NAMM: OpenLabs Intros MFusion

Open Labs has introduced mFusion, a set of software technologies that allows users to control different musical keyboard devices and software packages through a single interface. The latest software component of the company’s OpenSynth platform, which is used in the Open Labs NeKo and OMX lines of keyboards and digital audio production stations, mFusion will be licensed to third-party musical instrument and recording equipment companies that want to take advantage of an efficient, next-generation platform for music production that allows users to access and create more digital music, in less time and with better control than previously available.

Hart Dynamics, a leading manufacturer of electronic drumming equipment, is the first licensee of mFusion. Open Labs plans to license hardware and software technologies, including mFusion, to Hart Dynamics, as part of the two companies’ co-development efforts in building the world’s first electronic drumkit that plays software plug-ins and applications.

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 Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) control devices.

“With mFusion, we have created the Borg equivalent of MIDI controller software, enabling users to integrate a galaxy of controllers and other hardware and software solutions to work as one through a single intuitive interface,” said Victor Wong, CEO of Open Labs. “In addition, since mFusion is an intelligent application, it can integrate MIDI controllers that have yet to be created instantly. mFusion allows you to boldly go where no musical instrument has gone before.”

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, drumpads, and many other common control types, with the ability to address and remap up to thousands of controllers simultaneously.

“The introduction of mFusion provides another layer of functionality for GigaStudio3 users, who can now control more samples and plug-ins in real-time. This is the digital version of a virtual conductor for a 40-piece symphony,” said Jim Mack, division manager of TASCAM. “Open Labs has developed a key piece of software at the right time for our users and for the industry as a whole.”

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.

“The electronic drum market needs mFusion; it bridges so many controllers and MIDI trigger systems, the creative possibilities are virtually limitless, yet the solution for the problem of bridging different interfaces is so amazingly elegant,” said Peter Hart, CEO of Hart Dynamics. “Drummers, producers, and engineers have a more efficient way to access and control multiple drum samples and MIDI drum effects and triggers, without buying additional hardware.”

mFusion will be shipped preinstalled in all Open Labs products as well as future products from Open Labs’ growing list of development partners.

“mFusion fixes a lot of what’s wrong with computer-based music today”, said Craig Negoescu, chief architect of Open Labs. “By putting a common front-end on MIDI control devices with a user-friendly user interface, you no longer have to deal with painfully bad controller interfaces. And for hardware developers, mFusion makes the process of developing new or custom controllers much easier and much faster.”

Open Labs is the first keyboard manufacturer to incorporate 64-bit processing. The company developed the NeKo64 using the AMD® Opteron® 64-bit CPU, with 2MB memory cache in either single- or dual-processor configurations.

More information is available at the Open Labs site.

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