VideoLogic Launches Pro Version of Award-Winning SonicStorm

VideoLogic - the international company which develops, designs and supplies market-leading 2D/3D graphics accelerator and audio products for PCs, games consoles and arcade entertainment machines - has launched the SonicStorm Pro, the successor to its award-winning SonicStorm PCI audio card. SonicStorm Pro is available now at just £49.99 inc. VAT ($69 US ex. Tax)

Based on the new Maestro-2E audio signal processor from ESS Technology Inc - the world's largest PC audio semiconductor supplier - SonicStorm Pro provides high performance entertainment audio for both games and music.

SonicStorm Pro combines the very latest in PCI-based audio acceleration for DirectSound and DirectSound3D, with true hi-fi quality using an AC97 codec, simultaneous 64-channel audio stream capability and a 64-voice hardware accelerated MIDI wavetable synthesiser.

Kevin Dale marketing and sales director, VideoLogic Systems says: "SonicStorm was the first low cost PCI soundcard available. SonicStorm Pro builds on the success of SonicStorm with hardware accelerated, true HRTF 3D positional audio, high quality MIDI synthesis and S/PDIF output for digital recording to set a new level of performance and functionality at this price point.

"When used in conjunction with our new Sirocco speaker system the results are quite simply stunning."

SonicStorm Pro fully implements, within hardware, Central Research Laboratories' Sensaura technique for HRTF (Head-Response Transfer Functions) 3D positional sound, bringing 3D-audio in games to a new level of realism.

SonicStorm Pro includes 2mb and 4mb wavetables, as well as Yamaha XG soft synthesiser and Yamaha XG Studio for excellent MIDI music. Various shareware software applications are also included for recording, editing and compressing music from CD or vinyl - which makes SonicStorm Pro the ideal choice for the home music enthusiast. Whether recording digital audio, or creating full musical compositions, SonicStorm Pro provides all the features needed.Product Highlights

As a PCI-based audio accelerator, SonicStorm Pro is capable of handling multiple streams of high quality audio, for improved sound quality and realism. Using PCI, with full hardware acceleration, SonicStorm Pro makes significantly lower demands on the CPU than other ISA and PCI based solutions. As a result, games running under SonicStorm Pro are more responsive and play at higher frame rates than with ISA-based sound cards.

Using the Maestro-2E audio signal processor from ESS Technology, the SonicStorm has a 64-channel audio steam processor, a 64-voice General MIDI wavetable synthesiser with 2 and 4mb Wavetable memory and two speaker 3D sound virtualisation.

SonicStorm Pro includes an S/PDIF output, for stereo digital recording to DAT or miniDisc and AC-3 5.1 (Dolby Digital) output, for connection to a six channel surround sound decoder. Optional S/PDIF input is supported via a digital input port.

The CRL Sensaura technique is implemented for superior HRTF 3D positional accuracy. HRTFs define how sounds from differing directions interact with the human ear. Sensaura technology creates a 3D sound field using conventional two-speaker stereo playback systems, ensuring the listener will experience a seamless 3D sound image.

The card has full support for the SoundBlaster and DOS standards, running all DOS based games without the need for an additional ISA sound card. SonicStorm supports DirectSound and DirectSound3D (Direct X 6.0) under Windows 95.

In addition to 2MB and 4MB wavetables, SonicStorm Pro is supplied with Yamaha XG soft synthesiser and Yamaha XG Studio for high quality MIDI performance.

Yamaha XG soft synthesiser runs at 44.1KHz 16bit resolution with full effects processing on MMX PCs, or standard PCs with CPU speeds in excess of 166MHz. The software offers 676 fully programmable voices, 21 fully programmable drum kits and a staggering three parallel 24 bit resolution effects busses.

Yamaha XG STUDIO is a compact MIDI file player with support for up to 100 songs loaded at any one time.

SonicStorm Pro includes Jet-Audio, a comprehensive home audio system interface from COWON System, Inc.,. Jet-Audio features independent A/V components for Digital Signal Processor, Audio CD Player, Digital Audio (WAV, MP3, RA, etc.), MIDI (MID, MOD, XM, S3M, etc.) and Digital Video (AVI, QTW, MPG, RM, etc.), along with a Mixer and a Remote Controller. Jet-Audio is simply the only media player users will need, whatever their playback requirements.

SonicStorm has full PC 98 compliance and also incorporates an AC97 codec for true hi-fi quality sound, supports full duplex, 48KHz sampling for CD quality recording, and playback of material sampled at up to 48KHz.

Pricing, Availability and Software Bundle

The SonicStorm Pro will be available in October 1998 from VideoLogic's existing network of computer distributors, resellers and retailers as well as PC integrators.

The card comes bundled with audio productivity applications including Jet Audio; Yamaha XG soft synthesiser and Yamaha XG Studio; trial MIDI applications from Midisoft; videoconferencing software; a complete shareware solution for copying and compressing LP and CD tracks and game demos and movies that show off SonicStorm Pro's 3D sound.

SonicStorm Pro has driver support for Windows 95/98, DirectX and Windows NT. The complete SonicStorm Pro bundle, including card, drivers and audio applications has an RRP of £49.99 inc. VAT.

SonicStorm Pro is supplied with a five-year warranty and backed by world-wide customer support, including technical support hotlines, an Internet web site and ftp services.

Technical Specifications

Minimum System Requirements: Pentium 75 PC with a minimum of 16 MB (24 MB recommended) running Windows 95/98 or NT.

Audio processor: ESS Maestro-2E, with separate AC 97 compliant codec.

External Connectors: Stereo line out jack, line in jack, microphone in jack, 15 pin game/midi port, S/PDIF out jack. PC 98 colour coding on output connectors.

Internal Connectors: CD-in (MPC3 and JST), video-in, aux-in, PC Speaker in, I2S for digital input upgrade.

Bus architecture: 32-bit PCI local bus. Plug and Play compliant.

About ESS Technology

ESS Technology, Inc. is a leading supplier of PC audio and digital video solutions for the PC and consumer markets. ESS designs, develops, and markets highly integrated mixed signal semiconductor and software solutions for multimedia applications. World Wide Web site: