Voltage controlled as opposed to pulse controlled. Analogue sound can more easily be used to accurately represent the original sound that it recorded than digital can. The disadvantage is that analogue has more imperfections in the sound.

A method used by synthesisers that did not have enough voices to constantly have chords playing (like the SID which only had three voices). Instead, it would rapidly play the notes in sequence by taking the instrument and sliding it past the three notes rapidly. This effect is still used to reproduce that sound.

Art Of Noise
(Information needed)

Basically an SB16 with wavetable synthesis built in


Beats Per Minute

A buffer is used in many players to store extra music data in case something slows down the computer. It can still read from the buffer and play the music.

Windows 9x Realtime Synthesis Tracker.


Compact Disc Digital Audio

44.1kHz, 16Bit, Stereo sound.

To centre a wave on the 0 mark.

What notes are put on in a tracker. In earlier trackers, one channel could only have one note at a time (one note would cut the other off). By using NNAs, one note on a channel can ring out past another note on the same channel.

Chip tune
A module that is made to sound like an early computer music synthesiser, usually sounding like the Commodore 64 (SID), or Game Boy sound chips. However, this has come to mean any module that is small in size, usually anywhere from 5 to 20kbytes.

When a sample is amplified up so that the peaks of the waveform go past the maximum level allowed and gets flattened out.

A section of a channel. The first column is the notes column which keeps track of the note (AG) and the octave (09). Between the note and the octave, there is either a dash () or a number sign (#). The number sign says that the note is sharp. The second column is the sample/instrument column. This column says what sample or instrument number is used to play the note. The third column is the volume column. This is the volume (in the 064 range) that the note is played at. In recent trackers, this can also be used for limited effects. The fourth column is the effects column. This starts with the number of the effect (for example, 3 is slidetonote) and ends with a number which is how the effect will operate. 34A would mean that the sound would slide into this note with a speed of 4A.

Composer 669
DOS Tracker, capable of 8 channels, text mode layout. Similar to Multichannel Tracker.

Cross fading
This technique is used to fade out one sound while another fades in (preferably at the same rate). The result is that one sound fades into the next smoothly.

Cubic Player
MOD player for DOS.

Cut off
The point in which a filter starts to gradually cut frequencies out of the sound that are above the point in a low pass filter.


D/L - Download.
When you transfer a file from another computer connected to yours.

Amiga based player

A method in which messages are sent between electronic parts using pulses of electricity instead of a constant flow which varies in voltage (analogue). Digital sound is usually more pure than analogue but does not reproduce the actual sound as accurately.

Digital Tracker
(Information needed)

Coded by NFactor. Uses the MDL file format. Similar capabilities to Fasttracker 2 but with a different interface.

DMF - XTracker module.
Can be 32 channels

DSM - Dynamic Studio module

Duplicity Check
A method of controlling NNAs. If one note encounters another that matches the check criteria, it will take a different action than usual such as fading it instead of cutting it.

Dynamic Studio
(Information needed)


Eagle Player
Module player for the Amiga. Supports a huge range of formats and variations.

How a sound is controlled. Some envelopes are graphical and have various nodes, or joints, that have lines drawn between them to show how that aspect of the sound will behave. Some other envelopes are ADSR types. This stands for Attack (how quickly the sound approaches), Decay (how quickly the sound fades out), Sustain (how long the note is held before it falls), and Release (how quickly the sound is released when it stops).

Equaliser, EQ
Alters the sound so that some frequencies may be boosted and others may be muffled, like more complex bass and treble settings.


Farandole Composer module. Can be 16 channels with a maximum of 64 8Bit/16Bit Samples.

Farandole Composer
Coded by Daniel Potter of Digital Infinity. Supports GUS only and has a builtin sample editor. Edits 16 tracks, 64 instruments, an own command set (does not claim to be PTcompliant), 8 and 16Bit sample support, sample size up to 1 Meg. Features separate volume column and track panning. Able to display all tracks on screen simultaneously by taking advantage of SVGA 132x50 mode.

Coded by Mr H of Triton. Edits 4, 6 or 8 tracks, 31 instruments, 8Bit samples of 64KB maximum size, ProTracker command set, track panning supported by external players, 100 patterns. Relatively simple, easy to use tracker, which is good for starters, but it suffers from its output formats' deficiencies. Partly mouse driven.

Fasttracker II
Coded by Vogue and Mr. H of Triton. The first PC tracker to introduce 32 channels and volume/panning envelopes. Has it's own built in WAV writer, useful for producing audio CDs or for mixing samples for 4 channel MODs.

Anything that throws out some and keeps some parts of a sound like a sieve.

An effect that is created when the same sound is played over itself but one of the copies is offset very slightly. After the initial offset (which is not required but is nice so the note isn't twice as loud at the beginning), an extremely slight pitch bend will produce a "whoosh" sound. This effect used to be done with reel to reel tape recorders by slowing down one reel and then releasing it to let it catch up.

StarTrekker module.

The number of cycles a wave makes in a second, can also mean the pitch in samples per second.


How much the amplitude is increased by an amplifier.

If a sound is gated, then it alternates between a high and low volume very quickly.

A setting that effects everything.

Grave Composer
(Information needed)

Atari Falcon 030 tracker. 32 channels and many editing functions. FFFF possible values for each effect. Internal 24bit mixing, 16bit 50KHz stereo output. Interpolation can be set on individual tracks. Sample writer, flanger, automatic chords, delays.

GT2 - New Graoumftracker module.

GTK - Old Graoumftracker module.

GUS - Gravis Ultrasound.
A hardware mixing sound card favoured by many in the demo scene. Unfortunately, the GUS is not produced any more.


Hard Pan
When a sound is Hard Panned Left, it will only come out of the left speaker in a stereo system and vice versa for Hard Pan Right. Hard Panning can be very painful to listen to with headphones.

Hardware mixing
When a MOD is mixed by a sound card. Allows even slow computers to play back high quality sound, due to the minimal CPU load. The Paula chip in the Amiga does this.

Head Tracker
(Information needed)

A system of numbers that many trackers use so that higher numbers may be fit into less digits. This system counts from 0 to 9 like the normal system, but then counts from A to F before looping over to 10.

High Pass
A filter used to cut out low frequencies and allow high frequencies to 'pass' through.

Human Machine Interfaces MIDI music files.

FM synth music used by many old games, e.g.: FINTRIS, Rol Crusaders.


Inertia Player
MOD Player for DOS. (Information needed)

An instrument is the data used to affect the playback of a sample without the need for an effect. In the original trackers, the instrument information was the sample volume, fine tune, and loop, and it was held within a module. The sample could only be saved as a sample and it would lose volume and fine tune information (I think samples with loop information would retain this when saved, am I right?).
Now, with the more advanced trackers, an instrument consists of one or more samples with things like volume envelopes, panning and vibrato all included. These instruments can be saved and they retain all of their original information.

A technique used to make sound smoother and take out the high pitched ringing sound that occurs when a sample is played below the sampling rate by drawing straight lines through the points instead of "stepping" through the sample. Some interpolation draws curves instead, giving clearer sound.

All modem users should know this one, which originates from the dawn of modems. IMHO stands for In My Honest/Humble Opinion.

Impulse Tracker
Coded by Jeffrey Lim a.k.a. Pulse. Current version is 2.14p4. Impulse Tracker is no longer being updated, due to the piracy that happened when the stereo WAV writer was released. Patch 4 of Impulse Tracker includes a Direct X driver – for those sound cards not directly supported. The Direct X driver also allows for supported PCI sound cards to be used without needing extra software or hardware.

Impulse Tracker module.

Impulse Tracker instrument. (Actually these can have any extension or none at all, but the manual refers to them this way, I think it might be something to do with the file header.... hang on a moment... nope! The header uses IMPI).

Impulse Tracker Sample. See ITI, except the header uses IMPS.

Interchange File Format. A very flexible format generally used on the Amiga. Sound samples are generally stored as a subset of IFF called 8SVX. 8SVX can only store 8bit mono samples – it can hold the sample rate but very few programs that can save 8SVX samples actually do this.




LFO, Low Frequency Oscillator
An oscillator that puts out a frequency so low that it is inaudible. This is usually used like an envelope. A neat experiment if you have your computer hooked up to speakers is to take a sine bass, keep playing it lower and lower until you can't hear it, then turn up the volume and the bass (with a boost perhaps) on your stereo. Take the cover off your speaker and watch it move. Be careful not to blow out your speaker!

Linear Slides
A method of calculating pitch slides used in recent module formats that are constant from one sample/speed/pitch to the next.

Loop back Point
A point in the pattern that the player will go back to when a loop back command for that point is executed.

Lossless Compression
A compression technique that makes the file size smaller without sacrificing sound quality.

Lossy Compression
A compression technique that sacrifices sound quality to make the file smaller.

Low Pass
A filter that cuts out high frequencies and allows low frequencies to 'pass' through.


ProTracker/Noisetracker module. M.K. are the initials of the programmers Mahoney and Kaktus.

(Information needed)

(Information needed)

MadTracker 2
Coded by MadHouse. MT2 was designed with the aim of reducing the gap between trackers and "professional" music programs. MT2 introduced some new features, and brought old ones up to date – drum patterns, proper mixer, stereo samples (yes!) and real time effects (delay, filters, flange). Runs under Windows 9x/NT. MT2 is fully functional shareware, with the standard registration giving a personalised key that saves your name etc into the module. Professional registration also includes a WAV writer, and any new pro features that get introduced.

MIDI music used by MageSlayer game.

Music Editor or OctaMED module, can be 64 channel with full panning.

(Information needed)

(Information needed)

Midas Player
(Information needed)

(Information needed)

OctaMED module

OctaMED module

OctaMED v5+ Module

OctaMED SoundStudio Module

Possibly the most diverse module format around. Just because a file has "MOD" on the end doesn't automatically mean that the file is a four channel 15/31 instruments module... oh no! There are many different forms of MOD around; Fasttracker MODs for example can have more than 4 channels.

A MOD player for Windows 3.1 upwards. Very popular due to it's compatibility and features.

(current version reported to be v3.01) Coded by Norman Lin. Supports SB, DAC and the internal speaker using Mark J. Cox's playing routine (it runs even on 286 PC's). Only edits the M.K. format. Mousedriven menu interface. This editor's main quality is its sortofmusical notation. Whereas almost all other trackers display the tracks vertically and notes are only discernible by their key character, ModEdit displays the current pattern horizontally and the notes on a vertical spread. This editor is old but could suit some people to get started on. It has a very good documentation, which can unfortunately be a bit misleading at times, however.

A range of module programs by Olivier Lapicque. Mod PlugIn is a plugin for browsers so you can listen to MODs embedded in a web page. ModPlug Player is the most feature packed MOD player for Windows 9x/NT. It also has the best sound quality of any player yet. ModPlug Tracker is a Windows 9x/NT tracker.

Changing an aspect of one sound using the data of another one.

MadTracker 2 Module

MadTracker 2 Instrument

MultiTracker Module

Multichannel Mode
A mode where when a note is entered in a channel that has multichannel mode on, it will enter it and then skip to the next channel with the mode on.

MultiTracker Module Editor
Coded by Daniel Goldstein a.k.a. Starscream of Renaissance. Supports GUS, SB and SB Pro. Edits up to 32 tracks, 31 instruments, features the PT command set (which is not completely compatible), 8Bit samples (MTM format can store 16Bits). Features track panning. Imports raw samples and GUS patches (only in the registered version).


NNA, New Note Actions
These allow more than one note to be played in a channel at the same time.

