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Old 24 October 2019, 13:03   #841
Steril707
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I think the A1200 is a tremendous machine and a nice follow up to the OCS machines (not withstanding a few weird design decisions on the chipset).

And I am happy they exist. It's like the Commodore 65 the C64 never got.

It's just that in the context of the time they were released, it was too little too late then.
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Old 24 October 2019, 13:47   #842
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I was disappointed with my first A1200 as it had defective keyboard and had to be send back to the shop to be replaced. Longest three weeks ever having to wait for another one to arrive.

Besides that I was happy with at last getting more colors to work with DPaint, as well as getting my first HDD – good times! Biggest disappointment at the time was the sound chip that they didn't upgrade to 16-bit sound and 8+ channels.

I always saw the music scene as one of the most innovative and interesting aspect of Amiga so a decent bump up in those specs could've made Amiga an worthy (and cheap) option for commercial music, but with the specs remaining the same it was now fated to remain as just a nice hobby machine.
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Old 24 October 2019, 13:57   #843
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Originally Posted by jizmo View Post
I always saw the music scene as one of the most innovative and interesting aspect of Amiga so a decent bump up in those specs could've made Amiga an worthy (and cheap) option for commercial music, but with the specs remaining the same it was now fated to remain as just a nice hobby machine.
That's true. Even just sticking in a second Paula would have been working wonders..
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Old 24 October 2019, 14:26   #844
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@matt3k

AAA Was very expensive, even Aga with full 32bit 14mhz copper and blitter and little bit of fast ram, one cycle chip ram access for cpu, would have been very good.
Even if it was expensive, it would have brought graphic technology to leap frog competition. A DSP would have 10 times faster than an 040 for rendering in lightwave. Even if you tripled the price of the Amiga for just the toaster crowd you were so much cheaper with so much performance.

Timing was everything, good point even an updated AGA released on time would have helped for sure, AAA released on time would have been what the Amiga really needed imho. AAA could have been years ahead of SGI which came along later and higher prices. The PC and VGA was starting to gain the market in the usa and the Amiga slowly fell behind and many friends went to the PC instead of investing anymore into Amiga. Some of the Amiga folks went to Mac and that was good for them, since it was an updated platform.
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Old 24 October 2019, 14:31   #845
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I was disappointed with my first A1200 as it had defective keyboard and had to be send back to the shop to be replaced. Longest three weeks ever having to wait for another one to arrive.

Besides that I was happy with at last getting more colors to work with DPaint, as well as getting my first HDD – good times! Biggest disappointment at the time was the sound chip that they didn't upgrade to 16-bit sound and 8+ channels.

I always saw the music scene as one of the most innovative and interesting aspect of Amiga so a decent bump up in those specs could've made Amiga an worthy (and cheap) option for commercial music, but with the specs remaining the same it was now fated to remain as just a nice hobby machine.

Agreed it would have helped to add midi and update audio. I do think the toaster was the saving grace that if Commodore had good management, release AAA with a DSP it would have given newtek a platform to get some serious work done. The Toaster kept Amiga's in use until the late 90's early 2000's for video. Atari cornered the midi market very early on so it would have been work to gain traction with the music production world.
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Old 24 October 2019, 14:58   #846
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Atari cornered the midi market very early on so it would have been work to gain traction with the music production world.
For Midi definitely not – that's Atari's domain.

But, there was definitely a demand in the early 90s electric music scene for a capable sample based music system that could've recorded and played back samples in CD quality, without having to fork out for third party synths or samplers. At the time there were tons of eager musicians and bands trying to get into the commercial music and really tried to use Amiga and its various tracker packages to do just that – only to have to accept at some point that the fidelity wasn't there for anything above homemade mixtapes.

Yes, this did happen to me and my wannabe musician friends as well.

Last edited by jizmo; 24 October 2019 at 15:20.
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Old 24 October 2019, 15:40   #847
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Yep, the tracker music scene was huge and very impressive. An leading part of Amiga. Sooner or later they all switched to other systems with the result of hardly no music software development. With good 16 bit stereo + multichannel it had hold for at least 10 more years IMHO.

@Steril707:
You really left Amiga scene much to early. The nineties were the golden years. PC was crap at that time. More colors and faster doesn't changed that. I think many were blinded by figures and PC marketing. If you had still used Amiga that time you would think different now.
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Old 24 October 2019, 15:50   #848
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I would also like to remind the fact from history that in 1990 eastern Europe market just opened for selling computers and this could significantly bloat sales numbers. It was C= German department which registered such success.

E-XA-CT-LY!! We were part of eastern block and suffered under individually smuggled 8-bit obsolete computers until 1990 and our market was HUNGRY for anything new, that started to be officially imported finally.
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Old 25 October 2019, 00:37   #849
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Originally Posted by jizmo View Post
For Midi definitely not – that's Atari's domain.
But only because it was there first, not because it was a better machine for music.

