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Found 48 results

  1. Hello. A quick introduction: I'm new to this forum, my name is Michael. Looking forward to meeting you. I started writing and recording music in 1991 where I've experimented with various genres, eventually getting into NES audio development in 2016. Last month, I started working with TIATracker. (Thank you Kylearan!) I've really been enjoying the experience, it's been a dream of mine to create music for the Atari 2600. Here are a few of the songs I've created: WarlockSum - TIA-01.bin WarlockSum - TIA-02.bin WarlockSum - TIA-04.bin TIA-03 isn't listed because now it's part of a full length album/cartridge I'm working on. I'm eager to gain more experience working with this machine, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you're in need of music or want to start conversations about working with TIATracker. OK, thank you, enjoy the rest of your day. - WarlockSum
  2. Peter Tork passed away last week at the all-too-young age of 77. I didn't used to think 77 was young. But the older I get, and the more people I know who live and live well in their 80's and even 90's, 77 seems too young. Peter played the bass player on the TV show The Monkees (returning soon to MeTV). Peter also played bass in the band The Monkees. And . And . And . And . Of the four members of the group, Tork was easily the most musically accomplished. But on the TV show, he played . Micky was the wacky one. Davy was the heart throb. Mike was the leader. They were all playing roles, but of the four, Peter's was the furthest from the truth. But as the dummy, he was funny. And it was a TV show. That's what you do on a TV show - you play a role. As I wrote when Davy passed away almost seven years ago, the lines between roles and reality got blurred with the Monkees. It really wasn't until the show had been off the air for years, and books were written, and interviews given, and time and perspective were gained, that a picture of who these guys really were started to emerge. It seemed that in the wake of Davy's passing, the surviving members had finally all come to terms with their time as Monkees. Nesmith had eschewed it for years, but started doing some reunion tours with Micky and Peter, and the three of them even put out an excellent album during the group's 50th anniversary. Sometimes they'd tour as a trio, or just Micky and Peter, but almost always Peter was there. After the 2016 anniversary tour though, Peter stopped touring with the Monkees to spend more time working with his own band - Shoe Suede Blues. But then as Micky and Michael set out in 2018 for their first-ever tour as a duo, rumors started swirling about Peter's health. He'd had cancer in 2009 - which took a toll on his voice - but he kept on keeping on. He fought the good fight for a decade, but then last Thursday, he lost the battle. In the days since his passing, I've been re-listening to his music. He didn't sing lead on very many Monkees songs. In fact, someone familiar with only their TV show would be hard-pressed to find more than a few. He did the novelty-like (which was actually intended to be in the style of the Rolling Stone's ), and sang co-lead on and . And... that was about it. But if you dig deeper, he sang backing vocals on many of the tracks, and played instruments a lot on their songs (once they had wrested control away from Don Kirshner). The piano opening to ? That's Peter. That's him on piano again on . And on banjo on - the first track on the first album they did as an actual band. Those, and many other songs wouldn't be the same without him there. And something anyone would've heard watching the show in reruns is the second season's closing theme song: . Even though it was sung by Micky, Peter wrote it and that's him playing the iconic guitar intro. Largely absent from their fifth album - The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees - Peter made his biggest impact on their next (and shortest) album, the soundtrack from their movie Head. There were six songs in the film: Carol King co-wrote two of them, Harry Nilsson wrote one of them, Nesmith wrote one, and Peter wrote two of them: and (sung by Micky). In addition to writing a third of the songs for their film amidst some pretty impressive company, he absolutely killed it on their live performance of . And yes - that really was them playing live. By that point, they were a band. And then, Peter left. All he'd wanted to do, from the outset, was be in a band. The times they were in the studio as a band were his happiest moments. But that was all-too-brief, as the others' interests diverged, and everyone musically started going their own ways. And so in December 1968, Peter became the first ex-Monkee. Considering he was the first to leave, Peter sadly had the littlest output as a solo artist. While he released a couple of singles after the Monkees, it wasn't until 1994 that he released his first proper solo album: Stranger Things Have Happened. Why? Well... probably for the same reason he didn't sing lead much in the Monkees. He didn't have what you'd call a commercial voice. It was a bit thin. His pitch wavered. Even on that first solo album, it seems strained at times. Which is too bad... because he loved music. You can hear it in the lyrics of the songs he wrote. You could see it when he played on stage. When he talked in interviews about it. But there were times... when the stars aligned... where you could hear it. Known more for his folk music leanings at the time, he came out of seemingly nowhere with the hard rocking (On the Deluxe Edition of the Head soundtrack there's also a rare earlier version where his voice has an even harder edge to it.) At the other end of the spectrum in the aforementioned , after Davy sings the first verse, Peter takes over and his voice captures the song perfectly - emotional, melancholy, somber. Haunting. There are other examples, but if I were to pick one album to hear Peter at his absolute best, it would actually be a duet that he did with James Lee Stanley: Two Man Band. It's just the two of them, alternating singing lead, and playing acoustic guitars. Their voices blend effortlessly. Peter seems perfectly comfortable in this setting, and his performance reflects that. This is how Peter could sing, given the right songs, the right arrangements, and the right collaborator. One of the highlights is a song Peter wrote about a car he once owned: . There's sincerity and wistfulness in the lyrics, and an ease and joy in the way he sings it, as if he's just sitting down and telling the story to a friend. The album is capped with an acoustic version of . One of the best pop songs ever written. One of the best performances of it ever recorded. Peter wasn't the dummy of the group. Not by a long shot. Peter was the of the group. And now, sadly, the world has one fewer of them. Edit: I'd forgotten about these videos Peter recorded for Paste Magazine in 2011. So I've added them here. I would've loved to have heard an entire album of these. Edit (4/27/19): Paste magazine has posted the entire performance, featuring more songs and an interview:
  3. I made a thread about this in the Atari 7800 forum, but I'm not sure how much overlap there is with that in this forum. So I thought I would make a thread that I'll keep updating with stuff I write on both forums. https://www.dropbox.com/s/e0kt2uihubvd3h9/dbASF.mp3?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/2xqr51wq3f8rivs/dbAS.bin?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/6z4bhlll8b8s1xw/float.mp3?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/7kec2h0q85fquwe/bigrace.mp3?dl=0
  4. So Rockstar recently releases a patch to remove a whole bunch of songs from GTAIV (great patch guys!) because the "liscences" had expired. That's funny, I thought it used to be if a song was in a game it was in a game....? https://www.polygon.com/2018/4/27/17292836/gta-4-soundtrack-removed-song-list-patch At any rate, i haven't fired up this game since the update and was wondering if I could simply turn off my Wifi when playing this game to avoid having the songs removed. This is one in a long list of reasons modern gaming annoys me. But the previous update was quite stable and the game is pretty complete at this point, so I see no need to do anymore updates to remove content. Has anyone thought about this attempted this yet?
