AES: NeKo Intros Gen2 Workstations

Neko Gen2AES Update: Open Labs has announced the first Athlon 64-bit dual-core keyboards, the NeKo64 Gen2, a powerful new version of the NeKo line, and the NeKo LET Gen2.

Boasting a 2.0 GHz Athlon dual-core 64-bit processor, the NeKo64 Gen2 maintains the NeKo64’s legacy as the most powerful production stations available, by providing the latest generation of advanced processors, while substantially lowering the price.

Available now, the NeKo64 Gen 2 and NeKo LET Gen 2 offer a host of new features that enable performers and producers alike to leverage the NeKo for both live and studio applications, including:

  • RunSilent feature dynamically controls CPU speed and reduces temperature and fan speeds when ultra quiet operation in required
  • PowerRush technology intelligently detects system load and automatically boosts performance for the most demanding tasks by increasing CPU clock speed on the fly
  • Serial ATA 3Gb/s support for next generation hard drives that doubles current bus bandwidth for high-speed data transfers

Featuring a new color scheme, the new NeKos will initially be available in 61-key and 76-key versions. Both models are shipping today; the NeKo64 Gen 2 will list for $5,995 and the NeKo LET Gen 2 will list for $2,295.

The NeKo64 Gen 2 includes native DDR2 800 support, universal PCI-E slots, the new Karsyn version 1.5; the Open Labs GUI version 2.0, and a new software bundle. In addition to its Athlon 64 D dual-core 2.0 Ghz processor and Windows XP Professional (custom-tuned for music applications), the NeKo64 Gen 2 comes equipped with:

  • 512 MB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB)
  • 80 GB 7200 rpm HD (with 3 additional 3.5″ drive bays)
  • DVD-Combo Drive (upgradeable to a DVD burner)
  • 15″ color LCD touchscreen
  • alpha module/linear module/rotary module/QWERTY module
  • 1010 audio I/O
  • Gigabit Ethernet/Firewire/USB 2.0
  • MIDI in-out
  • Wordclock.

The NeKo LET Gen2 features:

  • 512 MB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB)
  • 80 GB 7200 rpm HD (with 3 additional 3.5″ drive bays)
  • DVD-Combo Drive (upgradeable to a DVD burner)
  • 15″ color LCD touchscreen
  • alpha module/linear module/rotary module/QWERTY module
  • High Performance Audio I/O including: 24-bit/192kHz (2) ins / (2) outs analog
  • (1) Coaxial S/PDIF (switchable to AES/EBU)
  • (1) Optical S/PDIF (switchable to AES/EBU)/USB 2.0
  • Karsyn 1.5
  • Open Labs GUI 2.0

The NeKo64 Gen 2 can add up to 2 terabytes of hard-drive (HD) storage, while the NeKo LET Gen 2 can add up to 1 terabyte of HD storage.

Both the NeKo64 Gen 2 and the NeKo LET Gen 2 are integrated with the recently-announced mFusion, a breakthrough set of software technologies from Open Labs that allows users to control different musical keyboard devices and software packages through a single interface. Intelligent controls have been added to both the NeKo64 Gen 2 and the NeKo LET Gen 2 for most popular music applications, including Sonar, Cubase Nuendo, GigaStudio, and Reason. The NeKo64 Gen 2 and NeKo LET Gen 2 have added greater automation. The Alpha control has been remapped so that dedicated buttons launch applications that are most used, changing the display when a frequently used application is selected. All other controls are automatically mapped to that piece of software when this occurs, including the knobs, faders, buttons, and alpha control joystick, enabling a complete automated session.

The new NeKo Gen2 units also include a high-quality sound library that consists of more than 5,000 preset sounds and hundreds of effects right out of the box.

About mFusion

mFusion is the latest software component of the Open Labs OpenSynth platform, which is used in the Open Labs NeKo and OMX lines of keyboards and digital audio workstations. mFusion is a set of software technologies along with a control panel that allows the user to easily navigate, access, and remap control surfaces for all Open Labs control panels as well as all third-party MIDI control devices. mFusion will be shipped preinstalled in all Open Labs products as well as future products from Open Labs’ growing list of development partners.

With mFusion, users merely need to touch a knob or slider to begin the process. A wide variety of options are available for each control type. For example, a button can send a MIDI note-on, initiate a program change, keystroke, or even launch an application. This versatility extends to encoders, knobs, faders, drum pads, and many other common control types, with the ability to address and remap up to thousands of controllers simultaneously.

mFusion’s unified approach further benefits existing music computing applications. mFusion takes multiple MIDI devices and exposes the system to only one device, creating a virtual gateway with multiple extensions, thereby making it possible for music programs that can only access one controller to gain full access to multiple controllers.

More information is available at the OpenLabs site.

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