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In-depth Feature:  CreamWare Luna II
Utter Lunacy - The Luna II PCI Card
Rob G writes: .

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Summary
The Luna II environment undoubtedly supplies a powerful audio environment. In use, the card’s low-latency and DSP’s do manage to remove a lot of the workload from the computer’s CPU – sound quality was good and all controls were responsive through-out. The routing features were welcome – allowing complex audio environments to be set up easily and saved/recalled without complications. IO facilities were good, with good quality, low-latency connectors, and good expansion capabilities. At this level, the card does provide a good option as a regular high-quality audio card.

The ability to use Pulsar/SCOPE plug-ins makes a number of effects and other modules available from CreamWare and third-party suppliers. While these have not been reviewed, it seems likely that the user will have to be aware of the DSP limitations as described for Elektra and PowerSampler.

Adding the Elektra and PowerSampler modules adds welcome facilities to the environment, but at some cost – both financially and in terms of DSP load. In practise, using either of these modules seems to require more DSP power very quickly.

Given sufficient DSP power, it seems that the Luna II environment would shine, but you can’t help wondering whether it may be better to opt for an all-software solution such as that provided by Propellerhead’s Reason, especially as your investment is not tied so much into one vendor’s hardware/software architecture.

Pricing
Note: prices given in EURO, US$ prices are guidelines only, based on exchange rate at time of writing.

  • Luna II – EURO 398 ($350+/-)
  • Luna 2496 DSP converter box – EURO 598 ($530+/-)
  • ADAT/Z-Link Expansion – EURO 198 ($175+/-)
  • Elektra – EURO 198 ($175+/-)
  • PowerSampler – EURO 198 ($175+/-)

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