whats everybodies take on this, I don't have one cause I've never tried it.
I know some people use it due to low latency(?), but what are the Pro's and Con's.....
I'm not sure what you're on about exactly, but I'd assume you're talking about the old Atari ST system. I used it extensively for about seven years, recording probably hundreds of tracks with it.
This was purely a MIDI sequencer, although there were attempts to do audio with the later Falcon.
So, latency was never an issue as this is a purely audio phenomenon....MIDI latency is inconsequential despite some people's assertions to the contrary...but the platform was great for MIDI sequencing, being far more responsive than the PC for MIDI ....you could even record on the fly with it.
However, storage problems and screen freezes were common.
i bought a cheap one on ebay a while back with the intention of using it live, but i still haven't gotten around to firing it up.
it is an alternative to a hardware midi sequencer, rather than an alternative to a pc/mac audio/midi system.
speaking of old 'puters, were midi interfaces and sequencers available for bbcs? now that would look pretty sweet on stage....
People did rig up their BBC B Micros for MIDI (the "UMI" sequencer package, for instance) ..... Vince Clarke perhaps still even uses this today??!? (mawntal)
The BBC operating system was kinda special, ewe see, cos ewe could specify hardware processor (CPU) interrupts FROM SOFTWARE!!!, using the legendary "OSbyte" (ahem, Jupiter Ace) instruction. This gaves propensity for the most nano-second tight timing ever to grace a microcomputer.
As for the Atari ST's ...... well they had a hardware MIDI port on the motherboard (hey, so does my ZX Spectrum 128K! ;-) and had very tight MIDI timing cos of that....
(Remember, MIDI belongs to the technology of 1981..... the speed of the serial protocol, 31.25 kbaud, was designed to be a nice subdivision of the clock speeds of 8-bit CPUs of that era (eg most Zilog Z80A's, as in the ZX Spectrum or my Sequential Circuits Sixtrak synth/sequencer beast) clock at 350MHz)
MIDI timing on PCs during the late 80s/early-to-mid 90s was generally very ballex, mainly due to the people building PCs simply not designing things right or understanding the requirements of musicians.....
....thus people still often used Ataris for better timing.....
....however, in this day and age (it's 2003, y'all) we've come pretty much out the other side of all this -
whilst it's still perfectly possible to build/configure a PC so that its MIDI timing is ballex, it's also perfectly possible to do it so that it is as tight as MIDI can be
(which frankly isn't especially tight..... but then this is 1981 technology we're talking about..... :-)
Indeed, ewe can put MIDI down 'Firewire' cables these days and get rock solid timing on many more simulataneous MIDI channels than a lowly Atari could ever manage.....
.....Here at Feline HQ though, we use a hardware MIDI sequencer, which is extrememly tight (Akai MPC4000)
I don't really agree with Keysers about MIDI latencies though.....
....here's a highly valid page with all the facts in the werld about them.....
Aye, y'see, I've read all this stuff too.
But having had a rack full of MIDI gear operating over and utilising all 16 tracks simultaneously for years and on hundreds of tracks, I've yet to notice the slightest wee bit of it ever.
That's enough to swing the argument for me.
Aye well Spinal Tap couldn't hear that they were singing out of tune either,
but that didn't mean that they were
Aye, but being in time and singing out of tune aren't the same thing, although they can co-exist.
I'd refer the honourable gentleman to comedy duo The Feline Dream's "Live In Belfarce" to illustrate my point.
I've found an ingenious way to pitch-correct singers live, using the doppler effect and a large piece of wood.
Keysers, that recording was just mixed all wrong,
making me sound out of tune :-)
Aye..I used that popular peace of software " Antares Autotune " (Antichrist version)