ZOOMTwo new multi-effects processors from Zoom provide new choices for guitarists and bassists looking to add to their stompbox arsenal. The effects on the GFX-707 and BFX-708 ($229 each) are optimized for guitar and bass, respectively, but otherwise are identical. The processors each combine a drum machine, a 6-second riff sampler with half-speed playback capability, a 2-second phrase sampler, and 48 DSP effects. Each unit offers an expression pedal that controls volume, wah wah, and other effect parameters. The phrase sampler lets you play along over a sampled phrase, reverse it, and use the expression pedal to simulate turntable scratching.
The drum machine has 45 preset rhythm patterns using PCM samples. Internal samplers let you sample sounds and create multilayered effects in live performance. There are 60 patch memory locations (30 user, 30 preset) for storing effects settings.
The processors deliver 48 effects, including distortion, reverb, delay, ring modulator, doubler, and more. Onboard knobs let you adjust effect parameters in real time. You can use up to nine effects simultaneously. Other features include amp and acoustic-guitar tone simulators and a chromatic tuner.
An LED shows program and bank information. There is a stereo headphone output on a 11/44-inch TRS connector. Zoom/Samson Technologies Corp. (distributor); tel. (800) 328-2882; fax (516) 932-3815; e-mail sales@samsontech .com; Web www.samsontech.com.
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PRO MUSICEditable karaoke, anyone? Italian hardware and software manufacturer Pro Music has released WinLive 3.0 Professional (Win; $215), a program that lets you play and edit format 0 and 1 Standard MIDI Files on the fly. Editing features include the ability to adjust tempo, pan, and Velocity settings; send Program Change messages; transpose tunes; mute channels; and add chorus and reverb.
You can create and manage playlists of up to 40 songs each and view the files in a number of ways. One window lets you view songs by their order in a playlist, providing information on the artist and the MIDI file's name. Another shows default and saved tempos, transposition by a positive or negative number of semitones, and muted channels.
Three windows are provided for karaoke performance. Each shows lyrics in large type. One shows lyrics only; background images can be inserted behind the text in this window. A second window provides large lyrics in the upper half of the screen, with the current chords and a syllabic breakdown of the lyrics on a time line shown below. A third shows lyrics and MIDI instrument information by channel.
The program is compatible with GS, GM, and XG synths and Creative Labs Sound Blaster cards. WinLive 3.0 Professional requires a PC with at least a 386 processor and 4 MB of RAM, running Windows 3.1, 95, 98, or NT. Pro Music; tel. 39-080-395-8811; fax 39-080-395-8812; e-mail webmaster@ promusic.net; Web www.promusic.net.
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MAXONReissues of several 1970s-era Maxon effects pedals are now shipping. The Japanese pedals can be powered by a 9V battery or with an optional AC power adapter ($24.95). All feature silent FET electronic switching and an on/off status LED.
The OD808 overdrive pedal ($195) is a solid-state device that emulates tube overdrive as it boosts your signal level. The AD80 analog delay ($250) provides delay of up to 300 ms and is designed to impart a rich, warm analog tone. It has two outputs and controls for delay time, feedback, and blend. The PT999 Phase Tone ($199) features a single knob to vary the speed of phasing. The D&S distortion and sustain pedal ($189) also emulates tube distortion while adding to your instrument's sustain. It features controls for distortion, tone, and balance. A less aggressive version, the D&S II ($149), is also available.
Other reissued pedals include the CS-505 stereo chorus ($219) and FL-301 flanger ($219). Godlyke (distributor); tel. (973) 835-2100; fax (973) 835-2100; e-mail email@example.com; Web www.maxonfx.com.
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MINNETONKA MX51Minnetonka's Mx51 v. 2.0 software allows you to use a Yamaha DSP Factory or Digital Audio Labs V8 to author Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The V8 version lists for $1,500 (upgrades from MxTrax $901), and the DSP Factory version costs $895 (upgrades from MxTrax $396). The program retains all of the editing and mixing features of MxTrax and adds 5.1 busing, panning, and mastering.
