Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum EX Transforms the PC Into a Home Recording Studio

Music Creation Platform Enables 24-bit/96kHz Multi-Channel Recording

Creative Technology has announced immediate shipment of its new Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum EX card/interface/software bundle. The estimated street price is $249 (US).

Creative is touting the new package as an ideal platform for aspiring musicians and home recordists, as well as PC users with a serious interest in sound quality. The company says the Platinum EX is the only THX®-certified consumer sound card capable of DVD-Audio quality 24-bit/96kHz recording in 5.1 channels.

The Platinum eX is now top-of-the-line in the Audigy 2 sound card family. Over the past year, Audigy 2 cards have won numerous awards and consumer enthusiasm for features such as DVD-Audio playback, Dolby Digital EX support for DVD movies, and 6.1-surround sound for games. The new package adds several capabilities and features that enable semi-pro recording and production applications.

6-Channel Low-Latency Recording

The Audigy 2 Platinum eX stands apart from the rest of the Audigy 2 family by offering 24-bit/96kHz recording capability for 6 channels, with a pure recording path and high-performance analog-to-digital converters to accurately capture the full quality and subtle details of any kind of music.

The package includes the Audigy 2 External I/O Module for studio quality connectivity through three analog stereo connections, plus optical and coaxial digital I/O, full-sized MIDI I/O and two SB1394 (FireWire) ports.

The included ASIO 2.0 driver enables direct monitoring and imperceptible audio driver latency values as low as 2 milliseconds.

ASIO provides audio routing between the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 and any ASIO-compatible multi-track audio-recording and playback software, such as Cubasis VST CE, which is included in the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 software bundle. It also ensures low-latency operation and provides a straightforward control panel to determine which physical inputs and outputs are used by the software and also how some of the internal signal paths (virtual inputs and outputs) within the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 card are routed.

The ASIO 2 driver allows users to record multiple analog and digital streams from any combination of the available sources. You can record several musicians simultaneously, recording each player in one multi-track session as opposed to recording one performer at a time.

Other home-recording-friendly features of the Platinum eX include a powerful effects processing engine powered by EAX ADVANCED HD; and a hardware-accelerated SoundFont synthesizer.

Comprehensive Music Creation Software Bundle

The Platinum eX comes with a compelling bundle of audio and video software, including the following music creation applications:

  • Steinberg – Cubasis™ VST 4.0 Creative Edition + Wavelab Lite 2.0 – the complete music production solution, with low latency multitrack ASIO recording and playback of up to 32 audio and 32 MIDI channels with integrated SoundFont™ support plus VST instruments and effects with mixer automation;
  • Sonic Foundry – ACID™ Style DJ 3.0 – turns the PC into the ultimate dance music production studio, to enable creation of club mixes;
  • Native Instruments – Traktor® DJ Creative Edition – provides dual outputs to cue up tracks in real time to create DJ mixes from MP3 or WAV tracks;
  • Image Line – FruityLoops™ Pro 3.5 Creative Edition – serves as a pattern-based sequencer with built-in software synthesizers and VST instrument support. This application also supports ASIO playback and VST and DirectX effects.Unparalleled Audio Playback Quality

Highest Quality Music Listening Experience

Sound Blaster 24-bit ADVANCED HD audio playback at 106dB SNR delivers up to eight times the clarity of motherboard audio. Its DVD-Audio playback capabilities introduce listeners to details and clarity in recordings that far exceed the limits of vinyl, tape or CD. Anyone with a DVD-ROM drive of 6x or greater can utilize the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 to experience DVD-Audio with full 24-bit/192kHz sound quality in stereo.

For MP3, WMA or CD playback, the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum eX includes Creative MediaSource™ the most comprehensive player for digital music transfer, library management and enhancements, including up-mix of stereo MP3 music into full 6.1 surround sound.

The Richest Surround Sound for PC Home Theater

The ultimate PC-Based Home Theater experience is created through Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum eX’s certified support of Dolby® Digital EX. Compared with Dolby® Digital 5.1, this new technology adds a rear center channel, which provides better positioning of audio and effects coming from behind the listener. The additional rear speaker also creates a better overall effect of fly-bys and fly-overs making the audio experience more enveloping and immersive. Coupled with an impressive Signal-to-Noise Ratio of 106dB and lower harmonic distortion, a more balanced, crisper and richer movie audio environment results, thrusting you right into the heart of your favourite movies.

Creative Technology Web Site

Arturia Announces the Release of Its Cutting-Edge Emulation of the Legendary Modular System 3C

Announced and shown for the first time at Winter NAMM, the new Arturia Modular System is a faithful reproduction of one of the most legendary synthesizers of all time: the Moog Modular.

