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Rob Hubbard mentioning POKEY - out of tune ;)


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#1 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 1:51 AM

https://youtu.be/MvCuSGu_Adk?t=564

 

just found this... :D

 

(to keep the flame burning...) :D

 



#2 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:16 AM

https://youtu.be/MvCuSGu_Adk?t=564
 
just found this... :D
 
(to keep the flame burning...) :D


Well, he's right in most senses. But the bigger problem is the 4 bit volume.
Even more interesting. If I manage to have youtube recognizing an "original tune" by pitch correctness. People don't like it ;)
So handling POKEY will always end up in an oxymoronic place ;)

#3 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:41 AM

Maybe he's thinking more of of the sound from the 2600 TIA??? Lots of stories of problems making music with limited notes that matched diatonic scale on the 2600..  I never really thought of the POKEY as not able to reproduce some notes...


Edited by Nezgar, Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:42 AM.


#4 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 3:48 AM

No.  2600 has trouble representing musical notes at all frequency ranges, not just the high ones.



#5 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 4:29 AM

Well, he's right in most senses. But the bigger problem is the 4 bit volume.
Even more interesting. If I manage to have youtube recognizing an "original tune" by pitch correctness. People don't like it ;)
So handling POKEY will always end up in an oxymoronic place ;)

it's when you blast everything at full a few cents or more high and low in your false tone experiments people start gritting their teeth and the ears bleed, pets run. When you control the volume and dial it in, the pets come back and people stop the fingers on chalk board dance. Then all is well.


Edited by _The Doctor__, Tue Feb 6, 2018 4:30 AM.


#6 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 4:53 AM

You have to love Rob, typical blunt Northerner, there he is at an event and calling the place "like a zoo" and "just awful"....He knows how to treat the fans :)

 

Quickly followed by the patronising "a thing called a machine code monitor" to two computer guys as if they would never have heard of one :)

 

I've met Rob at computer events back in the day twice and he least comes across as a computer scene / programmer bloke than anyone else..

 

He does know his coding and music tho...



#7 Lost Dragon ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 5:16 AM

Great find.

Rob is talking about Pokey, as he worked on music for it,as well as SID and he's talking with the honesty i would expect from Rob.

Meet him myself,just the once..

Huge fan of his work.

Will leave it there ;-)

#8 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 5:37 AM

yeah I love his humor... 

 

and coding sound routines in "hex monitor" is like.... well... Geeky (same did Chris Huelsbeck, Jochen Hippel and others) and best i can remember from the interview:

 

"little Atari Boy had excellent Assembler with the cart just plugged in".

 

"Atari ST is rubbish" :D

 

"Amiga I ported basicly the C64 player"

 

"never liked the Nintendo Boxes" "and Playstation either btw.". and he loved the Genesis/Megadrive

 

hard to understand somehow him with his accent (but more harder the polish interviewers ;)) but Pixel Heaven seems to be nice.



#9 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 6:17 AM

I brought crazy comets or was it the follow up Mega Apocalypse off him at the Commodore show at the Novotel, he was on the Martech paste table, didn't have a clue it was him at the time, I knew of Rob but had never seen a picture, I remember thinking at the time "I'd not let this bloke look after kids" :)

 

The second time I got to chat with him...Slightly odd is the only way to describe him..



#10 Matej OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 8:00 AM

I dont like SID.SID is so soft...Yep only few instruments doesnt work like clear bass or crystal lead.Anyways I love pokey also YM, SN, SAA simply real PSG...SID sound like ensoniq keyboard to me.And yes I own c64 also hardSID...

#11 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 9:07 AM

I love the sid tunes but don't like it for sound effects, the all too usual explosion noise is just poor, tunes on the other hand sound great, the Atari can do some amazing stuff but the SID chip in the right hands is astounding...

 

Cue Emkay saying its rubbish :)



#12 R0ger OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 9:44 AM

Pokey indeed is rubbish. I mean you can get used to it, but every time I work on a song, first 30 minutes my ears just bleeds. I mean I don't have absolute pitch or anything, but it's bad enough. 8 bits is just not enough for frequency, and the way bass is done brings even more limitations. That's why I love recent hardbass, it's the raw square of pokey with (relative) cleanness of let's say SID or Yamaha.



#13 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 10:04 AM

fun project for R0ger, convert hardbass system for NTSC timings..



#14 Fragmare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 10:36 AM

The POKEY is an awesome 8-bit sound chip! It might be old, but it has vast strength in its versatility. Any of the four channels can switch to ANY mode at any time and back again... for a chiptuner, that is a HUGE deal. The PSG percussion you can pull off on the thing is incredible! Not to mention all the various options for 2 channel generators and 15khz modes. The only times I ever really notice things getting out of tune are when using modes C or E for basslines... even then, it's manageable. The 4bit volume depth is not really an issue, for me... I'm usually able to get what I need from it. :)




Edited by Fragmare, Tue Feb 6, 2018 10:51 AM.


#15 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 10:39 AM

If people get my works with POKEY right, they see, there is no real upper limit, yet.

