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Author Topic: passport designs  (Read 5379 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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passport designs
« on: July 12, 2017, 05:31:10 PM »

The company was founded in 1979 by Dave Kusek and John Borowicz, and incorporated in 1980, with Kusek as CEO and Borowicz as Vice-President of Development.

They had previously worked together at Electronic Music Labs from 1973–76 and
Star Instruments from 1976-79.

The company was originally headquartered in Montara, California, moving to Half Moon Bay, California and finally to Foster City, California. Engineering offices were also briefly maintained in Minnesota and Portland, Oregon.

Early computer music software
See also: Apple II sound cards § Mountain Computer Music System
The company was a pioneer in the field of computer music, introducing the pre-MIDI SoundChaser in 1982. This Apple II-based system included the Mountain Computer Music System, a programmable 8-voice wavetable synthesizer that fit in two Apple II slots, the Soundchaser 4-octave keyboard, and system software, written by Kusek, that emulated a four-track tape recorder.[3] After Mountain Computer discontinued the Mountain Computer Music System, Passport developed the Soundchaser MX-5(MX-500) Card to use instead. The MX-5 contains not only Mountain Computer Music System compatible sound function but also MIDI interface and keyboard interface of Sound Chaser Music keyboard in single card. In 1983, composer John Melcher developed 4-Track Editor, a composing application that enabled music to be entered like a word-processor.[4] The same year, Passport released Turbo-Traks, a 16-track version of their recording software. At this time, they also released Notewriter, a "real-time monophonic music transcriber", and Notetools, an add-on to convert Notewriter files to 4-Track Performance files. They also released a series of educational applications, written by Dr. Charles Brody.

See also: Trax (sequencer) and Master Tracks Pro

When the first MIDI specification was adopted in 1983, Passport put all of its development resources in this direction, licensing and developing a MIDI interface from Rittor Music in Japan and hiring Melcher to develop MIDI recording software. Composer Phil Stone was also hired at this time, first to develop audio for games on the Commodore 64, and then to port MIDI applications from Apple II to Commodore.

The first of these were MIDI/2 and MIDI/4, two-track and four-track MIDI sequencer/recorders for Apple II and Commodore 64 platforms, including OEM versions of MIDI/4 for Yamaha and Korg. These were introduced at the 1984 National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) trade show, the first commercially available MIDI sequeners in the United States. These were followed by Master Tracks in 1985, and Master Tracks Pro in 1986. This software pushed the Apple II to its limits, working with an optional card to extend the Apple's memory from 48K to 2M.

In 1987, after Melcher left Passport, Master Tracks Pro was completely rewritten for the Apple Macintosh, and later the Atari ST series computers, and still exists for Windows and Apple O/Ses.

By this time, Passport Designs was attracting nationwide media attention for their products. An article in the May 28, 1984 issue of Newsweek described the upcoming MIDISOFT conference of music software publishers, and featured a photograph of Passport's demo room with a bank of MIDI-controlled synthesizers.

Two midi files were included in several MS Windows versions from 3.0 (with Multimedia Extensions) to Windows 2000 promoting Passport Designs. The files PASSPORT.MID, and CANYON.MID (Trip Through the Grand Canyon composed by George Stone) were located in the MEDIA folder.