Reynald - Mar. 2022

Why was « Ultimate Sound tracker » successful?

There are many reasons for that. Most of them are related to the product by itself but also because of the incredible price of musical stuff.

  • The use of "Samples" made compositions much more realistic than ever before and above all opened new musical opportunities and brought new styles of music.
  • The files generated (you remember the .mod) by Soundtracker were very light. This is why it interested the demoscene as the floppy disks were very limited (360ko/720ko/880ko)
  • Every musician had the possibility to sample his own sounds with external cards. E.g "ST Replay professional" on Atari ST or "Master Sound" on Commodore Amiga
  • The sounds sounded much more realistic. Far better than the midi capable sound cards
  • "Ultimate soundtracker" was simple and efficient. You could make decent music really fast without being a “real” musician and even without knowing music theory.
  • New effects appeared (offset, portamento, jump position, glissando ..). These effects were not seen before. Furthermore Soundtracker introduced the "CIA BPM" (change bpm on the fly), fine tune sample pitching, graphical sample editor (cut, loop…).
  • The modules were usables cross platform (a module created on Amiga can be played or modified on Atari ST).
  • Replay routines were developped for all platforms
  • For the first time you had 4 simultaneous sounds with superior quality (11khz for the Atari ST and 22Khz for the STE. and around 28Khz for the Amiga)
  • Trackers were available on many computers (check out the Soundtracker page
  • MIDI music was too complicated (even if the Atari ST natively supported MIDI) and was really expensive and cumbersome as you need to buy some synths. As young demosceners we were all broke 😭
  • With the tracker you had the possibility to compose anywhere you wanted. You just had to carry your computer and plug it on any SCART TV compatible.
  • As the time was passing, sound banks became more and more numerous</li>
  • And finally (the last not not the least) it was free