What ever happened to…the Music Percussion Computer, and the NXBoB?

Posted by | June 11, 2013 | | No Comments

Both of them fleeting, both of them British, both of them brilliant.  One of them owned my me and in my studio and , despite what you might have assumed, it’s not the NXBoB – it’s the MPC.

I've not got the ZX81 any more, and my MPC is mysteriously missing its flight case, but it still works and has contributed many bonks and hisses to several tracks...

I’ve not got the ZX81 any more, and my MPC is mysteriously missing its flight case, but it still works and has contributed many bonks and hisses to several tracks…

A heady mix of barely 8 bit digital control and noisy analogue filters and oscillators and even a couple of noise sources, the MPC is capable of synthesising a real drum kit to the same startling levels as I am able to play a real drum kit – that is – not very well.  It honks and hisses like an angry goose, and restarts in the middle of a sequence, but despite all this I love it.  I don’t love it enough to actually sync it up any more, to be fair, so these days it’s samples of loops that make it into tracks, not real time bongs 😉

Now let’s move forward nearly 30 years to the other product in question – the NXBoB.  After undertaking development work for MC2 for the Ti Series amplifiers, breakout boxes and processors, we did a lot of listening tests with the TiBoBs, being fed 96k networked audio, up against a DP448, and a Lake processor, also getting a networked audio feed.

Initially, the TiBoB didn’t quite seem to be on a par with the other two processors, but this was a slightly unfair test as the BoB was running at 48k, as opposed to 96k.  Blind tests were always able to pinpoint the BoB – not that it sounded in any way poor – just that it could be chosen meant that it wasn’t quite as transparent.  A software update later, to allow to run at 96k, and things became a lot closer.

Based on these results, the decision was made to rebadge this as an XTA NX product – and the NXBoB was born.  However, this was to be a fleeting product, due to the fact that we didn’t have, at the time of release, any method of getting audio onto a network and until this was resolved, we did not want to release “half” a solution.

The good news is that in the MC2 portfolio, the TiBoBs fitted in much better with the entire Ti product range, as there are amplifiers and a processor to compliment it.  The TiBoB also has a few other tricks up its sleeve as it can monitor any connected Ti amps to check they are present/working/connected correctly to their speakers, and report this info back without the need of a connected computer – a bonus for installations where keeping it simple for operators is a priority.

There are 8 & 16 channel versions, available with Cobranet (as shown) or Dante capabilities.

There are 8 & 16 channel versions, available with Cobranet (as shown) or Dante capabilities.

The TiBoBs can also operate at 48k and 96k (switchable at start-up and remembered at power down).  The unit can be configured via iCore for its amplifier babysitting duties, but if you don’t need that, it will work straight out of  the box as a multichannel soundcard or network breakout, configuring the streams via the requisite Cobranet or Dante software.

If you want to find out more then head over to MC2’s site or download a datasheet directly here!

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