Digidesign Sound De­signer (1984)

Computer Music - - Make Music Now -

Orig­i­nally called Digidrums, Peter Gotcher and Evan Brooks’ com­pany be­gan as a means to sell cus­tom sam­ples on EPROM chips for the prim­i­tive dig­i­tal drum ma­chines of the day. They later changed their name to Digidesign and ex­panded the cat­a­logue to in­clude Sound De­signer, a ded­i­cated sam­ple ed­i­tor for Mac. De­signed to help fine-tune and process sam­ples for pop­u­lar hard­ware sam­plers such as the E-MU Emu­la­tor and En­soniq Mi­rage, Sound De­signer al­lowed users to ac­cess the same sort of graph­i­cal edit­ing in­ter­face pre­vi­ously re­stricted to high-end work­sta­tions from Fairlight and Syn­clavier. The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of Sound De­signer’s file for­mat be­came a stan­dard that’s still recog­nised to­day.

In­evitably, Digidesign would evolve their tech­nol­ogy into a full-blown stereo au­dio ed­i­tor called Sound Tools, re­leased in 1989. Billed as “the first tape­less record­ing stu­dio”, it worked with Digidesign’s cus­tom 16-bit Sound Ac­cel­er­a­tor card that plugged into the then-new Macin­tosh II com­puter’s NuBus slot. Two years later, Sound Tools would beget an­other hard­ware/soft­ware combo, this one ca­pa­ble of record­ing and play­ing back four tracks. The com­pany called this new sys­tem Pro Tools and the rest, as they say, is his­tory!

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