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Handle: Alpha
Real Name: Karsten W. Rohrbach
Lived in: Germany
Ex.Handles: Karsten Rohrbach, LPH
Was a member of: Axxellerator Logics (AXL), Interamnia (INA), Kosmic Loader Foundation (KLF), Legend Design (LD)

Modules: 32  online
Interview: Read!
Pictures: 1  online


          `n.          .rP'
           `qb       ,dP'
            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..
             dNP        `Yb.  
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    Handle: Alpha

    Group: KLF

    Date of birth: April 21st, 1973

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

  • I first came in contact with computers in the beginning of the 80s.
    After having a BBC computer and messing around with own logic board Z80
    stuff, I came in contact with the PC world.

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

  • The first "real" computer I bought was an IBM PC-AT02 (286, 6MHz, EGA
    Card) where i started to program in dBASE III and Turbo Pascal. After
    getting my hands on the "Professional Pack" I also made my first steps
    with TASM and later MASM.

    Later I had - due to an internship during my school days - access to IBM
    RS/6000s on AIX and an IBM mainframe, which brought me to internet
    technologies, the field I am still active in today.

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

  • My grandmother teached me to play flute and the guitar. Being in several
    amateur bands made me want to experiment with technology used in music,
    so I built some analogue guitar effects and ended up sampling stuff I
    made with a guitar and used it in MODs.

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

  • Mostly trackers. I was always a big fan of FastTracker II, I also
    experimented a lot with Buzz (works unpublished). In studio work I had
    to do with nonlinear multitrack systems (Sonic Foundry, Logic and such),
    but that was only for post production for real live material.

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

  • None. Not a single one. But hey, what was the goal? ;-)
    if it was fun, then I excelled at it.

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

  • You know, it's always a bit embarrasing to me to listen to the melody
    lines of the old tunes, being simple and unpolished. Some detuend
    samples here and there all over the place ;-)

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

  • Music in general is an always underestimated element in any multimedia
    production, be it a demo, a short movie, a user interface or what else.
    Sound itself is a key element in our lives, which gets often ignored in
    our noisy world. In my opinion, the sound track is the factor that adds
    the athmosphere, or ambience, to a production. Almost all winner demos,
    for example, have all winner soundtracks that reflect or support the
    graphics and context.

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

  • Sometimes I still experiment with trackers/Buzz or else, but those are
    rather rough sketches for something I might release when I am old and
    grey ;-) Also see Q.14

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

  • With all the (music) software available today, I find it not a challenge
    anymore to produce tracks using computers. It rather became a challenge
    to master the complexity of the software, than the skills to be brief in
    thought and implementation, to be intelligent and precise in cutting
    samples/loops. Much of the spirit of the older days has just vanished.
    Also, there is too much bad Techno out there. I mean, be honest: every
    kid can do a quick 4/4 boom-boom-boom track in minutes. The
    signal-to-noise ratio has degraded over the time, so it has become
    rather hard to find decent tracks.
    I don't want to bitch on the scene like an old man, there are still many
    talents out there which release great material, and I am always
    delighted to listen to innovative and good music (no matter what style),
    but the most releases I find to be a listing experience are very
    minimal, tough elegant, you get the point.

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

  • Many of the tracks Necros and Hunz released. I don't want to name a few
    here, because this would not refelct my point. Those guys just did good
    music, nothing more, nothing less. I am also a big fan of Jugi's work
    for some of the old Complex demos (the Dope soundtrack is still quite
    amazing, even if compared to todays releases). Also many of the funky
    styles from Orange productions et al are always fun to listen to.

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

  • I won't. In my opinion, remixing/remastering MODs mostly tears the tracks
    out of their context, takes away their spirit, their livelyness. The
    whole MOD style scene lives from not being able to use all the effects
    and stuff, it reflects a certain form of creativity that is only
    encountered if you cannot do, what you want to do, in a streamlined and
    straightforward manner. That's what it was all about: creative use of
    the limited possibilities of yesterdays technology, getting the most out
    of almost nothing (compared to the tech standards nowadays). You simply
    can't achieve in 5 megabytes what you can do in 32k, because you'll
    follow a different paradigm.

  • 12-What bands are you currently listenning to?

  • Mostly stuff from the 70s to mid-90s, old U2 records, also old Beatles
    albums; Supertramp, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin (I've always been a
    Zeppelin fan), stil a bit of Van Halen, good Jazzrock productions,
    Funk'n'Soul, Jamiroquai, Haendel, Beethoven, Bach, Bernstein, just to
    name a few. I am still immersed in music, as you can see. Music, in
    every form, is a key aspect in my life, in my emotions.

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

  • I still listen from time to time to old and new SID tunes. SID has
    always been the toughest discipline of computer generated music, in my
    eyes. I haven't got beyond admiring the works of Ben Daglish or JCH,
    though; I never did a SID tune myself.

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

  • My wife and me, being happy parents of two children, a boy and a girl,
    have not got much spare time to share. I run my small company in the
    internet business, which also does not add any to my available time ;-)

    So, the answer is: yes and no. I am still running the German hub for the
    scene.org IRC network, sometimes I can even spare the time to visit a
    scene party (not very often, though).

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

  • I wish to greet all the sceners out there, especially the old-school
    bunch of #trax folks who actually managed it to meet in person this year
    (down in San Francisco). My respect goes to all the old and new talents
    which prove every day, that the scene spirit is not dead, that
    everything is possible, if you just happen to think about a
    coding/composition/creative problem or challenge.

    What comes to my mind, seeing todays computing platforms, is a simple
    idea, when it comes to "platformness" (and I'll explain you why):
    Do not code specifically for windows systems, and do not hesitate to
    publish your code some time after the release of your production.
    Here's why: With the advent of modern computing machinery (you can buy a
    standard 3+GHz box with a gig of RAM in every supermarket by now) the
    processing power is plenty and it is at your fingertips. Platformness, or
    dependency on a specific platform in this context just fortifies a
    monopoly in the PC market. In my opinion every user must have the choice
    of OS and hardware platform. Buying a PC today is nearly as political as
    voting for the next government, and it becomes worse every year. Being
    platform dependent shows, that you care for the user's option of choice,
    it shows that you are able to produce great and structured and cleanly
    designed software. It also takes the "must" out of "You must run it on a
    XYZ System". And, if all else fails, you will probably be able to run
    that stuff in 20 years on a totally different, evolved computer system,
    without much porting fuzz.
    About source code publishing:
    Knowledge is power, and power belongs to...? The people or the industry,
    you decide.

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

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