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Exactly one year ago, Hartmann has kicked open the door to a new world of syntheszing and manipulating sound. The revolutionary NEURON synthesizer, based on the combination of a neural network synthesis engine and a unique user interface has changed the way you create sound.

New at this NAMM show is the MODELmaker software. With the MODELmaker software, any sample material can be transferred into Neuron models. The graphical user interface helps to easily create multilayers, arrange, prepare and playback different sample formats and finally render a model out of any imaginable soundsource.

The models can then be loaded on the Neuron hard drive and used inside the resynators of the Neuron Synthesizer. The software allows you to choose from different model sets, creating dedicated parameters for a model. Additionally, a neural automatism can put out parameter sets to obtain new and drastic sound manipulations inside a model. This software is available now and is beeing shipped free with any purchase of a Neuron Synthesizer. Together with a PC (MAC OS9 / OSX available now, PC version later this spring) and a USB network hub, the user can create his personal, dedicated Neuron model library.

Hartmann Gmbh also announced, that Hollywood filmscore writer Hans Zimmer has entered the company as partner and member. Hans Zimmer states: "After meeting Axel (Axel Hartmann, president and co-founder of hartmann gmbh) and the first neuron renderings in may 2001, I already felt, that this was a technology, that could really move sounddesign to a next tremendeous step. Seeing now, what from those first ideas has finally made it into the product, I simply had to supply these guys and I am proud to be a part of the company now."

NEURON offers an entirely new approach to creative sound synthesis. NEURON combines intelligent analysis and synthesis based on neural networks with innovative user interface design.The result is a completely new type of synthesizer offering spectacular and unique sounds. The intelligent Neuron software allows the user to first analyze and then manipulate any sound source in a completely new and different way. With its neural network controlled adaptive sound analysis, NEURON identifies a sound's most specific qualities and translates them into individual parameter sets, perfectly matching the original source sound. All aspects of the sound are saved in a model, which can be instantly recalled and played. Instead of applying the same parameters to every type of sound, NEURON learns from the sounds fed into it and automatically assigns suitable parameters to each type of sound.

HARTMANN President and co-founder Axel Hartmann: "For more than 15 years, musicians had to wait for a really new and thrilling synthesizer. Now the wait is over. The era of sample-based workstations and virtual analog modeling synths has dragged on far too long. NEURON is an entirely new type of instrument, based on our proprietary technology called 'Neuronal Synthesis'. Musicians will experience a whole new universe of sounds impossible to create with any other instrument available today.

Despite it's power, NEURON's user interface is both intuitive and easy-to-use. Custom designed controls like the new graphic supported stick controllers and rotary encoder wheels provide accurate and smooth control over each parameter. A flexible modulation engine and full parameter automation allow for dynamic editing and realtime recording of parameter changes. In addition, no less than 13 alphanumeric displays provide instant feedback over the current status of the instrument.

Sounds originate in two so-called resynators, each of which generates a sound based on the models stored on NEURON's internal hard drive. Using the Blender function, these two models can be mixed and merged in a variety of different ways, creating totally new sounds based on the individual models. For example, a three-dimensional imprint of one model can be used to manipulate the spectrum of another model. The possibilities are virtually unlimited. In addition, complex sounds can be filtered and processed in many different ways. NEURON not only offers powerful realtime effects: it is also the first synthesizer to provide full 5.1 surround panning Under the hood, NEURON features a powerful DSP engine with 64-bit floating point precision and a 32-bit signal path, as well as 256 megabytes of RAM. A 20 GB internal hard drive holds factory- programmed and user-defined neural synthesis models. Internal memory consists of 200 sound and 200 setup memory locations, including a convenient snapshot function. External backup storage devices (such as CD-writers, hard drives and memory sticks) can be added using the integrated USB interface. Depending on the structure of the chosen neural synthesis model, NEURON offers 8-24 voice polyphony. Its 6 audio outputs can be flexibly configured, from 6x mono to 5.1 surround. The 5-octave semi-weighted keyboard offers velocity control and channel aftertouch.

The NEURON Neuronal Synthesizer is being shipped to selected retailers worldwide at a suggested retail price of Euro 4,386.00 + tax.

Hartmann GmbH, based in Torkenweiler/Germany, was founded in April 2001 by German synthesizer designer Axel Hartmann and software designer Stephan M.Sprenger. Axel Hartmann is the interface designer responsible for such remarkable instruments as the Waldorf Wave and the Alesis A6 Andromeda. His list of clients include companies like Access, Alesis, Antares, Creamware, Line6, Novation, Steinberg and Waldorf.

Stephan M.Sprenger is senior developer and director of research and development at PROSONIQ Software, renowned German manufacturer of computer-based audio editing and digital signal processing solutions. Sprenger is a pioneer of neural network processing. His design work for NEURON is based on more than a decade of research and development in the area of adaptive sound analysis and synthesis.

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