Old DAWs - nostalgia thread

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
User avatar
KVRAF
5534 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:35 pm

ShawnG wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:35 pm
First, There was:

Image

Got more songs written in the 4-track days.
The 4-track was a AAW... though the very first thing called workstation was Korgs M1. A shift of meaning for that term... At that time the M1 could do more than a computer, except for mega dream machines like Synclavier or Fairlight... And it worked on its own. Computer based sequencers still needed external sound sources...

User avatar
KVRAF
21350 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:19 am

We had one of those in that '85-87 period; there was no mixing paradigm on a computer I was aware of. I'd forgotten about it, I did some things I wish I still had a print of with it. Wasn't mine, when I moved it stayed. Nothing digital about it tho

KVRAF
4101 posts since 8 Mar, 2005

Post Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:15 pm

Cakewalk home studio 7. Couldn’t get it running.
Then cakewalk sonar was my first DAW. It was a blast, solid midi and I was pretty fast with it. Then came Energy-XT and then Reaper. I settled on logic now.

User avatar
KVRAF
2399 posts since 18 May, 2002 from up on Cripple Creek (CO)

Post Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:53 pm

My first was Voyetra Digital Orchestrator:

Image

I only had the "Plus" version with 4 mono audio tracks, so I combined that with Master Zap's Little Drummer Boy for making loops & stuff. I also had a SoundBlaster AWE64 (the precursor to the Live & Audigy stuff) with 512k of onboard sample RAM and a GM soundset that I made heavy use of.

When the Live cards came out I upgraded to one of those, and it came with a lite version of Cakewalk (pre-Sonar) that had a similar limitation on audio tracks, but had better fx & stuff, so I switched to that. Since those cards could also use system RAM for samples and had a better fx setup, that was a pretty major step up. :)

Sounds like I had a similar path to keyman_sam after that, Cakewalk/Sonar user for a long time, then Energy XT, then Reaper, but I'm happy there. I also found Bidule somewhere in there and use that a fair bit.
Fugue State Audio - plugins, samples, etc.
Take music back from the suits and return it to the people.

KVRer
2 posts since 10 Apr, 2007 from Central Texas

Post Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:12 pm

Monsum, I ran with Sonar since Home Studio 6. I still use Sonar Platinum ( and 2 other daws) because I know it the best. I loved the Fxpansion DR-008 drum sample player. I used that as long as my Operating System allowed it. Very simple,yet versatile. 8)

KVRist
45 posts since 24 Jan, 2015

Post Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:35 pm

I'm still playing around with Tuareg 1.5 (Free & FAT), Tuareg 2, Tunafish, Moonfish, and Hammerhead. Nice little sampler programs. I don't like the portamento option in Tu2 as much as the 'rubber note' in Tuareg FAT. Also, I like the old sample generators like freeware Simsynth, Drumsynth, Subsynth, Subbastard, Stomper, and TS-404. With TS-404 though, I gotta record the riffs since it can only stream one measure, and it only streams .raw files which are pretty much useless even in Hammerhead(which imports .raw files in the user bank) because even when I use Sampled (which can still be downloaded in archived Sonicspot pages) the file ends up being slowed to 50% and I have to fix that in another program. Still, you can make some pretty awesome acid/trance riffs.

Some of these oldies I gotta use in a virtual machine since they don't play nice with a 64-bit OS. A couple programs I'm still looking for are Simmolator and ER-0. I think both were hosted on the old Hammerhead site ages ago, but now I can't even find them using the Wayback Machine. Some other interesting little toys like BoaBassdrum seem to be gone as well. A pity, since sometimes you just want a program that you can use to make a simple clap.

Now if you want to install Tuareg Free or FAT on a newer machine, you might have to use a 32-bit Windows on a virtual machine because otherwise you'll get an error. Anyone else here still love Tuareg and wish Bram Bos would make an updated version for various tablets and Windows 10?

User avatar
KVRAF
2399 posts since 18 May, 2002 from up on Cripple Creek (CO)

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:55 am

DollyNipples wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:35 pm
I'm still playing around with Tuareg 1.5 (Free & FAT), Tuareg 2, Tunafish, Moonfish, and Hammerhead. Nice little sampler programs. I don't like the portamento option in Tu2 as much as the 'rubber note' in Tuareg FAT. Also, I like the old sample generators like freeware Simsynth, Drumsynth, Subsynth, Subbastard, Stomper, and TS-404.
Wow, bringing back some memories there. :) I never got into Tuareg though.
Fugue State Audio - plugins, samples, etc.
Take music back from the suits and return it to the people.

