|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (February 2010)|
||This article possibly contains original research. (May 2010)|
|Original author(s)||Karsten Obarski|
|Stable release||v2.6 / 1992|
|Type||Tracker (music software)|
Ultimate Soundtracker, or Soundtracker for short, is a music tracker program for the Commodore Amiga. It is the creation of Karsten Obarski, a German software developer and composer at a game development company; sources differ as to the name of the company, Collins (2008) recorded it as reLINE, whereas Wright (1998) reported it as EAS.
Soundtracker started as a tool for game sound development for the Amiga. It was loosely based on the techniques developed by Rob Hubbard for the Commodore 64. The program allowed for four-channel hardware mixing on all Amiga computers, but unlike subsequent versions, limited the number of samples/instruments in a song to 15. It allocated the four channels in strict fashion: melody (lead), accompaniment, bass, and percussion. It could export the tracks as a sequence of assembly instructions.
Soundtracker was released as a commercial product in mid 1987. It did not enjoy success as a general music development software, with reviews calling it "illogical", "difficult" and "temperamental"; it was eclipsed in that market by programs such as Aegis' Sonix and Electronic Arts' Deluxe Music Construction Set. It became however a standard for games sound on the Amiga. The source code was released to the public domain, where it was hacked, debugged, and spread across the burgeoning Amiga underground. A disk of instrument samples (ST-01) was distributed together with the program. In 1989, the program was improved upon by two Swedish programmers, Pex “Mahoney” Tufvesson and Anders “Kaktus” Berkeman, who released a version known as NoiseTracker. Later[specify] versions of the program used the MOD file format, which stored both instrument samples and the tracks in the same file. These versions turned out to be incompatible with the Amiga OS 2.0, causing crashes. ProTracker was another successor, released in 1991, which solved the stability problems and made several changes to the user interface.
- Broomfield, Mat (1992-10-01). "Soundtracker 2.6: music utility". CU Amiga. p. 139. Retrieved 2011-02-21. "83%"
- Kotlinski, Johan (2009). "Amiga Music Programs 1986-1995". Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- Driscoll, Kevin and Diaz, Joshua (2009). "Endless loop: A brief history of chiptunes". Transformative Works and Cultures no.2. doi:10.3983/twc.2009.0096. Retrieved 2011-02-13. "Most importantly, Soundtracker provided an environment in which nonprogrammers could access the sophisticated music tools in their home computers without needing to learn a programming language."
- Collins 2008
- Collins 2007
- Wirght 1998
- Collins, Karen (2008), Game sound: an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of video game music and sound design, MIT Press, p. 58, ISBN 0-262-03378-X
- Collins, Karen (June 2007), MIDI and MOD format, gamessound.com
- Wright, Mark (March 1998), Retrospective - Karsten Obarski, textfiles.com
- Anders Carlsson (2008), Chip Music: Low Tech Data Music Sharing in Karen Collins (ed.), From Pac-Man to pop music: interactive audio in games and new media, Ashgate, ISBN 0-7546-6200-4
- Interview with Obarski at the Amiga Music Preservation website