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Shape of Things to Come

Forthcoming new products from the hi-tech music recording field.


New from DOD is their series of graphic equalisers, which aim to provide top quality signal processing at 'a very reasonable price'. There are six equalisers in the range, offering either 15 or 31 bands, at 1/3rd or 2/3rd octave intervals. All models provide 12dB of cut or boost, and feature 25 or 50mm travel sliders. Balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs are featured on all units, and security panels are available as an option.

JHS & Co Ltd, (Contact Details).


Two new products from Oberheim are aimed at providing powerful performance features for keyboard players far beyond those available on their current master keyboards. The Cyclone is a central 'live' arpeggiator, aimed at songwriters, session players and producers, which arpeggiates in any rhythm and any combination of inversions, assignable to any part of the keyboard. Real-time control over the arpeggiation tempo is available from a footswitch 'tap', or external trigger.

The Systemizer turns any MIDI keyboard into a performance workstation. The unit stores 32 programs, each of which can: send patch changes on each of 16 MIDI channels; set up three keyboard zones, each containing four instruments; send individual MIDI volume, fine tune, transposition and bend amount to each instrument; employ floating splits that follow hand movements; turn local Omni and Local controllers on/off; combine several synths to produce increased polyphony (eg. combine four DX7s to produce 64-voice polyphony!); store different velocity, controller and aftertouch switch, volume crossfade and scaling per zone. Price: both units £225 each.

Sound Technology plc, (Contact Details).


Even if you're not usually very interested in computer related news, be interested in this little item, because it's really rather an important one. Digidesign's Sound Accelerator card for Macintosh II and SE computers is now available in this country, and it should create quite a stir, as it did at the recent AES show in Los Angeles.


  • Data format: 16-bit linear
  • Sample rate (playback): Up to 156kHz stereo; 312kHz mono
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: Better than 90dB
  • THD: 0.009% maximum
  • Installation: Mac II, NuBUS slot; Mac SE, Expansion slot - Connections: Stereo ¼" jack, 15-pin D-type for digital I/O
  • Price: £995 inc VAT

What all the fuss is about is the fact that the card allows the Mac to control and process CD-quality sound, opening up the potential to turn the computer into a high-powered digital audio workstation. In conjunction with the Sound Designer or Turbosynth software (see review), it allows sounds created within those programs to be played back on the Mac - no need to load the sound into a sampler. Also, with Turbosynth, real-time digital signal processing can be carried out, allowing sounds to be created interactively without having to wait for the computer to do any number crunching.

Now that the card is in production, we can expect to see further software that will really exploit its potential. Coming soon from Digidesign is the AD In Box, an A-D convertor, which will make it possible to record and playback CD-quality sound directly to and from the Mac's hard disk. Price: £995 inc VAT.

Evenlode Soundworks, (Contact Details).


Three new mics are available from AKG, two budget dynamics, and a stage-oriented condensor mic.

The dynamic D90S is described as 'an ideal beginner's mic', suitable for live performance and home recording. Frequency response is quoted as 70-18,000Hz. The similar D95S has the same frequency response as the D90S, but has a hypercardioid polar pattern making it more suitable for use on stage at high volume levels.

The C525S is a hypercardioid condensor mic, designed to provide high levels of sound quality on stage but with the ruggedness more usually associated with dynamic mics. The C525S can be either phantom or battery powered. Frequency response is quoted as 80-20,000Hz. Prices D90S £49.50, D95S £59.50, C525S £87 (all ex-VAT).

AKG Acoustics Ltd, (Contact Details).


DR.T KCS Level II is now available for the Apple Macintosh (£299 inc VAT), with a completely redesigned graphic interface, including the use of GEM and pull-down menus. A version should also be available for the Atari ST soon.

INTELLIGENT MUSIC New from the manufacturers of the much-loved 'M' is a sequencer called Real Time (£299 inc VAT). The program features 256 tracks, unlimited structuring of sequences and songs, five separate graphic editing methods including scrolling 'Page R' routines, 'track bondage!' and pattern matching techniques, drum editing techniques taken from Upbeat, and creative elements taken from Jam Factory and 'M'. All these processes, including editing, can be carried out in real time.

Other Intelligent Music releases are 'M' for the Commodore Amiga (£185), MIDI Draw (£69.95), which is a combined graphics and music program for the ST, and Ovaltune, another combined graphics and music program for the Mac.