  5. I made this .rmt file which is a WIP. It uses a filter for that weird instrument at the beginning. Does it sound better than the other conversion? sanxion.zip
  6. Hello everyone. Thought I would share this: I've always thought that the opening music the Alternate Reality on the Atari 8-bit computer was one of the best pieces of music ever created during that era. I recently took it upon myself to go listen to it again, and while it still was amazing, it did not have the same impact on me that it once did back in the late 80's. It just didn't sound as EPIC. So I looked and looked all around the internet to see if anyone had made a version of the song that was worthy of the original, and unfortunately I couldn't find anything that satisfied. I then decided to re-create the song to be as close as possible to the original using modern technology while at the same time enhancing it to what it sounded like to me (or how I actually perceived it) when I first heard it in my younger years. I think I got pretty close to the actual sound of an Atari computer - of course, this "Atari" has stereo fields, so... umm.. yeah.... Anyway, the intro is kind of long, so I am only presenting the last half of it. If you want me to provide the whole intro with the spaceship I can do that later no prob. If you have a good sound system / headphones you will be able to hear everything - your phone speaker wont really be able to do express the full range. If you have any questions you can reply here, but it will be faster if you tweet me at @jacehall Hope you enjoy it. It was very fun to make. Video is here:
  7. This my homage to the WB character Michigan J. Frog and the song "Hello Ma Baby!" Speech is used, but not required (there will be no frog croaking sound effect but it should not effect the rest of the program. [Effect borrowed from the game "homeward bound"]) Only the part of the song used in the cartoon is played, and lyrics are displayed in time with the music. Does not sound so good in classic99, but sounds decent in MAME, sounds great on real console. Please forgive the poor graphics quality on the opening screen.
  8. I wanted to start an open discussion on music programming with the Atari 800XL home computer. This topic is for sharing Atari basic source code for music and sound effects as well as learning how to program chiptunes on your Atari at home. I hope here we can learn and experience more about programming in basic and help others write their own music projects with this classic system. Rock on! \m/
  9. Hi all, I'm looking to get a copy of Bruce Harrison's music assembly source code. He said in an Art of Assembly article that the full source for his Nutcracker suite was available for purchase, did anyone get that and can share it here? The WHT Tech disk is NOT the source, it's only the binaries. Thanks!
  10. I'd like to pay homage to Red Dwarf and use the intro music (not the whole song, just a few seconds) for my game Space Fortress Omega. About 12 or 24 seconds of this: Here is a link to it being played by an orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quTktctks30 Here is a link to some sheet music: https://musescore.com/user/154204/scores/2474021 I have not got RAM for a player (e.g. RMT) so I'm after the note values, durations and any audio settings, but even the notes would be a good start Thanks
  11. From the album: 2600

  12. Good morning all. I took a break from my other Intellivision development projects and tinkered with the IntyBASIC music program. I changed the music to a couple tunes from NES games. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Enjoy. music.bas
  13. My brother just dug up this MIDI file that he made back in the 90s of the "Alternate Reality: The City" intro tune. Perhaps one of you RMT musicians can import it into RMT and do something really cool with it. http://www.rasterline.com/Alternate_Reality.mid My brother's name is Chris Jones, if you need to mention credit for the midi conversion. Have fun!
