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Absys 
Handle: Absys
Real Name: Frédéric Bellec
Lived in: France
Ex.Handles: Amiga Beat System, Frederic Bellec
Was a member of: Intense (ITS - I)

Modules: 70  online
Interview: Read!
Pictures: n/a

Interview


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            TLb.  ,dMP'          all rite, now you get the chance to read
             TML.dMMP            some facts about some of the major amiga
          ,nmm`XXMPX              musicians. read about their history in 
       ,#MP'~~XNXYNXTb.          the scene and their plans in future.yes, 
     ,d~'     dNNP `YNTb.       that's meant to be read while listening to  
    ,~       ,NN'     `YNb   their modules. read 'em over and over and over..
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    Handle: Absys

    Group: Intense

    Date of birth: 09 mars 1965


  • 1-How did your interest for computers start? Which year was that?

  • In 1983 I got my degree and I discovered the Spectrum ZX81 at a friend's
    place. Thats when I felt in love with computer world. As soon as I was
    able to earn some money I bought my own machine. I started to play with
    connectors and interfaces. I rapidly started to code assembler on my ZX81
    and that was fairly easy as it was 8 bit.


  • 2-What machines did you previously have? What did you do with them?

  • I first had a ZX81 then I naturally bought an Oric 1 and it was the first
    machine with which I composed real musics (I had started to do some on my
    Spectrum though). It was real hard but I managed to compose some real
    french classics such as Frere Jacques (and that impressed people at that
    time).

    Then I got an Amstrad CPC6128: tat was my best machine. I produced and
    sold my first composing software ever: SILIPACK. It was a rythm machine
    with a sequencer. It was distrubuted by a company that no longer exists:
    ESAT Software, located in Bordeaux/France and the CEO was Laurent Kutil.
    The utility was mainly coded in Basic with some assembler routines (used
    for the cursor if I remember right).

    I also got into using the Thomson MO5 and TO7 becuae at that time the
    french government had decided to promote computers at school. I was taking
    care of a Computer Club in a local school. That gave me access to an amazing
    amount of software (games, utils). Sadly there was nothing related to
    composing as the Thomson computers were pretty lame when it came to tracking!

    Finally I got my hands on an Amiga. I started with an A500 (I was borrowing the
    one of a friend) then later an A1200. I can say that Amiga made it possible for
    me to develop my composing skills. The audio capacities of the Amiga were so
    much ahead that it was fairly easy. The first time a friend of mine showed
    me Soundtracker I got hooked and thought: "This is what I have been searching
    for so long". I must confess that the A500 that my friend lended me made it
    possible for me to compete in an european contest for electronic music
    organized by the paper magazine Keyboard and Jean-Michel Jarre. I was quite
    proud to end in the 3rd position. I went on stage and presented a radio
    program which was called " Tracker 4 ". That radio show only presented Amiga
    remixes (I started by presenting my own remixes). Even a famous radio like
    FUN Radio in France, tried to put us down (I had been criticizing them on air)
    but ended up doing what I could call a marketing plan for us. We got plenty
    of phone calls of listenners that claimed their support to our radio show .
    This wasn't intenional but I had a good laugh.


  • 3-For what specific reason did you end up making music rather than gfx, coding?

  • As a child I was impressed by Jean-Michel Jarre's video called "Equinoxe 4"
    which was shown on french tvs with some mixed picture of fireworks. I did
    not yet know anything about Jarre but this promotion video was like a
    revelation. But how could I compose music? There was no simple solution
    for people willing to compose with electronic sounds. In 70's my parents had
    bought an Organ (for a huge amount of cash - 1000 usd). I remember that
    perfectly as my mother had shouted at my father after he had bought it.
    It was a Kimball Fun Swinger 90 (http://www.organservice.com/kimball/kimball90.htm)
    and I had a lot of it with it (I was ten when I first composed music).

    Later on I managed to trick some motherboards in order to modify the
    sound characteristics. I created real weirdo sounds and I was amazed to
    see all what could be done. I still don't understand why they did not
    integrate the possibilty to modify the sounds as standards.

    I am really fond of anything that is realted to computer art. I am also
    interested in coding, doing graphics (2D and 3D). I am still coding
    for personnal/professional matters and designing. When one's listens to
    musics he/she associates pictures to it (doesn't go the exact same way
    around) and a good music can create emotions much faster than a drawing
    or a piece of code would do. As days only have 24h I had to make a choise.
    I would still be interested in developping

    professionnelles - mais côté graphisme je me cantonne au design. Mais
    quand on écoute de la musique, on y associe automatiquement des images -
    alors que l'inverse n'est pas vrai - et une bonne musique peut faire
    naître spontanément des émotions, beaucoup D if I hadD if I had some more
    spare time!


  • 4-Which composing programs have you been using? Which one in particular?

  • For composing modules (on Amiga of course) I used the best trackers such
    as Soundtracker, Protracker and Oktalyzer.

    But I now have stopped composing modules and I am more into Midi using
    Cakewalk and singing.


  • 5-With which module did you feel you had reached your goal?

  • Hard to say. With every new tune I tried to do better than previosuly.
    I think I really started to get better the day I created my own rythmics
    on Protracker then sampled the whole thing and integrated them back in
    my modules. There was a little quality loss but I could have some real
    polyphony that could be added to the melody. Some of the modules that
    used this technique can be found on AMP under those names "A Day In
    Calcutta" and "Yodel Waltz". If you pay attention to the patterns you will
    feel that it was just paste and glue, it wasn't!

    It's one of the reason why I lost in the french party called 3S in
    Perpignan. I had presented the module Yodel Waltz and people had liked it
    very much (logical as this tune makes you in good mood). But as the patterns
    were shown on the big screen and as I was the only one to use that technique
    when composing (I hadn't told anyone about it) I sadly lost the competition.

    If I remember right some members of the jury had also presented their own
    tunes in the competition and some of them won. it disgusted me to see that
    what was suppsoed to be a fun and nice meeting turned out to be a basic
    competition.


  • 6-Is there a tune you would like not to remember? For what reason?

  • To be honnest I have some difficulties to remember all what I have lost
    during hd crashs. Luckily I have kept my latest hd but I heard it would
    cost me some 800 euros to get the harddrive back to work.

    With time the talent logically increases and the first tracks always seem
    pretty lame. But I have no regret whatsoever as I mainly composed for the
    fun.


  • 7-In your opinion, what's the value of a music in a demo, game?

  • The music has to match with the pictures, just like in a film. Even a
    great music that is not matching with the pictures will not represent
    much interest. Thats what the composing job is about! Sadly I am not too
    aware of what is being done in today's demos so I cannot really speak about
    them. I dont play video games either so.. (except Tomb Raider)


  • 8-At present, are you still composing? For professional or leisure purposes?

  • I have composed a lot udring my free time but it all stopped when the lack
    of motivation raised. On the other hand I am currently working for a client's
    video and in order to avoid copyrights I will have to compose the music
    myself. I am quite happy to do so actually.


  • 9-What do you think of today's pieces of music such as mpeg,wave,midi,etc...?

  • This is a too large question. As it is nowadays easy to make your own
    home studio, there are far too many sound files to listen too on internet,
    and many of them are just very bad! Everyone expresses himself as he/she
    can but some websites fortunately do a pre-selection and help the visitors
    in chosing the musics they want to listen to.


  • 10-Could you tell us some of your all times favourite tunes?

  • I keep some modules that I really enjoy (I have lost a lot but those are
    really precious to me)

    Timm Albers : CHARMING BUT DRUNK / CROSSROADS
    Mike Baratte: BACKSTREET VIEW / BEAT / MIND OF DESILLUSION
    Sakari Hannula: SPACE CADET
    Magnar Harestad: PERFECT SETUP
    Bjorn A. Lynne: HOUSE / MAKE YOUR MOVE
    Tippmann: BURNING HELL
    Tjoa: MEXICANO
    Weasel: SEADOG / TEDEUM

    Then some other whose authors I dont remember: BREEZE-DIABLO / MUS ...


  • 11-Are you planning to make an audio cd with some of your music remastered?

  • That could be a good idea. But why should I do an audio CD when it would be
    thousand times easier to spread my musics as MP3? I have to think about it..


  • 12-What bands are you currently listenning to?

  • I haven't been follwoing the music scene for quite a while and I hardly
    listen to any modules. I though know that newer trackers have gone so
    far in their evolution that the oldschool modules have totally vanished.
    If tommorow some people decide to get back to protracker and produce
    modules that won't be over 2 megs then I will pay attention to what will be
    done.


  • 13-What does/did the amiga/c64 scene give you?

  • My best years! On any matters...


  • 14-Are you still active in the scene these days?

  • Nope. Amiga scene represents a glorious part of computer history but
    the nostalgy of the past days will never be replaced by the cold days
    of modern computing.

  • 15-Anyone to greet? Anything left to say? Feel free...

  • As a matter of fact I would very like to get in touch with those people
    that were part of Intense. Most of them used to live one the Ile d'Oleron
    (Bruno, Christophe and many more whose name I have forgotten).

    Same goes to all the people that I have met on RTEL. If some of you read
    those lines please contact me at once! I would like to speak about those
    old days with you! This is our common history!

    How about arranging a coding party, just for fun, dudes!?!


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    please note: this interview is ©opyrighted in 2005 by crown of cryptoburners
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