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#118987 - 02/18/04 06:58 PM Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2381
Loc: CA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 02-18-2004

Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation

Austin, TX – Open Labs announced today it has started shipment of the OpenSynth neKo64 open platform keyboard workstations.

The OpenSynth, a “new class of super instrument,” combines the power and flexibility of personal computers with the real-world playability of traditional electronic keyboards, allowing musicians the ability to use virtual instruments and effects plug-ins in a studio or live performance setting.

One of the most anticipated instruments of 2003, the release and shipment of the OpenSynth marks over a year of intense research and development by Open Labs. During this process, Open Labs was able to further increase the processing power of its product line by introducing the OpenSynth neKo64 equipped with up to dual AMD Opteron processors running at 64-bits, making the neKo64 the world’s most powerful and flexible keyboard workstation.

Shipments commenced with the 61-key AMD Opteron version with the 76-key to soon follow. The complete line of Open Labs’ products can be purchased directly through the Open Labs website or one of its authorized dealers worldwide. Authorized dealers will be listed on the Open Labs website as they start to stock products for their inventory.

"Neko64 combines the unmatched production power of the Opteron 64-bit architecture with the unlimited creative potential of open software based synthesis.” Said Charles R. Boswell Jr, Senior Member Technical Staff AMD Digital Media and Entertainment. “The advent of Neko64 marks the beginning of the next revolution in music production and performance".

“Our goal was to deliver a complete solution to the artist,” said Victor Wong, CEO, Open Labs, Inc., “The numerous technical advances we made in hardware and software design allowed us to deliver upon our promise. We are sure that everyone will be as pleased with the results as we are.”

Open Labs will offer custom configured versions direct from its website. Preconfigured versions and upgrade components will be available directly from its resellers. Bundled software includes: GigaStudio 32, SonicSynth with Sample Tank LE, Traction, Orion Pro, Karsyn, and over forty (40) VST and VSTi plug-ins totaling hundreds of sounds and effects.

Due to customer requests, all neKo series have been upgraded to include the pro-audio I/O with 10 ins/outs and all four (4) control modules. The entry-level model will not include the optional 15” LCD touch screen, but will include built in video support for an external monitor. Street price for the neKo series keyboard workstation starts at: $3,445.

The first 1,000 units shipped will be the signature series marked by hand numbered signatures of thefounders, framed certificate of authenticity, black colored endbells, and additional limited edition goodies.

Best regards,
Mike
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros 3, Roland Fantom G7, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Roland Sonic Cell, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal Mic.

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#118988 - 02/19/04 01:38 AM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
sbenno Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 35
Keep in mind that due to the complete lack of 64bit support in Windows XP and audio apps for Windows I suggest you to stick with 32bit CPUs for now since you cannot exploit the CPU's capabilities like more than 2GB RAM support, 64 bit programs that run much faster etc.
(it's projected that it will take at least 1-2 more years for the Windows OS/apps fully supporting 64 bit, there are lots of technological barriers (see the pcworld link I posted on the forum some time ago).

So for now happily stick to 32bit CPUs and wait for the 64bit CPU coming down in price.
At least if you plan to use Windows, with Linux the story is totally different, see my old post

cheers,
Benno
http://www.linuxsampler.org

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#118989 - 02/19/04 06:14 AM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2381
Loc: CA
Hi Benno

OpenLabs says on their 'comparison chart' web page that neKo/64 can be used under WindowsXP OR Linux. Yet they say only WindowsXP on the front 'home' page for neKo64, ie., http://www.openlabs.com/neko64.php I fired off an email to them asking them if you can indeed use Linux as the OS for neKo. I will let everyone know what they say if and when they reply to my email.

Best regards,
Mike

[This message has been edited by keybplayer (edited 02-19-2004).]
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros 3, Roland Fantom G7, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Roland Sonic Cell, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal Mic.

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#118990 - 02/19/04 07:53 AM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
DanO1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 3595
Loc: Maryland
Does this keyboard support all plug in's ?

