The biggest change, and the biggest shake up in the MOD world since this FAQ's inception is the ever widening spread of the World Wide Web. It has enabled the MOD scene to come together in a way those first 'scene'rs could have only dreamt of. MODs can be obtained almost everywhere on the web, from the one man/woman tracker to the multi-member groups such as KFMF, FM and newer groupings such as DiSC, Explizit etc...
Writing a section about where to obtain MODs on the web is the absolute height in redundancy.
If you have any doubt about that statement try this: Open up your browser (if it's not already open reading this) point yourself at http://www.yahoo.com (a common web search site)and type in 'MODs' as the keyword (in that case, but obviously without the ') then search - you should get over 200 pages!! Try that in the Alta Vista search engine and you'll come up with a staggering 13579 entries!! Of course not all of those entries are going to be music MODs but it's a fair bet some 75% will be.
So, rather than write about such an overwhelming subject, I decided to concentrate on what I call 'multi-purpose' MOD sites. A couple of examples already mentioned in the preceeding FAQ text automatically spring to mind: MODplug Central and MAZ Home. MAZ Home because it features almost everything you need as either a tracker or a listener. It really is the ultimate software stop. Modplug Central counts as a multi-use site because of it's extensive dissemination of it's MODplug software, it's tremendous amount of MOD information (new releases, reviews, MOD facts and news and a large collection of downloadable MODs).
MULTI PURPOSE SITES
Hornet Archive: http://www.hornet.org/
The longest lived multi-purpose site around (since 04 September 1992), and now, sadly on its last legs. Most of the archive will still presumably be available through the ftp.cdrom.com connection - and should it ever get back online the main MOD tracks will be available at scene.org. However, this is still one of the definitive MOD spots on the Web dial<g>. Home to a HUGE collection of files and organiser of the brilliant MC (Music Contest) series of world wide MOD competitions. A massive MOD resource and a MUST VISIT for any serious MOD fan.
MAZ Home Page : http://www.th-zwickau.de/~maz/
As well as being the most reliable source for new sound software, MAZ Home has many other attributes. Trackers and Players in both MOD and MP3 format are available for download, there's MAZ's own FAQ, samples and softsynths, soundcard software and sound tools by the handful. It really should be the first stop for equipment.
MODplug Central: http://www.castlex.com/modplug/
The MODplugin software gave a voice to MODs on the web and this is the central site for all MODplug related software. A Resources section features: New Releases, MOD News, MOD Chat, MOD Links and even a Computer Music Forum which has some very lively exchanges... It also has a subscriber based newsletter full of timely info. And, new and a gratuitous plug :-) is the MODplug Tracker Startup kit....an excellent introduction to this popular Windows based tracker.
Trax In Space: http://www.traxinspace.com
A very extensive site with loads of downloadable tracks; every week, visitors are asked to vote for their Favorite Trax of the Week which is then compiled in listings. There's an excellent search facility where you can search by style or artist, artist profiles are also available. They also do reviews and a subscriber newsletter.
(yep the organisation formerly known as the Weekly Module Review, and is now the Internet Music Monitor)
United Trackers: http://www.united-trackers.org/
Now into it's second year but UT is still growing at a phenomenal rate. United Trackers now has 3221 Members, 52 compos, 340 websites, 688 tracks, tracker databases, briliant discussion boards, columns and even a T-Shirt! and much more. A MOD starting point site for any serious newbie to the scene. The archives are particularly useful and the bulletin board is very active...and now...it's allied to:
A new site (to this FAQ anyway) but one I consider to have a good idea, namely SPACE for tracks! Yep, a site where YOU can upload and MAINTAIN your own files!! You can add your files, change their information, remove them, see who's been downloading them, and much much more! A demos section will be up later. Of special mention on this site is the allied modbot.com, an excellent search utility - if a little sparse at the moment! Give it a bit of time though, this site should expand handsomely... :-)
Started in September 1996 with just 5 sites, the MODring has grown into a bandwidth eating monster, easily outstripping all other attempted MOD rings. At the time of writing it had a staggering 1032 MOD sites on it. Think, you could spend all your time online on MOD sites alone! One of the prime sources for 'blind' or random MOD wanderings - a surprise around every link. Even the quickest browse through the ring will show the amazing diversity and range MOD music has achieved.
