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Old 06 September 2004, 12:16   #41
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The Atari 520ST was my very first 16/32 bit computer. Even though I have about 10 Amiga computers and 4 Atari ST computers, the Atari ST is still my all time favorite computer. It does NOT matter which one is better. What really matters is which one do you like best.

Last edited by Akira; 09 September 2004 at 02:48.
 
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Old 06 September 2004, 15:49   #42
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I have to say that back when I was at school the ST vs Amiga debate often resulted in violence, and I found that most of the ST user were infact wankers.

Roll on many years and I found this site and its IRC channel, I also found ST users but they were no longer wankers (or never were) I concluded that when I was a kid at school everyone was a wanker, that I guess is why I didnt show up all that often.

The argument always was Amiga better GFX, ST better sound. But back then I think us kids were just GFX whores, sound didnt impress us at all.
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Old 06 September 2004, 22:14   #43
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Originally Posted by Freakyweakywoo
The argument always was Amiga better GFX, ST better sound. But back then I think us kids were just GFX whores, sound didnt impress us at all.
Incredible., How could one consider the bleepy bloppy, lifeless YM2149 cihp sound to be better than the Amiga sound? That's got to be bollocks from the kids, who saw MIDI ports built in and automatically assumed they had "great sound" when they actually were great for music studio useage, for their low cost and inbuilt MIDI capabilities!
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Old 09 September 2004, 01:45   #44
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ST's games loaded quicker

Also stating the ST's graphics were "piss poor" is a shite comment, You check out the Bitmap Brothers games (seen as greatest games on both systems) and tell me the Amiga's graphics are loads better than the ST's. Nonsense.
Better yes but to claim the ST's graphics were piss poor is a daft comment, here in the UK was a magazine which had a Amiga version & an ST version and they got caught using same screenshots in both versions! They got away with that for a number of years.

I admit after a while the Amiga outlasted the ST and pushed on but to label the ST's graphics piss poor is wide of the mark. I could say compared to the Super Nintendo the Amiga's graphics were piss poor, but at least 1 sensible chap stated each machine no matter how derided has it's qualities (Sega 32x = Virtua Racing Deluxe = superb!).

So both were great machines and I think it's sad to say that this shit ST Vs Amiga war still rages. I was an ST owner but I feel no need to slag the Amiga my friend had a Amiga so we complemented each other, we always had the opposite system (Mega Drive, Super Nintendo) so we could sample highlights of both systems.

Now thats of my chest

Last edited by sut; 09 September 2004 at 01:55. Reason: Didn't want to enter separate reply
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Old 09 September 2004, 02:32   #45
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I remember in the "day" hearing that the ST's sound chip was "worse" than the Spectrum's.

Is this true?
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Old 09 September 2004, 02:52   #46
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Originally Posted by Peanutuk
I remember in the "day" hearing that the ST's sound chip was "worse" than the Spectrum's.

Is this true?
No, it's a load of bollocks.

The ST's first came only with the synth chip, the YM2149, which is *almost exactly the same* synth chip that machines like the Spectrum 128 and above (not the 48k and stuff, which only had the bleeper) had (AY8192).

Then again later ST models had the power to add sample-based sound to that, therefore making them much more interesting than the Spectrum computers(and having a synth chip inside is something the Amigas lacked and could have been interesting. Something like a SID chip evolution, besides Paula's digital sound abilities)

If comparing the SYNTH chips of an Atari 1040 and a Spectrum 128K, one could say they are the same, but never inferior. I also presdume that having in mind the different machine specs, the Atari, having a faster clock frequency, might be able to do some stuff the spectrum couldn't, but it's possible that I am not correct, never had any hands-on experience with synth music composing in the Atari.
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Old 09 September 2004, 09:21   #47
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Originally Posted by Akira
No, it's a load of bollocks.

The ST's first came only with the synth chip, the YM2149, which is *almost exactly the same* synth chip that machines like the Spectrum 128 and above (not the 48k and stuff, which only had the bleeper) had (AY8192).

