Archive for the ‘DSP’ Category


NAMM 2009: Motu BPM its here finally !

January 16, 2009


Motu BPM. Don’t let the Groovebox look fool you because the new BPM from MOTU is purely software. 15 gigs of sounds, multi-effects including convolution reverb, Step and Note Sequencers an internal mixer and more. I bet some producers will make their full songs all in this software. Could it gain a cult following? Just like Propellerheads Reason I can see this on my laptop for an alternative view every now and then. AU, MAS, TRAS, VST, MAC/PC, in your DAW or Stand Alone.

What is BPM?

Sound libraries these days are awash with loops. And what is a loop, exactly? Someone else’s beat. Isn’t it time to take back creative ownership over your grooves?

Isn’t it time to once again release your own unique, inspired beats on the world? If only you had a rhythm production instrument that let you program beats as fast as your mind can “hear” them. There just hasn’t been anything even close…until now.

Experience the ultimate Beat Production Machine

BPM unites drum machine-style operation with advanced virtual instrument technology to give you the ultimate rhythm programming experience. Combine drum kits, sequenced patterns, sliced loops and instrument sounds to realize your rhythmic vision, mixing and matching any playing style with any drum kit. Or plug in your pad controller or MIDI keyboard to capture your live, groove-quantized performance directly in BPM.

Explore a new universe of new sounds

BPM logo

Browse BPM’s vast 15 GB sound library of expertly recorded and mastered 24-bit 96 kHz rhythmic material for urban, R&B, hip hop, techno, electro, house, pop, rock and other music styles. Sample your own drum sounds directly into BPM’s drum pads, or simply drag and drop clips from your computer desktop, to add infinite possibilities to your own, unique sound. Add further punch with BPM’s Drum Synthesizer. Combine unlimited sample layers per pad with programmable layer switching. Now add guitar, bass and other multi-sample instrument sounds from BPM’s included library, MachFive or any other MOTU or UVI sample instrument library.


M-Audio’s Groundbreaking New Torq 1.5 DJ Software

January 9, 2009

Software upgrade delivers innovative new creative tools and workflow enhancements for digital DJs.

M-Audio is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Torq® 1.5 DJ software for Mac OS X and Windows. Torq 1.5 brings even more creative options to the only digital DJ workstation designed to merge live DJ performance and advanced music production. New features in Torq 1.5 software include Tempo Anchors, Tempo Master, zplane élastique time stretching, send/receive MIDI Clock, a new toolbar and a variety of workflow enhancements.

The full list of New Features in Torq 1.5:

Improved Tempo/Pitch Alteration
Tempo Anchors allow marking tracks with varying tempos—Torq’s effects and samples follow the tempo changes in the song
Tempo Master assigns a playing track to serve as the master tempo source for all tempo-related functions
zPlane Elastique time-stretching/compression technology for sophisticated beat matching and pitch alteration

Advanced MIDI Control
transmit/receive MIDI beat clock for sync with other hardware/software and easy switching between DJs
MIDI soft takeover prevents parameter jumps when using external controllers

New User Interface Features
Hide Mixer option conserves screen space
preview songs in headphones before loading to deck
new databse categories for bit rate, file type, year and label
select multiple files to add to playlists
Musical Style Preferences improve results when analyzing tracks
drag and drop songs into decks while in browser max view
warning message if loading a new song onto a Deck that is playing
warning message when attempting to exit Torq
optimized control locations
intuitive toolbar buttons and MIDI/tempo indicators
Global Tempo metronome can be monitored in headphones
Auto Gain feature matches the gain levels between decks

Enhanced Effects Processing
internal effects can be grouped into effects chains
VST effect tempo synchronizes with tempo of playing deck
effects can be used in a post-fader configuration

Rock-Solid Integration with Traditional DJ Hardware
Skip Protection keeps the music playing even if the Control Vinyl or CD skips
True Key Lock keeps the pitch constant when adjusting external turntable speed

New Looping Functionality
Loop points can be set after a section plays
new QuickLoop option for CDJ-style loop division
Quantize function for start/stop accuracy


Steinberg CC121 Controller & MR816 Interfaces

October 28, 2008

Dolphin Music has now in stock the new Steinberg CC121 Advanced Integration Controller and the MR816 CSX and MR816 X Advanced Integration DSP Studio FireWire Audio Interfaces. Outstanding products for great prices, available NOW!


