I’ve finally figured out a way to run Impulse Tracker under Mac OS X.

  1. Download DOSBox and Impulse Tracker. DOSBox emulates the DOS operating system and some common hardware, including the SoundBlaster 16 and Gravis UltraSound sound cards.

  2. Unzip Impulse Tracker and put it inside an otherwise empty folder. I created a folder named DOS inside my home directory, then copied Impulse Tracker into another directory inside of that.

  3. Install and run DOSBox. Installation is as simple as copying DOSBox.app into your Applications folder.

  4. Once DOSBox has fired up, you’ll need to mount a directory on your hard disk as your C drive. To do this, type MOUNT C /Users/craiga/DOS into DOSBox (where /Users/craiga/DOS is a folder that contains Impulse Tracker).

  5. Switch to the C drive by typing C:, then fire up Impulse Tracker using the command line IT s7. This will force Impulse Tracker to use the emulated Gravis UltraSound (there seems to be some trouble with the emulated SoundBlaster 16).

  6. Impulse Tracker will now be running and will be usable, though playback will be a little jumpy. To make it smoother, switch to full-screen mode by hitting Command-Option-Shift-Return. To switch back to a windowed view, use that same key combination.