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tschak909

A Glitch Art Experiment: Transmat

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Hey everybody,

 

I decided, since I was between work contracts, and had a little time after putting the little one to bed, that I wanted to experiment with glitch art in the same vein as the Wallflower experiments made popular on the C64, Atari 8-bit, ZX Spectrum, and other machines, and am deciding to try my hand at it with the VCS. I love the glitch scene (Alva Noto, et al), and wanted to produce something worthy of being part of this subculture.

 

What is it?

 

The goal is to produce a simple art piece, with soundtrack, that evolves organically over time, using purely 6502 code, in essence, producing algorithmic art.

 

It will probably take me a considerable amount of effort to refine the piece, to where I see fit, but I will be posting my progress and code here for all.

 

The current version is attached to this thread.

 

So far, the current challenges revolve around timing and trying to produce stochastic but interesting effects on a system with very little video abstraction, one instruction change can drastically alter the video and sound output, and the RAM is part of the same page as the hardware, so trying not to make state matter so much, much less stomp all over it, is proving to be interesting. :)

 

Let me know what you think.

 

-Thom

transmat-130625.zip

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Another iteration of the code,

 

I am experimenting with periodic changes to the score, and am trying to find ways to balance glitchiness, with a predictable pattern.

 

As of now, the entire piece seems to stabilize a bit quickly into very predictable patterns, understandable, as I am doing half-LFSRs to shift patterns around, however if I change things too much, the happy accident of the rhythmical nature of the piece deteriorates, so I am having to make very small changes, and observe their results with the Stella debugger.

 

-Thom

Transmat.a26

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Wow. I'd play this game for its music all day long if my cooworkers would stop creeping up behind my chair with baseball bats!

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I like both versions.

Electron microscope spinning vinyl record visuals plus chip tune techno.

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After a lot of experimentation, I've decided to revert back to the most recent build that I posted here (second one), and try to introduce a bit more randomness into the visual part of the kernel.

 

I am enjoying the fact that the art piece manages to stabilize itself, while still slowly evolving over time, both the audio and visual elements, but the visual elements need a little more push.

 

Once I feel I have accomplished this, I will call the piece finished.

 

Thanks for all the compliments so far, maybe i'll do more of these.

 

-Thom

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This sounds like a cool project.

How do I open and play that file (sorry i'm computer illiterate).

Or what do I need to download to play it?

 

Cheers

Edited by nofrills100

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When I play transmat, it comes out in black-and-white. Is that intentional, or do I need to adjust my Stella settings?

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When I play transmat, it comes out in black-and-white. Is that intentional, or do I need to adjust my Stella settings?

Try toggling the "PAL colour loss" effect with Ctrl-L. When enabled, an odd scanline count in PAL mode results in B&W output.

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I have posted a recording of the art piece on YouTube as a reference:

 

-Thom

Is that real hardware, or Stella? NTSC or PAL?

Mine runs a bit faster, but my Stella is 3.8.1 iOS.

Real hardware may sound a bit different also due to TIA emulation differences.

Still, I love this stuff because it sounds unlike an Atari - and like it has more than 2 channels.

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yes, 256 iterations, with 256 steps each iteration. The selective AND/OR/EORing of the initial seed seems to stabilize the piece... and, The youtube video is running on MESS, actually.

 

I have also posted this to twitter, and every glitch blog I can get my hands on, am trying to stir up some publicity. (as much as can be gotten for avant garde fringe weird art) ;)

 

-Thom

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Alva Noto.

Had never heard of him until you mentioned his name. While I was watching your YouTube clip it totally reminded me of an installation by Ryoji Ikeda (test pattern no.5) which is currently installed in a gallery down the road from me, and i might add is one of the best installations i have ever seen. I had to laugh then when I looked up Alva Noto and found that he is in a group, Signal, with him. Will definitely being doing some more reading up and listening of his work.

What you are doing here is really interesting and inspiring. When you have fine tuned and finished it you should think of doing a small run of cartridges, or grant someone permission to do it, I'd definitely buy one or two.

Cheers!

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Neat. Gives hectoByte a run for its money :)

128 B doesn't quite qualify as a wallflower though. I've been doing experiments in 32 B (16 B isn't enough to get any sort of stable behaviour, AFAICT).

 

And: why don't you assemble it as a 128 byte binary to fit into that category on pouet? Simply change

ORG $F000

to

ORG $FF80

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89 bytes is as good as i can get it to keep the semi rhythmic nature of the piece, while being stochastic enough, over time...

 

-Thom

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Can somebody try this on a real console (anyone have a real VCS with a harmony cart?), and see what the hell happens? I'm sort of scared actually, given that I pay NO mind to the vertical signal synchronization.

 

-Thom

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Here is an iPad video in my Dropbox.

The link will die when I delete the video from Dropbox.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jsgvpgz3u99os8m/Video%20Jun%2028%2C%209%2026%2045%20PM.mov

 

Actually pretty good. Goes black and white and wavy, but mostly it is solid color.

It is about past the one minute mark.

The horizontal dark areas that move down are from videoing the tube TV scan rate and not there when viewing live.

 

Other than the black and white waviness, it is exactly what I am seeing and hearing in Stella 3.8.1.

Go Stella!

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This experiment has directly influenced the way I think about music on the 2600. The game over screen for my latest game has a very short beat done procedurally. I wouldn't have even THOUGHT to do that until seeing Transmat!

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I finally get to test Transmat on real hardware, courtesy of a Harmony cartridge, and the results are DEFINITELY different than the emulator! wow...

 

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