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The Shape Of Things To Come

Another low-cost digital reverb from Alesis, a SMPTE/EBU to MIDI event synchroniser, new DX ROM/RAM cartridges, and a visual editor for Akai's S900 sampler are all amongst the forthcoming crop of new products.



A new personal multitracker has been launched by Fostex. The compact 160 is aimed at those musicians who want something more than a basic 'musical sketchbook'.

With that in mind, it offers a 4-track high speed (9.5cm/s) cassette with Dolby C noise reduction, a 4 into 2 mixer section with dual band Hi/Lo equalisation, pan and auxiliary (effect/foldback) send per channel, 13-segment bargraph display and comes complete with internal mains power supply.

Price £549.95 inc VAT. The 160 is available from all Fostex dealers. Further information from Bandive Ltd, Brent View Road, London NW9 7EL. Tel. 07-202 4155.


The latest software from Joreth Music is aimed at Yamaha DX and TX owners. System 7 comes as a twin disk set and offers an enormous number of FM sounds, a real-time MIDI sequencer and full DX/TX voice editing facilities.

A built-in 'word processor' allows you to keep notes in another part of memory for quick reference during the main program use and the package comes with 320 FM sounds to get you started.

The software is compatible with a wide range of MIDI interfaces and runs on a Commodore 64 computer.

Price £79.99 inc VAT. Details from Joreth Music, PO Box 20, Evesham, Worcs WR11 5EG. Tel. (0386) 831615.



Following in the footsteps of their acclaimed UMI-2B,the new UMI-3S from U-music is a 16-channel polyphonic sequencer for use with the BBC micro. This new budget version has been produced in response to user comments about the UMI-2B, and will in fact offer many of the facilities of the previous system. The software potential of both units has been designed to be open-ended, so further updates of either system may be expected (UMI-2B owners see Edits p94/96).

One particular feature of the UMI-3S is the use of onscreen help pages which assist first-time users to grasp the system quickly. The package comes with software and a MIDI interface which includes a sync-to-tape feature and a Sync 24 clock pulse output.

Price £195 plus VAT. Information from U-music Ltd, 17 Park fields, London SW15 6NH.


The Event is a new SMPTE/EBU to MIDI event processor from Real Time Logic of London.

Designed to offer the user all the facilities of an intelligent MIDI to tape link, the Event will record and read SMPTE/EBU timecode off tape and drive any MIDI or clock pulse device in total synchronisation.

It offers 62 timecode cue point memories, each with programmable MIDI channel number, timing measure, program change and tempo. A seven channel event timer with 62 events per channel also allows the creation of timecode controlled mutes and triggers, and the device is capable of tracking any external clock such as FSK, MIDI, Audio Triggers and Pulses.

The Event also includes two very useful programmable 'ppqn' clock outputs which allow it to match and drive anything (including the 384 ppqn Fairlight). To overcome the 'time lag' factor some machines exhibit when being driven from an external master clock, the Event has its own internal high resolution delay line which may be used to shift clock pulses accurately in 1ms steps relative to pre-recorded tracks. (Reviewed soon.)

Price under £800. Details from Real Time Logic, 30c Great Sutton Street, London EC1. Tel. 01-251 8790.


Both Rittor Music and Sound Sales announced new DX cartridge products just after our DX ROM/RAM round-up (p68) went to press. So here are the details.

From Rittor comes two more Japanese ROMs. Casiopea ROM by Minoru Mukaiya, keyboard player with the jazz group Casiopea, features sounds used on their albums and live in concert. The range includes pianos, marimba, brass, vibraphone and Mukaiya 'specials'. Sakamoto ROM comes from the former Yellow Magic Orchestra keyboard player, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and features a live and studio side, with 32 sounds in each. Both ROMs contain 64 voices in total and a demo cassette is available if you need to 'hear before you buy'.

Price: ROMs £49.95 inc VAT each. Demo Tape £1.00. Information and tape available from Rittor Music Europe Ltd, 24 Broomgrove Gardens, Edgeware, Middlesex HA8 5SJ. Tel. 01-952 5302.

