Trackers - what's your story?


my main contact with trackers was through a friend, and as others mentioned already, he used jeskola buzz

i feel real lucky i met him and he was one of those loofy souls you meet that just loves having his head up in the clouds, but at the same time is super smart. a super massive infuence on me and getting into electronic music. first heard of autechre through him, coming of age back in the early 2000’s as an 18 year old was super trippy at that time, we had some amazing parties running screensavers on crt monitors and great electronic music

i dont know what it is about edm these days, i guess it just feels over produced and formalized. with infinite processing power comes infinite layering. its so crazy how its become commercial in a weird way. it used to be so underground. but if you think back old slow computers actually limited the tracks that could be created, electronic music tracks yes could use an inifinte possibility of sounds, but the layers was probably only like 4 - 8 sounds per track. i really like that era, something about it feels so pure and minimal .

so my friend showed me all his Buzz tracks from back in the day, i was really blown away by them listening one day. he must of written them in the late 90’s. he’s more of a scientist and educator these days, weve collaborated on some stuff in the past, but i know he has another creative musical project in him yet hehe

anyway i egged him on to uplaod his old stuff to soundcloud, but he actually uploaded a bunch of zips to instead. he released the stuff as NGC, i like the middleground release, in particular the tracks ‘clinton’ ‘bob’, ‘bjork’ and ‘dude’ (so good) have a nice collective vibe to them.

kinda reminds me of old aphexy/incunabula type stuff at times. anyway you should go have a listen if you’re interested. the other releases are called placebo, lullaby and disconnection. i think some openware called jamendo label picked it up and reposted it


Just realised im reading this thread whilst eating a Tracker bar.


Band aid webcam ^ :wink:


haha :grin:


that looks fantastic!


LSDJ on gameboys are my bread and butter… I absolutely love LSDJ and trackers in general because it’s what i used first when getting into music production…

this is one of the reasons why i love elektron machines so much because they have more openness similar to a tracker where you can really change the sound being played per step rather than being stuck with 1 sound for the entire sequenced t rack.

I just wish we could have effect tables, , i haven’t tried yet but i was thinking rerouting the midi out of the OT back into its input and use a midi channel track with trigless trigs to create a sort of effect table, using weird track lengths and time signatures you could probably do some neat stuff


Just in relation to this also, like the way a tracker page rolls along, in leui of a song mode on digi devices, a swell easy implementation could simply be a few different project loop modes

Currently it’s basically in pattern loop mode, which can be half the struggle in writing nice long pieces with much variation on Elektron machines

What about ‘bank loop’ mode. It simply runs each pattern into the next, looping a whole bank (or as many patterns as have trigs)

Thinking even bigger you could have ‘project loop’, so it would continuously move through a whole projects patterns / banks automatically


Great idea.
Even to simplify it - if it were possible to attach two or more patterns, just a simple setting to group them together and loop them playing consecutively would open up so many possibilities!


You mean like pattern chain? that already exists. Anyway sorry to take thread off topic. But it was the idea of that running tracker that actually opened the thought of what is currently basically ‘pattern loop mode’ on Elektron boxes


Yep, basically like pattern chain - but with the ability to save the chain. A simple on/off option for each pattern would do - chain to next Y/N.
If I’m missing something and that’s already an option, I’ll be delighted.


Back to 90’s.
Amiga 2000. One Mega of Ram and about 300 mega HD.
My first breakcore productions by putting any sound randomly on quite any row and let’s go.
What a fun ! My discovery of electronic music.


three threads pop up that have lots of tracker talk…

is the idea an Elektron tracker getting “focus tested” right now? :wink:


Great topic. fast tracker and Octamed too. In fact I have to search my parents place because this reminds me I never got rid of my old Amiga, floppy’s and DIY sampler. Gonna hook that one up and see if it still running! :grinning:


Well Fuck me, I’ve never seen this thread before

I’ll read it and add my own story as such… Seeing quadruple atm x


i did use a very old drum machine on c64 , microrythm for 1.99 , according to the internet it was 1986.

i used octamed on amiga from 88/90 ish … amiga 500 with gig ram , floppy disks.
ive still got my sampler cartridge in a box , small white thing.

i think i sampled a lot of janet jackson rhythm nation/jam and lewis productions , lots of nice percussion and stabs on it.

but i drifted towards pixel artwork instead and continued that until 3d took over.


Octamed for me, though before that I’d “made some tracks” (messed around, mainly) by sequencing sounds on 8-bit home computers via BASIC programs. I recall that the later revision of the ZX Spectrum, the +2 model, had a comparatively robust system for sequencing notes - definitely an improvement over using POKEs on the VIC-20.

But yeah, Octamed was a great experience, and all I had to go on was the occasional feature in a magazine, or breaking down the example track. My finest moments were programming the start point value to emulate timestretch (I had no idea how timestretch worked, but I realised I could emulate it by retriggering a sample and setting the start point to increase at a different speed to the pattern), and also “discovering” phase loops by copying a sample, clipping a few frames off the end, triggering them together and then switching to an empty, ‘endless’ pattern (probably a long pattern running very slowly).

There were lots of examples of improvised problem solving with Octamed, and it helped that it was a great time for music, with early jungle starting to appear and lots of interesting electronic stuff in general. Drawing in waveforms with the mouse, trying to work out ways to emulate acid basslines, chopping up breaks with offsets, gradually thinking more and more in hexadecimal - and ploughing all the results through terrible all-in-one home hi-fi systems.

It was a great induction that paid off many times later on, such as the time I got hold of a DX9 and had to work out 4-op FM. Using a tracker encouraged you to get closer to the ‘gears’, so that if you hit a problem you just rolled up your sleeves and started trying things out.

Nowadays my ‘proper’ tracker experiences are generally limited to Renoise, which I love, but I can definitely feel the lineage with my Elektron gear, especially the four-voice sequencing of the A4 and the pattern features of the Octatrack. I’ve never owned a SidStation, but I’d love to see more gear with numeric keypads integrated for data entry. I think that’d be a great addition to the Digitone, in particular…


Same here, 0ctamed & Octalyzer on Amiga.
Can still see the matrix when I close my eyes…


never used one.


SoundTracker, NoiseTracker, ProTracker, StarTrekker (and OctaMed) on the Amiga & CDTV.
DigitalTracker on the Atari Falcon 030.
FastTracker2 on PC until 2000 when Reason came out. I now mostly use Reason and Renoise.
Coming from trackers made it fairly easy to wrap my head around the Elektron sequencer, and only having access to 4 channels on the Amiga taught me how to utilize a limited number of tracks in an efficient way.


Oh, yeah, the good ol’days back in the 80’s when time was still available in (very) large quantities.

I was part of an Amiga demo group myself, coding 68k assembly all day long for gfx and audio …