Quote:
But, there was definitely a demand in the early 90s electric music scene for a capable sample based music system that could've recorded and played back samples in CD quality, without having to fork out for third party synths or samplers. At the time there were tons of eager musicians and bands trying to get into the commercial music and really tried to use Amiga and its various tracker packages to do just that – only to have to accept at some point that the fidelity wasn't there for anything above homemade mixtapes.
Amiga did have that, but expecting it from an unexpanded A1200 (still at the same low price) is asking a bit much. To complete the system you would need a CD writer, a huge hard drive, and probably more RAM and a faster CPU, as well as the 16 bit codec - all of which was available to those who were willing to pay for it.

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Yes, this did happen to me and my wannabe musician friends as well.
You tried to use your A1200 to make music CDs without any extra hardware?

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Originally Posted by Steril707
Even just sticking in a second Paula would have been working wonders..
Apparently not for some...
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Old 25 October 2019, 07:57   #850
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But only because it was there first, not because it was a better machine for music.
Of course not, but that wasn't argued here. I would not have at all minded if Commodore had incorporated midi to Amiga.

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Amiga did have that, but expecting it from an unexpanded A1200 (still at the same low price) is asking a bit much.
Yes, almost as outrageous than asking a 1985 machine to have four channels of sampled stereo sound – but that's what the original Amiga still delivered. Paula was long due for an upgrade to keep it up with the competition.

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To complete the system you would need a CD writer, a huge hard drive, and probably more RAM and a faster CPU, as well as the 16 bit codec - all of which was available to those who were willing to pay for it.
You are speculating on nice to have, but the discussion was about basic hardware support for 16-bit samples. All of the stuff you mentioned would help, but aren't really necessities (besides the HDD, but that was already given if you would do anything productive on Amiga).

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You tried to use your A1200 to make music CDs without any extra hardware?
Not music CDs, CD quality sound with similar fidelity and dynamics.

We were hobbyists trying to figure out our way to the commercial level, and I can assure you that we weren't the only ones. Somewhere along the line we added external effects, delays, echoes, mixers and an external multitracker as we got hold of them, and finally swapped Amigas to synth stations.

Last edited by jizmo; 25 October 2019 at 08:28.
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Old 25 October 2019, 08:39   #851
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I'm not sure if 16-bit audio @ 44 kHz would have been too useful at the time the A1200 was released. At least it would not have been used in most games, as sound samples with that sort of resolution would take up too much of memory. It's something like 88 kB/sec for a mono sound. The A500 didn't even use the 8-bit sound @ 28 kHz to its full potential, because such samples took too much memory for the 512 k/1 MB system, therefore the samples tended to be noisy and sampled at something like ~10 kHz rate.
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Old 25 October 2019, 09:07   #852
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@coder76

True, most games use 11025khz or even 8000khz samples in-games iirc. Even with A1200's 2mb, no greater than 22050khz sampling rate would be practical. More channels and stereo panning would be way more useful for a Paula upgrade.
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Old 25 October 2019, 09:13   #853
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I'm not sure if 16-bit audio @ 44 kHz would have been too useful at the time the A1200 was released. At least it would not have been used in most games, as sound samples with that sort of resolution would take up too much of memory. It's something like 88 kB/sec for a mono sound. The A500 didn't even use the 8-bit sound @ 28 kHz to its full potential, because such samples took too much memory for the 512 k/1 MB system, therefore the samples tended to be noisy and sampled at something like ~10 kHz rate.
But it would've given more headroom to take the sound further if you'd wanted. Many of the Amiga musicians really wanted as they were hitting the limits of what Paula offered and started migrating to other platforms because of this.

You are right about games – memory and disk space was always an issue with pretty much everything you did in the 90 for sure. But outside that, purely from the music making stance 2Mb already goes a long way.

If you take a look at even the best Fast Tracker songs out there, you find that they are well under 1Mb, but provide already much more control for layering the harmonics and the sampling headroom to ensure that the sounds that count really do sound good and have the necessary dynamic range.

My stance remains that Amiga had a truly unique hobbyist music scene like no other platform out there that was ultimately let down by Commodore's inability to keep the audio capabilities up to date.

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More channels and stereo panning would be way more useful for a Paula upgrade.
16-bit is always more useful and versatile than 8-bit in sound, there's just no way around it. But I do agree that other updates to the sound would've been welcome as well, similar to for example what Nintendo did with providing out of the box echo effect on SNES.

