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When I think about the ALESIS MMT-8 sequencer I feel a wave of nausea and panic as well as a sense of achievement. We bought this sequencer to loop the samples we made on the MIRAGE in time with our beats on the HR-16 B (so we would not have to trigger the mirage by hand). The MMT-8 was designed as a companion to the Alesis HR-16 and HR-16 B (they match although the MMT-8 is grey instead of black). It really wasn’t that hard to figure out how to use cuz it combined familiar elements from drum machines, 4-tracks, telepathic communication. Initial confusion resulted from the fact that in none of the individual equipment manuals (mirage, HR-16B or MMT-8) could we find any allusion to how we might make MIDI connections to get the machines to work together (we found this info in the excellent book “MIDI for Musicians”). After we had programmed most of our songs for the first record and were getting ready to go into the studio, we had this brilliant idea that we should try to BACK-UP the sequences on the MMT-8 and the HR-16 B in case something bad happened. This involved recording a tone out of each machine on to a cassette tape. We weren’t convinced this was actually saving our data, but the next week when the MMT-8’s internal battery died and we LOST EVERYTHING, we learned that indeed somehow that tone on the cassette had the power to give it all back to us. Thank god.

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