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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby David Etheridge » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:56 am

Rob456 wrote:

As I read this back it seems a bit of a rambling mess, but well I am eccentric :headbang:


No, you're not rambling at all, and being an eccentric here is a real virtue, as any Atarian (or any fule) kno. :D

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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:44 am

James101 wrote:I've still got two Atari STs, but I can't think of anything I can do with them that I can't do better on a PC/MAC. I remember early home computers like Amstrad used to have programs to easily create vector graphics patterns using points of symmetry or pattern generators that were quite interesting. I've not seen anything quite like that for a PC.

Is there some audio equivalent for Atari, like a quirky program that really isn't available as a PC program? Anything specific/else?

I remember a craze for programs that generated fractal graphics.

When I started with personal computers (Sinclair ZX81 in 1981) I spent most of my time coding in BASIC. The really clever guys (who all seemed to be teenage boys) worked in machine code. As computers became more capable of doing useful stuff, the need for coding diminished. But I do rather miss it.
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby The Elf » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:16 am

I never got into Z80 machine code, but I did a lot of 6502 (Commodore 64) and some 68000 (Atari ST). Compiled languages are all well and good, but if you have speed-critical processes machine code can’t be beaten. Ironically I think a well-structured piece of assembler code is still far easier to decipher than the masses of nonsense you see in a C program – those things are UGLY with a capital UG! With an assembler listing there's not a curly bracket in sight! :D
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Neo-Classical Guitar Man » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm

Rob456 wrote:I'm trying to marry the old with the new. I wont reject the new for old because that's not my style and I do like what I can do with my DAWs Over the years I have learned a lot about writing and mixing songs with basically just a computer and DAW and I wont throw that knowledge away or make the same mistake I made when I moved from a hardware set-up to a DAW only set-up without thinking it through properly. OMG, when I think back to one day I had a full hardware set-up, then suddenly an ITB set-up Im amazed I didn't end up in a ward somewhere. keep in mind that ten years ago DAWs were not like they are today, and neither were OS's :). But im a little bored of the DAW now from an ergonomics point of view, very tired of staring at a screen all the time, I need a change of gig, I want to get a little more organic. Whether the music comes out better or not isn't really the point, its a personal thing. But my hunch is the music will come out better :smirk:

As I read this back it seems a bit of a rambling mess, but well I am eccentric :headbang:

Well I have been nodding like a demented donkey to what you have said. One day I had an all hardware setup with an Atari STE and Fostex digital multitrack, plus Fostex D5 DAT recorder and a few synths, modules, rack compressor/gate etc; the next day I had a big gaping hole in my room after selling my Fostex DMT8 v2 to a policeman in Birmingham and soon after I sold the DAT recorder....then the compressor and so on. I then had TEN painful wasted years of messing around trying to get a PC to recreate my old setup, and it is a battle that I did not win. So I am returning back to my hardware again and possibly a rackmount Fostex multitrack like the D2424LV. For the time being I will be using a Falcon 030 upgraded to 14MB and a 68882 co-processor and some nice Soundpool SPDIF and Steinberg FA8 and MIDEX+ interfaces. I say will be because it is all there setup waiting for me to use it, once I have tidied up my room. I'm also having a retro nostalgia trip with old home micros from my youth, which is making my room look like a bomb site!

As for thinking things through, I am not sure if it is possible to do this. It is too much of a minefield with so many questions and not many good answers. Although I am returning to hardware to rekindle my music making, I do expect to be forced into using PCs again in the future, mainly because hardware does not last forever and doubt manufacturers will return to making hardware again.


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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby tomafd » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:38 pm

My 2 sleep quietly, I hope - they may be dead, since it's about 4 years at least since I booted one up, purely to resuscitate an old tune which had never been audio multitracked (just a DAT master) but needed a revisit for a remix project. I still have most of the hardware that was used, so it was quite a trip to set everything up again, load up the original (12 yr old) floppies and try and get it all to work- most of which was to do with my brain, not the gear (that all worked fine). Amazing how not using a piece of software for a while means you haven't a got a clue how it worked when you go back to it, years after.

