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makary

PWMish sound in a tracker

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But a8 scene lacks coders doing a PC tracker with understanding POKEY.

But isn't that the contradiction, the tracker is a higher level tool that (to the most part) should shield the user from the underlying complexities of the h/w?

 

With the C64 and NES the sound chips provide a closer model to what you'd find in a synth and so more accessible to musicians / sound engineers.

 

With Pokey they need to think differently and, I should imagine, not incentivized to exploit these lower level exploits of the h/w.

 

So my 5-cents would be that it's understandable why the scene doesn't attract as many new adopters as the others.

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@R0ger:

 

Nice idea really. There's some PC based pokey tool in developement at the moment as far as I know. Not a tracker but something emulation related. Anyway, I don't want to spread some vague news and I hope the author will say something more precise sooner or later. I believe you my find it useful in the future. There was also a PC version of Soft Synth, very early but working version. Besides I heard proper substractive synthesis filters and proper saw waveform produced by Pokey the other day. Just not everyone is willing to share the stuff at early stage, only some stuff is available somewhere at Github, Atarionline.pl etc. We can PM so I can help a bit with getting in touch with the authors or so. Many people may be willing to support you I think if you decide so start the project some day ;)

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SID can have synth oriented controls. Because SID is synth. Pokey is keyboard controller. It has way more specific issues, you have to keep in mind, when making music.

My goal would be to make the tracker flexible as much as possible. New sounds are still being found, and experimented with. Even principally different things, like samples and soft-synths.

We have some interesting things prepared, I just don't want to go out with it, until I'm sure it will work.

Anyway I am interested in every obscure sound you ever heard anywhere.

 

I'm for example quite curious about 'substractive synthesis filters and proper saw waveform'.

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But isn't that the contradiction, the tracker is a higher level tool that (to the most part) should shield the user from the underlying complexities of the h/w?

 

With the C64 and NES the sound chips provide a closer model to what you'd find in a synth and so more accessible to musicians / sound engineers.

 

With Pokey they need to think differently and, I should imagine, not incentivized to exploit these lower level exploits of the h/w.

 

So my 5-cents would be that it's understandable why the scene doesn't attract as many new adopters as the others.

 

 

Precisely.

SID comes pretty close to the classic synth architecture, based on subtractive synthesis. The most popular sort of synthesis so people get into it with ease. Like in Moogs for instance. So as a musician you're instantly equipped with a bunch of waveforms (PWM for pulse included), filters, ADSR, Ring Modulation and sync feature. So you got some starting point.

 

In case o Pokey sound generation capabilities, it's more like someone gives you a bunch of basic Pittsburg modular parts: clocks, dividers, sample&holds (roughly speaking), XORs etc. Some are hard-wired, some are not. And you're scratching your head trying to figure out how to use all of these to get something interesting. For instance how to sync some parts ('phase reset' it's called here I guess) to get something PWM-like.

Edited by makary
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Thanks to this thread, I checked that old folder using the newest available POKEY emulation . Things really got better there... from the stability point...

 

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Yeah, well-crafted stuff.

 

Particularly those fast attack/short decay/long sustain notes work exceptionally well. Not usual when the sound is 'filtered' and has this sort of envelope.

 

Edit: typo

Edited by makary

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Yeah, well-crafted stuff.

 

Particularly those fast attack/short decay/long sustain notes work exceptionally well. Not usual when the sound is 'filtered' and has this sort of envelope.

Besides the fact that the tune isn't possible without the work of honorable people, it shows that the used instruments were far beyond the written abilities of what POKEY could produce. The chip is "that old" , it can produce "analog" signals besides the "digital" signals .

Not to mention that there is "open space left" , imagine such a tune, using digital instruments for bass and drum.

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Sure.

 

How about picking out the pokey findings you consider to be your best and present them in one place / one thread etc. The essentials roughly speaking. As far as I understand you've been working on the stuff for years so there is plenty of ideas to choose from.

 

But the point is to present them with detailed descriptions of what's going on, what to focus on, some instrument editor screenshots, some files if you think it's necessary, technical references, maths, whatever etc. Staying focus on the essence as much as possible. I'm pretty sure more coders, musicians and pokey fans will start to follow your ideas or at least support your efforts.

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Sounds like more work than actually making the tracker :-D

Probably some wiki would be the right place. I don't really feel like I know anything special though.

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Ooh, I had in mind Emkay's efforts mostly ;) My impression is that it'd be nice to have his ideas presented in a bit more accessible way.

Edited by makary
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Ooh, I had in mind Emkay's efforts mostly ;) My impression is that it'd be nice to have his ideas presented in a bit more accessible way.

 

OIC :-D That's more like it.

Edited by R0ger

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At least my taste in music seems not to be that off ;)

Everytime, when I want to show the abilitiies of POKEY to replay "real" music, YOUTUBE claims, I'm using something original. This time they warned me to close the channel, if the issue gets repeated.

They don't know what a honor that is ;)

It was a re-do of a (the) "Robocod" tune ...

 

:D

Edited by emkay
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You will have to upload xexes or music files to AtariAge...

 

You know, from time to time , I put some of them out.

But, I'm really not happy, doing stuff on the PC , not knowing about the differences on the real thing.

Using the "pitch correction" in 15kHz is a lot more timing depending than the 64kHz stuff.

Heck, even after RMT and Altirra use the same emulations, it is sounding slightly different.

 

 

 

After some additional work....

 

 

 

Edited by emkay

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