Cheetah Specdrum!!! I still have mine, and my Spectrum and 2 Amigas.
Yes this is how you had to create music back in the day, although I have to say The RAM Music Machine on the Amstrad (or other computers) rocked more than the AMS – great for no additional hardware but you were stuck with that sound – now fashionable, or was – but then it really didn’t cut it if you wanted to sound like what you heard in the charts! Or create echo or sample – one of the amazing things about the RAM is it could sample – 1.22 seconds! WOOH!
Myself and Kirk produced many tracks on his RAM Music Machine before I graduated to this:
And yes my Amiga A500 made those annoying clicking noises too, I think it was a particular bug in A500+s!
This is OctaMED – what is called a music ‘tracker‘ rather than the usual ‘bar’ notation that is usually used in sequencers – most of the Amiga demos were created in trackers like this and Protracker, Fasttracker and the llike. I started with MED and graduated to OctaMED, and also used AudioMaster audio editor and dallied with Bars and Pipes – might sound a bit like an old fogey but actually I’ve not found any programs as good or as easy to use as these early programs – it seems with the PC and Mac modern software complexity and bloatware is the way – only Renoise, Ableton and Sony’s Acid have come close.
The recently RavEvil was produced originally like this, and remixed in Renoise – because I’m glad to say tracking is still going on the PC – with Renoise (I have bought Renoise) and the soul of Protracker continues in the open-source Madtracker!
And if you’re into chiptunes I recommend you use a tracker – either OctaMED Sound Studio emulated on your computer via Amiga Forever or the free WinUAE (you’ll need to hunt around for Kickstart ROMs and Workbench – I still legally own these, I suggest torrent sites) or use the PC version of OctaMED, MED Studio which has the chip synth creator in it – or use something like MilkyTracker if you can find it – site is currently down! I know you can get plugins etc. but really for that authentic Amiga-demo chiptune sound you need to use the original or similar tools, and understand all the slides etc.
Madtracker and Renoise: