The Shape of Things to Come
Our regular monthly exploration of upcoming new products.
With the recording world diving deeper and deeper into the digital domain, microphone manufacturers such as AKG have responded to the hyper-critical noise performance required at all points in the recording chain by introducing their new C474B-ULS model.
Based around the very successful C414EB, the new microphone still features four different selectable polar patterns (cardioid, hyper-cardioid, omni, figure-of-eight), phantom powering and a 25mm diaphragm capsule. New electronics have been designed to reduce inherent noise to an absolute minimum, making this an ideal choice for high quality digital recording applications.
The ART approach to graphic equalisation verges on being unique. The 'Smart Curve' Intelligent Equaliser system offers a 15 band, 2/3rd octave, graphic which utilises digitally controlled analogue circuitry.
Front panel controls are sparse when compared to the amount normally found on the front of traditional 'fader' designs. This is due to the menu-driven parameter display which allows you to call up each band, increase or decrease its value, and then store the entire EQ curve as a patch in one of the 128 onboard memories. These patches can be recalled manually or via a MIDI command sent from a keyboard or sequencer.
The IEQ also features a direct video monitor output giving a visual representation of the 15 bands for on-screen editing, but without the need of a personal computer or further software.
The American company Voyetra Technologies have appointed Audio FX as UK distributors of their Sequencer Plus program which runs on the IBM PC. We are told that this software is Amstrad PC compatible!
Following the success of their MK5 MIDI mother keyboard, Cheetah have announced their latest product, the MIDI Recording System. The package comes complete with an interface, MIDI leads and software featuring an 8-track fully polyphonic real/step-time sequencer with impressive capabilities. This includes forward and reverse sequencer playback, the recording of velocity/aftertouch data, variable quantisation and MIDI delay.
Unbelievably, the system has been designed to run on a 48K or 128K Spectrum computer and is available now from good high street computer stores. Cheetah intend supporting the unit with further products and a Commodore version will also be released soon.
Price £49.95 inc VAT. (Contact Details)
From a idea that started life somewhere in the depths of York University's Electronic MusicStudio, the SoundStreamer is part of a system called the Composer's Desktop Project (CDP). This takes a normal Atari ST computer and utilises it as the central control unit in a digital recording package which interfaces with the Sony PCM 701.
Audio & Design have the exclusive manufacturing rights to the SoundStreamer, a piece of hardware which provides both an interface between the Atari's ROM port and Sony digital recorder, and hard disk storage.
The system allows you to record high quality digital stereo sound and to manipulate it through a GEM environment on the Atari ST. The SoundStreamer itself forms only the recording part of the whole CDP system, for which further software for sound synthesis and compositional applications will eventually become available. Price of 80Mbyte disk version around £7,000.
Syndromic Music have launched the first of a series of software packages on their ST software label in conjunction with Soundbits Software. The first product is called the Voice Master, runs on the Atari ST and is for editing Yamaha DX21/27/100 synthesizer patches.
Within the software, three separate modules comprising an Editor, Librarian and Randomizer help to make the creation of new patches an easy and quickly accomplished task. All parameters are displayed and you can instantly hear the sound of your edits. The Librarian enables you to store all your patches on disk via the Atari and the Randomizer produces new sounds at the click of a mouse button.
Further software in this series will include programs for the Yamaha TX81Z and the Roland Alpha Juno 1&2.
E-mu Systems have been so back-ordered for their Emax keyboard that they have had to delay the launch of their long awaited rack-mounting version of the Emax digital sampler until now.
It probably wouldn't surprise you if we told you that the Emax Rack Digital Sampler, as it's known, offers exactly the same features as the keyboard model, but without the keyboard! Technically, it offers the same 12-bit sampling resolution, 8-voice polyphony, comprehensive MIDI facilities, 3.5 inch disk drive and 16-track onboard MIDI sequencer.
From Kahler of America comes the Human Clock. This device accepts a rhythmic analogue input and accurately calculates the tempo, then outputs this as MIDI Clock information.
The purpose of such a unit, is to allow MIDI-driven drum machines and sequencers to be synchronised to live or pre-recorded sounds, making it possible to sync your machines to tape without the need for any sync track.
Further uses of the Human Clock include the ability to replace a 'lost or partially erased' sync track by letting the unit listen to the remaining rhythm track and recording the new clock output directly back onto tape.
Price £499 inc VAT. (Contact Details)
If you're an Ensoniq ESQ-1 owner and you are finding that the onboard sequencer memory is too small, then take a look at the Red Planet ESR-24 sequencer expander cartridge.
This small circuit board replaces the manufacturer's original board and extends the capacity of the sequencer from its standard 8,192 bytes up to 32,768 bytes (approximately 10,000 notes).
It is electrically and functionally identical to the existing cartridge and can be fitted yourself.
Price £59 inc VAT. (Contact Details)
Launched this month are two new RAM cartridges for the Yamaha DX synthesizer range.
From Positive Logic comes the DX320A which has the capacity to store 320 DX programs. This unit is designed to work with the DX7, DX5, DX1 and RX11. For owners of the new DX7II, the DX320B offers the same capacity as the DX320A but features a different connector. Sounds are stored in 10 banks of 32 programs on both cartridges
Coming soon is a similar RAM designed for Roland synthesizers but with a 640 program storage capacity.
Price (each) for the DX RAMs is £128 inc VAT. (Contact Details)
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