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Open Labs announced today at the 2003 Winter NAMM Convention eKo, the world's first open platform musical keyboard workstation and the OpenSynth hardware and software reference platform.

eKo is designed to bridge the gap between the personal computer and traditional music keyboard workstations by providing VST plugins, VSTi virtual instruments, and other software applications a physical reference keyboard for use by the performance artist. eKo is based on Open Lab's OpenSynth reference platform, which are open to all hardware and software developers.

The OpenSynth reference platform incorporates commercially available operating systems such as Windows XP and Linux, and standard personal computer hardware into a standard that will allow developers to successfully produce musical products that will consistently work properly with one another.

"We believe eKo could become the ultimate performance and studio instrument because it combines the power and flexibility of a personal computer with traditional electronic keyboards to form an entirely new class of powerful musical instruments," said Victor Wong, CEO of Open Labs.

"eKo is the next logical next step in the evolution of musical instruments," said Craig Negoescu, Chief Architect of Open Labs. Over the past few years there has been a plethora of new and powerful VST and VSTi plug ins, but no real way to use them in a keyboard. eKo was designed to be that keyboard."

Specific features of eKo includes the following:

  • All in One: eKo's all in one design eliminates the clutter and confusion of traditional desktop computer systems so you can focus on what really matters...the music.
  • User Friendly: eKo enables the musician to change settings and access programs through an easy interface that shields them from the complexities of the operating system.
  • Power to Rock: eKo can accommodate the fastest processors available, and more RAM and storage than any other music workstation.
  • Low Latency: eKo has near-zero latency even under high processor loads.
  • Instant On: Unlike traditional computers that may take minutes to start up, eKo utilizes a unique process that allows the keyboard to start up in seconds.
  • Interchangeable Control Modules: eKo's interchangeable control modules provide a physical interface for easier control of software instruments and are designed to support virtually any future control options.
  • Music Non Stop: eKo includes integrated power management that combats power spikes and operates during power interruptions.
  • Surfboard: eKo allows the musician to directly access the Internet, to quickly and easily download upgrades, sounds and applications.
  • Complete Portable Studio: eKo is a self-contained recording, editing and mastering system that's perfect for the studio or stage.
  • Have it Your Way: With Open Labs' BYOK (Build-Your-Own-Keyboard) ordering system, you can have the exact eKo that you want, when you want it, with the ability to upgrade at any time.

List prices for the standard model configurations are expected to range between $1,995 and $5,200. Product shipments are set for second quarter 2003.

About Open Labs

Based in Austin, Texas, Open Labs develops advanced products for entertainment industries. The core members of the Open Labs team bring together into one company a diverse range of experience from the fields of computer systems integration, musical instrument design and performance, application and GUI design, hardware design, third party developer management, and audio/musical instrument sales.

Open Labs, the Open Labs logo, OpenSynth, eKo, and Music Non Stop, BYOK are trademarks of Open Labs. All other company or product names are trademarks of their respective owners and, in some cases, are used by Open Labs under license. Specifications, pricing and delivery schedules are subject to change without notice

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