How To Use The Amiga 500 As An Effects Pedal

In this video, synthesist Paulee Alex Bow demonstrates how to use the vintage Commodore Amiga 500 computer as an effects pedal.

“With a sampler cartridge like Technosound Turbo anything is possible,” says Bow. “There’s all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds that came out of the thing!”

The Amiga 500 was originally introduced in 1987 as a home computer, and was a hit for its day, selling millions of units.

Check out the video and share your thoughts in the comments!

4 thoughts on “How To Use The Amiga 500 As An Effects Pedal

  1. I have a moth-balled Amiga 500 (as well as 1000). There are numerous limitations which make it unusable circa 2024 (ie, 8-bit, mediocre DAC, 22KHz top sampling rate, lack of pro-quality music software – most of the music/audio software is low-quality hobbyist stuff, incompatibility with most modern hardware due to no PCI/USB/SATA/Firewire), etc. If your time and labor is worth anything, you’ll be much more productive with a more modern, mainstream system. (A recent chipset, running Windows, Mac, or at least Linux). There are _plenty_ of free VST effects that will give you the types of sounds you hear in the above video, and you’ll expend a whole lot less time and effort working with them, rather than dealing with a nearly 40 year old computer.

    Additiomally, if this guy is actually “stepping on” an A500 like a guitar effects pedal, it won’t last long. The A500 is a very cheap plastic construction.

    1. Hi jg, perhaps you don’t know of, or understand the concept of, retro hobbyist computing. We use the old machines for various tasks, art, music, etc, because it’s fun and nostalgic, not because it’s efficient 🙂
      I have a bunch of modern computers and a studio full of synths, but that Amiga sound has something special about it – and cool quirks like AM/FM per channel.
      Regarding software, there’s some incredibly forward thinking, unique stuff available, check out my “Spectacular Softsynths” video for more insights.
      I’ve been successfully integrating the Amiga into my music for a couple of years now, with no real headaches, and it’s allowed me to find a bigger audience for my work.

      Finally, not a guy, thank you 🙂

    2. You are definitely missing the point JG!
      Sometimes it’s just fun to use these old computers.
      Until very recently I was regularly using my Atari STFM in my music setup. It has rock solid MIDI timing and plenty of good software, including Cubase.
      Give it a go, who knows, you might like it.

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