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EKo and Open synth : A new workstation

Monday January 20, 2003. 10:14 AM, by Alan Zaccardelli Music Hardware > Open Labs
Music Hardware : EKo and Open synth : A new workstation - macmusicOpen Labs announced at the 2003 Winter NAMM Convention eKo, the world's first open platform musical keyboard workstation and the OpenSynth hardware and software reference platform.

eKo is designed to bridge the gap between the personal computer and traditional music keyboard workstations by providing VST plugins, VSTi virtual instruments, and other software applications a physical reference keyboard for use by the performance artist. eKo is based on Open Lab's OpenSynth reference platform, which are open to all hardware and software developers.

The OpenSynth reference platform incorporates commercially available operating systems such as Windows XP and Linux, and standard personal computer hardware into a standard that will allow developers to successfully produce musical products that will consistently work properly with one another.

"eKo is the next logical next step in the evolution of musical instruments," said Craig Negoescu, Chief Architect of Open Labs. Over the past few years there has been a plethora of new and powerful VST and VSTi plug ins, but no real way to use them in a keyboard. eKo was designed to be that keyboard."

Specific features of eKo includes the following:

* All in One: eKo's all in one design eliminates the clutter and confusion of traditional desktop computer systems so you can focus on what really matters... The music.

* User Friendly: eKo enables the musician to change settings and access programs through an easy interface that shields them from the complexities of the operating system.

* Power to Rock: eKo can accommodate the fastest processors available, and more RAM and storage than any other music workstation.

* Low Latency: eKo has near-zero latency even under high processor loads.

* Instant On: Unlike traditional computers that may take minutes to start up, eKo utilizes a unique process that allows the keyboard to start up in seconds.

* Interchangeable Control Modules: eKo's interchangeable control modules provide a physical interface for easier control of software instruments and are designed to support virtually any future control options.

* Music Non Stop : eKo is the only musical instrument with integrated power management that combats power spikes and operates during power interruptions.

* Modern Art: With a sleek, modern design incorporating an aluminum chassis and rubber endbells, eKo is as beautiful as it is powerful.

* Surfboard: eKo allows the musician to directly access the Internet, to quickly and easily download upgrades, sounds and applications.

* Complete Portable Studio: eKo is a self-contained recording, editing and mastering system that's perfect for the studio or stage.

* Have it Your Way: With Open Labs' BYOK (Build-Your-Own-Keyboard) ordering system, you can have the exact eKo that you want, when you want it, with the ability to upgrade at any time.

List prices for the standard model configurations are expected to range between $1,995 and $5,200. Product shipments are set for second quarter 2003.
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