Samplers & Sequencers
An extensive ARexx command set gives you almost complete control over this application, with the ability to automate functions or even create custom effects.
Support is included for all common audio file formats and many unusual ones, too. Audio output is possible through the Amiga's built-in audio hardware (with 8 and 14 bit implementations) or using the AHI system.
SinED offers some synthesis, effects and sample editing functions, but perhaps more notable is its drumfill generator.
It is capable of playing up to 8 tracks (AD516) or 4 tracks (AD1012) at 44.1 kHz, with simultaneous record and playback.
The software has not been officially updated since 1994. However, due to the recent surfacing of some long lost developer documentation, the program has been getting some new attention and the hope of some new enhanced modules in the future.
Related: QMaster (cuelist file manager), Studio16add (developer documentation and add-on tools), Studio16-Dev (v2.05 developer documentation), SuperModel (GUI patch) and the Studio 16 support website (FAQ, email list, files).
This program is sure to create some excitement in the Amiga music community, so watch here for a full preview of this great new Amiga offering.
Bars and Pipes Professional
Although B&P Pro was abandoned during the Microsoft takeover, the availability of developer documentation leaves it open for further expansion. With it now being freely distributable it is an application that every Amiga musician should have.
Related: websites (Modern Plumbing and Richard Hagen's B&P), an email List and the Triple Play Plus (48 channel MIDI interface).
Bars & Pipes Professional
Before B&P Pro came along, Music-X was the best MIDI sequencer available. The addition of an ARexx module opened up lots of new possibilities for creative MIDI message processing.
Music-X provides for additional MIDI channels (>16) though custom drivers; however, most of the supported hardware is difficult if not impossible to find.
Related: Music-X_Macros, MusicXMagic and MusicXRexxMacs.
Camouflage is a promising looking alternative for MIDI sequencing, which seems to be on the right track. But, it appears that with no updates for over 2 years and unreachable web and email addresses, that this project may have been abandoned.
Sound File Convertors
If you want to convert audio files for writing to CD or for use on the Flyer, Audio Thunder is the answer. In addition to conversion, it also provides basic cut/paste/effect and auditioning functions. A time sequencing editor, for merging multiple audio clips into a single clip, is also included.
MPEG audio is becoming a very popular music format because of its high compression; though unfortunately, it is mostly being used for music piracy. The encoding process can take a long time, so a fast machine is recommended. However, either mp3enc or the newer 8hz-mp3 should do the job nicely regardless of your system speed.
No known Amiga applications will load RealAudio sound files, but most can load something in raw format. The tool to make this conversion is RA.
If you want to play the popular MPEG-3 song files that proliferate the internet, AmigaAMP (formerly MPEGAHI) is the program to use. If you do not like the Amiga gadgets, it will load WinAMP compatible "skins" for a nice, but slow loading, 256 color interface. AmigaAMP is capable of doing real-time decoding on an 060 at 50 MHz or at half the sampling rate on an 040 at 40 MHz. PPC users will enjoy additional functions.
Another option is an upcoming program called MSE-Snapshot. With it, you simply define a project (song) and assign MIDI devices to it. Then, with a click of a button, MSE-Snapshot will retrieve all MIDI data from the associated devices. To recreate the song setup, select an existing project and let the program do all the work for you.
With so many different user interfaces on musical devices it can become very confusing to edit sounds. What would help is a common interface for all devices. The solution is the "Universal Patch Editor" (UPE); a great idea, but the reality is that with so many different and changing MIDI implementations the UPE is a myth.
A more realistic solution is MIDI SYStem EXplorer (MSE). It does not claim to be a UPE, but does strive to solve many of the problems. It comes with everything you need to create your own fully customized MIDI control systems. To create device specific modules, MSE uses a special definition language that even non-programmers should find easy to use. With it, you can customize almost everything, including: screens, windows, fonts, colors, graphics and gadgets. MSE can control all kinds of MIDI data, so it can be used for almost any MIDI control applications, including: patch editing, mixing, lighting and laser displays.
MIDI SYStem EXplorer
Why would you want one? One of the problems with sampler cards is that they are subjected to all kinds of computer interference, which can add noise to your recordings. A better alternative is to use an external digital recorder (such as DAT) to record analog signals and then transfer them digitally to the Amiga using this card. Or you could directly transfer sounds/songs from a CD/laserdisc player or other device that has a digital output without any loss of quality. It can also be used to remove SCMS copy protection from DAT recordings. As an audio output card (AHI) it is capable of better than CD quality output.
Related: maestix.library (programming interface), Maestix AHI (AHI driver), MaestixFX (real-time effects) MaestroBR (DAT backup) and Samplitude Opus (hard disk recording).
The AD516 is an analog sound card/sampler with dual 16 bit A/D converters, 64 times oversampling and preset anti-aliasing filters. It is capable of recording and playing back in stereo at rates up to 48 kHz.
Its predecessor, the AD1012, has a single 12 bit linear A/D converter and is capable of record/playback in mono at rates up to 48 kHz. Unlike the AD516, its anti-alias filters are variable (which can be used for some often interesting effects).
Both cards are equipped with an LTC SMPTE time code reader and an ADSP2105 sound coprocessor rated at 10 MIPS.
The AD516 was rumoured to have a digital audio add-on, but this never made it past the prototype stage. An AHI driver does not exist for either of these cards at this time.
Related: AD1012-Dev (developer documentation) and Studio 16 (hard disk recording).
Most interfaces connect to the serial port and are compatible with the majority of MIDI applications without the need for a custom driver.
Related: AHIRecord (hard disk recording) and AHI-Tool (B&P sample player tool).
The Amiga's built-in speech system (narrator.device/translator.library) is quite powerful. Though, using the Say command, you would never know it. SpeechToy adds fourteen more variable parameters to that of Say, giving control of everything from articulation to enthusiasm of the computer speech. It also adds direct phonetics entry and translation.
Wish you could capture the Amiga speech as a sound file? There is a rare and little known utility, called Say To Raw, that will let you do just that. It re-routes output from the Say command to a raw audio file.
FMsynth emulates a six operator frequency modulation synthesizer (such as the Yamaha DX7). It includes parameters for pitch and amplitude envelopes, modulation, key scaling, phase, level, detune, feedback, transposition and more. Sounds are created in 8 bit and saved as 8SVX format. The calculation process is very fast. Almost 300 patches are included as examples.
For More Information
NOTE: All outdated links have been removed.
AHI Record - Thomas Wenzel
AHI Tool - Giles Jones
AmigaAMP - Thomas Wenzel
AmiSox - David Champion
camd.library - Commodore-Amiga
Camouflage - I.S.M.
Dominator - Luc De pauw
FMsynth - Christian Stiens
Maestix AHI - Richard Köerber
mp3enc - Mike Cheng
MusicXRexxMacs - Dick Doyle
QMaster - Kenneth Nilsen
Studio 16 Support Website
Studio16add - Kenneth Nilsen
SuperModel - Kenneth Nilsen