Briefly in English is dedicated to 1990 legendary Mod music scene and to the people behind the music sequencer softwares, which made it easy for composers to create Techno and Trance music on their own.

Impulse Tracker

Impulse Tracker is a legendary music sequencer program developped by Jeffrey Lim from Australia. Many of us born in the 1980 are familiar with the program. It’s last version (2.14 patch 5) was released in 8.4.1999.

Impulse Tracker offered users it’s own .it format and the program supported also protrackers mod, mtm and xm formats. The it-format was supported by Media Player Classic, Winamp, VLC, XMMS and Schism Tracker.

The format was very similar to .mod files but it featured for example new note actions as additional feature.

Note Actions made it possible to customize the subsequent action:

  • Cut – new instrument replaces the old one
  • Continue – The previous instrument continues playing following its ADSR curve
  • Off – The previous instrument starts ADSR curve
  • Fade – The previous instrument fades out without following its ADSR curve

Impulse Tracker supported 256 channels, 16-bit samples, volyme layers and ping-ping loops.

Impulse Tracker was used by Infected Mushroom on composing his first trance music track. It was used also in many games to produce the music  for example The Sims 2, Pocket Tanks, Grid Wars, Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex. Also trance producer Sean Tyas began his career in music production by using Impulse Tracker

Download Impulse Tracker from Impulse Trackers old homepage.

Scream Tracker

Scream Tracker was developped by a Finnish demo crew called Future Crew in the beginning of 1990. It was one of the most  successful DOS based music sequencer. Scream Tracker was programmed in Assembly and C programming languages. The last Scream Tracker vesion was 3.21 and it was released in 1994.

Scream Tracker 3 made sequencing over 16 channels music widely known. The visual layout of Scream Tracker was used also in Impulse Tracker and Scream Tracker was the forefather of Impulse Tracker.

Scream Tracker was based on a format called .STM until releasing S3M (Scream Tracker 3) format. The S3m tracker supported up to 100 8-bit samples, amazing 32 channels and 100 patterns and 256 different oreder positions. It also featured up to nine FM-synthesis channels, which were quite rarely used by the users of the Scream Tracker.

Download Scream Tracker + additional stuff from University of Vaasa here.

Fast Tracker

Fast Tracker and its more developped version Fast Tracker 2 were widely used with MS-DOS user in the 1990′s. Fast Tracker was vreated by swedish Fredrik Huss, Magnus Högdahl and two Triton demo scene members. Later on Triton formed a successful gamedevelopper company called Staarbreesze Studios. Fast Tracker was created in the beginning of the year 1992.

Fast Tracker was mostly based on Amigas Protracker software. Fast Tracker was the first music sequencer to support 44 kHz/16-bit samples. It also supported 64 separate channels and over one hundred samples or instuments played at the same time. Fast Tracker featured same kind of new features as Impulse Tracker.

The latest version of the program was 2.08, however, a beta version of 2.09 leaked in to the public in the year 1999. In the year 2000 a spanish demo scene crew Chanka published a Fast Tracker 3, which later on developped Skale Tracker. Fast Tracker was programmed with Pascal programming language.

Fast Tracker 2, Scream Tracker and Impulse Tracker had their own fan base and there was an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of the softwares. The most debated issue was about Fast Trackers interface with mous control, while Impulse Tracker was controlled by keyboard. Fast Tracker 2 was also controllable with keyboard shortcuts.

You can download Fast Tracker from here.