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Article from Music Technology, November 1992

Totally In Control

Allen & Heath have updated their GS3 Series mixing consoles with V4.04 software to give what the company call Total Control over console/MIDI integration.

V4 Plus software already gives users control of their MIDI sequencer from the GS3's console 'function' keys. Now V4.04 implements control of the console's own mute sequencer from a MIDI keyboard or sequencer, making fully bi-directional programming available for the first time. The new software also improves the console's MIDI implementation with such features as deletion of active sensing data and increased synchronisation accuracy with a wider range of MIDI sequencers.

GS3 owners in possession of consoles below the serial number 571411 can obtain the Total Control replacement EPROM and accompanying manual free of charge on request from their dealer.

Allen & Heath's new GS3V automated console includes all the features of Total Control "and more".

For further information contact: Harman Audio, (Contact Details).

Stereo Masters

New from Amptech is the Gigmaster series of stereo mixers, consisting of 8:2, 12:2 and 16:2 versions together with 8:2 and 12:2 powered models (providing 300 watts per side of output power).

Each mixer channel has balanced mic and line inputs and a gain control with associated peak LED indicator, along with three-band EQ, two aux sends (one pre, one post), a pan control and a 60mm smooth-action fader. The soft-touch control knobs fitted on each mixer have been colour coordinated for operational clarity, and there's also stereo headphones output for monitoring.

Prices, which including VAT, are as follows: 8:2 £289, 12:2 £399, 16:2 £499. 8:2 (Powered) £679, 12:2 (Powered) £799.

For further information contact the distributors: Sound Music Products Ltd at (Contact Details).

On Course For Learning

Islington Music Workshop, the London-based educational charity with its own recording studio complex, runs a number of inexpensive recording, MIDI and music industry courses throughout the year, providing musicians with an opportunity to learn about the technology and the business of making music in the company of fellow musicians.

A Sampling/Sequencing/MIDI course described as "a taster course for all club and upfront dance ravers and anyone who wants to know how it's done" runs for three days in each month at a cost of £25 plus VAT (unwaged), £55 plus VAT (waged) or £40 plus VAT (Islington residents). Upcoming dates are: November 17, 18 and 19, and December 8, 9 and 10. There's also a women-only course on November 3, 4 and 5.

Other courses available at similarly inexpensive rates include a 24-track recording course (November 24, 25 and 26, and December 15, 16, 17), a 24-track/MIDI weekend course (December 5 and 6), a backing vocal course (Tuesday nights for five weeks from November 17) and 'Industry Buzz - Marketing Your Talent' (Saturday 21 November).

As part of their commitment to equal access for all abilities, IMW also runs a program of outreach workshops for the disabled in Islington.

For more information contact IMW at (Contact Details).

Dreams on CD

Now in its third year of operation, the New Age Music Association continues its program of promotions, news services and live events with a compilation CD entitled Lucid Dreaming. Featuring 15 artists drawn from the 50 or so small labels, individual artists and music distributors who are currently members of the Association, the album has been collaboratively funded by the artists involved. These include Symbiosis, Annie Locke, The Anti-Gravity League, New Age Radio and Earth Orchestra, with compositional styles ranging from solo piano pieces to melodic up-tempo tracks to experimental, meditational epics.

Annual subscription to NAMA costs £12 and gets you a copy of the membership list, regular newsletters and admission to monthly meetings. New members can pay £1 for each month remaining in the current year, allowing renewal to fall, conveniently, in January '93.

To order a copy of Lucid Dreaming, send a cheque or PO for £10.74 made out to FAME to (Contact Details).

For further details of NAMA's activities, write to membership secretary Mark Powell at: (Contact Details).

drumKat - Not As Cheap As That!

In our review of the drumKat in the September issue, the price was inadvertently quoted as £487 excluding VAT. We have been asked to point out by Zildjian Music Ltd, that the actual price is £887 Including VAT. Our apologies to all for the error.


Tired of playing lightweight synth keyboards? Longing for a keyboard action you can really get your teeth into? If so, Ensoniq's new KS-32 Weighted Action MIDI Studio may be just what your molars need. Featuring a newly designed, weighted-action keyboard offering both velocity and channel aftertouch response, the new instrument aims to combine the capabilities of a synth workstation with the dynamic feel of a real piano.

