Fairlight Offers Prosumer Audio, Video Editing Keyboard - InformationWeek

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Fairlight Offers Prosumer Audio, Video Editing Keyboard

The device called Xynergi features self-labeling key switches that can display full color images, icons or text to identify specific tasks or tools.

Fairlight, a maker of audio, video production equipment, has created a keyboard-like device that offers creative professionals access to all the editing tools needed for postproduction work.

The Xynergi Media Production Centre delivers recording, editing and mixing tools in a device that's about twice the size of a standard keyboard. The company claims its new product, which debuted last month at the IBC Exhibition in Amsterdam, is unique in the amount of functionality packed in a relatively small device. "It's a quantum leap forward in size and performance," Daniel O'Connell, spokesman for the Australian company, told InformationWeek.

The Xynergi works in conjunction with Fairlight's audio and video editing software, called Dream Series. The device plugs into the company's CC-1 digital media engine, which is a PCI Express card that contains a field programmable gate array semiconductor device. An FPGA enables the programming of semiconductors in the field rather than in a fab. Most FPGAs are SRAM-based, although there are some flash versions also.

In comparison, editing tools from Fairlight competitor Digidesign plug into the latter company's PCI or PCIe card, which contains nine digital signal processors designed for real-time computing. Fairlight claims its FPGA cards are more flexible and enable the company to pack more tools into the Xynergi.

Fairlight's Xynergi features self-labeling key switches that can display full color images, icons or text to identify specific tasks or tools. The device's keyboard also acts as a QWERTY keyboard for tasks requiring access to Microsoft Office tools, such as Word and Excel.

The hardware also features eight touch sensitive rotary controllers and multiple soft keys arranged around a color control zone know as the "pad." The controllers and keys are used to support Xynergi's editing capabilities. "(Xynergi) gives you a comprehensive array of effects, editing and manipulation functions," O'Connell said.

The Fairlight postproduction system, including software and hardware, costs about $22,000.

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