The Commodore Amiga is where my music composition gained some momentum. This page is an archive of the majority of the tracks that I composed on the Amiga. A signature of these tracks is they are 4 channel, 8 bit digital audio, 2 tracks per left and right channel; so best to listen to them in mono!
A quick thank you and acknowledgement for an old work colleague I used to work with called Evan. Without his efforts, all of these pieces would have been lost as he was able to trasfer the Mod files to a PC format using some special software he had on is still functioning Amiga (around 1997/98). Thank you Evan!
The Storm was pulled together very quickly during a Chrismtas break from Univeristy. The guitar was played by myself and sampled directly into the Amiga. One of the quirks with my sampler, Stereo Master, was the high frequency noise component from the sampling process. Thus unfortunately, can be clearly heard throughout this piece in the guitar samples.
The piece itself was, in part, inspired by one of my favourite tracks at the time, "Lilly was Here" by David A. Stewart.
Birds of Fire originally started off as a SID tune I had composed for a Commodore 64 game I was writing at the time (it was never finished but the soundtrack was awesome [IMO]). There was quite a bit going on in this piece and to get as much in it as I could, I sampled the rift, chords and hit-hats directly from the PSR-300 into a single sampled that I looped. If you listen very carefully you'll hear that I didn't quite get the loops right (listen to the high-hats). I then layered as many other samples around any audio gaps I could find. The vocals are my own voice played back at different speeds.
This track was a bit of an experiment. After relocating my Amiga 500 into the living room where the family upright piano resided; I dropped a microphone inside the piano, played some melodies and sampled them into the Amiga. The piano was a little out of tune which gave the piece a different character to most others I produced. By offsetting these samples across 3 of the Amiga channels, I was able to create a basic delay effect. As the track builds, the delay effect yields to accomodate additional instruments. This is of course, due to the limited resouces on the A500. Additional samples used came from a Yamaha PSR-300 and an acoustic guitar; with the rest 'borrowed' from other mods.
Most of the samples from this piece are originals. The vocals are again my own (including the breathing). The guitar was sampled from my own guitar, the percussion samples were 'borrowed' from others mods and the most unique sound was taken from a Art of Noise CD.
I appear to be a little bit mixed up with dates on some of these tracks. From memory I believe 'So Far Away' was one of my first tracks produced on Pro-Tracker 2.
The 'Sky's the Limit' uses many pre-recorded patterns from the PSR-300 so I could get as much combined into a single sample ( chords, percussion, synths). This became a common technique I adopted to give the impression more channels and sounds were actually available than there were. The downside to this technique was the samples were very large which in turn limited how many I could use in a single track [the joy of rertro!]. To prevent the sounds sounding too repetitive I re-used them at 50% playback speed during the, 'quiter' parts of this piece.
Infinity was one of my favourite tracks [back in the day]. I've again used samples from the PSR-300 (pre-sampled chords), and the strings used throughout. This track has a little more, shall I say, structure to it, then some of my other efforts. The piano sample was taken from the old out of tune family piano.
No One is Unknown really needed far more resources than the Amiga could offer [I think this track could be a good contender for a re-make]. I've again tried to cram as much into a single sample as possible in this piece. For example, the hit-hat, base and soft synth that plays throughout was played manually on the PSR-300 and sampled directly into the Amiga - the trick was starting the sample recording off and getting my fingers on the keyboard to play a bar or two before the sample recording stopped!
Not a track I was overly happy with, but here we are... I think the aeroplane that flies past at the start of the track came off an Art of Noise CD I had! Most of the other samples have again come from my PSR-300.
Definitely from my Art of Noise phase with a lot of use of the orchestral hit sample!
Not entirely sure why I have included this one as it was never finished and was probably arranged in 5 mins. But as it was kicking around on an old disk... [perhaps I'll do something with it in the future!]
I really wanted to do a piece with an electonic arpegiator base. The Navigator was the result of this. You may also detect a certain use of the laser harp, thanks Jean Michelle-Jarre. I also transpose this track half-way through, a technique that I probably used a little too much to signify a different phase of the song.