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DZ-Jay

Can the Intellivision play drums?

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Yes, with the right tracker software. ;)

 

I just released an updated version of the Intellivision Music Tracker, which allows Intellivision programmers to play specially-crafted music files in their games.  The song format is similar to the classic "XM" module from Fast Tracker II, but with all instruments synthesized in software.  It also includes facilities to synthesize drum sounds to accompany your tracks.

 

I included in this new distribution some very cool sample songs and a library of useful envelopes, effects, and drum sounds to use in your own songs.  The software also comes with full documentation.

 

If you are interested, check out the main topic thread in the Intellivision Programming forum:

 

 

So ... want to hear the Intellivision play drums?  Check out this kick-ass drum track I created to showcase the new drum sounds I created for the tracker:

drums-demo-808.mp3

 

The drums are based on the sounds of the classic Roland TR-808 drum machine.  I call the track, "Funk My Drum Machine."

 

Not too bad for a sound chip with only square wave tones and no filters whatsoever. :)

 

     Enjoy!

     -dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay
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Really...  a oscillator and a pitch envelope or LFO is all you really need to make drum sounds... though a noise generator also helps. 

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12 minutes ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Really...  a oscillator and a pitch envelope or LFO is all you really need to make drum sounds... though a noise generator also helps. 

Yes, that's true; but you also need to know how to use them. ;)

 

The cool part is that the tracker allows you to define the drum sounds as instruments and then you can just use them in any song by creating patterns for them.  This particular tracker supports 2 drum channels.  The sample drum track in the post uses a third channel for the deep bass tone of the 808 kick.

 

    -dZ.

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By the way, I used the information on this page as a guide in recreating the TR-808 sounds.  Like @DragonGrafx-16 suggested, the sounds are rather simple.  However, they used different waveform oscillators and filters, which are not available in the Intellivision PSG.  So these are mere approximations, but they are pretty cool, and much better than the typical sounds used for drums in old consoles like the Intellivision.

 

   -dZ.

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On 12/31/2020 at 10:26 PM, MadZiontist said:

 

Boom bappy! I very much enjoyed that. Got a wave file of it that you'd be willing to share?

 

 

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.  Unfortunately, the emulator only exports in MP3 format.  I guess it could be recorded with another software from the emulator.  I'll try to give it a go and post back.

 

In the meantime, I posted in the original thread a short tutorial of how I made the drums track, for anybody interested.

 

 

Spoiler Alert:  I used Garage Band to compose them, then transcribed the patterns into tracker row events by hand.  The post walks you step by step of how I did that.

 

    -dZ.

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Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.  Unfortunately, the emulator only exports in MP3 format.  I guess it could be recorded with another software from the emulator.  I'll try to give it a go and post back.
 
In the meantime, I posted in the original thread a short tutorial of how I made the drums track, for anybody interested.
 
 
Spoiler Alert:  I used Garage Band to compose them, then transcribed the patterns into tracker row events by hand.  The post walks you step by step of how I did that.
 
    -dZ.
Gotcha. I am experienced with music composition software, and I'd love to give it a go, but unfortunately I don't have a PC right now.

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Finally listened to the audio example... it sounds like vintage Casio keyboard drums to me a bit... 

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6 hours ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Finally listened to the audio example... it sounds like vintage Casio keyboard drums to me a bit... 

They're not really that bad.  But there's only so much you can do with pure square waves and nothing more.

 

In any case, the main point is that they sound better than this, which is the "standard" Intellivision music sound.

 

    -dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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Oh, and this is hat it was trying to emulate, the classic TR-808 drum machine.

 

Not perfect, but close.

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Oh I'm very familiar with the 808 sound... and hey I didn't mean it sounded bad lol I like the sound of Casio drums...

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1 hour ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Oh I'm very familiar with the 808 sound... and hey I didn't mean it sounded bad lol I like the sound of Casio drums...

No worries.  It's just that an expanded Intellivision has 2x AY-3-8914 chips, so it should be able to do quite a lot; but it has been underutilized so far.  I'm not a musician, so I can't make cool tracks for it, but I can "play" a sequencer and drum machine.  So that's my little contribution to the scene.

 

Well ... that, and the updated music tracker. :)

 

     -dZ.

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