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In-depth Feature:  Pulsar II Card
One of the most powerful budget DSP cards available
Traviss Willcox writes: .

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In use continued
The easiest way to get started is to load up one of the example projects. I chose, a simple project consisting of two virtual synths, EZsynth and Miniscope, a four-channel mixer, and inputs and outputs. The colour coding of the cables helps: red is MIDI, green is audio, adding or removing cables is as simple as clicking on one end and then clicking on where you want it to go. You can move everything around as you would expect in a windows environment.

To actually use a device you just double click on it in the Project Window - or if things get a bit crowded they can also be quickly chosen from the 'Devices' menu option. You can then change the settings as you require.
Screen shot of project in progress
Click on image for larger view

I spent most of my allotted review time playing with the virtual synths. I found the huge difference between these virtual synths and previous software synths is latency. Or to be more specific: the lack of it. Out of the box the system supports drivers for ASIO, EASI, MME, DirectSound, tripleDAT, OMS, Sound Manager and ASIO 2.0. It was so smooth, I didn't even think about trying to optimise the settings for two days!

Bundled are two versions of the Miniscope, (an upgraded clone of a MiniMoog), 007 (a Roland-alike), Inferno, Blue Synth, EDS8, EZsynth, FMone, a vocoder and two sample players. In the normal course of events each of these could quite easily be a review on its own. Pity the Modular II isn't included in the box, though there are some patches on the CD. In any event these will be quite enough for the average mortal. They all sound great and there is no hint of noise. Excellent!
Miniscope II main window
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Inferno - with animated firey writing !
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007 - Nothing to do with Roland
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To tie things together nicely you get a big virtual mixer too, called - hey! - 'Big Mixer'. There's also a much smaller mixer called Dynamixer that has just the number of channels that you need. The Big Mixer is a comprehensive piece of software in its own right as you'll see from the screen shot: 32 channels, in 16 busses, six aux sends, 4-band EQ and more. It hogs resources mind, so I suspect most will go for the Dynamixer.
Big Mixer
Click on image for larger view

Effects? Plenty of those: reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser,limiter and compressor. All are quick and simple to use, and, while not as well featured as some plug-ins, they work without worrying your system resources.

Linking the software into your sequencer is straightforward; there are a couple of Cubase examples to get you going (The manual also contains installation hints for other pckages such as Logic + Cakewalk)

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Creamware Site
  • Mail Traviss
  • Pulsar II pages @ Creamware
  • PC Software Updates
  • Mac Software Updates
  • More Soundcards@Sonic

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