The KS32's 180 sounds include a variety of acoustic pianos, electric pianos and organs along with various orchestral, solo wind and pop sounds. Also provided are 20 dedicated drum kits which support both Ensoniq and General MIDI methods of drum mapping. Other features of the new instrument include 32-note polyphony, a 24-bit effects processor offering 13 effects algorithms, and a 16-track onboard sequencer with an 8500-note memory expandable to 58,000 notes with the optional SQX-70 memory expander.

A button labelled 'Make Default Preset' provides one-touch control over up to 16 internal and external sounds complete with keyboard splits and layers.

The KS-32 is priced at £1699 including VAT. For more information, contact: Sound Technology, (Contact Details).

Bitten by the Bug

A new miniature 'tagging' device known as the BUG could make it easier for stolen musical instruments to be returned to their rightful owners in the event of them being recovered by the police. About the size of a matchhead, the tiny micro-processor could easily be hidden away inside an instrument; once in place, it gives that instrument a unique electronic identity.

The BUG is maintenance-free, has no running costs and requires no batteries or other power source. The asking price includes lifetime entry onto the LINK database, together with a transferable Certificate of Identification which can contain a colour photograph together with full details of the instrument. Also supplied is a warning sticker which contains the telephone number of the security company that, in collaboration with the police, provides the recovery service.

Sole distributors to the music profession are the Musicians' Instrument Agency, who can be contacted at (Contact Details).

Get: An Ography In Sampling

Latest sample CD to emerge from the AMG hit factory is top programmer Pete Gleadall's Samplography, the sixth CD in the company's HitSound Producer Series.

Gleadall, who has worked with the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Soul II Soul and Sly & Robbie, has put together a CD which runs for over 75 minutes, providing a host of samples including high-quality synth, drum, bass, Hammond strings, hits, guitars, percussion loops and "loads more". Also included is an S1000/S1100 data section featuring string and loop sample sets.

A supplementary collection of Gleadall's samples can be found on Now That's What I Call Sampling!, a compilation sample CD which is available free to anyone who buys one of the Producer Series CDs.

Samplography is available directly from AMG for £49 inclusive of VAT. For more information contact AMG at (Contact Details).


Among the hordes of musicians who packed out this year's Scottish Music Show one lucky attendee was the recipient of a free Yamaha RY10 drum machine courtesy of a competition run by Radio Clyde. Congratulations go to Alan Stobo of Glasgow - get busy on those pads, lads!

Expanding Zone

Those well-known suppliers of mammoth press releases, Zone Distribution, have taken over Music Pro Imports UK and merged the MPI catalogue of software and hardware together with their own under the Zone banner. At the same time, the company have decided to stop selling directly to the end-user - although they will still be offering technical support services directly. From now on, Zone products will be available solely through their dealer network.

The expanded Zone catalogue now includes products from Dr T's Music Software (for the ST, PC, Mac and Amiga), Blue Ribbon Soundworks (Amiga), Midiman (mixers, sync boxes, various MIDI interfaces and processors), Yes Audio (power amps, VCA automation), Big Boss (PC and ST software), Sound Source (third-party sounds) and Invision (M1 soundboard).

Zone are also the UK source for the Band-in-a-Box auto-accompaniment software (PC, Mac and ST), Feeling Partner arranger software (ST), JazzChord chord-learning software (ST and PC) and JBF 3D RSS sample CD.

Two new products of particular interest are the Dream GMX1, a £235 General MIDI-compatible desktop sound module offering 16-bit PCM samples, 20-voice polyphony and an onboard MIDI interface for the PC, Mac and Amiga, and Invision's £295 Plus 1 board for the Korg M1, an internally-fitted board which adds a further 4Mb of samples to the synth.

In another new move, Zone will be releasing their own PC Windows sequencer, SeqWin, in November. Written completely in the UK, SeqWin is described by Zone as a high-spec, low-priced sequencer which has been designed for the sequencing novice as well as the experienced sequencer user. Features include unlimited tracks, full graphic editing, phrase-orientated song construction, an Instrument Map which defines your MIDI setup, and automatic backup of data to hard disk as you work. Price is £99.

For more information, contact Zone at (Contact Details).


808 State will be making a special live appearance at The London Music Show at Wembley Conference Centre, performing their unique brand of electronic grooves, and showcasing material from their new ZTT/WEA album Gorgeous. They will be joining a host of leading manufacturers, musicians and special guests at the UK's largest show of its kind. Other attractions include a live Demo Forum in which readers of Music Technology and Home & Studio Recording will have their own demos reviewed by a celebrity panel, with mouthwatering gear going to the blushing producers of the best tape.