The Modular System is based on a new set of algorithms created by Arturia’s engineers, which they are calling TAE® (True Analog Emulation). It brings a superior quality of sound when reproducing analog circuits. In particular, TAE avoids any sort of aliasing; it also emulates the typical instability of hardware oscillators and brings the warm sound of the vintage synthesizers.

In addition to the replication of all the functions of the original, the Modular System comes loaded with more than 400 presets made by a selection of the most famous sound designers.

The new Arturia virtual synth will be available in March 2003 at a suggested retail price of $329 (US).

Platforms and Requirements:

Windows: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
28 Mbytes RAM – 500 MHz processor

Mac OS classic: Mac OS 9.x
128 Mbytes RAM – 500 MHz processor

Mac OS X: Mac OS X.2 or higher
128 Mbytes RAM – 500 MHz processor

Arturia Web Site

More Winter NAMM Coverage

Native Instruments Presents Absynth Sounds Vol. 1 ­ Sonic Expansion

Absynth Sounds Volume 1 is the perfect complement to Absynth’s factory sound library. This patch collection contains 256 outstanding sounds, including evolving soundscapes, evocative pads, authentic marimbas and vibes, robotic sequences, punchy loops, organic basses, and accurate synths. All patches were sculpted to take full advantage of Absynth’s multiple synthesis techniques as well as its powerful modulation and performance capabilities.

These sounds are as dynamic and playable as they are compelling. Velocity, modulation, and MIDI controllers are programmed into each sound for subtle musical response and dynamic manipulation of tone and timbre. An inspiring resource for film composers, performing musicians, and electronic/pop producers.

ABSYNTH SOUNDS Vol. 1 is now available at a recommended retail price of $49 (US) or 49 Euro.

Native Instruments Web Site

Native Instruments Announces That TRAKTOR DJ STUDIO 2.0 is Now Shipping

With the introduction of version 2.0, Native Instruments professional DJ software TRAKTOR DJ STUDIO receives a major update and is now also available for Mac OS 9.2 and OS X.

TRAKTOR DJ STUDIO’s redesigned interface optimizes the user’s interaction and workflow. The functional layout inspired by classic DJ hardware guarantees a short learning curve for the experienced DJ. Advanced visualizations of essential mixing parameters such as the Offset Meter, the Spectral Waveform and the Graphical Filter Preview open new dimensions for mastering the mix.

Traktor DJ Studio’s excellent sound quality has been improved even more by integrating the advanced interpolation and filters known from the Native Instruments acclaimed Reaktor software and by licensing original Fraunhofer Institute MP3 decoding algorithms. Furthermore Traktor DJ Studio comes with a professional de-emphasis correction to emulate the characteristics of analog vinyl scratching. Combined with the generous pitch range of +/-100% the decks can be continuously brought down to full stop without noticeable digital aliasing.

Controlling Traktor DJ Studio has become as versatile as modern music software can be, using any kind of MIDI compatible controller, MIDI keyboard, computer keyboard, mouse, joystick or other input device. Traktor DJ Studio supports a large variety of input options that can be mapped to each of over 400 individual functions and actions of the software. The mixing process can be outsourced on stage to a classical DJ mixer and a professional soundcard or made internally via keyboard and mouse using the onboard sound, when on the move.

Traktor DJ Studio offers a powerful database with ultra fast Quick Search, scanning your track collection at a rate of more than 2.000 tracks per second. MP3 tags are automatically imported into the database and a versatile Tree View lets you navigate within your collection with unparalleled ease. Before loading a track it can be cued over headphones directly from the database. A variety of automatically generated icons identify enqueued, cued and played tracks in the collection, playlists and search results.

The cueing and looping features of the previous version have been considerably extended. Traktor DJ Studio now offers 10 saveable cue points plus 10 saveable loops. Cue points can be assigned to special actions such as triggering the opposite deck’s playback or defining a measure grid over the whole track. Loops of quantized lengths are set with one click and can be resized or moved in tempo accurate steps – even backwards and during playback – creating astonishing tempo synchronous effects.

Traktor DJ Studio 2.0 brings the most innovative tempo recognition on the market (patent pending). Automatic detected precise tempo estimations are guided by user-provided tapping events in cases of doubt. These precise tempo values and the revolutionary Snap-To-Beat function build the base of Traktor DJ Studio’s unique automatic beat synchronization (Syncro Start). A combination of well set cue points and stored BPM values allows you to mix a track into another with a few mouse clicks.

