Open Amiga Sampler – NEW Amiga hardware announcement!

Echolevel

“Introducing the Open Amiga Sampler – an affordable, open-source, 8-bit/mono, parallel port sampler for the Commodore Amiga featuring stereo mixdown and an input preamp with physical gain control.

Schematics, documentation, parts list and custom PCB files are available at: http://github.com/echolevel/open-amig…

By mnstrmnch and syphus/Up Rough

Music: syphus/Up Rough”

This one

Here’s some Sanity, literally, and Amiga Dreams as read for you in French

Now is the time to finally catch up on … YouTube videos by a French guy of 1993’s Francophone Amiga publications. Why, how were you going to finish that sentence?

Consider it some moments of serious, chippy nerd zen. Let me explain, sort of.

As part of my continuing 15-year mission of focusing CDM on obvious clickbait and stories that appeal and resonate with average readers, I … well, I somehow just got lost in a clickhole that involved a 1993 issue of a magazine for the defunct Commodore personal computer platform.

Trackers, a form of music editing software, have been on the mind lately. In addition to frequent software updates of modern and ported trackers for mobile, game, and desktop platforms, we now have not one but two dedicated hardware tracker platforms announced this week. That’ll be the Polyend Tracker, and the Nerdseq Portable.

You don’t need to know that trackers were most popularized in music making on the Commodore Amiga, but they were. So let’s enter a wormhole to the 90s and see what that world was like.

YouTuber Gunhed TV pages through the first issue of Amiga Dream, both on paper and with excerpts of what shipped on the bundled floppy, in a wonderful piece of media archaeology:

It’s notable even casually how much creativity is evident in these pages, compared to what made up the more general purpose-oriented PC mags of the same era – or for that matter how people think of computers today. Games mix with art (and uncensored and suggestive art, in an era before censored Tumblr and Facebook). Creative tools mix with discussions of the hardware. And music tools are just an expected category.

While we’re all stuck looking at our screens, maybe it’s time to bring that back.

The demoscene did sometimes pack strange little audiovisual etudes onto those disks evidently, as we’re treated to 1993’s prize-winning Extension:

Pygmy Projects – Extension

Code: Cenobit, Coconut, Flame
Graphics: Cenobit
Music and Text: Jester

For another 1993 creation, there’s Sanity’s Interference:

Code and Text: Cosmos, Microforce

Music: Virgill

Graphics: Cougar, Havok

I’m not sure how well these hold up aesthetically, though at least they do so ironically. I rather enjoy seeing visuals that are engaging today mixed with ones that feel trapped in 1993, as a kind of perspective.

The demoscene lives on, and embraces some of these earlier technologies with expanding technical expertise and artistry. It’s not only a retro impulse, perhaps, but as with any medium, it means that someone sticking with something like the Commodore 64 as their canvas now has years of added technique gained.

So for instance, here’s an utterly gorgeous C64 demo (going back to something far more restrictive than an Amiga):

Coma Light 13 by Oxyron
Commodore 64 demo, Full HD / 50 fps capture + real SID recording.
Demo released at X2012 demoparty, and won the 1st place there.

Demo credits:
Code: Axis, Bitbreaker, Peiselulli
Music: Fanta Gfx: Veto, Yazoo, Bitbreaker
Text: Yazoo Help: THCM

If you click through to YouTube there are even binary downloads.

Okay, so actually what started as a random distraction is a decent reminder – now that we are restricted from in-person events and staring at our displays, maybe now is a good time to reconsider what art can do inside those bounds.

And meanwhile, knowing which site I’m posting this on and that readers here are far more knowledgeable about this that I am, if you’re right now saying, “what is he doing?! I can list off an entire multi-page history of demoscene that properly explains this and shows other demos that are actually relevant and not random like the ones he chose. Heck, I even know a better resource for Amiga magazines of the early 90s read in not only French but out loud in Czech, Polish, and Ukrainian.”

You’re hired. Get in touch. Seriously. Let’s do it.

Oh and if that wasn’t your thought and you only wondered why I’m off on this tangent and not doing the hundred things I’m supposed to be doing right now, I blame HAINBACH.

Seriously, be careful what you tweet at me. It’s like throwing a Cheeto into the polar bear tank at the zoo, only with my brain. Terrible consequences.

