded - a reflection of the significant role which British composers have played in electroacoustic music for some years. Winning composers were Javier Alvarez, Jonty Harrison, Denis Smalley, Alejandro Vinao and Trevor Wishart, all of whom have been or are closely associated with the Sonic Arts Network.
As in previous years, Bourges ran a competition for young composers in which Britain was again represented amongst the prize-winners by Andrew Lovett with Lyre Of The West Wind.
The awards reflect the fact that Britain has played an important and influential role in electro-acoustic music for some years.
Anyone wanting further information can contact Jonathan Cooper on (Contact Details).
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