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m00dawg last won the day on February 9

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  1. Another quick update. I really wanted to get the demotune working so spent some time working on that after I sorted out keeping track of the last instrument used and squishing a few bugs. It now uses 5 channels! (albeit only for a short bit). The first part is just showing the pattern changes, since you can no longer see those while the song is playing.
  2. Oh wow I hadn't thought of that, but yes that would be really neat! It's not a competition but it would be cool to do something that isn't as easily done in Deflemask Eventually having some sort of flexible solution would be nice. Actually Concerto largely "just works" when multi-voice instruments in my brief testing meaning one can mix and match today and it'll work. But there's no clues into if you're out of voices right now and for songs that would be using multi-voice instruments, it would be nice to hide unused channels or something. One hidden change I didn't mention was I am now using a single ISR. Previously I was using mine plus Concerto's and I think I may have been doing something funky there. This means Concerto lost some precision (10ms vs 16.67ms) but it really cleaned up some timing issues I was running into and hasn't affected the sound quality much that I could tell. When I played my test tune my jaw dropped at that crazy bass haha it's great! That said though, I really need to sort out some UI issues before I move on to editing instruments and things. That will take some thinking I think as I want named instruments and Concerto doesn't have that concept, and uses multiple indexed arrays (I forget the proper term there). Nothing wrong with that, it's quite efficient, but I'll have to figure out how that will work. Then there's the FM instruments (I'm ignoring those for now but the expectation is, of course, to use both the PSG and FM at the same time). Before that, I need to track current instrument (should be easy enough) and to figure out cut-paste (not quite as easy). Plus those dern input bugs.
  3. Another quick update showing off the PHAT sound that one can make with the Concerto engine! Also showing off the play-pattern feature: I didn't update the whole song because I really need to add in a few additional GUI elements. Namely tracking the current instrument so that I can add notes without having to constantly change the instrument number. And there's still some UI bugs where it sometimes doesn't update the instrument number and I have to end up doing that multiple times (that's a weird bug). But geeeeez that phat sound!
  4. Shortish update: Disabled pattern scrolling when playing entire song (no more stalls) and added ugly placeholder for better graphics (like channel trigger indicators) Added play pattern which DOES scroll since we don't have to reload the pattern (key F6 in edit pattern module) Added start song playing at row (key F6 in edit pattern module) This is buggy because doing things like pulling up the order list while playing crashes everything. Very rough around the edges. Took a while to sort of slide back into the codebase since it's been a bit of a hiatus. The above is good enough to be able to start working on better integration with Concerto so that's what I will start working on next.
  5. Small update, relative to progress anyway, but Command Tracker has now been updated to work with the latest emulator/rom (r39) which includes the changes to how banks are handled and such. There were two bugs where I was doing an unsafe lda ("lda 0") which worked previously since the value at $00 happened to be 0 but could now have data in it (namely the current page of himem). I'm still having some visual artifacts I didn't see before, specifically with the active pattern scrolling stuff. But since that may get removed (perhaps only temporarily) I wasn't going to worry about that too much.
  6. Yeah good idea! That's part of the plan sorta. Trickling info out to sort of keep engagement or what have you. Marketing is a lot more difficult than it was on our 1st album, at least it has been for us. We probably don't know what we're doing there haha nor maybe should we - we like making music first and we're both CS folks so marketing isn't our strong suit Actually we're planning a sort of "album release party" (in as much as you can have one) where we commentate over our album. Will probably offer that up as a bonus track kinda thing too. Plenty of stuff to talk about over this album haha (at least a 1/3rd of it was all done remotely too because of the pandemic so that in it of itself was interesting).
  7. Not directly though it may have had some implicit inspiration. I came up with "Alien Me" as the album title in one of our brainstorming sessions -it was a late decision actually but fits soooo well with a lot of the various themes in the album (they're kind of under the surface but they're there). We both wanted to have this human/alien reflection thing. My band mate came up with that artwork and had the idea that we record my PVM to make it pay better homage to the era we were targeting. He still had a VCR and a capture card so we went the extra mile to record it to tape. The pause distortion was a wonderful accident. I think took the actual photos on analog film too (Lomography Metropolis specifically) as that's another interest of mine. Of all our album covers, and really of most of our art in general, this one is my favorite by far. EDIT: I forgot to say , this is partly why I gave David the Kodak dig in his latest video (Kodak still very much exists, albeit in a much much smaller size than the juggernaut it was)
  8. Many folks here probably know about my work on Command Tracker, a project that's definitely still alive! I've spent the last few weeks trying to get my band's latest album, Alien Me, finished. We're currently a duo who cut our teeth on a chiptune + surf sound which used the NES, GameBoy, and some SID. Our second album was story driven (about an RPG, which we eventually made) - albeit not an age appropriate one, and also used chip's. Our third album is the least chiptune but still uses the SID in quite a few places, along with analog and digital synths. It's a bit of an homage to the 80's of sorts and thought I'd share it here (hope that's ok!) https://music.victimcache.com/album/alien-me The 4th album will probably go back to a more tracker style approach, initially with Renoise but I hope to leverage the X16 and Command Tracker. But we're still figuring out what we want to do for that one. Now that the 3rd album is out, I'll be spending some time again on Command Tracker here soon!