Kosmic Free Music Foundation: http://www.kosmic.org/
KFMF, The original and still one of the very best MOD sites on the Web. Currently with 30 or so members, KFMF still features the very best the scene can offer. Mind you, while I was there, I found this message from Maelcom <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
When I wrote the above addendum in 1998, Hornet was probably just about coming to the decision to close the archive. Obviously, the slams the lesson home even further. However, when I went back to Kosmic for this update, things had obviously changed a little because Maelcum now had this to say:
Welcome back to kosmic.org. Thanks to the continuing support of our listeners we have been able to re-open the site at colba.net, however we're not out of the woods yet. We have raised about half the money needed to purchase the new server, and must raise the rest between now and the end of January. At that time we will have to relocate to our new home at Vision Online, one way or another.
Obviously, keep watching that space! And, Maelcum, nice new design ya got there! Well cool..... The Scene: http://www.scene.org/
As a MOD resource in its own right (IRC servers/channels for trackers, FTP sites for tracks and software) scene.org also hosts the following sites:
MOD TRACKING TUTORIAL SITES
Once upon a time, trying to find out how to track was a forlorn and lonely task. It really was a question of RTFM and be done with it. Of course you could ask a question about tracking online and risk a bunch of flames, but that took a brave spirit
Introspective's The Zen Of Tracking:
The daddy of them all, and still one of the webs most visited (and informative) tracking resources. Run by well respected scene figures, this should be any MOD newcomers Top Sites list. They now have a mirror link on Hornet as well, so I imagine the site is in for some fairly rapid expansion. Anyway, *tons* of tracking tips and information right here; interviews with established trackers and technical articles. A treasure trove of good, reliable information on both the scene and the technical aspects of tracking. Although the site was originally started by Jeremy Rice (a long time scene member), he's now been joined by Smash (of Noise), Screamager and Radix - who are three of the better known and active members of today's tracking scene. All in all, expect great things from this rejuvenated site.
Obviously, should have kept my big mouth shut because zooooom, down goes both the Hornet link and even the original (ie Jeremy Rice's) ZoT site. However, the material in the archive has been saved and is now part of the re-juvenated Internet Music Monitor site. New articles have been added to the archive since it became part of IMM, and you may even see a familiar face at the maintainance desk :-)
Scream Tracker Tutorial:
Pirate Pete runs a good, informative site with a more than adequate Scream Tracker tutorial that will certainly get the beginner up and tracking in no time. A no-nonsense, straight down to it look at the basics of tracking that is well worth a visit if ST3 is your tracker of choice. This site also hosts several other items of interest, as well as MODs from Pirate Pete himself...
Rubz Tracking Page FT Tutorial:
Rubz is a regular poster on absm and he has produced a very worthwhile Fast Tracker tutorial. This site is easy to negotiate and has sections on Music Theory as well as the FT tutorial, which is very understandable and covers basics of FT use, and excellent sections on tracking good drum patterns and using effects. The site is also home to Hertz, a 20 strong group of musicians and web artists.
Protocol Music Archive IT Tutorial:
The link above should take you straight to the page about using effects in Impulse Tracker, but don't neglect the rest of this large site. There's a lot of very relevant information all over this site, including discussions about the differences between MIDI and MOD (always a absm favourite!). It's also home to Acid, and MOD group Phluid which includes some very famous scene names including Trax Weekly's Psibelius....
I was beginning to despair that I'd ever track this file down again. Thanks to Greg K <email@example.com> it just came in under the wire. This is an excellent text based, stand alone tutorial for Impulse Tracker. It's still a little short on detail, but it does improve with each succeeding version (latest is 3.2). Well worth the 50k download<g>
And that URL went bye bye too... Sheesh. If anyone can point me to it's present whereabouts on the net I'd be obliged. I have my own copy but I'd rather feature the actual website :-( But, if you want a copy emailed to you, let me know.
is one of the best sites for this little gem from absm poster and tracker, CoolsThere's also an excellent MODplug Tracker Startup Kit available from the MODplug Central site which includes samples, tutorials etc: