MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Somewhere to chat about MIDI music creation, sequencers and related hardware

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atarieterno » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:20 pm

mrbombermillzy wrote:Actually, the version I have managed to find in my Atari files archive today was downloaded from the Steinberg FTP site! :( Probably needs a dongle then


In addition to needing a dongle, I think the downloadable version of Steinberg's FTP was corrupted.
I have already uploaded an original version in this thread that works correctly with any Cubase Audio dongle.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby leech » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:23 pm

Atarieterno wrote:
fidzen wrote:Sorry for interrupting this thread, but I wonder how the CBX-D5 is used with a Falcon for audio?
When I was recording with Falcon back in the days I used JAM IN 8 and OUT 8. I have never heard
about the CBX-D5, and it sounds very interesting.


I have not tried it with the Falcon, but I imagine it works in the same way as the other members of the family (ST, Mega ST and TT).
The main utility of the CBX is that it provides audio recording capabilities to Atari models that are not Falcon (or C-Lab), and it does so with excellent A / D converters and other improvements over the Falcon. Being a processor independent of the computer, avoid the demanding tasks that the Falcon itself has to support natively for audio recording.
The version of Cubase Audio CBX is 1.1 and therefore a little more austere compared to v2.06 for Falcon, but it has specific functions for the CBX device (for example the effects).


leech wrote:So now I should find a Replay 16? This is getting pricey. Haha


We are talking about skyscrapers and are you going to worry about a tent? :mrgreen:
Replay 16 is a toy... beautiful, but toy :cheers:

Ha! Gonna have to remember that saying about the skyscrapers.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby leech » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:24 pm

Rustynutt wrote:
leech wrote:My TT now has a 1024x768@256 now, (waiting for info on upgrading the Spektrum's memory), and has USB, and Ultra Satan (though thinking of getting a new CosmosEx to throw internally).
I saw here that someone was selling Cubase Score, but it was for 220£ I'll see about finding that, also found someone on ebay currently selling the Midex, so may pick that up.
Thanks!


I have a message in with Freddie about the memory upgrade. He's been on Holiday.

Awesome, thanks!
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:05 pm

Leech; why not try the TT hi res mode? Its more screen estate than that VME slot graphics card (unless you need the extra colours for music sequencers! :lol: ).

Going back to the Replay 16, I picked mine up recently for ~£30 so shouldnt break the bank. If you use Sequencer One or Breakthru then its a great fun way of getting into sampling without elaborate setups, MIDI complications or high costs. Just the sampler, ST and sequencer. You can then put whatever MIDI synths you have into the setup to beef the sounds up a bit.

Back in the day, I never noticed the quality being particularly bad in 1 channel mode (although every extra channel played up to 4 reduces quality as it has to essentially multiplex the channels), and if you REALLY need a modern professional setup then even the 'skyscrapers' (CBX) quality is a bit lower than whats standard fare these days.

So it all depends.. Do you have some fun and dabble, or take time to setup a more professional system?

Atarieterno wrote:I do not know that Replay with steroids, but I would like to have more information. :cheers:


I REALLY dont have time to look through 30 odd issues of ST Format (sorry! :D ), but its DEFINITELY in one of them at a much higher price. However, as I never really saw the first version of the Replay 16, it may have just been the same unit with the price vastly reduced to pick up the sales (same as the ~£4k to ~£1500 price reduction of the CBX-D5's).

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:15 pm

Aha! Here it is!

It was made by the same guys as the Replay16, but they were called 2bit systems/AVR before being distributed by Microdeal.

https://temlib.org/AtariForumWiki/index ... _Series_16

Seems that it had an external PSU, but even then I dont know whats inside the Replay16 (I havent taken mine to bits yet!) so cant really compare the circuits.

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby leech » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:20 pm

mrbombermillzy wrote:Leech; why not try the TT hi res mode? Its more screen estate than that VME slot graphics card (unless you need the extra colours for music sequencers! :lol: ).

Going back to the Replay 16, I picked mine up recently for ~£30 so shouldnt break the bank. If you use Sequencer One or Breakthru then its a great fun way of getting into sampling without elaborate setups, MIDI complications or high costs. Just the sampler, ST and sequencer. You can then put whatever MIDI synths you have into the setup to beef the sounds up a bit.

Back in the day, I never noticed the quality being particularly bad in 1 channel mode (although every extra channel played up to 4 reduces quality as it has to essentially multiplex the channels), and if you REALLY need a modern professional setup then even the 'skyscrapers' (CBX) quality is a bit lower than whats standard fare these days.

So it all depends.. Do you have some fun and dabble, or take time to setup a more professional system?

Atarieterno wrote:I do not know that Replay with steroids, but I would like to have more information. :cheers:


I REALLY dont have time to look through 30 odd issues of ST Format (sorry! :D ), but its DEFINITELY in one of them at a much higher price. However, as I never really saw the first version of the Replay 16, it may have just been the same unit with the price vastly reduced to pick up the sales (same as the ~£4k to ~£1500 price reduction of the CBX-D5's).

