Skip to main content

Back to BuzzTracker

Machine View in BuzzTracker

Well, I've run just about every music creation tool.  Reason, Cubase, Orion, WaveLab, Ableton Live, Rebirth, RubberDuck, most VST plugins, ProTools, Logic, Saidie (sp?) to name a few.

But I think the one closest aligned to my personality and way of thinking is Jeskola BuzzTracker.

Trackers grew up in the demo scene as mod trackers.  They tended to be sample based with text editing of individual steps.  Most have a user interface and require values to be added in hexadecimal.

While this may seem a little crazy it actually works out pretty well.  For example - say you want to fade a value from 0-10 over a bar.  Using decimal would mean you had 10 steps to use.  Using hexadecimal you have 16, which fits with the 4/4 perfectly.

Pattern View in BuzzTrackerI started using mod trackers on a 286 pc before the days of the SoundBlaster card and in the day of the Adlib card.  Not sure how many people remember the Adlib, but it was basically an FM synth.  So, recorded sounds couldn't really be played, but you could play music.  The SoundBlaster came out with the ability to play recorded sounds.  But before this, using a mod tracker and an LPT sound card (printer port) you could play real samples.  Basically the LPT sound card was a printer connector, 8 resistors (if I remember correctly) and a audio plug.

I connected the audio plug to a small guitar amplifier and had sound (no understanding of things like impedence matching at that stage).

Anyway, so fast forward nearly 20 years and things haven't changed much.

BuzzTracker is still a tracker albeit with a gui where you can place and connect any array of machines and effects.  The list of available machines (instruments or sound genarators) is unbelievable.  Most of them take pretty much no CPU and so you end up with arrays of hundreds.

There are of course plugins for VST intruments and effects etc.

If I remember correctly Jeskola lost the source code in a hard drive crash or something, so it's not Open Source, but it is free.

In order to continue development of the main package there is the OverLoader plugin which adds features.

You can download a pack of instruments and effects that will get you started and then go to the website every now and then to check if there are new instruments and effects (written by a huge list of people).

There are example effect and machine source code listings so that you can create your own if you need to.

Anyway, it's been a couple of years since I last used it, but miss it and am currently redownloading.

Sequencer View