BMUG and MacRecorder

235 words

2K on disk

September 1985

BMUG and MacRecorder

Audio Recording Hardware

We take recording audio on personal computers for granted nowadays. Without audio-in, we wouldn’t be able to use Skype, record a video for YouTube, or sing along with GarageBand. But before audio became a standard feature of the personal computer, there was a group of volunteers in Berkeley, California who figured out how to get sound into their Macs.

A graduate student in Math, Michael P. Lamoureux , is credited with the original design of the digitizer hardware. Plans were published in the Fall 1985 BMUG Newsletter, enabling anyone handy with basic electronics to construct the device. The box plugged into the serial port on the back of the Macintosh. The Fall 1985 Newsletter actually includes three articles about MacRecorder including the source code of a basic program to receive digitized audio from the device:

In the front matter of that 1985 BMUG newsletter, the user group announced that kits would be available for $45.

Farallon, a company that productized several BMUG inventions (including PhoneNET adapters), released a commercial version of the product in early 1988. MacWeek showed a preview in December 1987 :

Intriguingly the article mentions “SoundTrack, a sophisticated sound editor.” This is undoubtably SoundEdit, the famous software written by Steve Capps in 1986. Farallon was perhaps considering renaming it to differentiate their version, but it shipped (as near as I can tell) as SoundEdit, not SoundTrack.

References:
BMUG. “About BMUG.” BMUG Newsletter Fall (1985): 4.
Guglielmo, Connie, and Clair Whitmer. “New Farallon Mac Recorder.” MacWeek, December 1, 1987.
Lamoureux, Michael. “MacRecorder Software.” BMUG Newsletter Fall (1985): 61.
Lamoureux, Michael. “MacRecorder II.” BMUG Newsletter Fall (1985): 58.
Lamoureux, Michael. "Faculty Page." Accessed July 14, 2011.
Shipman, Ty. “MacRecorder.” BMUG Newsletter Fall (1985): 51.
BMUG and MacRecorder
Kind: Audio Recording Hardware
Size: 2350 bytes, accounts for 2K on disk
Where:Hardware, internal drive
Created:Thursday, September 19, 1985 at 12:14 AM
Modified:Monday, April 8, 2024 at 3:36 PM
Locked