Sound Sales have supplied brief details of their new Red Planet SR320 and SR512 voice RAM cartridges for the DX7. Each cartridge features a simple, one switch bank select with LED memory location indication and a full complement of pre-loaded sounds. The design of the RAMs follows a new low-profile approach so that the cartridge may remain in the DX7 even during transportation.

Prices to be announced. Details from Sound Sales, Orchard Cottage, Church Hill, Ravensden, BedsMK44 2RL. Tel. (0234) 771189


The hottest news of the month comes from Alesis in the Microverb. The phenomenal pace at which this company's product development programme runs, which earlier this year gave us the MIDIVERB and MIDIFEX, is truly astonishing and seems to keep them well ahead of the Japanese competition.

Now Alesis jump yet another step ahead with the Microverb which utilises a specially developed chip and RISC architecture to replace many of the IC components found in a conventional digital reverb device.

Only 5 inches wide, the Microverb may look like a toy but its professional specification is of a much greater stature. It uses 16-bit linear PCM technology (same as a Compact Disc), which results in a wide 90dB dynamic range and a tailored frequency response of 20kHz (Dry) and 10kHz (Reverb). There are 16 programs in total: 13 preset conventional reverb settings ranging from small to large rooms, plate reverb, plus two gated and one reverse effect, all in stereo. The Microverb has no MIDI facilities you may be interested to hear.

The unit is powered from a separate supply and has a variable impedance input giving it all-round performance for direct connection of guitars, keyboards and vocals or matching to the line input of a mixing desk for recording purposes.

Its compact size and Input, Mix and Output level controls means that it can be used without a mixing desk. It can thus easily be mounted on top of keyboards or mixers, but for longterm studio installation a 19" rack-mount adaptor lets you clamp three units together side by side. Oh... nearly forgot! There's one other astonishing fact about the Microverb-its price!

Price £249 inc VAT. Details from UK distributors: Sound Technology, 6 Letchworth Business Centre, Avenue One, Letchworth, Herts SG62HR. Tel. (0462)675675. Telex 826967.


News about the re-shaping of Steinberg Research's UK operation can be found in this month's Edits pages, but product news is what this page is all about, so here we go!

Towards the end of the year Steinberg will release a SMPTE Generator/Reader which will connect to the Atari ST computer via the RS232 communications port. This will be fully integrated with their Pro-24 sequencer program and will allow accurate sync-to-tape operation of the Pro-24. The unit will be available separately for existing users and as a total package for new customers.

On the software front, Steinberg will soon release a music notation/scorewriter program and a visual editor for the popular Akai S900 sampler. This will include the facility to download and transfer S900 sample data for use with the Sequential Prophet 2000 and 2002 samplers. Sounds very promising.

For Commodore owners, repackaged versions of the popular Pro-16 sequencer now include a sync-to-tape and graphic editing capability and they have been re-named the Pro-16 Plus, which includes a scorewriter, and the Pro-16 S. Additional disk-based software including visual editors and sound librarians (sshh please) are also to be released for the Roland Alpha Juno 1 and 2 as well as the Korg DW8000 synthesizers.

Prices: SMPTE Generator provisionally around £600; Pro-16 Plus £299 inc VAT; Pro-16 5 £239 inc VAT. Other prices not available at present. Details from Steinberg Research, The Spendlove Centre, Charlbury, Oxford OX7 3PQ. Tel. (0608)811325. Telex 837883.


To be launched at the Los Angeles AES Convention in early November and made available before Christmas, the PRO-VERB is the latest stereo digital reverb from Applied Research Technology.

It features 100 preset programs which may be accessed manually or via MIDI program changes and these include 50 reverb, 10 gated, 10 reverse, 10 chorus, 10 delay and 10 repeat echo effects, making the PROVERB a flexible stereo sound processor.

Price: under £400 inc VAT.

(Contact Details)

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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 1986


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