Hal Chamberlin

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Howard Allen (Hal) Chamberlin, Jr. is an American audio engineer, writer and long distance cyclist, most widely known as the author of the book Musical Applications of Microprocessors.


In the 1970s while still at school he built an analog synthesizer and then a 16 bit computer from surplus IBM 1620 magnetic-core memories to control it.[1][2]

He was awarded an MSc in Communication Engineering from NCSU in 1973. The subject of his thesis was the design of a digital synthesizer utilising an electric organ keyboard and a Tektronix 453 oscilloscope for the graphics display.[2]

In November 1974 together with others began The Computer Hobbyist magazine.[3]

In 1977 he first published wavetable synthesis in Byte's September 1977 issue[4] and together with David B. Cox started Micro Technology Unlimited.[5] At Micro Technology Unlimited, in 1981, he designed the 6502-based MTU-130/140 microcomputer[6] and the Digisound-16 an early digital-to-analog converter.

His seminal book Musical Applications of Microprocessors was first published in 1979.[5][7][8]

In 1986 he left MTU to work for Kurzweil Music Systems where he remained in one engineering role or another until retirement in 2014.[5][8] While there amongst other projects he designed the K150 synthesizer[9]


  1. ^ The First Ten Years of Amateur Computing by Sol Libes, Byte magazine, July 1978
  2. ^ a b Hal Chamberlin's Computer ACS Newsletter, Volume III, Number 2, September 1972
  3. ^ Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine, Pragmatic Bookshelf, 3rd edition, 30 Oct. 2014, ISBN 1937785769
  4. ^ A sampling of techniques for computer performance of music by Hal Chamberlin, Byte, September 1977
  5. ^ a b c MTU Founders in Digital Audio Workstations
  6. ^ Compute!, Issue 19, December 1981, p. 72
  7. ^ Acknowledgements, Music From Outer Space website
  8. ^ a b The Kurzweil Music story: It all started with Ray, Kurzweil Music Systems, 25 January 2012
  9. ^ Product information and history, December 2000

Further reading

  • Musical Applications of Microprocessors by Hal Chamberlin, Hayden Book Co., 1980, ISBN 0810457539
  • Musical Applications of Microprocessor by Hal Chamberlin, 2nd ed., Sams, 1985, ISBN 0810457687

External links