  14. No... I am not going to start off this blog post with "Hey, hey - it's The Monkees' 50th anniversary". Even though it is anyway. Fortunately, I'm not quite old enough to remember when they were originally on TV. But I am old enough to have started watching them in the mid-70's. Anyway, you can read all about that whole thing here. Go ahead... I'll wait. Caught up? Okay. So Rhino Records, the owner of the Monkees' properties since 1994, has a bunch of stuff planned this year for their anniversary. The one I was most looking forward to is the Blu-ray release of their TV series ( from the original films, and packed with bonus content, including their feature film, outtakes, and various TV appearances). I say "was", because I figured that would likely be the highlight of the year. I had no plans to go to any concerts, or plans to buy any T-shirts or such things, and there were only vague hints of other projects. Maybe a DVD release of their videos/TV specials from their reunions in the 80's and 90's. That sort of thing. Oh, and a new album. Hmmm... well. Wasn't sure what to make of that. When it was first announced several months ago, I figured only Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork would be involved, since they were the only two still actively touring (Davy Jones having passed away in 2012, and Michael Nesmith having gone back to doing other things, as he typically does). Also, at first, I wasn't really keen on the artwork either. It seemed... amateurish. Sloppy. But I'll get back to that. News gradually started trickling out that there was going to be an outside producer and some new songs written by people from bands with names such a "Death Cab For Cutie", "Weezer" (who I'd actually heard of - believe it or not), "XTC", "Fountains of Wayne" and some guys named Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. Yeah, I know. I thought, "Why is the guy from Robocop writing songs?" too. Nope. That was Peter Weller. Turns out, the producer - Adam Schlesinger - is the guy who wrote the songs for the movie "That Thing You Do" where he pretty-much the vibe of early 60's pop. And he won some Grammys, Emmys, and was nominated for an Oscar, some Tonys and a Golden Globe. Well... can't win 'em all. Anyway, I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, since it seemed like Rhino was returning to the formula of the first two Monkees' albums, where studio musicians would lay down all the tracks, and the two remaining Monkees would just go in and throw some vocals over 'em. Boom. Done. It looked like they might have minimal involvement, at best. And I wasn't sure about "music" written by a bunch of Gen-X slackers, either. (No, I'm not an ageist. Okay... yes I am. Punks. Some of 'em are barely in their 40's!) How would it stack up to the massive catalog of Monkees' work? By the way, when I mean massive, I mean massive. They were part of a music making machine that featured the likes of Neil Diamond, Harry Nilsson, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jeff Barry, and countless others, and they had their pick of songs to record (in addition to those that they wrote themselves). Besides their original run of nine albums (roughly 105 tracks, depending on how you count), there was enough leftover material for three "Missing Links" albums of rarities (almost 60 previously unreleased tracks), plus more additional bonus tracks and alternate takes on various CD reissues than I can count. It numbers in the hundreds. The amount of music they cranked out in around five years is impressive. More impressive, is how good most of it is. Now, when they got back together and did their reunion albums, it was with mixed results. They did three tracks in '86 for a Greatest Hits compilation ("Then and Now... The Best of The Monkees"), which were essentially produced for them, with their vocals laid down after the fact. Same with their album in '87 - "Pool It!", although Tork played guitar on the one track that he wrote. And for what it was - 80's pop - it wasn't bad. There are even a few good songs on there, but mostly it sounds pretty dated now. Plus, Nesmith wasn't part of either project, so the group had lost effectively 1/3 of its lead vocals. (I've been a big fan of Nez's solo work for almost as long as I've been a fan of The Monkees - so the gap he leaves in the group is particularly significant when he's not there.) In '96 the four of them got together and did an album entirely themselves - no outside producers, writers or musicians - called "Justus". The idea was to return to the era of their third album "Headquarters", where they played more as a band, rather than as a product of Screen Gems (although they still used outside writers and a producer to help with it). The problem with "Justus" though, was it really needed an outside producer to guide it. While Nesmith (who did the majority of work producing it) had done over a dozen excellent solo albums, the Monkees seemed to be struggling with trying to be relevant in a musical world they weren't familiar with or comfortable in. The reviews weren't kind (one referred to is as "old man grunge" - which, sad to say, is pretty accurate), and sales were even less kind. Monkees fans, while thrilled that all four of them had reunited, weren't all that enamored with the results either. After the opening U.K. leg of a reunion tour and a mediocre TV special, Nesmith backed out of the group again, stung by the critical response to the album and tour. So in 2016, twenty years after that, and four years after Jones had passed away - what was left? I wondered what kind of a fresh mess awaited the Monkee-faithful? As the release got closer though... some more news was leaked out. Besides the new songs, Rhino had found some unfinished tracks from the 60's by those same original songwriters mentioned above. They'd be recording new vocals for them, and one would feature a vocal originally recorded by Jones as a tribute to him. Okay... so we'd have some old and some new. I wondered how those would all mix together. But then, Nesmith got involved. Not just singing, but playing guitar, and writing a new song as well. And not just singing background, but lead on several songs. And Tork wrote a new song. And Dolenz wrote a new song. And they were all playing - to some degree - on most of the tracks as well. So... not a return to the first two albums - "The Monkees" and "More of The Monkees". Not "Pool It!" either. Not "Headquarters" or "Justus". But rather - their fourth album - "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.". Widely regarded as their best album - because it was a mix of them as a band with professional session musicians, and an outside producer working with them. The best of both worlds. Now, things were sounding promising. But, how would the album sound? Well, Rhino pre-released two of the new songs - " " and " ". I gave them a quick listen (despite my no-spoiler policy) and thought they sounded pretty good. They had a definite 60's pop vibe to them, without sounding too dated. But would the whole album be like that? One of the things I like about The Monkees' catalog is the sheer diversity of music. Remember - this is a time when the entire music industry was being up-ended by the likes of The Beatles, Dylan, The Stones, The Who, The Beach Boys (more to the point - Brian Wilson), the British invasion, Monterey Pop, Jimi Hendrix (and yes... he actually did open for The Monkees on tour), and everything that went into and was influenced by the culture of the mid-60's. The Monkees', and the songwriters they were drawing material from, were just as influenced by what was going on as everyone else in the music world. So while bubblegum pop had been the order of the day when the TV show started, their later albums were far more diverse - dipping into psychedelia, country, folk, acid rock, and exploring whatever genre happened to be of interest at any given time. So I was hoping that, while these were certainly nice enough pop songs, the entire album wouldn't be so narrowly focused. Then they released the third song - " ". It wasn't a pop ditty. It was an introspective, simple, melancholy track beautifully sung by Nesmith and Dolenz. It reminded me of some of the deep album cuts from the Monkees' later albums. A song they made because it was good and interesting. Not because it was commercial pop. It looked like they were on the right track with the album, finding the right balance. Someone, it seemed, understood The Monkees. Suddenly, I was looking forward to the album. So much so, that even though I pre-ordered the CD and it was due to arrive last Friday, I bought it on iTunes when it was released, because the mailroom at work was going to be closed Friday through Monday (Memorial Day weekend), meaning I would have to wait until Tuesday to listen to it. That just wouldn't do. So now, I own two copies. I'll get back to owning multiple copies of the album in a minute. So I listened to the album Friday. Then I listened to it again. And again. And each time, I found something else new that I liked about it. Dolenz's duet with the late Nilsson on a demo he'd recorded for them in '68 (the two were good friends). The new songs blended well with the old. Dolenz's voice was in excellent form - at times even sounding better than it had on either "Justus" or "Pool It!". The unique and almost magical blend between his and Nesmith's voice was there again. Nesmith's singing throughout are the best vocal performances he's turned in probably since his 1992 solo album "...Tropical Campfires...". Tork, who rarely sang lead back-in-the-day, turns in two great lead performances himself, especially a Goffin/King number dug up from the vaults (this despite a battle with cancer in 2009 that affected his voice). The lyrics, the humor, the harmonies, arrangements, song selection, and sequencing... all excellent. Seriously. (Okay - there are a couple of tracks that I would deem less-than-outstanding, but there's nothing skip-worthy here.) The variety is there, too. Somehow, amazingly, Schlesinger was able to pull all of these different songs together, from different times, different sources, different writers, and make a cohesive whole from them. Sure - the happy TV-pop music is certainly there. But there are quiet songs, rockers, psychedelia, Beatles-esque influences, and to be honest - at times I have to look at the track listings at times to figure out which songs were written in the 60's, and which are modern. Maybe what makes The Monkees what they are, is that they don't have "a" sound. They have several. Their voices are the constant, while the music changes around them. But it all fits together. This is the reunion album Monkees' fans have been waiting for. It's The Monkees brought into the present. Modern, but not trying to be something they're not. Classic, but not dated. It's... just right. Funny thing about that. People are apparently noticing. It's been the #1 CD on Amazon all weekend: It's also the #5 album on the pop charts on iTunes: Even more surprising, is that they're getting good reviews to go along with the sales. Besides holding an 89% five-star rating on Amazon, and a 95% five-star rating on iTunes, they're even getting good press from the likes of The New York Times and Rolling Stone. Wait... Rolling Stone?! Did hell freeze over, and I missed it? I'm pretty sure that would've been on the news. Even Nez is flabbergasted. No longer a punching bag for hipper-than-thou music critics, liking The Monkees is somehow acceptable now. I guess given enough time, even nostalgia becomes respectable. But in this case - it's nostalgia done right. Which takes me back to the artwork. While listening to the album, and seeing similar promotional artwork for it - I get it now. It's not supposed to be perfect, or tidy. It's a memory. A sketch out of time. And it fits the music perfectly. In the end - the real testament of the album is that I keep listening to it. I have yet to tire of it. It's great pop music, but it has depth. It's fun, but it has maturity. It doesn't feel like guys in their 70's trying to be guys in their 20's. It's three guys having, quite appropriately, Good Times! It has everything it should. The only thing truly missing from it, sadly, is that Davy Jones didn't live to be part of it. But he's still there. Never forgotten, and the album is dedicated to his memory. The only lingering question now is... will they do another? Part of me hopes yes, because this was so good. So welcomed. On the other hand - it would be a great one to go out on. Nothing wrong with ending on a high note. Good Times! gets a 9/10. Now then... the only reason it doesn't get a 10/10, is because of something that I hate about the music industry: exclusive bonus tracks. You see, the CD I ordered from Amazon has 13 tracks. The iTunes Deluxe version has two bonus tracks. F.Y.E. has an exclusive CD with a different bonus track. There's also a fourth bonus track that you can only get on vinyl from Barnes & Noble or on a Japanese import CD. I've already bought two versions... to get the rest of the music, I have to buy two more. I hate the music industry. But thanks for the album! Or rather, albums.
  15. This is part movie review, and part music review. Because it's a review of a movie about music. A few years ago, I'd heard there was a documentary in the works about The Wrecking Crew. I waited years for it to get released, as it was hung up in trying to get the rights for all of the music it contained. But finally, a successful Kickstarter campaign pushed it over the top, and last year it finally got released. This may not mean much to most people, since they don't know what The Wrecking Crew was. Well, that's largely the point of the documentary - to tell this amazing story. I knew of The Wrecking Crew because, as a fan of The Monkees, they were a prominent part of the history of the Monkees, and a critical part of their success. So... who were they? Simply put, they were the studio musicians that largely defined the sound of pop music of the 60's and early 70's. And by largely, I mean hugely. The Monkees were "outed" in a sense, for not having played the instruments on their first two albums. Well of course they didn't - those albums were essentially soundtracks for a TV show about a band. They weren't intended to be anything other than products. And when you're creating a product for mass consumption, you manufacture it. And the way pop records were manufactured in the 60's, was often by bringing in professional studio musicians to lay down the instrumental backing tracks. Thinking back a little bit - of course that makes sense. Especially for vocal groups. Someone had to lay down tracks for Sonny and Cher, or The Mamas and The Papas, or the Everly Brothers, right? There you go. But it went beyond that. It's pretty well known by now that Brian Wilson used studio musicians on a number of Beach Boys albums - notably Pet Sounds. Other groups did too. Why? Because time is money, and some of the bands of that era, while capable musically, weren't full-on professionals, hopping from recording gig to gig 12-16 hours a day, day after day. The Wrecking Crew could knock out backing tracks in a fraction of the time that a typical pop group could, and could do it to a much higher level. They didn't just play the music though. They helped create it. Often shaping it. Adding to it and improving it. Just how much came as a surprise to me the first time I watched The Wrecking Crew. I thought I knew a little about them... but I had no idea just how much they shaped the music of that era. I'd get chills as a musician would play a melody, riff or bass line from some classic song that they'd originally recorded back-in-the-day. Highlighted and brought to the surface, I began to see just how much they contributed to the music, and all without most people ever knowing it. One of the surprising things about that anonymity - is that they're all pretty okay with it. They got paid (and paid well) for their work. Each project was a job. They did it, and moved on to the next. In some cases, playing on number one hits, songs of the year, and doing so occasionally without even knowing who was going to come in later and lay down vocals over it, only later hearing their finished work on the radio when it was selling millions of records. It's all incredibly fascinating stuff. An amazing glimpse into the world of making records. The documentary was written and directed by Denny Tedesco - the son of the late, legendary guitarist Tommy Tedesco. Who? You've heard him play. You may not know it, but you've heard him. Ever hear MacArthur Park? Or Be My Baby? Good Vibrations? Viva Las Vegas? He played for The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, Harry Nilsson, Elvis, Frank (and Nancy) Sinatra, Cher, The Mamas and The Papas, The Monkees, The Partridge Family... Oh, speaking of TV... ever watch M*A*S*H? Bonanza? Green Acres? The Twilight Zone? Remember the theme songs? Yeah, that guy. And he's played on countless other TV and movie soundtracks. Some speculate he may be the most recorded guitar player ever. Just on M*A*S*H reruns alone, he's probably had his work played more often than anyone. And he's just one of the amazing musicians profiled in this documentary. Sadly, many of them have passed away as this documentary was originally started back in 1995. But even though they didn't live long enough to see the completion of the documentary, we're still fortunate enough to get to hear them tell their incredible stories. I rented the documentary when it was first available on iTunes a year ago. Then I watched it again when it aired on AXS. And I watched it again the other night on Netflix. I think at this point, I might as well buy the Blu-ray. Since I know I'm going to watch it again. Plus I want to watch the bonus footage now, too. The Wrecking Crew gets my absolute highest recommendation. I even watched it once with my folks - and they loved it too, even though they weren't into 60's or 70's pop music. But they do love music, so they were completely fascinated by it. If you love music, you need to watch this film. It's on Netflix, or available to rent on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Or buy it on DVD or Blu-ray. And check out Rob Nichols' Wrecking Crew playlist on Spotify sometime. The Wrecking Crew gets a 10/10. Check it out.
  16. Hi! I have an Atari 800XL. First time user. I am having an issue. POKEY sounds are VERY distorted. They seem to be playing just fine, but certain sounds are badly distorted. I hear that the stereo POKEY mod helps the sound, but I want to keep this machine mono, as it would be worthless upgrading a US machine to Stereo. I soldered the RCA jack to from audio to audio out and ground to ground on the DIN monitor pins. using the internal amp keeps the issues, even connecting DIRECTLY to the POKEY gives distortion. Using a 0.75uF bipolar cap doesn't help at all. low or high volume on speakers, still distortion. adding various resistors, still distortion, but the audio is quieter. I've enclosed a recording of Szczur, by Grzegorz Kwiatek, as this song is the best example for what I am expiriencing. Thanks. (Please not that I am a beginner with the Atari 8-bit line) Atari Distortion.mp3
  17. Is there a repository of songs or beats for Paul Slocum's Sequencer Kit 2.0 available somewhere? I know quite a lot of demos and games are using Paul's song player, so it would be probably a good idea to exchange ideas and sounds.