Noise Tracker
The first Soundtracker clone to be released after the original, written by Mahoney and Kaktus.

To amplify the wave as far as it will go without clipping.

A MOD file produced by Noise Tracker, can hold 4 channels and 15 8 Bit instruments.


8 channel tracker for the Amiga with very good MIDI support. Coded by Teijo Kinnunen

Oktalyzer Module, can be up to 8 channels with 255 7/8Bit instruments.

(Information needed)

A device that produces a sound by vibration.

A device that shows visually what waveforms look like.

The list that controls the order in which the patterns of a module will be played.


Pans the sound around like vibrato.

Panning refers to the volume at which a sound is played out of two separate speakers. If the sound coming out of one speaker is louder than the other then the sound will seem to be closer to that speaker.

Pan Swing
A setting that makes the sound pan around from note to note.

Every MOD is split up into a number of patterns. A standard ProTracker MOD can only have 64 rows per pattern.

The sound chip that started it all off, allows 4 mono or two stereo channels to be played back in 8Bit at a maximum of 30kHz.

Physical Channels
The number of channels used in a module without accounting for extra channels used for fades by NNAs.

PitchPan Separation
This will change the panning position depending on the pitch. The PitchPan centre is the note where the instrument will be played in the middle. To either side, the notes will be panned by an amount depending on the pitchpan separation value.

Mac tracker. Current version is 4.5.9

(Information needed)

Pitch bending/sliding.

Primary Tempo
In a MOD, the primary tempo is the one that can be set in BPM, usually between 31 and 255.

Coded by the Amiga Freelancers.

Module music used by Epic MegaGames Pinball, Jazz JackRabbit, etc.

Polytracker module

Pulse Wave
Kind of like a square wave, except not so even in the time periods. __|"|___|"|___


Quantisize, quantisization
Refers to the accuracy of the timing of notes when they are recorded in real time. In a MIDI sequencer notes can be quantisized to a very accurate level, in a tracker, the faster the overall speed the more accurate realtime input will be.


Real Tracker
A DOS based tracker which can use two effects columns (not just an effect column and a volume column). Graphical Windows like interface which can go up to 1280x1024. Current version is 2.23

Ripped, ripper, ripping
A ripped sample is one taken from a module, game, demo, or application, generally done without the authors permission. A ripper is a program that rips samples (and/or other data) out of module, game, demo, or application. Ripping refers to the process by which data is ripped, either by hand or by using a ripper. The ethics of ripping have been discussed over the years, and it is generally agreed that if you rip something out of someone else’s work, you should also allow others to rip things from your work. You should also credit the person you ripped the data from by mentioning their name in your file. Usually ripping is only done on noncommercial files like modules and demos, due to the legalities involved if the data you rip is copyrighted.

A single line of a pattern

Real Tracker instrument

Real Tracker module

Real Tracker sample


A digital image of an analogue sound. Samples can be looped and played back at different pitches. A sample can also be one amplitude measurement in a digital recording.

Sampling Rate
The time interval which specifies how often amplitude measurements (samples) of a source are taken at in a digital recording. A digital recording will not accurately measure frequencies above half of the sampling rate. The higher the rate, the more real the sound sounds.

Saw Wave
A waveform that zigzags, rising slowly and then dropping quickly. /|/|/|/|

SoundBlaster. Most PC trackers can use one of these. A standard SoundBlaster can only play back 8Bit mono sound, at a maximum frequency of 22050 Hz. There are ranges of SoundBlaster versions, from 1.0 to 2.0.

SB Pro
SoundBlaster Pro. The next step up from the original allows 8 Bit sound at a maximum frequency of 44100 Hz in mono, and 22050 Hz stereo.

SoundBlaster 16. The next step after the SB Pro allows 16Bit mono or stereo sound at a maximum frequency of 44100 Hz.

SoundBlaster 32. The first SoundBlaster card to have onboard memory.

