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SYPHAnews - 28th January 2003

Welcome to SYPHAnews - a free newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date with nonlinear audio and video, and digital video camera news, as well as developments at http://SYPHAonline.com.

We will deliver this service to you every month - unless there is some major news we think you should know about sooner. To unsubscribe, please follow the instructions below.

New at SYPHAonline.com

STOP PRESS!! Anyone attending the NY Digital Video Show (including VFX World and the NY Audio Production Show), can claim 20% off the conference registration fees by registering at http://www.nydvshow.com/sypha. The conference starts 30 January 2003 at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The event also includes free vendor product training, celebrity keynotes, workshops, user group gatherings, socials and the Expo.

We are also pleased to be sponsoring the AAF Technology Awareness Event by the AAF Association on 21 February 2003 in London. Attend this event to learn about the Advanced Authoring Format, hear vendor case studies of AAF practical applications and view demonstrations of multiple, interoperable real solutions. The registration deadline is 14 February and attendance is limited to the first 100 registrants, so register now at http://www.aafassociation.org.

For the NLE Buyers Guide, we have new or updated listings for:

  • Pinnacle Systems - Pro-ONE RTDV
  • Pinnacle Systems - Edition DV
  • Pinnacle Systems - Edition DV500

Camera news

Avid Plans to Support Panasonic AG-DVX100 Camera
Avid Technology has announced plans to support the Panasonic AG-DVX100 24p mini DV camera in future Avid products. This will enable a wide range of filmmakers to seamlessly capture and edit and output high-sensitivity DV images at both standard 60i (NTSC) and 24p. See http://www.avid.com

JVC Announces a High Definition Digital Video Consumer Camera
Victor Company of Japan (JVC) has announced that the GR-HD1 high definition digital video consumer camera will be launched in Japan in early March 2003 and in the United States later this year. The camera uses a newly developed 1/3 inch 1.18 million pixel progressive scan CCD and proprietary processing to record and playback 750/30p (1280x720/30p viewable) images to mini DV tape with MPEG2 compression. It also supports 525p in SD mode and 525i in DV mode. An up-converter function converts 750/30p and 525p to 1125i images, while a down converter function converts images to the conventional 525i broadcast standard, enabling images to be viewed on any monitor. The accessory kit sold separately includes the KDDI R&D Laboratories MPEG Edit Studio Pro 1.0 LE, an MPEG2 editing software package with frame accurate editing capabilities. See http://www.jvc.co.jp/english/global-e.html

NLE news

Avid Announces Free DV Editing Software
Avid Technology has announced Avid Free DV - a free, DV-only version of its video editing software. Planned for both Macintosh OSX and Windows XP platforms, this streamlined version of Avid video editing software offers capabilities such as two video tracks, four audio tracks, basic trimming and editing functionality, and up to two streams of realtime effects. When Avid Free DV users are ready for even more horsepower, they can step up to the professional line of Avid products, including Avid Xpress DV software and Media Composer systems, and take advantage of the fully functional Avid editing interface and toolset. Avid Free DV is scheduled to be available in Q2 2003. See http://www.avid.com/avidfreedv

Avid Unveils Symphony for Mac and OSX Support for Media Composer, Film Composer, and Avid Xpress
Avid Technology has unveiled its Symphony system for the Macintosh platform and new Mac OSX versions of the Media Composer, Film Composer, and Avid Xpress systems. Symphony v4.7 for the Mac platform will offer realtime 10-bit DVE, Ultimatte keying and colour correction processing on Mac OSX. New in both the Mac OSX and Windows versions of Symphony, Media Composer and Avid Xpress software is realtime colour correction, as well as 23.976fps project support for all Media Composer systems. The new MetaSync capability, which allows editors to synchronise virtually any kind of metadata with traditional video and audio content, will also now be available on these Mac-based products. The Avid Symphony v4.7, Media Composer XL v11.7, Film Composer XL v11.7 and Avid Xpress v5.7 systems are expected to be available in Q1 2003. As an introductory offer, new Avid Symphony v4.7 systems will be priced at up to 22% off the regular US$90,000 USMSRP up to March 28, 2003. Media Composer v11.7 models will start at US$12,000 USMSRP, Film Composer XL v11.7 will start at US$53,000 USMSRP, and Avid Xpress v5.7 will start at US$5999 USMSRP. See http://www.avid.com

