We've Come A Long Way Baby30 years ago, the Music and Recording Industry saw a huge spike in it's technological offerings. Here is a list of some of the notable game-changers from that time period:
ARTISTS X-PONENT ENGINEERING KT-1000
The KT-1000 is a programmable digital metronome synchronizer that sported up to 50 user-programmable tempos. Tempos could be entered in either BPM or FPB formats. There were four frame formats; 24 (film), 25 (EBU), 29.97 (NTSC Drop Frame), and 30 NTSC. In the first quarter of 1985, an add-on RS-232C interface buss became available so that the user's program could be derived from a computer, or sent to a VDU or printer.
SOLID STATE LOGIC SL5000M
This SSL Console was specifically designed to handle (the then new) Multi-channel Television Sound transmission standard. The desk could be configured with up to four independent stereo outputs, and eight stereo subgroups, which could be set to handle any combination of international sound split feeds, mix minuses, and stereo plus SAP mixes. Combining the latest developments in thin and thick-film technology, SSL developed a new series of hybrid chips that replaced the earlier "op-amp plus components" type of subassembly which reduced the size, weight, complexity and power consumption of the system's basic building blocks. A single SSL Hybrid Chip provided a totally balanced and ground-free output capable of driving a 600 ohm load at +28 dBm while taking up an area of only 40 x 15 x 5mm.
Roger Linn unveiled the first product to integrate a MIDI-compatible keyboard recorder and digital drum machine in one unit. Designed around an IBM PC Computer, options included a plug-in audio sample board, a 3-1/2" Sony disk drive and a SMPTE circuit board.
NEW ENGLAND DIGITAL ENHANCED SYNCLAVIER KEYBOARD
NED began shipping as standard with every SDMS a 76 note keyboard that offered velocity and independent aftertouch. The system also featured 32 track digital recording memory, pitch and mod wheels, optional breath control and MIDI and SMPTE provisions. Users had a greatly expanded real-time effects section that allowed up to 192 different patches to be created.
Coming in at about a third the price of an E2, Mirage could sample at 4, 8 and 15 kHz. The on-board sequencer could record modulation, pitch bend, velocity, and sustain pedal. A 3-1/2" Sony drive provided storage and there was optional software to interface with the Apple Macintosh for on-screen editing.
E-Mu SYSTEMS EMULATOR II
The E2 was a low-cost alternative to NED and Fairlight CMI Systems. The unit came with up to 17.6 seconds of sampling time at 16.5 kHz. The keyboard could be divided as many times as a user wanted and was MIDI compatible. Waveform control was achieved via four panel sliders that could be assigned to parameters found on any analog synth such as VCA ADSR, filter, filter ADSR and so on. Similar to Oberheim Systems units being paired to the DSX and DX, E2 was paired nicely to the SP12.