Secondary Tempo
This is pretty complex. The Secondary Tempo controls the number of ticks per row. The less ticks, the faster the BPM. But not in all trackers. If you use OctaMED and you set the Primary Tempo to SPD not BPM, it seems to work the other way around! The more ticks the faster the BPM why is this?

Scream Tracker 3
A hybrid tracker that can use both samples and FM synthesised sounds (it can only use a SB for FM). Scream Tracker 3 was the first tracker to use both FM and digital sounds together. Current version is 3.21.

Sine Wave
A waveform that curves smoothly and evenly in an Sshape.

Having to do with sine waves.

Software mixing
When all the mixing of the MOD is done via software before being passed to the sound card for playing.

(No I'm not mad!). A song in tracker terms refers to a module that doesn't contain any samples. Songs originated back when disk space was limited. They allow a composer to track and save modules which will automatically load the samples when needed. The earliest trackers worked only with songs, and you had to collect the various sample disks in order to play them back correctly.

Sound Tracker
The first tracker. Only had 5 effect commands and came with two disks of samples! Strange as it may seem, this was a commercial program marketed by Electronic Arts. It was coded by Karsten Obarski and released in 1987.

Sound Tracker Pro 2
The second version of Sound Tracker, released in 1996. Has a similar interface, but can only save MODs in its own proprietary format, which is completely incompatible with the old one.

Basically a "professional" version of OctaMED, coded by Teijo Kinnunen, which allows up to 64 channels, panning, an effect command for playing a sample backwards, plus a WAV writer. Originally released for the Amiga, SoundStudio is currently being ported to the PC. One cool feature that SoundStudio allows over practically all other trackers is its ability to use stereo samples.

Square Wave
A waveform that jumps sharply but evenly from one extreme value to the next. |_|"|_|"|.

Amiga based tracker. Supports 8 channels

Scream Tracker module

Stone Tracker
(Information needed)

Scream Tracker 3 instrument

Scream Tracker 3 module

(Information needed)


The speed, at which a tune is played, measured in BPM.

Like vibrato, but for volume.

Triangle Wave
A waveform that zigzags, like a sine wave but with only straight lines. /\/\/\/\


Upload. When you transfer a file to another computer connected to yours.

UltraTracker module

Coded by MAS of Prophecy. Only Supports GUS. Edits up to 32 channels, 8 and 16Bit samples, variable C2Spd with fine tune, bi directional looping, instrument panning, 255 patterns, subset of the PT commands, two effect slots per note. Builtin sample editor. Mouse driven.

8 channel text mode tracker.

United Trackers. An organisation formed to try and bring the tracking scene together.


Vangelis Tracker
(Information needed)

Velvet Studio
DOS based tracker with a lot of features. Graphical interface. Current version is 2.01

The modulation of the pitch of a sample with a certain depth and speed controlled by a certain waveform (LFO) that increases from 0 at a certain rate.

A GUS clone. Not in production any more.

Virtual Channels
Channels that are created but not shown on the editor to play more than one note simultaneously on the same physical channel.

Volume Ramping
A technique used by some players to take out clicks by sliding the volume of a note down very quickly (at a high rate too so it doesn't cause further clicking) instead of just cutting them.


Grave Composer module

Windows Sound System, allows 64kHz 16Bit Stereo audio. A lot of cheaper sound cards will allow SB Pro and WSS compatibility. Unfortunately, there are very few DOS trackers that support it. So anyone with one of these cards who uses a nonWSS tracker is stuck with 8Bit 22.05kHz Stereo, 44.1kHz Mono SoundBlaster Pro.


Written by DLUSiON. Text mode interface similar to Borland’s Turbo range of development products – uses windows and mouse. Shareware

Fasttracker 1 Module

Fasttracker II instrument

eXtended Module Fasttracker II module

The Miles eXtended MIDI, used by Miles sound system.

eXtended Pattern Fasttracker II pattern

eXtended Track Fasttracker II track










Module format used by a variety of early PC trackers. Can be 8 channel.