Notes can be corrected with volume and frequency spread tricks. Filter usage can tremendously enhance volume levels.

BTW. :POKEY IS RUBBISH. But the software for musicians could provide a non rubbisch environment for starting projects.

This has become much better than I expected, btw. 4 Channel (almost) and Dark and Bright parts in the tune, working correctly together. It's just the correct volume level that had to put into the POKEY emulation in RMT.




If such is possible in single VBI speed.... yes, it also would allow to add "Hardbass" .... hm. Hardsynth plus Hardbass or Softsynth plus Softbass ;)

Edited by emkay, Tue Feb 6, 2018 10:44 AM.


#16 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 12:11 PM

It's been proven that different people have different sensitivity to pitch. Some people can hear very small deviations and some are completely tone deaf. There's an online test you can take to find out how sensitive you are:

 

http://jakemandell.com/adaptivepitch/

 

I can hear down to about 1.5Hz @ 500Hz. This is one of the reason there's so many opinions regarding Pokey music. However, there are easy ways to get around Pokey's limitations. Alternating between two adjacent pitches quickly causes the note to sound like a middle note. Since the pitch value is loaded into the counter each cycle, this works cleanly. The speed at which this must be done depends on the pitch, but 60/50 times per second works in many cases and 120/100 is cleaner for higher pitches.



#17 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 12:19 PM

http://dougneubauer.com/ataripokey/

#18 Matej OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 12:44 PM

Well we need re-create Atari 65XEM soundchip called "AMY". And end this nonsense...



#19 thorfdbg OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 1:28 PM

Yes, and he's right. Pokey is out of tune, in the high-notes. Well, you can always switch to the 1.79Mhz counters for that, but not for all voices. No, I do not see the 4 bit volume resolution a restriction.



#20 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 1:58 PM


One example... what's going on for real.

This tune is recognized by Youtube as original. It only does it, if the pitch is that correct to replay the "catching" melodic part correctly.
But, people don't like it.



It's ONLY a volume problem.

Also pitch correct:






Particular this one make me most wondering. As it is also pitch correct and volume is correct... but no real positive response here...





Volume issues , but pitch correct at 4 channels.



Pitch correct, but heavy volume issues...





... what to say?

#21 Fragmare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:04 PM

Yes, and he's right. Pokey is out of tune, in the high-notes. Well, you can always switch to the 1.79Mhz counters for that, but not for all voices. No, I do not see the 4 bit volume resolution a restriction.

While that might technically be true, I'm just not hearing it enough on the high notes in any of my POKEY music to make any real difference in the context of the song. I generally find that A mode (pure pulses) behave okay throughout the full range available. Then again, I detune everything in A mode an octave down, just because it usually sounds better that way... perhaps in doing so, I'm helping avoid some sour notes.

Much bigger issues with the POKEY, imo, are the occasional LOUD note it throws in there when using C mode, the note cancelling/amplifying when momentarily playing two of the same frequency in A mode (can be avoided), and trying to get subtle, beautiful-sounding vibrato with the limited frequency resolution

Edited by Fragmare, Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:07 PM.


#22 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:11 PM

While that might technically be true, I'm just not hearing it enough on the high notes in any of my POKEY music to make any real difference in the context of the song. I generally find that A mode (pure pulses) behave okay throughout the full range available. Then again, I detune everything in A mode an octave down, just because it usually sounds better that way... perhaps in doing so, I'm helping avoid some sour notes.

Much bigger issues with the POKEY, imo, are the occasional LOUD note it throws in there when using C mode, the note cancelling/amplifying when momentarily playing two of the same frequency in A mode (can be avoided), and trying to get subtle, beautiful-sounding vibrato with the limited frequency resolution


If you listen to my R-type edit, there is no loud note, but it's generator C with some added modulations.
The problem there is the start of the generator and the random hit of the polycounter. It can be adjusted to get more stable. But no one cares ;)

#23 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:24 PM

Another example.... Fragmare only uses 60Hz playback and NTSC POKEY is a little better in the notation pitch. This also means more manipulations possible on the envelope... than using PAL.

Some of his work I do some PAL adjustments for.



Not sure, if people get it, but it sounds more fluent due to volume adjustments...

Edited by emkay, Tue Feb 6, 2018 2:33 PM.


#24 emkay OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 3:05 PM

This one is 4 channel with 3 channels 100% correct in pitch, but too peaky, for my taste...



It's only in the volume.

Edited by emkay, Tue Feb 6, 2018 3:05 PM.


#25 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 3:29 PM

"Atari ST is rubbish" :D

 

as a heavy ST/STe/MegaSTe user post 8-bit days, I fully agree with him here regarding the YM2149 sound chip. Most of the chip music in games/demos on the ST always seemed an octave or two too high, and the sound effects shrill compared to the 8-bit POKEY. (and only 3 channels!) Until the STe with stereo PCM/DMA sound and MODs, that was a different story.


Edited by Nezgar, Tue Feb 6, 2018 3:29 PM.





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