Octamed SoundStudio V8 Announcement

US Popular Tracker gets first update for 25 years      05/02/24

Octamed SoundStudio V8 Announcement


I'm a long time devotee of Teijo Kinnunen'a OctaMED. The tracker way of working, I find, leads to super interesting results that I wouldn't have obtained otherwise. Trackers encourage parameter automation; hexadecimal commands that can be set per step, and do all manner of things. The user can change volumes, slide notes up and down, modulate the sample start point, arpeggiate static samples into a chord and change the whole tempo of the song. No EQ or plugins, you have to layer and manipulate things to get them to sit well!

Initially a 4-channel program (and writing 4 channel "MOD" songs is still super fun and worthwhile), later versions of the program allowed 8 channels (via a hack that reduces the playback quality somewhat) and when MIDI was added, up to 64! Of course, only the 4 standard (or 8 lofi) Amiga channels could play back samples simultaneously, but you could fill the other channels with MIDI events.

Sometimes I'll run a couple of sample channels out to my modular, whilst controlling the modular itself with the MIDI channels! You can do quite a lot this way. In this video, I also ran MIDI out to an RX11 drum machine and a Polybrute.

OctaMED Soundstudio was a commercial package for some time, but was later made freeware. I first obtained a copy on a magazine coverdisk. It's wild, some of the amazing software that used to be given away for free.

OctaMed Soundstudio

After 25 years, OctaMED is coming out with version 8 and looks set to be a commercial entity once more. Why though? The Amiga, technically a "dead" platform, a "hobbyist" machine, has seen a growing profile since COVID. During the long hard months, people sought to "return to childhood" and vintage computers sales soared.

100's, perhaps 1000's of people returned to Amiga, some to play games, some to code and many, to make music. I've had so many conversations with people returning to "the scene", finding joy in this antiquated way of working, a detox diet in this fast-food "folder full of plugins" DAW world.

A-EON Technology have this to say about V8:

In February 2015 A-EON Technology Ltd acquired the rights to OctaMED for Amiga and Amiga-like next generation systems from RBF Software.

The latest version 8 is the present day continuation from the original author Teijo Kinnunen. This new version is developed by AmigaKit Ltd on behalf of A-EON Technology Ltd.

New features include:

  • AHI support for Amiga's retargetable audio subsystem
  • CAMD Midi Library support
  • MIDI file support
  • ARexx support
  • 16-bit and stereo samples support
  • Hard drive recording


AHI support is a big one. Before now, you were limited to 8-bit 28Khz Amiga audio in OctaMED, unless you had one of a few rare 16-bit soundcards the program supported. Well now, any AHI-compatible soundcard (and this includes emulated ones) will be able to utilise 16-bit samples. Old-school unpredictable workflow with modern fidelity? Yes please!

V8 will initially be bundled with AmigaKit's 600GS computer system, but a digital download will later be made available. More details here:

 

https://wiki.amiga.org/index.php?title=OctaMED


Posted by MagicalSynthAdventure an expert in synthesis technology from last Century and Amiga enthusiast.



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