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MODs - digital music


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  • About MODs
  • Links to the music and software.
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    The MODs

    MODs another very interesting format. Originally made for Commodore Amiga computers and used for musical demos by a company that sold the music editor SoundTracker.

    The source code of this program was cracked and illegal versions came. Today MOD is an interesting format offering more than four sound channels with both synthetic instruments and samples integrated.

    Modules are digital music files, made up of a set of samples (the instruments) and sequencing information. The file tells the mod player when to play which sample on which track at what pitch, optionally performing an effect like vibrato, for example.

    Thus MODs are different from pure sample files as WAV, which contain no sequencing information, and from MIDI files, which do not include any samples/instruments. MODs are extremely popular in the demo world and offer a way of making music of an acceptable level of quality rather cheaply.

    With all the new high quality sound hardware new generations of musicians may produce a sound quality near that of the professionals.

    The technique

    MODs' sequencing information is based on "patterns" and "tracks". A pattern is a group of tracks with a certain length, usually 64 "rows". The tracks are independent of each other. A four track MOD can play four voices or notes simultaneously. The patterns can be repeated in a play list reducing the file size.

    The MOD files contain the instruments along with them in the form of samples. The samples are little WAV files of one note on an instrument, a beat on a drum kit, or perhaps a line of vocals. The MOD composer decides what samples he includes in the MOD file. He uses a tracker to make the tunes:

    This way, the song will sound the same when played back on any computer, because the sounds as well as the sequences are included. Here is a MOD player:

    And here I "look behind" one the tunes above:


    You can download great music in the MOD format. The files are named .MOD or .XM. The most incredible is the file size. There obviously is a lot of compression in it, often you get more than a minute high quality replay out of a MOD file of just 100 KB.

    All you need is a little software:

    Links

    Visit this MOD site where you find players and other MOD stuff.

    Also check Great Swedish music in MOD format.


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