GRAPHIC NOTES Graphic Notes are an Australian company who have developed a highly professional music transcription program for the Apple Mac. The program supports up to 64 staffs, playback over MIDI, and allows fast input via an additional alphanumeric keyboard which has keys marked with notes, chords and transposition functions. Price £595 inc VAT.

PANDORA Several Pandora desk accessory editors are now available for the Atari ST. The programs can be run simultaneously with any other GEM-based programs, such as Passport, C-Lab, Steinberg and Intelligent Music sequencers. The editors released so far are for the Korg M1 (£99), Roland D110/D10/D20 (£79.95) and DX7II/TX802 (£79.95).

PLI DRIVES MCMXCIX are now exclusive UK distributors for the PLI 45Mb removable hard disk drives. The drives are compatible with Mac, Amiga and PC computers, and also Akai S1000 and S950 samplers via the SCSI interface. The removable 45Mb cartridges cost £120 each.

For all the above, contact MCMXCIX, (Contact Details).


Another major software house is now producing software for the Yamaha C1 portable music computer (soon to be released in the UK). Voyetra Technologies, a leading producer of PC music software, have announced that their full range of programs will now be available for the C1. Software available includes Sequencer Plus MkIII, Patchmaster Plus, and the Sideman series of voice editor programs.

Also new from Voyetra is their PC/Musicpak 2.0 package (£179.99 + VAT), which consists of a VP4001 PC MIDI interface and Version 2 of the popular Sequencer Plus program. The package represents a £75 saving on the cost of the two products bought separately.

Computer Music Systems, (Contact Details).


Deliveries are now underway of Soundtracs' stand-alone fader and mute automation system, Tracmix. The system enables up to 64 channels of automation using high-quality VCAs for low noise and distortion. No additional computer is required, and fitting to the existing console is straightforward as the existing faders are used without modification to the fader bay.

Connections to the desk carry only DC signals, to eliminate switching noise, and when the computer is switched off the automation system is totally isolated from the console, allowing normal manual control of the desk. Mix data is held in RAM to eliminate unnecessary disk access, but may also be saved to 3.5" floppy disk. A timecode reader and generator is built-in, along with MIDI clock and Song Pointers slaved to timecode.

Soundtracs plc, (Contact Details).


Celestion have announced the latest additions to their SR series in the form of the SR3 loudspeaker and the SRC3 system controller. The SR3 incorporates a specially developed 8" driver employing Celestion's 'Hard Dome' technology. The SRC3 system controller provides the necessary equalisation to give smooth response over the speaker's full 60-20kHz range, with a power handling capacity of 150 watts per channel. Higher power handling can be achieved using the SRC 1 controller (250 watts per channel). The SRC 1 also provides the benefits of intelligent protection against inadvertent thermal or low frequency overload.

Celestion International Ltd, (Contact Details).


Revox have announced the launch of two new additions to their C range of professional audio products, the CR274 and CR278 4-track and 8-track tape recorders, the latter on ½" tape. Both machines are available with two speeds, selectable from any of the standard tape speeds. Standard features include: Dolby HX-Pro headroom extension, seamless gap punch-in and punch-out, integral scrape-flutter idler in head assembly, constant tension on both spooling motors, one hand cueing under full servo control, plug-in record and replay equalisers for easy speed pair change, adjustable mute to play 50 to 990 msec, varispeed -33% to +50%, and an optical end-of-tape sensor.

A Mk3 version of the PR99 ¼" tape recorder is also now available, re-engineered 'to stay with the current requirements for a workhorse machine for broadcast, recording and general industrial use'. Mic options are no longer available, but otherwise the machine's features remain unchanged. Prices: C274 £3486, C278 £4648 (both ex-VAT), PR99 £1890 (inc VAT).

FWO Bauch Ltd, (Contact Details).


The latest addition to Digitech's range of high-quality effect processors is the IPS33 Smart Shift digital pitch shifter. One or two notes can be added to every one played into the unit, and the harmonies available are from 41 different user-definable scales. The IPS33 employs 16-bit audio processing, and scales supported range from chromatic, natural minors, harmonic minors and pentatonics, up to Dorian, Phrygian and Mixolydian. Price £825.

JHS & Co Ltd, (Contact Details).

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Shape of Things to Come - AES

Sound On Sound - Copyright: SOS Publications Ltd.
The contents of this magazine are re-published here with the kind permission of SOS Publications Ltd.


Sound On Sound - Dec 1988

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman


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