Then again later ST models had the power to add sample-based sound to that, therefore making them much more interesting than the Spectrum computers(and having a synth chip inside is something the Amigas lacked and could have been interesting. Something like a SID chip evolution, besides Paula's digital sound abilities)

If comparing the SYNTH chips of an Atari 1040 and a Spectrum 128K, one could say they are the same, but never inferior. I also presdume that having in mind the different machine specs, the Atari, having a faster clock frequency, might be able to do some stuff the spectrum couldn't, but it's possible that I am not correct, never had any hands-on experience with synth music composing in the Atari.
You guys are still missing the boat. Who cares about computers specs. There was some really great software available for the Atari ST. I never could understand the Amiga vs Atari ST battle. I thought that both sides were stupid. I have always had BOTH an Amiga and an Atari ST. So both sides hated me because I refused to pick a side. I told them all that they were beneath me, so why should I care about what they thought. I was smart enough to realize that both the Amiga and the Atari ST are awesome computers. They will always be my two favorite personal super micros.
 
Old 09 September 2004, 10:21   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomMaster
You guys are still missing the boat.
No, in my case, I am not.

For synth music production in the machine, the way it sounds and its sound capabilities ARE important.

Unless you tell me that if you would go to buy a synthesizer, you would chose it for how cool it looks or how nice its OS was.


Oh, BTW, the Amstrad CPC had this same synth chip (AY8192 variation). But that one has zero nice music apps. The Speccy or ST are much better for this purpose.
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Old 09 September 2004, 10:24   #49
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You could make decent games for either system if you put some effort into it, neither one is a deal breaker. They were the last of the home computers before the PC and Mac machines were wide spread and cheap enough to conquer the home market.

I always wonder what the ST line could have been if Atari had more time to design the unit instead of doing a rush job to get it out fast.
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Old 09 September 2004, 10:26   #50
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@Akira

Did you EVER saw a fully equipped Atari ST in a Sound Studio ? And did you SEE and HEAR what you can do with it ? If not, just shut up ....

You may be right considering home usage when putting in a game and listen to the sound, but in every other case the ST got MUCH BETTER sound than any other computer of that time !!!
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Old 09 September 2004, 11:43   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetroMan
@Akira

Did you EVER saw a fully equipped Atari ST in a Sound Studio ? And did you SEE and HEAR what you can do with it ? If not, just shut up ....

You may be right considering home usage when putting in a game and listen to the sound, but in every other case the ST got MUCH BETTER sound than any other computer of that time !!!
Retroman? I'm really surprised by you jumping out like this!

I was NOT bashing the Atari ST at all.

A fuly equiped Atari ST in a sound studio surely had an external or other sort of audio card expansion. Because what the Atari ST came with, is the good old YM2149 sdynth chip and later its digi sound capabilities!!!!!

Obviously a Falcon can do much more with teh DSP (but the synth is still there, isn't it? No clue. If it is, it's still the same old chip that the Spectrum has)

the *stock* Atari ST one could buy anywhere, had these sound capabilities, with teh added advantage of MIDI ports. Nothing else. I really don't know where you're pointing at?

Anyway, by today standards, they are all just pish, but the thing they did back then in sound studios, was mainly sequenceing and utilizing its MIDI capabilities to the max, that's got nothing to do with their audio processing/synthesis capabilities, which for every model except a Falcon, were very "poor", at least for studio useage.

Then again today even Kylie Minogue wants that "retro computer sound" in her tracks :P
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Old 09 September 2004, 14:46   #52
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The Atari 400 was my first PC, but that aside the ST wasn't a bad machine. Atari was getting squeezed out of the PC business, much like Amstrad pushed out Sinclair in the UK through lower prices.
The first post also asked what happened to the Atari Jaguar. The Jag was launched in 1993 as the world's first 64 bit game console, Atari put its weight behind the project and closed down all their lines in 1992 (Atari 2600,7800,XE consoles, the computer side all closed) to prepare for the Jag.
The Jag sold well initially and was half the price of 3DO, but in the rush to get the console out Atari didn't make available good development tools for writing games to third parties. Being a difficult system to program for many game writers took the easy way out and just wrote the games for the least powerful of the Jag's 5 chips, a 16 bit chip. Which was why some of the games looked like 16 bit stuff.
Inspite of the success of the 3D Alien V Predator, and the addition of a CD accessory, Jag sales weren't good and by 1994/95 it had Sony to deal with with the well supported PSX. In 1996 the final title "Fight For Life" was released for the Jag. In 1996 Atari became involved in a reverse takeover by diskdrive maker JTS, the Jag was discontinued in 1996. Hasbro bought Atari's intellectual property in 1998 and made writing games for Jag open to the public (open domain) at that time. Tempest 2000 was released in 2000 and proved that the 5 chip Jag 64 was capable of good games.
 
Old 09 September 2004, 18:32   #53
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I too have a soft spot for the Atari 520STFM, being one of the first people to own one in the UK.

