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Issue Number 11
February 1987

Issue Number 11
February 1987

Issue Number 11
February 1987
Page 12

Status report
Issue Number 11
February 1987
Page 16

Ians Quest
ST Log
Issue Number 11
February 1987

four or eight channels. While it may not seem important to you at the outset, you shouldnt bother with accessibility of less than sixteen MIDI channels.

There are many other features available, and Im sure the author of each software program would argue that his features are vital and that Ive overlooked them, but the above five items cover what you should be looking for in a good sequencer - for any system.

The only other feature I should mention, for those who plan to do any recording to a multi-track tape recorder, is some method of synchronizing your computer with tape. This is mandatory if you plan to record music in a more conventional method and are using a small four-track cassette recorder, or are going to a recording studio to use your computer and synthesizers.

But software is only one side of the story: the other is the selection of one or more synthesizers to which you can hook up an 8- or 16-bit Atari. There are hundreds of different synthesizers being manufactured, hyped and sold today, at prices ranging from $2000.00 to _200,000.00 - and up. Obviously, most of us arent in the high-end market, and more and more manufacturers of synthesizers (especially the Japanese) recognize a broad market in home users. Were now seeing more scaled-down versions of high-end synthesizers being put out for the casual musician or home enthusiast. These instruments contain features that, a few years ago, astonished the music industry and caused a revolution in the way music was created.

Perhaps the best known of these inexpensive but powerful synthesizers is the Casio CZ-101. This was the first to offer a number of advanced programming features at an incredibly low price. Released in late 1984 for less than $500.00 retail, theyre now available for $200.00-300.00 just about anywhere. Despite the toy-sized keyboard, the sound is impressive. The CZ-101 quickly found a place in many recording studios and synthesizer labs - right next to the expensive instruments. For anyone just starting out, this is a good first synthesizer. Its inexpensive, it sounds good, it lets you easily learn to program sounds, it allows access to more than one voice at a time, and its MIDIed. You really do get a lot of sound for your money with the CZ-101. For most computer users who want to get into MIDI, the main concerns are cost and ease of use.

Additionally, editing programs are availble for the CZ-101, which will assist you in creating your own sounds for the Casio. A new ST program, CZ Droid from Hybrid Arts, not only helps you in editing sounds, but will actually create new sounds by itself.

Another popular introductory synthesizer is the Yamaha DX100. Yamaha manufactures the DX7 (probably the most widely used professional synthesizer on the market today). The DX100 includes many of the features found on its big brother - but without the larger price tag (list price is $445.00; it can be picked up for about the same amount as the CZ). Its a different sounding instrument and lends itself more to electric pianos, flutes, and things of that nature.


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