The dates for your diary are Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, so use bright red ink, don't forget and join 808 State, MT and H&SR staff and everyone who is anyone for a feast of the latest and the greatest in contemporary music.

Notator Updater

A new update for C-Lab's Notator program, taking the software from V3.1 to V3.15, both 'fine tunes' many existing features and adds several new ones. Among the updates and additions are larger Segno symbols, 'wrap-around' of crescendo/diminuendo and slur symbols on print-outs, separate settings for the Clef and Key logic in the Printer window, improvements to the chord-tie direction logic, and additional characters, notation symbols and chord fonts.

As well as the new Notator program disk, users will receive a Symbols and Chords font disk which features a large number of additional notation symbols and complex chord descriptors.

Notator V3.15 is available both as a full package and as an update for existing users. If you're a Notator user but you haven't registered with distributors Sound Technology, contact Mark Gordon to get yourself on their list.

Incidentally, the 3.15 update applies to Notator only - the latest version of Creator is still 3.1.

For more information, contact Sound Technology at (Contact Details).

Systems Expansion

Pro audio equipment supplier Systems Workshop have recently increased the range of services they offer by setting up the Systems Workshop Service and an in-house digital editing suite and 24-track production facility.

With the establishment of the Systems Workshop Service, the company claim they can now service everything from multitracks and outboard gear to computers and hard-disk recording systems. The service is also mobile, and can operate anywhere in Britain.

The new production facility is based around a Tascam M3700 automated desk and "a mountain of outboard", while the editing suite utilises an Apple Quadra running Pro Tools, Alchemy, Sound Designer and Studio Vision software with five gigabytes of combined hard disk/optical storage. Monitoring in both rooms is to choice but includes Dawn Patrol speakers, which are distributed exclusively by Systems Workshop themselves.

For more information contact Systems Workshop at (Contact Details).

Storming the PC

Media Vision's Thunder Board for Windows is a new card for the PC which lets you take full advantage of all the new sound support built into Windows 3.1, including synthesised sounds and digital audio. The Board combines 22kHz digital audio recording with an onboard FM synthesiser which can deliver up to 11 simultaneous instrument sounds. As it's compatible with both AdLib and Sound Blaster, it works with the many DOS applications and games that use the digital sound channel to add anything from voice annotation to sound effects.

Applications which come supplied with Thunder Board include a waveform editor, an animated talking calendar (which has 'Jeeves' the butler popping up to remind you of appointments and meetings), and a demo version of Master Tracks Pro with added sound samples.

Thunder Board can run on any PC which runs DOS 3.0 or higher and Windows 3.1 (or 3.0 with multimeda extensions), and which has at least 1Mb RAM fitted (2MB recommended).

Price £85 excluding VAT. For more information, contact UK distributors PC Connections at (Contact Details).

Sampling Clarity

The ever industrious Microdeal are set to launch several new computer-based sampling packages during the next couple of months.

Following on the heels of their Replay 16 stereo 16-bit sampler for the Atari ST, the company have an Amiga version, Clarity 16, due for release on December 1st for £149.95. Like Replay, it's a combined hardware and software package which provides not only stereo 16-bit 44.1kHz sampling and playback but also plenty of sample editing facilities. Among these are cut, paste, overlay, insert, mix, fade in/out, normalise and loopfade together with digital filtering and the ability to add effects such as echo, flanging and reverb.

A MIDI keyboard emulator allows you to assign samples to individual keys across a seven-octave range for triggering; alternatively, you can chain samples together in a single-track sequence using a list-style editor - great for doing your own remixes.

Clarity's hardware cartridge plugs into the serial and printer ports of the Amiga, and so can be used with the whole range of Amiga computers. Included is a MIDI interface which is compatible with leading commercial MIDI sequencers.

Other packages due from Microdeal are: PC Master Sound, a PC version of the company's Master Sound sampler for £49.95 - 4th November. Videomaster, a combined video digitiser and sound sampler in ST and Amiga versions for £69.95 - 16th November. Rave Sampler, an eight-bit mono sampler in ST and Amiga versions for the amazingly low price of £19.95 - 7th December.

