- For the example songs, see Soundmonitor (C64).
All bars are entered separately and linked to each other in a track/step table: on every row (step), you set a tempo, length, volume, fade-out speed; in each cell (SID channel in a step), a bar, transpose, instrument set; and on every single note, an instrument and whether to disable transpose and enable portamento and arpeggio. It requires basic knowledge of the C64's memory map and hexadecimal system, but is also precise. You can also record bars on the computer keyboard with quantization.
The built-in music driver, Musicmaster, was made for use in games and supported almost all known effects at the time: transpose, detune, portamento, vibrato, pulse width modulation, filter modulation, and arpeggios (a first in an editor). The C64 scene added samples, most famously Rockmonitor from April 1987 (to Hülsbeck's chagrin at the time). However, the sound grew old, as many arrangers used the same instruments; particularly drums were just a triangle wave sliding down. Songs were always over 10 KB, and the driver was slow and unrelocatable, leading several programmers to modify the driver and compress songs.
Throughout 1987, Hülsbeck added better waveform changes, samples, an optimized driver called The Final Musicplayer, and sound effects, but gave it only to Georg Brandt. Over the years, composers learned programming their own drivers, and more modern editors arrived.
The following composers used Soundmonitor on at least one game:
- Appaloosa Interactive
- Charles Callet
- Chris Hülsbeck
- Georg Brandt
- Hannes Seifert
- Matt Gray
- Pablo Toledo
- Peter Clarke
- Ramiro Vaca
The following composers used Soundmonitor before scoring games:
- Barry Leitch
- Jason Page
- Jeroen Tel
- Jonathan Dunn
- Karsten Obarski (Hülsbeck recognized many ideas in The Ultimate Soundtracker and considered suing, but didn't due to his young age.)
- Thomas Detert
Beginning of Ski Dance.
One Night More scrolled to fade-out and end.
First bar of Axel F.
Percussion of Being Boiled.
Calculating left digit at 0:18 of Dance at Night.
Prominent bass instrument of Holiday Morning.
Tempo, notes per bar, fade-out, volume, chords of Mirror of Soul.
- archive.org/details/64er_1986_10/page/n49 - Original release.