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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.


Sid Highwind

While at Winter NAMM this year, Sweetwater took the opportunity to interview audio professionals from around the industry regarding 25 products from the past 25 years that greatly influence audio and music production.
To view the videos, clicking here
Of course this list could have included 50, or even 100 products from the past 25 years and your "top 25" might be different from ours.Here is your chance to comment on any of the products mentioned or suggest products that we left off.
February 6, 2004 @04:51pm

There are a few pieces of gear that I feel have guided my path in the music/studio aspect of my life.
1. The MAC and the evolution of Performer/digital performer.
2. The ensoniq EPS sampler and it's organizational scheme.
3. The DAT machine. Gone now, but it moved my masters into the digital realm....
4. MOTU's 2408 and Digital Performer.
It's been a good road...
john carter
thirteen/eight productions
February 9, 2004 @06:04pm

Come on, folks... doesn't anybody remember multi-track analogue tapes, (Thank-You Les Paul.) In the '70's, TEAC gave us an affordable, professional 4-track, (the 3340;) and later the cassette-based PortaStudio. What about the once-obsequious Linn-Drum machine? Being a drummer myself, I hated it, yet it heralded the advent of sequencing as we know it. These days, I'm a confirmed digital, computer-based recordist, but without my background in those more challenging formats, I wouldn't have the experience/knowledge I currently possess...
P.S.- "Long live RE/P", the best pro-audio mag there ever was.
February 17, 2004 @06:32am

The gear that changed history? Easy. GigaStudio:
Giga sized samples streaming from the hard drive. No more limitations based on sample size like on hardware samplers. This technology has allowed composers to do very convincing orchestral mockups on big budget films like Gladiator, Last Samurai, and Enemy of the State to name a few.
What's also very evident is not only do you now have the samples, but the engineering talent that recorded it along with the state-of-the-art recording and mastering equipment. Heck, on some samples you also get the hall it was recorded in!
February 21, 2004 @08:19pm

Hammond & Leslie (Big Daddy)
MiniMoog (The Sound)
Prophet 5 (Neato Chords)
DX7 (MIDI and digital)
Emulator ( ! )
Rebirth (precursor to Reason)
(I had a 3340 and so thank Les Paul too)
I might add the Amiga computer which forced Microsoft and Apple forward. It wasn't till OS X that I found anything as pleasurable to use.
February 27, 2004 @12:38pm
Casper of HHP.com

In 1952, Les Paul introduced the first eight-track tape recorder (designed by Paul and marketed by Ampex) and, more significantly for the future of rock and roll he also created the first big body electric........for more facts on les paul look him up through google.
Casper Oliveri
March 8, 2004 @05:14am

Changed the history of synthesizers forever!
Beyond any comparison and architecture...they discovered the sun while others still struggling to the moon!
July 18, 2004 @08:14am
DJ Hero

hands down....
Roland tb 303, and Tr 909, and 808
August 3, 2004 @09:16pm

I'm not sure about a single piece of gear, but a technology that definitely changed history would be the advent of MIDI. It played a huge part in the exiling of traditional R&B and it has afforded millions of wannabe (myself included) musicians, composers and producers to fully create, re-create and annihilate this thing we call "MUSIC" all by ourselves with no other band members to blame. It has also allowed the Record Exec to improve his bottom line by not having to spend so much on session players (talking "pop" styles here)and overall not giving up so much green on a production budget(particularly in the hip-hop realm). Whoopie!!!! More money for payola!!
August 4, 2004 @12:24am

I don't know my mixer history too well, but didn't Soundcraft kinda lead the way on the live scene with the "Mixer + Flightcase"?
August 4, 2004 @04:13am

I'm glad WillyT mentioned the Yamaha DX7!
It was my first synth. I think the DX7 introduced the world to digital algorithmic-based synthesis. Sure, the early versions were mono-timbral and the polyphony was limited but the sounds completely blew me out of the water (I'll tell ya, they'd still hold up today!!).
August 4, 2004 @03:38pm

Alesis,for putting world class gear in the hands of the working musician that was low cost,but not low quality.
MMT-8,Microverb,Microlimiter are just but a few that come to mind...
With the HR-16,at last, a drum machine that sounded like *real* drums
instead of a poor imitation....
But their finest moment came with the advent of the SR-16 and "Dynamic Articulation" which would point the way for everyone else who has come since...
Korg,for taking the concept of a "Portastudio" even further by adding literally everything to take a project from "A" to "CD" in just one unit.The D1200 (your choice) is the one singular gear that got me excited about music again after a long period of not caring.......
Casio,for providing keyboards whose performance far outstripped the price of "Arranger Keyboards" and allowed me to do my work(demo-wise)
while debating the merits of getting a "Pro" keyboard(or NOT).
$299 for the CT-670 goes a long way over 6 years and I am still using it!
Roland,for continuing the grand tradition by further blurring the lines between "Arranger" and "Pro" Keyboards with the introduction of the EXR-3.Now, most anyone does not have an excuse for NOT having a quality keyboard to work with....
I'm not forgetting about Tascam and their ingenious Porta 05-The one reason I decided on it was because they had LED meters instead of those buggy "UV's".Later on I discovered it had a lot more to offer than just that.In this day and age,Tascam is still the standard,if not the rule....
And to the Hi-Fi VCR as we know it now(as then)paying $600 for an Hitachi 6-head(floor-model,back in 1990) still made way more sense than paying 4 times that much for a DAT mixdown deck.Even in SP mode,I was able to store 2 hours of music on one cassette and still get clean results.I wasn't worried about "oversampling" at the time-I just wanted my tapes to sound good....and they did!
August 9, 2004 @02:12am
Producer Big C

The Akai MPC-60, Akai DR-4 trk. hard disk recorder and Pioneer CDJ-1000 are my all time favorites.
August 14, 2004 @02:31am

The Korg M1 was the 1st rompler that actually made some synthesized acoustic instruments sound 'realitic' such as sax, guitar etc.
The 1st time I played one in 1988 I thought I'd go over the edge- It trully frightened me because I wasn't sure what a 'workstation' was and I wasn't sure whether it was a synth, sampler or something else with a keyboard- it had minimal front panel buttoms and 'no disk drive'!!!! (so where was I gonna store all my sequences'???? if I bought one. Oh well thats why I saved and got a T3 instead (what the M1 should have been in the 1st place!!!!) and I think that it's still an awesome board today after 14 years!:).
I used nothing but a T3 and a tape deck to do backing tracks for years using just it's internal sequencer (mind you one of those people I did tracks for was Vanessa Amorosi who is huge now- mind you she had a huge voice back then too!:). She's awesome!
My Alesis Quadraverb (since sadly sold!) introduced me to the world of cheap great sounding multi fx and reverb- I milked that unit to deather before partimg with it as well as my now sold Tascam 424 4 track and Boss DR660.
Then I got the Atari ST with C Lab Notator and never went back to using a hardware sequencer (well only a few times with the Triton!).
For me also my Yamaha O3D (an affordable digital Mixer that does everything) and still awesome today and the Digidesign 001 with Mac G4 allow me to do stuff that only 10 years before would have cost tens of thousands to achieve!
August 21, 2004 @05:17am

1.simmons electric drum set
2.wireless units for guitars/basses
February 18, 2005 @03:51am