All prices include VAT. For more information contact Microdeal Limited at (Contact Details).

Learning Young

Yamaha are continuing their long-established commitment to musical enjoyment and education through their Music Schools with the launch of a new Junior Music Course.

Taught to children aged between four and six years old, the course is based upon modern Japanese teaching methods, and as such represents a major break from traditional British music education. These teaching methods concentrate on recognition of sound and pitch, with highly structured lessons focussing on keyboard playing, singing, rhythm training, note reading and group playing.

The idea behind teaching children at this young age is that it's a crucial development stage in their lives, when their ability to learn is at its highest. The human ear is undergoing rapid development and children naturally and instinctively pick up more knowledge through their aural sense. Consequently the course aims to lay a foundation for musical ability and appreciation which will last children for the rest of their lives.

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

Jarre In Print

Fans of Jean-Michel Jarre eager for any information they can get hold of on their hero will be interested to learn of a British magazine, Conductor of the Masses, devoted exclusively to the French musician. Published by Conceptual Publishing, it's a glossy, colourful 32-page small format magazine published quarterly at a cost of £2.50 per issue or £10 for an annual subscription.

The latest issue (no.8) includes the first in a series of articles detailing the behind-the-scenes story of the Destination Docklands concert, a round-up of latest J-MJ-related news from around the world, information on the man's upcoming activities and - of particular interest to MT readers - an article on his studio together with a complete equipment list (even down to the all-important coffee machine!).

For more information, contact Conceptual Publishing at: (Contact Details).

Competition Results

Following a splendid response to our recent Readership Survey/Yamaha competition we are pleased to announce the winner - drawn from a veritable sackful of entries. He is Mr D. Arnold from Hastings in East Sussex and he's now the proud owner of a superb Yamaha SY85. That should keep him busy during the long winter nights...

If you'd like to know exactly how good the prize is that he's won, check out our review of the synth in this issue. Meanwhile, on behalf of all the staff here at Music Technology, I'd like to express my thanks to Jim Corbett at Yamaha-Kemble UK Ltd for their kind donation of an excellent prize.

Yamaha's Double Vision

Due in early December from Yamaha is the QY20, a more sophisticated yet only slightly larger and heavier companion for the company's immensely successful QY10 Walk-station. With the emphasis still being on portability, the new machine provides both mains and battery powering options. Yamaha have given the 20 a two-octave polyphonic keyboard consisting of non-dynamic rubber buttons, together with a larger LCD screen. The new instrument has much higher quality sounds than the 10, and provides a selection of drum kits together with General MIDI compatibility.

Yamaha have kept the QY10 arrangement of four-track patterns and eight-track songs. The new QY has 100 preset and 100 programmable patterns each consisting of six variations (including intro, ending and fill-ins), with musical styles ranging from '50s rock 'n' roll to the latest dance beats. Single-finger chord playing and auto- accompaniment selection via MIDI have been implemented, so you'll be able to take advantage of the new instrument's auto-accompaniment options from a remote keyboard or sequencer.

Apparently, UK company Novation will be providing a companion MIDI keyboard for the new QY, as they did for the QY10.

The QY20's asking price will be in the £350-400 range.

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

Disc Breaks

Described by its makers as "a new opportunity for music teachers and students", Piano Disc is a new system designed to bring sequencing capabilities to the acoustic piano. A series of sensors located under the piano keys detect every characteristic of a performance ie. notes, timing, duration, touch, and pedal depression. This information is then sent to a control unit and stored on 3.5" floppy disks.

On playback, the sensors trigger the keys in an exact recreation of the original performance. With 128 levels of expression per note, it's claimed that all the "subtle nuances, feeling and richness" of a performance are reproduced.

With the Piano Disc system in place, students can record practice sessions or lessons and review fingering, timing or pedal control on playback. They can also record one hand and add the other as it plays back. Similarly, teachers can store a performance for students to listen to, or play just the right or left hand so that the student can add the other hand.

The makers also claim that Piano Disc would be ideal for providing live accompaniment without the need of a player (so cocktail bar pianists had better watch out that the owner isn't secretly recording them!).

Only available from Dawsons' Music in Education, Piano Disc can be fitted in less than two days. For further information, contact Dawsons Music at (Contact Details).

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Grid Patterns

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

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Music Technology - Nov 1992

News by Simon Trask

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> A Cynic Writes...

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