I've never played any regular instruments like piano, trumpet, guitar etc. because I thought playing instruments were lame. You didn't think those kids playing in the school ensemble/orchestra were so cool, the music sounded horrible. If I had been introduced to a synthesizer, that would have been another story. But besides, why would anyone want more homework than necessary when you could run out and throw dirt on each other for example?
So I've never had any musical training and I didn't grow up with music in the family. If I had been introduced to music when I was younger I would probably had better possibilities with music.
The beginning: (1991)
Obviously, I never thought I had any musical talent at all until I started "tracking" at around 15 years of age on the Amiga with SoundTracker and later on with similar clones.
The tunes I made were no masterpieces but after a couple of years they actually started to sound like music.
I was never active in any demo scene or community so my music stayed with me and a few close friends. I was very shy, insecure and sensitive of what people would think of my creations.
I eventually invested some hard earned cash in a pretty useless synth for my needs, a Kawai K1r. It was quite digital and not easy to program for a total synth noob like I was. Never managed to get any cool or usable sounds out of it.
When I got a PC I started using FastTracker 2. Imagine going from 4 tracks 8-bit to 32 tracks in CD quality - it was mindblowing. No more merging tracks by "bouncing" to tape recorder, sample back to the computer to use only one channel.
Despite the astonishing possibilities with the PC, the music I made in FT2 still sounded a bit like my older Amiga-mods, probably because most sounds I used were samples from regular music CDs. It was almost impossible to find clean sounds without interference from other sounds in the mix. Sure, I downloaded some samples from Internet but was never really satisfied with the results. I didn't have any propers synths back then, they were way too expensive and I didn't want to spend any money on music equipment at the time. I didn't have a clue what to get anyway.
It wasn't until I discovered Analogic (later AXS) - one of the early realtime software synthesizers for PC, the sound began to change. I was now able to create almost any sound I needed and in good quality. Also, I could finally do something I had wanted to do for a very long time: play with filters. I used to sequence some MIDI-stuff on my Amiga in OctaMED to control Analogic via MIDI on my PC. I recorded live to HD while fiddling with knobs and sliders with the mouse.
My first song I made in this all new environment was "Graveyard Remedy". People who heard it back then didn't actually realize it was me who made it, they thought it was a "real" song. I was proud.
The SID remixing: (1998)
The SID remixing started after having downloaded The High Voltage SID Collection. I was blown away by being able to listen to the tunes I used to enjoy back when I was a kid. The nostalgia was... incredible.
Then, just as a fun, quick&dirty project I made a simple remix of Last Ninja. It was more of an "enhanced" SID version with some effects on the original SID sounds with a dance beat but my friends liked it and I decided to make some more remixes of my favorite C64 games.
I uploaded the remixes and noticed that people on the Internet liked my remixes too, and I got some positive feedback from people who also liked those old SIDs.
The SID Remix CD: (2002)
After some good feedback from my remixes, I discussed the possibilities of a CD project with Chris Abbott at C64Audio.com and I decided to go all the way and make a proper SID remix CD.
One of the main goals with the CD was to make the remixes sound like they belong in a club. I don't actually know how they worked in a real club because I've never heard any of my music being played but I hope something was played somewhere with people enjoying it.
I believe the CD was received pretty well among the SID remix community. I've read some nice reviews in both magazines and Internet which is cool. I just made the remixes like I wanted them to sound and if people like them, it's a great bonus.
I used Madtracker 2 for all tracks and had a JD800 and a Virus b for creating sounds. VST technology wasn't available in trackers at the time so everything had to be made on the synths, recorded and used as samples in MT2. I made all mixing and mastering of the CD.
The release was in June -02 at a BIT Live event.
The break: (2002-2008)
After the release of the CD I was a bit fed up with remixing, music and the SID scene and took a break. I shut down my site since it seemed pointless having a site with nothing new happening for ages. I didn't check the forums and such either.
I became a father of 2 children and fixed our house.
I made a couple of XM tunes for a Pirates of Treasure Island and a remake of my BTInstaller which was later used in Mogul, an edutainment project by UR (Swedish television).
I also made a couple of game tunes for Fastlane Street Racing for iPhone, a project I also worked on at my job as a graphics artist.
The Amiga Remix CD: (2008)
I got out of job and had the rare opportunity of making music full time for 2 months. It gave me a nice start and I managed to make a bunch of remixes . To be realistic, I will probably be able to finish the CD in '10.
The track listing is still a secret but many of the popular titles and composers are covered.
The aim this time around with the CD is not to make pure dance floor material but to capture the original feel of the tunes but still adapt them to a classic IR™ style.
Amiga remixes are a lot harder to make than SID remixes. With SIDs you have much more freedom when it comes to choice of sounds, style, structure etc.
As most Amiga tunes were based on samples you have a pretty hard time changing any of the sounds without loosing too much feel and overall sound of the original. Even structures of the songs are more difficult to change.
The SIDs often have a style which is easier to adapt to dance music.
Official announcement here.