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.
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:
Atari ST fans, this Amiga creation was in turn inspired by Atari ST software with the same aim, by gwEM, cleverly dubbed STJ:
The rig in the video at top:
Small monitors (for analog video output)
Mono-to-stereo adapters (since the Amigas have mono output)
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:
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?
Don’t just want to DJ, but produce, too? Check this out: