sequencer / arpeggiator / echo

James Husted jhusted at
Thu Nov 18 16:44:05 CET 1999

It's hard to compete with a really cheap CPU to do menial MIDI stuff. I have
4 old MacII series rigs (3 IIci and 1 IIcx) running MAX (the runtime
versions of patches made on another Mac(G3)) doing oddball things like
parsing/tranposing/analog sequencer emulation. When you can get a II series
mac for about $125 its not a bad deal. A friend of mine has a MacSE that he
got for $50 that he just mainly runs a MIDI monitor on. You could probably
run a MAX program on it also.
James Husted
The Ersatz Planet 
Graphics & Sound
webmaster at

> From: The Old Crow <oldcrow at>
> Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 01:07:35 -0500 (EST)
> To: synth-diy at
> Subject: RE: sequencer / arpeggiator / echo
> On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Byron G. Jacquot wrote:
>>> Well if you want midi, then you're probably looking at a
>>> micro based sequencer, even for 16 steps..
>> What he said.  By the time you've gone through the hassle of setting up even
>> a simple logic circuit for doing MIDI parsing or generation (say, with
>> 4000/7400 series gates and some kind of UART), a microprocessor will have
>> long since proven it's usefulness.
> I used Z8 MCus for years to do MIDI projects, but more and more I find
> Microchip PICs to be faster and cheaper.  For simple things like a MIDI
> filter or channelizer, one PIC chip and the parts for MIDI in and out are
> pretty much all that's needed.  A pretty good sequencer would benefit from
> a microcontroller that can address external RAM, however.  I fit something
> like 37 minutes of realtime (quantized to 64th note intervals) MIDI data
> into the ~56K open RAM area of my old CP/M machine, provided that gobs of
> controller data didn't fill up the buffer.  These days, I would just add
> more RAM and a memory bank selector circuit.  (Actually, I *did* do this
> to the CP/M machine in 1984--192K of DRAM available in 3 banks with a 16K
> common block shared between all banks.  Used it as a RAMdisk).
> --Crow
> /**/

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