12/09/11 20:30:00

Nostalgia: Tracker Music in 2011

Earlier this week I’ve tried to archive music that I made when I was about 12-ish. I started making music on so called Trackers. The first one that I had had only four tracks and ran in DOS. I can’t recall its name, but I grew bored of it quickly due its technical limitations.
After that I bought a tracker (that came on a CD-ROM) named X-Tracker by d-lusion. A wonderful piece of software. It required more High-RAM than Low-RAM (was that the name?) and I had a special configuration for it in my CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files that I chose to boot with my ultra-funky boot menu.
Later, when Windows 95 came about, I switched to a program named MOD Plug Tracker. I think its main advantage was that a) it didn’t suck as other editors and b) it was able to read my old X-Tracker files.

What followed was a time where I’ve gone back and forth between a lot of audio editing and music making programs. Including Fruity Loops, Logic Pro, Cubase, Ableton Live, Max.

All the memory almost faded, but two years ago I promised myself to archive this old music in a format that I could at least play. Lacking a legal version of Windows this was a bit of a problem. But as it turned out it’s not as hard to solve.
There’s Extended Module Player a command line tool that you can use to play old MODs and write (even specific channels) as audio files. (I wrote an AppleScript for it!)

But there’s an even easier solution for my problem. Open ModPlug Tracker is an open source Windows app that will open, read, and save all sorts of MODs without issues. Even saving each channel separately is supported.

All you need is WineBottler or WinOnX to emulate a Windows environment for OpenMPT.

PS: Yes, I’m a music nerd. I know what it means to calculate a fade out over 64 steps from a volume of 127 to 0. (Or parameter changes from 0xFF to 0x00)