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Commodore Amiga Paula Chip




commodore amiga500

infoCountry: USA
Weight (amiga 500) : 3,1 Kg
Dimensions (amiga 500): 325 x 470 x 65 mm
audio demo trend price : 100€
manual schematics video comments

Commodore PAULA AUDIO CHIP 8364R4
for AMIGA 500 (1987)

The Paula audio chip was implemented into the Amiga machines, a series of personal computer released between 1985 and 1994.
About 10 models were available during this period, the A500 was the biggest commercial success.

-> The purpose of this page is not the Amiga itself as we focus only to SOUND and MUSIC applications related to the retro computer world.

audio out
amiga 500

info A500 PERSONAL COMPUTER the main panel features a classic keyboard (96 keys) with numeric pad.

Rear panel terminal connectors:
- Video out (mono composite or RGB)
- external drive input
- mouse input
- joystick input
- Serial port
- Parallel port
- Cinch RCA stereo out.

ac Power supply is an external custom PSU with standard -5V +12V voltage.



editOVERVIEW the A-500 is based on a 16-bits Motorola 68000 CPU clocked at 7 MHz with limited multitasking system, graphic OCS chipset offers various available resolutions.

cpu HD63701Y0P

TECH: some third-part boards provides faster and superior 68020 or 030 CPU.

the sound processor is the IC 8364 R4 or simply PAULA which also handles minor other taks including disk drive + joystick.
Unlike previous Commodore CBM64, the Amiga does not feature any Chip-synth like SID nor AY, instead a more "modern" MOS8364 which is able to generate 4 PCM voices at 8 bits resolution with a frequency rate up to 27/28 kHz (of course there are many "tricks" to fake enhanced features like polyphony). Each set of two voices are (stupidly) hard-panned to LEFT and RIGHT and features individual mix gain and sampling rate.
edit famous Module Echoing HEAR


paula amiga

FILTER the Amiga motherboard includes a static analog 2-poles Butterworth low-pass filter for the whole 4 channels, probably implemented to reduce sample anti-aliasing effects.
TIP: the LP can be deactivated by software (in this case the power LED turns OFF). AMIGA FILTER TEST PAGE HERE



SAMPLING the Amiga does not feature internal sampling options for the PAULA, but cheap entry- level interfaces were available on the market. Sampled sounds can be also edited with many softwares, one of the most famous is Aegis Audiomaster.

amiga low pass filter  
edit famous Audiomaster "greeting"

edit MIDI unlike the arch-rival at the time ATARI ST, the AMIGA does not features internal MIDI ports, (which was a shame) thanks to this "wise" choice, the ATARI ST got a lot of more professional musical applications. Like for SAMPLING process, the Amiga computers can use optional external interface for this purpose.


bars n pipes

Bars 'n' pipes Amiga Midi sequencer


internal EPROM are the so-called KICKSTART - higher and later versions means better graphical interface WORKBENCH as well as better hard disk handling and much more.


AMIGA MEMORY Amiga 500 basic RAM is 512 kb easily doubled if using memory board in the dedicated trapdor, but there were other ways to further memory using third-part boosted boards.
The factory Amiga 500 come with an internal 880 kb disk drive 3.5" MFM (which is NOT compatible with PC disk) but there were also an optional 5. 25" device.
TIP: depending on OS, it is possible to add an hard disk as well as a CD rom player, like models Commodore A690 or A570

amiga 500 motherboard



edit PAULA VS EMULATORS today many PC programs emulates the whole Amiga systems, including the sounds Paula. Are these so close to the originals? HERE's a special page comparison





roland tr505

AMIGA SERIES: there are other AMIGA models like A1000, A2000, A3000, A4000, A600, A1200 some with better features, but basically they do all includes the same PAULA chip.
Maybe in the future some more pages dedicated to each model.



video1 video2 video3
Typical tracker Amiga500 beast game remix with Korg m1 Amiga with Midi


Amiga 500 MANUAL





Commodore Amiga 500 RESET PROCEDURE

oh switch it off or press "CTRL-Amiga-Amiga."




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edit original brochure


edit original brochure


edit original brochure



Commodore Amiga 500 FOR SALE



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drum pad amiga circuit


- the 500 is cheap
- lot of good game music


- limited PCM
- outdated CPU
-few Midi apps


REVIEW : "Well a lot of games and some neat musical applications like sampling, trackers but few Midi tools - check out the softwares we tried out - please do vist the 8-16bits section"





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Commodore Amiga 500 4.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. price €100