How to make a cool '90s Protracker Module on an Amiga (or using emulation)

A workshop from EMF 2022 by DJ Narq / Reflex

On Saturday June 4, 2022 at in Workshop 2

Null Sector's DJ Narq, aka Reflex of Grasshopper D / Eltech / Darq / Howlistic presents a two hour protracker extravaganza!

Protracker was the standard tool for making computer game music on the Commodore Amiga home computers of the 80s and 90s. Using 4 channels of 8-bit sampled sound and a maximum of around 1MB of ram, making something sound good requires a few tricks.

I'd like to share the mystery and wonder of Protracker - the Esperanto of tracker software - to a wider audience.

In this workshop we'll demonstrate:

how to sample your own sounds

how to rip samples from other peoples mods

where to find decent mods

how to remix mods

how to edit samples using amiga software

how to loop samples cleanly

how to make protracker patterns, and then assemble patterns into a song.

You can follow along with a laptop and headphones! You'll just need to install fs-uae ( on linux or mac, or winuae ( on Windows **before** the workshop. We'll be using ProTracker 2.3d from back in the day, or ProTracker 2.3f which is a recently bugfixed version.

If you've never seen a tracker, it's like a spreadsheet where each row plays a bunch of sounds. Load a few samples, start it recording, and you can quickly make fun and catchy patterns using instruments, speech, singing, or drum loops.

About your instructor.

I was exposed to mods and amiga game music in the early 90s and my mind was thoroughly blown. Through cover disks and PD (public domain) libraries I discovered Med, Sound Tracker, and Octamed, all classic trackers. But it was in 1993 when I joined the Amiga demoscene as a young teen that my eyes, ears, and mind were really opened. Donning the handle Reflex, I first joined a group called Eltech and then later Grasshopper Developments, two mid-tier demogroups of the UK scene. Protracker was the standard that literally everybody on the scene used. I didn't release tons of stuff back then, but I was horse famous for a bit with some cheeky chip tunes and sampled songs about grasshoppers.