Chipmusic DJing: Syphus’ Audiovisual MOD DJ software

The British chipmusician Syphus is a schooled composer who has been active in the Amiga demoscene for ages, written his dissertation on chip music and how its formats have survived the age of MP3-recoded music. Now he’s developing a DJ-tool for Amiga MOD-files, where instruments and sequence data is individually accessible. Recorded music enables very limited manipulation of the music but with the MOD-format you can change potentially every aspect of a song; tones and scales, rhythms, volumes, arrangement, etc. This is an old dream of mine coming true; an untapped potential of well-archived and “open source” chipmusic.

Syphus is also experimenting with the music as visual cues, making real-time visual synchronization with the MOD-files. He is presenting a first version of the project today at Dorkbot Newcastle. I have tried it out and it is very promising. Coded in the Java-based Processing, it’s possible to run it even on the web (but not on Amiga). He’s also planning on releasing the source code, if I’ve understood correctly.

I am not sure if there are other tools like this around, which is perhaps a bit surprising. Maybe it’s because you can’t play two songs simultaneously on one machine, forcing you to use blasphemous platforms that miss the 8-bit spirituality that chip-fundamentalists crave for. There is Gwem’s STj which is great to make DJ-sets on two Ataris, but afaik it doesn’t feature any music-manipulating functions.

6 Responses to “Chipmusic DJing: Syphus’ Audiovisual MOD DJ software”


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  2. ton Says:

    wow i wanna try to make something like that…imagine being able to change the instruments of any song while its playing? or transpose a song to make it mashup with another song better?

    • chipflip Says:

      yeah, it’s quite amazing. perhaps you could e-mail him and suggest features. i’ve mentioned the instrumenting-switching but it’s not implemented (yet?). so he needs a push, hehe.

  3. syphus Says:

    Transposing is done! Right now, there’s only one global transpose control, which is obviously doesn’t help with your specific requirement, but as soon as I can duplicate and distinguish between the event-processing threads (the player threads are already separate), I guess I can do per-deck transpose.

    Anders – I’m thinking, pondering and chin-stroking about instrument switching :) Btw, I can play notes now! In other words, I can hit a key and a chosen instrument plays at the chosen pitch ;)

    First, though, I want to get a library out and tidy up the code I’ve done so far.

    • chipflip Says:

      that’s great news! portamod world domination! good to hear about the chin-stroking aswell hehe. if you’re up for yet another idea, i was thinking about drumkit-definitions. imagine doing a dj set with old megamix mods and triggering all the classic samples. :) keep me posted on the progress anyhoooo!

  4. Chipdisco DJ Tool Out Now « CHIPFLIP Says:

    […] DJ Tool Out Now By chipflip PortaMod by Syphus, mentioned earlier, is now announced for the public here! It’s a new player for older music formats, which […]

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