Cat sitting alongside synthesizer

The 1990s, My Amiga Years

I have been creating music since the 1990s on the Commodore Amiga 500, soon moving onto the Amiga 1200. I eventually had a MIDI interface, a couple of synthesizers and an Alesis Quadra effects unit. I still have them to this day and throughout the years I’ve added to this music equipment.

Madeeha on Soundtracker in the 90s

On the Amiga I’ve always used Soundtracker Pro 2, however I’ve dabbled with Octamed V5 since it supports MIDI out. So I can connect synthesizers and use them alongside Amiga samples. But mostly I’ve created a lot of music throughout the years on Soundtracker Pro 2.

soundtracker pro 2 screenshot

That Amiga was literally my life in the 90s. I had no internet, so it was just me, my Amiga and sometimes my synthesizer. Outside of highschool on a non-school night, I would be awake at 3am-4am. My life would consist of Amiga, especially music on the Amiga. I would create, listen, collect MODs from elsewhere with my action reply, collect samples and sample sounds from external sources such as synthesizers and keyboards.

Stationary Box Shopping

I would collect my pocket money and buy Amiga format and CU Amiga magazines. Specifically the CD versions in the hope of being able to get a CD ROM drive for my Amiga one day as well as a zip drive. This was my life and this humble Amiga bubble I was living in was bliss. No matter what happens or how time or life changes, I will always look back at it very fondly. I’m grateful that I was left to my own devices.

The MODPlug Tracker Years

Around 2003-2004 I started creating music on MODPlug Tracker (Now OpenMPT), I had got myself a RolandED PC-160A , which was a MIDI controller only, even though quite a decent one. I created some new tracks and re-created previous ones of mine from the Amiga. I was still active on the Amiga alongside at this point as I was struggling to let it go deep down. The tracks I created on the MODPlug were more melancholy, it was a strange point of my life, I felt a shift happening and I wasn’t ready for it, nor was I enjoying it.

Despite creating music on MODPlug, I noticed I didn’t feel the same excitement as when I was sat on the carpet all night long in front of the Amiga, in my own world creating MODs on Soundtracker, so much warmth and comfort, there’s nothing like those times for me. The MODplug tracker period was fairly short, probably just under a year. And the moment I went to University, all creativity hit a standstill.

My guitar became my sole focus in this period of time, Despite my music creation coming at a standstill. I still had that passion inside me, feeling the need to express itself. I had my guitar which I had with me most of the time. In the time period of 2009-2015. My musical life was pretty much acoustic only.

Maddi sitting on sofa playing a guitar

Trying modern DAWs / sequencers

My expression wasn’t in the form of Amiga MODs or Synthesizers in this time period but deep down I did crave having an Amiga again. At this point I explored DAW sequencers. I tried recreating a couple of tracks. Despite getting very technically clear and polished results, I just wasn’t feeling it. I realised that technically pristine doesn’t always equal substance and soul. In my heart, I missed the tracker so much, specifically Soundtracker Pro 2.

Maddi playing on guitar in garden

Having the right feeling when you’re creating something is essential for creativity. The environment around you, the tools you use and how it all makes you feel really matters! In 2012, while being enamored with my Spanish guitar, the Music creation with trackers and synths started waking up within me again. I actually started missing my Amiga. I still had the Yamaha SY22 Synthesizer still like I had in the 90s.

Maddi playing Yamaha Sy22 Synthesizer

The Amiga is back again!

2016 I got an Amiga 1200 and my world was painted in colour once again, why I let it go I’ll never know! I started creating music once again on Soundtracker Pro 2. How I’d missed it! A year later I bought myself a Yamaha Reface DX, which brought me closer to the world of the DX7. The DX7 was inaccessible to me back then despite really wanting one. It’s a synthesizer I’ve always loved and I have to say it’s one of my favourites. I suppose It’s to be expected when being a lover of 80s music. Despite the Reface DX only having four operators, it still brought me closer to the DX7.

music creation in garden

Soon after, I bought the Yamaha Reface CS which opened up the world of analogue synthesis for me. This I could relate to very much being a lover of the C64 SID chip.

