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In-depth Feature:  Pulsar II Card
One of the most powerful budget DSP cards available
Traviss Willcox writes: .

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In Use
SCOPE (Scalable Open Processing Environment) is a multi I/O card powered by SHARC DSP chips (of which this board has six). The Pulsar II is a second generation output from this SCOPE project. It's very much an upgrade to CreamWare's acclaimed Pulsar system rather than anything radically new - it's backward compatible too - and, like the original, isn't a regular soundcard in any way, shape, or form. Rather it's a big chunk of audio processing power that runs a whole host of modules that, in theory anyway, turn your computer into a complete digital studio. Using its own custom software and hardware means that CreamWare have been able to build in custom code everywhere and as a result they state that internal latency is Zero and CPU usage is kept to a minimum.
Modular 2 - Yours for registering
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Apart from what you get out of the box, there is already around 100 such modules available, a whole range of virtual synths, samplers and effects. Additionally when you register your copy of Pulsar II you'll get the Modular II program. (Which looks pretty cool, though not tested). Creamware say that this is because they want to make sure everyone has the new version, I suspect mainly due to the fact that the software wasn't ready at the time of shipping, on the original Pulsar the Modular was shipped as a standard module.

Screen on program start
Click on image for larger view

I found firing up the Pulsar II software totally underwhelming: two windows, the 'Project Window' and 'Directory Window', and surprisingly few menu options for such a powerful application.

In essence the program is used by dragging modules from the Directory Window on to the Project Window, linking them altogether with virtual cables. Although initially quite a confusing view it quickly becomes very simple to use and alter things (for anyone with a reasonable knowledge of a studio setup, that is). Beginners may get a little lost at first…

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Creamware Site
  • Pulsar II pages @ Creamware
  • Mac Software Updates
  • Mail Traviss
  • PC Software Updates
  • More Soundcards@Sonic

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