the Lexicon Opus

We can only salute the innovative spirit of LEXICON, who, with a solid reputation in the field of digital reverb since the 70s (who has never heard of the PCM 480 or 224, of the PCM 60 or 70 ?) decided to follow in the barely opened tracks of other intrepid adventurers (New England Digital with the Synclavier / Fairlight with the.... Fairlight / AMS with the Audiofile coupled to a Logic 1 or 2 console). They'll go one step further in the concept by proposing one of the first integrated Digital Console/Direct to Disk : the Opus. The Lexicon sound is there alright, but so is the famous Lexicon "user interface" (typical example : the PCM 70) ! In an era where graphical interfaces already exist on personal computers worth $1 000, this fabulous sounding machine (I insist !) offers a control screen reminescent of DOS running on a PC 286 !!! For example : the audio segments, if I remember correctly, are represented by rows of 'X's, framed by 'I's. Three segments on the screen would sort of look like this :





ouch ! ouch !!! Hurry with the eye lotion !!!!!

Composed of two parts, the remote control surface (what you see on the picture above) and the power, processor, converter and hard disk racks, the characteristics were as follows :
  8 track simultaneous recording. 99 virtual tracks but only accessible in packs of 8 on playback. You'll have to 'track-bounce' but that's relatively easy.
  Non-destructive editing : cut, copy, replace, loop, align...
  4 band parametric EQ availible on the 12 channels, on recording or playback. Why 12 and not 8 ? When mixing, 4 external sources can be added to the 8 tracks read internally.
  Backup on Exabyte "faster than real-time". Data is checked while writing.

Having tested the machine for an entire day at Ramsès Studios (Paris) soon after it came out (there was a job position for sound editing work on their projects). I don't know if it was the perspective of working on 'japanimation' all day long or if it was having to deal with the system's user interface all day long... I turned down the job offer.

As far as I know, Ramsès is still the only happy owner of a Lexicon Opus in France.

Other countries, like England, reserved a warmer welcome to the interesting possibilities and future developments of the machine, but that didn't keep it from making its way, a few years later, into the Jurassic Audio Park.



EQ strip