story of Mel

John Ames commodorejohn at
Thu Feb 23 13:19:59 CST 2017

> From: Bill Gunshannon <bill.gunshannon at>
> I always thought music in the old days was more about MIDI and letting
> something designed for it do the work ala Usenix Nashville 1991.
The MIDI control standard wasn't even finalized until 1983, and it
took a couple years to really proliferate after that. Most computers
at the time required a dedicated MIDI adapter because of its unusual
baud rate (31.25Kbaud, not one supported by most standard UART setups)
- the Mac, Amiga, and Atari ST could all handle MIDI with nothing more
than a breakout box (or, in the ST's case, its onboard ports,) but
those didn't roll out until 1984-1985.

Prior to that, most "computer music" was either using a few
proprietary computer-to-synthesizer interfaces such as Roland's DCB or
the DK Synergy's dedicated Kaypro software, or using onboard DACs or
simple PSG-style tone generators as being discussed here.

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