13 March 2008

AMIGA LUV


You fucking kids today don't know you're born. Back in the day, when men were men and computers were clunky, funky steam-powered boxes, we made 8-bit beats with just 512k bytes of RAM. I bought my Amiga 500 sometime in 1992, and it felt like I'd been given the keys to the studio - the possibilities seemed limitless. The Atari ST might've had the built-in MIDI ports and Cubase platform, but the Amiga could be used as an all-in-one sampler/sequencer which, combined with a Fostex four-track recorder and a little Zoom multi-FX box, was all I needed to get on the path to 'serious' music production on a tight budget. The midi interface, analogue synths and sound modules came later, but right through the '90s, the Amiga (shortly upgraded to an A1200 with - gasp! - 2meg of RAM) was always the nerve centre, sending instructions along the midi-chain.

Commodore Amiga, I salute you!

13 comments:

  1. Yes! Back in the early 90's we used to play gigs with an Amiga 500 and an Amiga 600HD, both running OctaMED, chained together with a Null Modem cable and both sharing a single second-hand green screen monitor with a splitter cable! Loading inbetween song used to be pretty hairy, let me tell ya! Laptops?! Kids have it easy these days... bah, grumble, etc...

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  2. Yeah, used to use an Amiga 500 with OctaMED too - eventually upgraded to a 1200...them were good days!

    Still, you kids didn't know how good you had it either, with yr fancy la-di-da Amigas and whathaveyou - when I first started it was a mono cassette-recorder (lol!), c-45 tapes from woolworths, a razor-blade and a borrowed Gem kit-synth; later in the early 80s I bought a second-hand Teac 4-track (still got it)...still no sequencer at that point - everything was overdubs and edits...first 'proper' synth was a syn-drum bought in 1980 with my first full monthly wage-packet...

    *sigh*

    Now, any monkey with a ripped copy of Fruity can make a tune. Which is fair enough, but it's nice to remember back when things required a little more effort or commitment, y'know what I'm sayin'? That if you were gonna get into something then you would find a way to do it and put the hours in.

    (Cliche alert!): It's become just a little too easy to make stuff or track down slightly more obscure tunes or music on-line...'course the convenience of modern tech is great; it ups yer work-rate, etc (plus the old adage of 'no pain, no gain' is a crock o'shite where artistic endeavours are concerned, but there's more, I dunno, satisfaction at the end of the day when you roll up yer sleeves and get stuck-in old school stylee...I still use analogue media whenever I can, even if the eventual mastering is done digitally for 'convenience'...)

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  3. lol! i was wondering if some old git would post something like "you were lucky, when i were a nipper we made tunes with a cardboard box and a broom handle".

    of course, i started out with the cassette recorder and casio sk a few years earlier, which is prob why the leap up to amiga was so mind-blowing.

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  4. Lol!

    Well, these days I *do* actually seem to be making "tunes with a cardboard box and a broom handle". Looks like I've gone back to my roots and then some. One of the few good things about this era is that any approach is up for grabs.

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  5. pfff! Luxury! You guys and your fancy "sequencers." Back then I had a porta07, a Dr Rhythm, some pedals, and an 8 second Gemini sampler with volatile memory and no editing or MIDI.

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  7. FIRST OLD GEARHEAD:
    Aye, very passable, that, very passable Fruity project.

    SECOND OLD GEARHEAD:
    Nothing like a good software DAW, eh, Gutta?

    THIRD OLD GEARHEAD:
    You're right there, Kek.

    FOURTH OLD GEARHEAD:
    Who'd have thought sixteen year ago we'd be sittin' here blogging about it all, eh?

    FIRST OLD GEARHEAD:
    In them days we was glad to have a copy of Cubase on the old Atari.

    SECOND OLD GEARHEAD:
    A cracked copy of Cubase.

    FOURTH OLD GEARHEAD:
    Without RAM or hard drive.

    THIRD OLD GEARHEAD:
    Or dongle.

    FIRST OLD GEARHEAD:
    On a broken Atari, an' all.

    FOURTH OLD GEARHEAD:
    Oh, we never had a computer. We used to run it off the telly. Or kettle.

    SECOND OLD GEARHEAD:
    The best we could manage was to bang the Cubase box with a broom handle in time to our pause tapes.

    THIRD OLD GEARHEAD:
    But you know, we were happy in those days. Pioneers of the universe we were.

    FIRST OLD GEARHEAD:
    And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

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  8. Aye, Electronic Skiffle, it were...

    Actually (not making this up) a mate of mine used to have an Edison wax-cylinder cutting machine and some blank wax-cylinders back in the 80s that he'd bought in a junk sale...

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  9. LOL!!! Glad you picked-up on the Pythonesque tone, Paul.

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  10. Nowadays I have to make my tunes on a computer with only one one screen! And I don't even have logic. Its ridiculous I tell you.

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  11. Atari 1040 STE ftw!

    the trackers on the Atari (Noisetracker, Audio Sculpture, TCB, Digicomposer) were every bit as good as the Amoeba ones. well, except for Octamed i suppose - but you Commodore brats don't know what creativity is until you're confined to just four channels.

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  12. Yes I remember the Amiga! I used to use Octamed (from a free copy on CU Amiga) with a stereomaster (a bit like Technosound Turbo) sampling cartridge - I remember when I bought it, and learned how to make loops - you could edit stuff on the screen! When I went to Akai samplers a few years later, it seemed a step backwards, editing wise. Funny how trackers are seen as old school, when some of the most complex and mind-blowing programmed music (Venetian Snares for example) can be made on it. I just used to make crappy rave tunes though. Renoise is the tracker of choice nowadays. Anybody remember Notator/Creator on the Atari ST?

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  13. Anonymous2:27 AM

    Cool man..
    Amokian

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