The absolute basics of Amiga audio:

All Amigas have one thing in common: the built-in as standard audio chip, Paula, which can play samples at rates of up to ~27KHz via DMA, or higher when running a fast processor and a suitable screenmode. The samples can be played either through 4 channels at 8-bit quality, or in stereo at 14-bit quality. The latter mode needs additional software from Aminet, CyberSound by Christian Buchner, which is included in the DeliTracker232.lha archive.

The Paula chip is one-way only - the ability to digitise sounds has to be added to the Amiga through one of the various 3rd party add-ons. One of these was by Datel, it plugged into both the parallel and serial ports and the units were usually sold with some sample-editing software, ie AudioMaster IV, A.M.A.S. and Samplitude Opus. Any of these 8-bit samplers will fit any Amiga, with the exception of the A1000, which has reverse gender parallel and serial ports.

 Amiga University - Audio Cards

Of course it is possible to equip most Amigas with more modern soundcards, but in this respect the various models differ. Big box Amigas come with Zorro expansion slots, there are soundcards that fit these. Perhaps the most famous of the ZII cards is the Sunrise AD516 which was used in the making of the Babylon 5 TV series, but since it has been out of production for a while now, it is only available to those who are lucky or very determined. It was followed up by the Delfina and Prelude cards.

Presently there is another Zorro soundcard available, called Repulse. See "aU" link above. Reviews can be found on Aminet in the docs/rview directory.

The basic A1200 has a 'clock-port' expansion, instead of Zorro, although it is possible to tower it and add Zorro expansion slots. There were several cards made to fit the clockport, notably Prelude and the Delfina, which is replaced by the Flipper.

 SoftHut - Delfina Lite Audio Card

Any earlier machines, like the A500 or A1000, are not supported in this respect, although there are people who never give up, and do manage to expand them. Old Amigas are easy to hack around on.

On the MIDI front, it is relatively easy to make a DIY MIDI interface for the standard serial port, which, unlike the PC's COM port, actually supports the MIDI baud rate. Presently the only commercial offering I know of, is the ProMIDI from Power Computing, although there are some simple DIY projects on Aminet for building your own. The TPP (or Triple Play Plus) even features three or four separate MIDI OUTs, giving a full 48 or even 64 MIDI channels.

MIDI timing is highly accurate, without glitches, and a plain 68000 machine can cope with quite a few channels, though to play the maximum of 255 tracks in BarsNPipes will require at least an '020. I haven't actually tested those limits myself, but in a real life situation I have successfully recorded ~60 MIDI channels in 16-bit stereo at 44.1KHz, via my Delfina, to a SCSI harddrive on an '030/50 A2000. The machine was running BarsNPipes and AudioLab16, with one screen partly slid down, so I could see and access both program's controls at the same time.

 SoftHut - Flipper Audio Card

Amiga music
and MIDI sites

Links to Amiga music sites

Big Book of Amiga Hardware

Loads of info

The same, archived

The above - archived


 Software Hut

Software Hut - Still around

The above was all for the hardware side, now let's look at the software. The most important source for any Amiga software is the Aminet. There are sites all over the globe, I won't list them, as AmiNet Main has the links to all of them.

Music software is normally found in mus/edit/ but demos of some commercial apps can be found in biz/demo too. And there I shall leave you to find whatever you like and to experiment with. For any questions or problems, a good place is the newsgroup, or try the Studio-Amiga and/or the BarsNPipes mailing-lists on yahoogroups.

A useful tool for converting, up/down-sampling, adding effects and other processing is amisox, and to encode (compress) .wav or .aiff to .mp3 there is lame, Pegase, NCode, BladeEnc, musicin and the GUIs for these, MiraMP3GUI, TheMPegEncGUI and id3taglibGUI.

Search Aminet for text

Aminet text search

Browse the Aminet U.K.

Aminet Europe/U.K.

The Aminet main site

Aminet Main site

Browse the Aminet DE

Aminet Europe/DE.

More Amiga soft- and hard-ware sites

(They may or may not still be maintained)


Full audio studio

DigiBooster Pro

Tracker of choice


SoundProbe sample editor

 CD-Writing Free download

Prostation Audio

List of softsynths for the Amiga:

Various 303 emulator websites:

AudioStream and its source, on Aminet 270K 96+AudioSTREAM source code 14K 341+Additive Synthesis 548K 334+Platform independant composition & audio 147K 391+Six operator FM syntheziser 210K 269+Editor for BSI Future Composer mods 17K 159+Bassline Synth featuring TB-303 style Se... 14K 34+Realtime Bassline softsynth (requires '060) 486K 268+Powerful musiceditor with realtime effects 383K 319+SonicArranger 2.16 Demo release 124K 218+Symphonie III feat. NG GUI System 155K 235+TB-303 Emulator for Amiga 040

WaveTracer versions. 771K 125+WaveTracer - an extensive sound-editor/ 898K 125+WaveTracer - an extensive sound-editor/

No Software Patents!

Links to other music related Amiga websites: Davy Wentzler's site for a harddrive recording system which syncs to BarsNPipes via ptool The Amiga Alternative Audio Page - for Lame, BladeEnc and RA files All the Blue Ribbon Soundworks/Microsoft Music files: SuperJAM! 2.0 and styles disks. Also Direct Music, Melody Maestro, and Microsoft Music Producer. New link to Radium above It's geared to all amiga music making, but BnP and Studio 16 are of course the favs. Amiga Music Access - tons of info and the infamous pic of the Mac version of BnP. Amiga University main page Amiga University Music page Amiga University music and BnP pages. This replaces the old site. Lots of download and links. Alfred Fausts site. Tons of stuff. Don't miss this site! Mostly in German but an English version is supposed to be coming. The latest version of the new BarsNPipes program available here. AMidi, an AHI-using internal MIDI-device for the Amiga, allows the playback of MIDI songs etc.

. Local links

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Download Amiga software
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The history of noises
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