In Studio

In Studio

In Studio

MIDI Master Keyboards

Fatar Studio 1100 

First up is the Studio 1100, which features velocity sensitivity and aftertouch on its 88-note keyboard. The front panel is quite clearly divided into sections: a Preset/Function section, containing a row of four Function buttons, labelled 1-4; a Zones section, also with a row of four buttons; and a Perform/Edit section, containing a pair of sliders -- one an assignable controller that doubles as a data entry slider and the other an overall volume control, which allows you to adjust the level of all four Zones at once -- plus a three-character LED display and a pair of left-arrow/right-arrow buttons labelled Preset/Zone. The upper left-hand corner of the fascia is home to the pitch-bend and modulation wheels.

The control facilities of the 1100 include up to four splits or layers, with each Zone (as they are called) having its own MIDI channel, programme number, upper and lower key range limits, volume and transposition value. There are 32 editable Presets on board, where you can store custom settings, and Presets are selectable in four banks of eight. The 1100's assignable slider can be programmed to transmit any MIDI controller, as can the volume pedal socket at the rear. The rear panel also hides a sustain pedal socket, MIDI input and two MIDI Outs -- don't get too excited, they're not independent. Power comes from an external adaptor.

I found programming the Studio 1100 to be straightforward, though the review model was the first in the country and lacked a manual, which necessitated a little bit of initiative to puzzle the machine out. Luckily, the obvious moves I made proved to be the correct ones, and my conclusions as to how the Studio 1100 works follow.

You create your own Presets via the selection of buttons on the front panel -- note that some of the black keys on the keyboard double as a numeric keypad. Preset numbers and parameter values are shown on the three-character LED display. As mentioned, the keyboard can operate on up to four zones; these are selectable with the four buttons in the Zone section on the front panel -- an LED above each button indicates whether a Zone is active or not. The first thing I discovered was that by pressing and holding a Zone button and keying in a number on the keyboard, I could transmit a Patch Change on that Zone -- Bank Select is available too. I also discovered that when I selected a Patch Change, that patch automatically became part of the current Preset -- there are no edit buffers here.

A little further exploration revealed that pressing a Zone button, followed by any one of the Function buttons, took me into edit mode. Each of the Function buttons accesses three parameters (which are listed below each button); press a button to cycle through its parameters, and use the control slider as a data entry slider to alter a parameter value. The Functions available under each button are as follows:

• 1: Low key; high key; receive channel (a global channel for receiving MIDI SysEx dumps).

• 2: Program number; Zone MIDI channel; wheel switch (the pitch-bend and mod wheel can be disabled for each Zone).

• 3: Volume; velocity response; aftertouch switch (aftertouch can also be disabled for each Zone).

• 4: Transpose (+/-24 semitones); control slider assign; volume pedal assign.

When you've finished altering function parameters to suit your setup, press any Zone button and you're done -- your settings are automatically memorised in the currently selected Preset. It's worth noting that a Zone can be turned on or off at any time without going into edit mode (just by pressing its Zone button), and new program change numbers can also be selected at any time by pressing a Zone button and keying in the desired program change number on the keyboard.

There are a couple of anomalies to look out for: the Studio 1100 doesn't offer a selection of velocity curves, but rather uses a gradually-changing overall response (found under Function switch 3), with inverse velocity available at a setting of -5 and fixed velocity at 0. A value of +3 seems to be about right for the average player. The other anomaly arises when you're assigning MIDI controllers to the control slider or the volume pedal; you have a choice of any controller between 0 and 120, but selecting a value isn't simply a matter of moving the data entry slider from bottom to top; moving it from bottom to top provides controller numbers 0-16; then moving it from top to bottom provides numbers 17-32, from bottom to top again shows numbers 33-48, and so on. This is strange when you first encounter it, and the same system also operates for selecting a Program Change in Edit mode.

Note that the two arrow buttons below the main display (labelled Preset/Zone) are also labelled Load/Save; this is presumably to allow the 1100's memory to be saved and loaded over MIDI. I discovered that you do this in the following way: press a Zone button, followed by Save, and that Zone's eight presets are sent over MIDI. Loading is done in the same way, except that you press the Load button, whereupon the 1100 waits for MIDI data to arrive. While saving the 1100's memory in four banks of eight patches may seem a little strange, it actually makes it easy to mix and match different banks of presets.


Sound Card 

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40





We always quote 'real world' performance figures (measured to the AES17 standard). Some companies choose to quote chipset performance, which is misleading, and here's why.

