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3DM



Joined: 26/04/12
Posts: 4
Breakthru + for the Atari ST.
      #984347 - 26/04/12 04:15 AM
Hi all,

To my horror I've discovered that all my copies of the aformentioned sequencer, Breakthru+ (reviewed here: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may01/articles/atarinotes.htm) seem to be not loading.

This is a major blow to me, as I have two sets of MIDI networks set up specifically to run using the Atari STE as the MIDI hub, as Breakthru + uses the serial port of the Atari STE as a second MIDI port, in effect giving you 32 MIDI channels as 'Bank A' and 'Bank B' in the software.

However, it's all for nothing unless somebody out there can tell me where I can track down another copy of this software (which I brought new by mail order), because I can't seem to find it anywhere online.

I've never been that interested in using Cubase (not even now), because it doesn't really suit a more non-linear 'breakbeat' style of creating music, and for this reason, I've been using Fruity Loops on the PC, but MIDI latency on the PC is diabolical, hence why I want to continue using the STE for MIDI projects.

Somebody please help me out of this fix!
:-(


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David EtheridgeModerator



Joined: 10/04/02
Posts: 1014
Re: Breakthru + for the Atari ST. new [Re: 3DM]
      #984372 - 26/04/12 08:58 AM
Hi 3DM,
sorry to hear of your plight. In answer, I had a quick shuftie around the net to see if Breakthru was available as a download: so far not a sausage, and according to the Yahoo Atari MIDI group, Breakthru was still being sold only a few years ago -a snip at $200!
So when all else fails, Barrie at Keychange is your man. He usually has copies of just about everything in stock, or should know where you might be able to get them.
www.keychange.co.uk as usual (usual disclaimer).

Let us know how you get on.

Best wishes,
Dave.



(Blimey! I've just seen that this is my 1000th post )

--------------------
Lots of Ataris which keep on going, 12 Kurzweil 1000 modules, a bunch of hardware synths. Still recording to tape -the old ways are best.....

Edited by David Etheridge (26/04/12 08:59 AM)


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3DM



Joined: 26/04/12
Posts: 4
Re: Breakthru + for the Atari ST. new [Re: David Etheridge]
      #984425 - 26/04/12 12:19 PM
Thanks David, I shall definitely investigate this guy, as I didn't know about him before.

Yes, it's odd, isn't?

I'm sure there are many other people aside from me that made/are making use of the Replay 16/Breakthru/Breakthru+ combination of hardware and software, but if you look online it's almost as if we don't exist - it's all about Cubase, Notator et al.

When I was at University studying audio production, they tried to indoctrinate us all into using Logic, but I always found that the interface got in the way of being creative (everything buried in menus, too much time spent setting it up etc), which is why I've ended up using Fruity Loops, as the interface is very well designed and allows you to work quickly and intuitively.

It also encourages experimentation, that most important of artistic endeavours.

The applies to Breakthru+ too, which is why I want to continue using it, as not only does it effectively double the number of MIDI devices you can use in realtime, but it has the excellent 'Diamond Drag' editing system, which is always a pleasure to work with, and allows you to try out ideas very quickly and easily.

By the way, where did you see Breakthru+ being sold?


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David EtheridgeModerator



Joined: 10/04/02
Posts: 1014
Re: Breakthru + for the Atari ST. new [Re: 3DM]
      #984809 - 28/04/12 01:53 PM
Quote 3DM:

Thanks David, I shall definitely investigate this guy, as I didn't know about him before.



Ah well you do now. Without Barrie the entire world of music making on Ataris would be that much poorer -and I couldn't get anything fixed on the rare occasions that things go phut (not bang!).

Quote:



I'm sure there are many other people aside from me that made/are making use of the Replay 16/Breakthru/Breakthru+ combination of hardware and software, but if you look online it's almost as if we don't exist - it's all about Cubase, Notator et al.





Well only up to a point. Obviously Cubase and Notator are the highest profile stuff, but look here:

http://tamw.atari-users.net/timidi.htm

And you'll see a bunch of other programs which (with the exception of Notator and Cubase) are FREE downloads for you to try out. These are formerly commercial progs that the wonderful Tim Conrardy (RIP) managed to persuade the original authors to make freeware. So you'll find some terrific stuff like Dr.T's Omega which have a very quirky approach, and still have their adherents. The point being that you can check them out and see what works for you.
I've tried Master Tracks Pro and Editrack/SMPTE track myself and MTP is fine , but I never got any joy at all with Editrack, and I don't know why! Horses for courses, I suppose.
Quote:



When I was at University studying audio production, they tried to indoctrinate us all into using Logic, but I always found that the interface got in the way of being creative (everything buried in menus, too much time spent setting it up etc), which is why I've ended up using Fruity Loops, as the interface is very well designed and allows you to work quickly and intuitively.




I'll agree here -Logic is the equivalent of driving the Starship Enterprise to Sainsburys -all those features and side rooms full of extraordinary stuff. Three weeks of playing with those side alleys of stuff and can you remember what you were trying to do in the first place? That's why I (and a lot of other Atari folks for that matter) stick with Notator over Logic; by comparison its very easy and intuitive: QED.

Quote:

It also encourages experimentation, that most important of artistic endeavours.




Exactly, and if you're comfortable with it, that's all you need to consider.

Quote:

The applies to Breakthru+ too, which is why I want to continue using it, as not only does it effectively double the number of MIDI devices you can use in realtime, but it has the excellent 'Diamond Drag' editing system, which is always a pleasure to work with, and allows you to try out ideas very quickly and easily.

By the way, where did you see Breakthru+ being sold?




I agree. There seems to have developed this 'add more features/options at all costs' approach to progs. The amount of available RAM in todays computers may have a bearing on it -Atari progs were lean and mean to squeeze into 1 meg's memory in most cases. Just looking at the manuals for the latest versions of Logic and Cubase makes you wonder how on earth newcomers get to grips with a program of this level. The quick answer is that they don't; I'm currently assisting a friends daughter with A2 Music Tech and we're wrestling with the vagaries of Cubase and incompatibility between versions 4 and 5. All we really want to do is save a song as a MIDI file, which newer versions of Cubase all seem to want to convert the data to audio at the drop of a hat, and miss out controllers, setups, and even MIDI channel numbers. By comparison, Cubase v.2 on the Atari is a doddle!

They seem to have lost sight of the acronym KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.

In answer to your last question, Breakthru being sold was mentioned on the Atari MIDI users forum:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/atari-midi/

Do a search of the postings there and you'll find some interesting stuff.

Hope this all helps,
Best wishes,
Dave.






--------------------
Lots of Ataris which keep on going, 12 Kurzweil 1000 modules, a bunch of hardware synths. Still recording to tape -the old ways are best.....


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3DM



Joined: 26/04/12
Posts: 4
Re: Breakthru + for the Atari ST. new [Re: 3DM]
      #984956 - 29/04/12 11:17 PM
[groans aloud]

Oh dear, you are not convincing me about the 'benefits' of Cubase!


A few years back I actually got from a fellow Freecycler a copy of "The Hit Kit" for the PC, which contains a cut down version of Logic (I think). I installed it once, and yes it did manage to cope with some MIDI keyboard input, but compared to Fruity Loops it just seemed so dull I haven't used it since!

It's very telling that a lot of the Hip Hop, Dubstep and Grime producers are using Fruity Loops and (on the whole) making interesting tunes, but it seems to be the (ahem) cheesy Pop producers that like to use Logic - go figure!


I've met quite a few people over the years who seem to spend their time (and money) on the latest gadgets and software, and then proceed to spend the rest of their time fiddling with software/hardware settings rather than actually completing any tunes, although this may say something about them more than what they're using!

Ultimately the clue is in the name.

It's all MUSIC technology and should be treated as such.

It's all there to help us make ART, and although fun to use, is not an end in itself but a means to an end (i.e. tools of the trade), that being to create interesting electronic sound worlds.

And yes, I too enjoy the directness and simplicity of the older software and hardware, as it forces you to focus on what is important:
MAKING MUSIC!

Speaking of which, here's where to find some of my material:

http://soundcloud.com/3dm-1

http://www.myspace.com/threedm

http://www.youtube.com/3DMtunes

I'm just starting to build a new track at the moment, as someone was kind enough to GIVE me a Casio HT-700 last week (it's got one broken key, but he gave me the missing key too), which if you delve into programming patches on it, it makes some deliciously organic sounds. Alas, I don't have a RAM card so at the moment can't store any custom patches, although this in itself is no different to older analogue synths that had no patch storage (I have a Yamaha CS-5 so know what this is like), so I'm used to not being too precious about the patches I make - you program it, you play something, you record it, then move onto the next project.

It also has some great lofi drum samples - perfect for making breakbeats from, with nice punchy kick and snare sounds.

