Industry continues move towards Vista compatibility

US: Pro-audio's journey towards blanket compatibility with the latest Windows operating system, Vista, continues with new announcements from M-Audio and CEntrance, reports David Davies.
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US: Pro-audio's journey towards blanket compatibility with the latest Windows operating system, Vista, continues with new announcements from M-Audio and CEntrance, reports David Davies.

First up is M-Audio, which has confirmed plans to issue Vista drivers for a significant number of its products during the second quarter of 2007. Accordingly, the company expects to release 32-bit Vista drivers for all FireWire products; all currently available USB MIDI keyboards; Fast Track USB (pictured), Fast Track Pro, JamLab, MobilePre USB, Black Box and Transit USB interfaces; Conectiv and Xponent DJ interfaces; and the Revolution 5.1 PCI card.

CEntrance, meanwhile, has announced that its USB and 1394 audio drivers are now available for the latest Windows OS. Enabling consumers to connect 1394 and USB audio interfaces at the same time and use them together, the new CEntrance aggregating drivers offer low latency and "crash-proof reliability".

OEMs, says CEntrance, will "feel the largest impact" of this development, with the ability for device manufacturers to offer one Windows driver for an entire product line.

Michael Goodman, managing director of CEntrance, commented: "New 1394 and USB chips constantly enter the market. Staying on the cutting edge often means making a touch choice between new interface technology and an existing platform. CEntrance solved this dilemma by creating OEM drivers that are future-proof and compatible with an entire product line. One driver for all products - this is how CEntrance saves money in new product development."



M-Audio delivers MicroTrack digital recorder sequel

US: M-Audio has announced the introduction of the MicroTrack II handheld digital recorder. Following on from the successful MicroTrack 24/96 recorder, the MicroTrack II incorporates an extended input gain range, analogue input limiter, 48V phantom power, headphone monitoring of S/PDIF and other enhancements, reports PSN-e.

Cliff 'moves it' with Outline's Butterfly

EUROPE: Sir Cliff Richard undertook a European arena tour recently with a sound system based around Outline Butterfly units. Audio for this latest trek by the veteran singer - now approaching the 50th anniversary of his 1958 recording debut with Move It - was handled by Britannia Row, writes David Davies.

CEntrance forges FireWire connection with Oxford Semiconductor

US: CEntrance has announced details of a new partnership with Oxford Semiconductor intended to "create a global support solution for audio and consumer electronics OEMs" based around Oxford's low-cost FireWire audio controllers. Following on from discussion about the likely future adoption (or otherwise) of FireWire in PSN-e 32, the association reinforces both companies' long-term interest in IEEE 1394, writes David Davies.

Vista 8 will provide studio's rivals with stiff competition

SWITZERLAND: No innuendo is intended as PSN-e reports on a system installation at the Hardstudios complex, which resides on the banks of the River T_ss. Francine Jordi and Pepe Lienhard are among the artists to have made use of Hardstudios, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Sony PSE unveils new digital wireless microphone system

UK: Sony's celebrated Oxford pro-audio business might be no more, but the company is continuing to release new pro-oriented products via its Basingstoke-headquartered Professional Services Europe operation. The latest development to emerge is a digital wireless microphone system that "can be seen as the next real step change in the world of wireless microphones", Sony PSE's Simon Beesley tells David Davies.

Smaart move for Rational Acoustics

US: The formerly EAW-owned Smaart brand product line is now part of the increasingly high-profile Rational Acoustics, reports David Davies. As a result of the deal - nine months in the making - Rational Acoustics is now the sole owner of the Smaart brand and has title to all names, trademarks, code bases and assets for the complete suite of past, current and future versions of Smaart software.

CEntrance launches new corporate website

US: The Chicago-based manufacturer has also announced the introduction of the AxePort Pro Video Contest, writes David Davies. The new website features product testimonials, audio samples and a community section, wherein artists including guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis and guitarist/producer/composer Bob Daspit discuss their experiences with CEntrance products.