However, it's all about Military Spec. And in the case of the A500 - war, never been so much fun - just bring it!
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Old 09 September 2004, 21:23   #54
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Originally Posted by Bloodwych
I too have a soft spot for the Atari 520STFM, being one of the first people to own one in the UK.

However, it's all about Military Spec. And in the case of the A500 - war, never been so much fun - just bring it!
"Military Spec"
 
Old 10 September 2004, 11:01   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira
Obviously a Falcon can do much more with teh DSP (but the synth is still there, isn't it? No clue. If it is, it's still the same old chip that the Spectrum has)
Well, the Atari Falcon had a 8 channel 16 bit PCM audio system through the YM3449 sound chip as well as the DSP. The sound is just awesome and beate the hell out of any non-PC sound chip.

Although the ST had the same soundchip as the CPC and Spectrum, they all run at different syncs. The ST had the ability to play SID quality sound and with proper chip sound editors you could have four channels of chip sound with 3 channels being the main YM2149 channels and 1 channel for digi sound. I always loved the ST sound and I still love it. I actually prefer to fire up STsound in Windows and listen to my favourite YMs rather than listening to PT mods.
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Old 10 September 2004, 13:39   #56
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We can have this sound discussion on many different levels and I guess we're discovering it's very subjective.

Bottom line is for the majority of general Amiga and ST users, the Amiga had superior graphics AND sound. You only had to look at my ST friend’s faces once I "upgraded". One of them, a hardened ST midi user and the last to be converted to the best side of the force, was nearly blown away with the theme music of Pinball Fantasies. Two weeks later he had an Amiga. Admittedly, he kept his ST for midi but that’s not the point….

So although we can discuss this on many levels, the Amiga for general game orientated users was a step up from the STFM. Only reason so many people had ST's first in the UK was because the Amiga was too expensive! And the main reason ST users bitched was their parents wouldn’t buy them an Amiga!

No blitter made them bitter! Then insanely jealous and quite dangerous actually – became mentally unstable in my opinion.

The Falcon was a nice machine however. Shame the market had left it behind by the time it was released. Made me realise that the A1200 was such a disappointment from Commodore. It should have had a 030 (or at least a much faster 020), DSP, new blitter and custom chips that could produce graphics equal or better than the threatening mega drive and snes. I mean come on, the Sharpe 68000 was released in 1986 and it’s graphics kicked arse for many arcade games!

Admittedly, the Amiga had strengths in other graphical area’s and game genres, but people were mainly comparing the arcade titles back then. Having said all that, it probably still would have ultimately failed against the PC/console onslaught.

Had the new machines (Falcon, A1200) been able to erupt a rivalry like the 520STFM vs A500, it would have been great to see which would have come out on top! A1200 vs Falcon? Perhaps it's Atari who had the upper hand in this one.

Last edited by Bloodwych; 10 September 2004 at 14:11.
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Old 10 September 2004, 20:53   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manicx
Although the ST had the same soundchip as the CPC and Spectrum, they all run at different syncs. The ST had the ability to play SID quality sound
Now you are getting into difficult grounds. I suppose you NEVER composed music in any of these machines, did you? Composed anything in any sort of synth chip, for that matter? I suppose not.

The YM2149 is in NO WAY able to barely imitate what the SID does, and what is all this talk about "sync"?? You clearly have no idea of what you talk. Let's say the Speccy did run the AY8192 at a lower FREQUENCYrate than the Atari ST, having in mind the specs are quite different and the ST is clocked higher. All this can mean is probably smoother transitions between cycles (since you can, say, have a 1Khz cycle in the ZX while the Atari could run the same cycle at 7Khz. Made up numbers, thsi is just an example) so the transitions in an arpeggio table might be smoother in the ST. This means fuck all to any possibility of imitating the SID chip. These two synths sound so different, it all comes down to how they synthesize the sound and NOT to how fast the chips can run. An YM2149/AY8192 chip can in NO way sound anywhere near close a SID.

The SIDStation can make the SID run faster than 50/60Hz, but this doesn't mean it sounds better, or synthesizes something different, or whatever.

This is like saying I can make a waveform-synthesis keyboard like the early home Casios "produce SID quality sound". What is "SID quality sound" anyway?

Quote:
and with proper chip sound editors you could have four channels of chip sound with 3 channels being the main YM2149 channels and 1 channel for digi sound.
That's what I was saying before, this digi channel was created with some of the shit present in later ST models like the 1040 I think, or something (could be just the 68000 doing it) NOT the YM. The YM2149 still sounds the same as the 128K's AY8192, period.