Therapsid and yamaha reface cs setup

It was in 2022 when I bought a Polyend Tracker and this brought more colour into the mix. I have my Amiga and I have the Polyend Tracker. Along with that my synthesizers came out of their shells. Despite life being complicated, I created, despite it all, I created.

My Synthesizers And Other Equipment

I still have rack mounts from back in the day which I need to set up, an Alesis Quadra fx unit, An Akai Sampler and a Yamaha SPX90II FX unit. I have a lot to set up in this new project room!

Yamaha tx7 and SPX90II

With regards to synths, I have my Yamaha SY22. I have the TX7 (module version of the DX7), the Volca FM2 which essentially is a DX7 in a small package. Soon after getting the Volca FM2, I ended up selling the Reface DX which I got, I’ve already made a video on why I did.

I’ve heard around that some look down on the Volca series. But I personally really like the Volca FM2 and I also have a Volca bass. The Volcas are very convenient and compact, not expensive compared to other FM alternatives out there.

Roland boutique synths in rack

I have two of Roland’s boutique synths, the JU-06A and the JP-08. To be honest I’d rather have these than the originals. The JU-06A is essentially a Juno 106 and a Juno 60. The JP-08 is basically a Jupiter 8. The originals are very expensive and the Jupiter 8 is absolutely massive. If I had a huge place with plenty of space and the money then sure, I’d probably go for a Jupiter 8 and Juno 106, if the price was right. But, to be honest, the boutique synths are pretty nicely done in my opinion. They’re not perfect and have their flaws, but I don’t feel I’m missing out too much by not having the originals, they’re very convenient.


I had to jump on the TherapSID by Twisted Electrons as I don’t know when they’re going to discontinue it. TherapSID is essentially a synth module which runs on the Commodore 64 SID chips. It’s given me access to creating SID Tunes, my first ever one being ‘Electronic Waves’ on my album ‘Paradox’.

I missed out on the Moog Sirin already and sadly there’s no way to get that now as it’s completely discontinued. It was a limited edition. I couldn’t let the same thing happen with the TherapSID, especially as the SID is one of my favourite sound chips.

MOdal cobalt setup

Something modern I got not so long ago was the Modal 8 by Cobalt, something pulled me towards it. The sounds are quite big, yet can be somewhat 80s-esque maybe even 90s. There is a lot of depth to this and I’ve enjoyed using it a lot across my album ‘Paradox’

Synths and Equipment I Would Love To Own

  • The upcoming Korg Opsix mkII <3
  • The M8 Tracker Model:02, it’s gorgeous and it’s a tracker which I can take anywhere, it works a little differently to the Polyend and Soundtracker.
  • The Polyend Tracker + This is a 16 Track Stereo version of the current Polyend Tracker that I have.
  • The Roland D550 (the rack mount version of the D50). I’m not getting anymore full sized keyboard synths now, I just don’t have the space, I’m only going to get modules or rack mount versions.
  • The Moog Sirin, yeah, I really missed out on that one.

I’m pretty sure there will be more on this list over time

If I don’t ever end up with any of this stuff, it’s not the end of the world. I’m very grateful for what I do have and that I can create music. I have sold the Yamaha Reface DX already and I made a video on why. I am going to sell the Yamaha SY55 at some point as I’m finding myself not using it as much as I thought I would. I guess I’m still in the mode of experimenting with synths and refining my setup.

Album cassette in front of roland jupiter 8 synth

After my first ever tape release, which went amazingly well, I sold out within hours and have to do another batch. I have the urge to now do more cassettes and hopefully release on CD. It’s a dream to release on vinyl record though. Hopefully, one day.

Music Creation Videos Of Mine to Check out

I talk about music trackers and the different ones available, also the ones I use.

My first cassette album release:

I go through subtractive synthesis while exploring the Modal 8 by Cobalt:

Exploring the TherapSID by Twisted Electrons – Synth module for SID chips: