Music Documentary (From 1988): Macintosh, MIDI & Music

Remember what is was like to make music back in 1988? Check out this great documentary on MIDI, Macs and Music in the early digital recording era:

Get an inside glimpse into what legendary musicians like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tony Williams & Carlos Santana were doing with Macs over 25 years ago.

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recrea33 said:

Try showing this to a 25-30 year old and they’ll go ‘duh!’


recrea33 said:

Try showing this to a 25-30 year old and they’ll go ‘duh!’

David fab

David fab said:

I’m 27 ans I go ‘duh !’


steve said:

Atari ST Falcon


Ambika said:

Ah, but anyone under 30 will take it for granted; it’s nice to remember when it was all still shiny and new, thanks for the reminder!


Lance said:

Yes – Atari Falcon – by the time I could afford a Mac we were into Logic V9 :)


JoeySchmidtAudioProductions said:

I remember these days fondly as I was just getting into making digital music using my Spectrum computer. I upgraded to an Amiga in the early ’90s and then up to PC in the mid ’90s. Still producing on PC to this day although obviously not on the same hardware!!

bill boyd

bill boyd said:

I started with a spectrum rubber keyboard! My first tune was yesterday (beep-beepbeep)
I then bought a YAMAHA 8 track music computer with an 8 track cartridge, then an Atari with stereo outs, and finally, my first pc, which came with a free Steinberg 12 track
pro 12 recorder, which I quickly upgraded
to a pro 24 and finally Cubase! Musical heaven!

The Guvnor

The Guvnor said:

And today all of that equipment is available as a $0.99 app on a smartphone.

stanly Latour

stanly Latour said:

i still have a Yamaha CXM5 which was 7000nf but never could use it while it has more possiblities then de Mac. So for me it is not the product but the marketing and users who count.Well mucians lets start playing music natural a sax=sax gitar=gitar and a trumpet is a do not replace a drummer in a drumcomputer.human = human

pierre richard petion

pierre richard petion said:

Awesome discovery mac

Sonny Sullivan

Sonny Sullivan said:

This makes you truly appreciate the technology that most 20 year olds view as common place! There would be no Native Instruments Komplete 10 or a Korg Kronos workstation without the innovators of the 70 and 80s

Michael Finlayson

Michael Finlayson said:

I was there. First staff engineer at Unique Recording/MIDI City in NYC, named one of the top five studios in the world for technological advancement during the eighties. Three years in a row.

Thom Thrush

Thom Thrush said:

And where is Microsoft????


Tapps said:

I’m 27 and don’t go duh… I had an apple2… and an original mac.. recrea33 you’re generalization is rather stupid.


davetbass said:

Back before we knew Apple was Evil haha,
actually the enthusiasm of the musicians (and maybe a little relief at less collaboration) is genuine, and makes me realize how lucky we have it now

Edison KNY Ramirez

Edison KNY Ramirez said:

I remember seeing the beige mac and wanting it but held out for the new g3 that was soon to come out and then the talk of a g4…what? What is a grarhead to do?

Edison KNY Ramirez

Edison KNY Ramirez said:

I remember seeing the beige mac and wanting it but held out for the new g3 that was soon to come out and then the talk of a g4…what? What is a gearhead to do?

les Broughton

les Broughton said:

Atari St and an s950 my first taste of music production!!


marknox said:

Too bad Apple has all but abandoned the pro user these days.

Peter Damm

Peter Damm said:

1987/1988 Atari 1040STFM, Atari Mega ST I, Kawai KI synth, Steinberg Pro 24, Cubase, and it took me three days to get it working. I mean when walking through the tracks with the mouse that the sound in under your keys immediately. That was magic!! (and the times you wanted to throw the setup through the window…..but that’s another story) And you know, I still have every part and will use it again when my studio is finished…..hahaha


D-Noise said:

Still going HW since 1983… :)


sethville said:

wow! what a fantastic commercial for apple. notice how they pepper in there a bunch of times how the mac takes care of other stuff besides music programs? whoever produced and made this video better have gotten a raise…


TC said:

Musical Instrument Digital Interface

I remember the excitement of MIDI when it first started in the early 80’s. Music production really moved forward when Samplers, later, arrived. Apple computers were leading the way although the majority of people would have been more likely to use Atari’s. I enjoyed the film, thanks


TC said:

marknox said:

Too bad Apple has all but abandoned the pro user these days.

I say:

Apple give everyone Garageband.


xorcist said:

And here’s what it looked like when I did music and sound design for The Iron Helix in 1993!

Tony Daniel Finn

Tony Daniel Finn said:

I didn’t watch the film, but I appreciate the technical innovation of Apples and Pears.

Billy Furst

Billy Furst said:

Interesting Old School documentary,all those discs lol

My gosh Laurie Anderson’s so called music is anything but -what a fucking unholy noise!


Chan said:

So sad they expected people to believe that all that can only be done on a Macintosh. Everytime someone in that video said “Mac” or “Macintosh” you just could replace that by “computer”. I bet a whole lot of people back then watched that video and said “I can do it on my Atari/Amiga/PC too”.


BB said:

People here keep bashing the under 30 crowd, but who do you think is buying these obsolete beasts decades later?

No shame in picking up a DX7 for $50 and hooking it up to a Macbook Pro.


Dimitrov said:

Example of sequence midi:

Enjoy ;-)

Flyin Eye Project

Flyin Eye Project said:

I had an Apple ][+ & a Passport MPU-401 Midi interface. A 4 track sequencer that I think came with the MPU-401. I used it to drive an Alesis HR-16 drum machine & Ensoniq ESQ keyboard whith sequences I had written by entering the notes on a staff. Basically 12 bar blues backing tracks so I could play guitar to them. Somewhere there is some Fostex 4 track cassette tapes I made with those tracks.
Loved my Apple ][+ that I could take all the hardware for it (drives, printer & printer int.) and use it with the //e and though I never had one, the //GS. When they dropped the ][+ line for the 800k monochrome Mac that wouldn’t use ANY of the hardware and cost $5k, I switched to PC clones and never looked back. Way more power and hard drive space for 1/5th the price. Steve Jobs wasn’t a genius, he was a marketing exec. The WOZ was the true genius of Apple. Steve Jobs turned Apple into a proprietary over priced computer for the Yuppies of that time. I was a die hard Apple fanboy with the ][ series. But I wasn’t rich or blind. Long live The Woz! (Thanks for the US Festivals!!!!)
Steve Jobs turned apple into a cell phone company who enslaves Chinese children. Their work environment is so bad, they have suicide nets surrounding the building. Workers jumping to their deaths wasn’t good for their image. But instead of changing that, they put up nets to they have to commit suicide somewhere other than the place that drove them to it. If you own an iPhone, you are indirectly.

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