Jump to content
  • entries
    106
  • comments
    796
  • views
    139,544

2600 Music Helps

Sign in to follow this  
Guest

1,096 views

BASED ON SOME COMMENTS I have received, especially in response to Reindeer Rescue, I thought I'd attach some of the stuff I use to help with 2600 tunes.

 

First off, gotta give big props to my brother. He created these worksheets and has helped with almost all of the 2600 music I've done. Except for Reindeer Rescue, curiously. ;)

 

Tommy made this worksheet for me; based on P Slocum's music guide and E Stolberg's music chart. I find this much easier to use, plus it really shows what you have to work with:

blog-6060-1137624933_thumb.jpg

 

Second, here is an example of what Tommy creates for me; that I then translate into code:

blog-6060-1137625026_thumb.jpg

--hope you don't mind me sharing these with the world, T. :)

 

The music driver I have written allows for note length between 32nd notes and half notes, and all 32nd-note steps in between. Each note has a volume (0-15), can be articulated (or not), and can be any frequency of any of 4 (predefined, hard coded) distortions.

 

Also, a hi-hat plus two other percussion sounds can be laid over the top, though I just today cut the rhythm tracks out of the Metroid tunes since they are so rarely used and I ran out of ROM space.

 

The tonal data is laid out in byte pairs like this:

   .byte %LLLLVVVV, %ADDFFFFF

Where:

LLLL = note length, 00 = 32nd note, %1111 = half note

VVVV = note volume (0 - 15, written directly to AUDVx)

A = articulate note (1 = yes, 0 = no)

DD = distortion lookup number (0 - 3; generally, 0 = distortion 4 (square), 1 = distortion 12 (lead), 2 = distortion 6 (bass), and 3 = distortion 1 (saw))

FFFFF = frequency (0 - 31, written directly to AUDFx)

 

I terminate with $FF - seems unlikely that I'll ever want to play a half note at full volume :)

Sign in to follow this  


8 Comments


Recommended Comments

What would be very cool (if highly unlikely) is an app that would let you hook up a MIDI keyboard to your computer and allow you to play emulated 2600 sounds through it, record them, make adjustments to them (pitch, duration), and the export the results as 2600 code.

 

It'd be nice if the app were smart enough to only play two sounds at a time, and be able to playback a track (say a bass line) while recording a melody line at the same time.

 

And a drum machine, too.

 

Sort of like Apple's GarageBand, but with 2600 sounds, and the whole "output 2600 code" thing.

 

(Hey... I can dream.)

 

I wonder though... if it's possible to make a set of 2600 samples to use with GarageBand. :)

Share this comment


Link to comment
What would be very cool (if highly unlikely) is an app that would let you hook up a MIDI keyboard to your computer and allow you to play emulated 2600 sounds through it, record them, make adjustments to them (pitch, duration), and the export the results as 2600 code.

 

It'd be nice if the app were smart enough to only play two sounds at a time, and be able to playback a track (say a bass line) while recording a melody line at the same time.

 

That would be pretty dope, although from what I understand of the 2600's limitations, something like that would be a little dubious when it comes to playing in tune. Since the frequencies of each pitch all vary (i.e. very few of the notes are at perfect pitch), playing on a keyboard wouldn't necessarily be the best representation of what the 2600 could do. And you'd also need to be a pro at transposing. But yes, it would definitely be the bomb if it were possible.

 

--hope you don't mind me sharing these with the world, T.

Nope. In fact, if anybody really cares, I put them all on my webspace so I could look at them easier every time you told me they sound bad. :) Here they are: http://www.wou.edu/~tmontg1/MetroidMusic/JPEGs/

Share this comment


Link to comment
That would be pretty dope, although from what I understand of the 2600's limitations, something like that would be a little dubious when it comes to playing in tune.  Since the frequencies of each pitch all vary (i.e. very few of the notes are at perfect pitch), playing on a keyboard wouldn't necessarily be the best representation of what the 2600 could do.

 

Ah, but what if the software was limited only to reproducing what the 2600 was capable of (out-of-tune notes and all)? For notes that were missing entirely, it'd play nothing, or the 2600 note closest to the key you hit. Then you'd hear exactly what you'd be ending up with. If it played notes that the 2600 couldn't create, there wouldn't be much point to it. :)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Ah, but what if the software was limited only to reproducing what the 2600 was capable of (out-of-tune notes and all)? For notes that were missing entirely, it'd play nothing, or the 2600 note closest to the key you hit. Then you'd hear exactly what you'd be ending up with. If it played notes that the 2600 couldn't create, there wouldn't be much point to it. :)

 

Back in '94, I wrote a program for the 2600 that would accept note data through a joyport at 19,200 (IIRC) and play it. I worked out the data for my (yet unreleased) Wormy tune that way and it turned out pretty well.

Share this comment


Link to comment
What would be very cool (if highly unlikely) is an app that would let you hook up a MIDI keyboard to your computer and allow you to play emulated 2600 sounds through it...

 

Should be possible if you get some kind of MIDI composing app which would let you decouple the keyboard input from the playback.

 

Hmm.... really, what's required is a MIDI voice set of the 2600. So you tell your MIDI app to play using "2600 VCS". Each note, i.e. C4#, would have a sample of the equivalent TIA output, or silence if it isn't possible. Different "instruments" could include "notes" for drum-sounds, just like normal MIDI.

 

I bet there's even MIDI sample sets & software which uses them out there already. There may even be synths which would allow you to upload a complete sample set.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Okay, I've done up 194 WAV files of the sounds the TIA makes for AUDC=1 (saw), 4/5+12/13 (lead), 6/10+14 (bass), and 7/9+15 (pitfall). All at 32,400Hz (NTSC colorburst / 114) and around 1 second per file.

 

If anyone is interested let me know and I'll make a blog entry to post them.

 

For completeness I should try to track down the bit patterns for AUDC=2/3 and 8.

 

PS I used SoX to make WAV files out of the raw data I created using QBasic.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...