In praise of older tech

by @dragondreams

Liner Notes

#old_school #soundfonts #instrumental #last_one_I_promise
I started my recording artist journey many decades ago on multitrack tape. When I finally made the shift to digital recording, it was with Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 on a Pentium 133 PC running Windows 95 with 8Mb RAM with a top of the range Creative Soundblaster that was able to load and use soundfonts. And I built up a massive library of them, bought commercially as well as ones that I created myself by sampling instruments, both my own and those of friends.
A few years ago, during FAWM, I rebuilt an old PC to recreate those days. And quite enjoyed the results.
A couple of years ago, I discovered a VST soundfont player, and used that for two or three tracks.
Earlier this year, I bought a piece of software that translated my soundfont collection into Kontakt library files! And woke up this morning realising I had completely forgotten about it!
Add into this mix the fact that I feel very secondhand, after getting a flu jab in one arm and a covalent covid booster in the other yesterday, so picking up anything heavier than my coffee cup is a no no today.
So what we have here is my back to my digital roots tribute track. Soundfonts in Kontakt using Reaper on a ridiculously over-spec PC. 😀




Utterly beautiful. I could imagine this as the theme for a 90's cop show.


I love the 80's feel I get from this. Reminds me of my high school days. Love the break at 1:30. Ah!!


Hi dragondreams, still listening here., and learning from the liner notes. All beyond me, but the listen was very nice.


Well this is killin' on so many levels, DD. The backstory and the use of the tech to make this throwback come to life is impressive. I'll admit a lot of what you chronicled is a bit beyond me, but all the same it's cool to hear how far you've come on your journey.


Love this to pieces! I keep my 4 track cassette recorder in my studio to keep my digital gear in check. I also have a customer who has been paying me to re-amp his mixes through it which feels super nostalgic.

Thoroughly enjoyed the song and the liner notes.



Well you had to have the coffee! This is really good, i was tapping along! One if those pieces you feel you already know! Nice change at 1.35. Really enjoyed this! This could so easy be a theme to something!


I used my Roland 880 to record please God but u take old school to next level


Sort of a modern take on the 80's, almost synthwave kinda sound. Love a bit of retro, very listenable and despite reading the liner notes beforehand I don't think I would have guessed the recording method.


love those squelchy synths! glorious 80s! (i did the same thing with my jabs- didn't really use my arms for a couple of days!)


As a. non-techie, this impresses me no end! 😀 And I can relate about the two shots in one day! I chose the same arm. 😬


This is a very accurate reconstruction and yet it sounds a little warmer to my ear than some of the harsher earlier music. Lovely stuff at around 1,38 with the synth leads.


Aaah, the things we did back then. 😊 My composer's journey started in 1999 when a friend gave me ripped copies of the Yamaha SY-XG 50 software synthesizer and a weird little MIDI sequencer called Jazz++ to write a jingle for his CounterStrike gaming team.

(Thinking back to then I must say: The tech has unfortunately *not* evolved at all that much during those past 20 years. I mean, obviously, our samples today are better, and we got faster hardware and so, but the core conepts have remained the same. At least until recently, when we first got AutoTune, and now modelled VSTs and generating artificial networks...)

Long story short: Amazing how good this old tech can still sound if operated by someone like you who knows what he's doing. 👍