Encyclopedia > Tracker

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A tracker is a type of software used to create computer-generated music by importing sound samples (in the format of .wav or other sound formats) and then modifying the settings for each sound.

The edit window of a tracker resembles a self-playing piano scroll moving from the bottom of the screen upwards. Initially a tracker had four channels of samples (because of the layout of the Commodore Amiga hardware) but later implementations have more channels.

An example of what may be done to each sound sample may include raising the pitch of a sound sample. Other things that can be done to sound samples include increasing/decreasing the duration of the sound sample (thus shortening/elongating the sound).

The first tracker program was created under the name Soundtracker for the Commodore Amiga in 1987 by the German Karsten Obarski and sold through the software company Electronic Arts[?]. By reverse engineering the source code of this tracker, and later re-implementations, several mutations appeared. Soon also clones for Atari ST and the IBM PC appeared.

List of popular tracker programs

  • Buzz Tracker
  • Impulse Tracker
  • Soundtracker
  • Noisetracker
  • Startrekker
  • Fasttracker

See also

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