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MTU Digital Audio Products
1977 to 1995

Click here for 1996 to Current

MTU pioneered the Disk-Vector assembly-editing paradigm. This TOTALLY frees the "artist in you" from the fear of running out of tracks; allowing you to even think non-linear as you assemble any length project with any depth of complexity of audio layers never thinking about tracks. MTU pioneered Random-Access-EditingTM to allow you to adjust and polish anything in any order, very important as fades and gain changes are the heart of mix engineering. Additionally, the mathematical quality that Microeditor uses is proven sonically transparent, noticeably superior to other 24-bit workstations.

 

1995

  • March - MTU purchases 56002 processors to begin the upgrade to the PCI-bus. The 56002 is rejected due to insufficient power (but it is used by Digidesign and other competitors).
  • November - Motorola announces DSP56300 family including 56301 with a PCI-bus interface and 66MHz to 100MHz clock speeds. The Krystal DSP board design formally begins.
  • December - Microeditor V2.5 releases including EQ.
  • December - DAWs with computer now under $8,000 with the price of Pentium processors, IDE hard drives and other components, massively powerful workstations are now under $8,000 with Microsound Rack I/O Modules.

1993

  • May - Upgrade Microsound DSP audio card to 32MHz and 128KB SRAM. 32% of existing customers purchase upgrades, most for $285.
  • September - Microeditor V2.2 software release now performs live mixing from disk of up to eight stereo segments, with static mixing of up to 32 segments later upgraded to 256.
  • November - Microtools is separated from PC-Sound as DSP tools for recording studios.
Micro Technology Unlimited homepage
 

1992

  • November - First Graphical PQ Code Editor for Audio CD mastering - MicroCD ships to a client in Montreal PQ, Canada. It drives a Denon 1x CD-Recorder ($16,000). Users are able to master CDs within minutes the first time they use of MicroCD.
  • November - Shipped one of the first CD-Recorders. It was a Denon 1x write speed and sold for $16,000. The Yamaha 1x write speed CDR drive cost $25,000 back then. Microeditor automatically controlled the CD Recorder.

1991

  • Microsound is established worldwide as an innovative product meeting the needs of; recording studios, multimedia development, audio production for film, TV and video, and radio. Microsound efficiency significantly decreases production costs, while increasing the artistic value of the work and the overall quality. Microsound users discover the quality of their productions significantly improved over their past work and equipment.
  • June - Media Morphics uses Microsound for their CD Production equipment front end. They are the leader in the world for CD production equipment (multi-million dollar price). After extensive review of all products available worldwide, they selected the MTU Microsound hardware for the analog and digital front end. All CDs produced on their equipment are mastered through Microsound, proving Microsound's superior digital audio quality.

1990

  • January - MTU becomes the only hardware vendor on the Microsoft Multimedia Tools Council. Attendance at the CD-ROM conference is exciting as the MTU logo and name is projected in front of the audience; later published in the Wall Street Journal. The push is on for 16-bit quality audio and MTU is the leader.
  • January - Microeditor digital audio editing software runs under Windows 3.0. This pioneers new features that redefine how audio is processed:
    • Non-Destructive Editing
    • Random Access Editing™ to adjust edits instead of undoing them
    • Project-Editing™ paradigm gives non-linear trackless assembly of up to 32 stereo sounds playing simultaneously, later upgraded to 256 plus grouping like mix console bussing.
    • Floating-Tracks™, earlier called Virtual Tracks but renamed as competitors redefined virtual tracks to something far less than Microeditor provided.
    • Disk-Vectored™ operation with edits applied to audio segments that point to master files that are never modified
    • Segment Based Automation beats Track Base Automation hands down for productivity and creativity. All edits apply instantly, and true random playing anywhere in any length project allows instant edit-approval cycle that further enhances creativity.
  • June - Microsound I/O Module AES/EBU-S/PDIF Interface shipped to Animal Audio Arts, then in Boston, MA.
Micro Technology Unlimited homepage
 

1989

  • September - First Microsound printed circuit cards are operational. This DSP56001 based Digital Audio Workstation based on the AT computer ISA-bus, includes a newly designed (our 4th generation) externally shielded I/O Module with 2 or 4 channel balanced analog 64x oversampling converters. The first three I/O Modules ship to MIT Lincoln Labs in Cambridge, MA, who excitedly report the delivered product is superior to the MTU promised specs.
  • November - Microsoft Multimedia Division offers MTU full support and Windows 3 SDK tools for Microeditor.
  • December 20 - First two Microsound DSP based production units ship to Rome, Italy.

1988

  • June - Microsound Audio Workstation formal specification begins. The requirement for a hardware Digital Signal Processor is obvious and the search of available technologies begins. MTU´s product development and vendor liaison history points to the Motorola DSP56001.