Microphone Inputs

  • Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 109dB
  • SNR (A-weighted): -109dB
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
  • THD+N: 0.001% (measured at 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Noise: EIN > 125dB (128dB analogue to digital) (measured at 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm termination (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Maximum level (A-weighted): 8dBu at 1%

Line Inputs

  • Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 109dB
  • SNR (A-weighted): -109dB
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
  • THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Noise: -90dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Maximum level (A-weighted): 28.5dBu at 1%



Instrument Inputs

  • Frequency Response 20Hz-20KHz +/- 0.1dB
  • Maximum Input Level min gain no pad +8dBu
  • Maximum Input Level max gain no pad -42dBu
  • THD+N, -1dBFS, min gain, no pad < 0.0015%
  • SNR 109dB "A"
  • DNR 109dB "A"
  • Input Impedance > 1MOhm
  • X-talk < -100dB
  • Adjustable Gain > 50dB
  • Pad Attenuation 10dB

Headphone Outputs

  • Frequency Response 20Hz-20KHz +/- 0.1dB
  • SNR 109dB "A"
  • DNR 109dB "A"
  • Maximum Output into 32R +12.4dBu (+10.2dBV)
  • Power into 32R 250mW
  • Output Impedance < 7Ohms
  • Load Impedance > 24Ohms

Line level Outputs

  • Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 108dB
  • SNR (A-weighted): -108dB
  • THD+N: < 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Maximum level (A-weighted): 15.7dBu at 0.883%

Additional Conversion Performance

  • Clock jitter < 250 picoseconds
  • THD+N AMPL (A-weighted)= -109dBFS


Analogue Channel Inputs (Inputs 1-8)

  • 2 Mic/Line/Inst Combo XLR (Inputs 1 and 2)
  • 6 Mic/Line Combo XLR (Inputs 3-8)
  • Automatic switching of Mic / Line (e.g. inserting a jack switches from Mic to either Line or Instrument)

Digital Channel Inputs (Inputs 9-18) 44.1-96kHz

  • Stereo S/PDIF input on RCA 
  • 8 ADAT inputs on Optical Connector, reduces to 4 inputs at 88.2/96kHz • Optical input can be switched to S/PDIF 3/4 in software preferences (Both ADATs and S/PDIF over RCA input disabled)

Analogue Audio Outputs (Outputs 1-10) 

  • 8 ¼” TRS Jack (Outputs 3-10) 
  • 2 monitor mix outputs on ¼” TRS Jack (Outputs 1 and 2)
  • Stereo headphones mix 1 on ¼” TRS (also routed to outputs 7 & 8)
  • Stereo Headphones mix 2 on ¼” TRS (also routed to outputs 9 & 10)

Digital Channel Outputs (Outputs 11-20) 44.1-96kHz

  • Stereo S/PDIF output on RCA 
  • 8 ADAT outputs on Optical Connector, reduces to 4 outputs at 88.2/96kHz
  • Optical output can be switched to S/PDIF 3/4 in software preferences (ADATs disabled)

Oter I/O

  • 2 6-pin FireWire sockets 
  • 2 Standard 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors: In and Out 
  • IEC mains power input connector 

Weight and Dims

  • 3kg / 6.6Ibs
  • 482mm / 19" (W) x 45mm / 1.8" (H) x 265mm /10.4" (D)


Roland U220
RS-PCM Sound Module

The U-20 is nothing special. It is a digital synthesizer that uses ROM samples of pianos, brass, strings, bass, drums, etc. However it is built for professional use and is truly a quality instrument, even though its sounds may seem like dated-eighties synth pop cheese. It's got nice piano sounds, but they're not the real thing.


The U-20 features 6 part multitimbrality with a 7th drum part, plus 2 direct outputs and 2 stereo outputs. The 30 note polyphony helps if you take advantage of this synths multitimbrality for creating entire performances and ensembles. Digital reverb, chorus and delay effects liven up your sounds. Editing is simple, but there are no filters. With several performance features, the U-20 has a full 61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. There's an on-board arpeggiator, a chord-memory feature and the U-20 accepts Roland SNU-110 sound library cards. It has been used by Prodigy and Astral Projection.

The Roland U-220 (pictured above) is simply a rack-mount version of the U-20. It has all the same sounds and features packaged in a compact single-space sound module.


Virus Ti Desktop

Technical Specifications

Sound Engine


  • Various oscillator models including Virtual Analog, Wavetable, HyperSaw, Grain- and Formant Table types.
  • A maximum of 192 parallel effects in total. Reverb and delay, chorus, phaser, frequency shifter, ring modulator, distortion, 3-band EQ and new Character processors.
  • 2 independent multi-mode filters (HP, LP, BP, BS) and the Analog Filter which was modeled after the Moog MiniMoog™ cascade filter with 6-24 dB Slope and self-oscillation.
  • 32-step user-programmable arpeggiator pattern for every patch.
  • Modulation Matrix with 6 slots each featuring 1 source and 3 destinations.
  • 3 LFOs with 68 waveforms to choose from. 2 fast ADSTR envelopes.
  • Knob quantise for creating stepped controller movements. The stepping automatically syncs to the Virus clock or an incoming MIDI clock.
  • Adaptive control smoothing for jitter-free modulations on all important parameters.
  • Multi mode with embedded patches.






  • Dual DSP system which dynamically allocates its resources. Depending on the complexity of a patch everything in between 20 and 90 voices can be achieved (10-50 voices with Virus TI Snow).
  • 512 RAM patches and 26 banks of each 128 ROM patches which can be exchanged by the user.
  • 6 balanced outputs with +4 dB level and soft limiting algorithm. Studio grade 192 khz D/A converters with S/PDIF digital I/O. 2x24 bit inputs. Surround sound capabilities. The Virus TI Snow has 2 un-balanced outputs and no SPDIF I/O.
  • The tempo of an incoming audio signal can be recognised and the Virus can lock to it within a very short amount of time (typically, for “4 on the floor” - style music, this happens in between 1-3 bars). Thereafter the Virus TI follows the tempo.






  • Virus Control VST/AU/RTAS compatible virtual instrument plug-in included to create an audio link in between the host sequencer and Virus hardware synthesizer.
  • Audio and MIDI inputs and outputs can be used by the sequencer application as an audio and MIDI interface. Total Integration keeps working, even if you prefer to use another audio interface.
  • Sample accurate and delay compensated timing.
  • All knobs on surface can be used to control other software and hardware synthesizers (this feature is not available for the Virus TI Snow).
  • Virus Control Center application for convenient memory backup of the entire Virus TI and exchange of content of ROM banks.
  • Soft- and hardware specifications and details




Hardware Details

Dual DSP system

The Virus TI DSPs are not only faster, they come in pairs*. A highly effective local buss in between the processors boosts performance even further.
* Virus TI Snow features only one DSP


Studio Grade Converters

192 Khz studio grade D/A converters (+4dB balanced output), with soft limiting algorithm. 24 bit A/D converters. The Virus produces one of the hottest signals in the industry. Live keyboards can leave their DI boxes at home and plug the symmetrical outputs right into the stage box (special cable required).


Digital I/O and USB

The Virus TI comes with SP/DIF (44.1khz/48khz) digital I/O as standard. The USB port is compatible with the USB 2.0 Specification and works with USB and Hi-Speed USB systems, peripherals and cables. Port speed is 12 mbit/sec.

Big and bright display

Which can show graphics in 128x32 pixels. The display shows up to 4 rows of text and graphics. In most cases three parameters are being displayed at the same time. As a result, there are only 1/3 of the menu pages in comparison to the previous Virus series.



3 edit knobs underneath the display which can edit three parameters at the same time. The 3 soft knobs can also act as programmable and nameable knobs for every individual patch.


Painless rack mounting

Virus TI Desktop only: The entire I/O board can be rotated by 90 degrees which makes rack-mounting the Virus much more fun. Instead of having to find special jack plugs or waste loads of rack space, simply turn the whole I/O section and voilá! - all the sockets are at the back of the rack mounted Virus TI Desktop. (Rack mounting kit is optional). 




















EMU Orbit 9090 

Dance planet synth module 

The Orbit is first in E-mu's new line of dance modules. This is strictly engineered for the techno artist. It has 8 MB of samples of all the great vintage analog sounds plus many familiar and typical sounds used in house, hip hop, trance, and techno.

It includes an essential digital VCF-like filter that is (on many presets) usually controlled from the modulation wheel on your keyboard controller! It's great for filling tracks with lush sweeping pads, or trancing along a 303 bassline pattern and filtering away. It is a beautiful golden single-space rack unit with a big easy to read LCD. Its sounds are, well they're digital so they are a little harsh and 'tinny' but add a little 'verb and some delay and it sounds damn good! It is already being used by lots of techno artists around the world including Todd Terry, Roni Size, ATB, and Orbital.










Dynaudio BM 6A MKII




Ableton Performance Controller


Designed in partnership with Ableton for Ableton Live
Unique clip matrix with multicolor lighting displays current clip status
No mapping required; every knob, button, and fader is customizable
Bidirectional communication between APC40 and Ableton Live
Solid, professional feel with rugged, metal chassis and premium controls
Comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC40 Edition software
Works with standalone editions of Ableton Live
USB plug-and-play connection for Mac and PC
Premium controller with rugged, metal chassis

  • Dimensions: 16.88” x 13.13” x 2.62” (WxDxH) / 429mm x 334mm x 67mm (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs / 2.64 kg
  • Power supply: 12V 2.0A pin-positive, included
  • Communication: USB-MIDI with proprietary hardware/software handshake
  • Inputs: USB, Two assignable footswitch inputs

















150W 2-way Active Nearfield Monitor with Frequency Shelving Filters, Input Sensitivity Switch, and Balanced XLR Input (each)


A Powerful Active Monitor with Exceptional Clarity!

This two-way active analog nearfield monitor with a 6.9" woofer and a 1.1" soft dome tweeter delivers distinctive Dynaudio clarity and accuracy, exposing every audible detail for the critical and demanding engineer. Onboard LF/MF/HF placement filters, as well as subwoofer highpass filters allow the monitor to easily adapt toany environment. 



Dynaudio BM 6A mk II 2-way Active Analog Nearfield Monitor Features:

  • Integrated positioning filters (LF/MF/HF shelving/notch)
  • 60/80Hz highpass filter for subwoofer adaptation
  • Balanced analog XLR input
  • 50W/100W tweeter/woofer amplifier
  • Input sensitivity switch (-10/+4dB range)
  • Clip indicator LED

The Dynaudio BM 6A mk II active nearfield monitor gives you accurate sound with headroom to spare!


RS-PCM Sound Module

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