  18. Hi everyone! My name is Yoda Zhang, formerly known as Kemal Ezcan, owner of KE-SOFT, maker of the German ZONG magazine for Atari 8-Bit computers, and author of lots of games (Zador, Techno Ninja, Drag, Sogon, Antquest, Donald, Brundles etc.) and music for lots of games including Atari's Karriere, Hotel, Atlantis and others. I'm writing this post to let everyone know that I'm still alive and still active in retro-style computing. I personally don't own an Atari 8-Bit computer anymore, but use the emulator quite often to play, review and research games and other stuff. Here's the projects I'm currently working on: yodasvideoarcade.com I'm developing new retro-style games as browser-playables. There's already more than 10 games online, some of which are remakes of my Atari games, like The Pit, Bomber Jack, Sogon etc. All the games are 8-Bit style. Play for free. For this project, I'm looking for some graphics artists and also level designers. I have a lot of new game-concepts under development. yodagames.de I'm also developing board games, including retro 8-bit pixel style board games like Goldrush. Anyone who like board games may have a look. yodaprint.de This is my printing-company, basically my main job. What's special about this? I can make game-boxes with full-color print, like the one I made for Goldrush. This means anyone who wants customized game-boxes for homebrew games, can have these made by me. Very high quality, like the ones we are used to see for board games. I think this should be interesting for 2600 developers. I can of course also print the instruction-booklet, put an inlay in the box, shrinkwrap it etc. kemalsatariarchiv.gmxhome.de This is my Atari 8-Bit archive. You'll find descriptions and some screenshots of every single game / product I've ever made for the Atari 8-Bit. Also there's descriptions of the German ZONG magazines. Another project, without a website yet, is a new Retro Gaming magazine - yes, a printed magazine. My focus here is on real 8-Bit systems, that means Atari 2600, Atari 8-Bit, plus (sorry) C-64, VIC-20 and also the gaming consoles like Vectrex, Intellivision etc. but only 8-Bit, so no Mega Drive, Playstation etc. Anyone interested in helping with this and/or getting a copy of the printed magazine when finished, please PM me for details. Feel free to ask me any type of question, about my Atari games/music or new games. I'm here to answer. Cheers, Yoda Zhang
  19. Building on the "Flicker 5 colors from 3" topic: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/229091-flicker-5-colors-from-3/?p=3059920 I decided to do the gameplay music in TIA (stereo) to see how bad it sounds. (That, and I'm obsessed with all things Mappy. ) Turns out I think is very good, especially for the out-of-tune TIA sound. Only a few slightly-off notes and a few dropped notes in the entire piece. (By slightly-off I mean obvious sour notes, because almost all 2600 notes are out-of-tune to start.) The music is about 1 minute 20 seconds. Originally it took all of 4K, but through optimization I got the data down to 1,496 bytes! This whole demo could be done in 4K, but I compiled it with DPC+ bank-switching, just because that it what I usually work in, and if I ever make this into a flickery-mess of a game, I'll probably use DPC+. The 2nd channel can be used for game sound because even off the tune still holds up. I decided to try fading the notes with reducing the volume, and by "happy accident" got the ragtime tremolo (shaking volume)!! You can look at the source code, but I optimize it this way: Take out all the volume data and duration data. Those values can be fixed (or with volume, changed in program loops). That cuts the data in half. Since the Control is mostly 12 (pure lower), I have both channels set to 12. When it needs changing to a 4 (or the few 1's), I do an if/then check. Since the Frequency can also be a value of 4, I replaced all the Channel 4's in the data with 42. That saves 200+ bytes. When it needs to be 0 (silent) I check for that also, just set the Control to 0 (silences everything better than setting volume to 0) and skip setting a frequency. Then there are all those f'n zeros!!! More than 900 of them! More than half of the remaining data was 0's. It is like you are always telling the sound channels to shut up over and over. The final thing I thought up is a kind of pause check. If both channels are silent, twice, I replaced the 0,0,0,0 with 67 and set the Control to 0, the volume up (to reduce popping noise), and double the duration, and skip everything else. (I guess you could reduce the data even more with finding the segments that repeat and have that data only once. It sounds like the first part repeats three times in the piece.) Mappy_TIA_MusicTitleDemo_Stereo2015.bas.bin Mappy_TIA_MusicTitleDemo_Stereo2015.bas
  20. I finally got around to hooking my ST up to this old CASIO digital piano. The mount was made of scrap parts (brackets were from a rack mount network switch at the back, steel rod from a laser printer at the front), and slots in place of the music stand. It passed the cat stability tests too. MIDI cables are the high grade audiophile ones with ferrite beads (also known as ones that I soldered up from scrap DVI cables and cut down 8 pin DIN plugs).
