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KRCS BETT on music

KRCS Group plc, the UK's biggest Apple authorised reseller with 1992 sales of £30 million, is to open a specialist music division in the New Year, with technical and software support provided by Oscar Music.

To begin with, the division will focus on the education market, with which KCRS already have strong links. The KCRS/Oscar Music-partnership have developed an education package aimed at both individual teachers and music departments, with a one-year telephone support hotline to be provided by Oscar Music.

The package will be based around a Mac LC or higher, with a 14" high-res RGB monitor, minimum 80Mb hard drive, keyboard and mouse, and will also consist of a velocity-sensitive keyboard, an 'appropriate' sound module (probably GM/GS) and two software packages - Notator Logic for sequencing, and Clarisworks for general admin work.

Also included with the package will be a specially written introductory manual and Clarisworks templates aimed at music teachers: for instance a class list, an instrument database and a simple timetable. A Stylewriter II inkjet printer and powered monitors will be optional extras.

KCRS Music will be launched in January at the BETT '94 educational show, which is being sponsored this year by KCRS. Teachers attending the show will have an opportunity to win the above package by entering a prize draw.

KRCS will also be co-operating with the Gateway School of Recording and Music Technology to make Gateway's training initiatives available to their customers.

For more information, contact KCRS Music's Mike Mirrlees on (Contact Details).

Showcase yourself - in Canada

If you're an unsigned original performer, Music West are making you an offer you can hardly refuse. Every year, the Music West Festival in Canada solicits submissions from developing artists in Canada as well as from around the world. The Festival features over 200 performers, providing an opportunity for new artists to meet and to showcase themselves in front of talent scouts and other influential industry professionals.

The 1994 Festival will take place from May 12-15 in conjunction with an international music conference and exhibition in Vancouver, British Columbia. To be eligible for a showcase position, you must be currently performing original material live. All submissions must be accompanied by a completed Music West application form and a $10 processing fee, and must be received at the Music West office before February 15th.

To request your application form, contact Scott Swan or Louise Watson on (Contact Details).

Analogue action (1)

Novation Electronic Music Systems, the UK company responsible for the popular MM10-X and Midicon controller keyboards, have entered the world of sound-generating modules with a new analogue bass synth, the Bass Station.

Housed in the same lightweight, compact casing as the MM10-X, the Bass Station features a 25-key velocity-sensitive keyboard with full-size keys, a monophonic dual-oscillator sound source, and a MIDI implementation which allows the keyboard to transmit polyphonically. Each of the two oscillators can be assigned a square, sawtooth or pulse waveform, with the width of the latter modulatable manually or from LFO or Envelope 2 sources. The two oscillators can be detuned against one another, while the second oscillator can be tuned +/-12 semitones for octave and other interval effects; you can also vary the volume balance of the two oscillators.

The single filter has a 5Hz-10kHz cutoff range, and a resonance control which can be set from zero to self-oscillation; additionally you have variable +/- control over Envelope 2 and LFO modulation depth. Envelope 1 and 2 ADSR controls let you set attack, decay and release times, together with velocity-sensitivity control.

The pitchbend wheel can be assigned a range from 0-12 semitones, while the controller wheel may be set to control LFO mod depth and/or filter cutoff frequency and to transmit MIDI modulation, volume or aftertouch data.

Eight user-programmable patches can be stored onboard the Bass Station, while patch and setup data can be transmitted and received via MIDI as SysEx dumps.

The Bass Station is set to retail at £299.99 including VAT.

For more information contact Novation Electronic Music Systems Ltd at (Contact Details).

Akai make new connections

In today's increasingly integrated hi-tech musical world, no machine, it seems, can be an island. With the recently released v2.0 and forthcoming v3.0 software (due first quarter of '94), Akai are ensuring that their DR4d hard disk-based recording system is well connected. With version 2.0 software loaded, the DR4d can synchronise to video or audio tape recorders which provide a SMPTE/EBU timecode source, locking in less than a second with the optional IB112T board fitted. Version 2.0 also improves control between multiple DR4d units, supporting the new DL4d remote controller.

Working in conjunction with several leading MIDI software companies, Akai will be adding MIDI Machine Control and MIDI Time Code capabilities to the DR4d, along with full remote MIDI SysEx editing. DR4d owners can also expect to see much faster remote sample editing for their machine, as Akai are currently working on a SCSI-B protocol to this end.

For more information, contact Akai Digital at (Contact Details).

End of the line

If you've been thinking of buying a Roland JD-800 synth - you know, the digital one with all the knobs and sliders on it - then now might a good time to turn thought into action. Roland UK have received their final delivery of the instrument - and, they say, "we have it on good authority that Roland Japan will not be making anything like this again for the foreseeable future." For more information, contact Roland (UK) Ltd at (Contact Details).

Professional DAT from HHB

HHB Communications have now secured UK distribution rights for Panasonic's SV3700 professional DAT machine, following Panasonic UK's decision not to continue importing it themselves.

The SV3700 is engineered to fully professional standards, featuring XLR analogue I/O with high-performance 1-bit A-D converters, switchable 44.1/48kHz sampling rates, AES/EBU digital I/O, a shuttle wheel and infra-red remote control.

You can buy the SV3700 from HHB or the company's authorised dealers for £1399 excluding VAT.

For further information, contact HHB Communications Ltd, (Contact Details).

The Cubase MIDI Studio

Steinberg have developed an optional software module for Cubase 3.0 on the ST which allows you to configure your entire MIDI setup at the press of a button.

The StudioModule MIDI-studio Manager software adds four new windows to Cubase: Studio Setup, Memory Manager, Bank, and Macro Edit. The first of these windows allows you to define your setup, including all MIDI connections and MIDI patchbays, while the second provides library handling functions, with instrument-specific load, save, send and receive operations; you can choose between different file formats and append a comment to each file.

The Bank window allows you to view all the memory contents of your connected MIDI devices by name, and to send patch changes by clicking on relevant names; with the StudioModule software loaded, you can also select patches by name within Cubase's Arrange window. A General MIDI map is included with the software, making it easy to select sounds on any GM/GS module.

Finally, the Macro Edit window allows you to edit selected parameters on a number of MIDI devices using onscreen sliders; more than 80 device drivers are included as standard with StudioModule, and you can also create drivers of your own. Also included as part of the StudioModule package is CueTrax, a modular implementation of the Cubase Mastertrack.

Macintosh and PC versions of StudioModule are planned. StudioModule for the ST costs £159 including VAT.

For more information, contact UK distributors Harman Audio at (Contact Details).

NOW's not the time

Rhythms Of The Globe, the 36-hour multimedia extravaganza which was set to provide a grand finale for Nottingham's NOW '93 arts festival (see Scanners, MT November '93), has been postponed until some time during Spring - NOW '94.

According to festival director David Metcalf, this was "to ensure that it fulfills its potential as a state-of-the-art multimedia piece." Apparently, the artists involved were being offered more leading-edge technology than they could get to grips with in the time originally available. Nice work if you can get it!

As soon as we get news of a rescheduled date we'll let you know.


More news has emerged concerning the new Yamaha synthesisers reported in last month's Scanners.

The company have developed two versions of their physical modelling software Virtual Acoustic Synthesis: S/VA (Self-oscillation type/Virtual Acoustic) and F/VA (Free-oscillation type/Virtual Acoustic). Each is optimised for a different form of acoustic sound generation.

S/VA is particularly suited to the timbral recreation of instruments which vibrate in response to continuous application of pressure eg. saxophone and flute (wind pressure), violin and cello (bow pressure). F/VA, on the other hand, is best suited to recreating acoustic instruments which vibrate freely in response to a single trigger, eg. guitar, piano, bass, drums and percussion.

The VL1, due out early in the New Year, utilises S/VA synthesis, while the VP1, which will be released next Autumn, utilises F/VA. According to Yamaha, the sound source section of the VL1 consists of three elements. The instrument section generates the basic sound of a real instrument by producing a physical model of it. Then the modifier section 'flavours' this sound with the metallic sound of brass instruments and/or the body resonance of a violin (based on the instrument being modelled). The performer controls the breath strength and mouth shape of wind instruments, or the pressure of a bow on the strings of string instruments, in real time via a controller and envelope section.

VL1 specification

  • Keyboard: 49 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Timbre configuration: one voice with two elements
  • Maximum polyphony: two notes
  • Performance modes: monophonic, polyphonic, unison
  • Modifiers: harmonic enhancer, impulse expander, resonator, 5-band equaliser, dynamic filter
  • Effects: modulation type (flanger, pitch change, distortion), feedback delay, reverberation
  • Internal memory: 128 voices (16 voices x 8 banks)
  • External memory: 3.5" floppy disk drive (2HD/2DD)
  • Controllers: master volume, continuous slider x 2, pitchbend wheel, modulation wheel x 2, rotary encoder, LCD contrast adjustment
  • Display: 240 x 60-dot backlit LCD
  • Connection terminals: L/mono & R stereo outputs, headphones, foot controller x 2, footswitch x 2, press controller, MIDI In, Out and Thru
  • Dimensions: 914mm (W) x 380mm (D) x 105mm (H)
  • Weight: 12.5kg
  • Accessories: BC2 breath controller, FC7 foot controller

Retail price on the VL1 will be around £4000 (the DX1 of the new generation?).

The VP1 will have a 76-note dynamic keyboard, 16-voice polyphony and 4-element voices, and is expected to be even more expensive than the VL1.

According to Yamaha: "The VL1 and VP1 are synthesisers that will change the music scene of the future." Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? However, coming from the company which unleashed the DX7 on an unsuspecting world a decade ago, such a claim needs to be taken seriously - not least by other manufacturers.

For more information contact Yamaha-Kemble Music (UK) Ltd at (Contact Details).

(Almost) the complete Gary Numan

Numanoids have good reason to celebrate this festive season, as Beggars-Banquet are releasing four specially packaged double-CDs featuring every recording made by the pale one between 1978 and 1983. Well, not quite every recording: the two live albums Living Ornaments '79 and Living Ornaments '80 will follow (for the first time ever on CD) in the New Year.

Each twin-pack includes a pair of albums plus assorted B-sides, rarities and some newly discovered gems, priced at an extremely generous £11.99. Tubeway Army is coupled with Dance; Replicas with The Plan; The Pleasure Principle with Warriors; and Telekon accompanies I, Assassin - all with requisite lyrics, sleeve notes and rare photos.

Soundscape UPDATE

It's not often that you get something for nothing in this world, but now registered users of Soundscape, the disk-based multitrack recording system from Soundscape Digital Technology (reviewed MT July '93) can do just that.

A software update free to existing owners, and included as standard for new purchasers, adds eight independent real-time parametric EQs to the system. These can be applied to a single track or split across several tracks, and the EQ output can be recorded to a new track, freeing up the EQs for use on further tracks.

Also included in the free update is a new fader window which provides control over track volumes and mute/solo status. Onscreen faders respond in real time to incoming MIDI controller messages, making mix automation possible when Soundscape is used in conjunction with a MIDI sequencer.

Coming in the New Year are further DSP functions such as reverb, delay, stereo compression and timestretch. This upgrade will be charged for, however; price £tba, expected to be around £100 to £200.

For more information contact Soundscape Digital Technology at (Contact Details).

Circular sound from RSP

Surround sound is getting a lot of attention these days due to the emerging technologies of home cinema, virtual reality and 3D computer games. New entrant into the (sound) field RSP Technologies will be using the Winter NAMM Show in America to demonstrate the 3D properties of their new Circle Sound system, which allows the listener to reposition voices, instruments and sound effects anywhere within a 360-degree audio circle.

