History of Emagic Logic page 2
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History of Logic Notator 2.0

Page 2

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by Tweak

In Notator, we see the core MIDI engines of Logic--a real time notation editor, an event editor, a matrix editor and hyperedit--all in a highly integrated screen layouts. Notator SL as of version 3.0 had its own multi-tasking scheme, called Softlink, which allowed for the integration of editor librarian software. One program that worked extremely well in Softlink was Dr. T's XoR a universal editor/librarian (now called Unisyn by MOTU). Under Softlink, for example, one could select a patch in an external patch editor, while the song was playing, and Softlink would pipe it right into the track. Sysex edits and fader moves in external programs were recorded and played back on the fly. Emagic attempted to put forth its own Universal Ed/lib, called Polyframe, but it was never released formally (though beta versions were largely available). Polyframe was the precursor to what became SoundSurfer and then SoundDiver, which were released after Logic.

Notator's Edit Page

click to enlarge
Notator's Edit Screen: Every value was editable with a mouse and one heard the results in real time. Note the Cue function to the upper right. It allowed the user to "scrub" through MIDI data by holding the right mouse button. pressing the left button would fast forward the playback. This feature remains unmatched in ease of use on any sequencer available today.

 

Notator was known as a stable program, as long as one was careful about not loading too many Atari accessories and auto programs. It was not without severe and unpredictable bugs though. At times songs would stop and the MIDI buffers would fill up then suddenly explode into a cacophony of random MIDI events; there was the cursed Atari cursor bug that would click-click-click often for several minutes before it stopped or crashed the machine; and there was the dreaded "ERR:NoPATT!" bug which would occasionally corrupt data. However, Notator's fundamental weakness--its achilles heel--was that it only ran on the Atari platform. This is not to say that the ST hardware was deficient. In fact, even today some professionals claim that the Atari's MIDI timing engine and tight integration of its built-in MIDI ports is still superior to those on high end Macs and PCs.

 

Notator is still in use in professional studios around the world, though it is more common in Europe, where 3rd party Atari-based computers are supported.   

TweakHeadz Lab 1987 

Here's what my studio looked like at the time I purchased Notator 1.12.  Note the Atari 1040 STf and SM124 Monitor, Akai X7000 sampler, Yamaha 4 track.  Unseen is the rack of synths.

Notator SLSoundSurfer atari

Notator SL (softlink) update

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