Atari ST the Musicians Choice

johnnydodStarred Page By johnnydod, 13th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Hardware

Let look at the fantastic Atari ST the musicians choice in its time it ruled the world

Fighting off competitors like Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga

Atari was founded on 28 June 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney specializing mainly in arcade games, home video game, and home computers it crossed the threshold of the home computer market with the launch of its 8 bit range of computers, and can boast as being the first home computer designed with its own custom coprocessor chip.

The family blossomed from the Atari 400 with the birth of the 800 the Atari XL and XE.

After the Atari 2600 games console was released in late 1977 work on a more advanced and powerful system, working on the 16/32-bit computer system, the Atari 520ST was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 1985

Thirteen years from Atari’s founding.

ST standing for Sixteen/Thirty-two, (16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals) with 512 KB of RAM and a 3½" double-sided double-density floppy disk drive, the Atari ST faced up to the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga competition, and was the first computer to come with a fully bit-mapped colour GUI it was also the first home computer with an integrated MIDI port, all the music buffs were drooling over this.

With its main opponents Apple and Commodore the Atari ST was on the whole, cheaper, faster, and had a higher resolution display, which made it perfect for the business and CAD market.

Tangerine Dream and Fatboy Slim

Thanks to its MIDI port, amateurs and professionals alike had a field day; bands such as Tangerine Dream, Fatboy Slim and the 1990s UK dance act 808 State have all used the Atari ST.

Whilst in other areas it was revered as perfect for CAD and Desktop publishing work.
Other well known music users included.

  • Mike Paradinas and Luke Vibert.
  • Mike Oldfield’s album Earth Moving’s album notes state that it was recorded using an Atari ST and C-Lab MIDI software.
  • In the Paris performance of Jean-Michel Jarré’s album waiting for Cousteau.
  • White Town’s "Your Woman", which reached number 1 in the UK singles charts, was created using an Atari ST.

The first real-time 3D

When it came to games the Atari ST could stand up to the best of the other competitors.

The first real-time 3D role-playing computer game, Dungeon Master was on the Atari, the 3D coupled with its advanced graphics spawned simulation games like Falcon and Flight Simulator II.

MIDI Maze, used the MIDI ports to connect up to 16 machines for interactive networked play.

All these amazing “Firsts” made the Atari ST one of the classic home computers.

More on home computers.




Atari, Coprocessor, Cousteau, Far Boy Slim, Jean-Michel, Las Vegas, Nolan Bushnell, Ted Debney

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Writers write while dreamers procrastinate.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
13th Aug 2010 (#)

What can I say Johnny, you did it again. Another very informative read.

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author avatar Bid
28th May 2011 (#)

Hey, great article!!

The Atari ST Music Scene is still alive!! Check out "Atari Music Network"

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