Re: Why Computer Music Sucks

Subject: Re: Why Computer Music Sucks
From: Kevin Busby (
Date: Wed Aug 04 1999 - 08:02:29 EDT

Douglas Doherty wrote:

>I think you have hit the nail on the head here. Macintosh computers no
>longer hold the monopoly on high end sound processing (and haven't for some

Quite right. Apple has persistently chosen to neglect the market it once
had a near-monopoly on.

>People who are used to them and have little or no experience or
>real knowledge of other systems of course believe that Slow Tools is the
>only system worth considering,

As anyone with "experience or real knowledge" of Macs will tell you. "Slow
Tools" (how so?) is of course not the only option on the Mac, either in
terms of software or hardware. But you knew that. My objection to using a
PC is Windows, not because there aren't excellent products available, as I
have seen you and others demonstrate.

>I was talking to a colleague in Scotland who says his students are
>complaining because they all have PCs and have to use Macs at the

Of course, they can't rip off the software. ;-) Students often choose PC
over Mac on price grounds (for an absolutely basic unit), but the only
thing they really seem to miss on the Mac is CoolEdit Pro. Maybe the
evolution of Peak and the introduction of Spark will remove that objection
in time.

>In the meantime Avid I believe are ceasing
>developments for Macintosh because they need more slots.

Avid was making that sort of noise some months back but then did a U-turn.
Digidesign claims to have a relatively independent policy anyway, and I've
heard no convincing rumours about their leaving the Mac (what for? A
limited number of NT systems? System compatibility is enough of a minefield
for Digidesign on the Mac platform, never mind having to consider all the
permutations possible on a Mac). The shortage of PCI slots on the current
Macs is a scandal, but I hear people have had good results using the Magma
expansion chassis?

Ross Bencina wrote:

>Funny, I switched from developing on the Mac to the PC because I don't
>believe there is a development environment on the Mac that is workable for
>developing large scale apps solo (I use Borland C++Builder on the PC).

Isn't Metrowerks Codewarrior suitable?

>As far as convergence goes, it seems to me (and many other developers) that
>neither MS or Apple is on the ball in terms of providing acceptable OS
>support for Real-time Audio. Market issues aside there are plenty of reasons
>to go for Linux or BeOS. Both Steinberg and Emagic have/are releasing major
>products for BeOS. I'm not sure the convergence will arrive before the

I very much look forward to being able to use BeOS with high-end audio
apps. I have for many years and shall continue to do so until the goodies
are actually released! But no, it does look increasingly hopeful. Linux?
Well, JMax is available for it, but I think we'll have a long wait for much

Kevin B

PS Keep the South American stuff coming. I can't wait for the next episode!
(Sorry to make light of a tense situation, but it would make for a terrific
drama series).

Kevin Busby, Studio Manager, Department of Music, University of Birmingham,
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, England. Tel: +44-(0)121-414 5785.
Fax: +44-(0)121 414 5781. If your email to me bounces, please see No to GE crops.

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