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Atari planned a keyboard and synthesiser, early on?

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#1 ilaskey OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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  • Location:UK

Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:50 AM

I've just been reading some old UK music magazines and one from April 85 has the following quote:

The projected package deal of the top-of-the-range 520ST (that's the 512K version) plus a colour monitor and 1 megabyte disk drive is likely to sell for between £800 and £900, and if you bear in mind that the equivalent (though still only monochrome) Apple Macintosh system costs well over £2500, that's exciting by any standards. When you add on the ST's wonderful Mac-type Digital Research GEM operating system, the built-in MIDI port, the MIDI software that companies are already developing for it, and the addon keyboard and digital synth that Atari have produced for it, there's really not much doubt left in my mind about Tramiel's claim that, 'by 1986, we will have captured 25 per cent of the UK home computer market'.


I know about the Hotz Box from later on but what could they have been referring to here?

#2 MrMaddog OFFLINE  



  • 850 posts
  • Not a 'gamer' but a video game player...
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Posted Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:00 PM

They should have released a FM Synth player even if it was just for games with MIDI music...

Edited by MrMaddog, Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:01 PM.

#3 oky2000 OFFLINE  



  • 1,941 posts

Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 6:19 PM

Of all the things that REALLY held back purchasers of the ST in the mid 80s it was the sound chip. Yes you can all hate me for it but the simple fact is even Amstrad/Sinclair owners didn't like their sound chips. Had the C64 not been such a great seller by the time of the 520stm+sf354 pack in spring 1986 release it would have sold much better. Actually the two things that REALLY aged the ST artificially was hideous borders around the screen and that horrible sound chip. Yes genius coders did produce the Beat Dis demo for the ST and it sounds fantastic but genius coders were a rare species.


However Atari could have fixed this problem overnight, they could have used the cartridge port for something and put a decent soundchip on a cart (samplers on cartridge had built in DACs so clearly possible) or made a VERY cheap midi sound module (although this means like PC Dos gamers with Roland MT-32 means no sfx worth a crap for gaming).


They chose to do neither, Commodore eventually bumbled into the idea of a cheaper Amiga (the hideous A500) and that was the end of the future of the ST really, especially once teenagers had seen some HAM porn images on disk lol. Shame because the ST is a really nice home computer but having a C64 style border around the image and a Sinclair/Timex sound chip instantly dated a very powerful home computer. They should have left out the side borders at least and done something useful with the midi ports/cartridge ports to help the creative/gaming purchaser.

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