Mx51's main window, the Surround Mixer, lets you custom-build your mixing surface: you can drag and drop faders; pan controls; insert effects; solo, mute, and automate buttons; aux sends; and other controls. You can drag an automatable Surround Panner window onto any mixer channel and use it to localize sounds in a 5.1 soundstage. You can also drag a SubBass Crossover filter onto any channel, which allows you to send the lows to a subwoofer or remove them from the surround channels. You can set each filter's crossover frequency separately.
The V8 version supports V8 plug-ins, and the DSP Factory version supports DirectX plug-ins. You can link Mx51 to the company's optional SurCode 5.1 surround-sound encoder application ($995) in order to save a 6-track master as a Dolby AC-3 file.
Mx51 generates and slaves to MIDI Time Code. The V8 version also syncs to video as either a master or slave. An optional Microsoft Force-Feedback joystick ($138) can be used to position sounds.
The program requires a Yamaha DSP Factory or DAL V8 system, a Pentium 200 MHz or faster PC, 64 MB of RAM, and Windows 95, 98, or NT. Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc.; tel. (612) 449-0187; fax (612) 449-0318; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Web www.minnetonkaaudio.com.
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FOSTEX VM-200/VR-800Fostex has released two complementary products: the VM-200 digital mixer ($1,499) and the VR-800 digital multitrack recorder ($749 without media; $999 with external 250 MB Iomega Zip drive; $1,099 with internal 5.1 GB IDE hard drive).
The VM-200 is a 20-input digital mixer that offers 32-bit, RISC-based signal processing and mixing of 16-bit, 44.1 kHz digital audio signals. The top surface of the VM-200 gives you direct access to pan and EQ functions, providing 12 rotary controls and an interactive, 256 x 64-dot, backlit LCD. It has eight 60 mm, motorized channel faders and one stereo master fader.
Each channel features a 4-band parametric EQ, analog input-level control, and illuminated buttons that edit different functions depending on which mode you are in. Fostex's proprietary Advanced Signal Processing effects-processing technology is designed to offer higher gain in the early reflection characteristics of reverbs and to be free of artifacts. Effects include reverb, delays, chorus, flange, pitch shift, and preset combinations of these. Two stereo effects can be used simultaneously on each input. The effects, faders, pan, and EQ settings can be automated, and 100 scenes can be stored in memory. There is also a library in which to store 50 EQ presets.
There are eight analog inputs; channels 1 to 4 use balanced XLR connectors and channels 5 to 8 use balanced 11/44-inch connectors. The XLR inputs provide 48V phantom power. Input for channels 9 to 16 is via an ADAT Optical input, and channels 17 to 20 are accessed by using the balanced 11/44-inch effects return jacks. Each mixer can be completely controlled via MIDI.
Stereo S/PDIF digital I/O is available on RCA jacks and can be used to link two units in Cascade mode. Eight-channel ADAT Optical digital I/O is also provided.
Four effects sends and four returns are provided on unbalanced 11/44-inch connectors. Stereo analog master output is on two RCA connectors. You get MIDI In, Out, and Thru connectors and word-clock I/O on BNC connectors.
The VR-800 digital multitrack recorder can simultaneously record up to 8 tracks of digital audio, and 16 virtual tracks can be stored. Each track is recorded uncompressed at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz resolution. The unit does not have analog I/O; all audio input and output is in the digital domain.
The recorder offers nondestructive editing with copy, paste, move, and erase; audio scrubbing via a jog/shuttle wheel; autopunch recording; vari pitch of +/-6%; and one level of undo/redo. There are 99 edit and 99 locate points.
The unit syncs to word clock (on BNC connectors) and MIDI Clock, slaves to MTC, and outputs MMC. The recorder has a SCSI port for storage and backup. Fostex Corporation of America; tel. (562) 921-1112; fax (562) 802-1964; e-mail email@example.com; Web www.fostex.com.
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