  9. Some surprise RAM there would be pretty nice! A page size of 16kb would also be a nice chunk though even if we don't get that, having some ROM space to store common libraries and things like trig lookups tables, etc. is something I'm excited about and how we see some standard materialize to use that space. But of course - well, if I could have _one_ feature, it would be hardware ADSR envelopes for VeraSound But if I could have TWO, having some extra 16kb RAM pages would be pretty cool!
  10. That's great news Stefan! I've been having some issues with mine. Seems to be related to VERA, which is odd since I didn't think any of that changes. Some weird stuff like my box drawing rountines not drawing the same way as they did before, and some very odd scrolling behavior. I haven't figured out if it's somehow my code or not so hadn't filed any reports on it yet until I have a better idea/test case. But otherwise the baking updates were super easy fix so the core parts of Command Tracker still seem to work with just that change.
  11. I actually don't really view the X16 as "Retro" computer, but more a bare-metal 8-bit learning, gaming, and demoscene computer. It has several modern implementations already when you look at it (like an ATX form factor, modern SRAM chips, modern banking implementation, SD card support, etc.). It's just a frame of mind and just my opinion but this means, to me, using a microcontroller would be a-ok here. Of note, the PS/2 keyboards likely had some sort of uC or at least a set of logic gates for the output. And given Kevin like's ATTiny's (given his latest video), while that's a modern uC, it's still 8-bit. And it's through hole and also updateable which I think would be really need for a keyboard controller. You could upload your own keymap behavior for instance. It's also off the shelf, popular, cheap and with great availability. If we were really leaning on Commodore heritage here, using another 6502 to manage peripherals might be a more period-specific implementation here (thinking about the disk drives having their own 6502 variants for instance). But that would be a lot more costly in board design and part counts than just using a cheap uC. uC's may be necessary for these sorts of things, but at least if using something well known like Arduino-compatible chips, it means the system is still largely off the shelf, hackable, and still 8-bit.
  12. Currently CommandTracker is using vsync with Concerto handling it's own timing. It's not bad, but yes that is something to worthy of note and something I was thinking of trying to see how much coarser it makes the envelope evaluation (since it will be about 50% slower). In the "final form" version of the tracker, I'd like to have this be controllable wherein you can select sync sources for both Concerto and CommandTracker and have these settings embedded in with the song file. So if you want very rich smooth envelopes, you can use tight timings with Concerto or using vsync; and/or if you want the tracker to run at, say, a MIDI clock pulse, you could. MIDI clock or some sort of sync pulse (e.g. by way of the user or controller port) is a big desire of mine so I can sync Command Tracker to external MIDI and have proper timings. But I think due to the CPU issues, having these knobs to turn would be valuable in general. For instance, right now the tracker is set to a fixed 25 channels, but Concerto has a concept of voices as well where an instrument could use more than 1 PSG voice. That means the number of channels in the tracker could, maybe eventually, be flexible and should reflect the needs. If you're using very rich instruments in Concerto, you might only want/need 4 tracker channels as an example. Or if you're game uses a lot of CPU, you might want to use coarse envelope timings in Concerto and may also want to limit channels in the tracker due to both song size and CPU consumed. Those are all features that are pretty far down the list from where things are today but are definitely things I've thought about.
  13. Yep! Concerto's ISR sort of outlines how this works: https://github.com/biermanncarl/cx16-concerto/blob/master/concerto_synth/my_isr.asm The take-away is that, currently, Concerto runs at about 7ms if I'm reading and remembering this right. Whereas vsync would be 16ms. Concerto's timing is tunable by adjusting how the audio buffer is filled. It's a very neat approach! I think once the emulator has timers there may be other options as well.
  14. Kliepatsch answered this on the contact of Command Tracker and Concerto but to elaborate on this, yes DPCM takes a ton of CPU power. Though it is "stereo" as far as I'm aware it doesn't approach it as independent channels - the data buffer either is a stereo or mono sample. Concerto uses the DPCM to do some really clever timing tricks but otherwise there's no DPCM used. Though it's out of scope today, I've been passing thoughts about a GUS style soundcard for the X16 to enable "hardware accelerated" sample playback. I'd bet someone is going to come up with this and while it won't be part of the core X16 that could enable some really interesting things. I think something like this would be required in order to create something akin to MODs and sample based PC trackers (like FastTracker, ImpulseTracker, etc.). It might be possible to use some low resolution samples with the tracker for NES like sounds - maybe. At this point I'm thinking we won't have the CPU headroom to do it but it's a bit too soon to say I think. It'd be nice to have some NES drums for sure!
  15. That's how I started doing it (the videos from previous posts use my own sound implementation before I started work to integrate Concerto). Concerto is a wonderful sound engine though so yep I recommend taking a look! I'm using it for the tracker, but it could be used for lots of things or at least serves as one good example of how you might want to handle modulation of various things using a more musical (ADSR envelopes) approach. It sounds really nice too and likely the next thing I'll be doing in the tracker is setting up some static instruments so I can start testing out pattern effects and things (and bring back the Bad Apple demo song).
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