Amiga

The Commodore Amiga

I first discovered 'Tracking' when I purchased a Commodore Amiga A500 (see right). I purchased the computer second hand and was given a collection of disks with it. On one of these disks contained a piece of software called, 'Pro-Tracker' and as far as I know, this was probably one of the first Tracking programs available.

The Commodre Amiga with its custom chip-set was ahead of its time. These were the days before SoundBlaster cards were available for the PC, in fact, all the PC could do was beep and make some very rudimental electronic sounds. The Amiga was new in that its sound chip (I think it was called Denise, don’t ask why?) had 4 voices with fully programmable wave forms, translated, means it had 4 channels, each capable of playing a sample (8 bit digitised sound).

Eventually the ‘Tracking’ scene emerged. With only 4 channels available and limited memory (my limit was 300k for samples and patterns), there was considerable skill in producing tracks that sounded good. Some common techniques evolved such as the use of pre-sampled chords (one for the major chords and one for the minors). This saved on the use of channels (i.e. 1 channel for a chord instead of 3) but at the expense of larger samples.

MUSIC ON THE PC

Over the years, PC technology caught and with increased processing power, falling prices and the digital sound card! It wasn't long before the PC overtook the Amiga. Trackers such as Scream Tracker, Impulse Tracker, ModTracker and many more emerged with the capability of playing 64+ channels, making the actual creation of tracks easier for the artist but perhaps and the expense of the ‘true’ skill involved in writing the music in the good old days!

Just to give you a taster, I’ve uploaded to this web-site some of my very first Tracks written on the Commodore Amiga A500 using Pro-Tracker 2. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in the quality (remember it's 8 bit samples and very limited memory). Don't forget, after downloading the zip files you'll need a 'Player' to hear the music. Links to a select few can be found on the previous page.

To download the module, click the zip-icon or the filename. If you experience problems with this, right-click and select 'Save Target As'. The modern PC trackers and players can be used to play these modules once they're unzipped.

 Birds of Fire  So Far Away
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-bof.zip
1992 - 1993 (not sure)
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
4.42
195 KB
Based on an old Commodore 64 soundtrack for a game that I'd written (never released). The track samples were generated from Stereo Master sampling software, a Yamaha PSR-200 keyboard, JMJ Zoolook and my voice.
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-sfa.zip
1992 - 1993 (not sure)
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
4.16
144 KB
All samples were ripped from other Amiga Mods that I had from disks on the front of Amiga magazines (Amiga Format me thinks?).
 It's Still a Mystery  No One is Unknown
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-isam.zip
26 December 1993 (Boxing Day?!?!)
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
3.15
164 KB
This piece was composed long before I was able to track. Most of the samples were taken from a very old, out of tune piano (which I kind of liked the sound of), a steel strung guitar and once again my Yamaha PSR-200 keyboard (the Chords). Over the years I've added new sections to this module, but this one was the original!
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-noiu.zip
1 July 1994
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
4.48
232 KB
Okay, I'll put my hands up to ripping the church samples from a Pink Floyd album! The Guitar samples were urm, borrowed from other mods,and other samples game from the PSR-200 again.
 Infinity  Devils Passage
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-i.zip
12 February 1994
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
4.52
114 KB
This tuned evolved as it was written. The piano sample came from the "It's a Mystery" module and the rest probably came from the Yamaha PSR-200 again.
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-dp.zip
1993
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
4.35
232 KB
This tune evolved from the samples and wasn't really pre-planned too much. It was mainly inspired by Jean-Michel Jarre works, although the more noticable sample came from an 'Art of Noise' track.
 The Sky's the Limit  The Storm
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 
dnz-tstl.zip
1994
Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
6.18
190 KB
Sorry, this one goes on a bit and isn't one of my stronger ones. However, this was before I'd even considered learning to fly - perhaps this is where is started? Spooky?
 DOWNLOAD 
 DATE 
 TRACKER 
 FORMAT 
 DURATION 
 FILE SIZE 
 COMMENTS 

dnz-ts.zip
25 December 1993

Pro Tracker 2
*.MOD
2.14
145 KB
This track was written in a very short space of time (a few hours). It was a variation of a chord rift I used to play on the guitar. I'd recently heard a track called 'Lilly was Here'. The track basically had two instruments competting with each other, one playing something, then the other copying. I tried emulating this a little in this piece.

I would just like to thank an old friend Evan, as without him, these Amiga works would have been lost, unable to be transfered to the PC media. Thank you Evan!
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