Apple Introduces Final Cut Express
Apple has introduced Final Cut Express. Optimised for the DV format and based on the Apple Final Cut Pro, it offers compositing, titling and effects capabilities that allow users to capture, manage and edit digital video; apply transitions, filters and effects in realtime; create titles, composite layers, and produce graphics and animations; and perform colour correction. Final Cut Express projects can be exported for use in iDVD or DVD Studio Pro, saved back to tape, or exported to any QuickTime format, including MPEG-4. Projects can also be directly loaded into the Apple Final Cut Pro system that supports the entire range of professional editing formats including DV, SD and HD. Final Cut Express requires Mac OSX v10.2, a 300MHz or faster PowerPC G3 or G4 Mac with built-in FireWire, 256MB RAM (384MB recommended for realtime effects), and 40MB of free disk space. A minimum PowerPC G4 500MHz single processor or 450MHz dual processor is required for realtime effects, and a PowerBook 667MHz is required for mobile realtime DV effects. Final Cut Express is priced at US$299/GB£249. See http://www.apple.com

Pinnacle Systems Delivers CinéWave On Apple Mac OSX Jaguar
Pinnacle Systems has announced the availability of CinéWave 3 with support for the Apple Mac OSX version 10.2 Jaguar, and Apple has certified CinéWave 3 for use with Final Cut Pro 3.0.4 running under Mac OSX Jaguar. CinéWave 3 is designed to take advantage of the very latest technology Pinnacle and Apple have to offer for all standard definition, high definition and realtime SD editing needs. It delivers an improved Aqua user interface, increased system performance and new features, including more than twenty free realtime effects with the Pinnacle software upgrade. It also provides the new CinéSuperSync audio capability that delivers true audio/video sync when used with Final Cut 3.0.4. CinéWave 3 is shipping with all new CinéWave systems. The new Pro Digital Plus breakout box is now available and priced at GB£4,943/Euro 7,530. Current owners can download the CinéWave 3 upgrade for free via http://www.pinnaclesys.com/cinewavesupport

Discreet Delivers inferno 5, flame 8 and flint 8 with Mixed Resolution
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, has announced the availability of inferno 5, flame 8 and flint 8 visual effects and compositing systems. This new release involves a major renovation of the underlying software architecture, providing workflow enhancements and new capabilities including mixed resolution support, and extended editing capabilities. The new mixed resolution architecture allows users to quickly import any resolution into a project and create compositions including layers of 601, HD, 2k or even 6k images. The 3D compositing environment, now features multiple animatable cameras, as well as more extensive support for 3D integration via the FBX file format from Kaydara. Users can also directly import 3D models generated in Discreet 3ds max or other 3D applications such as Maya, Softimage|XSI, Softimage|3D, and Lightwave. The MSRP for the Discreet visual effects systems are US$571,500 for inferno 5, US$266,500 for flame 8, and US$99,000 flint 8. Actual system prices will vary based on scalable configurations. A complete list of new features in inferno 5, flame 8 and flint 8 can be found on the specific product pages at http://www.discreet.com/products

Digital Voodoo Announces OSX Support by Media Transfer Software
Digital Voodoo has announced that Version 3.0 of its Media Transfer capture and print application is now compatible with Apple OSX. It supports both NTSC and PAL with an option to export to DV, and is suited to compositors requiring remote VTR control. Its remote control via RS422 enables users to capture sequences or individual frames, pause, forward, rewind, stop, pre-roll and eject - all from the desktop. Media Transfer has realtime support for SD-SDI broadcast monitors, and allows users to view content on their RGB and SDI monitors simultaneously. It offers full 10-bit uncompressed and 8-bit support, as well as YUV, RGB and RGBA formats. The application can also open and print-to-tape uncompressed 8-bit and 10-bit Bluefish444 QuickTime files for greater interoperability. Media Transfer 3.0 is compatible with QuickTime and supports AES/EBU digital audio. It is available as a free upgrade for registered customers and is now shipping with all standard definition Digital Voodoo Mac video cards. See http://www.digitalvoodoo.net

AJA Video Systems Launches Kona-HD
AJA Video Systems has announced the availability of the Kona-HD 10-bit high-definition video/audio capture and playback PCI card for Mac OSX. This allows Mac users to capture and edit professional quality 10-bit, uncompressed high definition video using QuickTime-compatible programs such as Final Cut Pro. Supported by the AJA Video line of high definition converters and QuickTime drivers by BlackMagic Design, Kona-HD supports most HDTV formats, including 1080i50/59.94/60, and for the film industry, it includes 1080p23.98/24. Its full 64-bit/66MHz PCI capability allows robust operation for all HD formats in full 10-bit resolution, and is backwardly compatible with 33MHz PCI and 8-bit HD formats. Additionally, Kona-HD features 6-channel AES/EBU I/O at 48 or 96kHz, and the inputs have hardware sample rate converters allowing the connection of non-sync or off-speed digital audio without digital clicks and pops. Kona-HD also features Genlock for synchronisation to an external reference. See http://www.aja.com

Aurora Announces OSX Driver Release for Igniter Series
Aurora Video Systems has announced the availability of an OSX driver set for all IgniterLT, Igniter, and IgniterRT series of boards that integrate with Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. Offering several new features, the OSX driver sets adds the Igniter Film bundle to any existing Igniter101, Igniter201, Igniter301, IgniterRT111, IgniterRT211, and IgniterRT311. In addition, the power of OSX graphical APIs allows high-quality previews for uncompressed video, and with the IgniterRT, allows many Apple QuickTime formats to be played directly from an editing timeline out through all available IgniterRT outputs including SDI, component, S-video, and composite, simultaneously. Existing Igniter customers can download free Mac OS X upgrades via http://www.auroravideosys.com/Pages/software.html

Media 100 Announces HD Technology for 844/X
Media 100 has announced its HDX Technology, a first-step expansion of its GenesisEngine media processor providing affordable support for HD and SD applications in a single 844/X system. HDX comprises new software and a high-density HDX PCI card that together add 10-bit format conversion to the GenesisEngine. 844/X systems incorporating HDX will support input from and output to all HD and SD digital television formats defined by SMPTE 292M and SMPTE 259M, including 1080p and 1080i, 720p, 1035i, 1080i/50Hz, and 480i. When converting interlaced fields to progressive frames, HDX incorporates realtime motion-adaptive de-interlacing with edge detection to reduce temporal artefacts. It also provides realtime 3:2 pulldown processing to support 24p HD applications, aspect ratio conversion with real time cropping, scaling, and letterboxing, and HD picture and sound monitoring. The company expects to deliver HDX Technology in the second half of 2003 as an add-on option for 844/Xi and 844/Xe customers for under GB£10,000/US$15,000. Complete 844/X system configurations, including a workstation and high-speed media storage, start at around GB£32,695/US$40,000. See http://www.media100.com

Media 100 Announces 844/X Version 2 Finishing Release
Media 100 has announced The Finishing Release of its Version 2.0 software for 844/X. The Finishing Release expands 844/X on many fronts with new toolsets for colour correction, unlimited-layer compositing, editing, and audio. Key features and benefits of The Finishing Release include GenesisEngine colour correction, matte design and rotoscoping, unlimited-layer compositing, new motion effects, 3:2 pulldown, expanded audio capabilities such as support for stereo pairs, waveform display and track grouping/mixing, and enhanced media management. The company expects first shipments of The Finishing Release to begin in May 2003. See http://www.media100.com

DAW news

Digidesign Offers Free Educational Events for Pro Tools 6.0 and Pro Tools|HD
Digidesign has announced the Pro Tools 6.0 Ultimate Production Tour, a series of free one-day educational events held in dealer locations initially throughout the United States and Canada. The tour features Digidesign Pro Tools 6.0, and the Pro Tools|HD digital audio workstation. Digidesign representatives will showcase the all-new look of Pro Tools 6.0 software and demonstrate its enhanced functionality and improved performance. Attendees will learn how to make mixes sound better through 'tips and tricks' demos that will focus on real-world scenarios. Tour dates, locations (international tour dates will be posted soon) and registration can be found at http://www.digidesign.com/tour

Mackie Implements Mackie Control Compatibility with Pro Tools
Mackie Designs has announced the implementation of HUI Mode for the Mackie Control, an automated MIDI control surface. This allows it to interface with the Digidesign Pro Tools platform. Other platforms that are currently compatible with the Mackie Control include Cakewalk SONAR, Magix Samplitude, MOTU Digital Performer, Steinberg Cubase SX, Cubase SL and Nuendo, as well as the Mackie Broadcast Professional Soundscape 32. Mackie Control with HUI Mode and Pro Tools compatibility will begin shipping in late Q1 2003 and a Pro Tools specific Lexan overlay will be available. See http://www.mackie.com

Emagic Announces Version 6 of the Logic Series
Emagic has announced version 6 of the Logic Series. This update provides intelligent CPU resource management and more editing and mixing power. In addition, it introduces new set-up and file-management solutions, as well as an improved feature set for film scoring, newly-developed EQ and MP3 import/export functionality, and optimisation of the automation system. Logic 6 is available for Mac OS 9.x and Mac OS X and will ship in mid-February 2003. See http://www.emagic.de

Emagic Introduces the EMI 6|2m Gold Production Kit
Emagic has introduced the EMI 6|2m Gold Production Kit, a bundle of six complete Emagic products in one package. The kit includes the EMI 6|2m USB audio and MIDI interface, Logic Gold 5 recording software and the EVB3, EVP88, EXSP24 Emagic instruments and Xtreme digital sample library. The EMI 6|2m Gold Production Kit will be shipped in February 2003. See http://www.emagic.de

M-Audio Announces USB-based Preamp and Audio/MIDI interfaces
M-Audio has announced three new USB-based products, namely MobilePre USB, OmniStudio USB and Audiophile USB. MobilePre USB is a bus-powered USB interface with built-in two-channel mic/instrument preamps, and line and headphone outputs. Deriving power from the USB bus eliminates the need for an external power supply, making the product suitable for field recording and other laptop-based mobile recording situations. OmniStudio USB is a single compact 24-bit/96kHz audio/MIDI interface that is software-configurable for 4x4 operation at 16 bits, or 2x4 or 4x2 operation at 24 bits It sports an on-board mixer, and numerous connections for auxiliary I/O, effects sends/returns, and monitoring. It also serves as a 1x1 USB MIDI interface. Both OmniStudio USB and MobilePre USB ship with Windows and Mac OS and OSX driver support, and include the M-Audio Maximum Audio Tools bundle. The Audiophile USB is a combination audio and MIDI interface that delivers 24-bit/96kHz audio and includes Mac and PC drivers that allow the user to independently scale bit-depth and sample rate to deliver very low USB latency. The unit employs AC-powered components that deliver better fidelity than products based on bus-powered circuitry. It offers two analogue I/Os, S/PDIF and MIDI I/O, and headphone output. MobilePre USB is expected to ship mid-March with an MSRP of US$179.95. OmniStudio USB is expected to ship in March with an MSRP of $499.99. Audiophile USB has a suggested MSRP of US$249.99. See http://www.m-audio.com

M-Audio Unveils Ozone Mobile Workstation
M-Audio has announced Ozone, an all-in-one keyboard, MIDI control surface, mic preamp, USB audio interface and USB MIDI interface. No larger than a laptop, Ozone provides a complete personal mobile studio when combined with a computer running software such as the Propellerhead Reason or the Ableton Live. It has a 25-note keyboard with full-sized keys, pitch and modulation wheels, and eight control knobs that can be assigned to any MIDI parameters. It also incorporates the functionality of an audio interface via a simple USB cable and its 24-bit/96kHz audio section includes a range of mic and line inputs. The unit also provides for zero-latency direct monitoring of inputs, and its unbalanced 1/4" outputs route audio from the computer to an external mixer or directly to powered speakers. Ozone is expected to ship mid-February with an MSRP of US$399.99. See http://www.m-audio.com

Fostex Introduces the MR-8 Digital Multitrack with CompactFlash
Fostex has introduced a solid-state memory recorder that uses CompactFlash Card as the recording medium. Suited to the itinerant singer/songwriter, the compact 8-track recorder/mixer weighs 3.5lbs, includes faders, knobs and buttons, a host of on-board effects, a USB port for .WAV file import/export, and analogue and digital I/O. It offers uncompressed 16-bit/44.1kHz recording and playback in normal mode, or around 25 minutes using the supplied 128MB CompactFlash Card in compressed mode. The Extended Mode doubles the time available, and larger capacity flash cards are also available. Six AA alkaline batteries will power the unit for around 3 hours in normal recording mode. The MR-8 has an MSRP of $299. See http://www.fostex.com

Fostex Introduces PD-6 DVD Location Recorder with Timecode
Fostex has introduced the PD-6 portable location recorder that offers six audio tracks, timecode-locked DVD-RAM recording, and full-function integrated mixing. The rugged and lightweight unit uses the BWF file format, includes an IEEE 1394 interface, a pre-record memory buffer, and offers extensive timecode facilities. See http://www.fostex.com

Edirol Introduces the M-100FX 10-Channel Mixer and USB Interface
Edirol has introduced the M-100FX, a 10-channel mixer, with audio/voice effects and 24-bit stereo USB audio interface. It is designed to offer a high-quality audio solution to digital video editors and computer-based audio studios. It offers an array of voice effects, including narration and vocal enhancers, compressor, chorus, noise reduction, reverb, radio, robot, male and female pitch and formant effects. It can also record a stereo track directly to the computer through the USB port, and has a separate volume control for playback of audio on the computer. The suggested retail price is US$495. See http://www.edirol.com

Tascam Updates the SX-1 and Reduces the MSRP
Tascam has reduced the MSRP of the SX-1 Digital Production Environment to US$5999 and released new v1.10 operating software. The update provides new features including visible event names in the waveform display, new DSP power for lush-sounding reverbs and effects, new automation functions and interface improvements. See http://www.tascam.com

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