I started to work on SoundSmith while writing LaserForce. I needed high quality music and the Sound API simply did not work. I tried to contact Apple on several occasions on the subject but there was no response. Information on the Ensoniq sound chip was really sketchy but it was really the only way to go.
About the same time one of my friends who owned a Commodore Amiga computer invited me home to play some games and he showed me a tracker playing Cambodia (by Kim Wilde). I was stunned by the quality of the audio and when I left I was carrying a copy of the music file in my pocket.
Writing Music software was not really something I was really interested in since I have absolutely no music education. However, I had to learn quickly because shipping a game with no music, even in the late eighties was simply not an option and there were no open-source players. You have no idea how many times I had to listen to distorted versions of Cambodia before it finally played back correctly...
The music for LaserForce was composed on an Amiga computer since there was no editor available for the Apple IIgs. However, since I loved the platform, that was not acceptable to me and that is why I started working on what would become SoundSmith, as soon as I completed work on that game.
The program was an instant success and became the de-facto standard for composing music on the platform. Writing shareware may not be the best way to become rich but it is a great way to know people from all over the world and that is very gratifying.