Chip sent this to me over the weekend. The photo was taken in 1985, and shows me demonstrating a MIDI sequencer to a bunch of kids. I don’t remember if it was a Boy Scout troop, or what. Chip, my nephew, is the dark-haired kid in the picture.
The equipment shown includes a Commodore 64 computer with disk drive, a black and white TV for a monitor, and a Casio CZ101 synthesizer. The Casio had only a four-note polyphonic capability, meaning you could only play chords that contained no more than four notes. This wasn’t much, considering instruments such as the Yamaha DX7 were coming on the market with 16-note polyphony. However, the CZ101 was innovative for its time in that it would let you assign a different voice and different MIDI channel to each note of polyphony.
The MIDI 8+ sequencing software for the Commodore would allow eight different tracks each assignable to different MIDI channels. In the demonstration above, I had a Bach Brandenburg Concerto sequenced, and I had assigned tracks for flute, violin, string ensemble, and harpsichord. It was impressive for its time.
I still have all of this equipment, including the Norton Orchestral scores resting on top of the computer. As far as I know, all of the gear still works. Even with it’s limited capabilities, I have yet to find a sequencer that worked as reliably and as simply as this one did.
[tags]vintage synthesizer, Casio CZ101, Casio, vintage computer, Commodore 64, MIDI[/tags]