Guillemot Maxi Studio ISIS
Risc processor based audio card (Dream chip - the same engine as in Terratec EWS 64XL or Hoontech audiocards). Since the preset GM, GS bank is stored in RAM memory it is possible to replace these useless sets with your own banks. Basic 4 Mb RAM could be expanded up to 36 Mb with standard 32 Mb EDO SIMM module (Why SIMM and not cheaper DIMM ?! It is exactly the same kind of problem as some samplers expandable with 30 pin SIMMs. Thanks god there is enough computers with these old memories around and you can buy cheaper used SIMMs. New 32 MB EDO SIMM is nowdays for the same price as 196 Mb in DIMMs .... damn! My 16 Mb OEM SIMM is mapped as a 8 Mb one only (total 12 Mb RAM - aargh!!!!). Some owners of Guillemot cards report problem with compatibility too. Moreover it is necessary to change the jumper setting on the card when upgrading - there is nothing about this in users guide)

Main Board DSP (Digital Signal Processor): RISC-based Dream™ : Ultra-realistic MIDI with no CPU cost. 4-layer PCB. CD-Audio sound quality (44.1kHz) and Pro audio quality (48kHz). Built-in synthesiser with 64-voice GM/GS hardware wavetable and multi-layer stereo 48kHz sampler including 2 LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators), 3 EGs (Envelope Generators), 2 keyboard tracking tables . Resonance filter of up to 24dB. Multitimbral capability up to 16 channels 4MB RAM of high quality samples (sounds included with the express authorisation of Roland Corporation). Memory expandable to 36MB RAM with standard SIMM module (<=60 ns) to download new soundbanks. Inputs: Mic-In , stereo Line-In, digital game port/MIDI port. 1 stereo Line-Out + 1 surround output to connect 4 speakers.

External rack Eight 1'' analog line level inputs & four 1'' analog line level outputs. 20-bit ADC and DAC converters. Digital stereo S/PDIF input & output with gilt RCA & optical connection for transfer of your musical creations Direct-to-DAT (Digital Audio Tape) or mini-disc without loss. MIDI-In / MIDI-Out / MIDI-Thru DIN connectors. When I was looking for a suitable card for my home recording the number of inputs was not important for me (one stereo input with a mixer is enough) but now I see eight ins as a great thing - you can record your synths dry or with EFX processors only by change of the input in Logic environment (no wiring necessary) . Since all ins and outs (inc. MIDI) are in break-out box it is much better work than with traditional soundcards with on-board terminals. With several 8 outs ISIS would become an bargain.

Configuration Simultaneous recording of 8 sources and playback of 4 sources in hardware full-duplex Monitoring of the 8 inputs to the 4 outputs. Listen to your compositions in real-time through both the analog and digital outputs and savour digital quality input for outstanding recordings. Choose one of the 4 user-configurable synchronisation master clocks available: 32, 44.1, 48kHz or S/PDIF clock signal. Two MIDI ports: - One internal port to drive the on-board synthesiser. - One external port for external connection.

Game support True 3D Positional Sound on 4 speakers (no CPU usage) : Set up a real symphonic orchestra at home. Real-time Surround on 2 & 4 speakers and 4-band paragraphic equaliser on all sound sources. Real-time customisable special effects on 2 or 4 speakers: reverb & chorus on MIDI & Wave; echo, pitch shifting, chorus & reverb on Microphone, CD-Audio, Line-In…

Software Emagic LOGIC PRO ISIS , Acid DJ (the sample CD is good, software is not full version - it looks more like a demo - you can not export wave files with changed tempo, etc.), Cool Edit SE (Sample editor, multitrack recorder). Despite of these professional products the Guillemot software is quite strange. Only the Console (volume sliders for inputs and outputs) looks like a professional software (but only sometimes - the led indicators almost doesnīt work), the instrument editor is not bad but also not excelent. It is a separate software (I donīt understand why) It means that if you want to make sound bank you have to launch bank editor which is probably the worst software I have ever seen. It is absolutely illogical piece of crap. You need your userīs guide to understand what they mean by some commands etc. There are no tools to mix up two or more banks - horrible. Also the synthesizer could be better. I do not like to use NRPN and RPN parameters or edit anything with sysex messages. Many older synths use much more sophisticated modulation matrices for real time control. For example, if you want to control the 24-db filter (pretty digital LPF) in real time you have to use NRPN controllers. Well why not? But you can control only Cut-off and Resonance. The envelope, LFO modulation etc. is under sysex parameter. Without good sequencer impossible to use. By the way, have you ever heard about more than one loop per sound my dear French friends (an old Casio sampler did this 14 years ago!!!).

Software bundle
Price/Performance ratio
Sound quality - for home recording sufficient
Banks compatible with other Dream processor based cards
2 stereo outs (you can assign sampler and wave out separately)
External 20-bit converters in breakout box
DIN connectors for MIDI
Optical and RCA S/PDIF in/out
Simple synthesizer
The sound of the synthesizer is distorted
Modulation matrix of the synthesizer
Drivers (is this a weakness of the card or Windows?) - I have much better experience with the latest version 1.9
High latency - can not play virtual synths in real time with your external keyboard
Bank loader software - really bad
You have to restart your copmuter to play games
Impossible to mount two or more cards in your system (including other manufacturers - I tried some cheap Yamaha with bad results - it worked fine together with Terratec card)
EDO SIMM modules for expansion
There are no Windows 2000 driver available - it is because of the chipset tech-support say - well an excuse I think

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