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Making History

Looking back over ten years' worth of magazines, it seemed that there were certain moments worth reliving - here are the edited highlights.

In ten years of documenting the phenomena of the hi-tech music scene, a lot of words - wise and otherwise - have appeared in the pages of MT - here are just a few of them.

"As for general portability, the system can be packed into three flightcases - all of which fit into the back of a Ford Capri."
Mike Beecher on the Synclavier II, February '83

"Rock music is not the area of music most likely to benefit from the facilities offered by the CMI, as the instrument is worthy of more than being a glorified bank of presets."
David Ellis on the Fairlight CMI, June '81

"Once the first electric guitar was plugged into an amplifier, the effect its volume had wrote indelible writing on the wall for the big bands of swing. The introduction of electronics will broaden the field of music infinitely."
Warren Cann on the Linn LM1, September '81

"The programming is not easy first time around. You're very familiar with synthesisers, but I bet if you sat and just looked at this, you would not - on a Saturday morning in a shop - have any success."
Dave Bristow on the Yamaha DX7, July '83

"To get the best from this lovely new machine, you really have to use the old, old method of pen and paper to write down rhythms."
Tony Bacon on the Roland TR606, February '82

"I don't think there will be a non-programmable monophonic that is going to beat it for some time."
Dave Crombie on the Sequential Circuits Pro One, March 82

"The Emulator can be a very powerful tool for the creative artist. If enough people take advantage of its capabilities, we are going to make a hell of a lot of money."
David Ellis quoting from the E-mu Emulator I manual, June '82

"Pre-echoes can be generated in real time, and by selecting the pre-delay time in accordance with an algorithm embodying Fourier synthesis and Bessel transforms, it's possible to create multidimensional comb filtering effects, which in turn enables a homogenous ambisonic sound field to be created from a single point source."
Dan Goldstein & Paul White on the Zlatna Panega, April '85

"Like every new sampler, the S900 may suffer initially from the relative scarcity of library sample disks available for it."
Paul Wiffen on the Akai S900, July '86

"The Series III is also a multi-tasking system, which means that unlike E&MM's Editor, it can do several things at once."
Simon Trask on the Fairlight III & Dan Goldstein, April '86

"What we should see as a result is MIDI software that's much easier to use, offers far more musical memory and provides a bigger range of facilities than any package written for today's machines. That, to me, is some prospect."
Simon Trask on the Atari 520ST, July '85

"But now even the 909 is becoming something of a collector's piece... so pick up one of Roland's gems while they're still freely (and cheaply) available..."
Tim Goodyer, Roland TR808 retrospective, November '86

"There's no doubt that digital MIDI sequencing is having a profound effect on the way we record, and maybe even conceive our music."
Simon Trask on Steinberg Pro24, September '86

"I find it hard to overrate the M1. To my mind it represents the most exciting combination of sampled and synthesised sounds yet produced."
Simon Trask on the Korg M1, July'88

"At the risk of having multiple paradiddles played across my temples with Jackboots, I'd say that the SDX is almost too good to let drummers loose on anyway."
Nicholas Rowland on the Simmons SDX, April '88

"I certainly never had any problems with tuning stability - but then I'm a pretty stable sort of person."
Simon Trask on the Cheetah MS6, November '88

"The question on everyone's minds is: will the SY77 be the DX7 of the '90s? That could mean will it leapfrog the competition both sonically and technologically, or it could mean will it be the hardest synthesiser in the world to program?"
Simon Trask on the Yamaha SY77, January '90

"At the end of this sophisticated (maximum 10,000 note) recording section is surprisingly, just a mono output! Don't despair, though, for a stereo placement module is on its way in '83...
Mike Beecher on the Synclavier II, February '83

"To my mind, a whole new generation of musicians will be thanking Oberheim for bringing out the Matrix 1000."
Simon Trask on the Matrix 1000, August '88

