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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

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.

info 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.



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 able to generate a 4-voices standard polyphony.

m3r editor info some third-part boards provides faster and superior 68020 or 030 CPU.


let's have a quick explanation about how does the amiga generates those old incredible melodies and sounds. Unlike previous Commodore CBM64, the Amiga does not feature any Chip-synth like SID nor AY, instead a more "modern" MOS8364.

paula amiga

The Amiga MOS is able to generate:

4 PCM voices

- 8 bits sampling depth resolution

- frequency rate up to 27/28 kHz (of course there are many "tricks" to fake enhanced features like polyphony).



The sound processor is the IC 8364 R4 or simply PAULA which also handles minor other taks including disk drive + joystick.


Each set of two voices are (stupidly) hard-panned to LEFT and RIGHT and features individual mix gain and sampling rate.

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.

audio filter

info the LPF can be deactivated by software (in this case the power LED turns OFF).

if you want to know more (hear) about the static filter differences, visit the AMIGA FILTER TEST PAGE


edit 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 HEAR famous Audiomaster "greeting"

edit MIDI unlike the arch-rival at the time ATARI ST, the AMIGA does not features internal native MIDI ports, (which was a shame) thanks to this "wise" choice, the ATARI ST got way more professional musical applications. This is true also for SAMPLING process: the Amiga computers must optional external interface for this purpose.

bars n pipes

edit Bars 'n' pipes Amiga Midi sequencer

edit we have some Midi Amiga interface for sell on ebay!



editSEQUENCER TRACKERS The Amiga did not had any good results with Midi, instead, a lot of coders, demo makers and musician prefered to use the so-called trackers. The original tracker was based on simple sequencers using internal samples at low resolution.


edit Each samples was entered as a note (pitch samples) into different channels lined up on columns patterns. These were called "modules" with both internal waves or based on disk library called ST-XX

Believe or not, but even with incredible DAW, plugins or synthesizers, some people still produces tracks with the Amiga!

edit famous Module Echoing HEAR



edit AMIGA OS internal EPROM are the so-called KICKSTART -as a rule of thumb, 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.

amiga 500 motherboard

editThe 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.


infodepending on OS, it is possible to add an hard disk as well as a CD rom player, like models Commodore A690 or A570



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





amiga 3000

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, but we're still focused on Amiga audio system

edit peek at our proud amiga 3000 :)



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



brochure brochure


Company: Commodore
Model: Amiga 500
Class: Computer
Dates: 1987
Synthesis: PCM sampling
Resolution: 8 bits
Sampling rate: 27 kHz
Polyphony: 4 voices
Multitimbric: 4 parts
Oscillator: 4 sample PCM
Filter: Static Low pass
LFO: software
Envelope: software
Memory: 512 kb (basic)
Effects: software
Midi: optional
CPU: Mc68000
IC: 8364 R4

PSU: external





edit Sample SHOP
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Commodore Amiga 500 RESET PROCEDURE

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



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Commodore Amiga 500 FOR SALE



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drum pad amiga circuit



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"

manual manual
-classic - limited PCMe
- lot of good game music
- outdated
  few midi app

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all snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

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