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Encyclopedia > MOD (file format)

MOD is a computer file format used to represent music, and was the first module file format. MOD files use the ".MOD" file extension, except on the Amiga where the original trackers instead use a "mod." prefix scheme, e.g. "mod.echoing". A MOD file contains a set of instruments in the form of samples, a number of patterns indicating how and when the samples are to be played, and a list of what patterns to play in what order. Look up mod in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A file format is a particular way to encode information for storage in a computer file. ... Music is a form of art that involves organized and audible sounds and silence. ... If this is not the type of module you are looking for, see Module // Modules Module files (MODs) are a class of file formats used to represent music on a computer. ... A filename extension or filename suffix is an extra set of (usually) alphanumeric characters that is appended to the end of a filename to allow computer users (as well as various pieces of software on the computer system) to quickly determine the type of data stored in the file. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...



The first version of the format was created by Karsten Obarski for use in the Soundtracker tracker released for the Amiga computer in 1987[1]. The format has since been supported by hundreds of playback programs and dozens of other trackers including ProTracker, NoiseTracker, MilkyTracker for Mac OS X users, and MadTracker for PC users. Karsten Obarski (born May 11, 1960), handle Obi, is considered a pioneer of the demo scene for the creation of the program Ultimate Soundtracker, the ancestor of all Trackers. ... SoundTrackers were the first tools of the computer-only music era. ... ModPlug Tracker in Fast Tracker 2 color mode Tracker is the generic term for a class of software music sequencers which, in their purest form, allow the user to arrange sound samples stepwise on a timeline across several monophonic channels. ... The original Amiga 1000 (1985) with Commodore 1080 monitor The Amiga is a family of home/personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation as an advanced home entertainment and productivity machine. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... MilkyTracker running on Windows XP MilkyTracker is a multi-platform music software, more specifically part of the tracker family. ... Madtracker screenshot MadTracker is a tracker software for Microsoft Windows. ...

The original version of the MOD format featured four channels of simultaneous audio playback, corresponding to the capabilities of the original Amiga chipset, and up to 15 instruments. The Original Chip Set (OCS) was a chipset used in the earliest Commodore Amiga computers. ...

Later variations of the format have extended this to up to 32 channels and 31 instruments.

The format was designed to be directly playable on the Amiga without additional processing: for example, samples are stored in 8-bit PCM format ready to be played on the Amiga DAC, and pattern data is not packed. Playback required very little CPU time on an Amiga, and many games used MOD files for their background music. Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals, then quantized to a series of symbols in a digital (usually binary) code. ... In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC or D-to-A) is a device for converting a digital (usually binary) code to an analog signal (current, voltage or electric charge). ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... Outrun (1986) is an arcade game with an integral soundtrack. ...

Format overview

A pattern is typically represented in a sequencer user interface as a table with one column per channel, thus having 4 columns; one for each Amiga hardware channel. Each column has 64 rows. The user interface is the part of a system exposed to users. ...

A cell in the table can cause something to happen on its column's channel when its row's time is reached:

  • Start an instrument playing a new note in this channel at a given volume, possibly with a special effect applied on it
  • Change the volume or special effect being applied to the current note
  • Change pattern flow; jump to a specific song or pattern position or loop inside a pattern
  • Do nothing; any existing note playing in this channel will continue to play

An instrument is a single sample along with an optional indication of which portion of the sample can be repeated to hold a sustained note.


In the original MOD file the minimum time frame is 0.02 seconds, or a vertical blanking, because the original software used the VSync of the monitor running at 50 Hz (for PAL) or 60 Hz (for NTSC) for timing. Vertical synchronization (v-sync) refers generally to the synchronization of an event with the vertical blanking interval. ... PAL, short for phase-alternating line, phase alternation by line or phase alternation line, is a colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in large parts of the world. ... NTSC is the analog television system in use in Canada, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, the United States, and some other countries, mostly in the Americas (see map). ...

The rate at which pattern data is played is defined by a speed setting. Each row in pattern data lasts one vertical blanking (or 0.02 seconds) times the current speed setting. The speed setting varied from 1 to 255. In later versions of the format, the vertical blanking was replaced with an adjustable time period staying in range [0.001, 0.078] seconds. The old speed setting command was replaced with a new one that was used to change both the old speed setting and the new adjustable time period. Unfortunately, some of the old functionality was broken, because the new speed setting command had identical code value to the old one. Values in range [1,31] were interpreted as old speed settings, but other values were regarded as modifications to the adjustable time period. Hence, values in range [32, 255] used in some old songs broke in new versions of the player.

For more info about the MOD format see the alt.binaries.sounds.mods FAQ.

Other MOD formats

MOD is also the file format used on many camcorders, such as the JVC Everio, and the Panasonic D-Snap SD-card camcorders.

See also

If this is not the type of module you are looking for, see Module // Modules Module files (MODs) are a class of file formats used to represent music on a computer. ... ModPlug Tracker in Fast Tracker 2 color mode Tracker is the generic term for a class of software music sequencers which, in their purest form, allow the user to arrange sound samples stepwise on a timeline across several monophonic channels. ...


This is a list of software for various operating systems for playing Amiga music formats. ...

External Amiga-related links

  • Details on MOD file format
Video game music | Video game musicians
DSF | GBS | GSF | GSR | GYM | HES | MOD | NSF and NSFe | PSF and PSF2

QSF | SAP | SID | SPC | SSF | USF | VGM | XA Audio Outrun (1986) is an arcade game with an integral soundtrack. ... The following is a list of computer and video game musicians, those who have worked in the video game industry to produce video game soundtracks or otherwise contribute musically. ... Dreamcast Sound Format is the proposed title of a digital music format for encoding Dreamcast music, similar to PlayStation Sound Format. ... The Game Boy Sound System (or GBS) for the Game Boy is akin to the sound system of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the difference being that GBS has a higher pitch than NES sound format. ... GSF is an emulated Game Boy Advance audio format based on Neill Corletts PSF (Portable Sound Format), developed by Caitsith2 and Zoopd. ... Gens Sound Record (GSR) is a new file format for the storage of Sega GenesisMega Drive music. ... Modern indoor gymnasium with pull-down basketball hoops. ... HES files are music rips of Turbografx-16 / PC Engine games. ... An . ... A PlayStation Sound Format (PSF) file is a sound data file (akin to SPC from the Super NES) ripped directly from a Sony PlayStation video game. ... Makes use of the PSF file format although inside the game they are uncompressed (PSF uses the zlib compression) ... This article needs to be wikified. ... MOS Technology SIDs: The right image shows a 6581 from MOS Technology, at the time they were known as the Commodore Semiconductor Group (CSG) and the left image shows an 8580 from MOS Technology. ... An SPC700 sound file (or SPC) is a type of video game music file consisting of a copy of a program and music data from RAM used by the SPC700 sound chip on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Famicom (though such data is usually obtained from a console... Saturn Sound Format is the proposed title of a digital music format for encoding Sega Sature music, similar to PlayStation Sound Format. ... The Nintendo Ultra64 Sound Format (USF) is a file format developed by Adam Gashlin to store sound data (akin to PSF for the Sony PlayStation) ripped directly from a Nintendo 64 video game. ... This article is about the sound format. ... Categories: Rainbow Books | Computer storage | Stub ...

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