How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

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How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by Walter Ego » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:29 pm

like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Atari-5 ... 20cde87c9c

My 80s Fantasy self wants to get something like this and take the complications of modern DAW setup out of the picture. It was good enough for Vince, right? Maybe?

Whaddya think? I mean, it's got built in MIDI ports...maybe there should be a VSE review of this machine.

Does anyone on the forum still use ancient computers for making music?
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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by b3groover » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Nostalgia is fun and I myself have toyed with the idea of getting an Amiga (just because I always wanted one as a kid) but there is nothing that machine does which a modern DAW cannot do. And in every case I can imagine off the top of my head, a modern DAW would do it better and easier.

That said, if you go into it knowing the limitations, why not? Have a ball!

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by Walter Ego » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:55 pm

I used an Amiga in high school to do cell animation, and found it waaaaaay fun. Using a similar machine to record and edit simple midi tracks is still fairly appealing...
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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:03 am

I gave up in 2005...just too much trouble to keep my ST working after 15+ years.
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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by V301H » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:15 am

My Mega ST 2. I also have the STacy 4 laptop which was great for gigs. Not much need to use them these days.

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by Alex E » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:51 am

I want to. I grew up using Performer on a Mac SE and then a Quadra.

Sadly, I'm so spoiled with modern DAW's these days that I don't think I could adjust to that.

I wonder if it's possible to homebrew some software that let's you control the YM chip inside via the MIDI input? That would be pretty cool.
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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by vcs3 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:51 pm

I have one 1024STe and a Falcon in the shelf,
I like to pass and watch the Atari machine :-)

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by BenR » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:49 am

I used a 1040ST about 6 years ago with "Master Tracks Pro". The sequencing and editing features were fairly user friendly and advanced. I did end up selling it when the novelty wore off though. Then I went back to hardware sequencing once again.

Bought a Mega ST4 machine three years ago from another older local collector, I wanted to try the Atari route once more. I used a copy of the same "Master Tracks Pro" program along with "Doctor T" software, and a Kawai K3 editor called something cheesy like "K-3P0". Again, the novelty wore off after a few months and I sold that one as well.

Even though it may seem cool at first to use an Atari ST for sequencing. There really is a novelty to it, and it really does wear off after a few months. At the end of the day, it's still a bulky and very limited old computer. The mouse is kind of a pain in the a*s and doesn't scroll nearly as smoothly as what you may be use to. Same goes with the keyboard. I got sick of having to really mash the keys to get them to register, and both of my machines belonged to hardcore collectors that always kept them covered and away from dust. They don't sell for much (maybe +/- $100 for a basic machine with software) , so they are cheap enough for you to try out for a little while. You may end up liking it, the software is all free online. But they are heavy and they tend to heat up a room in the summer time. You may enjoy using one, but they do take up an awful lot of space.

One last thing to consider is that in the last few decades, there have been a lot of cool free synth editors online that did most of the same thing that made the Atari ST so exclusive back in it's day.

I really prefer the Roland mc-50 and mc-500 for sequencing, so that may be another option for you to consider, I think that those are so much smaller and easier to use.
Either way good luck, I'd be interested to hear what you decide on. :)

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by th0mas » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:18 am

I recently started running hatari for mac (an emulator) just so I could run stspeech to get those delicious robot samples :D

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by Walter Ego » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:57 pm

BenR wrote:Even though it may seem cool at first to use an Atari ST for sequencing. There really is a novelty to it, and it really does wear off after a few months. At the end of the day, it's still a bulky and very limited old computer.
Hey great. This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for. I can hear myself in your words...knowing my usual M.O., I imagine the novelty might wear off for me too. Since an MC series usually runs 50-100, I think I might try that route. And it's way smaller.

I think I may just pass up the temptation, especially since I don't have the space for it...
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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by Jay200MPH » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:23 am

b3groover wrote:Nostalgia is fun and I myself have toyed with the idea of getting an Amiga (just because I always wanted one as a kid) but there is nothing that machine does which a modern DAW cannot do. And in every case I can imagine off the top of my head, a modern DAW would do it better and easier.
I disagree with this. There's one thing a vintage system does better than a modern, super-bells-and-whistles rig: FOCUS YOU. When I sit down at my computer to make some tunes, there's two things I can do - make some tunes, or flip open a web browser, this forum, twitter, email, and a bazillion other things in the "background". Guess which one I'm doing right now? What you can do with an oldschool computer like that is set it up so that it's strictly music oriented, 100% geared towards doing what you want to do with no distractions. In a way it's more like having a hardware sequencer than a PC, but you still have the benefit of getting to work on a full screen with a full keyboard. So goes the theory anyway.

Now back to what I was actually going to do when I sat down here instead of writing on the forum...

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by princefan3 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:49 pm

i still use mine...loud and proud.....changed the monitor with a flat screen for space....does the job...
this is how i started and ive kept with it ever since....had one go one me, as i left it on all day.

didnt take long to find another for 30 squid.

i like to also keep things seperate from the main computers duties.

i run ( you tube ) on the main computer and copy the music on the atari.

doing sparks ...N0 1 song in heaven sequence at mo....then i kick it off with my 707.

GEEK GEAR.

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by b3groover » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:53 am

Jay200MPH wrote:
b3groover wrote:Nostalgia is fun and I myself have toyed with the idea of getting an Amiga (just because I always wanted one as a kid) but there is nothing that machine does which a modern DAW cannot do. And in every case I can imagine off the top of my head, a modern DAW would do it better and easier.
I disagree with this. There's one thing a vintage system does better than a modern, super-bells-and-whistles rig: FOCUS YOU. When I sit down at my computer to make some tunes, there's two things I can do - make some tunes, or flip open a web browser, this forum, twitter, email, and a bazillion other things in the "background". Guess which one I'm doing right now? What you can do with an oldschool computer like that is set it up so that it's strictly music oriented, 100% geared towards doing what you want to do with no distractions. In a way it's more like having a hardware sequencer than a PC, but you still have the benefit of getting to work on a full screen with a full keyboard. So goes the theory anyway.

Now back to what I was actually going to do when I sat down here instead of writing on the forum...
So it's your computer's fault that you have no discipline?

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by Jay200MPH » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:49 am

^^ What's your point? I get more done when the machine I compose on is not the machine I websurf/play games/check email/distract myself on. This isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, but it's how I operate. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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Re: How many people still use an ATARI ST setup?

Post by b3groover » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:22 pm

Jay200MPH wrote:^^ What's your point? I get more done when the machine I compose on is not the machine I websurf/play games/check email/distract myself on. This isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, but it's how I operate. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
That's all fine and good but it doesn't necessarily prove that an old computer is better than a new computer for music, which was my original point and the one with which you disagreed. I don't play games or websurf on my music machine either but not because I can't. It's because I chose not to. However, if I need to upgrade or register software, I can do that from the music machine easily since it is connected to the web. And I admit, I often check email with it, but usually just to send someone a rough-mix.

I still contend that the convenience and power of a modern DAW far exceeds that of the computer workstations of yesterday, despite any sentimentality, nostalgia, or lack of discipline. Of course, that alone does not invalidate using an older computer. If the shoe fits, wear it. Whatever works for you. YMMV. Etc. etc.

But the larger point is that a computer is a tool. How you use it is up to you. You can't blame the machine for how you choose to use it.

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