Traktor DJ Studio’s recording function offers a completely new approach to mix production. The arrangement takes place by creating a playlist and by mixing in realtime and not in sequencer-like views. To edit a recorded mix, parts of it can be overdubbed in single or in all parameters. The created Mixfile can be rendered to Wav or AIFF at high speed. The small size of a compressed Mixfile makes it the ideal tool for fast exchange via email between labels, artists and listeners. Traktor DJ Studio’s Automix function lets you listen to your music without the need for interaction, and can play your mix in the background while you work with other applications.

Traktor DJ Studio is powerful software for software-based DJ mixing of MP3, Wav, AIFF files and Audio CDs.

Traktor DJ Studio stretches the limits beyond limitations of conventional tools by opening completely new ways to visually control the mix, by offering powerful synching functions and unseen tempo accurate real time remixing features. Spot on instant beat matching , instant looping and instant track cueing by single mouse clicks and composing playlists from tracks and sub-playlists by drag and drop.

Traktor DJ Studio is the first DJ player ever to display a dual band representation of the track’s waveform, even directly from two tracks on the same Audio CD – in real time! The user can perceive beats, breaks and instrumentation ahead of time. Saved loops and cue points as well as the beat grid covering the entire track are graphically displayed. The waveform can be stopped and accurately cued like a record thanks to a authentic scratching emulation.

Traktor DJ Studio’s innovative tempo detection (patent pending) uses a powerful combination of reliable tempo recognition algorithms combined with optional additional user tapping for extremely fast and precise results in almost any musical genre.

Over 400 functions and actions of Traktor DJ Studio can be operated via MIDI controllers, MIDI keyboards, via mouse or via keyboard shortcuts. These possibilities combines the power of this software solution with the tactile control options of DJ hardware equipment. A mix can be recorded as automation file and subsequently individual parameters edited by simply overdubbing the action during mix playback. The finished mix can be exported into a single or into a set of separate Wav or AIFF-files.

Traktor DJ Studio fuses live mixing, remixing and mix production into a new entity.

Traktor DJ Studio 2.0 is now available at music retailers at recommended retail of $199 and Euro 199.

Registered users can now download the update for free, CLICK HERE

For more information please go to

Ableton Announces Live Version 2.0

Free Upgrade to the New Version available soon for all new users

Ableton, an innovative Berlin-based music software company, today announced LIVE 2.0, a major upgrade of their award-winning sequencing instrument for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, and Windows. Users that buy or unlock LIVE 1.5 or 1.0 for the first time after November 1, 2002 will be eligible to receive a free (download) upgrade to LIVE 2.0.

Introduced in 2001 as an audio sequencer to be played like an instrument in live performances, LIVE was quickly embraced by studio musicians and post production professionals because of the swiftness and ease with which they could sketch out musical ideas. LIVE version 2.0 offers enhancements to the performance and jamming features of the original software and also adds multi-track recording and editing with “Elastic Audio”.

Elastic Audio refers to LIVE 2.0’s unique ability to render audio totally elastic. This feature allows tempo to be set at anytime during recording, performance or playback. In addition, users can drop in recordings, loops and complete songs, which will play in sync, direct from disk. LIVE 2.0 makes it possible to synchronize loops and recordings of any length at any time. Also, time stretching is no longer limited to loops but can now be applied to any audio material; time stretching algorithms have been optimized for rhythmic and melodic material producing “cleaner” results.

Live 2.0 allows the user to tap tempo during recording and playback. Tempo changes are recordable and editable as a continuous curve. This increases flexibility and speed for looping, synchronizing, improvising and recording – the process has never been faster, easier and more fun.

Multi-track Recording and Editing in LIVE 2.0 turns the arranger view into a full blown multi-track recording and editing suite offering extensive real-time effects, dynamic parameter automation and unlimited undo. Recording can be initiated directly from the arranger window.

Other new features of LIVE 2.0 include:

  • Advanced automation handling
  • DJ-like cross-fading
  • Relative Session Mapping: assignable scene up/down and track launch buttons
  • Tempo and Transport controls can be mapped to MIDI /Keys
  • Presets to save and recall effect settings
  • New effects: Gate; Redux

Pricing and Availability

LIVE 2.0 will be available online from and from Ableton dealers worldwide in December 2002 for a MSRP of US$399.00 (Euro $399). Upgrades from LIVE 1.5 will be available online for US$89 (Euro 89) for a boxed version or US$69 (Euro $69) for a downloadable version.

About Ableton

Ableton’s function is to support creative people with modern software technology. Since the company started in 1999, more than twenty developers and business professionals have joined Ableton–many of them active musicians or DJs. Since the launch of LIVE in October 2001, the company has received outstanding press and customer feedback.