Home Computing Retrogaming Audio Random

Atari ST Music Software List

Updated 12 February 2023

The Atari ST is the essential retro-computer to interface with 1990s music equipment. The Atari engineers incorporated a functioning MIDI port into the standard Atari ST. This was a visionary move for the time. Every piece of professional grade music instrument now interfaces with this retro-computer.

Synthesizer music continues to be the dominant form of music today. Musicians are looking back at the equipment that made this all possible. It makes sense that musicians will want to use computers from the same era to find that new sound. I have provided a list of commercial Atari ST software that will be of interest for the musician. This list of Atari ST software includes software for music creation, MIDI, sequencing and education.

Atari ST Commercial Music Software

The Legend of Kate Bush

Atari ST Ultimate Music Production

Kate Bush, the renowned British singer-songwriter, harnessed the creative power of the Atari ST computer in her music-making journey during the late 1980s. At that time, the Atari ST was a game-changer for musicians due to its MIDI capabilities. Kate utilized the Atari ST for MIDI sequencing, enabling her to control multiple instruments simultaneously. This was a significant departure from traditional musicians who could play only one instrument at a time. With the Atari ST's music sequencer software, Kate sent precise commands to electronic instruments like tone generators and sound synthesizers, allowing her to craft intricate and layered compositions. The Atari ST's ability to auto-correct timing, known as quantization, offered precision in her music production. This technological leap opened doors to greater creativity and versatility, freeing her from the constraints of sequential instrument recording. Kate Bush's innovative use of the Atari ST exemplifies how technology revolutionized music creation.

Atari Stacy 4 Music Production

The Atari ST has a long heritage with music making, MIDI and music sequencing. Banging out tunes is what made the Atari Stacy4 famous. The Atari Stacy computer is an portable style MC68000 based Atari ST with an LCD screen. Portable is a matter of definition. I think that this falls into the definition of luggable. It's still a gorgeous piece of machinery. The Atari Stacy has the standard MIDI in/out ports for connecting musical equipment. The MIDI standard has been around for a very long time. You should be able to use modern MIDI-compatible music gear with the Atari Stacy.

Start STacy4 portable computer

Micro Live MIDI demonstration

Atari Music Sequencer Software

Micro Live's Fred Harris demonstrates the latest computer music software to make a MIDI. Traditional musicians can only play one instrument at a time. Computers do not have that limitation. Using standard MIDI, a computer can control 16 instruments simultaneously. The Atari ST has software, called a music sequencer, to send commands to electronic instruments. These instruments such as tone generators and sound synthesizers receive these commands and generate tones. This is the musical equivelent of a word processor. The Atari ST software can take the human input with it's small variations and auto-correct the timing. In modern terms, this is called quantization. The use of computer music technology allowed for greater creativity and versatility in music production, as traditional musicians were limited to playing only one instrument at a time.

List of Commercial Music Software

Other articles we think you might like

AudioPhil review of the AKAI SW-125 bookshelf loudspeaker

loudspeaker review

1970 Blaupunkt Arizona Stereo Console

Blaupunkt Arizona
Stereo Receiver

Commodore 64 Live Ammo games bundle

Live Ammo
games bundle

Yamaha QY10 MIDI Sequencer

Yamaha QY10
music sequencer