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Who knows how made the sound effects of ALLEY CAT?

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Hi everyone,

 

I want to ask for help, I am very impressed as Bill Williams (✞RIP) programmed in atari the characteristic sounds of his great game ALLEY CAT (Barking, meowing, dog and cat fight, kisses and complaints) and I want learn how to make them. They are very similar to the ones I've heard on professional synthesizers (Korg Legacy and MINIAK Akai).

In advance, I appreciate your guidance very much.

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I was always amazed by Alley Cat's sound.

 

If they are not sampled sound, I have a technique to build up a sound.

Open the sound in an editor PC program.

Select one frame of sound. 0.016

Pick a tone that most closely matches.

Continue until the end of the sound.

 

Takes time, skill, and luck.

 

Atari sampling has many topics and techniques, from PC software .wav to packed data (2 per byte), to playing audio into the paddle inputs...

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Some of the sounds are sampled. Unsure of the fight sound when the cat gets mugged by the dog and they have the Hanna-Barbera style melee - you can get sound like that by rapidly cycling among pure tone, noise and silence - in fact many RMT tunes use similar technique for drums and beat effects.

 

Unsure of the sample rate used, I would guess probably 4 KHz or less.

 

This might well be the earliest Atari game to have digitized sound that's synchronous with the game action. Others like Tumblebugs do the digital sound but with nothing else going on at the time.

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Sampled sounds in Alley, WOW, that's something I'd never had given a thought to for the reason you mention Tumble Bugs, same with Kennedy Approach etc...

 

I just thought they were ultra clever sound fx created by messing around with wave forms...

 

Mind you, Bill was a pioneer, Mind Walker on the Amiga was the first (?) game to use HAM mode in game...Wacky game, never really got with it :)

 

Just took a few secs to read about the poor man, wow he went through hell..

 

https://www.filfre.net/2016/01/bill-williams-the-story-of-a-life/

 

RIP Bill...

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Really? Never thought they were samples either.

 

I already loved all the sounds on Bill's great little Salmon Run game.....it all,sounds watery...bubbly ...splashy.....and the kissing sound from Alley Cat comes straight from this one...

 

Slam on Run was published in ANTIC IIIRC......so sampled sound would take a lot of byte entering.....

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I thought they were procedual created. We discusssdd that 10 years ago here at AA?

 

But interesting as I recently wanted to go back to AC sound.

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What you may not know:

Bill hid the message, "MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU" within the code in his game Alley Cat

Bill made only $600 on Alley Cat

 

 

600? Well....

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What you may not know:

Bill hid the message, "MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU" within the code in his game Alley Cat

Bill made only $600 on Alley Cat

 

 

600? Well....

 

There is a different message in the binary :P

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OK, change of mind. I don't think there are digital sounds in the game.

 

The dog bark is pretty well done and does sound a bit like a low-fi sample.

But set the Altirra speed to about 30% and it all becomes clear. A mix of noise and pure tones.

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Would be nice to have some memory writes dump from emulator .. you would be able to filter for Pokey writes and sort it all out.

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Funny thing. Had no idea what SAP Type R is .. went to work on my new game, and had to record video from emulator, as I'm not sure about bug in animation .. and there it is, in the record menu of Altirra. So now it makes sense !

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Thanks for posting that, gonna read that in full ASAP. But I noticed Salmon Run was published by APX, not ANTIC magazine....and also that after Salmon Run he wrote a column about Atari sound programming for a magazine called Softline......

 

Someone should dig those up ;)

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Ah....here's part 8....at page 27 :)

 

https://computerarchive.org/files/computer/magazines/softline/softline_3.1.pdf

 

Now to find all of them ! I have no time now....

 

 

[EDIT] OOOOO actual program example type-in listings......awesome ! :)

 

 

[EDiT 2] mmmm looks all of them are here :) https://archive.org/details/softline_magazine

Edited by Level42
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Thanks for mentioning softline. Never come across but looks interesting professional mag?

 

Listing plus interviews.

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Seemed to be aimed mainly on Apple but also Atari....I look it too and would love to see all those examples of programs from Bill running....I mean hear them running.....:)

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Remember the handy little feature in Altirra, it will paste from the clipboard with a right click on the main screen...

 

So any listings that can be copied to the clipboard can be entered into Altirra without you typing it (hint, hit F1 to speed up the pasting as it does it at normal Atari speed)

 

All you need to do is find out if he's using a different BASIC or whatever and match it to that and BINGO...Instant demo's :)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Generally it's easier with long stuff to just pre-process in a text editor then use the device translate facilities to handle CR/LF. Then use the ENTER command to get the file onto emulated machine.

 

Problem is, plenty of Atari listings have the graphical control characters which are hard to handle, though isn't there a PC-based MemoPad which can handle them?

Edited by Rybags
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Indeed there is, and very nice too...Don't use it much myself but its great for atari specific documents..

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Mmmmm, those are PDF documents, not sure if it's possible to extract the bare text from them ?

 

Yeah he uses plain Atari BASIC but also Assembly and C as far as I could see (apparently for the "fancier" stuff).

 

Even with the suggested methods......no time ;(

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Always try highlighting with the mouse on a pdf, in these cases it will allow a copy from the pdf, in other cases its treated as a picture and of course won't allow highlighting..

 

I tried a couple of samples from the PDF of Softline and they did copy but the things I tried hit error problems in Atari Basic and I didn't have the time to research why, hence the check to see if its Atari basic or not..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Well there's no specific mention of another BASIC being used so I assumed it was Atari BASIC. It also looks like it ;)

 

I just gave it a try (I'm a Mac user), downloaded the PDF and copied parts of the text. and Copy-Pasted that into Atari800MacX....it was like someone was typing it all in (pretty quickly though). Sure enough a number of errors because of sometimes it seems to "miss" returns/enters but that seems to be it and can of course be quickly corrected.

Sure beats typing it all ! :)

Now gotta find some time to do this :)

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Hi there

I have OCRed the Atari Sound scanned pages, and made a quick and dirty website with them. Here's the link:

https://sites.google.com/site/billwilliamsatarisounds/

This is still a work in progress, you can give me a hand by debugging the programs and uploading the resulting ATRs here, so I can upload them to the website. And of course, let me know if you find any typos.

Just for reference, attached to this post you will find the JPGs I used as the base for my work.

 

Kind regards,

 

Louis BQ

AtariSound.zip

Edited by lbaeza
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