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81% Chip Champion
Reality Adlib Tracker


  1. Capabilities
  2. Quick set up
  3. Expert Tricks
  4. Keys
  5. Effects
  6. See also
A very user friendly, 9 channel (OPL2) Adlib tracker for MS DOS. RAD can have a total of 31 instruments and 32 patterns. Made for use with prods, RAD modules pack very small. The typical RAD module is usually 10k big or less.


Saves .RAD files because they are totally radical to the max.
There is an unofficial OPL3-capable version which saves in the same format, but supports OPL3 waveforms. It does not support the additional channels OPL3 has, nor does it support 4op. (ie not much of an upgrade)

Quick set up

Download (normal version)

Download (OPL3 waveforms version)

Both archives (extract and run), working in a DosBox under Windows.

There is documentation provided in the normal version ('RAD.DOC')


Press the [ ` ] key to toggle between the pattern, instrument, and pattern order fields.

Use the insert and delete keys to add and remove patterns while in the "pattern order" field. Change a pattern number by having it highlighted on the order list and pressing left or right. (Numeric keys will not work in this regard) The pattern field will not update when you change the number in the order list, you must move to a different pattern in the order for this to happen. Also, your note and other data will continue to exist in a pattern even if you delete it from the order list.

Note that default instruments are zeroed out across the board and will produce no sound initially.

Be aware that the filename is empty for new songs. When saving your file for the first time, press the tab key to move over to the "song" field. This will be your file name.

Expert Tricks

*32 patterns can run out very quickly, especially if you like to track at maximum speed settings. Plan accordingly.

*On the flip side, 31 instruments is vastly more than you'll probably ever use! You can supplement RADs lack of tracker effects by having multiple copies of one instrument and creating slight variations between them for sweeping effects and other things. Case in point: Having one lower volume copy of an instrument is much easier than adding a volume value effect for every single note. Remember that you can easily copy and paste instruments with F3 and F4, respectively.

*You name instruments the same way you name song files, tabbing over while saving. However, these instrument names are NOT saved to your song file. So don't spend a bunch of time naming all your instruments, those names will disappear the next time you open your project.

*In lieu of a detune effect, or the ability to add detune to your instruments, use one tick of directional portamento for phasing and chorus effects.

*When working with FM synthesis patches, strange and wonderful things can happen at the extreme octaves. This is where you will find the best percussion sounds.

*The attack of each new note does NOT reset the volume of that channel to zero, as one would expect from typical envelope behavior. The attack will start from wherever the volume level is currently at when the new note is triggered. Thus, if you have long pad sounds, you will need to use a NOTE OFF well in advance of your next note trigger to ensure smooth fade ins and fade outs.

*Waveshape 3 is the quarter sine, and it is similar in both shape and timbre to a sawtooth waveform. This is your best choice for getting near to typical subtractive synth (ie """analog""") type sounds.

*Don't be afraid to use multiple channels for a single "voice!" For example, a nice snare sound may be achieved by have one channel making the noise hit while another does the tone (pitched) part of the sound.

*And if you are new to FM synthesis, 2 operator is the logical place to start. And RAD is about as user friendly as FM trackers come. (Not that it doesn't have significant quirks)


Here are some important keystrokes for working in RAD. Press "?" to open the help section in RAD to view these at any time. NOTE THAT KEYS HAVE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS DEPENDING ON WHICH EDITOR FIELD YOU ARE CURRENTLY IN.

` - Toggle between different edit fields.

Pattern Editor
*Bottom field*

/ - Toggle "record" on and off.
INSERT - Inserts new line at cursor and pushes previous line down.
DELETE - Deletes line and data.
SPACE - Clear data at cursor.
BACKSPACE - Inserts key off.
- - Goes to previous pattern numerically. Moves through order list if playing.
+ - Goes to next pattern numerically. Moves through order list if playing.
. - Decrease octave. (0-7)
. - Increase octave.
(Ctrl+l) - Load song.
(Ctrl+s) - Save song.
F1 - Press once to select range (move with cursor keys) then press again to copy.
F2 - Paste selected range.
F3 - Copy entire pattern.
F4 - Paste entire pattern.
F5/ENTER - Toggle song play.
F6/(Ctrl+ENTER) - Toggle playing of current pattern. (pattern will loop)
F7 - Toggles playing from current line.
F9 - Decrease speed value.
F10 - Increase speed value.
KEYPAD 1-9 - Toggle mute for relative channel.
] - Select next instrument numerically.
[ - Select previous instrument numerically.

Instrument Editor
*Top left field*

CURSOR LEFT/RIGHT - Decrease and increase values of selected field.
] - Select next instrument numerically.
[ - Select previous instrument numerically.
(Ctrl+g) - Load("get") .INS instrument file to currently selected instrument.
(Ctrl+p) - Save("put") .INS instrument file to currently selected instrument.
F3 - Copies currently selected instrument.
F4 - Pastes instrument data to currently selected instrument.
DELETE - Deletes instrument data. (Has confirm dialogue)

Order Editor
*Top right field*

CURSOR LEFT/RIGHT - Decrease and increase selected pattern number.
INSERT - Insert new pattern.
DELETE - Delete currently selected pattern from order.
\ - Toggle between "pattern" and "jump marker."


1xx - Portamento up. (01-99)
2xx - Portamento down.
3xx - Portamento to note. (01-99)
5xx - Portamento to note with volume slide. (01-49 down) (51-99 up)
Axx - Volume slide. (01-49 down) (51-99 up)
Cxx - Set volume. (00-64)
Dxx - Jump to next pattern in order list. Value is line to start from.
Fxx - Set speed. (01-31)

See also

- adlib (format)
- Tracker