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1986
Utility: Music
£49.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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36
Phil South, Michael Jones, Kay Ann Helen
Chris Bourne

The Ram Electronics Music Machine is less of a sound sampler, more a way of life. At least, that's what it feels like after you've used it for a while. It's more of a MIDI equipped Sound Sampling Sequencer, actually. You can sample sounds and sequence them, at normal pitch like drums, or sequence them in a piece of music, on a musical stave. All the facilities are very easy to use, and have a lot of potential for musicians, as well as complete novice users.

All the functions are accessed by single key presses, indicated by the Main Menu. There's a superb editing facility whereby you can cut the sounds to fit your memory and reverse or fine edit them via the zoom function. The Tune Editor allows you to write music on a stave, and play it back using on the sounds in memory. The Drum Editor enables you to make drum patterns on a sixteen beat bar, just like professional drumboxes. Sampling is easy, with a visual display of the sound as you're sampling it, removing the possibility of overloading and distorting the sample.

Mike: I liked the on-board drum sounds, but what I might do when I remix the track is sample some of my friend's drum kit instead. That sort of thing's very easy to do, too. Being able to play the keys on the Speccy like drum pads is fun, although they're a bit close together for really fast playing. Oh, and I don't like the fact that you have to type a long line of 1's if you want patter 1 to repeat over and over again!

Kay: Being able to play the sounds from a MIDI keyboard would be great fun, but we couldn't get it to go. I haven't got a synth anyway, but I might like one in the future, so it's very nice to have it there. It's a good all round machine. For fifty quid you can't go wrong. Brilliant.

Not Rated

Screenshot Text

Here's the editing screen from the Music Machine. On it you can view your samples, chop the back and fronts to make them neat, reverse them and zoom into study their intimate little particles. A very user friendly and clear display, as are all the Ram screens, making control and editing of sounds a simple and painless process.