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Karsten Obarski |
Family name: Obarski
Given names: Karsten
Date of birth: 11 May 1965
My first "computer-love" was an Commodore PET 2001 in the year 1981 I think.
I lend it some weeks from the uncle of a friend of mine and started with
altering its primitive basic-games to see what happens.
After that first contact, I urgently needed my own personal computer and got
a Commodore VC20 from Santa (or my parents:). I programmed some simple games
in basic, which some of them where published as a printed listing in different
computer-mags. Not much time later I buyed an Commodore 64 and began to learn
to programm in machine code (really) followed by the much more comfortable
assembler and did some experimental codings - nothing usefull.
Over the years with my "64" I already maked music with my Synthesizers which
where MIDI-connected to the "64" and controlled by software from C-Lab and
After my third Commodore 64 was broken I prefered to buy a (very expensive)
Commodore Amiga 1000
I simply loved (and still love) to gamble around with this cool synthetic sounds
and listen to all these funny game-tunes. so - that it was, what I want to do
too. In these days I admired musicans like Martin Galway, Rob Hubbard for their
In the times of the "64" i've used Chris Hülsbecks "Soundmonitor" to implement
some music-tunes in my Codings. For my Synthesizers i've mainly used C-Lab
Scoretrack (and it's predecessor).
With the Amiga i've ever used my own Composers to make music for Amiga. For
other purposes I had used an Hardware-Sequencer along with my synthesizers.
For the Amiga-Music i've started with my well known Soundtracker. Later than
i wrote an completely new tool named "Synthpack" which used sampled Audio for
percussions only and realtime generated synthetic sounds for the melodic voices.
It sounded more like an old 64 which I like very much. But there where only
the game DYTER 07, ROTATOR and further two other unfinished games where it were
Today I am very happy to be able to use my PC for composing with the
Cakewalk-software. But I did not use any sampling-software or hardware.
I prefer all these silly generated synthetic sounds from my synths.
Hm. A friend of mine, who got his first Amiga about an halve year earlier than
me, asked me if I could write some Music for him (for his first "Arcanoid-Style"
Game-project) like those themes i've made with the C64 before. At this time I
had already experimented around with a playroutine on my brandnew Amiga, which
played music with short sampled instruments and so I told him that's no problem.
(remember it was the time where all others used only these typical, very long
and memory eating completely Sampled music about 15 or 20 seconds playtime.)
So I begun to code an simple to use Editor-Programm to generate the data which
used by my playroutine. After some improvements my Soundtracker was born.
So, my very first finished Software ever, was this Soundtracker. The very
first game which used its playroutine and my very first Song on Amiga were the
Arkanoid Clone named "Amegas" programmed by this friend who forced me to do
it: Guido Bartels
Ok, on the one side I was a litle bit sad, because until that, every computer
musican were a very special person, because he also must have been a good
programmer. Since my soundtracker went public, very much persons who were not
able to code a programm made music which others implemented into their
On the other side a was very proud to had invented an milestone. The
datastructure of my MOD files are even live today on PCs and all other music
programms after the Soundtracker had used ripped parts of my programm and my
modificated playroutine as well. But say - how many people who knows the
"trackers" and the MOD-Files are also know the roots? Who knows me?
That's only a few of them.
None. Can that really happens? There are only few which I still like today.
Oh, there a some. Because some of the first where so poor :) I was ever a
better coder than an musican. I never was teached to play an instrument - so
it took a long time to learn. Today its maybe at the point, where I can
say: that's sounds ok.
Whats a an action scene in a movie without a hot beat or an dramatic scene
with an dark background tune? Music rules the world and all visual impressions
needs a fitting background-sound by all means. For example I personaly love to
hear a LOUD hard an heavey music in a fast car rally game, which makes the game
level much harder on the one side, but it is much more realistic "stress" on the
Without the (matching) audio-athmosphere the game / demo or whatelse, is only
half as good.
Today I am only composing for my private fun. Mostly I just gig around for an
hour or two and have some fun while playing something, or spend my time covering
my old computer-soundtracks.
What should I say. There is a lot. And good stuff to, but bad also.
You also did not find such a lobby for old-style "computer-music" anymore.
Puh. there are so much good music which are already out of my mind.
The best Soundtracker mod I ever heard is "Hymn to Rob" from a french guy
named Fred. I is just the kind of music which I would compose too. I love it
From my own compositions I like the "Oil-Imperium" themes very much, track 3
from the Rotator game, the title and ingame musics of Dyter07, the
highscore-theme from FutureTank and some mods which did not used in games,
but spread around just like a simple composing called "endtheme".
But there where so many more brilliant themes from other games.
Yes of course, but I have an still unsolved recording problem in the moment.
Now than my Sequencer programm suddenly works fine without loosing MIDI-sync,
my high priority USB-Midi-Out causes my at the same time sampled Audio to
sound like a toilet. I maybe need an second Computer for digital audio
recording only, or an stand alone CD od DAT recorder. Perhaps next year.
So - all my very favorite Bands are off the scene: Queen, Genesis, The
Electric Light Orchestra ...
But I also like Music from the Backstreet Boys, Shaggy, Sash, an finally
Jean-Michel Jarre. It depends on the song. Some I like, others not. But mostly
these harmonic-style songs or instrumental compositions. No Hip Hop or Techno.
A lot. It was the pioneer-time where only a few had owned the knowing about
the programming of these machines. At the beginning of my "Computer-Passion"
it was an very special scene. Programmers like Jeff Minter seems to me like
a God. It made such a fun to see your own progress and success of every small
programming-experiment you've done. I have learned a lot these days, and I met
a lot of brilliant other programmers too. To bad, that they all gone somewhere.
:( like me too)
No. Today I am just a so called Power user. I did no programming anymore
since a long time. I its just not neccessary anymore. All inventions are
invented and there are so much other good programmers and musicans in the
scene (much bigger scene than in the past), that a single person can't finish
a "neverseenbefore"-thing anymore, before its already history. The time are
Now than I am older, I simply haven't time enough to do all what i am
interested in. I now have my Job as an electronic-specialist at an industrial
company. Sometimes I programm a little bit at our circuit-board-testing-machines
- thats fun enough for me ;)
The other free time I like to spend with my wife, my motorbikes, my old house,
my synthesizers and my very few left friends.
My very special greetings may reach all that musicans and programmers who
where out of this time in the past, especially those who still in that
My great secret is: I ever admired Chris Hülsbeck for his creativity and for
these nice and harmonic tunes he composed.
I would thank you and all those who cares about the young but forgotten
computer history with all these great guys
And of course all others, who have fun to do music on their computer - No
matter how good or bad they are. The mean thing is to have some nice time
while listen to your own tunes.
And at last, have some fun while reading my funny english ;)
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