1280 x 960 is TT High. If I can get the memory upgrade for the VME card, it'll do 1280x1024. Also it's a bit faster than the TT's video output. What I should do is get the Falcon setup, and try it there, since I can get 1920x1080 out of that. I need the colors there for Calamus :)
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:36 pm

leech wrote:Also it's a bit faster than the TT's video output.


Is this true? Im guessing that Cubase uses the VDI. In which case, is it quicker to send the data across to a VME card than it would be to use the hi res shifter? Does the graphics cards on board bit blit make a big difference to the speed then?

(Sorry if Im going a bit OT!)

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby leech » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:53 pm

mrbombermillzy wrote:
leech wrote:Also it's a bit faster than the TT's video output.


Is this true? Im guessing that Cubase uses the VDI. In which case, is it quicker to send the data across to a VME card than it would be to use the hi res shifter? Does the graphics cards on board bit blit make a big difference to the speed then?

(Sorry if Im going a bit OT!)

Pretty sure I read that somewhere and saw some benchmarks. Something like 20% faster. I could certainly bench mark what I have now. I do have an ECL adapter so I could bench TT High as well.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:09 pm

You know what Leech? Ive been thinking of asking someone here about speed differences between onboard shifter and VME GFX cards.
Probably a bit too off topic if I explain why this is exciting news for me. Suffice to say, I would be VERY interested for any tests you can do in this depatment.

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby leech » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:13 pm

mrbombermillzy wrote:You know what Leech? Ive been thinking of asking someone here about speed differences between onboard shifter and VME GFX cards.
Probably a bit too off topic if I explain why this is exciting news for me. Suffice to say, I would be VERY interested for any tests you can do in this depatment.

I'll have to dig around, but I could have sworn Frank had posted gembench screenshots of his VME board here on the Atari forums.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=29732&p=317109&hilit=et4000+benchmark#p317109
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atarieterno » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:46 pm

mrbombermillzy wrote:...Back in the day, I never noticed the quality being particularly bad in 1 channel mode (although every extra channel played up to 4 reduces quality as it has to essentially multiplex the channels), and if you REALLY need a modern professional setup then even the 'skyscrapers' (CBX) quality is a bit lower than whats standard fare these days.
So it all depends.. Do you have some fun and dabble, or take time to setup a more professional system?



Dear mate; obviating that we are immersed in a "retro" hobby and that it is currently unnecessary to occupy space with SCSI chains and voluminous hardware complements, I believe that is necessary to remember that the magic is in using our Atari for that, instead of modern devices.
We must also point out that many modern recording systems, with hundreds of plug-ings, infinite possibilities of mastering and a thousand uses integrated in a single program: it is not a guarantee of a good result, at least in what we call "home studio". I have received recordings with a signal-to-noise ratio that seems recorded on a slate disc, and people have modern Cubase with all kinds of compressors, filters and tools for mastering.
Do not underestimate the cleanliness of the CBX with a faithful Atari.
I am delivering audio tracks recorded with the TT and the CBX, and other musicians contribute their tracks recorded with modern systems (Protools, Steinberg, etc); curiously, my "raw" track does not need all the compressors, filters and cleaning that other colleagues need to record acoustic instruments.
Listen to this song (it's not mastered), there are tracks recorded with modern systems and tracks from the old school Atarian, the past and the present coexist:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/8d9g2c3jd ... e.mp3/file
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:37 am

@Atarieterno: Hey nice track! Dont get me wrong. Im not slating the CBX, just saying 16 bit 44.1khz audio isnt at current studio levels anymore.

If anything, Im encouraging Leech to use the lower quality Replay16, which I found quite sufficient for my early tunes...When I wanted better quality samples, I just loaded them into my SY85 sample memory.

Im totally with you with modern stuff. Ive actually given up with a PC music setup to now produce music at some point with the Atari. (My wife is the music 'pro' being an opera singer with a music degree, but I try to write stuff for her.) Im fed up of the complications, crashes and timing problems on my desktop PC setup. The Atari MIDI timing is much better. Cant wait to get it all set up.

@Leech: Thanks for the link. I wil check it out.

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atarieterno » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:55 am

mrbombermillzy wrote:@Atarieterno: Hey nice track! Dont get me wrong. Im not slating the CBX, just saying 16 bit 44.1khz audio isnt at current studio levels anymore.


All the audio recording devices I have for Atari can also record at 48 Khz: Yamaha CBX, Digital Master (Hybrid Arts) and ADAS (Plasmec Solutions).
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:49 am

Atarieterno wrote:All the audio recording devices I have for Atari can also record at 48 Khz: Yamaha CBX, Digital Master (Hybrid Arts) and ADAS (Plasmec Solutions).


I was more referring to the bitrate. People ~10 years ago were using (a better dynamic range of) 24-bit. Not sure what pro studios are using nowadays.

Samplerate 44.1 or 48khz, doesnt make much difference (although again 48khz is old hat; 96khz is fairly common nowadays) and would more depend on the mastering medium (i.e. CD or DAT). Better to record for CD at 44.1 rather than 'dither' a 48khz recording down to 44.1. Vica versa for DAT. (Do people still use DAT machines?)

