Introducing Synclavier³

By Synclavier Digital
 Cameron Warner
 Mitch Marcoulier 

What Is Synclavier³ - Synclavier³ is now released and you can read all about it on our Synclaver3 ReadMe Page! Mitch and I have created a new software release and a hardware upgrade that connects the original Synclavier® hardware and voice cards to the latest Macintosh® computers.

The Synclavier³ Application for Mac OS X is a rewrite of the user-interface portion of SynclavierX using the latest and greatest Mac OS "Cocoa" framework. So it will work on future Mac OS's and it removes some of the limitations of earlier releases - such as the 9 GB hard drive limitation for example. Synclavier³ loads sound files directly from your Macintosh hard drive or network - no need to use "image files" or "optical disk images".

On the hardware side we have created a replacement for the obsolete PCI-1 interface card that is based upon PCI Express, and is compatible with the latest Thunderbolt™ Macintoshes by using a Thunderbolt-to-PCI-Express adapter.

To date we have installed 30 BTB-1 systems around the globe; read the reviews on the independent Facebook Page for more details. We still have some additional production units available for sale which you can order below.

Cameron Warner Jones
September 27, 2015

What is PCI Express
 PCI Express DIO Card 

PCI Express ("Peripheral Component Interconnect Express") is the modern standard for high-speed computer add-in cards. New Macs come with a "Thunderbolt" port that can communicate with external PCI Express cards that are installed in a Thunderbolt-to-PCI-Express adapter ("chassis").

Synclavier Digital has developed the BTB-1 Bus Transceiver that allows a PCI Express Digital IO Card to control a Synclavier® Digital Audio System. The BTB-1 uses the same cable and interface card (the "D0-PCI") that were used in the original Synclavier® PowerPC™ product developed for Mac OS 9. The BTB-1 enables a modern Macintosh computer to offer the same capabilities that are currently available in the SynclavierX application.

BTB-1 Purchase and Installation

A BTB-1 Installation requires a Digital IO Card, a BTB-1 Buss Transceiver, a twisted pair cable and a D0-PCI Interface Card. Photos of the component pieces are on our hardware identification page.

The BTB-1 Bus Transceiver and the Digital IO Card are modern production components and can be manufactured as needed. If you are upgrading from an earlier Synclavier® PowerPC™ or SynclavierX installation you may use your existing cable and D0-PCI card. The D0-PCI card requires a modification to work with the BTB-1 which you can order below.

We have a limited number of new D0-PCI cards available for purchase. They are expensive to manufacture due to the difficult procurement of the through-hole integrated circuits used on the board.

A custom-assembled Magma ExpressBox1T Thunderbolt™ to PCIe Expansion chassis is available for $495 additional. Shipping charges for the expansion chassis are $25.00 in the US, $55.00 internationally.

All payments are processed via PayPal in U.S. Dollars. Full payment will be required before shipment. As this is a custom-manufactured product, all deposits are non-refundable.

System Requirements - Synclavier³ requires a Mac capable of running Mac OS X 10.8 ("Mountain Lion") or later. That includes most Macs from 2008 on (check this link for details). For the BTB-1 you need a Mac that can connect to PCI Express; that precludes the early iMacs and Mac Minis even though those machine can run 10.8. For iMacs and Mac Minis you would need a Thunderbolt™-capable Mac and a Thunderbolt™ to PCIe Expansion chassis. Some pre-Thunderbolt™ MacBook Pros could use an ExpressCard/34-to-PCI-Express adapter. Mac Pros 2008 or newer should support the BTB-1 directly via PCI Express (up through Mid-2012) or via Thunderbolt™ (Mid-2012 and after).

BTB-1 Bus Transceiver Package. Includes:
   • BTB-1 Bus Transceiver
   • PCIe-2 PCI-Express Digital IO Card
   • Synclavier³ Software License
   • Installation and Setup Support Incident

$1,199.00 USD Plus Shipping

You will need to purchase a D0-PCI Modification or a New D0-PCI Interface Card to complete your installation.

BTB-1 Shipping Options

D0-PCI Upgrade Modification. Includes:
   • Factory modification to your existing D0-PCI Interface Card

$95.00 USD Plus Shipping (shipping included with BTB-1 purchase)

D0-PCI Shipping Options

D0-PCI New Production. Includes:
   • New D0-PCI Interface Card

$750.00 USD Plus Shipping (shipping included with BTB-1 purchase)

D0-PCI Shipping Options

Still have questions? Send an email to myself or Mitch and we would be happy to answer your questions!

Synclavier³ Product Information

The Synclavier³ Application has been released! Check out our Updates and Downloads page for all the details.

  Synclavier³ Documentation Links  
 Synclavier³ Concepts    PDF     YouTube (6:33)  
 Synclavier³ Hardware Setup And Installation     PDF     YouTube (7:59)  
 Synclavier³ Windows And Features    PDF     YouTube (12:02)  
 Synclavier³ Digital I/O Card Installation    PDF     YouTube (3:14)  
 Synclavier³ Core MIDI Implementation    PDF     YouTube (4:34)  
 Synclavier³ Sound File Contextual Menu Update    PDF     YouTube (3:07)  
 Synclavier³ Installation Verification Test    PDF      
 Synclavier³ Monophonic Sampling Option Support    PDF      
 Synclavier³ Timbre Library Edit and Export to Go!    PDF      
 Synclavier³ Serial Port Usage    PDF      

Right: The Contextual Menu in the Asset Library Window can call up a sound file to any Partial Timbre with a single click. The sound file is stored on your Mac® and can be in AIFF, WAV, CAF or Synclavier-Native format. See more screen shots on our Synclavier³ Screen Shot Page.

Here is shot of our very first BTB-1 production unit. We have tested BTB-1 No. 1 with two Synclavier® systems, two Thunderbolt-1 Chassis, several SCSI hard drives and a Tahiti III optical drive. We have also tested with a Direct-to-Disk. See some more photos on our Hardware Summary page.

Some interior shots of the Tunderbolt-1 Chassis are available in our Thunderbolt-1 Assembly Guide. Installing the PCI-Express Digital I/O Card in a PCI-Express Mac® would be very similar.

PCI-1 Hardware Interface
The PCI-1 interface card can be used with the latest Intel-based computers from Apple by using a PCI Expansion System available from Magma. Their CB1H Half Length 1 Slot PCI Expansion System is fully compatible with the PCI-1 interface card. The PCI Expansion System connects with your Macintosh using a host card appropriate for your computer model - either their SUBEC34 ExpressCard/34 (in the case of a MacBook Pro) or their SUBPEHIFX1-CB PCI Express host card (in the case of a Mac Pro desktop unit). Learn about the Magma Expansion Systems directly from Magma. Note - be sure to use the latest SynclavierX release in this configuration!

Hardware Support
For questions or support regarding legacy Synclavier® hardware, please use the contact information below to contact your Synclavier® technician of choice. Synclavier Digital is not able to provide any support relating to original Synclavier® hardware.

Software Support
Limited email support for any Synclavier Digital software product is available for licensed users by purchasing an email technical support incident appropriate to the product from our Kagi on-line store. I generally try to provide 24-hour turnaround for email technical support incidents. Please include the incident number in the subject of your email so that your email gets through my spam filter. The support email address is techsupport .at.

Contact information
  Synclavier® Digital     E-Mail       
  Marcoulier Audio     E-Mail       
  Synclavier® European Services   E-Mail  
Synclavier® is a Registered Trademark of Cameron W. Jones.
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