Big DSP power moves out of the computer and into the rack 08/03/03
Throbbing blue logo - nice!
One of the exciting products on show here was the TC Electronics (formerly TC|Works) PowerCore FireWire. Utilizing the same technology that powers the PCI version (see review) PowerCore FireWire plugs in to any FireWire equipped PC or Mac. The unit itself is housed in a sleek 1U rack with three FireWire ports on the rear panel for chaining FireWire devices - including more PowerCores. Under the hood TC has significantly beefed up the DSP performance with twice the RAM for each of the four Motorola 56K DSP chips enabling more complex algorithms to be accommodated. The utilization of the FireWire protocol future-proofs the platform for upcoming computer hardware - rumour being that upcoming versions of Windows will cease to support the aging PCI platform.
The full range of existing PowerCore plugins are compatible with the new machine, existing authorizations automatically registering with the new hardware. TC provide a range of free EQ, dynamics and mastering plugins with the system as well as their own O1 synth (based on the SH101) with several more developed plugins from third parties notably Sony with their highly regarded Oxford EQ. TC Electronics product manager John Epperson told us that they would be aiming to add three more bundled free plugins per year with more planned, including virtual instruments in the pipeline from third parties.
TC also announced a new voice processing plugin for PowerCore. VoiceModeler utilizes TC Helicon’s unique technology to change or improve the sound of a voice. The realtime process can turn a “thin” vocal into a “throaty” one – or even transform a “male” into a “female” sounding voice.
“This unique technology is truly inspiring to work with”, says Ralf Schluenzen, CEO of TC Works. “We’ve all got accustomed to those clichéd pitch effects. VoiceModeler takes vocal processing to a whole new level by providing complete control over the voice sound!”
Shipping: April 2003
Price: US$ 249,- / EUR 215,- (ex. VAT)
The PowerCore platform uses specially coded plugins that utilize the on-board DSP power and leaves the host CPU free, giving you more processing power.
- 4 x Motorola 56K DSPs running at 150 MHz
- 512kWords of SRAM per DSP
- 1 x Motorola PowerPC running at 266 MHz
- 8 MB DRAM for the PowerPC
- 3 Firewire pass thru connectors (to connect more than one device on one bus)
PowerCore FireWire is shipping in May 2003 at 1395 Euros/$USD + tax