  21. "Weird Al's" latest album - Mandatory Fun - may ironically be his last. With this album, Al reaches the end of his 14 album record contract (not including his collaboration with Wendy Carlos for Peter and the Wolf/Carnival of the Animals pt. 2, which was on a different label). The reason it may be his last, is that while he could certainly seek out a new contract, he's stated that he'd be able to be more timely by releasing singles digitally, rather than waiting the two or three years it takes to come up with an album's worth of material. In a way, he'd be returning to his pre-album years of sending tapes into the Dr. Demento Show whenever he came up with a new parody. The reason that it's ironic is that this is his first ever Billboard number one album. In fact, it's the first number one comedy album in over 50 years, and the first one ever to debut at number one. I'm wondering if he's rethinking the whole "last album" thing right about now, as I'm sure there are more than a couple of record labels out there courting him. On the other hand, his status as a number one artist is in no doubt due at least in part to the appalling state that the music industry is finding itself in. Sales are way down, and it doesn't take nearly as many units to chart high as it used to (it would be interesting to see how this album would have charted 10 or 20 years ago with the same numbers). Still, it's an impressive feat for a comedy artist, especially one in his fourth decade of recording, to not only still resonate with his longtime fans, but manage to be relevant with the masses enough to reach number one, regardless of the state of the recording industry. "Weird Al" must be doing something right after all these years. As a fan of Al's before he ever released an album, I'm a bit sad to see the albums go away, but if it means getting songs more often like in the Dr. Demento days, then maybe it's not such a bad thing (he's gone up to five years without an album). Before his previous album - Alpocalypse - Al released fully half of the album online early, effectively spoiling most of the album for those who watched the videos or downloaded the songs. Even though it was a solid album, it didn't feel "new" as a consequence. This time, Al kept the album tightly under wraps (save for a few clues picked up by die-hard fans), which, for me, helped build up interest for it. However, when Mandatory Fun was released, I was on vacation, far away from any CD store or internet access. Fortunately, that morning I happened to have breakfast at a restaurant that had Wi-Fi, and I was able to purchase the album from iTunes and download it while eating. While I prefer buying a CD whenever possible (which I later did anyway), getting it from iTunes had the decided advantage of immediate gratification, with the side benefit of getting my first listen of the album at the beach, free from all distractions. So, with the preliminaries out of the way, how's the album? Well, on the first listen or two, I thought it was a bit hit-and-miss. The further I get away from listening to current music, the less tolerant I am of the throw-away pop garbage that pollutes the airwaves now. So when it comes down to some of the annoying tropes that permeate such songs (mindlessly repetitive beats, idiotic rapping, intentional bass distortion, pointless sampling), "Weird Al" has his work cut out for him to write lyrics compelling enough to overcome the lack of talent that spawned the originals. However, Al did something pretty brilliant this time out. He released one new video per day, for eight days. This kept people coming back each day to see what was new (and I'm sure it contributed to the sales). But for me - it did something else: it made some of the songs better. Al is as much a video artist as an album artist, and some of the videos really pushed the album to the next level. Some… not so much. Al had most of the album complete months ago except for the opening track on the album - Handy. He was waiting until a likely summertime hit came along to record the most current parody he could, and have the original still be on the charts when his album debuted. Handy, unfortunately is based on one of those aforementioned throw-away pop songs recorded by a completely disposable, instantly forgettable way-too-old-to-still-be-teen flavor-of-the-minute gone-tomorrow future has-been (Fancy, by Iggy Izalea and Charlie XCX - which incidentally, is not the correct way to use roman numerals). Now, Al has often worked magic by making songs I didn't really care for listenable, but his lyrics fall short of saving this song. Written about someone who is a handyman, the song recycles a lot of ideas from a concert-only song he did about the TV show Home Improvement, but without the timeliness of being associated with a current hit show. It's not that the lyrics aren't good, it's just that they're not particularly funny. The song needed some twist to it, where the song degenerates into progressively stranger things that need repairing, rather than the commonplace. The video is pretty straight-ahead as well, with only a few visual gags plussing it. One thing that would've helped: celebrity home improvement hosts (from This Old House, or HGTV) in cameo roles. It seems like both the track and video were very last-minute additions. But I guess Al has to try and be timely, and with that comes the consequences of having to parody garbage at times. Lame Claim to Fame (an original in the style of Southern Culture on the Skids) is a track that has grown on me since first hearing it, because musically it really rocks. The lyrics are pretty good too, since everyone either has a story about some loose connection to fame, or knows someone else who does (I have several, including meeting William Shatner at an auto show, meeting Mark Hamill when he guest-lectured at work, and scanning some photos for Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz in the early days of "Weird Al's" website). Al's band really cuts loose on this track and once again shows why he's stayed with them since the very beginning of his career - they're one of he the best bands out there - adapting effortlessly to seemingly any musical style. The video I'm less enamored with. It's cut-paper stop-motion animation in the style of a scrapbook, which is fine, but the lighting is generally terrible, so it has an needlessly amateurish look to it. It's fine to mimic the look of something done by an amateur, but that doesn't mean you can't make it look good, too. Foil is what I'd consider a filler track. Based on another song that (inexplicably to me) became a hit (Royals, by Lorde), Foil is a one-trick pony. It seems like Al came up with the wacky, second verse first, then had to come up with the mundane first verse to set up the joke. The video helps make the song more interesting, since it gives you some visuals to keep you distracted from how boring the song is otherwise. I'm not sure if Al could have done much more with this though, since I don't think there's much to the original song either. I wonder if Al sometimes feels constrained by the songs he's chosen to parody? (And yes - after listening to Mandatory Fun a couple of times, I sought out the original songs for a point of comparison.) Sports Song was the first one off the album I went back to re-listen to. Anyone who ever had to play in marching band will appreciate this one. Al creates a pastiche of nearly every high school or college fight-song you've ever heard. He not only nails it musically, but takes great delight in skewering the typical self-aggrandizement in most of those songs' lyrics. I can see this one being played in high school pep rallies across the country. (If he hasn't already, he should publish this as a marching band chart.) The video for it works pretty