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:55 am

BTW, if anyone is struggling to find SCSI drives, I got a few of these from my brother out of a work server:

P1010002.JPG


Not sure if they will be ok for a TT/ST/Falcon. Anyone had any experience with these re-badged Quantum drives?
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby charles » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:19 am

they wont work , or atleast not for a st hard hard drive ,,,
we need 2 gb or smaller I believe...most st hard drives are about 200mb or smaller
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atarieterno » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:46 am

charles wrote:they wont work , or atleast not for a st hard hard drive ,,,
we need 2 gb or smaller I believe...most st hard drives are about 200mb or smaller


It's a good time to experiment with SCSI to SD adapters.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atarieterno » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:53 am

mrbombermillzy wrote:
Atarieterno wrote:All the audio recording devices I have for Atari can also record at 48 Khz: Yamaha CBX, Digital Master (Hybrid Arts) and ADAS (Plasmec Solutions).


I was more referring to the bitrate. People ~10 years ago were using (a better dynamic range of) 24-bit. Not sure what pro studios are using nowadays.

Samplerate 44.1 or 48khz, doesnt make much difference (although again 48khz is old hat; 96khz is fairly common nowadays) and would more depend on the mastering medium (i.e. CD or DAT). Better to record for CD at 44.1 rather than 'dither' a 48khz recording down to 44.1. Vica versa for DAT. (Do people still use DAT machines?)



Obviously the current technology and its modern recording systems are not of my interest, I believe that I have sufficient means to record a CD with Atari and that is the challenge.
Regarding MIDI, I use it with Atari since 1985 and will continue to do so while our computers are still alive.
If it were not so, we would not be talking in an Atari forum, where recording audio is expensive and uncomfortable, but charming.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby mrbombermillzy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:01 am

@Charles: I dont suppose you can use these SCSI3 drives JUST for the Yamaha CBX unit then?

@Atarieterno: The SCSI2SD units I have seen are quite expensive. Probably still better economy to use some old noisy 3.5" drives by the looks of it. :lol:

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby charles » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:05 am

I am unaware which drives were for the cbx......
as far as I know anything from the Atari era for
should be asci scsi1 or scsi2 ????
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atarieterno » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:10 am

mrbombermillzy wrote: The SCSI2SD units I have seen are quite expensive. Probably still better economy to use some old noisy 3.5" drives by the looks of it. :lol:


Well, maybe we can do in this forum a project to build a SCSI-SD adapter for € 55, is something that is being studied (there is nothing sure yet).
For the "retro" market that I am seeing, I think that € 55 is cheap.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby charles » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:22 am

just try ultra satan ?
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby leech » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:38 pm

charles wrote:just try ultra satan ?

I have an Ultra Satan already (that's what I've been using). I did just order two SCSI2SDs from Amiga on the Lake (cheapest place I've found them, on sale right now for 66), and I have a NEC CDR-C302 on the way.
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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby edingacic » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:56 pm

You really want a TT030 with at least 4MB ST and 4MB TT ram and a ECL to VGA adapter this setup if you keep it vanilla is the fastest most stable MIDI setup you can have on ATARI. Get SMP24 and MIDEX+ or Friendchip MM1 if you can find one and you will have the best MIDI sequencer with Cubase Score 2.0r7, also don't use cracks but get the Red Dongle :). On the PC side you want a PCI RME card and not the PCIexpress one because MIDI is better... and you can record and input all channels from your mixer into PC for finishing and delivery.

This way you will have tight timing interfacing your Samplers, Keybaords and PC as your hard drive recorder that you can expand or not as you feel. This way you use the best from both worlds. Old ATARI timings but best audio recording. Lets be honest Audio recording is where its at now but MIDI timing is where ATARI was and is today :). I would not invest into these ATARI recording devices nor Falcons for Audio side it is overpriced and not that useful or great sounding to be honest for professional setup.

Look at good samplers like EMU E4XT, AKAI950, s6000, Roland s760 (best timestreaching algo even today). Cheers!

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Re: MIDI Hardware/Software recommendations?

Postby Atari74user » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:22 pm

Atarieterno wrote:
mrbombermillzy wrote:Yeah the Replay 16 was perhaps not Pro quality, but it was fun!
Wasnt there originally a £2-300 version of the Replay16 by AVR?
I remember seeing this in ST Format magazine. Perhaps the more expensive unit had higher quality DACs?


I do not know that Replay with steroids, but I would like to have more information. :cheers:


Yes indeed there was, Pro Series 16, it was AVRs (2-bit Systems) 16-bit forerunner to Replay 16. However there is not so much difference, in many ways Replay 16 was the more 'marketed', tidied up and accessible version. I wrote about on the WIKI amongst other samplers, sampler editors etc... on the WIKI. I am actually transferring all of that stuff I did on the WIKI to my own website which is not public yet. In the meantime, see here, the DACS may be of better quality than that of Replay 16, but of that I cannot comment: https://temlib.org/AtariForumWiki/index.php/Pro_Series_16
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