The Amiga was my first grown-up computer, as it were. It's something I owned as an adult (well - student!) and it had the power and control that I believed a computer should have. It was also the first that enabled me to flex a lot of other creative muscles, without worrying about the initial technical hurdle. (When I re-wrote the Flash Gordon soundtrack on my ZX Spectrum & Dragon 32, I spent most of the time writing sequencers, tools, and sync tools!)
With this machine I:
Here then, are a few of those projects...
All the music I created at this time fell into one of four neatly defined categories.
Music for computer games
These were simple tunes, using a small around of memory, suitable for games. I gave the tunes away so that others less able to compose (!?!?!) could use them without worrying about licensing. I guess, in that way, it was like Creative Commons, but before CC existed.
My only chagrin is that, because of the license, I have no way of knowing which tunes (if any) were used in which games.
As a fan of piano music in general, I often tried to simulate the sound and style using the Amiga.
I've released a few examples so you an see how (un)successful I was!
I wrote over 100 songs in my time with the Amiga. The machine was either the entire instrument, or used for backing to my own synthesizer playing or band. (Yes - I had two bands using music sequenced on the Amiga. I have recordings, but I've lost touch with the other musicians, so they'll remain private for now.)
Recusion, a finalist in the Charnwood Arts Composers Platform is one of the rare exceptions.
These were all created for use in the 'Pop Profiles' project. Speaking of which...
This project involved creating a general-purpose hypermedia engine (as it was called in those days!) and curated assets to reflect upon the work of a pop star, or group. I chose some of my favourite artists and wrote journalistic articles about each, arranged MOD tracks of their most famous songs, and collated discographies and photographs from the Internet.
Despite being work in the public interest, and marked as fair use, the fear of copyright infringement meant they never got as wide an audience as I would have liked.You can download: Abba DebbieGibson Jean-Michel Jarre Nirvana Psb Psb2 Queen Queen2 Steev TheBeatles ToriAmos
For the time, this was quite a complex piece of software. In the first instance, it was a large block of 68000 assembler whicih used nested macros to build a full 6809 emulator from very little code. (And thereby introduced fewer bugs.) It also used self-modifying code to handle breakpoints at no signifcant slowdown to the overall process. And it still works!
Download 6809 emulator from the Aminet
The Lottery Predictor
This was my very first appearance in a major magazine: a review in Amiga Shopper. I was rather chuffed, as you might guess, and it lead to a number of shareware subscriptions.
Ultimately I made more money from this software than I ever did playing the lottery!Download The Lottery Predictor
Graphics were always the hard part of any project, thus I wrote mostly utilities. However, I had the idea of creating a slot machine since the graphics could be "borrowed" from the Internet. I wrote this game engine to allow easy customisation.Download Sovereign Slots from the Aminet
Steev's MIDI Trigger (or SMT) was a music performance tool which triggered samples according to the key pressed, or the MIDI message sent. It was incredibly flexible and invaluable as a live tool, and jamming aid. I'm still surprised it didn't get a cult following!Download Steev's MIDI Trigger from the Aminet
Yet Another Mandelbrot Generator was my first foray into AMOS programming, and the very first piece of shareware I released. I got exactly zero subscriptions! But, as a learning experience it was invaluable at teaching me the whole development chain, from idea, to code, to documentation, and packaging. I even uploaded it under a pseudonym to try and garner some interest, and called the first version 2.053 to make it look like it had been around for a while, and therefore worthy of some attention.Download YAMG from the Aminet
I've revisited fractals periodically between 1986 and now, as they hold a fascination beyond the pictures and maths. This was my last experiment on the Amiga, creating IFS.Download Fractal thingy from the Aminet
AWECreator1 : A GUI to create user interfaces using the AMOS Workbench Extension. Having realised that the UI in AMOS was universally bad, my friend (Phillip Hart) and I set about creating a solution. He focused on the extension, while I built the editor and example applications. It was to be our passport to superstardom. Alas, I'm still here, and he's still there! But the tool was the driving force behind almost every other AMOS thing I wrote.
AWE Swarm : An updated version of an artificial life 'swarm'. Annoyingly one of my most popular downloads (1652.) (Annoying since I didn't write the clever bit!)
FLI Master : The fastest player for FLI animations. Primarily due to being one of the only ones!
Flip Grid : A highly configurable puzzle game, inspired around 'Lights Out'
Same Difference : An Amiga version of the tool 'WinDiff'.Download AWE Swarm FLI Master Flip Grid from the Aminet