Aegis Sonix: An Early Software Synth

Patrick McCarthy (Roth Mobot) takes a look at Aegis Sonix: an early software synth for the Amiga.

If you’ve used Sonix or the Amiga for making music, leave a comment with your thoughts!

via gearwire:

Aegis Sonix was cutting edge back in 1984, and it’s even kind of neat now. But does it have Reversi?

15 thoughts on “Aegis Sonix: An Early Software Synth

  1. I used this for years. I had totally forgotten about it! I remember getting it to record to a old tape deck. Drawing the waveforms was amazing fun.
    A mac friend of mine saw it and flipped out. More so since I payed $1500 less for my computer and his did little out of the box. Plus all the software was pirated. I do not think I ever saw a boxed piece of software for the amiga! lol

    I have seen more Amigas in the garbage than any other computer. Next time I will stop and pick one up. I miss that freaky software!

  2. I remember this software well – thought it was the
    most amazing thing ever as an 11 year old.

    Things have come along way since then !

    Could not imagine that my rig could have even existed
    back then.

    🙂 I am still a nerd.

  3. I loved Sonix. Simple to use and understand, yet flexible enough you felt like you could do anything. Not only could you combine harmonics and basic waveforms in varying amounts, but you could even draw or edit waveforms point by point. Ultimately however, the 8 bit sound generation limited the quality, especially with complex waveforms and modulations. The Amiga actually has 12 bits for audio, but they were segmented between 8 bits for waveform and 4 bits for relative volume levels. Sonix did not try to modulate the volume levels dynamically to get more than 8 bit sound quality (in fact, I'm not sure if that's possible). I have long wished for something as simple as Sonix but with 16 bit or better sound quality. Another thing sonix allowed was samples of "infinite" length (limited only by chip memory). But there was no real sequencer, and the music editing was very kludgy. Deluxe Music Construction Set had much better music editing (and printing!) capabilities, but was no where near as fun for synthesis as Sonix.

  4. I was 14 when I bought my Amiga 500. Soon, I gained interest in musical software. But unfortunately I then had no idea about synthesizers. So, Sonix was too complicated for me and I went the tracker way. :/

  5. where can i download this from , I've got myself a amiga OS emulator 4 the mac,, love these amiga sounds takes me way back, and synths these days seem 2 clean or something.

  6. Aegis Sonix was my introduction to home studio in 1988, before I switched to midi with a kawai k1 synth and roland mt32 expander and finally an atari and mastertrack pro.

    Aegis Sonix was ahead of its time and foreshadowed what became today's home studio.

    Aegis sonix had all in the box: sequencer + synth + sampler

    great time making music with sonix: fun and quick result

    I remember the pain switching to midi in 1989: cables, a lot of time to configure, headache but more power.

    I waited fifteen years before having the sonic dream inside computer with Ableton Live 4. Ableton Live and other daws are the Aegis sonix of years 2000.

  7. I’ve used Sonix on my CDs for the great sound it provides. Too much latency under WinUAE to “play” the synth. Good thing I held onto my Amigas all these years!

  8. Oh Sonix! This opened my ears and mind. Hours of tweaking and playing with Sonix.
    This video gives an idea of the power and fun of Sonix (OK power – remember we’re talking mid-80s!

  9. Ahh yes SONIX!!! I had a lot of hours tweaking everything on that one! Mark Riley was the ultimate assembly language programmer and I loved every minute of working with everyone on that project! God Bless David Barrett, William Volk and John Skeel – and the greatest kudos to Mark Riley!

  10. Did it have Reversi? No. But the Amiga had Marble Madness ten years before the typical PC or Mac was even capable of running it. Music-X was the program to have. That was the FL Studio of its day.

  11. I used sonix a lot. I had the Amiga 500 and a sound sampler so I could make my own instruments. The Amiga only had 4 voices so I used to mix multiple waveforms together to simulate more. Can’t quite remember what software I used for that. I loved sonix for how easy it was to start making music.

  12. I was more to tracker music back then, in the Amiga days, but SONIX VA could receive MIDI, so one of method I used, was to make beat with a tracker, record it on tape, then play solo on keyboard (cheesy Italian toy, but with MIDI output) using SONIX VA. None of the recordings survived (but I still have some of the MOD files with loops and beat).

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