When composers began using computers to make music, the relevant computing conditions were in a state much as they are today for computer graphics. In order to achieve the level of realism, expressive control, and timbral nuance necessary for a satisfying and successful musical art, real-time control was out of the question. Compute ratios of 100 or 200 to 1 were not uncommon, especially when computeintensive qualities such as digital reverberation were included. But back around 1976 when I began my doctoral work at Stanford, the excitement and satisfaction at working in a pioneering and futuristic medium was great enough to make us abandon good sense and spend the small hours of the morning computing a few tens of seconds of music.
- Michael McNabb (USA), Musician, NeXT Computer