Holy Cow, FastTracker II is now fully Win10 compatible!

JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,281 Expert


I am in nostalgia heaven after just stumbling over this new release of an old classic. That is one of my songs from 1997 and it sounds exactly as I remember!

I started making music in 1996 with a DOS based program called FTII which I used for about 8 years. It was what kept me off the streets as a teenage kid.

Some that are old enough will know what it (and similar trackers of the time) are all about but what makes me love this is not the fact it was my first step into production, but just how "easy" it was for a nerdy kid to make their own music.

For many that weren't even born at that time here is what it was in a nutshell:

  • text based DAW running in DOS (was small enough to fit on a floppy disk.... look up what one of those was)
  • No effects
  • No instruments
  • Could use only WAV/AIF samples
  • No need to use a dedicated sound card
  • No special requirements whatsoever, would run on any DOS based computer

Sounds kind of boring yeah, well it was magic and I believe was a real benefit for many of us at the time to learn the basics of production without getting lost in plugins, computer settings or anything. Just load it up and make something happen.

And here is another magic thing, I have hundreds of projects I created in that time all saved away on my system and downloading this new windows compatible version I can load up a project from 26 years ago and it plays exactly the same as I created it. No chance of that on any macOS system these days!

Honestly if you are curious I would check out some videos on FTII and download this piece of software. Granted most kids would give up before they even found the nibble game these days but I could easily step back and make a few tracks in this again, been a good 20 years since I was last able to run this, other windows clones never sounded the same.


  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,103 mod

    Oh man, nostalgic for sure... This was actually the first music-making software I've ever used. I wish I still had some projects made with it so I could laugh at the trash beats I made when I was 14yr.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,281 Expert
    edited February 2022

    Yeah got plenty of those, somehow I managed to keep every project I ever made right back to the very first project I created. I knew they were terrible but didn't care because I made the sound happen and it was like magic to a 16 year old kid. Some of the ideas I did have back then were actually not too bad in melody, especially since I knew nothing more about music than where to find C on a keyboard. Still barely know more theory than that these days.

    My next step from FTII was another tracker called "Buzz Tracker" which is also still available, however that introduced me to VST plugins and lead me to dive into Ableton Live eventually.

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,328 Expert

    The formerly projects comes from mostly Amiga and a bit by Atari.

    No I never own an Amiga but 13 years long Atari ST, STE and TT.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,281 Expert

    I grew up with a C64 and there was no way my family could afford an Amiga, being from a small country town before the days of the internet and with only 2 TV channels available I had no exposure to anything that could be used to make music other than an instrument. I always loved music as a kid, records, tapes and thought i'd never be able to learn an instrument so instead I wanted to be a DJ and learned how to build a mixer out of Atari 2600 pong paddles and some old stereo parts. It was crude, no amp and just 2 mono channels but it was a start. Once I got to High school and a kid I knew came in with a disk of Cubic player and played a track he had made in fasttracker I was blown away, just so happened my grandparents bought our family a Windows 95 computer when they were first released and that's when I got my hands on Fasttracker. No better way for a bored teenager to spend their time, probably saved me from some otherwise bad decisions.

  • SteveKDJ
    SteveKDJ Member Posts: 101 Helper

    waaoo, i remember you could make a musical sound from the batch file.. really nostalgia..

  • Vagus
    Vagus Member Posts: 352 Pro
    edited December 2022

    I started on something I can't even remember on an ST - a four track tracker, before moving onto Octamod on the ST - only ran on STe, which I had with 4mb upgrade, so I could run higher and better quality samples.

    I actually ripped the audio from Stardust- as this used a tracker to play the audio for the game, and used those samples for my GCSE music composition submission (1994).

    I work in games now, but I've still not met the guy that coded this. Half to say thank you for making the file only slightly compressed so I could pull the samples, to say thanks, and half to complain that because he'd compressed it, it made the samples all slightly overdriven when ripped.

    But in Octamod, it didn't matter; managed to create entirely new songs with the same source material.

    Then it was on to Cubase - but Trackers is where it all began for me.

  • Vagus
    Vagus Member Posts: 352 Pro

    Just watching that video back, I can still remember the gating effect on some of those samples was as easy as zeroing the volume from the sample every other step in the channel.

    When life was easy, and yet complicated :)

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 1,542 Expert

    This one is by far, a much better software to play any kind of tracker file, or to create a new one. ...it is even support VST plugins! Check it out.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,281 Expert

    Not really into trackers these days, the fact FT2 didn’t use vsts is what was magic at the time. Was just amazed that 25 years later the same old software can still work as it did in 1996 on a modern pc.

    I moved to Buzz Tracker, another free tracker that had its own synths and supported vsts but that’s all in the past now. Trackers were great at the time and not having the distractions of synths and preset flipping like now meant way more ideas got done. I was way more creative with less than I am these days.

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,328 Expert

    If you want to play mods only there is Resonic player from Austria:

    It used SF2 sounds

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