For more information, contact Adam Hall, (Contact Details).

Micro-Rent go AV

Long-established Apple Macintosh authorised dealers Micro-Rent plc have formed an audio-visual division called Micro-Rent Music & Video. Already specialist dealers for Roland AVB (Audio Visual Broadcast) and Digidesign, the company are also adding audio equipment from other major distributors to their range - a move which they see as complementing the non-linear video-editing side of their business, which includes such systems as Radius' Videovision Studio and SuperMac's Digital Film.

Most of the products Micro-Rent carry are on permanent demo at the company's purpose-built suite, by appointment only.

For further information, contact Micro-Rent Music & Video at (Contact Details)

Analogue action (2)

Studio Electronics, the Californian company which specialises in MIDI/rackmount retrofits of classic analogue synths, have taken the logical next step and released their own analogue synthesiser, the monophonic SE1.

Based on the technology used in the company's MIDImoog/MIDImini and ObieRack synth modules, the 3U rackmount SE1 features three oscillators with a choice of sine, square and triangle waveforms, oscillator sync, a switchable 12dB (like Moog) and 24dB (like Oberheim) filter with resonance, four envelope generators and three LFOs, together with a 99 user-preset memory, a mono output and MIDI In, Out and Thru sockets.

Studio Electronics' new synth also provides extensive real-time MIDI control, transmitting front-panel changes from 25 rotary knobs in SysEx form via MIDI.

The SE1 retails at £1299 plus VAT.

For more information, contact UK distributors TSC at (Contact Details).

The 5th rescue service?

InterManual Rescue, the company which aims to provide manual-less owners with the owners manuals they need, are now starting to supply service manuals and schematics for most analogue equipment. So if you fancy customising your kit á la Aphex Twin but you don't know what does what, send out a distress call to IMR.

SAEs should be sent to IMR at (Contact Details).

Clubbing vinyl to death

Although some DJs still cling resolutely to vinyl, CD usage is becoming more common in clubs and discos - and the race is to establish the CD equivalent of the Technics SL1200 decks.

Denon Professional claim that, with 25,000 machines already installed worldwide, their DN-2000F Twin CD Player has become the world standard. Designed with the help of working DJs and intensively club-tested, the DN-2000F has been voted Best Club CD Player for 2 years in a row by Disco Club International magazine.

Now, in response to feedback from users, Denon are introducing a more advanced model, the DN-2700F, with many additional features - including twin 6-second, 16-bit sampling off CD for instant looping of beats, breaks or whatever takes your fancy.

Other features of the new twin player include a 100-CD digital memory which holds cue points, timing and end points for individual CDs; variable pitch with a choice of +/-4%, +/-8% and +/-50% ranges; a 0.01-second start time from any cue point or track location; twin multi-function jogwheels, with an inner wheel searching CD frames in 1/75th-second steps and an outer ring providing normal FF and Reverse functions; and Denon's proprietary audio circuitry with 18-bit DACs.

The DN-2000F is priced at £999.99 inc VAT, the DN-2700F at £1999.99 inc VAT.

For more information, contact Hayden Laboratories Ltd at (Contact Details).

DIY CD ROM from Roland

Well, not quite DIY. But, as from January 1st '94, Roland will convert any user's existing library into a Roland-compatible CD-ROM for a modest cost - providing a whole new incentive for users to invest in a CD-ROM drive. And with drives now available for under £200, that investment needn't be too great.

Additionally, every purchaser of Roland's new S760 sampler will have free and unlimited access to the company's existing Professional CD-ROM sample archive; all you have to do is book time at their Fleet offices, then come along and copy as many samples as you want - or have disk space for.

Roland Japan have developed a new CD-ROM library for the S760 called the Project Series, consisting of 10 CD-ROM discs available at an RRP of £110 each. Titles include World Music and Keyboards of the '70s and '80s Volumes 1 & 2 - the latter including samples of original analogue sources only available to Roland in Japan. All samples were recorded at 88.2kHz and then digitally converted down to 44.1kHz to maximise sound quality.

