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Charrisa
August 23rd, 2015, 02:00 AM
Does anyone know of any vintage DAWs? Things like midi sequencers and composers. I have a friend who used to make professional game soundtracks on a DOS machine and I started getting interested in what other old PC/vintage micro comp music studios there were.

per
August 23rd, 2015, 02:16 AM
Of course there were quite a few trackers around for varying machines, but those are very crude compared to modern DAWs. Remember that lots of these old computers are quite slow, and the more business-oriented ones like the IBM PC had very poor sound support untill soundcards came about. Most applications use text instead of graphics, and a lot are written for spesiffic sound chips in mind.

If you want a good MIDI editor for DOS, I've heard Sequencer Plus is a good one. It seems to have support for quite a bit of the early soundcards, including stuff like the IBM Music Feature Card and such.

Scali
August 23rd, 2015, 02:26 AM
Yes, Voyetra Sequencer Plus was bundled with my SB Pro with MIDI kit. The only DOS sequencer I've ever used.
I guess most people used an Atari ST back in those days, usually with Cubase. I don't think there were any DOS versions of Cubase, only Windows.

cthulhu
August 23rd, 2015, 05:06 AM
About 15 years ago I had a musician friend who used a DOS program called Texture - a MIDI sequencer developed in the 1980s which works in conjunction with a MPU-401 interface card. As an aside, Texture uses the MPU-401 in intelligent mode which means that most so-called MPU-401 compatible cards will not work with it as only very few actually support intelligent mode. I helped him configure his 286 luggable computer for maximum efficiency with Texture. He would take this computer with him to gigs and it would be used to sequence the backing music for his band. That was an unusual and interesting project.

You couldn't even use DOSBox to run Texture back then, however you can do this now as support for MPU-401 intelligent mode was added to DOSBox at some point. I remember e-mailing one of the people involved with the creation of the Texture sequencer to tell him of this development and surprising him with the news. He thought Texture would never be useable on a modern computer as the hardware it requires to run would never be emulated as it was too obscure. Fortunately some games need MPU-401 intelligent mode in order to play music which is the reason why support for it was added to DOSBox.

lowen
August 24th, 2015, 05:09 AM
Does anyone know of any vintage DAWs? Things like midi sequencers and composers....

When I think of a DAW, I think of something completely different; to me, a DAW is something like Syntrillium's CoolEdit (now Adobe Audition), not a MIDI composer (of those I think of Rosegarden first, but that's modern, not vintage). But, anyway......

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 05:20 AM
When I think of a DAW, I think of something completely different; to me, a DAW is something like Syntrillium's CoolEdit (now Adobe Audition), not a MIDI composer (of those I think of Rosegarden first, but that's modern, not vintage). But, anyway......

Yes, you're right.
DAW historically meant 'digital (multitrack) recording and editing'. MIDI sequencers didn't have this functionality at first, but there has been some crossover with the advent of Cubase VST and similar software.
I suppose these days people expect a DAW to also support MIDI and VSTs.

Anyway, if you want to go down that route, I used to use VOC386 with my first Sound Blaster in DOS.

lowen
August 24th, 2015, 05:47 AM
I suppose these days people expect a DAW to also support MIDI and VSTs.

Yes; my DAW of choice is Harrison Mixbus, on Linux. Does MIDI; on Windows it supports VSTs. Primarily a digital audio workstation in the SADiE sense of the acronym, though.


Anyway, if you want to go down that route, I used to use VOC386 with my first Sound Blaster in DOS.

Hmmm, I've not heard of this one; care to elaborate on what VOC386 did and does?

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 06:04 AM
Hmmm, I've not heard of this one; care to elaborate on what VOC386 did and does?

It's an early sample editor for PC. Nothing too exciting. No multitracking, because the hardware wasn't capable of that yet :)
But you could mix multiple samples offline. I've used it to create some music, by editing samples to loops, splicing them together, and then mixing others over the top :)

rbgrn
August 24th, 2015, 05:33 PM
Fast tracker 2 was my favorite sampler sequencer for pre win 95 era. It was seriously amazing what it could do with a 486.

Trixter
August 24th, 2015, 05:45 PM
Does anyone know of any vintage DAWs? Things like midi sequencers and composers. I have a friend who used to make professional game soundtracks on a DOS machine and I started getting interested in what other old PC/vintage micro comp music studios there were.

It's hard to answer this question succinctly because you're confusing three things at once:

Sequencer - Record, play, edit music input/output through MIDI

DAW - Digital Audio Workstation - all-in-one systems that also include editing digital audio, instruments (and loops)

"make professional game soundtracks on a DOS machine" -- That sounds an awful lot like a tracker, which is both like and unlike the above two things...