well, except for one part where the crowd holds up cardboard squares to spell out a couple of words from the song. The way they chose to do it - as just black and white squares - makes them almost impossible to read. The edges just blur into the crowds. Painting giant letters on the squares would have worked much better. Still though, fun song, decent video. Playing the song would almost make me want to play in a marching band again. Almost. Word Crimes is one of the best tracks on the album. A parody of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, the original song has the benefit of a genuinely catchy hook, but what really elevates it is Al turning it into a brilliant rant against the countless "crimes" of bad grammar and spelling. The satirical "anger" in the song adds a great edge to it that is present in many of Al's better songs. The video uses animated words to great effect (much better than "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me" off of Alpocalypse), mimicking logos and graphic design from many sources, adding an additional level of visual parody to it. Great stuff! One of my favorite tracks, My Own Eyes is probably the song that best represents Al's classic lyricism. It's just weird imagery for the sake of it, in this case wrapped up in a spot-on Foo Fighters style parody that again showcases the band's ability to rock out with the best of them. This will be a great song to see live when Al goes out on tour next year. No video for this one, but I'd love to see Al and the band do a Foo Fighters style video for it. NOW That's What I Call Polka! is the obligatory polka medley for the album, and it's a good one, although again, since I have pretty-much zero familiarity with the originals, a lot of the humor is probably lost on me. But that's less the point than the juxtaposition of out-of-context pop lyrics and polka music. Al's mentioned that these may go away in the future when he moves to be a singles-only artist, but I hope he still manages to find a way to keep doing them, since these are as much a part of his history as anything else he's done, and they define, in no small way, who he is as a musician and satirist. Again, no video for this one. Mission Statement really fell flat for me on the first listen. It's an original style parody of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and he absolutely nails that, but the lyrics just seemed like corporate buzzword gibberish. However, after watching the video for it, suddenly the lyrics began to really gel and I picked up what the song was saying (which could be frightening, if it carried over to the real world…). It's a really well crafted song if you pay attention to it, and the brilliant whiteboard animated video for it couldn't be more perfect. It not only fits in with the theme of the song (it was created by a company that makes these videos for corporations professionally), but beautifully and humorously illustrates it as well. This went from being from one of my least favorite tracks to one of my most favorite ones. Inactive, on the other hand, is another filler track. A parody of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, there's just really nothing new here. It's about a guy who's really fat, which is ground that Al has covered time and again (tracks like I Love Rocky Road, Addicted to Spuds, Lasagna, Fat, Grapefruit Diet, and way too many more to list). More to the point, is that the lyrics here are repetitive and uninspired, and frankly, not all that funny. There's no point or story to the song, other than some guy talking about how fat he is. There's no twist to it, or anything to lift it beyond its plodding, repetitive music. There's no video for this song (which is fine), although oddly enough, the for the original song is actually really, really funny. It's basically Muppet pit-fighting to the death. The song is grim, and the video serves as a brilliant, darkly funny counterpoint to it. Maybe a similar video would have helped Al's version. First World Problems is my absolute favorite track on the album, and one of Al's best songs period. A style parody in the vein of The Pixies, it's brilliantly satirical, skewering spoiled, whiney members of the Entitlement Generation. The lyrics are some of Al's best work ever, and it's a musically complex and incredibly re-listenable track. The video for it is also first-rate, with Al playing the part of the aforementioned spoiled jerk to perfection. Tacky is Al's parody of the Pharrell Williams hit Happy - a song so ubiquitous that even I'd heard it before Al's version came out. It's already a good parody (helped immeasurably by the original's catchy hook), but was helped out even more by the video which overflowed with Al's goofiness, as well as that of several guest celebrities, most notably Jack Black whose over-the-top enthusiasm is impossible not to picture when you listen to the song. Jackson Park Express is an epic 9-minute song loosely in the style of Cat Stevens. As with some of Al's other epic-length songs, he takes you on a journey that's both mundane and absurd, as a bus passenger imagines an entire (and increasingly bizarre) relationship with another passenger. It also has one of the funniest single lines on the entire album. While perhaps not as funny overall as some of his other long songs (The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, Albuquerque, Trapped in the Drive-Thru), it still does a great job of taking you on a journey and conjuring up Al's signature visual imagery. In the end, this may not be Al's best album (the filler tracks aren't quite skip-worthy, but they're close), but it's among his best, and it's hard to argue with a number one album. It's well-worth getting for what are some of his strongest-ever tracks, notably First World Problems, My Own Eyes and Word Crimes, and most of the rest are still musically rock-solid and often very funny, showing that even after 30+ years, "Weird Al" Yankovic is going strong. Mandatory Fun, gets a mandatory 8.5/10.
  22. Hey guys! I have a few questions involving Visual batariBasic. 1) How would I make gravity on player0 (the player/sprite1) and only on him? 2)In my game, the player has to avoid the playfield and land safely on player1 (landing pad/sprite2). How would I make it so when you land on it, you win? 3) The music making software doesn't work. How would I fix it? Thanks! RHillFake
  23. we will soon have a simple solution for Colecovision music/sfx Check this out!!! For infos will be posted by the author very soon Meanwhile, enjoy!! Songs are started with the joystick or fire button, sound effects with the number keys. There is a feedback line at the top to demonstrate you can keep track of the music, too. High priority sound effects will interrupt low priority sound effects, but not the other way around (they are pretty short, so it’s hard to hear this ). They also properly restore the playing music when they end. playerdemo.zip
  24. I found this tune, Sonic Chaos by Chris Kelly, on http://www.smspower.org/Music/Homebrew I converted it from VGM to EPSGMOD format, adjusted the bass notes (periodic noise) for the TMS9919, and set it up to play with Tursi's player. The result is on the attached disk (E/A#3: SONICCHAOS or E/A#5:SONICC). sonicchaos.zip It's pretty amazing what you can do with our little PSG... @Tursi, any update on your VGM player?
  25. I used to have a music file for the TI that sounded almost EXACTLY like this .MOD file. I no longer have the TI file, but I was wondering, is there anyway to convert this 99.2K .MOD file into something the TI could use? https://www.wetransfer.com/downloads/246706f6295a173728860ffba0cd2f2020131017183400/311fe41d29628c0521d2f7c51e35884520131017183400/69ceca I'd love to get this ported over!
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