Atari and Music.

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

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Mindthreat » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 am

Having finally acquired one of these recently, I scanned the included promo material for the Atari Hotz to share - such an amazing device:

h1.jpg
h2.jpg

h3.jpg
h4.jpg


Quick video immediately after unboxing for those interested but will making some new videos in the near future since there aren't very many on YouTube outside of the handful that Jimmy seems to have uploaded himself for whatever reason:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/S7FZnmzFFc8
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:09 am

Mindthreat wrote:Having finally acquired one of these recently, I scanned the included promo material for the Atari Hotz to share - such an amazing device:


Congratulations. :cheers:
A Hotz instrument is my dream, also with the Atari logo.
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Mindthreat » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:41 pm

Atarieterno wrote:
Mindthreat wrote:Having finally acquired one of these recently, I scanned the included promo material for the Atari Hotz to share - such an amazing device:


Congratulations. :cheers:
A Hotz instrument is my dream, also with the Atari logo.


Thanks! Same, I've wanted one since the early 2000s (when I first found out about it) and kind of out of nowhere everything fell into place.

There seems to be quite a few different variants but this one has the Atari logo on both top and back but the back of mine has the smaller Atari logo with the Hotz logo next to it as well. One of the old Atari articles in 89 mentioned it would have both the Atari and Hotz logo on it so I'm wondering if the others were just earlier prototypes.
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:25 am

STacy - Estudio 89.jpg
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby DarkLord » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:47 pm

I surely do recognize that machine - STacy FTW! :)
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby cb170 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:03 pm

Atari MIDI Magazine #1, 1990

https://archive.org/details/AtariMidiMagazine19901

The main article is about the Hotz stuff.

mm1.jpg

mm2.jpg

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby DarkLord » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:47 am

Thanks for that - good STuff. :)
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:16 pm

The amazing ADAP-II with racked Mega ST:

ADAP-II en rack móvil.jpg
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:11 pm

ATARI wiht NOTATOR. Jean Michel Jarre, concert in Paris (France) 14th July 1990.
Source: Atarimania.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRO2EtDQ_nA

notator_trivia_paris_la_defense.jpg


notator_trivia_paris_la_defense_2.jpg


notator_trivia_paris_la_defense_3.jpg


notator_trivia_paris_la_defense_4.jpg


notator_trivia_paris_la_defense_5.jpg


notator_trivia_paris_la_defense_6.jpg
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:21 am

Cubase began its way with Atari, in this image we see the dongles used:

1- Cubeat.

2- Cubase v1 and v2 (black dongle).

3- Cubase v3 (red dongle, also valid for Score).

4- Cubase Score (also valid for v3).

5- Cubase Audio (valid for CBX-D5/D3 and Falcon).

Cubase dongles.jpg
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby cb170 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:02 pm

Image

State of the Atari
Notator & Sound Tools

And my blog post about "Notator HD", mentioned in the above ad:-
http://www.muzines.co.uk/blog/notator-hd/32

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby dbsys » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:21 pm

cb170 wrote:Image

State of the Atari
Notator & Sound Tools

And my blog post about "Notator HD", mentioned in the above ad:-
http://www.muzines.co.uk/blog/notator-hd/32


Wow, what a great blog post and an interesting read! Thanks a lot.

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:28 pm

cb170 wrote:Notator & Sound Tools

And my blog post about "Notator HD", mentioned in the above ad:-
http://www.muzines.co.uk/blog/notator-hd/32


Thank you for sharing that image and that excellent article.
Have you checked the antiquity of other recording systems with Atari, for example ADAP of Hybrid Arts ?, then the Digital Master would appear and in 1991 the ADAS system of Plasmec that worked together with Cubase Midi in any Atari.
I liked that duality that you have shown with Notator and Sound Tools.
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby cb170 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:46 pm

Atarieterno wrote:Have you checked the antiquity of other recording systems with Atari, for example ADAP of Hybrid Arts ?, then the Digital Master would appear and in 1991 the ADAS system of Plasmec that worked together with Cubase Midi in any Atari.


There were some other systems around in this time period of course (there's plenty of info and articles about these products in the mu:zines archive, so my research is helped a bit by that!).

ADAP and the Plasmec system could do sampling/hard disk recording, in conjunction with hardware, much like Sound Tools. These HD systems were starting to be possible, but all required external hardware as the computers of the time couldn't yet handle audio natively at a decent quality. The difference though is that these systems were *only* samplers or hard disk recorders.

