Bits & Bytes
HOOKING YOUR PC UP TO AN ORCHESTRA
In many situations, nothing beats high-fidelity music to liven up a staid computer presentation. A trumpet fanfare, for example, might highlight a graph showing strong corporate revenue growth. But to ensure that the trumpet doesn't sound like a kazoo, most IBM PCs require the owner to install a sound card. Yamaha Corp. of America believes it has a more elegant solution for those who don't want to fiddle with the guts of their computer.
About the size of a car stereo, the Tone Generator connects to any IBM-compatible PC or Apple Macintosh and can synthesize the sounds of more than 192 different musical instruments--in full, CD-quality stereo. The unit comes with software that helps you tell the computer exactly what notes to play; it can also accept commands from most electronic musical instruments. Although Yamaha is the maker of sound chips found in most popular sound cards, the $449 device marks the company's entry into the fast-growing multimedia PC market.EDITED BY CATHERINE ARNST