Dan O'
_________________________
dansmusicgear@aol.com
https://www.reverbnation.com/danoneil?profile_view_source=profile_box

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#118991 - 02/19/04 08:29 AM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
sbenno Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 35
Intel's 64 bit Doomsday Scenario om tomshardware.com:
http://www.tomshardware.com/column/20040218/index.html

Looks like the columnist shares my own views, exploiting the full capabilities of AMD64 CPUs on Windows OS/applications will probably take long time due to the Intel monopoly dictating the direction Bill Gates has to follow.


Benno


[This message has been edited by sbenno (edited 02-19-2004).]

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#118992 - 02/19/04 01:19 PM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2381
Loc: CA
Benno, read this:

Microsoft Broadens Commitment to 64-Bit Windows

Windows Fully Compatible With New Intel Processors With 64-Bit Extensions

SAN FRANCISCO -- Feb. 17, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco that its Windows® operating systems for 64-bit extended systems will be fully compatible with Intel Corp.’s newly announced processors with 64-bit extension technology. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer encouraged testers, developers and hardware manufacturers to prepare to take advantage of Windows for 64-bit extended systems, saying Microsoft had released its latest Windows to 5,000 members of its technical beta community. The 64-bit extended systems versions of Windows Server™ 2003 and Windows XP provide customers with the versatility to run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications, enabling them to move to 64-bit computing at their own pace while preserving their current investment in 32-bit applications.

"Microsoft’s and Intel’s leadership continues to deliver powerful, cost-effective, 64-bit computing to the broad IT market," said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. "Windows for 64-bit extended systems unlocks powerful new 64-bit processing capabilities while preserving the value of customer’s 32-bit application investments."

With 64-bit computing, customers see significant performance and scalability gains in applications that require large amounts of memory or intensive numeric calculations. For server applications, this includes database servers, Terminal Server deployments, business applications and technical computing. Desktop applications include digital content creation, computer-aided design/manufacturing, and professional video editing.

Microsoft plans to make Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems and Windows Server 2003 for 64-Bit Extended Systems, which are currently in beta, available in the second half of 2004. Customers and industry partners will hear more about Windows for 64-bit extended systems at Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) and Tech Ed 2004.

Further information about 64-bit computing on Windows is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/64bit/default.mspx and at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/64bit/default.asp.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros 3, Roland Fantom G7, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Roland Sonic Cell, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal Mic.

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#118993 - 02/19/04 01:34 PM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2381
Loc: CA
Also OpenLabs emailed me back. This is what he had to say in a nutshell:

"While it is true, Neko can use Linux or Suse, they currently do not offer "support" for these operating systems. We are aware of the performance potential of Linux, but the fact is the majority of pro audio hardware and software is Windows based.

Here are some things to keep in mind he said. The performance of the AMD Opteron in WindowsXP (32bit) greatly excels all 32bit applications beyond all other current processors. Also, as we see Windows XP and other applications optimized for 64bit processors you can expect a significant performance increase. In this day and age how often do we buy anything computer based and watch it's performance increase over time? - referrring to neKo/64.

There you have it Benno and others. neKo/64 can use either Linux or Suse but OpenLabs does not provide "support" (which I am taking as 'customer' support for Linux or Suse). So they'll load Linux or Suse onto neKo/64 but then your basically on your own from then on if problems occur using those OS'.s WindowsXP IS supported (technical support wise) plus with Intel getting into the picture with its 64 Bit processor architecture soon Audio and other type Applications in the Windows developer community will soon follow. Although at the onset neKo will be loaded with WindowsXP 32- Bit it is possible over time that it can be upgraded or replaced with WindowsXP 64-Bit. Although that is just an assumption. I'm not sure it will be able to do so. I agree Benno that Linux would be the most stable platform but my guess is that most people who buy neKo/64 will opt for WindowsXP because it is a more familiar environment for them to work with.

Best regards,
Mike
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros 3, Roland Fantom G7, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Roland Sonic Cell, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal Mic.

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#118994 - 02/19/04 03:17 PM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
sbenno Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 35
Hi keybplayer, I know about the Win-64 stuff since I read many technical online magazines like news.com , slashdot etc and I wrote my thoughts after reading the stuff you posted.

Keep in mind that win-64 will constitute a problem for all parties involved (CPU makers, driver writers, application makers), because Windows 64bit will require a special version for each different 64bit CPU (Intel Itanium and AMD64).

read this: (a link I already posted)
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,112749,pg,6,00.asp

".... The performance of the AMD Opteron in WindowsXP (32bit) greatly excels all 32bit applications beyond all other current processors ...."

Sorry this is a lie. "excels a a few percent" is appropriate, but "greatly excels" is nothing more than marketing speak.
The AMD64 CPUs need 64bit operating systems and applications optimized for 64bit to unleash its full potential.

see the 32 bit benchmark numbers:
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,112749,pg,5,00.asp

This is why I say save your money and buy 32bit while waiting for cheap 64bit CPUs as the Windows OS/applications become available (realistically speaking at least 1.5 - 2 years).
The PC based keyboards offer the advantage of using ATX mainboards thus it's easy to change the mainboard/CPU without spending a fortune.
This if you plan using Windows of course.

Regarding Linux: of course the Neko can use Linux but a naked Linux distribution is not of big use because there is no middleware software plus other custom software like the one one on the Mediastation that makes it a real keyboard.

So in the Neko64's case the only way to use it without needing to be a geek is to use Windows XP which is limited to the 32bit realm for some more time.

Anyway hopefully some on SZ will soon buy a Neko64 (base 76key version $5,928.00 ), test it extensively and tell us the difference between the Neko64 and traditional keyboards, if it works well for live gigs (or if a windows virus ruined the evening :-) ), if it's easy to use for the non computer savy musician, if there is an arranger module (or in the negative case what software module one can install and how much it costs, if it's integrated well etc.

I think in a keyboard integration and ease of use for non computer savy musicians is the determinant for it's success otherwise as many said here, it's just cheaper to buy a master keyboard, a few MIDI controllers (faders/buttons/knobs) and a PC/laptop put windows and a few VST plugs on it.

Anyway the positive side of the existence of the Neko and the Mediastation is that there will be innovation and it will force the big 3 keyboard makers to rethink their strategy of selling decade old technology in new clothings branding it as the state of art.
Competition is good for the consumer.

cheers,
Benno
http://www.linuxsampler.org

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#118995 - 02/19/04 04:22 PM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
MusiKMan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/02
Posts: 126
Loc: California, USA
You know, I got to see the video of the Neko of the January Namm 04 and wow.. the guy spoke spoke spoke and spoke.. How many of you guys saw the thing in action? ZIPO. Nada.
I cant believe it. I thought this time they were going to have some kind of music coming out of the darn thing.

On the other hand, when I saw the mediastation's Namm videos.. All I saw was ACTION !! All action. I got to see a consumer play the synth and it sounded awsome !! It looked so user friendly and it actually looked like the guys were having a bunch of fun.. Now that is what I call a presentation. Not just talk like I heard from the Nekos.
I hope Neko gets some sound demos going quick or their credibility will surely be damaged big time..

peace,
Musikman

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Peace,

Musikman4Christ........

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#118996 - 02/19/04 04:49 PM Re: Open Labs Ships OpenSynth neKo64 keyboard workstation
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2381
Loc: CA
I received a second email from OpenLabs a little while ago. He said that even though "theoretically" neKo/64 could operate under Linux or Suse OpenLabs will only be loading WindowsXP from the factory. In regarding upgrading neKo from WindowsXP 32-Bit to WindowsXP 64-Bit he said that would be considered over time (when WindowsXP 64-Bit makes it to the market). Also regarding switching out the 64 Bit AMD Opteron with a 64 Bit Intel Processor he said that would be considered also. Of course doing so would require a new Motherboard but as you stated Benno ATX Motherboards under Wintel would not be that expensive replacing the one that is used with the Opteron 64 bit processor.

Best regards,
Mike

Long Live Linux! Yes Benno, competition is very GOOD!!
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros 3, Roland Fantom G7, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Roland Sonic Cell, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal Mic.

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