UPDATED ON 5/11/17 – fixed sample rates to keep samples in tune with amiga sampling frequencies!
I recently got a Raspberry Pi 3 so I could setup an “Amiga” using the amazing Amibian. If you are not familiar with this, and you’re a vintage computer enthusiast, you definitely need to check this out. It is a Pi Linux distro that boots DIRECTLY into an Amiga emulator, so it is basically like having a real Amiga. You can get one set up for a fraction of the cost of an actual Amiga, and it runs incredibly well!
Anyway, most people using this stuff seem to do it mostly for games. That’s cool, but my love of Amiga was always about music. I learned how to make electronic music using them many years ago, and have often wanted one again to go back to using Octamed and Protracker to create music. When I saw Amibian, I had to give it a shot.
I got it all set up and working great, but wanted to find a way to sample my own samples directly into the Pi and Amibian without having to do it on another computer and go through complex conversions and stuff to get the samples to work in Amibian. So I wrote a script to do it! To get audio input on the Pi, I used one of these cheap usb mic inputs from amazon, and can plug a mic, or line into the input and sample it using my script.
The way that it works is by using arecord, the built-in sound recorder for Linux, and a program called Sox, which is available in the Raspbian repositories, (apt-get update, then apt-get install sox). Then all you need to do is create a folder on your Amibian Pi called recordings, copy the script to there. Before you run it though, edit the script to include your sample directory on the Amiga side (nano asampler.sh) you’ll see instructions inside the script. Once you update that single line, then exit nano and type chmod +x asampler.sh to make the script executable on your system. Then to run the script, be in the recordings directory and type ./asampler.sh and follow the instructions on the screen.
To my younger readers who may not know, the Amiga Computer System was a very advanced computer at its time through the 1980s and early 90s. It was the machine of choice for gamers, musicians, and artists because of its great 4 channel 8 bit sound, full color graphics and huge software library, plus a passionate user base who created amazing music and games for the system.
Above is a fantastic compilation of some of the best music Amiga had to offer. Enjoy!