The Falcon is a great machine and no mistake, and it mops the floor with any A1200 anytime. It's just such a much better computer. Shame about the lame OS.
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Old 12 September 2004, 02:06   #58
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Originally Posted by Akira
Now you are getting into difficult grounds. I suppose you NEVER composed music in any of these machines, did you? Composed anything in any sort of synth chip, for that matter? I suppose not.
Wrong. I did it in pure ASM.

Quote:
The YM2149 is in NO WAY able to barely imitate what the SID does, and what is all this talk about "sync"?? You clearly have no idea of what you talk. Let's say the Speccy did run the AY8192 at a lower FREQUENCYrate than the Atari ST, having in mind the specs are quite different and the ST is clocked higher. All this can mean is probably smoother transitions between cycles (since you can, say, have a 1Khz cycle in the ZX while the Atari could run the same cycle at 7Khz. Made up numbers, thsi is just an example) so the transitions in an arpeggio table might be smoother in the ST. This means fuck all to any possibility of imitating the SID chip. These two synths sound so different, it all comes down to how they synthesize the sound and NOT to how fast the chips can run. An YM2149/AY8192 chip can in NO way sound anywhere near close a SID.

The SIDStation can make the SID run faster than 50/60Hz, but this doesn't mean it sounds better, or synthesizes something different, or whatever.

This is like saying I can make a waveform-synthesis keyboard like the early home Casios "produce SID quality sound". What is "SID quality sound" anyway?
Aha! You fire up all the above without knowing what I mean with SID quality sound!

Quote:
That's what I was saying before, this digi channel was created with some of the shit present in later ST models like the 1040 I think, or something (could be just the 68000 doing it) NOT the YM. The YM2149 still sounds the same as the 128K's AY8192, period.
Well, you could do that on a simple 520ST. The YM2149 doesn't sound the same btw. If you put a CPC, a Spectrum and a ST side by side you will notice the sound of the CPC to be slightly rough, the Spectrum sounding more like a ST but as if the sound is coming through a pipe and the ST sounding more mellow. Just listen to any sound written by Frank Seemann (aka Tao) or Jochen Hippel. Also, if there are any chances to listen to such synth music on the CPC or Spectrum, let me know. I think though that you need to look for sources about the sound on the ST just to get an in-depth view on that and what I mean by sid quality sound . Start with this article.

Quote:
The Falcon is a great machine and no mistake, and it mops the floor with any A1200 anytime. It's just such a much better computer. Shame about the lame OS.
The Falcon is a good machine but people with in-depth knowledge of its hardware know it has some unbelievable limitations...
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Old 12 September 2004, 15:11   #59
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What manicx means by "SID quality sound" must be the SID-voice technic that is used by Atari ST musicians, it ads an distortion to the YM sound that makes it sound similar to one of the SID's waveforms... but still it's not "SID quality".

i will post some audio examples recorded from an real Atari ST (in OGG format).

First there is this Jupiter Probe music that was done by Rob Hubbard, it's the only exclusive ST music he did. Later Tao did an new version of it using the ST "SID-voice".

Rob Hubbard:
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...piterprobe.ogg

Tao:
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...iter_probe.ogg


and here is two ST tunes that uses standard YM sound:
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...d_driving2.ogg
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...cyberstorm.ogg

And three tunes using more advanced sounds:
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...n_hippel-2.ogg
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris.../tao-thing.ogg
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...ao-eclipse.ogg

This recording is showing how bad digital music sounds on Atari ST:
http://shozan.sytes.net/~meth/ataris...eat_escape.ogg
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Old 12 September 2004, 20:13   #60
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Yes Stefan, I mean exactly that. The special effects were all implemented on the YM6 format. The Sid-Voice effect was named liked that simply because it was sounding like a C64. My favourite effect though is the Sync-Buzzer! Tao took YMing to another level with this effect. Tao also used the Digi Drum and SID effects but it was the Sync-Buzzer that made him so popular. Any ST scener used to speak about SIDs when writing down music using the SID-Voice. If I remember well, I probably wrote a couple of tunes using SID-Voice. Still, chip music but with excellent quality.

As for your last example, there are some examples of pure digit tracks that sound much better than that. I need to look to my extended collection of YMs to find a few of them...

Here's one to try out (you need STSound to play it since it is in original YM format)
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