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.