back to article Hex & plugs & ROM & roll: Computer music stars rock Bletchley

Are programmers the new rock stars? That may be a bit of a stretch, but it hasn't stopped one IT engineer staging a computer music exhibition at Blighty's Bletchley Park. The new hands-on display at The National Museum of Computing, located in the grounds of the wartime code-breaking nerve-centre, focusses on the story of …


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  1. Laughing_Man

    "Daisy Bell" was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892. In 1961, the IBM 7094 became the first computer to sing, singing the song Daisy Bell. Vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and the accompaniment was programmed by Max Mathews. This performance was the inspiration for a similar scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    New Order.

    I remember hearing a radio programme some years ago, interviewing the members of New Order and going back over their career. One thing that stuck in my mind was when they had their first real bit of success.

    They said they'd just got the first royalty cheque for the then princely sum of 25 thousand pounds and feeling that they'd "made it". They talked for a bit on what they were all going to spend this massive windfall on and one thing they all though they should do was reinvest a bit of it in something for the band.

    At that point one of them chirped up and said that they should really get this new thing he'd played with called a "sampler", which would offer massive opportunities to play with different sounds to them, allowing them to do some completely new and innovative things.

    "That's a great idea, we'll have one of those. How much is it?"

    "About 25 thousand pounds........."

    Easy come, easy go.

    1. The Mighty Spang

      Re: New Order.

      you might be getting confused with Factory Record's co-founder and producer for all their early work. Martin 'Zero' Hannet. He petitioned for FCL to be wound up as basically he wanted to buy a Fairlight. (and basically all the money FCL had was money from Joy Division)

      'Anthony Wilson has cited Factory's refusal to purchase a Fairlight synthesizer for Hannett [for £30,000], and to instead earmark £50,000 toward The Hacienda (FAC 51) as Hannett's main reason for taking legal action against FCL.'

      (it calls the fairlight a synth, it wasn't, it was a sampler)

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: New Order.

        Yes, the Fairlight name rings a bell. I'm fairly sure that what I recounted above was what was I heard said at the time though.

        Then again, that was on the radio in the car and one heck of a long time ago now, so it's entirely possible that my recollection is hazy. The alternative here is that they were being economical with the truth when interviewed........

  3. John H Woods Silver badge

    Just leaving this here for the few who haven't experienced it ...

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: Just leaving this here for the few who haven't experienced it ...

  4. Spud

    Ah ... memories of Rob Hubbard and David Whitaker duking it out for my affections on which I liked more on the c64 ..... Anyone remember the program that managed to get three channels of sound plus a fourth "drum" channel ? I used it to write music on it loads and so wish I had kept what I made ... they were good tunes (biased much).

    1. only_mortal

      I'm pretty sure it was five channels (two sample channels) in Skate or Die.

      Martin Galway was the first to use samples in a game as I recall. I preferred Hubbard though.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Damn - we are so lucky to have seen so much really incredibly wonderful music.

    Too bad nothing lasts forever, and the universe slides slowly on.

  6. Sprismoid
    Thumb Up

    Fairlight, the dream made real..

    Must visit this..

    In the eighties I was one of those Fairlight programmers, and had a wonderful time!!

    I owned three Fairlight systems over the years, a Synclavier, and a PPG WaveTerm system!! That was back when technology cost a lot :-)

    Ah, those were the days. Nothing compares (still) to the sound of the CMI III as a sampler.


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