A *DAW* as we know it today, combines good MIDI sequencing, and good audio handling. The angle of the article was that Notator, certainly one of the best-in-class sequencers of the time, could potentially *add* integrated hard disk recording, to become a DAW (of course, limited, but compared to what was around, still quite amazing.) The audio handling would have been part of Notator, as it would talk to the hardware directly.

Some of those other systems could kind of integrate with another sequencer, but these generally meant two separate systems, with a sequencer running (eg Cubase), and maybe a desk accessory triggered by Cubase independently for the hardware to trigger recordings. It's not really the same thing. ADAP and Plasmec and the other similar systems were just samplers/HD recorders, not sequencers, and that's the key difference. A DAW, as we know the term, has to do both...

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:55 pm

cb170 wrote: ...A DAW, as we know the term, has to do both...




You're right, although they are all predecessors and in their own way they were used as DAW. The Cubase Audio for Atari and Yamaha CBX also arrived a little later.
So, nobody has that beta version of Notator HD ?, because the image distinguishes the two independent softwares: Notator v3 and Sound Designer II.
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby cb170 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:04 pm

Atarieterno wrote:So, nobody has that beta version of Notator HD ?, because the image distinguishes the two independent softwares: Notator v3 and Sound Designer II.


It was never released, so it probably never left the hands of the developers - and from what I understand, much of this old stuff is difficult to track down, if it even exists anymore. The likelyhood of anyone seeing a copy is extremely low, and the usefulness if probably even lower, due to the hardware requirements (MegaST, Sound Tools Atari, Sound Accelerator Atari card, Sound Tools interfaces etc). Maybe someone out there has a prototype copy, perhaps.

However, it's certainly an interesting development, and I'd love to know more about how it worked and it's features, over what's possible to deduce from info we already know about it.

For me though, most of all, it's a nice answer to the curiosity I had when I discovered that form originally, and as such, it's an interesting chapter in the story of Notator, even if nothing much came of it.

Atarieterno wrote:So, nobody has that beta version of Notator HD ?, because the image distinguishes the two independent softwares: Notator v3 and Sound Designer II.


It's likely that SDII would not be required for general use of Notator HD - it's more like a sample/waveform editor, so you'd use that to do any detailed audio editing on your recordings. But it should have been possible to record, and playback audio from within Notator HD (over the Sound Tools hardware) without requiring other software. But much of this is educated guesswork, without having any further info...

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atari74user » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:19 pm

Very interesting, and good blog about Notator HD, very cool.

As touched on here, we should remember the time, there was technically no concept of a DAW at that time, although we were moving in that direction. By that I am also referring to the term, Its something you see pop up often where people get confused between samplers, multitracks and DAWs, and I appreciate as to why. You often see people referring to samplers as DAWs, no they are samplers, etc... However as alluded to already on this post, the defining moment was D2D / HD recording, that's technically when the sampler started to evolve, and when the possibility of DAW technology began. It's a grey area and open to debate in some ways, however personally this how I would define it, again I appreciate it can be argued how we determine a DAW etc..:

Sampler - Technically the definition would be a tool / device used for digitising sound, typically shorter in length and saved to memory, both software and / or hardware based.

Mulititrack - A device to allow multiple tracks of audio recording, either analogue or digitally.

DAW - Meaning of course Digital Audio Workstation, is exclusive to recording multiple tracks digitally to HD, can be hardware and / or software based, has a central interface, and allows the ability to provide enough features for final 'mix down'.

However this is the grey area, the definition of DAW. Some subscribe to the idea if a DAW is a piece of hardware, it's not a DAW, some take it if it does not provide simultaneous MIDI along with audio it is not a DAW. You have people argue over whether NI's Maschine software is a DAW, and argue because you do not control it solely using a mouse it's not a DAW, ludicrous! OK that example technically is a hybrid of instrument / DAW, but to argue it is not a DAW because of its workflow is nonsense. Again it's technically a feature, although I fully appreciate MIDI Sequencer and D2D / HD Mulittrack convergence are features people would argue define a DAW.

For me personally, I do not subscribe to either, that's not to create a ruckus, but just what I would call pure by definition. After all, before the term DAW was coined, did we not have 'Digital Workstations' or 'Digital Studio Workstations', yes we did. These were DAWs before the term was used, they are digital by nature, have enough features such as effects to apply to final mix, have a central interface from which to allow editing to varying degrees. A lot of these were hardware based, and didn't offer MIDI tracks or operate with a mouse, yet offered digital multitrack recording, effects, digital mixing, a central interface and features for final mix down. Peoples expectation from a modern DAW (Software based, MIDI, Plug Ins, linear workflow), for me do not define what a DAW is absolute, but are an evolution thereof and features we want to exist in our modern DAWs..