Previously in unicorn chasers:

The post Here’s some Sanity, literally, and Amiga Dreams as read for you in French appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Immerse yourself in a world of grainy 80s nostalgia with Retro Gaming Bundle

PIB Retro Gaming Bundle

Plugin Boutique has launched a new Exclusive Bundles+ series collection of plugins and sound packs with the Retro Gaming Bundle, featuring everything from synths to 8-bit fx so that you have everything you need to start including the iconic sounds of your favorite vintage gaming consoles into your audio production. The bundle includes Inphonik’s RYM2612 […]

The post Immerse yourself in a world of grainy 80s nostalgia with Retro Gaming Bundle appeared first on rekkerd.org.

Forget vinyl: here’s a DJ rig with two Amiga 1200 PCs

Computers will never die. Now they’re even old enough to be retro. So watch a DJ rig that combines two Commodore Amigas for MOD DJing, thanks to recent software.

“The kids are coming up from behind. I’m losing my edge. I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought Amigas.”

The beauty of this approach is, those Amigas play MOD files – tracker-based music sequences with elaborate, hyperactive sounds from the golden age of video game composition and chip music. And just as you really want to hear certain things on tape or digital or vinyl, some music really lends itself to that format.

And yes, there really is (fairly) new software for this – new Amiga software, no joke. It’s called PT-1210, and it transforms vintage Amigas (or Atari ST) into a kind of CDJ for MOD files. It debuted – where else, at a demoscene/hacker conference – at Revision 2014 in Saarbrücken, Germany. Here’s how the developers describe it:

PT-1210 Mk1 is a Protracker Digital Turntable, that is, a computer program that will let you play your Amiga Protracker module files (.MOD) as if you were playing with CDJ turntables, inspired by gwEm’s STJ. Think of it as Traktor for the Protracker generation.

Hilarious banner:

That software is the work of Akira (concept/UI), h0ffman (concept/code), and tecon (testing). It’s even written in Assembler code for maximum performance on vintage hardware. Grab it here:

http://pt1210.abime.net/

Atari ST fans, this Amiga creation was in turn inspired by Atari ST software with the same aim, by gwEM, cleverly dubbed STJ:

http://www.preromanbritain.com/stj/

The rig in the video at top:

Small monitors (for analog video output)
Mono-to-stereo adapters (since the Amigas have mono output)
DJ mixer
SD cards (in place of floppy disks, which means massive supplies of MOD files)

They found their MOD files at ModLand

Oh yeah, there are even instant doubles – you can load up the same track on both machines.)

Beat matching is still a thing here, so you get human sync by your ear rather than something electronically locked in. (That’s also beautiful, frankly!)

To show off all this goodness, the RetroManCave YouTube channel goes to these folks:

Retro Ravi – https://www.youtube.com/user/the4mula
8bitmixshow – http://8bitmix.com/

Okay, so that’s the tech stuff. But now the important bit – can you make a compelling DJ set with this rig? Here’s one answer, from Ravi:

Thanks to Noncompliant for the link! Can I request my favorite MOD at Berghain this Saturday, Lisa?

https://www.noncompliantmusic.com/#!

Don’t just want to DJ, but produce, too? Check this out:

The 90s are alive, with a free, modern clone of FastTracker II

The post Forget vinyl: here’s a DJ rig with two Amiga 1200 PCs appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Forget vinyl: here’s a DJ rig with two Amiga 1200 PCs

Computers will never die. Now they’re even old enough to be retro. So watch a DJ rig that combines two Commodore Amigas for MOD DJing, thanks to recent software.

“The kids are coming up from behind. I’m losing my edge. I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought Amigas.”

The beauty of this approach is, those Amigas play MOD files – tracker-based music sequences with elaborate, hyperactive sounds from the golden age of video game composition and chip music. And just as you really want to hear certain things on tape or digital or vinyl, some music really lends itself to that format.

And yes, there really is (fairly) new software for this – new Amiga software, no joke. It’s called PT-1210, and it transforms vintage Amigas (or Atari ST) into a kind of CDJ for MOD files. It debuted – where else, at a demoscene/hacker conference – at Revision 2014 in Saarbrücken, Germany. Here’s how the developers describe it:

PT-1210 Mk1 is a Protracker Digital Turntable, that is, a computer program that will let you play your Amiga Protracker module files (.MOD) as if you were playing with CDJ turntables, inspired by gwEm’s STJ. Think of it as Traktor for the Protracker generation.

Hilarious banner:

That software is the work of Akira (concept/UI), h0ffman (concept/code), and tecon (testing). It’s even written in Assembler code for maximum performance on vintage hardware. Grab it here:

http://pt1210.abime.net/

Atari ST fans, this Amiga creation was in turn inspired by Atari ST software with the same aim, by gwEM, cleverly dubbed STJ:

http://www.preromanbritain.com/stj/

The rig in the video at top:

Small monitors (for analog video output)
Mono-to-stereo adapters (since the Amigas have mono output)
DJ mixer
SD cards (in place of floppy disks, which means massive supplies of MOD files)

They found their MOD files at ModLand

Oh yeah, there are even instant doubles – you can load up the same track on both machines.)

