Vortex Tracker II

For the latests news and download, go to the Vortex Tracker II homepage. There's only the Amstrad CPC PT3 Player to download here.

Vortex Tracker II is a complete music editor for creating and editing music for AY-3-8910, AY-3-8912 or YM2149F sound chips. Sound output is realized by sound chips emulation through standard Windows digital sound devices, so, real sound chips are not required. Vortex Tracker II uses standard Win32 functions and does not require any additional libraries.

The tracks editor

Vortex Tracker II can import several ZX Spectrum music filetypes (modules) :

  1. Pro Tracker 3.xx (file mask is *.pt3);
  2. Pro Tracker 2.xx (*.pt2);
  3. Pro Tracker 1.xx (*.pt1);
  4. Flash Tracker (*.fls);
  5. Fast Tracker (*.ftc);
  6. Global Tracker 1.x (*.gtr);
  7. Pro Sound Creator 1.xx (*.psc);
  8. compiled Pro Sound Maker modules (*.psm);
  9. compiled ASC Sound Master modules (*.asc);
  10. compiled Sound Tracker and Super Sonic modules (*.stc);
  11. compiled Sound Tracker Pro modules (*.stp);
  12. compiled SQ-Tracker modules (*.sqt);
  13. Amadeus (Fuxoft AY Language) modules (*.fxm, *.ay).

VT II detects module type only by filename extension (mask), and no any additional checks are performed. These extensions are used in well-known player called Ay_Emul. Any other extensions are analized as text files.

Amstrad CPC/Plus


This tracker can be used to compose your music and replay them on any platform with a PT3 player available (Speccy, Amstrad CPC, MSX, …). You can also use it to convert many Speccy music formats to the PT3 format.

You can get a really big Speccy music archive at the Sergey Bulba's website.

AY3 clock frequency

Vortex Tracker allow you to configure the AY3 clock frequency used to replay the music in the tracker (in it's menu File/Options, a new window will appear. In the Chip emulation tab there is a Chip frequecy section). But you should leave it to the default 1.77MHz (ZX Spectrum) since the Amstrad PT3 player provided here will take care of the frequency adjustement for the 1MHz AY3 of the CPC/Plus.


The PT3 player for the Amstrad CPC is based on the Speccy player, but :

  • The routine which modify the AY3 registers have been obviously rewriten with a CPC specific one.
  • The Tone and Enveloppe frequencies are re-adjusted on the fly to match the 1MHz clock of the AY3 on CPC.


The original player seems to be designed to run within an Interrupt Service Routine (so it can't be interrupted itself). It's a very important detail because the player use optimized routines to fetch some datas with the stack (SP register), so if an interrupt is issued at this very moment, it will just trash internal player-data and who know what might happen then!

The CPC player provided here have a configuration switch for this matter :

; comment the following line to compile a PT3 player which can be interrupted
cnf_pt3_no_interrupts equ 1
  • If you put this line in your source, the player will be compiled assuming it won't be interrupted.
  • If you do not include it (or comment it), the player will disable the interrupt while dealing with the stack and enable it again as soon as possible.

If you have no clue about what this is all about, just forget about it :)


» Amstrad CPC/Plus PT3 player. Based on the original ZX Spectrum PT3 player Release 7 (April 2007).

Files in the archive are :

  • pt3.r7.driver.asm : the player source code
  • pt3.testcode.asm : a small test code to play a PT3 music with the player
  • Chuta.pt3 : a PT3 music

You can quickly hear and see it running in WinAPE, just open the pt3.testcode.asm in the integrated assembler and hit F9 (Compile & Run).

More screenshots

Instruments editor Ornaments editor The song options Configure Vortex Tracker. Use the menu File/Option.

sources/pt3.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/16 20:10 by grim