KVRist
45 posts since 24 Jan, 2015

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:34 am

synthgeek wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:55 am
DollyNipples wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:35 pm
I'm still playing around with Tuareg 1.5 (Free & FAT), Tuareg 2, Tunafish, Moonfish, and Hammerhead. Nice little sampler programs. I don't like the portamento option in Tu2 as much as the 'rubber note' in Tuareg FAT. Also, I like the old sample generators like freeware Simsynth, Drumsynth, Subsynth, Subbastard, Stomper, and TS-404.
Wow, bringing back some memories there. :) I never got into Tuareg though.
I guess Tuareg wasn't for everyone, but back when there was very little in the way of freeware composers, this was a great find! Did some songs and maybe some remixes, and I also learned how to use Buzz and used that program to make some weird remixes for the Madonna contest on Acidplanet.

KVRist

Topic Starter

97 posts since 19 Jun, 2013

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:39 pm

DollyNipples wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:35 pm
I'm still playing around with Tuareg 1.5 (Free & FAT), Tuareg 2, Tunafish, Moonfish, and Hammerhead. Nice little sampler programs.
I loved all of them but especially Moonfish. For me it was a poor man Rebirth RB338.
Moonfish had three channels so you needed to be smart how to use the resources but it worked out great.
I'm not able to install Moonfish on 64bit Windows 10. There are many old 32bit programs that work fine in compatibility mode but not this one.

Here is a picture of Moonfish
Image

KVRist
45 posts since 24 Jan, 2015

Post Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:17 pm

Monsum wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:39 pm
DollyNipples wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:35 pm
I'm still playing around with Tuareg 1.5 (Free & FAT), Tuareg 2, Tunafish, Moonfish, and Hammerhead. Nice little sampler programs.
I loved all of them but especially Moonfish. For me it was a poor man Rebirth RB338.
Moonfish had three channels so you needed to be smart how to use the resources but it worked out great.
I'm not able to install Moonfish on 64bit Windows 10. There are many old 32bit programs that work fine in compatibility mode but not this one.

Here is a picture of Moonfish
Image
Set up a Windows XP Virtual Machine and install Moonfish there, then move the folder to your machine and it should work. Tuareg FAT and Free couldn't be installed in my 64-bit OS, but the installed programs can be moved and run on it just fine. Might be due to lack of a 32-bit tag and I can't seem to find the program that can be used to assign a 32-bit tag so the program can be run properly. Simsynth Freeware and a few other programs have that problem too.

KVRAF
1643 posts since 14 Sep, 2004 from $HOME

Post Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:57 am

ShawnG wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:35 pm
First, There was:

Image

I still have it, haven't turned it on for 20 years, but I made tons of stuff with it.

Then I decided to use the free version of Cool Edit to bounce stereo tracks from the 4 track, so I could avoid at least some level of tape degradation, and also apply effects offline, as I only had a delay guitar pedal and my amp's spring reverb for effects.

Then something called N-Track studio which I don't think I ever really used, Then a scaled down version of Cakewalk, called Guitar Tracks, Then CubaseVST 5 with the parallel port dongle.

Now, just about everything other than the 2 DAWS I can't stand.

Got more songs written in the 4-track days.
Yeah, you just didn’t need to think as much (“which plugin should i use”), you just did create with the limited choices you had, guitar, bass, microphone, done. Later on, a digital (!!) effects unit, Alesis Nanoverb in my case. Awesome!
I still have my Tascam Porta01 but also haven’t used it in twenty years, although lately I have been thinking about getting it out of the box again... just create something for the fun of it, without the overhead of a DAW.
It was a bit of a PITA to use though, like having to record a metronome click on one track for the length of the song, punching different instruments on one track because the other three were already used, having to bounce...
also, the results were really shit, but that was because of my limited skills :D

I got a copy of Cubase VST 3.x or so “from a mate” in the late nineties and recorded one or two songs with that, going through the Portastudio into the built in audio interface of my Umax Mac Clone (remember those?)...
it was a real bitch figuring how to use that “sequencer” with no manual or any tutorials on the internet. And it sounded worse than my analog recordings, mainly because of the shit FX (the reverb :o ) in it.

I stopped recording for several years after that.

KVRist
45 posts since 24 Jan, 2015

Post Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:28 am

Tuareg can feel a bit wonky to the uninitiated - especially with either the 'rubber note' or portamento options depending on whether you have Tuareg FAT (strictly a sampler with the rubber note) or Tuareg 2 (with two nifty synth units and a sample editor). Been playing around with some other oldies like Cakewalk Home Studio. Very nice program with a piano roll, and I'm trying to figure out how to make Wingroove do the midi sounds for Cakewalk. Or maybe they just don't cooperate in my Windows XP virtual machine *shrug* and I can't find my full version of Simsynth... had some good times with that synth too!

User avatar
KVRAF
2399 posts since 18 May, 2002 from up on Cripple Creek (CO)

Post Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:28 pm

DollyNipples wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:34 am
I guess Tuareg wasn't for everyone, but back when there was very little in the way of freeware composers, this was a great find! Did some songs and maybe some remixes, and I also learned how to use Buzz and used that program to make some weird remixes for the Madonna contest on Acidplanet.
Yeah, I think I had scraped together the money for something else by the time Tuareg came on the scene, but I bet it was a great find at the time. :) I used Buzz quite a bit, though I never did whole tracks in it because I never really got good with trackers. There were a ton of cool machines though, and I used it to generate lots of cool loops & stuff.
Fugue State Audio - plugins, samples, etc.
Take music back from the suits and return it to the people.

User avatar
KVRAF
2769 posts since 3 May, 2003 from Germany

Post Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:52 pm

fese wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:57 am
ShawnG wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:35 pm
First, There was:

Image

I still have it, haven't turned it on for 20 years, but I made tons of stuff with it.

Then I decided to use the free version of Cool Edit to bounce stereo tracks from the 4 track, so I could avoid at least some level of tape degradation, and also apply effects offline, as I only had a delay guitar pedal and my amp's spring reverb for effects.

Then something called N-Track studio which I don't think I ever really used, Then a scaled down version of Cakewalk, called Guitar Tracks, Then CubaseVST 5 with the parallel port dongle.

Now, just about everything other than the 2 DAWS I can't stand.

Got more songs written in the 4-track days.
Yeah, you just didn’t need to think as much (“which plugin should i use”), you just did create with the limited choices you had, guitar, bass, microphone, done. Later on, a digital (!!) effects unit, Alesis Nanoverb in my case. Awesome!
I still have my Tascam Porta01 but also haven’t used it in twenty years, although lately I have been thinking about getting it out of the box again... just create something for the fun of it, without the overhead of a DAW.
It was a bit of a PITA to use though, like having to record a metronome click on one track for the length of the song, punching different instruments on one track because the other three were already used, having to bounce...
also, the results were really shit, but that was because of my limited skills :D

I got a copy of Cubase VST 3.x or so “from a mate” in the late nineties and recorded one or two songs with that, going through the Portastudio into the built in audio interface of my Umax Mac Clone (remember those?)...
it was a real bitch figuring how to use that “sequencer” with no manual or any tutorials on the internet. And it sounded worse than my analog recordings, mainly because of the shit FX (the reverb :o ) in it.

I stopped recording for several years after that.
I also managed to get things done much more quickly with my Fostex 160 in the days..

Image

Actually I'm waiting for it to return here working again, but it's difficult to get the spare parts.
Not sure if I really would use it again like the past, but lots of tapes could be remastered..

Digitally I started with Acid 1, which was quite intuitive.

Image

Also great was:

Seer Systems Reality (no real DAW)

Image
Symphony Nr.1
Meet the Cities Repair Team Unimportant laughter
music is not meaningless...we just have to do it

KVRist
45 posts since 24 Jan, 2015

Post Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:05 pm

synthgeek wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:28 pm
DollyNipples wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:34 am
I guess Tuareg wasn't for everyone, but back when there was very little in the way of freeware composers, this was a great find! Did some songs and maybe some remixes, and I also learned how to use Buzz and used that program to make some weird remixes for the Madonna contest on Acidplanet.
Yeah, I think I had scraped together the money for something else by the time Tuareg came on the scene, but I bet it was a great find at the time. :) I used Buzz quite a bit, though I never did whole tracks in it because I never really got good with trackers. There were a ton of cool machines though, and I used it to generate lots of cool loops & stuff.
Buzz is quite fun. Was a bit hard to learn, but quite fun once I got the hang of it. Another cool program that's still around is OpenMPT. It took awhile for me to understand how to use it, but it's a lot of fun. Psycle, made by the late great Arguru, is sort of a combination between OpenMPT and Buzz.

I don't care much for Darkwave since I can't audit the plugins that easily when tweaking them - have to play the loop while doing so, and that can be kinda annoying. Darkwave seems to be more like the now-defunct Orion DAW.

Nowadays you can get stuff that does lots more than Tuareg did and get it for nothing. Pretty mindblowing to realize how technology has changed and how many people care deeply about providing quality music software for nothing. But still, it's good to look back and greats like Bram Bos and Master-Zap, and see how a lot of us did it back then. Yup, we had Buzz back then too, but I was kinda frustrated by it because at first I couldn't make heads or tails of what to do. Psycle had a confusing interface as well, and so did OpenMPT. Tuareg just made more sense to me. Besides that, it was cheap. It was a good deal for a program back then.

Thing is, I also developed the habit of combing the internet for free and cheap software. I really love finding freeware and oddities. Can anyone relate to that?

Return to “Hosts & Applications (Sequencers, DAWs, Audio Editors, etc.)”