There are quite a few mid '80s Casio and Yamaha 'home keyboards' (PSR/PSS/HT/CT series) which have quite decent synthesis capabilities tucked away in them, but at the moment they are being completely overlooked by most people (hackers and benders notwithstanding), which means they either turn up in charity shops for next to nothing, or are being literally given away, much like a lot of 'electric organs' are, although I don't have the space for them!

Edited by 3DM (29/04/12 11:20 PM)


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 9130
Re: Breakthru + for the Atari ST. new [Re: 3DM]
      #984980 - 30/04/12 08:47 AM
Quote 3DM:

I'm sure there are many other people aside from me that made/are making use of the Replay 16/Breakthru/Breakthru+ combination of hardware and software, but if you look online it's almost as if we don't exist - it's all about Cubase, Notator et al.




I used Replay 16 quite a bit back in the day, but I always thought Breakthru was horribly clunky...

Quote 3DM:

When I was at University studying audio production, they tried to indoctrinate us all into using Logic, but I always found that the interface got in the way of being creative (everything buried in menus, too much time spent setting it up etc)




Actually, I've always thought that one of the plusses of Logic compared to other sequencers/DAWs is just how much you can do with a "simple" interface, how little you need to go to the menus to do the regular music sequencing/recording stuff (though of course the advanced functionality is there should you need it) and how simple and streamlined Logic is compared to the front end of other DAWs, which are just multicoloured button cities a lot of the time.

Quote David Etheridge:

I'll agree here -Logic is the equivalent of driving the Starship Enterprise to Sainsburys -all those features and side rooms full of extraordinary stuff. Three weeks of playing with those side alleys of stuff and can you remember what you were trying to do in the first place? That's why I (and a lot of other Atari folks for that matter) stick with Notator over Logic; by comparison its very easy and intuitive: QED.




I *loved* Creator/Notator - it was my first professional software, and for someone used to spending maybe £30 on software, it was my first, as a kid, real investment of serious "hardware" money into software, and I spent *many many* hours with it. However, it's limitations - that Logic was specifically designed to overcome - eventually became annoying and while I originally bought the Logic upgrade mostly to get the Log3 and Notator, soon found myself moving to Logic exclusively because of the vastly superior arrange and environment functionality.

And in fact even back then, the first versions of Notator Logic had basically the same functionality (in sequencing terms) as Notator but was vastly simpler and cleaner on screen to work with.

Ah, memory lane... twenty years on and I'm still using Logic...


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3DM



Joined: 26/04/12
Posts: 4
Re: Breakthru + for the Atari ST. new [Re: 3DM]
      #986013 - 06/05/12 12:49 PM
Delayed reaction due to being busy this week!

I've never used Notator or Creator (they were very expensive back in the day) so can't comment on what they're like, although I doubt they give you access to 32 MIDI channels or allow you to do simultaneous MIDI and sample playback from the ST, which is why I stuck with Breakthru+.

However, having said this, now they're available on free download I'll give them a go and see what they're like.

As someone who had Logic forced upon them by a university curriculum, along with lecturers that tried to claim it is an 'industry standard' (I'm always suspicious of anyone that tells me this sort of thing, as this stance attempts to actively discourage critical, creative thinking) and so I had to use it under sufferance, despite knowing full well better designed music/audio software was available on both the PC and Mac.

Given this you will be hard pressed to convince me that it is anywhere near useful for my purposes now, as someone who has spent two decades making electronic music by many different methods, including hardware based sequencers.

I have an MC-303 and a Rm-1X for example, and have gigged with the MC-303 many times. I've also written loops and melodies on Gameboys and BBC micros (writing my own code in BBC BASIC to do this), and have even been known to use my Stylophones to knock out tunes, as I have an original 1970s model (with real transistors making the notes!), as well as the newer digital version, along with a vast assortment of other musical oddities (reed organs, Melodicas, Autoharps, mbiras, percussion instruments etc) which at various times make it into my tracks.

I stand by my criticism of Cubase too (yes I have used this software as well), as it mainly lends itself to a more linear approach to composition, and it only makes sense to use it if you're making more loop based styles of music like House or Techno, or more conventionally structured Pop music, but it's a lot less useful for building more non linear and experimental cut'n'paste styles of music, like breakbeat (in all its forms), HipHip etc.

In short, these programs (Logic, Cubase et al) don't really encourage you to think outside the box that much, which after all is what any half decent creative artist should be doing, whatever their medium.


The new track incorporating the HT-700 is now up, so go check:

http://soundcloud.com/3dm-1/fabrications

Edited by 3DM (06/05/12 12:50 PM)


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