Beat matching is still a thing here, so you get human sync by your ear rather than something electronically locked in. (That’s also beautiful, frankly!)

To show off all this goodness, the RetroManCave YouTube channel goes to these folks:

Retro Ravi – https://www.youtube.com/user/the4mula
8bitmixshow – http://8bitmix.com/

Okay, so that’s the tech stuff. But now the important bit – can you make a compelling DJ set with this rig? Here’s one answer, from Ravi:

Thanks to Noncompliant for the link! Can I request my favorite MOD at Berghain this Saturday, Lisa?

https://www.noncompliantmusic.com/#!

Don’t just want to DJ, but produce, too? Check this out:

The 90s are alive, with a free, modern clone of FastTracker II

The post Forget vinyl: here’s a DJ rig with two Amiga 1200 PCs appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The 90s are alive, with a free, modern clone of FastTracker II

It ran natively in MS-DOS, then died by the end of the 90s. But now it’s back: one of the greatest chip music trackers of all time has been cloned to run on modern machines.

FastTracker II will now run on Windows and Mac (and should run on Linux). The clone project started last year, but it seems to have picked up pace – a new set of binaries are out this week, and MIDI input support was added this month.

FastTracker II is a singular piece of software that helped define trackers, demoscene, and the music produced with it. If you’ve used it, I don’t really have to say more. If you haven’t, but you’ve used other trackers – even up to modern takes on the genre like Renoise – you’ve used software influenced by its design.

Like all trackers, the fundamental use of the tool is as a sequencer. But unlike other sequencer concepts – piano rolls which represent time visually like pianolas and music boxes do, multitrack recorders and DAWs modeled on mixers and tape, or notation views – the tracker is a natively computer-oriented tool. Its paradigm is simply about a vertical grid, with shortcuts for entry (represented as numerals) via the computer interface.

That makes trackers uncommonly quick via the computer interface. In the case of FastTracker II, you program every note and timbral change via mouse or keyboard shortcut, and it’s represented compactly in characters onscreen. FT2’s doubling up of mouse and keyboard shortcuts also makes it quick to learn and still quicker to use once you’ve mastered it.

In fact, firing up this build (in 64-bit on Windows 10, no less), I’m struck by how friendly and immediate it is. It’s not a bad introduction to the genre.

MIDI in is great, too, though MIDI out will “never” happen (in a message from the 13th of April).

But it’s kind of amazing this thing even exists. The clone is built in SDL, a cross-platform media library, the work of one Olav “8bitbubsy” Sørensen, who apparently got permission to do this. And it was never supposed to even happen. Heck, the thing was even buried with this note:

“FT2 has been put on hold indefinitely. […] If this was an ideal world, where there was infinite time and no need to make a living, there would definitely be a multiplatform Fasttracker3. Unfortunately this world is nothing like that.”

So, we may not live in an ideal world. But we live in a world where FT2 again runs on our machines. (Amiga fans, there’s also a ProTracker clone.)

Download it:

https://16-bits.org/ft2.php

Thanks to Nicolas Bougaïeff for this one, fresh off his Berghain debut. I want some new chip music from you, man.

And it’s … like the 90s are alive.

The post The 90s are alive, with a free, modern clone of FastTracker II appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Impact Soundworks releases Super Audio Cart PC, Classic computer sound sets & chips for Kontakt Player

Impact Soundworks Super Audio Cart PCImpact Soundworks has released Super Audio Cart PC, a Kontakt Player powered virtual instrument that emulates the chiptune sounds of AdLib/Soundblaster, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, WinGroove and many other classic computer sound sets and chips. Where the original Super Audio Cart focused on home video game systems, Super Audio Cart PC perfectly captures the […]

Impact Soundworks intros Super Audio Cart PC, classic PC sound chips/soundsets for Kontakt Player

Impact Soundworks Super Audio Cart PC screenImpact Soundworks has announced its upcoming Super Audio Cart PC Kontakt Player instrument library, featuring 8 the sounds of classic PC sound chips/soundsets. Coming SOON… The timeless sounds of 8 legendary computers, packed into an ultra-modern virtual instrument! Relive the glory days of Amiga, MSX, Atari ST, MOD trackers and more with Super Audio Cart […]