Johan Kotlinski (aka Role Model, programmer and composer) wrote a paper in 2003 about Amiga music applications, which has now been slightly edited and translated into English. It is an accessible text that describes the two schools of Amiga trackers: synthetical and sample-based.
As it was written for a technoculture-course at university, there is a relatively extensive historiography of the early demoscene and how it evolved from cracking. This means that the specific Amiga software part starts only half-way through the text. It starts with describing the brief birth of Amiga-trackers in the commercial sphere: Soundtracker didn’t sell well but was reverse engineered and appropriated in the demoscene. It became the dominant software on Amiga, and set standards still used in contemporary trackers such as Renoise.
SIDmon pattern editor, screenshot taken from Exotica
Kotlinski states that, looking at possiblities, synthetical software (SidMON) is “clearly” more powerful than sample-based applications (Soundtracker). I think this means that although Soundtracker was more user-friendly, where SidMON offered a higher level of flexibility. I am not sure though. For example, in a previous post I concluded that sample-based software enabled and encouraged more complex handling of note duration/volume. It would be great with some elaboration.
It is obvious that Kotlinski prefers synthetical trackers. At the point of writing the original text (2003) he was developing LSDj and making music in Musicline Editor: both rather unusual trackers in its own ways. Maybe LSDj shouldn’t even be called a tracker, as Kotlinski once argued, due to its 3 sequencer-screens rather than 1 or 2 as commonly found in trackers.
Anyway: this text is obviously based on good research and is an excellent historiography. Enjoy it. I host it on goto80.com, so if you are reading this a million years from now it might not be available anymore. But WordPress will survive forever!