The Shape Of Things To Come
Our colourful glimpse of forthcoming and recently released new products from the hi-tech and recording fields.
Briefly mentioned the other month, we now have full details on the new DX11 synthesizer from Yamaha.
The most notable point about the new DX11 is that it is Yamaha's first multitimbral keyboard. It is a 61-note, 8-voice polyphonic synth based on the now familiar four-operator tone generation system, similar to that of the TX81Z and DX21/27/100 models. A staggering 224 sounds are instantly available and these may be selected from either the 128 presets, 32 internal or 64 cartridge user-programmable sounds.
New features include a pan effect which can be controlled by the likes of velocity and key split positions, to make full use of the stereo output. A clever Delay mode, which allows you to set a delay effect but also have each repeating note transposed by semitones over a four-octave range, and Chord Set, which allows you to programme a four-note chord and replay it from one key, are just a few of the features found on the DX11, along with TX81Z features such as microtuning and performance memories.
The DX11 is also the first of the new Yamaha products to feature their Quick Edit function. This is a new and far easier approach to editing the FM sounds by letting you think in more traditional 'analogue' terms rather than in FM terminology. For example, in Quick Edit mode you can work with terms like volume, brilliance, attack, release etc.
Price to be announced.
Contact Yamaha-Kemble UK, (Contact Details).
The new Korg 707 Performing Synthesizer is oriented towards live stage use. It comes in a choice of four colours - black, white, blue or pink - and should satisfy all those who desire an up-front image but previously lacked the equipment.
The basic synthesizer is an over-the-shoulder number, with a 49 note velocity and aftertouch sensitive keyboard. Sound-wise it is related to the Korg DS8 and, in fact, the ROM cards are interchangeable. The synth section offers a two digital oscillator tone generator, 8-note or 4-note voicing in layered mode and when controlled from an external sequencer, the 707 will operate as an 8-voice multitimbral synth. You can select sounds from the 100 internal presets or from the ROM cards. MIDI In, Out and Thru are fitted and the unit can be powered from batteries or mains.
Price £599 inc VAT.
Contact Korg UK, (Contact Details).
From the Akai/Roger Linn collaboration comes the second fruit in the shape of the ASQ-10 Sequencer. This unit is aimed squarely at the professional user and sports all the features you would expect to find on a unit costing £1599.
It has a 60,000 note storage capacity, seven individual sync modes including SMPTE and MIDI Time Code, plus four MIDI outputs and two MIDI inputs. You can have 99 sequences maximum, each with 99 tracks, and sequences may be looped whilst recording, you can overdub, or erase while recording. Tempo changes can be recorded, sequences shifted forwards or backwards in time or transposed, and when you have finished doing all that you can save all your data to the built-in 3.5" disk drive.
Completing the features is a large 320-character LCD screen which shows a mass of information including 'help' pages and the current sequence position in bars, beats, clock numbers and SMPTE time, so there is no excuse for being lost in a song! Hopefully, it won't take as long as the Akai/Linn MPC60 to appear!
Price £1599 inc VAT.
Contact Akai UK, (Contact Details).
The Soundstation II is a very futuristic looking product from Digital Audio Research. Its purpose in life is to function as a digital audio workstation which allows you to record and edit sound in a tapeless environment. With 18-bit sampling resolution at 32, 44.1 or 48kHz (50 minutes record time) rates, the unit offers exceptional sound quality and has been designed for use in top-flight production studios working on television, jingles or music projects, where fast access and instant manipulation of sound are required.
Price £ N/A.
Contact Digital Audio Research Ltd, (Contact Details).
MCMXCIX (Roman numerals for 1999) area new distribution company set up by The Synthesizer Company. MCMXCIX are now the new official distributors for Dr. T's software in the UK and, by coincidence, Dr.T have a number of new software packages available.
For Roland D-50 owners there is a comprehensive Editor/Librarian which runs on the Atari ST and Apple Mac. The program allows you to display and edit all parameters and includes a randomise feature that enables you to select certain parameters for the computer to juggle with. Up to two banks of D-50 sounds can be held in memory at one time and you can print out a hard copy of any patch. If you are looking for a Roland MT32 editor, Dr.T have also just introduced one of those as well. Both programs are priced at £99 inc VAT.
Also from Dr.T comes a new and very different version of their KCS sequencer. The new KCS Level II features what is known as a Multi-Programming Environment, which effectively allows you to simultaneously run the KCS sequencer with any of the Editor programs; in fact, up to four programs at any one time. This enables you to flip between programs to make adjustments without having to go out of a program and save the data before loading in the next program. The beauty of this idea is it lets you work much faster when editing sounds to fit with your music compositions, without losing impetus. Price £250 inc VAT.
MCMXCIX are also now Passport Design dealers and inform us that the Master Tracks Pro sequencer for the Apple Mac (reviewed SOS Oct '87) is now available for the Atari ST as well.
Contact MCMXCIX, 9 Hatton Street, London NW8. 01-724 7104.
Hot on the heels of the Dr.T program comes another Roland D-50 Editor/Librarian, this time from Steinberg. It also runs on the Atari ST and provides extensive editing and parameter manipulation via the mouse.
Price £150 inc VAT.
Contact Evenlode Soundworks, (Contact Details).
From Klotz, the cable specialists, come a new range of budget boxes to help you interface various aspects of your studio. The Headphone Splitter takes a stereo input and splits it into four stereo outputs, each with its own level control and costs only £24.99. The Passive DI Box provides a balanced output of any unbalanced input signal, such as guitar or synthesizer, for direct interface with mixing desks (£24.99).
Next comes a compact Patch Bay featuring 20 input and output channels which is designed to fit into the standard 19" rack format. Price £65.00. Last, but not least, is a redesigned Cable Tester for use with phono, jack and XLR connectors, priced at £19.99. All prices inc VAT.
Contact Cable Technology, (Contact Details).