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Author Topic: Some questions for you all - College Senior Thesis  (Read 1052 times)

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jmankman

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Some questions for you all - College Senior Thesis
« on: September 29, 2020, 02:14:01 »

Hi all, first post on the forums here so forgive me if this isn't in the right place.

I am a student at Drake University studying music and computer science, with tracker music being my favorite overlap between the two.  I've been tracking for years now, since I was in middle school, starting with FamiTracker and only recently in the past year have I moved on to check out OpenMPT, which I'm having a lot of fun with.

The topic for my thesis is tracker music if you haven't guessed already, and that includes aspects of the history, the community, how it is unique, and the process of making music with these programs, which leads me here.

If any of you have some time to answer some questions, your input would be really helpful to me, and I'm sure others here would like to see some of the answers too.  I'm also writing something in OpenMPT for this, and I'll post it here once it is finished.  So without further ado...

 - How did you discover/get into Tracking?

 - What, to you, is so appealing about music made with tracking software?

 - Has the community played a role in your experience with tracking?

 - Are there any composition techniques you've picked up unique to tracking? (e.g., single channel echo, single channel chords, etc.)

Answer whichever questions you feel inclined to, any kind of response is good enough for me.

Thank you in advance!
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Saga Musix

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Re: Some questions for you all - College Senior Thesis
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 10:44:51 »

Hi and welcome. Coincidentally my master's thesis was also about trackers (but from a more technical point of view ;) )

Would it be okay to send answers via private message?
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jmankman

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Re: Some questions for you all - College Senior Thesis
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 19:23:42 »

That would be fine.
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sherekhan

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Re: Some questions for you all - College Senior Thesis
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 11:52:57 »

- How did you discover/get into Tracking?
Had a C64 as a kid, and loved some of the music on it, to the point where I actually taped the music and listened to it in my walkman. Rob Hubbard and Matt Gray were heroes of mine, and I actually met both of them at a retro gaming fair in the city I live in just a couple of years ago.

Anyway, I wanted to try to make music myself, but I never found out how to actually do it. Later I got an Amiga. A friend borrowed me his copy of Sonix, but that didn't really work for me either. But then I got MED 3.00 on an Amiga Computing cover disk, and that was it for me. Kept using MED/OctaMED/SoundStudio as long as I had an Amiga, and moved on to Impulse Tracker when I got a PC.

After getting a tracker the next issue was getting hold of samples. Looking at my old modules, they can mostly be grouped into the following phases:

1) Only using widely available instruments like the ST-01 sample disk and some synthsounds that came with MED.

2) Samples ripped from modules, demos etc. I ripped everything I could get my hands on for a period, and meticulously named and categorized all samples.

3) Getting an actual sampler. I did not own any "real" instruments, but I sampled a lot of stuff from tapes and CDs, TV, and real world objects. Most of my music CDs at the time had a sheet of paper tucked in the cover, where I would write down tracknumber and timestamp whenever I came across a sound I wanted to sample.

4) Getting wider access to professional samples. I subscribed to AM/FM disks, including the sample disks. And eventually sample CDs and internet opened up a whole new world.

- What, to you, is so appealing about music made with tracking software?
Making music at home using nothing but a basic home computer. A lot of great music widely available.

- Has the community played a role in your experience with tracking?
In the beginning, not so much. I had no internet, no modem, and not many friends into what I was doing. But as the world opened up, certainly.

- Are there any composition techniques you've picked up unique to tracking? (e.g., single channel echo, single channel chords, etc.)
- Downsampling drumloops, chords, melodies etc to fit into the four channels that were available on Amiga.
- Playing around with sample offset, using it with sweeping synth sounds, or as a time stretching effect.
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