Engineered specifically for the thousands of production environments using Cubase worldwide, CC121
interfaces the creativity of musicians and producers with the functional complexity of the world’s most popular music production system.

Built to an extremely high manufacturing and component standard, CC121 provides totally integrated tactile control of all parameters within Cubase, with a unique design architecture that keeps you 100% focused on your Cubase project.

For more details, visit the CC121 product page.




The Steinberg MR816 CSX Advanced Integration DSP Studio is a fully-featured FireWire interface with inbuilt DSP FX power with next-generation integrative technologies

Developed by Steinberg and Yamaha, the Steinberg MR816 CSX Advanced Integration DSP Studio is the hardware centerpiece of a latency-free recording and monitoring environment that fully exploits the flexibility and power of Steinberg’s renowned Cubase Music Production System.

Running with Cubase, the MR816 CSX removes any need for additional mixing software between DAW and I/O – all aspects of I/O handling, DSP management and independent performer mixes are handled directly from within Cubase itself. 

For more details, visit the MR816 CSX product page. 


MR816 X

The Steinberg MR816 X Advanced Integration DSP Studio fuses a fully-featured FireWire interface and inbuilt DSP reverb with next-generation integrative technologies into one breathtakingly powerful production environment.

Developed by Steinberg and Yamaha, the Steinberg MR816 X Advanced Integration DSP Studio is the hardware centerpiece of a latency-free recording and monitoring environment that fully exploits the flexibility and power of Steinberg’s renowned Cubase Music Production System.

Running with Cubase, MR816 X removes any need for additional mixing software between DAW and I/O – all aspects of I/O handling, DSP management and independent performer mixes are handled directly from within Cubase itself. With the unique True Integrated Monitoring technology, Cubase manages all audio streams with perfect sync.

For more info, visit the MR816 X product page.


The new generation of Focusrite multi-channel firewire audio interfaces.

October 8, 2008

This year’s AES show in San Francisco sees the launch of Focusrite’s new multi-channel firewire audio interface, the Focusrite Saffire PRO 40. It is the best sounding interface in its class, attentively designed with today’s project studio in mind.

Focusrite’s unparalleled pre-amp legacy forms the foundation of this new interface, with eight award-winning Focusrite pre-amps. These are combined with the very latest in firewire interfacing technology to deliver seamless integration, excellent routing flexibility and rock-solid driver stability.

With Saffire PRO 40, sonic integrity reigns supreme. The eight Focusite pre-amps ensure low noise and distortion, whilst quality digital conversion and JetPLL™ jitter elimination technology ensure pristine audio quality as your audio flows between the analogue and digital domains.

Alongside the eight Focusrite pre-amps are a host of i/o options; 10 analogue outputs, ADAT i/o, stereo SPDIF i/o and 2 virtual ‘loopback’ inputs for routing digital audio between software applications – ideal for capturing online audio. Every channel features phantom power, with the first two channels also featuring -9dB pads for additional headroom. Front panel 5-LED metering for each analogue input offers accurate viewing of levels.

Saffire PRO 40 comes with a Suite of Focusrite plug-ins. All-new Focusrite Compression, Reverb, Gating and EQ VST/AU plug-ins provide a significant upgrade from standard sequencer effects, bringing a touch of class to your session. Focusrite’s established xcite+ bundle is also included. The bundle includes Ableton Live Lite, Novation’s Bass Station soft synth and over 1 gig of royalty-free samples.

Saffire PRO 40 Control, the zero-latency 18 x 16 DSP Mixer/Router software provided with Saffire PRO 40, sets a new standard at this price point for audio interface control. It features unparalleled output routing and monitoring, as well as intuitive one-click set-up solutions, a clear and concise mixing layout and large on-screen metering for inputs, outputs and submixes.

Two independent headphone buses are provided, each with their own level controls available on the front panel. A dedicated stereo monitor mix output features pads for improved sound quality when connected to active monitor speakers. An ‘anti-thump’ circuit protects your monitor speakers from spikes when booting up or shutting down. Front panel controls include a main monitor dial with dim and mute switches, all of which fully integrate with customisable software to cover every possible monitoring need, providing a set of controls for any set-up from basic stereo to full 7.1 surround.

Saffire PRO 40, shipping November 2008, costs £349 inc. VAT, and will be available to purchase from all good Pro Audio retailers…including Dolphin Music, of course!