The grey area of D2D / HD recorders are where the potentials of DAWs began, coupled with mulitrack ability (greater than stereo recording). Yes it's a grey area because that was the time of the evolution of these technologies, however the constants for a DAW for me are:

- Digital mulitrack recording,
- Additional features to assist with a final mix
- A central interface
- MIDI capability, whether this is external or offering internal MIDI tracks (contentious maybe)

Again this is not to go against anyones opinion, so please don't take any offence, just my purist view.

So where do Atari's Lynex, Sound Tools, ADAP and Plasmec and such like sit. The Lynex, an out and out sampler. The reality of the rest is they are just as mentioned, for the time simply D2D / HD recorders, or hybrids of, not quite a DAW, but the beginning of, not quite the definition of a traditional sampler because strictly speaking they do not save to RAM, but directly to HD, not quite a multitrack as typically they offer stereo at best. By today's standards however, they would simply be samplers. Would I have considered Notator HD as a DAW, why but of course, on the basis that would have offered enough features, in this instance MIDI and multitrack recording. Likewise of course CBXs under Cubase Audio, early DAWs as they offered enough features to warrant the term.

All interesting stuff, enjoyed that blog.
Last edited by Atari74user on Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby cb170 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:03 pm

Thanks - yes, I totally get and agree with what you are saying. A "DAW" can be defined in different ways, and my purpose was not really to categorise them or exclude anything as such. I've chosen to focus on an integrated system which was both a MIDI sequencer, *and* an audio recorder, in the same application, like our modern concept of DAWs (eg Logic, Cubase, Performer etc) are.

And of course I have a nice get out clause, as I'm not claiming Notator HD was the first DAW, I'm saying it *almost* could have been... :wink:

Atari74user wrote:DAW - Meaning of course Digital Audio Workstation, is exclusive to recording multiple tracks digitally to HD, can be hardware and / or software based, has a central interface, and allows the ability to provide enough features for final 'mix down'.


Yes, there is certainly an argument to say that a historically a DAW is any system that can work with digital audio on disk. I also think it's true to a point, and certainly was back then. (Although there is some distinction from, say, a sample editor - but also quite a bit of overlap too.)

However, our terms evolve as the tools do, and really, today's typical use of the DAW term is really an integrated MIDI + Audio (+ FX + Instruments) system - hence the comparisons back then to the Synclavier, which was exactly that (in it's later versions), rather than the few direct-to-disk recorders out there.

Atari74user wrote:So where do Atari's Lynex, Sound Tools, ADAP and Plasmec and such like sit. The Lynex, an out and out sampler. The reality of the rest is they are just as mentioned, for the time simply D2D / HD recorders, or hybrids of, not quite a DAW, but the beginning of, not quite the definition of a traditional sampler because strictly speaking they do not save to RAM, but directly to HD, not quite a multitrack as typically they offer stereo at best.


I think that there's an argument to suggest the systems that recorded to, and played from disk, and had editing features, and maybe could combine tracks and so on - even if they were in a very early limited form, due to the technology of the time - could be considered early DAWs. Back then, as you say, we hadn't really coined or defined a "DAW" - those systems (other than the clear samplers) were mostly described as "Direct-to-disk" recorders, or "hard disk recorders". With features constrained to *only* basic recording and playback, then for me they *barely* scrape into the digital audio workstation category - digital audio yes, "work" not so much... There would have to be more features to turn into a "workstation", for me.

Anyway, people can choose to define these things how they wish, it's all good!

Atari74user wrote:All interesting stuff, enjoyed that blog.


Thanks! :thumbs:

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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atari74user » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:21 pm

I find it interesting, of course I think the reality is you can carve these terms up in different ways, so indeed fully appreciate. Certaintly true as you say, there is a lot of overlap which is why you get grey areas, confusion or 'bones of contention'. However like you it seems, I have an affection for this time, perhaps why I still hold true to Atari to this day, it was a part of this evolution. I am fascinated by the amount 'pro audio' technology that was made available for the platform during it's heyday.

Seriously though, well researched, well presented and well written blog, cheers! I love these little references you sometimes find, either on the internet or publications from yesteryear which seem to spread like breadcrumbs to a fascinating story!
:cheers:
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:02 am

Mega ST was made for music.jpg
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Re: Atari and Music.

Postby Atarieterno » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:51 am

NRI.jpg
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