‘Graphic 1’, William H. Ninke, Carl Christensen, Henry S. McDonald and Max Mathews. USA, 1965


‘Graphic 1’  was an hybrid hardware-software graphic input system for digital synthesis that allowed note values to be written on a CRT computer monitor – although very basic by current standards, ‘Graphic 1’ was the precursor to most computer based graphic composition environments such as Cubase, Logic Pro, Ableton Live and others.

The IBM704b at Bell Labs used with the Graphics 1 system
The IBM704b at Bell Labs used with the Graphics 1 system

Graphic 1 was developed by William Ninke (plus  Carl Christensen and Henry S. McDonald) at Bell labs for use by Max Mathews as a graphical front-end for MUSIC IV synthesis software to circumvent the lengthy and tedious process of adding numeric note values to the MUSIC program. 1 Interview with Max Mathews, Curtis Roads and Max Mathews. Computer Music Journal, The MIT Press, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Winter, 1980), 15-22.

” The Graphic 1 allows a person to insert pictures and graphs directly into a computer memory by the very act of drawing these objects…Moreover the power of the computer is available to modify, erase, duplicate  and remember these drawings” 2 Thom Holmes, (2020), Electronic and Experimental Music Technology, Music, and Culture, Routledge, 275.

Lawrence Rosller of Bell labs with Max Mathews in front of the Graphics 1 system c 1967
Lawrence Rosller of Bell labs with Max Mathews in front of the Graphics 1 system c 1967

Graphic 2/ GRIN 2 was later developed in 1976 as a commercial design package based on a faster PDP2 computer and was sold by Bell and DEC as a computer-aided design system for creating circuit designs and logic schematic drawings.


References:

  • 1
    Interview with Max Mathews, Curtis Roads and Max Mathews. Computer Music Journal, The MIT Press, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Winter, 1980), 15-22.
  • 2
    Thom Holmes, (2020), Electronic and Experimental Music Technology, Music, and Culture, Routledge, 275.

Further Reading:

http://www.musicainformatica.it/

http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr/99.html

‘The Oramics Machine: From vision to reality’. PETER MANNING. Department of Music, Durham University, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RL, UK

M. V. Mathews and L. Rosler’ Perspectives of New Music’  Vol. 6, No. 2 (Spring – Summer, 1968), pp. 92-118

‘Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology: Volume 3 – Ballistics …’ Jack Belzer, Albert G. Holzman, Allen Kent

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