But otherwise, for daily music-making, no, the Ataris don't figure much anymore. The hardware I used then does still get used, though- I run a Logic based set up but my synths are mostly hardware, and some sampling duties still done in an Emu that offers something a bit different from Kontakt. Yep, timing issues can be a pain but it's still more fun than doing absolutely everything ITB.
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Rob456 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:02 pm

Neo-Classical Guitar Man wrote:
Well I have been nodding like a demented donkey to what you have said. One day I had an all hardware setup with an Atari STE and Fostex digital multitrack, plus Fostex D5 DAT recorder and a few synths, modules, rack compressor/gate etc; the next day I had a big gaping hole in my room after selling my Fostex DMT8 v2 to a policeman in Birmingham and soon after I sold the DAT recorder....then the compressor and so on. I then had TEN painful wasted years of messing around trying to get a PC to recreate my old setup, and it is a battle that I did not win. So I am returning back to my hardware again and possibly a rackmount Fostex multitrack like the D2424LV. For the time being I will be using a Falcon 030 upgraded to 14MB and a 68882 co-processor and some nice Soundpool SPDIF and Steinberg FA8 and MIDEX+ interfaces. I say will be because it is all there setup waiting for me to use it, once I have tidied up my room. I'm also having a retro nostalgia trip with old home micros from my youth, which is making my room look like a bomb site!

As for thinking things through, I am not sure if it is possible to do this. It is too much of a minefield with so many questions and not many good answers. Although I am returning to hardware to rekindle my music making, I do expect to be forced into using PCs again in the future, mainly because hardware does not last forever and doubt manufacturers will return to making hardware again.


NCGM :)

I hear ya loud and clear.

I was happily going along doing my thing with not a care in the world in regards my music making and then one day I bought a magazine (hmmm, it was sound on sound) and I looked at all these ads with Pro tools on them. Big fancy full page ads with glossy pictures stating "YOU can do it all with this". I had quite an excellent analog setup and then 10 days later it was nearly all gone and I took delivery of a Pro Tools system. I had absolutely no idea what I was letting my self in for.

I must ask you though. Dont you think going all the way back might be a little to much? I understand why your doing it, but I wonder if you couldnt just use your DAW as a big fancy processing tape machine an dyour Atari takes care of all the midi duties. Whilst you say your ten years with your Daw has defeated you I just wonder if its wise to throw away the knowledge you have gained. Im pretty sure you have learned a lot of new tricks.

Ive only been messing around with the Atari/MPC combo a few days now but its definitely working out great the way Im using the DAW for tracking. I still have access to the processing plugins, many of which I like. But now Im getting the vibe again and thats what really counts in my opinion. Of course you have to do what makes you happy, that is the most important thing. Making music was never supposed to be stressful...intense yes, but not hair pulling stuff.

Hardware: You mention that in your last sentence. Some hardware yes I agree...but never say never either. For the last three months Ive been keeping a close eye on Ebay and I have noticed an increase in hardware selling and the prices going up, and I mean any hardware. I've noticed samplers in particular going up in price, digital FX boxes, stuff that you couldn't get tuppence for a year or two ago all going up. Some of the analog stuff is just crazy prices though. I saw TB303 sell for 1800 pounds. The 303 was never 1800 quids worth of goodness. I have a feeling even the crappiest digital synths will start increasing in value. The younger generation I think are becoming obsessed with hardware and If I put my self in their shoes as in never expereinced using hardware to make music I would want to find out what it was like, and I would pay a lot for the privilege. That Falcon of yours might be fetching a grand in a year or two.. :bouncy:...hang on to your hardware, and those old computers.
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Neo-Classical Guitar Man » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:28 pm

The Falcon 030 (I have two actually) will be in my possession for a long time I hope. I've also got three STE machines, all upgraded in some way and one that is a wonderful machine that has been modernised.

