Software made by Volker Zinke

DOS / Multimedia


Trakblaster 2.0

Trakblaster is a program which plays Amiga Soundtraker/Noisetraker files on IBM computers with a Soundblaster-card installed. Sound/Noisetraker files store music with digitized instruments. So it is possible to make music with interest effects, e.g. speech, singing and so on. Since not the whole song is digitized the files are relativ small. But this has a few disadvantages. Since every instrument is digitized only once but you want to play different notes, the computer has to calculate the data for every note during the output of the music. But that's not all. The Soundtraker has up to four channels which must be calculated independently. Besides that the computer needs time to calculate one channel for the Soundblaster from four channels of the soundtraker without a great loss of quality. There are special effects such as sliding, independent volume control for all channels and instruments, loop-function for instruments, changing in speed during output, jumping around the patterns and so on. All this must be calculated by the computer. Last but not least there must be a perfect timing to avoid distortion in music output. The "Paula"-Chip in the Amiga do many of the work described above. Since on IBM PCs there doesn't exist such a chip all the work has to be done by the CPU. The Soundblaster card only manage the moving of the calculated data from memory to the card. So it is clear that this problem can only be solved in pure assembler. The development of this program takes many weeks with testing, comparing and experimenting. Many days are lost with optimizing the program and speed it up to manage the needed timing. The result of many crashes, whole nights programmed through and hours of telefoning through the land is trakblaster. A program which can play soundtraker-files directly from the Amiga without the need to convert it. All functions of the Soundtraker are implemented.