There’s nothing that fatigues the CDM staff more than pointless platform wars. I have absolutely no sympathy for PC OR Mac snobs. Sure, you think you have superior music applications. The best OS. The ultimate UI. You’re all wrong. The Atari ST reigns supreme.

In the spirit of bringing this issue to a close forever, CDM proudly brings you ST Thursday – a roundup of links for those of you making music with the Atari ST.

Think I’m joking? Only half- . . . with all the discussion over the cost of entry of computers, the way they’ve divided the world into haves and have-nots, you might notice an entire ST setup, complete with display and accessories, goes for around US$10. The Atari ST had (sorry, has) some incredible features for music-making, not the least of which is built-in MIDI I/O. (Try to find a computer with that now!) The machine was also the birthplace of two rival sequencers: Steinberg Cubase and C-lab Notator — the latter is now Apple Logic.

Tim’s Atari MIDI World is an incredible resource, with a comprehensive guide to software, plenty of articles, pics, and screenshots, and even some MP3 examples of classic MIDI tunes in action, a mailing list, and a forum.

Little Green Desktop: Not music-specific, but an enormously huge Atari computing wet dream, from reviews to downloads to box art. Free monthly magazine for Atari users online. (Damn. I have to pay for Macworld.)

Suicide Commando makes a kind of electronica death-metal with 8-bit Atari sounds. Set the mood with your boyfriend or girlfriend at your next romantic dinner with the tender ballad, “Love Breeds Suicide.” (sound samples at link) Not anti-social enough for you? Atari Teenage Riot got themselves banned in Germany.

I’m sure there’s more: Atari ST users, give me a holler. Send your favorite links, your favorite music, your favorite photos, your favorite memories (er, hot tips for how you’re using your ST now). And remember CDM’s sage advice to those who feel left behind in their music-making by the onward press of technological advances: the only way to avoid obsolence is to use something obsolete.

  • atomic_afro

    I tell you, back in 97 when I started reading Future Music, almost all of the interviewed bands were still using Ataris with hardware (including Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Orbital, et al). At that time, until PIIIs started coming out I would have agreed with Peter that yes, it's really only Macs and Ataris that are worth making music with. Nowadays however it's really anyone's game (PC, Mac, Linux, Atari, Gameboy), which is nice.

    Matter of fact, before I invested in a decent PC box with Acid Pro (my first host), I really wanted to get an Atari with Cubase, but couldn't find one for a decent price anywhere.

    I personally wouldn't mind trying an Atari out with a Muse Receptor and an Alesis HD Recorder just to see what it sort of was like for producers 10 years ago.


  • admin

    Macs, Ataris, PCs, I think it really doesn't matter. The choice is important — you should choose a platform that works for you, and there are absolutely differences (especially if we're talking an age-old Atari here!!) — but the point is, you can make music with any platform. Yes, including Linux, GameBoy, electrified abacus, whatever you come up with! And everytime I think I've seen it all, someone else comes up with some crazy new idea. So I was just suggesting ill-informed, ignorant bashing of users of other platforms is pointless.

    Oh, and it's mean, too. I don't like mean people.

    Thankfully, no readers like that here on CDM. Er . . . since I turned on registration for comments, anyway.


  • atomic_afro

    Yea, people tend to have bigger balls when the comments are anonymous (see dorpus @ Tech Dirt)


  • filarion

    Lee Norris, who is Metamatics, Norken and Nachtplank used an Atari ST for everything he released so far (quite a backcatalogue, check

  • Does anyone knows (is a joke or not) – medwayboys menu's and demos music released on CD?

  • andrew

    id like to implement one of these into a studio, but i dont think you can get one for $10.. at least, not what ive seen. i was thinking about a c64, but its a pain finding a midi interface for them, and when you do they are expensive. atari has one built in which is very nice. one thing the c64 has is SID. i havent heard music created directly out of the ST, i guess its just used as a sequencer, not a synthesizer. still looking…

  • i mak emusic whit famous games tunes and original tunes created whit 8 and 16 bits atari computers. please visit my video on youtube.

    just write DJ ATAROX on it.

    or click in this link

  • Pingback: La major plataforma para hacer música en tu PC, Mac, Atari o Linix? | Sonomarket blog()

  • I'm still using an Atari ST running cubase V from 1991. One thing I still think the atari has over alot of complicated modern VST set-ups is rock solid timing. Mine hasnt crashed for years!:)

  • Fabio Amaral

    The Atari/Notator still the best music computer for me, i have a Mac quad core 2.8 and Virus TI !!!

  • francy flly


  • Hi,

    Started with NoiseTracker ST and Quartet.Moved onto Cubase and Protracker F030Then Flextracker and ACE tracker.Collected a few Sound sources for Midi and tracking purposes!Casio CZ1000 / VZ-1 / DH-100Yamaha PSR16 / MU128 ( 150AN / PC )Roland Juno 106 / R8m ( VM3100 mixer )Akai S3000XL + EB16Zoom 8080 / 1204Evolution Midi controller ( recommended by Gwem! ) and me!

    Just adding a :Apple G4 Dual 1.25Ghz / Mac OSX 10.4 and OS9 / Cubase 4.1VST and Logic 4.7 / Milkytracker and Hatari(Gina24 and AMT4)

    I hope to use a Falcon for Cubase Audio one day….

    It takes a reasonably modern PCee to emulate the YM chip too


    / nativ

  • sēqfrēq

    ST in 2016. The MIDI brain of my studio.