Last edited by jizmo; 25 October 2019 at 09:26.
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Old 25 October 2019, 09:23   #854
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The Amiga was kind of the birth place for a lot of 90ies sample based music, Jungle and DnB for example.
It was a cheap sampler for its time, and usually people really didn't care that much about the 8 bit, or even embraced the rawness of its sound.

Also, with some external effect units you could make this sound really good.

I am a huge fan of 80ies sample pioneers "The Art of Noise", and most of their stuff was made with early Fairlight samplers, which were also 8bit. And they are usually praised for the pristineness of the sound of their recordings.

You can make 8 bit sound really good if you take care.
The reason why we think of a certain lo fi ness in Amiga music is, because usually the Chip RAM was much too low for games to have gfx and sfx and music, so the music was sampled down to the lowest possible frequency. Which sounded shit, usually.

An 8 voice sampler with 8bit and 28mhz would have been a great machine for creating music in 1992 (heck, even in 1998 I would have rather use an Amiga for this than Fruity Loops). Especially if you could set stereo panorama yourself.

Last edited by Steril707; 25 October 2019 at 09:38.
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Old 25 October 2019, 09:49   #855
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16-bit is always more useful and versatile than 8-bit in sound, there's just no way around it.
Can you describe the use(-fulness) of 16-bit sound in 2MB 68020 computer when games are published on 880KB floppy disks?
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Old 25 October 2019, 09:51   #856
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Can you describe the use(-fulness) of 16-bit sound in 2MB 68020 computer when games are published on 880KB floppy disks?
To be fair, the A1200 could be equipped with a hard disk, and 16 bit would have been more useful for music production off course.

I just don't think that 16 bit was incredibly necessary for 1992s level of bedroom sampling...see my post above

Quote:
My stance remains that Amiga had a truly unique hobbyist music scene like no other platform out there that was ultimately let down by Commodore's inability to keep the audio capabilities up to date.
That's true, though...

Last edited by Steril707; 25 October 2019 at 09:57.
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Old 25 October 2019, 10:10   #857
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It's still possible to go a long way in terms of audio with the A1200, provided you got the memory and a better CPU. 14-bit audio and mixing up more channels with CPU. Also, with certain screenmodes you can get up to 56 kHz sample rate with DMA.

There are replayers for s3m/xm/it-formats as well for the Amiga. Sure, these are better than the 4chan Amiga mods. Do these sound as good as on real 16 bit audio systems? Probably not, but good enough.
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Old 25 October 2019, 10:17   #858
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To be fair, the A1200 could be equipped with a hard disk, and 16 bit would have been more useful for music production off course.

I just don't think that 16 bit was incredibly necessary for 1992s level of bedroom sampling...see my post above

I agree with all that you wrote there. And I think 16-bit sound have it's use but only in music niche. So it is difficult to argue for '16-bit is always more useful and versatile than 8-bit in sound' since it was pointed many times in this thread that in game business it is not. Amiga games was far from utilize already existing potential of Paula if we talking on bits and sample rates. But those same games were constantly choking on 4 voices sound limit since a decade because that dilemma ('music or sfx?') was well known even on 8-bit computers. Even effects like echo, flanger and more can be quite easily emulated with more voices available (to some degree of fidelity) with virtually no CPU/memory overhead.
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Old 25 October 2019, 10:36   #859
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But it would've given more headroom to take the sound further if you'd wanted. Many of the Amiga musicians really wanted as they were hitting the limits of what Paula offered and started migrating to other platforms because of this.
Which other platforms?
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Old 25 October 2019, 10:55   #860
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The Amiga was kind of the birth place for a lot of 90ies sample based music, Jungle and DnB for example.
Yes! Especially in Europe the electric scene had sizeable roots in Amiga.

If you browse through the music catalogue of the era, the Amiga references pop up left right and center as well as cases of blatant plagiarism.

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It was a cheap sampler for its time, and usually people really didn't care that much about the 8 bit, or even embraced the rawness of its sound.
This was the starting point, but as you wanted to take things further, you always did hit that hardware ceiling you wished wasn't there. Some did embrace this like some embrace the lo-fi nature of the 8-bit computers, but quite a many moved on as higher fidelity was available elsewhere.

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Also, with some external effect units you could make this sound really good.
This is true. Just plugging into a cheap echo/reverb and adding a mixer takes the sound stage to a completely different level.

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Which other platforms?
PC or synth workstations that began offering build-in multitrack sequencers at the time.

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I agree with all that you wrote there. And I think 16-bit sound have it's use but only in music niche.
Sorry to hear you share the Commodore's view about music being a niche on Amiga. I'd say there were easily ten times more hobbyist musicians using Amiga primarily for composing, remixing and sampling than there were people using Amiga for spreadsheets, desktop publishing or even creating art in DPaint.

Last edited by jizmo; 25 October 2019 at 11:13.
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