The Yamaha C1 was released in 1987 and is basically a 80286 processor
based PC with 8 built in MIDI ports for use in applications where there
are many MIDI instruments to address.
By 1987 some machines which were capable of responding on multiple MIDI channels were appearing, and some earlier machines could only function in "omni" mode which meant that they needed a whole 16 channel port to themselves or they would play every time a note intended for another instrument was sent.
Since MIDI information is fairly 'slow' in respect to what even a about 10Mhz computer can handle 8 output ports with buffers wasn't a difficult thing to pull off for even an old 286 apparently.
Various DOS applications were included, among them the Voyetra Sequencer which was set up to run all 8 ports.
Contributors : Bob Weigel (picture, info), Gareth Qually (info, specs)
Javier Z. reports:
Yamaha C1 Music Computer was used by Kraftwerk in "Electric Cafe".
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The day my C1 died was a sad one indeed. Loved the ease of the Voyetra sequencing software, and not having to use an outboard midi patchbay back then was awesome. With 8 outs and 2 ins I easily ran my entire studio, including:
Juno 106 Cheetah MS-6 Cheetah MS800 Oberheim Matrix 6R Roland D110 Yamaha SPX-900 ART SGX2000 + a pair of midi-CV boxes to drive older analogs.
Would love to have that rig again...
Tuesday 8th February 2011
Kraftwerk''s Electric Cafe was recorded during 83-86 with the Synclavier. Two C1 machines were used on stage in late 90''s only
Wednesday 5th May 2010
How does the Yamaha C1 Music Computer ''die''? Mine works just fine. Had display issues, certainly... in the 90''s Yamaha was gracious to supply a replacement screen, but that failed eventually. Next step: find the proper monitor! Found one, then the computer ''expert'' insisted on testing his own way... long story short: the ''expert'' destroyed his own monitor by not setting the monitor to the proper setting as I instructed. If anyone here can supply such a monitor for the C1, please reply! I find this situation similar to monitors for Akai samplers. However, note: the C1 monitor spec and early akai (up to 3000xl, at least) are entirely different.
Monday 17th May 2021
Bravine (United States)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
88 keys with numeric keypad and arrow keys
switchable clock 10/8 MHz
640 Kbytes main, 512 Kbytes extension
40 or 80 columns x 25 lines
CGA, 640 x 400
Monochrome blueish LCD display
SIZE / WEIGHT
394(W) x 382(D) x 82(H) mm / 8.2 kg (18 lb 2 oz)
Time Code In, Time Code Out (both via RCA ports), 2 x serial ports, Expansion Card Slot, 8 x MIDI OUT ports, 2 x MIDI IN ports, 1 x MIDI THRU port, Digital RGB out port, CGA or Monochrome (Hercules compatible) mode
BUILT IN MEDIA
3.5'' Floppy disc drive (1.44 MB) + 20 MB hard disk