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Old 4th June 2016
  #23
Gear Maniac
Never thought to take pictures. I may have some old cut sheets around somewhere. I'll have to dig them out. That was about 1995.
The rig was a 486 / win 3.1 / running Spectral Prismatica, a smaller version of the Spectral Synthesis engine. The thing was rock solid. It would hold, I don't know, 96 tracks? But only play 12 at a time. I was finally able to import 8 tracks at a time from my Tascam DA-38's. I still have the format converters, "Translator"s, since they convert TDIF / ADAT / Y2 and AES. They come in handy from time to time with transfers.

The CD burner was a Yamaha 4x that still worked some 4 years later when I upgraded to a 24 bit system. Too bad I couldn't find drivers for it.

The whole system had quirks. The Spectral was a self-contained system on cards that hardly talked to the rest of the system. You couldn't even shuffle files from the Spectral drives to the system drives. Since the CD burner worked from the system drives, you had to loop the 2-mix - somehow really odd, I don't remember - from the Spectral drives, in real time, to the system drives, leaving the correct amount of space between tracks for mastering. What fun for a guy that had never seen a computer before.

Oh... I said rock solid? That was until I made the mistake of using the computer for stuff other than audio. Then it became unstable and I was nuking the system and reinstalling the OS - remember poking in a dozen 3.5" floppies to install the OS? Oh, and re-installing the CDR, which meant going into the system files and adding lines of "code", essentially manually installing drivers so the CDR would work.

Did I mention that I had never seen a computer before then? And apparently no one else had ever seen a CDR. The only help was Yamaha tech. NOBODY had a CDR near me.

What fun! I learned a lot, but I don't miss those days.