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Fw: Soundart

Thought this might be interesting to the programmers out there. Potential 
looping device? Maybe just general sonic mayhem...

For Immediate Release.

Soundart Unveils the Chameleon at the 2002 Frankfurt 
Musik Messe.

24-bit rack programmable for any studio or stage task.

Frankfurt, Germany. March 13, 2002.

    Soundart is proud to announce the availability of its 
programmable studio hardware, the Chameleon. 
Housed in a sturdy rack unit, the Chameleon is the on 
ly studio tool that can be completely reprogrammed to 
perform any conceivable audio or MIDI processing task. 
Customers can enjoy the crystal-clear 24-bit sound and 
hands-on interface, without sacrificing the flexibility of 
computer based audio solutions. Soundart will also 
give away the programming tools on request, making 
the Chameleon the first professional audio platform 
that is truly open.

Chameleon can feel at home in the best studios.

The Chameleon is an audio processor housed in a 
sturdy 1u rack. The front panel delivers normal 
functionality such as volume control, headphone 
access, and power cycling. In addition, 12 push 
buttons, an LCD readout, a rotary control and 3 knobs 
for can be reprogrammed for any functionality desired 
by the user. Round the back are connections for power, 
a serial interface for connection to a PC, and MIDI and 
audio connections. Inside, a powerful Digital Signal 
Processor (DSP) chip and an embedded Coldfire 
microcontroller offer the same kind of processing 
solution found in most modern DSP synthesizers and 
effects units.

Until now studio hardware has been the preserve of 
professional audio manufacturers; users had no 
access to the operating system and could not 
reprogram their hardware. Soundart has broken down 
the wall separating quality hardware and user 
accessibility to software. Any Chameleon owner can 
load or program new applications - through either the 
serial or MIDI ports -  allowing the Chameleon to 
'become' a different studio processor. Synthesis, effect 
processing, MIDI manipulation - the Chameleon can 
handle all these tasks using purpose-built, 
professional sounding hardware.

All incoming or outgoing audio processed on the 
Chameleon is handled by a Motorola DSP56303 - the 
same chip found in the majority of 'virtual analogue' 
synthesizers made in recent years. Most electronics 
musicians already own gear using this proven 
hardware solution. Unlike conventional computers, 
DSP chips use a different programming model 
optimised for the kind of math necessary to produce 
quality real-time audio. Further, this powerful DSP can 
process audio at depths of up to 56 bits, far beyond 
what is capable with personal computers. As well as 
the chip itself, we included 4 'mega-words' of 24-bit 
RAM, allowing mono delay times of over 87 seconds. 
All audio passes through high-quality analogue-digital 
converters operating at 48KHz.

More hands-on control for real musicianship.

But the Chameleon isn't limited to black-box 
processing of audio. We employ Motorola's Coldfire 
processor to manage real-time data input - and visual 
feedback - from the unit's front panel. And the 
Chameleon MIDI functionality is no bolted-on 
afterthought; we have resurrected the powerful 
MIDIShare programming system that graced the Atari 
ST and early Macintosh computer, with up to 8 
megabytes of RAM for sequence storage and another 
megabyte of Flash RAM for patch storage. All the most 
common interface and control tasks are easily 
manageable using our powerful real-time operating 

Audio developers get a platform to work on that is 
second to none in terms of quality and robustness. By 
removing compatibility problems and bloated computer 
operating systems, developers can focus on what really 
matters - new ways of processing audio and MIDI for 
electronic music. The Chameleon's powerful operating 
software lets programmers exploit all the power in the 
hardware, without forcing them to reinvent the wheel for 
basic functionality.

With a Chameleon in the studio or stage rack, users 
get all the benefits of hardware: pristine audio quality, 
portability, total MIDI compatibility, and an interface they 
can actually touch. Once an application is loaded, the 
Chameleon behaves no differently from a purpose-built 
studio unit. Applications can even be stored in the 
Flash memory so that they load automatically at 
power-on. Instead of rebalancing delicate computer 
configurations every time they want more audio 
processing, Chameleon users can simply switch on 
and start work as if they had a dedicated audio 
processor. When their needs change, a new 
application can be loaded in seconds from any MIDI 

Breakthrough for developers heralds a new generation 
of studio tools.

Flexible studio tools have been offered before by other 
firms. But none has the portability and features of the 
Chameleon. In addition, other products have required 
programmers to pay crippling fees or undergo difficult 
approval processes before they are allowed to access 
pro-quality hardware. This has discouraged many 
aspiring electronic musicians and sound designers 
from taking the final step in their chosen field - building 
their own synthesis and effect processing tools. 

Soundart changes all that, by sharing their complete 
software development kit with anyone who wants it. 
Now both experienced developers and eager learners 
have access to the same tools used by pro audio 
developers. As well as programming tools, we also 
share extensive documentation and examples that 
expose the secrets of how studio gear actually works. 
Soundart has opened the door for everyone who has 
ever dreamed of making their dream studio tools. Our 
commitment to openness, combined with 
reference-quality studio hardware, means that those 
dreams can now become reality.

For commercial developers, the Chameleon is just as 
attractive. A powerful hardware based security system 
allows applications to be locked to the serial number of 
the unit for secure distribution. And we don't impose 
licensing co ditions or royalty charges: developers can 
sell or give away their applications as they see fit. They 
may share the source code for collaborative products if 
they choose, or keep their algorithms completely private 
- even from us! However developers want to present 
their work to the public, all are welcome to sell or share 
applications on our website. We will even provide 
billing and shipping functionality, so customers have a 
central point of sale for all their Chameleon needs!

Chameleon already shipping to developers and 

Rather than talk about future plans, Soundart believes 
in delivering solutions before talking about them. 
Chameleon units are already being shipped to 
developers all over the world, as well as to university 
research departments. Any DSP developer can start 
working on a Chameleon now - the only wait is the time 
it takes us to ship them a unit. Experienced 
programmers are already at work on applications for 
use on stage and in the studio, as well as more 
advanced programming tools for musicians who do not 
have coding experience.

Of course, this would not be news if the hardware were 
not affordable; but it is. The suggested retail price of the 
unit is a competitive Euro 795.00 plus applicable taxes. 
Developers are eligible for discounts depending on 
their experience and design ideas. Soundart values 
and respects the research community as well, and will 
make the unit available to educational institutions at 
discounted prices - generous support on anyone's 


No other company can offer this combination of studio 
functionality, versatility, and openness. We expect the 
Chameleon to become a fixture in audio racks the 
world over, as professionals see how they can benefit 
from this winning combination. Digital signal 
processing has changed the music industry and ope 
ned up possibilities undreamt of only a few years ago. 
The personal computer has brought equally wide 
changes to the studio. The Chameleon is the first tool 
that combines all the advantages of both with none of 
the restrictions. Soundart is proud to open a new 
chapter in the history of electronics in music.

Press contact:

Josep-Oriol Tomas, Managing Director
c/ Corcega 89, entlo.
08029 Barcelona - Spain
Phone (Main): (34-93) 363 71 00
Fax: (34-93) 321 31 73

Press Kit with hi-res pictures available on request.

---Jazwell Wankerl
phone: 715.833.2290
cell: 920.980.8311

'Duckbill Glass'
Synths * Samples  
Effects * Engineering


I Wonder as I Wander... 


"He was born with the gift of laughter 
and a sense that the world was mad."
-R Sabatini


J, S
J 3:8, 11:35
A 17
1C 2:2, C 3:16-17