1987

  • July - First 16-bit A/D/A Converters for PC/AT ISA-bus using DigiSound-16 and new interface card. Digital Audio Workstations are now shipping worldwide with RLL 100MB and 240MB hard drives with MSDOS based software drivers, capable of flawlessly sustaining 48KHz 16-bit stereo with standard MSDOS drive formats.
  • September - First 16-bit A/D/A Converters for MAC II using DigiSound-16, to Claremont College, Pomona, CA. The MAC II platform unreliability and customer support demands were unexpected, and the MAC II interface is discontinued three months later.
  • November - First MicroADPCM software for ADPCM CD-I class A, B and C compression for contract from Tiger Media. Their CDI title The Flying Condor produced with DigiSound-16 and MicroADPCM software wins first place in Entertainment CD of the Year in Japan in 1988.
Micro Technology Unlimited homepage
 

1986

  • March - First PC/XT Digital Audio Workstation shipped to IBM, Austin, TX. This use the DigiSound-16 with a DMA interface with MSDOS record and play software.
  • June - First Microcomputer Noise Removal Software DNoise ran under MSDOS. It remains the most flexible noise removal package, allowing multiple noises or signals to be removed in a single pass.
  • September - First 16-bit A/D/A converters for SUN-3 shipped to Columbia University, NYC including UNIX record and play software. As Integrated Media Systems (IMS, later bought by Studer) discontinued their development for SUN, MTU picked up their unfulfilled orders.
  • October - First public demonstration of a PC based Digital Audio Workstation at the AES show in New York.
  • December - First PC-Sound music synthesis software licensed from Mass. Institute of Technology and ported to MSDOS.

1985

  • March - DigiSound-16 interface for Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) minicomputers shipped to Washington University in St. Louis, MO. This worked with PDP-11, Vax, and MicroVax computers and included UNIX drivers. The primary markets were speech research, including AT&T who purchased eight systems. The high quality of DigiSound-16 quickly spread by word of mouth and soon MTU was selling DigiSound-16 units world wide.

1984

  • January - First 16-bit digital audio A/D-D/A converters shipped to University of Florida, Coral Gables, FL.
  • January - First externally shielded A/D-D/A converters shipped in the world. It had a high speed universal interface, first interfaced to the MTU-130 computer for direct-to-disk recording and playback. This was capable of 8,096 sampling rates from 8kHz to 48kHz. THD+N was 0.003% to 0.005%. Six different plug-in anti-alias filters were available for different frequency ranges for maximum purity.
Micro Technology Unlimited homepage
 

1982

  • July - DigiSound-16 development started - Market research revealed the market wanted full 16-bit A/D-D/A converters for direct to disk recording, editing and playback. This development was our 3rd audio converter design.

1981

  • September - First MTU-130 computer shipped with a pixel-accurate fiber optic light pen, audio playback built in, and a custom bus that allowed a 6502, Z80 and 68000 to all share resources, with the 6502 handling IO. It could record and play audio at up to 25kHz sampling rate, and 16-bit dynamics control, playing across multiple floppy disks for unlimited play time. The reliability and speed of the MTU-130 computer was unparalleled in the microcomputer industry. This provided the computer for a Digital Audio Workstation meeting the demands for real-time, high speed data transfers.
  • December - Graphic waveform audio editor used the fiber optic light pen to draw and edit graphic waveforms, then resynthesizing wave tables from them. This was a difficult time for microcomputer companies as IBM also introduced their PC in September.

1980

  • January - Instrument Synthesis Software using multiple wave tables to generate multi-timbrel, polyphonic voice music with 4 separate instruments playing live.
  • March - Start design of a proprietary audio microcomputer system.
  • March - First printing graphic waveform audio editor software with hard copy printed on AIM-65 microcomputers.
  • Started Audio Workstation Specification that was maintained over the years, evolving as the market demands changed.
Micro Technology Unlimited homepage
 

1979

  • January - First 8-bit audio card for Commodore PET computers.
  • August - Floppy disk controller for 6502 computers and 8-inch floppy drives that sustained 37.5Kbytes per second transfers.
  • August - Shipped the first microprocessor based, direct-to-disk digital audio workstation in the world. Mix Magazine, September 1997: "Micro Technology Unlimited (MTU) shipped the first professional quality direct-to-disk digital audio workstation on a microcomputer... back in 1979." Using the Ram-Disk DAW paradigm we pioneered, we played Chariots of Fire at the West Coast Computer Faires (spring and fall of 1979 and 1980). Our Delplay-12 converters provided 0.025% THD+N with true 16-bit dynamic gain control and 11KHz frequency response. Every time we fired off our audio demo, people stood 6-7 rows deep around our booth to hear what had never been heard before.
  • August - First open-architecture, disk based Digital Audio Workstation with software loading from floppy disk.
  • August - First 16-bit dynamic range digital audio workstation.
  • December - First music synthesis software with dynamic timbre instruments.

1978

  • January - First graphics display card for a microcomputer called Visible Memory, it provided 320x200 graphic display for 6502 microcomputers to show graphic waveform audio editing.
  • June - First 8-bit D/A converter for Apple II shipped 500 this month.
  • December - First graphic waveform, sample precision audio editing software that used the RAM based DAW paradigm for short file editing. It used our Visible Memory graphics display card to show pixel accurate waveform display.
Micro Technology Unlimited homepage
 

1977

  • March 1 - MTU was formed by David Cox and Hal Chamberlin to develop and market microcomputer and digital audio products.
  • March - Power Supply for the KIM-1 single board computer is our first product, shipping over 1,000 by year end.
  • September - First real time music software synthesizer for a microcomputer provided 4 voices in real time (see article in Byte magazine, September, 1977).
  • December - First audio 8-bit D/A converters for a microcomputer running on 6502 microcomputers from MOS Technology, Rockwell, and Synertek.

Micro Technology Unlimited homepage