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PlayCable Menu Music

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so i made an animated gif and it shows up in emulationstation but it does not animate. so unfortunately it wont work.


Bummer... Thanks for trying though.

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I have no knowledge/experience programming in the Intv, so I wouldn't know where to begin. I was hoping that folks with more experience/know-how might want to take a crack at it.


Hi Dave,


I've done a bit of fiddling try to translate the Music Box Dancer tune. The first step is to translate the music. I tried stripping the audio track from the video and applying a low-pass filter to remove the noise using FFMPEG:




I then passed it through one of the online tools to convert it to MIDI, unfortunately whilst it starts OK, once you get to chords the quality breaks down:




I believe that automatic transcription of music like this is a hard problem. Next I tried using the demo version of Transcribe! to manually score the notes. Again, whilst this was easy for the initial bars, it got really difficult at the chords for me as a non-musician. Here are the limited results after an hour of fiddling:




This ROM is created from the following IntyBasic program:




Annoyingly my son who has more musical talent in his little finger than I do in my whole body, managed to put together a new arrangement of the first 30 seconds in less time than it took me to do that snippet of less than 10 seconds. :roll:


At this point I decided to cheat :D. A search of the interwebnets threw up lots of MIDI versions of the tune. I downloaded a piano version with 2 tracks, one for each hand, and passed it through a script I have for converting such MIDI files into Intellivision tunes:




Clearly this is not the same arrangement as is found on the PlayCable menu, for a start it is slower and only uses two voices, whereas the PlayCable uses all three PSG channels.


I hope this illustrates that re-creating these tunes is more of a musical task than a programming one. I suspect the best way to reconstruct an authentic arrangement is for a musician to use something like Transcribe! to score the tune from the video. Once this is done it should be relatively easy to embed the tune into one of the Intelllivision music players.


I also have quite a nice two voice Intellivision version of The Entertainer converted from MIDI which I used as the backing music to a game:




Anyway, hope this is of interest





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Hi decle,


Thanks for taking the time to do all that work! I've had a chance to listen to the roms and yeah, I guess it would be a rather difficult task to completely re-create the tunes from scratch. While decent attempts, none really come remotely close to replicating what's on the cassette recordings. The music.rom file came the closest, until (like you said) the chords kicked in and it became a mess. As far as picking out the notes goes, while I am okay at playing piano by ear, to totally recreate something like that Ragtime tune (does ANYONE out there know the actual name for it??) would be a daunting task. And even if I were able to accomplish this, I wouldn't know how to transpose what I'm playing into anything useful for a potential programmer. So, I guess the mono cassette recordings will have to stand as the best representation of those songs as how they actually sounded back then.


Still, I admire the time and effort you put in, and while The Entertainer isn't quite the PlayCable version, it was quite entertaining in its own right. So thanks for making the effort, decle. It is very much appreciated! :thumbsup:

Edited by dave1dmarx
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