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Soundmonitor - C64 - Loaded.png
Creator Chris Hülsbeck
Released 1986-09-19
Platform Commodore 64
For the example songs, see Soundmonitor (C64).

Soundmonitor was the most popular Commodore 64 music editor in Europe of the late 1980s, programmed by Chris Hülsbeck (then an 18-years old hobbyist).

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:

The following composers used Soundmonitor before scoring games:

Picture Gallery