"But the biggest innovation must surely be in the provision of MIDI. Gone are the control voltage and trigger ins and outs in favour of this micro controller - a bold first step towards what is likely to become the universal link for the synthesiser."
Mike Beecher on the SCI Prophet 600, April '83

"Button 18 is actually the MIDI. You can choose 16 channels of MIDI. In other words if you've got 16 of the DXs linked up in series and you've got a sequence going, I guess you could link a different channel to each note."
Dave Bristow on the Yamaha DX7, July '83

" you find the 64K RAM card, though there is room for two more memory cards if it becomes necessary in the future."
David Ellis on the Fairlight CMI, June '81

"Halfway through the song, a saxophone solo: 16 bars of human musicianship amongst the sequences. Nobody is interested in synth solos any more - 'no feel...'"
Andy Blake on the Akai EWI, April '88

"Simmons provide a plug-in CMOS memory pack to provide a cheap, quick storage medium which will retain programs for around four years."
Ken McAlpine on the Simmons SDS6, Feb '83

"Quite simply, EII is audibly superior to any other 8-bit sampling system this reviewer has heard. And if all this can be achieved using the current system, why bother going up to 12- or 16-bit?"
Paul Wiffen on the Emulator II, Nov '84

"There are considerable numbers of musicians who are not particularly enamoured of the aural effects of sampled rhythm machines, preferring traditional analogue sounds..."
Dan Goldstein & Geoff Twigg on the Roland TR909, April '84

"As Martin Tennant of Yamaha-Kemble put it: 'If I'd had a quarter per cent share in every CX5M that people wanted to buy when it wasn't available I'd be holidaying in the Bahamas now!'"
David Ellis on the Yamaha CX5M, October '84

"After a couple of hours you're making music. After a couple of days you're ready to set the world on fire. Like I said before, this machine is the argument for drum machines."
Trevor Gilchrist on the Yamaha RX5, April '87

"Few instruments cause as much stir in the MT office as this: a synth that sounds brilliant, looks relatively easy to program and doesn't cost a fortune. Superlatives are not enough."
Dan Goldstein on the Roland D50 (unwittingly starting an advertising campaign), May '87

"There's no doubt now that hi-tech recording is moving steadily towards the tapeless studio."
Simon Trask on the Roland MT32, October '87

"In little more than a year, the range of Atari ST MIDI software has developed dramatically. And it's a trend which shows little sign of abating, as companies who previously wrote for the Apple Mac start to port their programs over to the ST..."
Simon Trask on C-Lab Creator, December '87

"As a machine in its own right, the DMP7 is a step forward of awesome proportions. As an indicator of things to come, its impact could be phenomenal."
Dan Goldstein on the Yamaha DMP7 Digital Mixer, February '87

"For many electro-musicians, the Prophet 600 will become the ideal reasonably low-cost polyphonic, unlikely to become redundant because of its MIDI link - so now's the time to learn to use a home micro or you'll be left behind!"
Mike Beecher on the SCI Prophet 600 April '83

"Whichever way you look at it, the D50 is one hell of a good instrument, and one that has already booked itself a place in the synthesiser's hall of fame, long before most musicians have even set eyes on one."
Dan Goldstein on the Roland D50, May '87

"Whilst kangaroo steak may be an acquired taste, the Fairlight CMI certainly isn't, it's positively addictive."
David Ellis on the Fairlight CMI, June '81

"Roland's curious TR808, however, continues its insistent rattle from transistor radios, and thumps its way across nightclub speaker systems the world over - three years after the last one rolled off the Hamamatsu production line."
Tim Goodyer, Roland TR808 retrospective, November '86

"What Oberheim and Roland proved was that FM was no more the death of analogue synthesis than the LinnDrum was the death of the acoustic drum kit."
Tim Goodyer, Roland Jupiter 8 retrospective, April '87

Previous Article in this issue

Roland Tentrax

Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Music Technology - Aug 1991


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> Roland Tentrax

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