As for PCs, I do not plan to stop using them for music altogether as they are far too useful. I think they lend themselves very nicely to offline editing or multitrack mixing with a suitable hardware interface. I have a little old Kawai MM-16 MIDI mixer that I plan on using to mix audio with, and others on the net use them for that too.

Image

Like you say, just do whatever works for you and to hell with everything else. I also have played guitar since 1991 and have a rackmount Marshall setup with 4x12 cab and a humble Yamaha FX500 processor, plus Rolls MIDI Buddy pedal board. After using many different VST virtual plugins like Amplitube and Guitar Rig etc, would I sell my Marshall setup and replace it with software? There is no way in hell I would do this! Plugins are a convenient way of trying out different guitar sounds on a clean recorded signal, to aid in deciding what type of sound you want, but they are not good enough to feature in the final mix. However if I did not have my Marshall setup, I would probably use plugins until I could afford a proper setup.


NCGM :)
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:43 am

Rob456 wrote:I was happily going along doing my thing with not a care in the world in regards my music making and then one day I bought a magazine (hmmm, it was sound on sound) and I looked at all these ads with Pro tools on them. Big fancy full page ads with glossy pictures stating "YOU can do it all with this". I had quite an excellent analog setup and then 10 days later it was nearly all gone and I took delivery of a Pro Tools system. I had absolutely no idea what I was letting my self in for

Yeah. I bought my first Atari on very much the same sort of whim :-) I think you generally buy your first ANYTHING from a position of ignorance. Sometimes you get lucky.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont bore us with beefing about it. Go fishing instead.

Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:51 pm

The Elf wrote:I never got into Z80 machine code, but I did a lot of 6502 (Commodore 64) and some 68000 (Atari ST). Compiled languages are all well and good, but if you have speed-critical processes machine code can’t be beaten. Ironically I think a well-structured piece of assembler code is still far easier to decipher than the masses of nonsense you see in a C program – those things are UGLY with a capital UG! With an assembler listing there's not a curly bracket in sight! :D

It's all about how you write it. In my life I've written literally hundreds of thousands of lines of code in assorted languages, but C remains my personal favourite. You can write rubbish in any language, but I loved the clarity with which I could express myself in C. Java just doesn't cut it by comparison. Sure, the basic syntax is derived from C and the object oriented stuff is well implemented but it's been surrounded by so much cruft in the way of frameworks and annotations and code generators and God knows what that any pretence at elegance vapourised long ago.

Hmmm ... think I'm wandering off topic a bit. Sorry.

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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby fatbenelton » Sat May 07, 2016 10:11 am

Folks,
Somebody is coming to collect all my ST & Notator stuff today so come 1600 I will have ended my ST days! Just wanted to say thanks for all the Atarian support and help over the years!

(Still got my 130XE for Defender!)
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Neo-Classical Guitar Man » Sat May 07, 2016 6:09 pm

Nice to hear from you and I hope your stuff goes to a good home! My Atari days ended last year in 2015 and boy did I have A LOT of stuff to sell on (£4000+ !). I began selling it all, the Falcon 030 machines, the 4160STE machines, the MEGA STE and the huge array of Steinberg and Soundpool interfaces etc. I realised back in 2012 that the writing was on the wall, and that I had gone overboard returning to my retro days in such an obsessional way in 2008. In my case it was more a case of comfort buying, rather than moving forwards towards music again. Added to this my mum became mentally ill and it almost killed her in 2013, so my own life has changed in ways you cannot imagine. I do not regret returning to the Atari computers after an eight year gap, I just regret using it as a sticking plaster for my messed up life.


So in 2012 one or two people on the SOS Forums here mentioned how great IBM Thinkpad laptops were for music (x60s and T60p I think), and in particular a couple of older models. I took a chance and bought the x60s and a Z61p (identical to T60p) used from Ebay for not much money and then heavily upgraded them, and wow....just wow! Talk about the answer to all my prayers and finally arriving at a solution to my needs! I've actually returned to making music both as a listener and a player, although I have not gone completely computerised, e.g. I opted to use a mix of the old and new with rackmount synths and MIDI interfaces, coupled with the modern in a box PC sequencer and audio interface. I have turned most of my rack synths into VSTi plugins sort of, because the Yamaha Studio Connections system provides MIDI plugin control via a GUI of my rack synths, but the laptop is not burdened with having to provide CPU / DSP processing power to them. Despite it being a ten year old laptop with a Core2 Duo T7600 and 3GB RAM, it has an 500GB SSD drive that boots into Cubase in under a minute, and that includes loading up a massive list of VST FX plugins. I also have a 2TB USB 3.0 drive connected to a USB 3.0 port on the laptop. I have twelve IN / OUT via some Edirol USB MIDI interfaces, plus an extra pair on the Edirol UA-101 USB audio interface. There is a lot more to it besides this, but to summarise I FINALLY have a system that allows me to use all my old knowledge and synths etc, along with ultra low latency recording especially for guitar work. It does up to 192KHz if I ever feel the need, although I prefer 24-bit 96KHz. I even added a small automated mixing control surface, the Frontier Alphatrack which is perfect for people like me that lack desk space.
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby fatbenelton » Sun May 08, 2016 12:11 pm

Glad it all worked out for you too! I was keeping it around 'just in case' but then couldn't think of a single scenario when that would be applicable! Not that it's not a relevant tool- just not the tool I needed anymore....
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Neo-Classical Guitar Man » Sun May 08, 2016 1:22 pm

Yes the same applies to me, I had to be brutally honest with myself and ask if I REALLY needed it. Back in early 2000 I became even more interested in my Atari STE than I had EVER been in all the previous years. So I was drawing up lists of hardware upgrades for it, including hard drives, CD-ROM writer, SCSI adapter and a modem to get me on the internet, which had started to really get going. One of my friends had moved over to the desktop PC solution, and had stopped using his Atari and 300MB hard drive. I asked him if he would sell the hard drive to me, but he plain refused which confused me as I was not expecting his response. He then advised me not to waste my time and money on upgrading my STE machine, and so feeling a little dejected I stopped using it and put it into storage for the next eight years. I then began the very long and difficult journey with desktop PC music setups, which I finally solved in late 2012, early 2013.

However back in late 2008 I was on Ebay and saw a listing for two 4MB STE machines, one with an internal IDE interface, external floppy drive, 4160 metal badges and more. So I won the auction for a mere £74 and collected it all one even from a seller in Barnsley. The STE with the IDE drive became my absolute favourite computer, even more so than the two Falcons 030 and MEGE STE I later had. Anyway this started the whole obsessional buying of Atari hardware for the next four to five years. The remaining obsessional behaviour remaining is my addiction to the internet! I have lost sixteen years of my life to that, with very little to show for it. Wish me luck!
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby David Etheridge » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:01 pm

Hi folks,
I've been rather quiet over the last three years, as my studio and Ataris have all been boxed up and have been sitting in the garage. A VERY nasty divorce and financial settlement (still to be resolved) has meant that I haven't had any premises to get it all set up again. :(
However, when the dust settles and I move house, my intention is to get it back up and running and even try expanding my studio still using 30 year old technology.
I'll post here when it happens! :D

Best wishes,
David.
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby fatbenelton » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:39 pm

Sorry to hear that Dave. I hope you and the Atari's get settled soon!

All the best

J
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Re: What are you using your Atari for?

Postby Eazy360 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:44 am

I think it's important to separate i`Atari´ the brand, and the company carrying the Atari name. With that being said...the Atari brand is beloved and has incredibly high nostalgia and attachment among-st all children of the 80s :geek:
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