View product page for more info:

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 FireWire Audio Interface


Extra Computer power for music production

November 24, 2006

There are, of course, three certainties in life: tax, death and the ever increasing need for more computer power. OK the latter is possibly not quite up there with death but it does seem that, no matter what processor you have under your bonnet, you’ll always want more oomph to run your applications and, of course, computer hardware companies will be more than happy to supply it for you!

Ten years ago computers simply didn’t have enough Hz to do computer music. In fact even eight years ago when I launched a magazine called Computer Music we were still a little uncertain as to what they would ultimately achieve. But, as ever, technology marches on and now, not only can they do the music thing, they can do it very well and many musicians and studios have a computer at the core of their music making set-ups.
But software developers will always push the latest machines, processors and RAM to their limits (some would say with lazy programming, but we won’t go there) so that the latest releases always seem to gobble up all the resources that you’ve just shelled out for.

So what does a computer musician do? Fall into the trap of upgrading their machines every few months? Well, with the apparent inflation busting pricing structure of today’s computer hardware, where you always get more bang for your buck than six months previous, you’d be forgiven for doing just that. But there really isn’t any need to go mad… not yet. Have a think about other options before you buy a shiny new computer and end up realising that transferring all of that music software from one to another (together with all of those audio files) is an absolute nightmare.

Read the rest of this entry ?


New kids on the DSP block

November 24, 2006

Over the last couple of years a few other companies have got in on the hardware accelerating act. Muse are a new company but their first product was a bold one, in the form of the Receptor (£999). Essentially it’s a rack mount computer with a big hard drive to run any VST based instruments. The idea is that it has all the power and the glory of a PC but none of the mobility and stability issues. Another great idea!

Focusrite are well regarded for their hardware outboard gear which is found in pretty much every major studio around the world. The Liquid Mix (£495) delivers 32 channels of EQ and compression power with over 60 emulations modelled on some classic gear. The unit has garnered some great reviews and is now available for both Mac and PC platforms.

Last but definitely not least, SSL have just released Duende (£995) which is another power-packed hardware box, but this time with software that replicates the signal processing found in SSL consoles so offers their sound – a sound that costs tens of thousands of pounds by the way – for a shade under a grand. Nice!


Universal Audio’s UAD1 DSP cards

November 24, 2006

Universal’s UAD1 DSP cards have a great reputation. The entry-level card is the Project Pak (sic – £297) which is a PCI-based card with 14 plug-in effects included. Now we step up to the PCI Express Pak (£389) which offers the power and plugs for high speed PCI ports. The Flexi Pak (£599) has the hardware but you select the software (a voucher is included of $500 to do this). Neat idea! The Ultra Pak (£749) has 24 plug-ins and finally the Expert Pak (£799) has the power plus a $750 voucher to redeem for your choice of software.


Creamware SCOPE system

November 24, 2006

Arguably the first company to really go for it DSP-wise were Creamware who, with their SCOPE system, produced the first proper computer music all-in-one environment back in 1998! (Or at least that’s when I had one!) The system is still around today and available in updated formats across a large range. SCOPE Project (£749) has six SHARC processors and over 60 plug-in instruments and effects. SCOPE Project Professional (£1,467) has 14 processors and all the software and connectors from the Project card and is something of a monster card all in all. Finally Creamware’s SCOPE Home (£349) is the entry level system which has three SHARCS and around 40 plug-in instruments and effects. The beauty of the Creamware system is that you get every component of the music studio in soft form, including synths, mixer, samplers and so on, all of which you can control virtually.


TC PowerCore DSP Platform

November 24, 2006

TC were one of the first companies to embrace the DSP add-on theory. PowerCore is the name given to the series of products, and the first of which we’ll deal with here is the PowerCore PCI MKII (£649) which has four processors and will slot very nicely into a standard PCI socket. The software plug-ins you get are many and varied including the 24/7 compressor, ClassicVerb reverb, Filtroid filter and about a dozen more. And, remember, we are talking top quality for these plugs. Powercore Unplugged (£419) is pretty much identical although you don’t get the software bundled with it, so you can assemble your own collection from scratch from TC or other companies that produce titles for the PowerCore platform, like Access and Sony Oxford. PowerCore Compact (£499) is a portable version of the PCI card aimed at laptop users (both Mac and PC) and connectable via FireWire. It features less in the way of DSP but a dozen effects. The Daddy of the TC PowerCore range is the FireWire (£799) with all the effects and extra power hosted within an elegant desktop solution. All of these will work almost invisibly with your computer set-up. In the FireWire’s case, all you get is a calming blue, glowing light…