For more information, contact Roland (UK) Ltd at Atlantic Close, (Contact Details).

MIDI goes Multiport

New from Q TEK (UK) Ltd is the MM1 MIDI Multiport MIDI interface for Atari Falcon and ST computers. Providing eight individually-addressable MIDI ports or 128 'virtual' MIDI channels, the MM1 connects to the computer's printer port; you can then connect your printer to the computer via the interface.

Up to four MM1 units can be combined to offer 32 MIDI ports (512 virtual MIDI channels). MM1 software drivers are available for DVPI Session Partner, Freestyle arranger software, MIDIshare Star Track and Steinberg Cubase, with other drivers currently in development.

The MM1 retails for £220 including VAT.

For more information contact Q TEK (UK) Ltd at (Contact Details).

Sampling the good Time

Place an order with sample CD fiends Time + Space and you could end up with more than you bargained for. The company are giving away a copy of Samplemania, their new demo CD featuring an assortment of musical demos and samples, free with every order - together with, while stocks last, a free copy of their Astroglide 202 sample CD. CD-ROM purchasers also get a free copy of the new Time + Space Showcase CD-ROM. This offer is, say the company, limited to one free copy of each sample CD/CD-ROM per household. Time + Space are also extending their offer entitling purchasers of any four T+S sample CDs/CD-ROMs to another sample CD of their choice for free. In this instance the order placed must be not less than £175 total, and the free CD mustn't exceed £54.95 in value. Time + Space produce a 72-page colour catalogue, free on request, which features details on over 400 products. If you need further help in deciding which sample CD(s) to buy, the company have also compiled a booklet featuring reviews by the specialist music press on over 50 of their products - again, available free on request.

For more information, contact Time + Space at (Contact Details).


Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, the American software company behind leading Amiga sequencer Bars & Pipes Professional and Amiga style software SuperJAM!, have now ported the latter program over to the PC. SuperJAM! comes with over two dozen musical styles, "from Mozart to Motown, hip hop to bebop, rock 'n' roll to rap and soul" - all custom-designed by professional musicians. An expandable architecture allows you to add new Styles at any time, either by drawing on a library of six Blue Ribbon SoundWorks Style disks (Movie Soundtrack, Pop/Rock, Classical, Cutting Edge, World Music and Dance Mix - £25 each) or by creating your own Styles within the software using a variety of compositional Tools.

You can create your own SuperJAM! band by interactively assigning your choice of instruments to the drum, bass, strings, guitar, piano and solo players, and use the software's graphic mixing grid to adjust each band member's volume and pan position. Songs played in any Style by the software can be saved in Standard MIDI Files format for playback within other MPC-compatible music software. SuperJAM! works with any Windows 3.1-compatible soundcard or MIDI instrument. The program is priced at £89 including VAT.

For more information contact UK distributors Et Cetera Distribution at (Contact Details).

Ensoniq with added weight

Latest workstation to emerge from the Ensoniq stable is the TS-12 Performance/Composition Synthesiser, essentially a TS-10 with the KS32's 76-key weighted-action keyboard in place of the standard 61-key keyboard.

The TS-12 provides 600 Sounds and Presets plus the ability to load sampled sounds from disk or via an optional SCSI interface into 8Mb of onboard RAM; Ensoniq's newly developed SoundFinder feature lets you search for sounds by musical category.

The TS-12's onboard 24-track sequencer includes a TempoTrack feature which allows tempo changes to be added to a song. Effects processing on the new instrument is derived from the company's much-admired DP/4 Parallel Effects Processor, with 692 pre-programmed variations on 73 effects algorithms provided.

The TS-12 retails at £2199 including VAT. For more information contact distributors Sound Technology plc at (Contact Details).

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In the first place

Next article in this issue

Future Talk

Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Music Technology - Jan 1994

Donated by: Ian Sanderson


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> In the first place

Next article in this issue:

> Future Talk

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